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Old 10-07-2023, 11:29 AM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Palazzo 33.6
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Manually shift gears

Sorry, dumb question, but Im new to motorhomes. How do you manually shift gears in a 2023 Thor Palazzo 33.6. I will go out later today to practice.

I will be driving down the grapevine in CA in a few days, using the diesel exhaust brake, but want to downshift one gear before descending.

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Old 10-07-2023, 12:19 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Andy C View Post
Sorry, dumb question, but Im new to motorhomes. How do you manually shift gears in a 2023 Thor Palazzo 33.6. I will go out later today to practice.

I will be driving down the grapevine in CA in a few days, using the diesel exhaust brake, but want to downshift one gear before descending.
It depends on which shifter you have for the Allison transmission .

In my coach while in drive press the down arrow until the desired gear is in the display.

The owners manual is a good read to explore the controls on the shifter.
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Old 10-07-2023, 09:07 PM   #3
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Much of what's in RV manuals is generic and some can be irrelevant. Like he said, read then drive, not the other way around.
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Old 10-17-2023, 10:25 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Andy C View Post
Sorry, dumb question, but Im new to motorhomes. How do you manually shift gears in a 2023 Thor Palazzo 33.6. I will go out later today to practice.

I will be driving down the grapevine in CA in a few days, using the diesel exhaust brake, but want to downshift one gear before descending.
we have 2021 Aria: ours we push the right control down to downshift. In my experience with ours I don't downshift but engage the exhaust brake just prior to the Grapevine downgrade and let Allison figure it out with periodic application of the brakes.
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Old 10-17-2023, 11:38 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Mr Sunshine View Post
Much of what's in RV manuals is generic and some can be irrelevant. Like he said, read then drive, not the other way around.

Owners manual as in Allison transmission manual, not some RV manual.
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Old 10-18-2023, 04:02 PM   #6
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The electronic communication between today's engines and transmissions, combined with the input of driving conditions, is far above the old manual selecting gears of old. I would just drive it and let that stuff dance together in harmony.
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Old 10-18-2023, 05:26 PM   #7
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The electronic communication between today's engines and transmissions, combined with the input of driving conditions, is far above the old manual selecting gears of old. I would just drive it and let that stuff dance together in harmony.
The “Fatal Flaw” in this approach is that no matter how good the electronics may be, they cannot ANTICIPATE anything. They can only react to something that has already happened. And many times, that is too late for optimum performance.

When driving the interstates, I always manually shift down to fifth as I enter the bottom of a big grade, before the speed slackens. That gets the RPM up to the horsepower peak, which in the Cummins ISL is 2,000 to 2,100 RPM. The engine stays cooler and the performance is better. If I wait for the transmission to downshift by itself, the speed will already have dropped about 5 mph and the RPM at the downshift will only be about 1,800…behind the power curve.

These vehicles are not cars. You cannot just put them in “D” and let the vehicle make all the driving decisions for you.
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Old 10-18-2023, 06:23 PM   #8
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The “Fatal Flaw” in this approach is that no matter how good the electronics may be, they cannot ANTICIPATE anything. They can only react to something that has already happened. And many times, that is too late for optimum performance.

When driving the interstates, I always manually shift down to fifth as I enter the bottom of a big grade, before the speed slackens. That gets the RPM up to the horsepower peak, which in the Cummins ISL is 2,000 to 2,100 RPM. The engine stays cooler and the performance is better. If I wait for the transmission to downshift by itself, the speed will already have dropped about 5 mph and the RPM at the downshift will only be about 1,800…behind the power curve.

These vehicles are not cars. You cannot just put them in “D” and let the vehicle make all the driving decisions for you.
So enlightening! I've seen the changes in commercial truck over the past 50 years. I even remember driving a "double stick R Model Mack". Some like to shift and play trucker. I wouldn't buy an underpowered anything that required me to go through so much drama and anticipation just to get up the next hill. BTW...these vehicles are just like cars today...just put them in "D" and they will do exactly what they're designed to do...if the are designed correctly...which most motorhomes are not.
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Old 10-18-2023, 07:05 PM   #9
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...BTW...these vehicles are just like cars today...just put them in "D" and they will do exactly what they're designed to do...if the are designed correctly...which most motorhomes are not.
No, these vehicles are not like cars.

You can just leave it in "D" and zone out if you want to, but that is not the best way to drive a large, heavy, ponderous vehicle like a motor home.
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Old 10-18-2023, 07:17 PM   #10
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Next time around get the correct power to weight ratio. "Zoning Out" is quite comfortable. Fighting an underpowered anything is not my cup of tea...especially if it's a "recreational" one.
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