I have a 230 HP 5.9B with a 6 speed trans and at 26,000 total towing weight, I'm having NO problems with hills at all. I still get 10.5 average MPG and works just fine. I've done a little engine mods that make it run better.
At 18,000 lbs- it should run great.
1996 32' Monaco Windsor DP
Cummins 5.9L 230+ HP
5 Airbags in front- 4 in back
We have the same rig.
We have always towed a vehicle, and sometime that vehicle was loaded as well. We haven't had to do much in the way of steep grades, there have been a few. When we bought ours the exhaust manifold was cracked and the turbo housing was cracked. We added the first stage of Banks and improved injectors. The most important thing we added was an exhaust brake. In your neck of the woods that will save your brakes a lot of wear. Because the transmission is too old, you will need one that doesn't talk to the tranny. The PACBrake is an example of one that won't work, the D-Celerator by US Gear is the one we use. You do have a 6 speed and we recently had the ecu rebuilt, there is a problem that appears over time with the power supply in it (about $500 fix).
Mileage is right at 10mpg..pretty sweet.
Summary: Add the Banks ( the Stinger ), improved injectors (optional), Exhaust brake..for hills, and get the ECU rebuilt on the transmission.
This is the best RV I have bought. It holds it's value and is built SOLID. I'm a happy boy in it. Feel free to PM me if there are specific questions you have.
1994 Vectra DP
230 Cummins / MD3060 Allison Trans
Banks Stinger / Improved Injectors
US Gear Exhaust Brake
Towing 1989 Ranger / Unified Tow Brake
I agree with the last post. I had a 94 Vectra and towed a 5000lb Satern to Alaska,all out west.Big horn Mt and the east coast of Canada with no problem
wish I still had it.Now have a Gulf Stream Frendship.
My '94 Foretravel U225 with the Cummins 230 HP 5.9B and the Allison MT 643 four speed transmission, is what one would call Slow and Easy, but gets the job done, and gets over 10 mpg while doing it. Not fast off the line. My net weight is 17,400 lbs. She goes 22500 lbs gross vehicle weight rating and offers a combined vehicle weight rating of 24,000 lbs. You should do just fine with a Cummins 5.9B and the 6 speed Allison in the Vectra.
Thanks for wiggling my memory, Pacbrake. In our decision on exhaust brakes because of the ecm issue, the PAC brake held no advantage and was far more costly. The one we chose didn't have a downshift feature. Either way we went we changed the springs to the 24valve version for increased breaking. The D-Celerator also has a bypass as the PRXB. To an end user it doesn't matter how you get there, just that you do.
My knowledge on the subject came from an expensive trip to Allison to attempt an install to have the ecm reprogrammed to accommodate the PACbrake's features. No joy, but I did get to pay for the programmers and mechanics, I guess 6 yrs ago now. The advantage to living where I do was Allison made the tranny a few blocks from my home. Engineers love to work out problems.
In fairness, I still have to downshift to get max brake on a descent. Not a slam on your product, just it is over priced for this application.
My apologies from not remembering the painful details. Point was the PACbrake would not live up to it's potential because of reliance on external factors (ECM programming), considering much higher cost for no benefit,that took it out of contention.
Thank you for taking the time to defend your product and bring the truth out.
Mushroom, someone gave you advise that was incorrect on exhaust brakes and automatic transmissions, although for the most part you are correct about the ECM on 1993 and earlier coaches.
The transmission doesn't care who's exhaust brake is mounted in the exhaust system.
My experience is the Allison ECM used on 1993 and earlier MD 3060 transmissions does not have the downshift programming software. Some customers have had the ECM upgraded by Allison but is a costly upgrade. Exhaust brakes perform better at high engine RPM, as the more times you get the pistons pushing against the exhaust back-pressure the more retarding is provided. So for PRE-1993 Allison MD 3060's manual downshifting is required to get the most performance from your exhaust brake. Someone mentioned Allison MT 643, this unit only has lock-up in 3rd and 4th gears, so the exhaust brake will only provide retarding at highway speeds, whereas the MD 3060 has lock-up in gears 6th to 2nd.
One last word of advise, most exhaust brakes are fixed orifice designs, they only apply the maximum allowable back-pressure (specified by the engine manufacturer) at maximum engine RPM. The downside to this design is at lower engine RPM your not getting the maximum back-pressure therefore reduced retarding performance. Pacbrake invented a pressure regulated exhaust brake called PRXB, it holds the maximum allowable exhaust back-pressure to low engine RPM which provides better retarding in the middle RPM ranges.
* This post was
edited 09/27/11 12:38pm by Pacbrake *