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Old 05-18-2019, 04:03 AM   #1
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Default Trail Lite Class B+

Iím looking for some information about the Trail Lite on a Chevy frame. The unit is a 2001, with about 50k miles on it. It looks really clean, and well maintained. However, I know nothing about the Chevy V8, and the tranny.

Can anyone tell me more about these rigs?

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Old 05-18-2019, 11:34 AM   #2
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Probably has the GM 4L80-E 4 speed automatic transmission with overdrive and the engine options then would have been either the 5.7L (350 cu/in) or 7.4L (454 cu/in) Vortec V8.

I wouldn't have any worries about the engine and transmission assuming regular maintenance was done.

The Trail-Lite coaches themselves would have been on the economy side of the scale IMO. I owned a short 20' or 21' one that was newer than the one you're looking at. My wife thought it was "tippy", it did have a short wheel base & long rear overhang. I used to drive faster back then though.

Most of the roof would be a rubber type covering on a thin plywood - not unusual for Class C rigs. Trouble spots up there would be where the rubber meets front & rear fiberglass caps. Also, the dome skylight in mine was cracked. The screws were over-torqued when it was originally installed.

It was the width of typical Class C's so would really fill a lane or parking spot and you have to watch for tail swing when pulling out.

The kitchen & bathroom size was awesome but the create-a-bed in the middle of the coach got old quickly for us.

Older ones used to sell for great prices compared to Class B's.

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Old 05-18-2019, 01:25 PM   #3
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Agree on the pretty much bullet proof drive train with a caveat. That transmission tends to have issues shedding heat when working hard pulling grades and decending in lower gears, especially pulling a trailer. I have a trans temp monitor and have occasionally had to pull over to keep the trans temp from climbing.

I have the 5.7 engine with a nine blade(yes, 9) fan on it. I replaced the fan clutch and the heat shedding improved but still an issue, especially in warmer ambient temps.

In looking at this unit, pay a bit of attention to the condition of trans fluid and trans behavior. If you buy it, I would suggest replacing the trans fluid with Dexron VI if it has not been already done. This fluid is quite a bit more heat tolerant and may help the trans run cooler.
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Old 05-18-2019, 01:35 PM   #4
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Ditto on all that was said by the previous posters. It is also possible that the bigger may be an 8.1L by 2001 depending on the chassis. It is a beast but said to really be a gas hog.

As for the cooling with 5.7L engine with hot trans and hot water temps, it is very likely that the radiator for the 454/8.1 would fit right in as I have even done that swap on the later generation with the previous series radiator. It is a two core instead of one so much more capacity for both the trans and water. The big radiator plus a big separate trans cooler should make a huge improvement. Less sure, but interesting is that the 4L80e trans might be able to be reprogrammed to lock the torque converter at different times than stock, as it is the big heat generator for the trans. I have done that in our 07 Chevy with 6.0 engine and 4L80e.
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