New member, old coach, BIG plans

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N

Newbee

Guest
Hi, I'm a newbee as you can see.

I guess I'll discover the proper forum for my queries as I navigate the site a little more. And I AM looking forward to learning from the experience.

I've been RVing on a small scale (truck campers and pop-ups) for a lot of years.? Just last year I purchased a used class A (1997 35' Bounder) for my life's dream trip to Alaska.? I live in North Carolina and have taken several short, 3-400 mile jaunts for practice.
I've garnered more questions than answers, but am having a ball..

Q- 1? Although I plan plenty of time to stop and smell the roses there will be times when getting from point A to point B is the only real objective.? Can I reasonably (comfortably) expect to travel 400 +/- miles per day through states like Ind, Ill, Iowa, KS and NE?? Again, I realize that mountains, scenic stops, road conditions, etc.. will dictate a lot, but this is a 13K mile trip that I'm planning and if I "stay too long at the fair" I'll need to hurry a bit on the way home.

Q- 2? I'll be towing a '97 Honda, 4 on the ground, and I am a Little concerned about my power in all those mountains.? Does anyone have an opinion on the value or performance of the exhaust/power enhancements offered by Banks and/or Gibson?

Thanks in advance, lou
 

Ron

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Jan 29, 2005
Posts
18,082
Location
Home is where we park it
Lou,

Welcome to the RV Forum and congratulations on your purchase of the Bounder.  We had two Bounders and both served us well.  Several members have visited Alaska so you should be able to get some good information.

We normally limit our daily travel distance to around 300 miles a day.  However, when we were working we did some pretty long days of over 500 miles.  Not as much fun driving that far in a day.  So you should be able to do 400 miles easy in a day.

Banks seems to be a good system and has a good reputations.  Might get more exposure here if you would post that question in the Tech section.

Glad you found us and please ask any questions you might have relating to the rving lifestyle.
 

DougJ

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 7, 2005
Posts
549
Hi Lou,

I had the Banks PowerPack (and TransCommand) installed at their factory in Azuza, CA, on our 1990 class A which is on a Ford chassis with a 460.

Definitely more power; probably better fuel economy.  I'm satisfied because I wanted the former and didn't mind if I didn't get the latter.

Ciao,

Doug
 
N

Newbee

Guest
Thank you both, Doug and Ron.? I appreciate the input.? My rig is also a Ford 460.? I am leaning strongly toward the Banks power pack and the trans command.? I'll check back when I get to the knuckle busting part.? lou
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
73,489
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
I had the full Banks kit on a 1996 coach with the Ford 460. I was generally pleased but it still didn't run right up those long western mountains - or even the Eastern ones.  The basic problem is the 4 speed transmission, a Ford E4OD on that rig.  You simply don't have enough gear choices to put the available power to use when you need it. The E4OD runs nicely in 3rd and 4th, but the step down to 2nd is a huge one and it slows you to a crawl.

You would be well served to add a Gear Vendors Over/Under Drive (auxiliary transmission), which would essentially give twice as many gears but most importantly would give you a gear in the middle between 2nd and 3rd. In fact, I might choose the auxiliary transmission if I had to pick between it and the Banks.  Obviously both would be the best answer, but we are talking quite a few bucks for both.  Take a look at the Gear Vendors web site, www.gearvendors.com/

We traveled northwest Canada and Alaska in 2002 - spent the whole summer there. You are going to love it!!!
 

DougJ

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 7, 2005
Posts
549
Lou,

You'd be well advised to heed the comments posted by RVRoamer.  I suspect that my rig is running lighter than his and I'm not towing anything.  I certainly do many of the western hills in 3rd; the transmission rarely opts for 2nd.  Mind you, the Grapevine (north of LA) was a big exception, and yes, in second we came down to a crawl while keeping the engine RPM in the 3000 to 3200 range.  At that point I would have welcomed a GearVendor on board.

But, as he says, if you buy both you'll drop quite a few bucks.  FWIW, I considered the GearVendor at the time I was deciding ad chose to go with the horsepower.

Ciao,

Doug
 
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