Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Planning Road Trip 2.0.....

Here we go! The plans are in motion to do a trip down to Universal Studios Florida ( Yes, the same state that the LH 1 was left over in Daytona). There are a couple of things I want to modify and get set for the trip. One is that rear end swap to what I believe will be a 3:21 ratio and to check out the genset so we can make sure all is up and running during the entire trip.

Big challenge is find a shop that will do it without me pulling the rear axle off to hand to them.

I have to admit doing this trip gives me a bit of the willies only because I really don't want a repeat of what happened in 2015. Hard to believe it's been just over 3 years since that insanity. Planning on taking a couple of days to get down there, maybe 3 just to not push things too much.

More details as the date gets closer! Happy RV'ing all!

Been talking to shops and they all have the same concern: if you drastically drop the rear end ratio then you may find you can climb hills that well (uh, have you driven my RV????). I'm not going to tow anything with this RV so I figured it wasn't as big a deal but the more I think of it the more concerned I get. Hey, Pennsylvania has lots of hills and I wind up driving through there a lot. Once you swap the rears you're done -- you're stuck with that ratio no matter what. With an overdrive kit (look them up, not cheap!) you can set it up to go into overdrive in any gear, effectively being able to split gears and with a 3 speed you can simulate 6 gears. Too much for what I'm trying to do and for the same price I could get a totally reconditioned 700R4 transmission (4 speed, overdrive) that gets me cruising speed without cutting the driveshaft or messing with the rear end.

A GM 700R4 4 speed transmission unit. This has a final drive of 0.70 which would make a 4.10 rear end act like a 3.20 rear end, boosting cruising efficiency.
 I see websites that say doing this may increase highway mpg 20-30%. Now that may just be overly-optimistic but when you're talking going from 6 mpg to over 7 mpg that saves you about $100 in gas on one 1,200 mile trip to Floriday -- one way. After 6 or 7 trips you've paid for the transmission. Not bad.