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How do I best accelerate my new gas motor coach?


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I have had my new Fleetwood Bounder gas coach for about two weeks and am a total newbie at how to best accelerate from a stop. In deference to the cars behind me I attempt to get up to speed as quickly as possible but, especially in second gear the engine RPMs get very high before the transmission shifts into third gear.

 

It concerns me that I might be wasting gas and causing undue wear and tear on the engine. Is there a rule of thumb about what maximum RPMs I should accelerate to? If I had this information, I could let the coach accelerate at the rate it was designed for and not be so concerned about pleasing the car drivers behind me.

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I expect the traffic behind me knows my coach is not sports car, so I accelerate at a pace that feels comfortable for the engine without over stressing it. Different terrain will dictate different acceleration rates and shift points though, so it's difficult to specify a general RPM range. The Ford Triton V10 will wind up to 4500 without a lot of effort, and run all day there if necessary.

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I agree with Dutch on this. Hard acceleration is hard on any engine and transmission and it is a huge waste of fuel. There is no way that an RV can accelerate enough to avoid slowing automobile traffic, just as is true for all large vehicles. In normal conditions, I'd use about half throttle to make a normal start from a stop and that also will adjust the shift points to a more reasonable RPM. Electronic controlled engine/transmission systems will adjust shift points based upon throttle position so just use a little patience and relax.

 

Nothing that you can do will help people who are in a rush, so it is a waste of effort and of fuel to try. It is easy to spot the auto driver who also drives a heavy rig, as they are the ones who are patient and even let you into traffic. The impatient driver will never be happy anyway.

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If fuel economy is the issue, an engine puts out the most power per gallon at the peak of its power curve. Since it is power that gets your speed increase, the most fuel economical way to accelerate is at the high end of the power curve, i.e. pretty aggressive acceleration.

 

As for wear and tear on the engine, the quicker you get to speed, the sooner you will be in a higher gear and that lowers the RPMs per mile.

 

Common logic doesn't always fit the truth.

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If you are new to driving oversized vehicles you will find that a liberal foot is needed on the throttle pedal. Accelerating from a start on level ground is much easier and smoother than on a grade. A grade too gentle to really see will require much more throttle to accelerate than you are accustomed to. A heavy grade away from a traffic light will require a heavy throttle to accelerate at all. Our TV has a 100CID 4cyl engine and we tow a 3500# TT. The tranny downshifts for interstate overpasses and the engine will run @4000RPM on lots of interstate grades to maintain 60mph. A stiff headwind will do the same thing. For mile after mile after mile. The only time it stays in 6th gear is downhill or with a tailwind. These engines are not your father’s Buick :) .

 

Lew

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For driving with the goal of best mileage and least powertrain stress, I use the comparison of riding a bicycle. Think of the engine as your legs doing the work cause that is what your engine is feeling. You start out slow on a bike and build up speed then work through the gears. If you take off fast on a bike your legs will strain and hurt as you are burning excess calories or excess fuel in the case of a motor which is also hurting in the form of excess heat being produced. The same works while riding a bike in hills, you build speed going down hill and use the momentum for going up the next hill and crest over the top much slower but not stressing your legs. For the best vehicle mileage and least powertrain stress you also build speed going down hill (safely of course) and use the momentum to carry you up the next hill with only enough throttle to get you over the top of the hill. If you drive a vehicle with the instantaneous mileage readouts you can see the difference.

I never have understood the drivers who push their vehicle on take offs or going up a hill. If they were riding a bicycle they would not do that, well a motor is no different if you are interested in fuel economy and engine life.

Greg

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I never have understood the drivers who push their vehicle on take offs or going up a hill. If they were riding a bicycle they would not do that, well a motor is no different if you are interested in fuel economy and engine life.

Excellent analogy!

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What ever is comfortable for you. Be kind to your motor. We ran that Ford V-10 for thousands of miles all over the country and up some of the steepest grades. It will whine and howl and scream but it loves it and will not let you down. You may not get up some of the grades very fast but what's the hurry. MPG will not be good but you may make up the difference in fuel cost gas vs Diesel

 

We ran that V-10 for about 40K miles then moved up to a diesel.

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It took me a while to get used to the "whine and howl and scream" of my v10 when I accelerated, especially up hill. That engine is just plain noisy! But it is an excellent engine and will take you anywhere. I wouldn't floor it from every stop, but you certainly can hit the accelerator without hurting the engine. Mine has 73,000 miles on it, by the way, and I do not even notice the noise now.

 

The Ford engineers told me that engine was a champ, and it certainly has turned out to be one. No problems in four years and all those miles, up hill, and down dale. Has never overheated, even going up very long grades in extremely hot weather. Never misses or does anything it shouldn't, but it certainly is loud and takes some getting used to.

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I drive an older rig with a 3 speed tranny so I work the heck ot of it anyways. I find when in heavy traffic I will accelerate slower than in light traffic ,Might have to stop in a hurry in heavy traffic .

My biggest problem is going up a hill .Once I'm up to speed and set the cruise I have to remember to give it a little throttle just before that steep hill ,not so much to increase speed but just enough so I hit the hill on the fly . This way I can get up the hill with minimal of speed loss and still not dump all my gas out the exhaust.

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Practical advice is freely given therefore it might not be worth much.

Intake manifold vacuum gauge is the surest way to determine what your right foot is doing. When less than 7-8"Hg (inches of mercury) you are in the enrichment range for fuel injected engines. Hold the vacuum to more about 9" Hg by decreasing by easing up on the right foot. Your speed in traffic will always lag behind the four wheelers. Accept, that in traffic, you will be the turtle. You will be slower up the hills. Avoid being the fastest downhill :) . You can run with traffic on the interstate. However, once you exceed about 65 MPH, your fuel mileage will start to suffer. Sometimes you have to go faster because that is the flow of traffic. Again accept that or find a different road.

 

Bill

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I am one of the "old farts" who should get out of the way. I accelerate slowly and try to keep the RPMs low as I build up speed. Yes the

younger males shake their fist at me and call me names, sorry, but I baby my diesel pickup. I am not in a hurry to replace it and hope that if I take

care of it, it will last a long time. Good Luck

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I have a V10.

I accelerate constant and easy.

I go by my Tach and always try to keep my RPMs under 3000 when accelerating, unless traffic forces me otherwise.

I average a little over 10mpg pretty consistantly.

Edited by stevekk
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