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"Host" of Barthmobile.com
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 1/19
Picture of Bill N.Y.
posted
I got this email and just reposted it here.

Good Day

I have been lurking around the Barthmobile site for a while now, looking at the coaches that are for sale. Honestly, I have been looking on and off for a couple of years and now is the time to become a bit more serious about finding and purchasing the right Barth for us. Thru E-bay, I did bid on one coach, located in Alabama, that was completely stripped on the inside, but the bidding went beyond the value I placed on the coach – I think that means I was being a tight wad.

Anyway, I am looking for some information regarding the engines available in the different Barth coaches. With all the engine experience you have, I value your expertise and opinion. While I would love to have a 30’ with tag axles, but they just do not seem to surface. Aside from the 30’ tag, I would strongly consider a 28 – 30 Regal or Breakaway and if the right deal came along a 33’ Regal with tag axles. Why the tag, well, it is my belief – not sure what it is based on – the tag axle coaches have a higher gross vehicle weight and “track” a bit better. Not that I plan to carry a lot, but I am trying to avoid and overloaded coach.

All of my reading and research suggests the most common engine for the Regal is the Chevy 454. The only downfall to this engine seems to be an overheating problem that can be managed with oil coolers, transmission coolers, headers, gear vendors, specialized water pumps and fan motors. Parts for the 454 tend to be readily available. The other engine choices for a Breakaway would be a diesel. From what I have learned – which is not a lot - the two most common diesel engines in the size coach I am looking for are either the Cummins 5.9, or the 6.5 GM. With that in mind, I did read from one of your forum posting where you would not want to purchase a coach powered by Cummins 5.9. I know this is based on your experience, but is this based purely on the engine design, engine reliability, the problems associated with lack of maintenance by the owners, lack of horsepower or a combination of all of the above and more? Would you stay away from the Cummins 5.9 at all costs?

Do your thoughts regarding the Cummins also apply to the GM 6.5 diesel motor?

I really to do want to be disappointed with a Barth when I could have selected a better power plant or avoided a power plant that has known issues.

My engine experience is related to the repair of engines and performing scheduled maintenance – good with electrical and air conditioning and not that it applies to Barths, but computers too. Have owned several boats, from an 18 speed boat with a 454 to a 30 foot with twins, and did all my own repairs and maintenance – from engine, gas system, plumbing and electrical. Other than to grease and change the gear drive oil, I did not work on the out drives, just because of the need to buy way to many specialized tools Not sure this information would alter you view point of a particular diesel engine, but thought I would share it with you just in chase it might. I think these mechanical and electrical abilities come from my experiences of working on air conditioners, refrigeration, and air compressors while in the Navy.

Regards
Bill Stewart

Coach: "purchasing the right Barth" You sound like a smart man. Got this part right.

Motors: I am of the belief that the Cummins 5.9L and the 6.5L are a bit underpowered. Keep this in mind. I am a truck mechanic and I work on mostly 11L on up motors with all sorts of power. I did own a 6.5L in a 1993 service truck that was maxed at 18K. That motor was underpowered no matter what I or anyone else did. The 5.9L I chase for Ryder and some other accounts and the biggest complaint is power. You could get a 3208 Cat motor in a Barth, but this is rare.

If the right deal came along I would consider anything as I really have "no fear" of any of these motors. I would like to have a horse 8.3L cummins but realize that might not happen.

...I could have selected a better power plant or avoided a power plant... Stay away from the 8.2L Detroits if your looking for known issues. I would get it, but that's just me. All problems related to this motor is overheating and oil leaks. The motor is now sound and if you did have to replace it in the future I have been told those issues have been worked out.

I posted this here because I have never driven any of these coaches with the power plants described. I have driven a 460 Ford and a 454 Chevy. I would like to have the other members comment on this as I too would like to know how you feel about this. I don't want to give Rusty a "6.5L complex" as he owns one and can better answer that question then I.

If you want to know something about my 460 or the 454 that I drove I can tell you they are both great motors with plenty of power.

The 460 is in a Oshkosh/John Deere Chassis and at 33 foot it doesn't need a tag because this was built in a truck frame. The coach rides nice and the parts are easy to get.

The 454 is built on a modified bread truck chassis for the RV industry they call this chassis a P30. You could change the front end over to a wide track P32 front suspension and feel a lot more comfortable but the after market add ons are cheaper and just about as good.

You are buying a coach. Not a motor. The interior layout, suspension and length should be higher on your list if the motor is sound and has more life left in it. How sound is really up to a "truck or Rv mechanic"

I have a feeling that this will cause a nice long post and it should. I am on the hunt too and would like to hear more on this issue.


˙ʎ˙u ןןıq- „ǝןƃuɐ ʇuǝɹǝɟɟıp ɐ ɯoɹɟ pןɹoʍ ǝɥʇ ʇɐ ʞooן ɐ ƃuıʞɐʇ sı ǝɟıן oʇ ʇǝɹɔǝs ǝɥʇ„

Regis Widebody1990 Barth Regis Widebody
8908 0128 40RDS-C1
L-10 Cummins
Allison MT647 Transmission
Spartan Chassis
Regal Conversion1991 Medical Lab Conversion
9102 3709 33S-12
Ford 460 MPFI
C6 Transmission
Oshkosh Chassis



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Posts: 7317 | Location: Newburgh, New York | Member Since: 05-10-2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 4/09
Founder and Moderator Emeritus
Picture of Dave Bowers
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Bill I think all of your critique is wise and well thought out. I would add that the 5.9L may be a little light for some but I have never had a Breakaway owner talk negatively about the engine. I have gathered since this engine is usually trouble free and the Breakaway is such a great coach floor plan wise that the overall value put the engines enemia in the back seat.

One other consideration concerning the gas coach difference with the Oshkosh/Deere and the P-30 is that the Oshkosh/Deere chassis in most cases were the taller basement models which provided more usable storage underneath. However, I have heard some complaints about the bumpy ride the Ford designed front end provides.

The CAT 3208 and 3208T (the T per my CAT guy was designed just for motorhomes) is very widely used on the Regency from 1986 to 1993-4? Almost all of the post 1985 Regency's will be CAT's (Gillig chassis) until they started the Spartan/Cummins Combo in 1995 I think. What years is Jay Teasleys coach 1996?? It's a Spartan/Cummins set-up.

Oh and by the way, any of you pre-1985 MCC Regency guys, I understand that a CAT 3208 will replace that 8.2l Detroit perfectly. I even have a picture of one.. I heard a $11K quote for this which ain't too bad.


 
Posts: 790 | Location: Eden Prairie, Minnesota | Member Since: 02-07-2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
"Host" of Barthmobile.com
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 1/19
Picture of Bill N.Y.
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Dave Bowers:
The CAT 3208 and 3208T (the T per my CAT guy was designed just for motorhomes)

3208 is a non turbocharged, naturally aspirated diesel engine.

3208T is the turbocharged version. This motor has very good power.

quote:
Originally posted by Dave Bowers:
However, I have heard some complaints about the bumpy ride the Ford designed front end provides.

True! Not that bad but there is a difference.

quote:
Originally posted by Bill N.Y.:
You could get a 3208 Cat motor in a Barth, but this is rare.

I guess it's only rare 'cause no one want to give one up!


˙ʎ˙u ןןıq- „ǝןƃuɐ ʇuǝɹǝɟɟıp ɐ ɯoɹɟ pןɹoʍ ǝɥʇ ʇɐ ʞooן ɐ ƃuıʞɐʇ sı ǝɟıן oʇ ʇǝɹɔǝs ǝɥʇ„

Regis Widebody1990 Barth Regis Widebody
8908 0128 40RDS-C1
L-10 Cummins
Allison MT647 Transmission
Spartan Chassis
Regal Conversion1991 Medical Lab Conversion
9102 3709 33S-12
Ford 460 MPFI
C6 Transmission
Oshkosh Chassis



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Posts: 7317 | Location: Newburgh, New York | Member Since: 05-10-2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 10/08
Picture of MWrench
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Having just "stepped up" from a 454 P30 chassis SOB to a Breakaway with a 5.9 230 HP Cummins, hands down, I could walk away from the 454, on grades that I could only maintain 55 MPH in the 454 I now go 60 MPH in the Breakaway.

Mileage? 454 on a good day was around 7.5-8 MPG best, so far with the Breakaway I am getting over 11, near 12. I have the 6 speed Allison and the engine "loafs" at 65-70.

I will have a lot more to share this summer as we have a lot of 3-5K mile trips planned but so far I am not looking back!
HTH


Ed
94 30' Breakaway #3864
30-BS-6B side entry
230 Cummins, Allison 6 speed
Spartan chassis
K9DVC
 
Posts: 2217 | Location: Los Gatos, CA | Member Since: 12-08-2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
First Month Member
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 11/13
posted Hide Post
The 454 overheating problems are over stated. I wouldn't let the difference between a Ford and Chevy affect a buying decision.

The power of a 5.9 may or may not be enough for you. It is a personal thing, and depends on the weight of your toad and the steepness of your hills.

As for the 6.5, search this site for comments and links. I found it underpowered for my purposes, but I have a friend with a 6.5 SOB who loves his coach for the economy.

The P30 benefits greatly from a tag, but the 28s seem to drive pretty well. As Bill NY says, the mods help a whole lot. BTDT. Fords are OK without a tag. Lots of 28s are rear bath, so you gotta decide on a floor plan. Do you have overnight guests? Are you OK with twin beds and visitors going through the bedroom to get to the john at night? If you are, the 28 rear bath is a very space-efficient layout.


.

84 30T PeeThirty-Something, 502 powered
 
Posts: 7397 | Location: AZ Central Highlands | Member Since: 01-09-2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
"Host" of Barthmobile.com
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 1/19
Picture of Bill N.Y.
posted Hide Post
Remember that Barth is truly a Custom Coach. You could pretty much have them make a Barth out of anything. At one time it was "THE" Custom Coach Company out there.

Example?



˙ʎ˙u ןןıq- „ǝןƃuɐ ʇuǝɹǝɟɟıp ɐ ɯoɹɟ pןɹoʍ ǝɥʇ ʇɐ ʞooן ɐ ƃuıʞɐʇ sı ǝɟıן oʇ ʇǝɹɔǝs ǝɥʇ„

Regis Widebody1990 Barth Regis Widebody
8908 0128 40RDS-C1
L-10 Cummins
Allison MT647 Transmission
Spartan Chassis
Regal Conversion1991 Medical Lab Conversion
9102 3709 33S-12
Ford 460 MPFI
C6 Transmission
Oshkosh Chassis



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Posts: 7317 | Location: Newburgh, New York | Member Since: 05-10-2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 2/16
Captain Doom
Picture of Rusty
posted Hide Post
Regarding the GM 6.5L Turbodiesel (rated at 190 HP in my Breakaway), it's not going to smoke the tires, but it's adequate. I haven't driven it yet in the mountains, but it maintained 50 mph over some fairly steep bridges (~5% grade)

The pusher design leaves lots of room to work on the engine; it's certainly far easier than my '87 Ford diesel E350, which isn't as bad as it looks...

I've only put 400 miles on mine since I got it; the prior owner stated 9-10 mpg fuel economy. That appears to be accurate, although much of the mileage I've accumulated has been stop-and-go, so I don't know for sure what to expect. I do intend to check the injector timing, as I think this engine can do 11-12 mpg. One thing that's important about my Breakaway is that the Bennetts maintained it scrupulously. But that's not always the case, and I'd make my choce of Barths as much on maintenace history as model and year.

To dispel some rumors, the GM 6.5L is not a "dieselized" 454 - it's a ground-up design, according the the GM engineers. Because the turbo diesel has lower compression ratio pistons than the naturally-aspirated, there's headroom for more power, supposedly without sacrificing durability.

Down the road, I'm going to install an intercooler and an aftermarket crossover pipe. The intercooler should drop EGT by about 200F, and the crossover pipe would ease the breathing.

After that will come a higher-capacity water pump.

My objectives are to increase the longevity, although a slight increase in power and torque should result.

http://www.62-65-dieselpage.com/ has a lot of info on maintenance and hopping up these engines, although it's slanted towards light trucks.

BTW, the 6.5 TD is used extensively in the Humvees of the military.

Certainly the replacement cost of the 6.5L TD (new crated) is a bonus, being about 60% of that of the 5.9L, and it is easier to get them worked on as they're quite common.

As far as the Breakaways' features are concerned, the '94 28' has significantly more basement storage than the '92s, and the compartments are much larger, and from photos I've seen, may have more than any-year 30' Breakaway. Mine may even be the second or third of the newer design, as there are prototype layout drawings in the documentation.

There have been questions about how the 28' Breakaway handles with it's dinky little wheelbase (1" longer than my 19' diesel van). The short (pardon the pun) answer is that it has no bad habits that I've discovered. I do have to pay attention to the extra polar moment (I can kind of fling my 24' Class C SOB around), but it's just adapting driving technique to the weight distribution. (Again I have to stress that Conrad Bennett made several improvements - a steer-safe, Bilstein shocks, and a new steering box, so this might not be typical of 28's). It certainly makes the coach handy in city traffic.

As near as I can tell, the 28' Breakaway has the same running gear as the 30' - however, the transmission is the 4L80E, four speed - it's not an Allison, but it works well. Loaded, with the two dogs and about 400 lbs of astrogear, mine weighed at 5,220 front and 10,680 rear. It's stickered at 16K lbs, but if the rear axle is the same as the 30', it could go to 18K. In any event, the tires can handle much more, so I'm not concerned.


Rusty


MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP; built-to-order by Peninsular Engines:  Hi-pop injectors, gear-driven camshaft, non-waste-gated, high-output turbo, 18:1 pistons.  Fuel economy increased by 15-20%, power, WOW!"StaRV II"

'94 28' Breakaway: MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP

Nelson and Chester, not-spoiled Golden Retrievers

Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're not.
In either case the idea is quite staggering.
- Arthur C. Clarke

It was a woman who drove me to drink, and I've been searching thirty years to find her and thank her - W. C. Fields
 
Posts: 8408 | Location: Brooker, FL, USA | Member Since: 09-08-2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I would like to settle this issue, once and for
all. The Chevrolet Motorhome Chassis is a P32 model, not a P30 model. This chassis was designed as a motorhome chassis, not a forward
control chassis. This motorhome chassis had different rear springs, fuel tank, frame, front suspension and brake system than the forward control chassis. This chassis is not a
modified bread truck chassis as described
by Mr. Bill Stewart.

I think a lot of the confusion is attrbutable
to the Truck Salesmen in Chevrolet dealerships
and their lack of understanding of the motorhome chassis, since very few of them ever really sold them. Many times when I had occasion to be in a Chevrolet dealership, the
salesmen and even the Dealer would refer to them
as a P30 chassis, and I would have to correct them.

I apologize for barking out, but at the current
timem there are only two of us engineers left of
the original Design Group from 1970. I take a
great deal of pride in having a chassis that I helped design that is still running and being resold 35 years later.

Jake Jacobson
 
Posts: 92 | Location: Harper Woods, MI, USA | Member Since: 05-06-2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
First Month Member
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 11/13
posted Hide Post
Good to hear from you, Jake.

Mea Culpa. Mea Maxima Culpa.

I am one of the guilty parties, using P30 just because so many others do. Even the parts guys at the GM dealers, to name a few. If I say P32, or (God Forbid) P37, I often am corrected or just get the Blank Stare.

The situation is further confused by MH VIN numbers being P37. i.e. P being Forward Control (line and chssis type), 3 being 1 ton(truck series) and 7 being Motor Home (body type). I can send a scan of the page I am citing if it will help.

My orange 1986 Chevrolet Motor Home Chassis Service Guide, says nothing on the cover or title page about Pee-Anything. However, on page 1-1, it says "P30 is the series and size class used for motor homes and is available in four wheelbases." 125, 137 158.5 and 178 inches.

Score one for Pee thirty guys.

Now, on page 3-2, it gives different front end alignment specs for Pee 30 and "MOTOR HOME (32)" The caps and parentheses are from the manual. The P20 and P30 have the same caster, and the "MOTOR HOME (32)" has more. Toe-in is not even listed for a P30, just the "MOTORHOME (32)"

Score one for the P32 team.

Further on, mention is made of P series motor home chassis, saying neither 30 nor 32. Also listed is a rear U bolt chart with only P30 mentioned, no P32. A couple of other charts similarly ignore the mention of P32.

I will not try to make any sense of this. I do suspect, however, that a tech writer or two dropped the ball here and there in the compiling of this manual. Perhaps someone has the later "green" manual and can cite some clarifying information.


.

84 30T PeeThirty-Something, 502 powered
 
Posts: 7397 | Location: AZ Central Highlands | Member Since: 01-09-2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 4/09
Founder and Moderator Emeritus
Picture of Dave Bowers
posted Hide Post
Thanks Jake for clearing that up. I am still a bit confused about the P-30/P-32 situation. My 95 comes with a GM book which clearly states P-30. I talked with Workhorse which now owns this chassis tells me that the big difference in the P-32 was a wider stance..Again, I will defer to the experts..I dunno


 
Posts: 790 | Location: Eden Prairie, Minnesota | Member Since: 02-07-2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
First Month Member
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 11/13
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Anyone ever heard of a Pierce chassis?

http://www.jaycronen.com/vehicles/barth/barth-motor-home.htm


.

84 30T PeeThirty-Something, 502 powered
 
Posts: 7397 | Location: AZ Central Highlands | Member Since: 01-09-2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
"Host" of Barthmobile.com
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 1/19
Picture of Bill N.Y.
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by jakeofmi:
I would like to settle this issue, once and for
all. The Chevrolet Motorhome Chassis is a P32 model, not a P30 model...This chassis is not a
modified bread truck chassis as described
by Mr. Bill Stewart.

Jake Jacobson


I am the guilty party that said "P30 modified bread truck chassis" not Mr. Bill Stewart. I have been told on many occasion when ordering parts from a Chevy/GM dealer that the P32 was a modified bread truck chassis and that the frame rails between the two were the same. I have been told that the P32 front end could be put into any P30.

Look, I'm not an engineer to the degree that you are. I have however had to re-engineer many a things that engineers put into service. I am a Tractor Trailer Truck Mechanic by trade and by my own admission know very little about the "actual" difference between the two P30 & P32 chassis are.

I agree that GM did a very poor job with the dealership sales, service & parts. Putting out a manual that says P30 doesn't help. For me to even mention the difference in the two front ends tells you I have been bent over a barrel before, even at dealerships that should know.

I would love you to give me a schooling on the real differences and tell me how I can better educate your "sales, parts & service departments" in the future. This is a real concern and not a flippant remark. I want to know.

I have seen motorhome coaches with the P30 & the P32 chassis. Different stance, P32 wider (almost inline with outer rear wheels) and the P30 (almost inline with the inner rear wheels) but have thankfully not had to work on many of these in years.

I have sent some of my customers and friends with motorhomes in for front end alignments and have stressed that they need the P32 alignment specs. I then went on to call the alignment shops to follow up with the mechanic who was doing the alignment. The answers some of these shops give me are frieghtining. I believe a large number of alignment shops typically do this wrong and that may be why this chassis gets a bum rap for handling.

If you wouldn't mind could you please post all responses here. Educate us all. Bark away! If there are only two of you left then would you please post as much information as possible. Thank you for your time in this matter.


˙ʎ˙u ןןıq- „ǝןƃuɐ ʇuǝɹǝɟɟıp ɐ ɯoɹɟ pןɹoʍ ǝɥʇ ʇɐ ʞooן ɐ ƃuıʞɐʇ sı ǝɟıן oʇ ʇǝɹɔǝs ǝɥʇ„

Regis Widebody1990 Barth Regis Widebody
8908 0128 40RDS-C1
L-10 Cummins
Allison MT647 Transmission
Spartan Chassis
Regal Conversion1991 Medical Lab Conversion
9102 3709 33S-12
Ford 460 MPFI
C6 Transmission
Oshkosh Chassis



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Posts: 7317 | Location: Newburgh, New York | Member Since: 05-10-2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
"Host" of Barthmobile.com
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 1/19
Picture of Bill N.Y.
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by bill h:
Anyone ever heard of a Pierce chassis?


I have worked on some Pierce Firetrucks Chassis before. Maybe it's the same?


˙ʎ˙u ןןıq- „ǝןƃuɐ ʇuǝɹǝɟɟıp ɐ ɯoɹɟ pןɹoʍ ǝɥʇ ʇɐ ʞooן ɐ ƃuıʞɐʇ sı ǝɟıן oʇ ʇǝɹɔǝs ǝɥʇ„

Regis Widebody1990 Barth Regis Widebody
8908 0128 40RDS-C1
L-10 Cummins
Allison MT647 Transmission
Spartan Chassis
Regal Conversion1991 Medical Lab Conversion
9102 3709 33S-12
Ford 460 MPFI
C6 Transmission
Oshkosh Chassis



Quick Link: Members Only Link To Send Me A Private Message
 
Posts: 7317 | Location: Newburgh, New York | Member Since: 05-10-2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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