Go Back   Thor Forums > Thor Brands and Products > Thor Motor Coach | Class A, Class B+ & Class C Motorhomes
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 07-28-2015, 05:33 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: ACE 27.1
State: Missouri
Posts: 25
THOR #2028
First big trip - lessons learned, adventures, and take-aways

We took our first big trip last week. Left from St. Louis, stopped a night Wilson Lake State park KS, then spent a week in Salida, Colorado. We stopped for a night at Wilson Lake again on the way home. We're also such RV nerds we stopped at two CW's along the way: Columbia, MO and KC, MO.

Lessons learned:
1. Driving in 50mph wind gusts is not possible - at least not for us. We hit a couple storms and pulled over after getting nearly completely blown off the road.
2. Thought I had to have the gennie on for the fridge to work so, we did the entire drive to CO w/gennie running. After thinking more about it, I realized if I kept fridge on gas it would work fine w/o gennie.
3. Plan ahead - next time we'll plan our gas stops to get the best gas price in the more competitive areas. We stopped a couple times and had to pay the price of the only gas station at the stop.

Adventures:
1. Driving in 40-50mph wind gusts - Don't think I've been that scared behind the wheel!
2. Time behind the wheel - spent about 8-9 hours behind the wheel on back to back days. When there wasn't the wind gusts this was quite enjoyable and we got to see a lot of sites along he way. Just need to find more things for the DW to do so she's not so bored!

Key take-aways:
1. We really enjoyed our time camping and travelling with the motorhome. But the ACE 27.1 may be a bit small for us. So, most of the trip home was talking about if/when we upgrade
2. Need to install a rear track-bar to help with the tail-wag
3. Driving that F53 chassis is loud upfront and while it handles 'ok', it would be nice to have alternatives other than shelling out $$ for a DP. Yes, I have done the CHF and installed Safe-t-plus stabilizer. Maybe higher-end gassers are quieter but that's something we'll evaluate if/when we upgrade.
4. We can't wait for our next trip!
__________________

__________________
Todd

___________________________________________
2015 Thor ACE 27.1
tholtman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2015, 05:54 PM   #2
Axis/Vegas Enthusiast
 
JamieGeek's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Axis 24.1
State: Michigan
Posts: 8,254
THOR #1150
Quote:
Originally Posted by tholtman
3. Plan ahead - next time we'll plan our gas stops to get the best gas price in the more competitive areas. We stopped a couple times and had to pay the price of the only gas station at the stop.
We use the iExit app for that: https://iexitapp.com/
It provides what services are available all along your route while you're driving it--would give the spouse something to do (both iPhone and Andriod versions are available). Not affiliated with them just a happy customer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tholtman
3. Driving that F53 chassis is loud upfront and while it handles 'ok', it would be nice to have alternatives other than shelling out $$ for a DP. Yes, I have done the CHF and installed Safe-t-plus stabilizer. Maybe higher-end gassers are quieter but that's something we'll evaluate if/when we upgrade.
I'm sure there are opportunities to add sound deadening insulation on your ACE just like there is/was on our Axis.
__________________

__________________
2014 Thor Axis 24.1
2018 Chevy Bolt
blog - https://spareelectrons.wordpress.com/
JamieGeek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2015, 11:15 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Hurricane 34E
State: California
Posts: 524
THOR #937
Quote:
Originally Posted by tholtman View Post
...Maybe higher-end gassers are quieter but that's something we'll evaluate if/when we upgrade.
..
The higher end F53 gassers are pretty much just as noisy. When I was shopping I test drove a Thor Challenger, a Newmar Canyon Star, and a Winnebago Adventurer. All similarly noisy when accelerating. The Newmar probably had the best insulation and was the most quiet when cruising, but you still clearly know that you are sitting on top of the engine.

On the other hand, the "entry level" DPs are just as noisy! I tested a Tiffen Allegro Breeze, a Winnebago Forza, and a Thor Pallazzo. Yes, the engine is way in the back, so it is clearly farther away. However they all have smaller diesel engines that need to work harder than their BIG high end cousins. When accelerating, and going up hill they are noisy. And of course they still have many various rattles/squeak/bumps just like any motorhome does when going down the road. At cruising speed, and lower RPMs, they are quieter overall.


The Safe-T-Plus isn't really meant to improve your overall ride, just your tracking and safety in the vent of a blowout. The CHF, is just that, (you got what you paid for). Now, if you really want to get serious about improving your ride you're going to want to invest in the suspension. Some new aftermarket front and rear HEAVY sway bars, and a rear track bar will do wonders. They will make your milk wagon feel more like a bootleggers pickup, (still high centered, but a little tighter).


Even professional truckers wont normally drive in heavy wind gusts. Driving a big box exposed to the wind. One little unexpected emergency lane change with a nice wind gust, and your coach will flip over, or swerve into the ditch.
__________________
Beacher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2015, 05:47 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Brand: Still Looking
State: Texas
Posts: 4,036
THOR #2121
Quote:
Originally Posted by tholtman View Post

....cut....

3. Driving that F53 chassis is loud upfront and while it handles 'ok', it would be nice to have alternatives other than shelling out $$ for a DP.

.....cut....
It may not be any quieter, but Motorhome Magazine reported that Workhorse would be re-entering the RV chassis market. At least that will be another option to a Ford.

I've never seen data on V10 noise but have personally found the Ford Triton engines to be loud. The Workhorse chassis will either have a 6.0L or 8.8L V8. Considering that the 8.8L is large enough to run at slower RPMs than the Ford V10, it may be less noisy.
__________________
Chance is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2015, 06:11 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Brand: Still Looking
State: Texas
Posts: 4,036
THOR #2121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beacher View Post
....cut.... Now, if you really want to get serious about improving your ride you're going to want to invest in the suspension. Some new aftermarket front and rear HEAVY sway bars, and a rear track bar will do wonders. They will make your milk wagon feel more like a bootleggers pickup, (still high centered, but a little tighter).

.....cut......
While "HEAVY" sway bars do a nice job in reducing body roll, they also have drawbacks that should be considered. On some roads they can result in a jarring ride. Increasing roll stiffness to minimize body lean also reduces the vehicles' wheels' ability to ride over bumps independent of each other. When installed at both front and rear it also reduces suspension articulation.

Like most design it comes down to compromise in order to get the best overall performance. If there were no drawbacks I'm sure Ford would install much heavier bars since the incremental costs would be minimal.
__________________
Chance is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2015, 02:37 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: vegas 24.1
State: Florida
Posts: 126
THOR #1466
V-10 noise.

I had a Tiffin on an F-53 chassis. The first time I pulled a small hill, I thought the engine was going to explode. It downshifts at the drop of a hat, and screams like crazy, but the 3 valve short-stroke engine does this, and does no harm to the engine. The engine makes its most power over 3000 RPM. It is a great engine, bulletproof as is the 5-speed tranny. It also makes the coach pretty responsive. I now have a Vegas with the 2 valve V-10, 56 less HP., but still pretty quick. It is noisy, as well, but the lighter Vegas doesn't need as much downshifting, thus doesn't scream at all. There are several programmers out there that can change shift patterns, which would make the coach much quieter, and sound deadening in the doghouse would help a lot. The V-10 is a very reliable, long-lived engine with very few issues. It is definitely not an economy engine, gas-wise, but it will always get you home.
__________________
davidgebo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2015, 03:26 PM   #7
Junior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: ACE 27.1
State: Missouri
Posts: 25
THOR #2028
Thanks for all the feedback. I am planning to install the Blue Ox on the rear.
I'll hold out on future changes until I get a few drives with the Blue Ox on.

davidgebo, you nailed the other lesson learned I failed to mention - using the cruise control on hills. It quickly downshifts and jumps to over 4500 RPMs. This can't be good for it? I've learned to anticipate the hills and give it more gas coming into the hill to prevent the downshift. But then why have it on cruise control at all.

There was another ACE owner at the campground that came over to talk and this was the first thing he brought up to me as one of his concerns.

So, is it ok to let is scream at 4500+ RPMs up a "short" hill (I wouldn't do this on a long climb) or should I do my best to prevent it?
__________________
Todd

___________________________________________
2015 Thor ACE 27.1
tholtman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2015, 05:41 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Larry's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Axis 24.1
State: Georgia
Posts: 824
THOR #1123
Quote:
Originally Posted by tholtman View Post
Thanks for all the feedback. I am planning to install the Blue Ox on the rear.
I'll hold out on future changes until I get a few drives with the Blue Ox on.

davidgebo, you nailed the other lesson learned I failed to mention - using the cruise control on hills. It quickly downshifts and jumps to over 4500 RPMs. This can't be good for it? I've learned to anticipate the hills and give it more gas coming into the hill to prevent the downshift. But then why have it on cruise control at all.

There was another ACE owner at the campground that came over to talk and this was the first thing he brought up to me as one of his concerns.

So, is it ok to let is scream at 4500+ RPMs up a "short" hill (I wouldn't do this on a long climb) or should I do my best to prevent it?
I've seen where several have posted about not worrying about their V-10s when they start screaming at higher RPMs because they say it is a workhorse(s) and it does no damage, but I most always disengage my cruise by tapping my brake even on the shorter hills. I just think it may prolong the engine life by doing so and imagine all the extra gas being consumed as the gas hand goes in the opposite direction from the tachometer reading.
__________________
Larry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2015, 06:03 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: vegas 24.1
State: Florida
Posts: 126
THOR #1466
V-10 noise

I have made several inquiries onto the high revs of the V-10. The Ford mechanics, as well as other techs have told me this engine is designed for 4500 rpm, and doesn't hurt it a bit. This goes against my instincts about keeping the engine at lower rpms, but the mechanics also told me they never tore down a V-10, because they rarely break down. They also said the same thing about the 5-speewd tranny. They just go on and on.
__________________
davidgebo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2015, 06:21 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
bigben's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Challenger 37TB
State: Kentucky
Posts: 1,026
THOR #1020
A couple of thoughts.

1. Before I start a trip, I always ALWAYS check prices on gas with GasBuddy.com. Then last thing I do in the morning after checking everything else is check my DTE and gas stops. I entry the those into the our itinerary on our GPS as a via. Saves me hundreds - no exaggeration. Also, we use a CC that gives up 5% back on all gas purchases - no limit like Sams cap.

2. Like Larry, I also disengage cruise. My routine in the driver's seat is get up too speed. Set cruise at 68. Watch the road for hills, watch the mph to stay above 62, tap the resume button to pause cruise when getting near 62 mph, climb the hill, hit resume. As we go to slow down, turn back on the tow/haul.

3. Recommend you find what I call the sweet spot for your coach and cruise. Mine is definitely 68 mph. The coach doesn't slam into 3rd much on my hills and is much quieter/polite.

4. We watch the wind gusts and agree - it ain't fun anymore past 15 mph gusts.

5. I (my DW doesn't ever drive) rarely drive more than 6 hours in a day. We are fully retired and I hate feel beat up after 7 or more hours of driving. Still equals about 350 - 400 miles/day though.

This is from our 8500 coast to coast roundtrip with grand kids.

Happy RVing!!
__________________
US Army Retired - Loving The Road Trip
Challenger 37TB
bigben is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2015, 06:35 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Brand: Still Looking
State: Texas
Posts: 4,036
THOR #2121
Starting with 2016 Ford model-year chassis, the new 6R140 6-speed transmission will have a much smaller jump in gear ratios between 6th and 5th than the present 5R110 5-speed between 5th and 4th.

Assuming same final ratio, when a downshift is required at cruising speeds the engine will no longer jump as high in RPMs. Gear ratio jump is presently around 41% and with new 6R140 it will be around 28%. That should address both the high RPM concerns as well as the associated noise.

Occasionally (rarely I expect), the smaller jump in gearing may require an additional downshift to 4th where the previous 5R110 would not need to go from 4th to 3rd gear. On those few cases noise and RPMs could be higher. But that should be very rare. In general more gear choices should allow better control of RPMs and hence excessive noise.
__________________
Chance is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2015, 07:43 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
bigben's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Challenger 37TB
State: Kentucky
Posts: 1,026
THOR #1020
I heard that the 2016 had gained a gear. Great. Without it you must pay close attention.
__________________
US Army Retired - Loving The Road Trip
Challenger 37TB
bigben is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2015, 08:02 PM   #13
Junior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: ACE 27.1
State: Missouri
Posts: 25
THOR #2028
Perfect... that could greatly factor into my decision to upgrade next year.
__________________
Todd

___________________________________________
2015 Thor ACE 27.1
tholtman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2015, 08:22 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Brand: Still Looking
State: Texas
Posts: 4,036
THOR #2121
Ford also derated the 3-valve V10 down to 320 HP at 4,000 RPM. Maximum torque is now 460 lb-ft at 3,000 RPM (just over 260 HP). There is speculation that the derating is probably on paper to limit RPMs to 4,000 RPMs due to noise standards it can't meet at highest RPMs.

I'm assuming that most motorhomes cruise at less than 3,000 RPMs in top gear which would suggest a downshift will still keep RPMs below 4,000 RPMs with new 6R140.

The V10 has a long stroke which is an advantage for low-end torque but not necessarily good for high RPMs.
__________________
Chance is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2015, 08:46 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
bigben's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Challenger 37TB
State: Kentucky
Posts: 1,026
THOR #1020
Chance, which of the motorhomes are going with the 6 speed and derated v10? I'd like to find one to review? Thanks
__________________
US Army Retired - Loving The Road Trip
Challenger 37TB
bigben is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2015, 12:37 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
Brand: Still Looking
State: Texas
Posts: 4,036
THOR #2121
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigben View Post
Chance, which of the motorhomes are going with the 6 speed and derated v10? I'd like to find one to review? Thanks
All V10s will have the 6-speed. That means all larger motorhomes built on F53 chassis, plus all cutaway or stripped-chassis versions of E-Series with the V10 option. The smaller standard 5.4L V8 E-Series will keep the 5-speed.

The F53 chassis uses the higher-power 3-valve V10, and that's the one being derated to 320 HP at 4,000 RPMs. But as mentioned above there is speculation the engine will make more power if revved above 4,000 RPMs. The derating may be "on paper" in order to pass noise standard. I'm not sure of that.

The E-Series Cutaway or stripped chassis (like those used on Axis/Vegas) will continue to use the 2-valve V10 rated at the same 305 HP at 4,250 RPM and 420 lb-ft at 3,250 RPMs.
__________________
Chance is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2015, 12:46 AM   #17
Senior Member
 
Mr Sunshine's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2016 Vegas 25.2
State: Florida
Posts: 1,993
THOR #1589
I second bigben's comments in #10 above. Especially the gasbuddy ap. It has saved us lots of cash. We normally travel around 350 miles a day, and often the gas price is much different between states, due to varying state gas taxes. I use the map feature to check within my driving range. I prefer truck stops, since we tow a car, but can usually manipulate my way in and out of most stations, if I can think quickly enough.
I can drive 1000 miles if necessary, but DW thinks 7 or 8 hours is enough, and we don't normally hurry around in the morning. We figure we average about 50 mph, including stops for fuel and food.
With my last Class A V-10, I would do likewise, kick the cruise off before even the smallest hill, like an overpass. You'll get a feel for the shift points before long. I don't mind if we lose some speed before the crest. A screaming engine may not do any damage, but it has to have a negative impact on mpg! Of course, up a long 6% grade, conversation will have to wait until you clear the top.
__________________
They say that not all who wander are lost, but sometimes I am just lost!
Mr Sunshine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2015, 01:35 AM   #18
Senior Member
 
bigben's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Challenger 37TB
State: Kentucky
Posts: 1,026
THOR #1020
Mr Sunshine - the gasbuddy.com is slick.

I absolutely cannot rush around in the AM. Generally underway at 10:00. I could hurry and put my life at risk from DW.

I am most comfortable driving at 68 mph. Cost me a little mpg but not significant with good shift points.
__________________
US Army Retired - Loving The Road Trip
Challenger 37TB
bigben is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2015, 02:14 AM   #19
Senior Member
 
Mr Sunshine's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2016 Vegas 25.2
State: Florida
Posts: 1,993
THOR #1589
Saw a sign that said, "SOMETIMES I WAKE UP GROUCHY, AND SOMETIMES I LET HER SLEEP!"
Just to be clear, I would never apply that to my DW. However, if the shoe fits...
BTW, saw another sign that said, "If Poppa ain't happy, no one cares!"
__________________
They say that not all who wander are lost, but sometimes I am just lost!
Mr Sunshine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2015, 02:18 AM   #20
Senior Member
 
bigben's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Challenger 37TB
State: Kentucky
Posts: 1,026
THOR #1020
Too funny!
__________________

__________________
US Army Retired - Loving The Road Trip
Challenger 37TB
bigben is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Thor Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.




All times are GMT. The time now is 04:48 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
×