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Old 06-10-2019, 02:45 PM   #1
Kevin Panzino
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Default Towing with older, low powered diesel pusher?

Have any folks on here tow, or used to tow with an older (mid 90's) diesel pusher that has a fraction of the power and torque of the newer MH's, or even our pickups actually ?

I found a good deal on a clean, nice little 1994, 30', 5.9 6BT Cummins/Allison pusher. It is only 210 HP, 475 FT*Lbs. It has a mechanical Bosch 'P' injection Pump, and I am very familiar with getting those up to way, way more power. BUT, it only has the AT-542 4-speed Allison, not the big 6 speed, and my reading on it, says it will not be happy with much over 275 HP/550 Ft*lbs.

So I was wondering if anyone had towed with a lower power pusher MH, just how painful is it?

My trailer is right around 9,000 Lbs loaded.

I don't have to go 75 MPH up long highway grades, but also don't want to be in the shoulder with the hazards on going 30MPH either.......
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Old 06-10-2019, 02:58 PM   #2
Angelo DiTocco
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Default Re: Towing with older, low powered diesel pusher?

I believe Gale Banks makes stuff for the 5.9
I put Banks stuff on my previous 01 Ford 7.3 and it worked out well.
They'll be able to answer your transmission question too.
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Old 06-10-2019, 03:27 PM   #3
KRatcliff
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Default Re: Towing with older, low powered diesel pusher?

I had a 1997 Fleetwood Discovery that was 38' with 5.9L Cummins 12 V. Trailer was nearly 11,000 lbs. Total rig was right at 32,000 lbs.

I absolutely hated towing with it. The lower power and wind signature made it a terrifying trip each race. Almost made me quit racing (kinda did) until I replaced it with a Super Class C Renegade.

The RV was incredible without the trailer, but the wind would push you around with the trailer attached and it was super weak on hills.

Last edited by KRatcliff; 06-10-2019 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 06-10-2019, 05:05 PM   #4
Larry Hill
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Default Re: Towing with older, low powered diesel pusher?

8.3 Cummings, allison trans, and air brakes. 3100 series Cat are "Dixie Cup" engines. A 5.9 is ok to push the motorhome only. Stopping is the biggest consideration for any tow vehicle.
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:23 PM   #5
Kevin Panzino
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Default Re: Towing with older, low powered diesel pusher?

Thanks gents for the responses. I have no worries in getting the 5.9 to a more than capable power and torque level for the application. Been there, done that, that engine is capable of incredible output and reliability.
Its the Allison AT 542 that is really the deal breaker right now. That trans doesn't even have torque converter lockup. I have been looking into converting it to the MT 643 allison, which is a very common conversion, but unless the owner will drop the price at least $6k, I cant be bothered.
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Old 06-17-2019, 07:07 AM   #6
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Default Re: Towing with older, low powered diesel pusher?

There is no question you can mod a 5.9L Cummins to incredible power, but one of the biggest issues you will run into is effectively monitoring the motor and transmission since it is a diesel pusher. That is a long way from the back to the driver to reliably monitor EGT and transmission temps.

I have modded the 5.9L Cummins in regular truck which is not a problem, but the ability to monitor the one in my diesel pusher was what stopped me from going forward. Just a thought.
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