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Old 03-20-2016, 08:39 PM   #21
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Challenger 37LX
State: Maryland
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Hello, I just joined the Thor forums. Since this was the 2017 models, I had just placed my order for a 2017 Challenger 37LX. The dealer had a 2016 on the lot, but after speaking to Thor and the dealer, I opted to order one, which would be a 2017 model on a 2017 chassis with 6 speed. The 6 speed drove great on the one at the dealer (which the paperwork said 5 speed, but looking at the shifter, the way to tell was if the shifter had (P R N D 3 2 1) then it was a 5 speed and it it showed (P R N D 4 2 1), then it was a 6 speed. Thor sent me swatches of the new materials (colors for interior) and also a picture of the new paint job on the exterior (which I ordered). My are coach should be in by June. With the list of new changes, I cannot wait to pick it up.

Anyway, just thought I would stop by and say Hello.
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Old 03-20-2016, 08:45 PM   #22
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THOR #1765
Welcome and congratulations on your new coach. I hope you love it!
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Old 03-20-2016, 09:48 PM   #23
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2017Thor37LX

Welcome and congrats. There are a few of us Challenger owners on the forum so if you have any questions ask away.
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Old 03-20-2016, 09:49 PM   #24
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THOR #3865
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Originally Posted by dstankov View Post
2017Thor37LX

Welcome and congrats. There are a few of us Challenger owners on the forum so if you have any questions ask away.
Thank You, I'll be sure to ask once I take possession of it.

One quick question though, how big is the drop down bunk bed?
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Old 03-20-2016, 09:58 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by 2017Thor37LX View Post
Thank You, I'll be sure to ask once I take possession of it.

One quick question though, how big is the drop down bunk bed?
On my 2015 the drop down bunk has a sleeping area of 54 x 74 inches. At least that is what the literature says. I haven't measured it and mine gets used for the cat crates when we are not rolling down the road.
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Old 03-20-2016, 09:58 PM   #26
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Ours in the 37TB is a full size bed. We took out the inflatable mattress and put in a decent cushion with a memory foam topper. Then re-drilled the holes for the pins in the new position and leave in place. Works great and we're not fooling around blowing up the mattress when our grandkids are with us (which is often).
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Old 03-20-2016, 10:23 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by dstankov View Post
On my 2015 the drop down bunk has a sleeping area of 54 x 74 inches. At least that is what the literature says. I haven't measured it and mine gets used for the cat crates when we are not rolling down the road.
Is the bed in the drop down bed an inflatable bed? I can't tell from the literature. It only states Cotton Cloud Mattress.
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Old 03-20-2016, 11:20 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by 2017Thor37LX View Post
Is the bed in the drop down bed an inflatable bed? I can't tell from the literature. It only states Cotton Cloud Mattress.
2015 Was the last year of the inflatable bed, they switched to a mattress.

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Old 03-20-2016, 11:35 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by 2017Thor37LX View Post
Is the bed in the drop down bed an inflatable bed? I can't tell from the literature. It only states Cotton Cloud Mattress.
In mine the bed has an inflatable mattress. I heard or read somewhere that Thor had gone to a thin mattress for that bed and did away with the air mattress but I am not sure about that.
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Old 03-21-2016, 12:00 AM   #30
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They really needed to get rid of that air mattress. Terrible
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Old 03-21-2016, 12:07 AM   #31
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The Challenger video on Thors web site states its a non inflatable mattress, a 2016 change. It might not have made it into early 16's.

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Old 03-21-2016, 12:17 AM   #32
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THOR #1589
We have an early 2016 Vegas, and it has a mattress in the drop down bed. I agree with KCook in #28 above.
Congrats on your new rig!
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Old 03-21-2016, 12:52 AM   #33
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We purchased our 2016 Vegas 24.1 in May 2015. It has a mattress in the drop down bed and a E350 hauling us around for the past 4000 miles.

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Old 03-21-2016, 03:52 AM   #34
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I've seen those comments on the braking on the 6 Spd, but the biggest hill in 400 miles is Mt. Trashmore in Miami and they won't let me drive up and down it. I will be interested when I go out west this summer to see if it makes a big difference.
Just drove our new 6 speed 24.1 from Indiana to Cali. 6 % grades were no problem - much better than my old 4 speed van conversion. But I did have a tough drive across in the cross winds in Illinois - I finally quit when the semi in front of me almost went over. While we parked to wait it out, I checked the Wind Alert app and the nearest sensor was reading 42 gusting 62 mph!
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Old 03-21-2016, 04:07 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Cosmo View Post
Just drove our new 6 speed 24.1 from Indiana to Cali. 6 % grades were no problem - much better than my old 4 speed van conversion. But I did have a tough drive across in the cross winds in Illinois - I finally quit when the semi in front of me almost went over. While we parked to wait it out, I checked the Wind Alert app and the nearest sensor was reading 42 gusting 62 mph!
Good to know. Did u use the tow/haul button on the downgrades? How did it work?
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Old 03-21-2016, 03:14 PM   #36
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Good to know. Did u use the tow/haul button on the downgrades? How did it work?
No, just let off the gas. I was ready to use the button, but I only had to brake once outside of Tehachapi. Seemed like the RV had enough wind drag to slow itself down, although we were really lightly loaded. On a stepper grade in Mohave park going slow and when I braked, the RV seemed to downshift itself.
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Old 03-21-2016, 07:36 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Cosmo View Post
Good to know. Did u use the tow/haul button on the downgrades? How did it work?
No, just let off the gas. I was ready to use the button, but I only had to brake once outside of Tehachapi. Seemed like the RV had enough wind drag to slow itself down, although we were really lightly loaded. On a stepper grade in Mohave park going slow and when I braked, the RV seemed to downshift itself.
OK. Thanks.
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Old 03-21-2016, 10:38 PM   #38
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As I understand from the F53 forum, the 6 speed drives better until it comes to going down the hill. Then, at least as others have reported, the engine doesn't help brake at all. I've learned how to drive my five speed in cruise control and with a couple of specific techniques it is very easy to drive. Having been through the Rockies this last summer (via Ten Sleep), I've taken a real liking to the Tow/Haul mode going down hills.

Puts and takes on both sides of the equation but helping me brake the speed on my 14 ton monster rolling down a 6% grade is fairly important to me.

Enjoy your new coach - we love ours.
There was an excellent detail report, on the Airstream forum by Wayward, of the 6R140 transmission coupled to the 6.2L V8. While it doesn't apply directly to the F-53 with V10, it suggests that the transmission can do a great job downshifting to provide engine braking (at least as programmed for F-Series SuperDuty).

I really like the two manual shifting modes which may not be available on F-53 or E-Series. Reported fuel economy while pulling the Airstream was pretty good too.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...ift-69608.html
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Old 03-22-2016, 01:45 AM   #39
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I cannot believe that "the engine doesn't brake at all". That just does not make sense. For some reason that I do not understand, it may not brake as well..... With the 5 Spd on 10% grades it would sometimes downshift two gears and run the rpm up over 4000 - almost too much braking. I wish I could go try mine out, but it will have to wait until this summer.
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Old 03-22-2016, 02:52 AM   #40
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I cannot believe that "the engine doesn't brake at all". That just does not make sense. For some reason that I do not understand, it may not brake as well..... With the 5 Spd on 10% grades it would sometimes downshift two gears and run the rpm up over 4000 - almost too much braking. I wish I could go try mine out, but it will have to wait until this summer.
I agree; not "braking at all" doesn't make sense to me either.

Having said that, there is an explanation that does make sense to me based on my experiences driving in the mountains.

With a fully-loaded 14,500-pound RV, the V10 would easily go towards 5,000 RPM on steep downhills which forced me to occasionally apply the brakes. By comparison, the same V10 in my van provides much more engine braking -- mostly because the van weighs a lot less.

What's happening is that as engines have gotten a lot more powerful for their size (displacement), manufacturers have made motorhomes larger and heavier, so that the engine can't provide as much braking relative to vehicle mass.

One way to provide more engine braking in order to hold a slower steady speed is to first slow down a lot in order to engage a lower transmission gear. On some steep descents I found that starting out around 50 MPH there wasn't enough engine braking to keep the motorhome from accelerating downhill unless I used the brakes. However, on the same grade if I slowed to 30 MPH to access a lower gear, the engine could prevent the MH from speeding up.
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