I have the Cat 330 in my Tropical and my performance sounds about the same as what you got. I do notice that when I'm bogging down below 45 or so that most other motorhomes are in a similar position. There's some I can pass when I'm only going 45 and some that pass me. One thing I did notice is that if I manually shift the tranny down I can hear the RPM's increase, but the speed actually goes down. I just leave the shifter alone and the Allison transmission seems to pick the best gear to get the most speed.
2004 National Tropi-Cal T-350, Class A, Triple slide, 330 HP Cat DP. 2006 Dodge Dakota 4x4 or
2002 Harley FLSTF Fat Boy on a Trailer or
2004 Polaris Quad on the Trailer
Scott, you might be interested in upgrading that CAT like I did. Check with either Redlands Truck & RV in Ca. or Brazel's RV in WA. for a performance package involving an engine module, air cleaner and muffler. Made quite a difference on my 350HP Cat with more torque and HP. If you do, ask them to dyno before and after with print out. Increases MPG as well.
Again, thank you all so much for your nice words. For the time being, I'll manage the output of this 330 and be happy we're out and living a fun life. No real complaints. Who'd listen anyway? I might, at a later date, take a look at the "upgrades" that are available for the CAT engines. Personally, I'm one of those types that likes a stock engine but, powerfull.
The maker of this lift is "Hydralift".
I chose this lift because it's the lightest one out there and, has the capacity of 1000 lbs. It's a hydraulic operated lift and has a small electrically driven, hydraulic pump,mounted remotely, tucked away in a cavity next to my dash A/C unit in the left rear corner of the coach. It hydraulically raised the rail with bike attached and, at the last inch or so, some seriously heavy duty locks automatically "Lock" into place. That releaves the tension on the hydraulic system so there's no pressure in the system while you're motoring down the road.
When you're ready to off-load the bike, simply push the button for about a 1/2 second and take the load off the locks, then manually move the locks away from their nests, and lower the bike to the ground. That's it. Then, un-tie her and roller her off the rail. Piece of cake. When the lift is not in use, you raise it to the locked position and then, tilt the whole platform up and lock it in place. That gives you added clearance to the rear of the coach for what ever you need.
Scott and Karla SDFD RETIRED
2004 Itasca Horizon, 36GD Slate Blue 330 CAT
2011 White Honda CRV EX-L,4WD w/NAV Toad 2008 Caliente Red LVL II GL 1800 Goldwing KI60ND
Scott, I missed your thread as I have been on vacation for the holiday weekend. However, the coach, lift and Jeep look GREAT!! You have done a great job and it shows.
As far as the performance, your CAT 330 doesn't sound as far off as mine or any of the others that we travel with. The grades you are speaking of through southern Utah on I-15 and from Richfield/Green River Utah and east on I-70 are about the same as ours with the ISL 400 HP Cummins. On the I-15 grades through southern and central Utah ours flat towing our 4500 lb. Jeep GC we will pull the grades around 48-50 mph in fourth gear and if towing our trailer it is closer to around 38-40 mph in third gear. Once the hills are crested it is 68 mph with the cruise set.
One guy we travel with on occassion has a Newell towing a large stacker trailer and he only slightly pulls away from us on the grades even with 650 hp but he is carrying waaay more weight. Keep in mind that with a larger engine you will almost inevitably gain more weight so your power to weight ratio will be very similar with many of the coaches on the road. That said, there are those few that you see that have say an ISL 400 in a 32' or 34' but they are rare. Easier to find are say a 40' Signature or Executive with the ISM 500hp but they will still have a little more weight than your current rig.
One more suggestion is to give yourself a little more time before condemning the CAT diesel as this is your first trip after moving from a gas chassis to the DP chassis and they are worlds apart in. The thing I noticed when we bought our first DP, which was only 300 hp, was the acceleration. In our gas rig I could feel the acceleration as we were either leaving a dead stop or when downshifting on a grade. With the diesel that noticeable acceleration was not as noticeable. I joked with my wife that if was like going from a sports car feeling to the feeling of driving down the road in your lazyboy.
The biggest noticeable difference on the grades was the diesel didn't fall off anywhere near as quick or as much as the gas powered rig. I also learned to shift the transmission before the Allison would downshift.
I am a hot rodder at heart and am always looking for more power in about anything and everything I own, however, there came a point where I just had to realize that moving this much weight is a matter of physics and there had to be a point at which I am either happy with the coach or not. This is the biggest reason I have dropped the idea of purchasing a stacker trailer to haul our toys around. Currently our coach handles our 26' Edge trailer beautifully and I am afraid that by going to a 26' stacker which weighs empty almost what our current trailer weighs loaded would make me disappointed in the coach. I like our current coach way to much to be unhappy evertime I hook up the trailer and head down the road.
Don't worry about the grades as much as you will make it to your destination. Also in a days driving generally there are usually only a few large grades to contend with so most of the time it handles the roads/speeds great, even out here in the west.
Thank you, thank you. This helps simplify things. We keep going round and round on what to get and how to bring the Gold Wing and a toad.
He loved the photos and I love the fact I don't have to consider driving a dually truck and camper just to bring "Sophia" my name for his Gold Wing, it's the other woman.
It is such a great concept!!