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Old 08-01-2016, 06:37 AM   #21
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This thread is making me want the Force Hd even more... Gonna have to save some more pennies.
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Old 08-01-2016, 07:05 AM   #22
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I agree, I'm not getting much further down the road, but when the speed limit is 75 running 58 is almost unsafe. I only run the cruise when we are on reasonably flat ground. It's easier to maintain a consistent speed. When I hit a grade I take the cruise off and kick it out of overdrive. The Allison tranny in the Seneca does not have a tow/haul mode that I am aware of.
Whatever? I can understand not wanting to be that OLD RV driver in the slow lane going 10 or 15 under the speed limit, but there is a reason you see so many RV's [TT, 5ers, and all the way to Class A MH's] going slower in the SLOW lane. That's not unsafe unless you are driving in the wrong lane or constantly switching lanes and pulling out in front of faster traffic. Somewhere between 55 and 60 years old I got over the "no ones going to pass me" thing. My Duramax/Allison Silverado will pull my TT up a long steep hill at 80 if I was so inclined. For me its Tow/Haul and a steady 60-65 all day long.

The Seneca may be under powered but with a change in driving style and less concern about not being able to hold speed on an incline, it should be able to handle pretty much all terrain. The alternative is very $$$. Have a friend who never seemed to have enough HP and is on his 3d Class A and finally got to a top HP diesel pusher that cost him somewhere north of $350k. It now makes a trip north in the spring and south in the fall and spends the rest of its life sitting in an RV park or storage. I don't want to judge others and the choices they make. Just saying that maybe a little less than you'd like is better than spending a whole lot more than you want.
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Old 08-01-2016, 11:48 AM   #23
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Whatever? I can understand not wanting to be that OLD RV driver in the slow lane going 10 or 15 under the speed limit, but there is a reason you see so many RV's [TT, 5ers, and all the way to Class A MH's] going slower in the SLOW lane. That's not unsafe unless you are driving in the wrong lane or constantly switching lanes and pulling out in front of faster traffic. Somewhere between 55 and 60 years old I got over the "no ones going to pass me" thing. My Duramax/Allison Silverado will pull my TT up a long steep hill at 80 if I was so inclined. For me its Tow/Haul and a steady 60-65 all day long.

The Seneca may be under powered but with a change in driving style and less concern about not being able to hold speed on an incline, it should be able to handle pretty much all terrain. The alternative is very $$$. Have a friend who never seemed to have enough HP and is on his 3d Class A and finally got to a top HP diesel pusher that cost him somewhere north of $350k. It now makes a trip north in the spring and south in the fall and spends the rest of its life sitting in an RV park or storage. I don't want to judge others and the choices they make. Just saying that maybe a little less than you'd like is better than spending a whole lot more than you want.
Thanks! You make good points. I'm thinking the heat was the biggest issue this trip. We saw 103 and 104 temps this time. This was our second trip towing the side by side with no issues that I remember the first time. I tow an LJ as well so I would be interested to know what you think after towing in the mountains. I guess I'm just trying to convince myself I am doing better with the Seneca/Cummins than I was with the Class A/V10 combo. Have to justify the extra dollars in my head somehow.
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Old 08-01-2016, 11:56 AM   #24
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This thread is making me want the Force Hd even more... Gonna have to save some more pennies.
I have to admit... We looked at the Force too... and I wanted the larger Power plant and Transmission, especially to tow our "Trailer of toys".

What they did not have that the Seneca does - is the right Floor Plan for us. The key to the 36FK is the larger bathroom, Linen closet, Pantry and most important - Entry door in the middle of the coach.
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Old 08-01-2016, 12:02 PM   #25
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Thanks! You make good points. I'm thinking the heat was the biggest issue this trip. We saw 103 and 104 temps this time. This was our second trip towing the side by side with no issues that I remember the first time. I tow an LJ as well so I would be interested to know what you think after towing in the mountains. I guess I'm just trying to convince myself I am doing better with the Seneca/Cummins than I was with the Class A/V10 combo. Have to justify the extra dollars in my head somehow.
Even if your only criteria was fuel mileage, you'd be better off. V10 gassers often get less than 7 mpg in the hills, and at altitude that can drop off to less than 5 mpg. Your Seneca will likely average around 10-12, and possibly more. In the hills, around 9-10, and it is harder to overheat. I'll post on how we do in the hills. Might not have a good figure on mileage, as it will be mixed with driving on the flats. Your mileage should be fairly close to the older Seneca with Duramax, as they are pushing nearly the same HP and weight. Your torque sweet spot is likely somewhere around 1700-2200 rpm. If you stay in the highest gear that will allow you to remain around 2000, you should get best fuel mileage and efficiency, which also means less energy loss. Energy loss is converted to heat, which the cooling system must dissipate. The less heat you develop, the cooler the inside of that engine will operate, and especially the exhaust gas temp. That is critical to lifespan on any engine, but especially a diesel. If you drive by the trans temp gauge, with an occasional glance at your coolant temp, that will help determine how efficiently you are burning fuel. Best of all worlds, an exhaust gas temp gauge. I will eventually install one of these on my rig.
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Old 08-01-2016, 12:06 PM   #26
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BTW, the value of the trans temp is that it will likely display drivetrain stress as high temps on the gauge sooner than the engine coolant will. It will also take longer for the heat to dissipate from the trans.
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Old 08-01-2016, 12:09 PM   #27
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This thread is making me want the Force Hd even more... Gonna have to save some more pennies.
I do love everything about the Seneca. We looked at the Dynamax and they are nice but I liked the layout in the Seneca better. It's not all about the power, just some of it.
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Old 08-01-2016, 03:14 PM   #28
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We need a Bunkhouse model and the makers seem to have a common pattern on the Freightliner M2 Chassis... Main difference in the floorplan is where the door is put and how that affects the amount of counterspace. As I may be looking at new, the Acquisition by Thor has me VERY concerned about the corners that will be cut in the near future...
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Old 08-01-2016, 04:52 PM   #29
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We need a Bunkhouse model and the makers seem to have a common pattern on the Freightliner M2 Chassis... Main difference in the floorplan is where the door is put and how that affects the amount of counterspace. As I may be looking at new, the Acquisition by Thor has me VERY concerned about the corners that will be cut in the near future...
If you look at the 2017 36FK and compare it to the 2016 or 2015, you will notice A HUGE Difference... Already I see a reduction in interior cabinet space in the Kitchen and over the main TV. The Front TV is gone, the control Cabinet is gone and the Bedroom Closet is half of what it was before. They Definitely have cut a lot of corners!
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Old 08-01-2016, 05:02 PM   #30
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Just completed a 4500 mile trip from S. Texas to Colorado via Raton Pass, to Custer, SD via Hell's Canyon, to W Yellowstone, MT, to Zion NP, Las Vegas and home. I was also curious as to how the Seneca would handle the hills pulling the Jeep; GCW 27,000+ and 100+ temps in some areas. Very pleased; normal cruise 62-65 mph, accelerate approaching a hill, drop cruise as speed approaches 55mph drop OD at 55 mph and turn on flashers. This handled all hills, except Hell's Canyon which has 30 mph speed limit. Fan comes on as necessary.
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