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Old 11-14-2018, 10:56 AM   #1
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Challenger model

We are considering moving from a 5th wheel to Class A. While I want a pusher, my wife has fallen in love with the Challenger 37KT floor plan, as gasser. I'm concerned about the ability of the Ford V10 Challenger to tow a decent sized vehicle, plus, the fact I've not seen a lot of discussions about the Challenger series. Nor, have I seen any discussion about the towing ability and gas mileage of the older Ford V10 and 5 speed trans vs the new Ford V10 with the 6 speed trans, which I have been told went into the Challenger series around 2016. Will appreciate any thoughts along these lines and about any concerns or items I would want to be aware of or look out for during our search. We have enjoyed our trips with our 5th wheel but will be Class A newbies. Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 11-14-2018, 11:10 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forums.

We used to tow a 5th wheel as well--with the V-10. The V-10 in a Challenger will have no problems pulling a toad. The thing about the V-10 is that it likes to rev. Many people don't like the sound of the V-10 singing and think that the high revs will damage the engine. This is not the case as the V-10 is an overhead valve engine designed for high revs. So if you want to tow...let it sing, let it sing.

That music, doesn't come without cost, however: Towing in a Challenger will probably net you around 6 mpg or so--maybe 9 mpg if you're lucky.

If you want a little more power out of the V-10 you can always get a 5-Star Tune (I had one in the F-350 we used to pull the 5er around in, haven't put one on the Axis yet)

With something as large as the Challenger I would bet that the difference between the 5-speed and the 6-speed transmission would be less than 1-mpg--lost in the noise.
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Old 11-14-2018, 11:28 AM   #3
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Not a "blowing my own horn" post here but I would seriously consider the Super C if you're going as big a a Challenger. For me, the benefits are diesel power, very similar floor plans as the A's, a cab made by a company making commercial trucks for over 120 years and fuel economy upwards of 12 MPG. Seems most of the threads and posts I read here about A's in general, center around issues with the cab portion of the coach...windows falling out or leaking, wind noise, heat from engine, engine noise for sure and poorly crafted dashes made from plywood and cheap plastics. It's nice to have the quality of the F550 cab with everything installed by Ford and ride along whisper quiet.
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Old 11-14-2018, 12:35 PM   #4
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Ultimately, a Class A Challenger and a similar Class A Palazzo diesel are going to get you where you want to go - people travel in both every day, everywhere... no worries.

If you are used to gas engines and maintaining them, having a gas RV is simpler, and easier to understand.

That was me, back in 2014, we had our eye on a new 2014 Challenger that had yet to arrive at MHSRV in Texas, though we made our way out there from GA... knowing we'd arrive around the time it was supposed to. Unfortunately, it got backed up at the factory and the transport company, but the dealer allowed us to stay on property until it arrived.

My wife had a different idea - she saw and toured the 2014 Thor Palazzo 33.3 while we were 'waiting' on our Challenger. I did not want a diesel, had little knowledge of diesel pushers, and frankly, was a little intimidated by the 'no emergency brake' and 'electronic transmission keypad' setup... I also had no working knowledge of air brakes, and the fact that there was no 'park' on the transmission pad had me concerned(?)... wow.
My wife said that I would get used to it, I was a man, and it shouldn't concern me as others drove these everyday, everywhere. She was right.

We loved our Georgetown XL gas coach, but the difference in the torque and feel of the Cummins diesel was a nice reassurance. Yes, it did take me a few miles of driving, and a few days of stop and go to realize it's full value, but once I grew accustomed to how it 'works', I would be very hesitant to go back to a gas RV.

As for towing, we pulled our car on a car dolly with our Georgetown XL and had no issues. We tow our car 4-down with our Palazzo and you wouldn't even/ever know it's back there.
Either will handle it fine.

I'll add, though, some differences between the platforms:
- Class A gas chassis's sit up higher, and have a higher center of gravity, therefore they can feel a bit more pushed by passing semis and trucks, and turns can feel a slight bit more tipsy. Class A diesels, especially those on the Freightliner XCS Chassis, like my Palazzo, and the FR Legacy, and Fleetwood PaceArrow, and some others, sit much lower, have a lower center of gravity, feel less pushed by passing traffic, and seem to handle turns more smoothly.
- Class A gas chassis's sit on leaf springs, and therefore have no way to 'lower' when parked. Class A diesel's sit on air bags, which not only provides for a better, smoother drive, but are deflated when parked, so the coach can sit much lower, therefore the coach seems to be quieter(less movement) when at the campground or rv park. The leveling system does not have to send down the legs near as far as on a gas RV. Our Palazzo sits so low that it also only requires a single exterior step, and many times that single step is not even needed, really. Class A gas coaches typically have two or three steps - they just sit so high you need that many.

- Class A diesel pushers are much, much more quiet as you are driving, giving you the ability to talk in normal voices and enjoy music or radio easily. While gas units have the engine right between the two front driver and passenger seats, which provides easier maintenance access, creates a loud ride, especially when the transmission drops gears when ascending and descending hills and mountains, though it's designed to do just that.

- Class A diesels are going to more expensive per oil change, but they only require maintenance every 15,000 miles, more longer between changes that the typical gas engine. Speedco and other semi truck service centers provide 'drive thru' oil changes, so there are options to have this performed fairly quickly, and without any reservations. While gas RVs are having maintenance more often, most of us diesels are still out traveling.

- Class A diesels tend to have larger fuel tanks, a fuel fill on both sides of the coach, and the fills are up front right next to the driver/passenger... so it's much easier to pull up to any diesel pump and know you are within reach of the hose, whether truck stops or regular fuel stations, which I tend to use exclusively - truck stops are too expensive. Some will say that having to also use some DEF liquid periodically is a drawback, and another cost, DEF last for so many miles and at $8 per 2 1/2 gall jug at W*mt, it's not really any big deal. You can easily carry a jug and use it when needed. You DEF tank can probably take you 1,000 to 2,000 miles before refilling.

- Fuel consumption for diesels, at least those on the lower chassis and lower HP isb models, can be between 10 and 12 mpg. Conversely, any gas RV is going to be more like 7-8 mpg, and with smaller fuel tanks, making stops for fueling much more often. If you travel a lot, every mile is going to be a cost savings in fuel, making it possible to offset the additional cost of a diesel in fuel consumption alone.
Insurance statistics also show that the most RV 'accidents' are tail-swing damage at fuel stations - the more stops you make the more opportunity for a situation. Just a thought to consider. A note: diesel tend to have their rear axle farther back than a gas unit on a ford Chassis, so the tail-swing issue is less of a concern on diesels since the turning 'point' is farther back.

- Class A diesels tend to be beefier when it comes to the fact that they are all 50amp coaches, with sizable Inverters, and typically 4 or more 6v House batteries, to power most all outlets, including the residential fridge and microwave, while on the 'whole house' inverter, off-grid.
They also tend to have much larger Generators, to provide close to full 50amp power, even when shore power is not available, and include the AGS(automatic generator starter) systems to provide seamless power and battery charging, as needed, while off-grid.

- Diesels cost more upfront. Diesels sell for more later.
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Old 11-14-2018, 01:26 PM   #5
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If you want to know what's the best RV in the world...ask an owner...he'll just happen to have it!!
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Old 11-14-2018, 02:44 PM   #6
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Challenger

We have a 2019 Challenger 37FH,we bought for floor plan and it was worth it floorplan is perfect for us. We tow a mid-sized suv on a dolly and I don't even know it's there. We are very satisfied with everything about the coach,didn't think that was possible if you read these rv web sites good luck. Floor plan!!
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Old 11-14-2018, 03:20 PM   #7
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Turnerfam - thanks for the breakdown of the advantages of a DP over Gas RV. When I first started researching about this subject two years ago it was not so obvious to me and took me a while to figure it all out for myself. I could not wrap my head around the price diff (between DP and GAS of simular lenghs) at first. Then it all made sense with all of the other advantages you mentioned.

Hopefully your posting will help others decide which is best for them (DP or Gas or Super C).

All of them have advantages and dis-advantages. One has to determine what works best for them (and how deep thier pockets are).
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Old 11-14-2018, 03:42 PM   #8
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THOR #4735
while I've owned a fifth-wheel, Class A gas, and now a Class A diesel, I've also delivered both brand new Class A gas and diesel units, including tag axles, to dealers across the country.
Knowing that, I've found that I would MUCH rather drive a diesel coach since it's fuel economy is much greater, especially over very long distances. I've also found that the fuel fill location for gas units actually create a much greater aggravation when trying to pull into a gas station and line up your fill with the pump's hose/reach.

The manufacturers who promote the rear 'middle' fuel fill as a positive benefit, as supposedly it makes filling from 'either side' a possibility, are full of it! The rear middle fuel fill actually makes it MUCH MORE DIFFICULT since you have to be VERY correct on landing the rear of the RV right next to the pump, which may take several times exiting the coach to find that you are not quite there yet, and even then many hoses are not long enough to reach.
If you have a bike rack or cargo carrier on the hitch, you may have an even harder time getting to the rear middle fuel fill itself.

Having said that, I wouldn't make my decision on whether a gas or diesel on that alone, but it's just one more reason that folks who own diesels tend to know the reasons why they own them - most diesel owners are previous gas owners.
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Old 11-14-2018, 04:38 PM   #9
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Yep, you are correct.

To me it come down to "how much are you gong to use your RV each year" and "How much can you afford".

If your using it 6 mo + a year and travel 15,000 - 25,000 miles a year and you can afford a DP then do it.

If you like me and only put 4 - 5000 mile a year it. Mostly for weekend trips and are saving for retirement - DONT do it. LOL.

I might only get 9 mpg but at 5000 miles a year I cant justify the price of a DP to get 12 mpg. Plus im still working full time so I dont have the time to enjoy a DP.

But one of these days I will retire (or work on the road) and if we still have the RV bug I will purchase the DP of me dreams. LOL.
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Old 11-14-2018, 08:46 PM   #10
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My first "must have" was a diesel engine. It quickly narrowed down the choices but having power to spare sure makes for a comfortable ride. So far, 7,500 miles in 5 Southern states and not one single down-shift of the transmission on cruise at 65MPH.
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Old 11-14-2018, 09:32 PM   #11
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Sweet.

I dont two anything (right now) but If I was towing 8000# or more I would look at a Super C or a DP.

Can beat the diesel for towing.
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Old 11-15-2018, 08:21 PM   #12
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Iíve got a 2017 Challenger LX and I tow a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (4 door), which weighs about 4,500 lbs. I have had no problems whatsoever pulling this toad. Iíve had a few issues with the Challenger itself, but they were all resolved satisfactorily during the warranty period.
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Old 11-30-2018, 04:27 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TxTig View Post
Iíve got a 2017 Challenger LX and I tow a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (4 door), which weighs about 4,500 lbs. I have had no problems whatsoever pulling this toad. Iíve had a few issues with the Challenger itself, but they were all resolved satisfactorily during the warranty period.
We have a 17 Challenger 37TB, and towed a 15 Ford Edge SEL on a Acme Ez-Tow tow dolly. It pulled great, only way I knew it was back there was looking in the monitor! Not much difference in mileage, and I pulled Old Fort Mountain on I-40 near Asheville, NC (7 miles of 6% grade) at a comfortable 50-55 mph.
In Tow/Haul mode coming back down that same grade was no problem, and I only had to brake a few times to slow for slower traffic.
We love the floor plan of the 37TB with the bath and half and bunks, and the basement storage is the largest, and Is the easiest to get to of any we looked at, gas or diesel. This was a big selling point, as I'm a 100% Disabled Veteran with Neck and Back issues, and I can get to all storage compartments with ease, even with the slides out. All utility compartments are between slides as well.
The V-10 Ford Gas with the 6 speed tranny is working for us, we love the floor plan, convenience, and the performance!
It has had its quirks, (see posts about Door Skins coming off) but once we got those worked out, it's a joy.Click image for larger version

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Old 11-30-2018, 11:12 AM   #14
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Pilot - not sure why you're making the switch but gotta say lots of fiver owners watch us pull in and setup at a campground and go "dang, that was easy".

Before you make the decision gasser or diesel, make the decision about features and floorplan. We dry camp in Paradise (Key West) on average for 2.5 months each year. The features most needed for us are on board water storage - 100 gals Fresh, 80 gals Gray and 80 gals Black and basement storage. DW truly loves the coach and the dimension it adds of seeing our wide spread family. Also, DW won't be without her onboard shower (with lots of hot water) and washer/dryer that can do a load of wash every other day. Without the water storage, we'd still be looking.

Make a list of things that you'd like to have and that you gotta have. No other gasser and very few diesels, provided us the on board water storage or basement storage. We've carried 5 grand kids on 1.5 month long summer vacations. Couple that with our dry camping in Paradise and for us it was an easy call.

One last data point, we are both 70ish and spend about 9 months per year living in our coach.

PS: we pull a 2013 Ford Explorer - easy pull. Also, I had the noise discussion with some friendly diseil owners in a campground. I said "wait, wait, wait what is that noise?", they said "what noise" and said "exactly". When they're all parked in the campground, they all make the same amount of noise.

PSS: The newer floorplan for the Challenger FH looks great for adding room in the front. If we didn't need all the sleeping capacity...
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Old 11-30-2018, 11:18 AM   #15
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THOR #11130
I sure hope some of the "Thor Haters" stumble across this thread. This is a great, short summary of their higher end products (if that's an amicable term) by people who could basically purchase anything they wanted, which has a lot to do with being happy with it. You get what you pay for and that's always been true.
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Old 11-30-2018, 12:58 PM   #16
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Are any of you Challenger owners going to the Tampa Super Show? They have a good thread going on IRV2.com:

Tampa Super Show - Page 4 - iRV2 Forums

We are still researching, but originally fell in love with the 37LX with recliners in front of the TV. We are going down for a week's vacation while continuing our research...



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Old 11-30-2018, 01:10 PM   #17
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Challenger

We're going to the Tampa show,picked up our 2019 Challenger 37FH at the Hershey PA show and traveling /living in it fulltime slowly heading south, in NC now heading to SC then on to Orland after holidays everything great so far couldn't be happier,and we tow a Tucson on an American Tow dolly don't even know it's back there. PS the 6sp trans in tow mode is great.
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Old 11-30-2018, 02:32 PM   #18
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I don't own a Challenger but we do own a 2018 Miramar which is similar but a little shorter. We have a Miramar 35.3 which is 37' long. We tow a Jeep Wrangler JKU 4 door. The Miramar pulls it well. The V10 has plenty of power and if I don't use the cruise control, I notice that I am always creeping up in speed. The V10 and 6 speed work very well. I have not driven it yet in the mountains but I do have a trip to the smokeys next year so I am interested to see how it does.
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Old 11-30-2018, 08:49 PM   #19
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Make sure you check out the 37FH floorplan living room kitchen dining size is great,we have the theater seating recliner across from 50inch t.v. and the theater seating is the only option,everything else is standard.
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Old 11-30-2018, 11:06 PM   #20
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wrapped - 2 more thumbs up on the FH model. If we didn't need all the sleep spaces - absolutely!
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