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Old 12-04-2017, 09:02 PM   #1
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Freightliner Seneca Mountain Performance

Currently I'm a very satisfied 2008 Jayco Kodiak Seneca owner who is ready
to move up to a new or newer Freightliner Seneca. Has anyone owned both versions (Kodiak and Freightliner) that can compare and contrast their mountain pulling performance? My Kodiak performs well in the mountains (I-70 Co. through Pa.) and on paper looks stronger than the Freightliner version.
Kodiak: 26,000lb. GCWR with 330HP = 79 lb./1hp.
Freightliner: 33,000lb. GCWR with 340HP = 97lb./1hp
(I don't have torque figures for them).
Any real world experience going up OR downhill that you can share would be greatly appreciated.
M2 only owners, please feel free to add your opinions as well.

Sincerely,
Richard Ashburn
2008 Seneca
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Old 12-04-2017, 10:34 PM   #2
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Donít know about the Kodiak but my 2016 Seneca does ok in the mountains. I could use a little more power but who doesnít. I heard there is another setting in the Allison 2500 that shifts with more response. All Senecas come with the ďeconomyĒ setting. Iím getting 9-10 now so I donít want to mess that up! Retired so Iím in no hurry!


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Old 12-05-2017, 09:30 PM   #3
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Mountains

Set the cruise control and go with it - you won't be the first one to the top but you won't be the last one to the top and you will be going about 10 MPH faster than you would if you don't let the computer do the job & I also don't want to change the economy mode for fear of loosing 10+ MPG
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Old 12-06-2017, 06:23 AM   #4
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Took our 2016 37FS to the Northwest this last Summer. We went over the mountains of I-84, I-90 and what ever other roads we were on in Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, plus getting there from Southern Illinois and never had a concern.. Good Freightliner M-2 equipment and we kept up with the other trucks in the area.
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Old 12-06-2017, 08:19 AM   #5
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I currently own a 2013 M2 Seneca and have had it two plus years. I previously had a 2006 Kodiak Seneca that I owned from new. The Kodiak was a bit better on long hill climbs for sure. The M2 could use more power, BUT it still does just fine. I always set cruise and let the computer handle the climb. On the steepest climbs I may dip to between 42-45mph while towing my 5600lbs Jeep Rubicon. I feel that is still reasonable and I am in no hurry. I am happy with my switch to the M2, the major improvement in handling and ride quality are more than worth a couple of mph on hills


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Old 12-06-2017, 11:20 AM   #6
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Thanks Les7h for your enlightening reply. I've never used cruise in a hilly or mountainous situation but will definitely give it a try. How do you determine what speed to set it at on an unfamiliar road or grade?

Richard
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Old 12-06-2017, 06:18 PM   #7
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62 mph

1650 RPM is near the best torque & my best fuel mileage - as long as road conditions allow my cruise is between 58 - 62 MPH mostly 62
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:58 AM   #8
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We have the 2015 FK that has the Overdrive cutout switch for the Transmission. We roll very heavy most of the time and spend a lot of time on 6% - 8% grades getting in / out of Utah.

We tow our FJCruiser on our toy-trailer along with a yamaha Kodiak 450 and other toys. We have plenty of power to climb the passes, but most importantly have plenty of cooling to do it in the hot summer heat - with the AC running too.

Our toughest climb was in the heat of summer was about 4 miles of winding, narrow 10% grade.. we had to drop the shifter to '3' and climbed up at about 40mph. At the top, the fan was kicked in and running at full - but it was 100degrees out too. Temperatures stayed under 220.

I would never have attempted this in my previous motorhomes, since even my Suburban had trouble pulling that grade years before.
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Old 12-07-2017, 09:14 PM   #9
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A couple of thoughts:
(1) Engine brakes typically don't work when cruise is set. Don't get surprised on the downhill section.
(2) You have to anticipate the (up) hills and build up rpms downshifting if necessary before you scrub off all the power and speed.

OK, thats a couple.
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Old 12-08-2017, 12:11 AM   #10
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I had the same problem on cruise going down hill. I discussed this with my freightliner dealer and they were able to recalibrate(Reprogram the ECM) the engine brake under cruise. They set the engine brake to come on if cruise speed exceeded 3 miles per hour over the set point if I had the engine brake switched on. Again I asked them why this wasn't done when I bought this unit and they said this is how Jayco spec'd them. So like having the transmission reprogramed at my cost had to pay for this one too but it sure saves worrying about over speeding going down grades.
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Old 12-08-2017, 12:33 PM   #11
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Just a thought on your math...

"Kodiak: 26,000lb. GCWR with 330HP = 79 lb./1hp.
Freightliner: 33,000lb. GCWR with 340HP = 97lb./1hp "

You're not looking at AS-DRIVEN Pound per HP.

Your math is for the Gross COMBINED Weight Rating, which includes limitations due to the transmission, not just the engine HP... If you're not towing, the weight of the M2 night not be that much more than the Kodiak. Most of the newer Senecas are longer, so probably heavier, but it will depend on which model you pick.
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