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Old 06-17-2012, 10:56 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by gloran View Post
I was informed that the rating of 2000 LB isn't referring to the hitch capacity only, and beefing up the hitch doesn't increase the hauling capacity for the MH. The 2000lbs is related to the total weight capacity for MH's suspension,brakes,and overall construction that it can haul safely according to the manufacturer.That what JC told me when I was there.
I do not disagree with what you say, and fully respect your comment, opinion, and that of the factory at that time!


But the hitch is a known to be weak, the rear chassis rails and gas tank protection is suspect.
Many others have beefed it up and towed without issues from what I read.
Trailer and Toad braking technology has improved hugely since 1984, as has friction materials for stock brakes. I am planning an upgrade in rotors/pads and cooling.
My Jasper engine also makes at least 70hp and 100ft/lb tq more than stock. The transmission is rebuilt, and the cooler I plan to add will further cushion any additional load in the future.

I fully plan to beef the frame back there as part of a "Holistic" approach to some of the issues I see.

I am open to opinions on my plan still!
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Old 06-18-2012, 05:01 AM   #16
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Yep. beef it...I watched my first toad spark, flame, and absolutely shower the roadside with an impressive array of fire that shut down IH 35 in both directions till the fires were extinguished...the brake system kicked in when it shouldn't have, and watching both front tires spit off and flame away was a pretty impressive view...this was just south of Waco, TX, it was summer time, and it was hot...I still get kinda shaky reliving it...
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Old 06-18-2012, 11:33 AM   #17
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Do you think my idea to use those captive bolts has merit?
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Old 06-18-2012, 11:56 AM   #18
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captive is good...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keyair View Post
Do you think my idea to use those captive bolts has merit?
Yep...m
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Old 06-18-2012, 12:01 PM   #19
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I would also recommend bracing...there is at least one thread which details the welding and bracing...since my mechanical abilities are limited to opening a beer, I had the work done, but the online pics made it a done deal for the welder...
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Old 06-18-2012, 12:28 PM   #20
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Yes, agreed mike, there will be welding and cross bracing.

My thinking went something like this...

Remove the junked wheel frames...


Bolt an H or I or square tube to the captive bolts, running at least as far forward and overlappingthe tapering chassis stiffener you can just see on the outboard(LH) side of the chassis rail in this pic...

At the rearward edge it will overlap and be welded to, the big chassis plate bolted to the rearward end seen here....


The new and modified tow hitch itself will be attached and braced to those plates.. and there will be proper casters to protect from grounding out.

Also want to protect the rear edge of the gas tank, and this will provide bracing between the LH and RH chassis legs.

Planning to chat to a Engineer buddy of mine about this once I have it sketched out, so he can advise on the balance of weight vs strength!

I want to leave the whole area between the rear of the gas tank and the tow hitch open, as I have plans for that area.... either I will move the Freshwater tank there, or more likely it will become a boxed in storage area with doors for those bulkier items like picnic tables and chairs, a ladder, etc.
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Old 08-04-2012, 04:38 PM   #21
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Question Is my 454 too weak?

This thread is really surprising and I'm now wondering about my engine.

I read the manufacturer recommendations and thought I was pushing it when I towed my 2800 lb Mini 4 wheels down with my 1986 345 classic. It has the average 454. I compensated for the "extra" weight by keeping all the tanks low in volume while I was on the road. I also turn out to have had a nonfunctioning rear fuel pump.


It always felt to me that I was really pushing the li
It for my coach with this arrangement. Am I or was I missing something? We're on the verge of buying another Toad and would love to have more options than this experience suggested that I have!
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Old 08-04-2012, 06:24 PM   #22
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Am I or was I missing something? We're on the verge of buying another Toad and would love to have more options than this experience suggested that I have!
I upgraded the hitch on our 310 based on the information I found in the following link as well as other posts on the forum. If the hitch upgrade is done right you shouldn't have much to worry about. Also keep in mind I tow a 14' flatbed trailer with a race car on it and Robfike tows a 24' enclosed trailer with his 345.

345 hitch upgrades
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Old 08-05-2012, 12:23 AM   #23
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Question How powerful IS a 454?

Sorry if I'm still missing something but just humor me here for a minute: I've read the other threads people have referred to here but it seems that we're talking about coaches of all kinds of sizes from which it's hard to conclude much, generally.

I was driving a 345 which is 3.5 feet longer than a 310 with (isn't it?) the same Chevy 454 engine. So it seems to me that with a bigger coach I'm going to have less available power to tow and that's why it felt like a lot when I was towing a 2800 lb Mini. I understand Keyair's engine is more powerful, although I'm not familiar with it, so he might be able to expect more. So are people really saying that a 454 can easily move a 345 MH and, in addition, another 4-5K lbs as long as the hitch is upgraded?

When I towed my Mini with my 454 I had a Banks system and Blue Ox hitch installed, and I used a Break Buddy. I was certainly a ready customer for a hitch upgrade but at the time, no one in either of the Airstream service centers I dealt with suggested I do anything more.

So my question is, are people saying that even a 345 with a regular 454 engine can tow an additional 4-5K as long as it has an upgraded hitch? If so, that suggests to me that the I wasn't getting the power I should have from my engine, even though they went over the engine and transmission and pronounced them good. No compression problems. Well, but the rear fuel pump wasn't working, which they apparently didn't catch. Could that account for it entirely?

Or are we comparing apples and oranges?
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Old 08-05-2012, 01:39 AM   #24
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It's interesting seeing this discussion going back and forth. Some people don't have enough power unless they can do 75 mph fully loaded on a 9% grade. Others are less demanding. I was looking at the Chevrolet Motorhome P-30 Chassis Service Manual and they have a towing capacity chart. The 454 with a 4.56 rear axle has a GCWR of 19,000 lbs. With the 4L80E trans it goes to 20,000.

The interesting thing is the 6.2 diesel which has a similar power rating to the Isuzu diesel I have, Rates the GCWR at 13,500 lbs. Airstream says my GVWR is 14,500 so I'm already 1,000 over factory spec.

There is a footnote that allows a trailer to be 25% overweight if you do not exceed 25 mph. I guess being 1,000 overweight I'm not allowed to exceed 25 mph.

Cheers, Dan
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Old 08-05-2012, 11:34 AM   #25
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Vewwwwy intewesting, Dan. Thanks for that info. I don't have that manual on hand but I will look up to see what I have.

I agree it's also probably a matter of expectations. I'm one of those people who wants to start with the basic understanding and manufacturer's recommendations and THEN decide on what liberties to take. I've certainly wished at time that I had a diesel pusher but that's obviously not in the cards for this Moho, or as I fondly call her, the motyho.
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Old 08-07-2012, 02:58 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenniflow View Post
So my question is, are people saying that even a 345 with a regular 454 engine can tow an additional 4-5K as long as it has an upgraded hitch? If so, that suggests to me that the I wasn't getting the power I should have from my engine, even though they went over the engine and transmission and pronounced them good. No compression problems. Well, but the rear fuel pump wasn't working, which they apparently didn't catch. Could that account for it entirely?

Or are we comparing apples and oranges?
Kinda sorta maybe

You can do various things to the 454 (or any engine) to improve performance. To me first and foremost help the engine to breath better which means installing a good exhaust system with headers. Next improve the air intake by ensuring you're getting your intake air from the front of the motorhome with an appropriate hose. I don't know if or when Airstream actually added a hose from the carburetor to the front but the 345 I'm dismantling does have one and the Banks system on our 310 added one as well.

Here is a true story. We had a 1983 27' Winnebago with a 454 and were making a trip along I-40 heading east. Being a flat faced motorhome the Winnebago mileage just plain sucked. I was checking mileage after every stop (and we were making a lot) the average was 5.5 mpg. At the 3rd fuel stop I decided to add a means of getting air from the front of the motorhome into the carburetor. We stopped at a Walmart and bought a 4" aluminum dryer hose. Installed it and found on the next stop that our mileage had gone up to 6.5 mpg. And this was while also now driving through the hills and grades of central Tennessee. The average stayed above 6 and even reached 7 a time or two after that.

That is just an example what improved breathing can do. The Winnebago did not have headers and and I firmly believe that if it did the mileage would have been in the 7+ range constantly.

The other thing better breathing does is provide a little more get up and go. Not mind blowing but it sure doesn't hurt.

So to answer your question I believe that if you don't expect jack rabbit starts and use the cruise when possible you might be surprised at how well the old 454 will run. Especially if it breaths better. A better cam, TBI and various other mods would definitely help as well.

We tow at 70 mph with our 310 pulling a 14' 3500 lb trailer and still get 8 to 10 depending on road and weather conditions. We loose a little in the hills but not enough to bother me. Besides in hills I'd rather go just a bit little slower

Brad
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Old 08-07-2012, 03:32 PM   #27
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When I purchased my 345 motorhome the electric rear fuel pump was not working ( found this out after I got home ). I drove it from Florida to Ohio and I had half the power I should have had, it lost power going up hills and I had to back off the gas pedal or the carburator would run out of fuel and it would backfire. I even took the carburator apart at midnight at a truck stop thinking that was the problem. This confirms that not having the electric fuel pump operational will cause you to loose up to 50% of the engine power. I upgraded my hitch and pull a Jeep Wrangler 4 down and don't even know it is back there.
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Old 08-07-2012, 03:37 PM   #28
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bkahler, please advise where the extended air cleaner hose picks up the clean air and is it affected during heavy rains. There is not much room to put the hose out the front between the cruise control and the airconditioner compressor.
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