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Old 10-08-2017, 07:00 PM   #1
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Default Engine Size

Hubby and I are thinking a van style will work for us. We physically can't do the setup and tear down of the trailer anymore. So I've been researching the class b vans like PleasureWay and RoadTrek. We need the back twin to make into a king so I've narrowed the field to those models...I think.
My real dilemma is when it comes to engine size for these things. We live in the mountains and like to travel the back hiways in the mountans in AZ, UT, NM, CO, WY, etc. Which of these engines will pull the grades. Don't really want to be doing 30 mph either if the speed limit is 55. Way back when ,we had an older class C and it wouldn't climb a hill more than 25. Not going there again.
I'm sure you all will have input on this and I'm hungry for the input.
Our budget will limit the years to 94 thru 2000 I think.
thanks,
BlueFeather
Show Low, AZ
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Old 10-08-2017, 09:06 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard. I just read on the Roadtrek Owner's Group, a Roadtrek on the Chevy platform that was for sale; he said all the paperwork, etc, was available. Also, you might want to check out the Roadtrek International site, they have used RT listings from owner's. Others will check in and I am sure they can provide more info. Ron
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Old 10-08-2017, 10:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueFeather View Post
Hubby and I are thinking a van style will work for us. We physically can't do the setup and tear down of the trailer anymore. So I've been researching the class b vans like PleasureWay and RoadTrek. We need the back twin to make into a king so I've narrowed the field to those models...I think.
My real dilemma is when it comes to engine size for these things. We live in the mountains and like to travel the back hiways in the mountans in AZ, UT, NM, CO, WY, etc. Which of these engines will pull the grades. Don't really want to be doing 30 mph either if the speed limit is 55. Way back when ,we had an older class C and it wouldn't climb a hill more than 25. Not going there again.
I'm sure you all will have input on this and I'm hungry for the input.
Our budget will limit the years to 94 thru 2000 I think.
thanks,
BlueFeather
Show Low, AZ
With current engine technology, I don't think hill climbing is much of an issue any longer. The Sprinter Mercedes, Dodge Promaster or Chevy Express will do the job adequately.
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Old 10-08-2017, 10:39 PM   #4
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I live in UT, lots of mountain passes to pull.
I can only speak for my 2005 Roadtrek 210 on a Chevy 3500 Express Van chassis with the 6.0 engine. Bought it in AZ and towed home a Jeep Compass on a U-Haul dolly. It was 113* that day. Even with the extra weight we were able to maintain at least 60 mph. However, the temps did rise on the many uphill pulls necessitating turning off the A/C at times.
With out that extra load, I can run with traffic uphill without any problems.
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Old 10-08-2017, 11:22 PM   #5
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I have a 2001 Roadtrek on a Dodge chassis with a 5.2L (318cu in) with a 4 speed automatic transmission. I had no problem going up 13% grades in Cape Bretton. Although the elevation was much lower than out west, the fuel injection and engine computer will compensate for altitude of the western states. If you have an engine that has a carburetor it will need re-jetting, especially at high altitudes.

Just as important when driving the mountains is knowing how to use your automatic transmission. Using a lower gear will make it much easier on your engine. I would often switch out of the overdrive setting and use third gear, sometimes even second. Conversely, going down these grades in lower gears definitely helps the brakes.

So, going uphill use your gears to help your engine and going downhill use your gears and engine braking to to help your brakes.
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Old 10-09-2017, 01:24 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the info. Guess we'll have to do some test drives. Where is a good hill when you need one! Just never seem to be the right kind of areas for a good test. But it sounds like most of the different engines should be acceptable.

Ron: what Roadtrek Owners Groups are you viewing (a link would be helpful).
I've been haunting craigslist.
thanks again,
BlueFeather
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Old 10-29-2017, 02:00 AM   #7
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What years or price range are you looking at . I had a 1990 pleasureway with a 5.2 and had around 150 hp by 1998 they came out with the 250 hp 5.2 l magnum . I have that in a pleasureway excel Dodge B3500 now and it has plenty of power for any hill climbing that extra 100 hp was just what it needed .We drove it right across Canada with no worries . The 1990 was a little slow but it was in super nice shape and had a reel retro feel to it was sad to see it go but the 1998 is so much nicer
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Old 10-29-2017, 04:08 AM   #8
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Blue Feather,
We have a 2010 Leisure Travel Van Free Spirit on a diesel MercedesBenz 2500 Sprinter. It drives the hill up I-17 from Phoenix to Flagstaff with the greatest of ease. We drove through Colorado this summer and it sailed over 10,000 foot mountain passes. So we've found the MB Sprinter to have lots of power and gets about 20mpg. Unfortunately, the FreeSpirit was discontinued after 2015, but used ones can be found. If you're in Flagstaff and would like to take a look, private message me. Karen
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Old 10-29-2017, 06:10 PM   #9
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Current engines are more efficient than older ones. Since you are looking at 1994-2000, I would suggest that you look at engines that are 5.0 liter and larger. We have a 1996 7.4 liter turbo charged diesel that will handle 10,000 lbs (about the weight of a Class B) in the Sierra Nevada mountains without issue, but the 1997 4.6 liter gasser would definitely struggle a bit.

That said, we stay in the right lane (unless it's filled with semi's) and don't tend to go much over 60 mph. If we have to slow down because of a truck, we CANNOT accelerate up the hill - we just continue on at the speed we had to slow down to.
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Old 10-31-2017, 08:48 PM   #10
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You Can Now Hellcat Whatever You Want with Mopar’s 707-HP Hellcrate Engine

https://blog.caranddriver.com/you-ca...mag=cdb&dom=fb

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