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Old 03-21-2014, 02:12 PM   #1
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340hp vs 350hp towing a jeep

I am looking at a 340hp and a 350hp Berkshire to buy used.
I'll be towing a Jeep Wrangler 4dr...somewhere in the 4000lb range.

I realize that there is also a transmission difference between the two.

My question isn't "which one should I get". My question is, will I really notice a difference between the two? Minuscule? Small? Large? Dramatic? What will my real-world experience be?

There are things I like about both coaches. If they were identical, and the same price, I would get the 350. But they have slightly different options that each have their pros and cons! :-)

Thanks for your input!
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Old 03-21-2014, 03:53 PM   #2
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I have a 340 and pull a jeep grand Cherokee with no problems. I have been over the Rickie Mountains twice. While I was not the first one over I was not the last. It works well for me. My friend has the 360. We often travel together. He never complains that I slow him down.

You said the other alternative is a 350. Do you mean 360? The other Cummins options is a 360 engine.
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Old 03-21-2014, 09:13 PM   #3
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It seems for 2010 Berkshires were offered with 340 and 350. I have the 350 in mine. It has 10k towing and the upgraded Allison transmission. A Wrangler probably won't over stress the 340 but the 350 would give you peace of mind. Whats the price difference?
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Old 03-21-2014, 09:20 PM   #4
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Yes, the earlier Berkshires came in 340/350 options, and sometime (2011?) they changed that to a 340/360 option.

It's not so much the cost difference for me as it is the trade offs. The coaches I'm looking at each have pros and cons...making it tough!

But thanks a lot for the input!
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Old 03-21-2014, 09:29 PM   #5
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The heck with the horsepower, which one has more torque at a lower rpm. Torque is what you want.
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Old 03-21-2014, 09:39 PM   #6
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Here's what the brochure says:

· 340 HP @ 1600 RPM
· 660Ft. Lbs. Torque @ 1600 RPM
· Allison 2500MH 6-speed transmission
· 5,000 lb receiver hitch

Or:

· 350 HP @ 1800 RPM
· 750 Ft. Lbs. Torque @1800 RPM
· Allison 3000MH 6-speed transmission
· 10,000 lb receiver hitch
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Old 03-22-2014, 11:40 AM   #7
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2500MHWide Ratio 224 (300) kw(h.p.)780 lb. ft. torque
3000MHClose Ratio336 (450) kw(h.p)1695 lb. ft. torque
Allison input ratings for the two different transmissions
Hope this helps.
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Old 03-23-2014, 10:20 AM   #8
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does berkshire offer a choice of gearing for the rear end? 3.50 is a good all around gear for both economy and hill climbing/towing ability.

a link for finding out speed/rpm with different gear/transmission ratios
http://www.angelfire.com/fl/procrastination/rear.html
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Old 03-23-2014, 10:22 AM   #9
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I wish I knew what rear end gear ratio each of these coaches had. Does FR put the same rear end in each of these?
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:10 AM   #10
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Besides towing your Jeep Wrangler there are several weight considerations. The 340hp Berk has the Allison 2500mh tranny and limits the GCWR to 33,000 lbs. If you look at the Dry Weight on the yellow sticker on the door, you will quickly see that you cannot carry much cargo or passengers. The GCWR, GFWR and the GFWR are very taxed. The 350 or 360hp Berkshire have the Allison 3000MH tranny and higher gross and axle ratings. I would advise you to go with the higher HP for the weight carrying considerations.
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Old 03-24-2014, 04:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I-RV View Post
Besides towing your Jeep Wrangler there are several weight considerations. The 340hp Berk has the Allison 2500mh tranny and limits the GCWR to 33,000 lbs. If you look at the Dry Weight on the yellow sticker on the door, you will quickly see that you cannot carry much cargo or passengers. The GCWR, GFWR and the GFWR are very taxed. The 350 or 360hp Berkshire have the Allison 3000MH tranny and higher gross and axle ratings. I would advise you to go with the higher HP for the weight carrying considerations.
I agree. Go with the bigger engine. Better to have it and not need than to need it and not have it. JMHO.
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Old 03-24-2014, 05:13 PM   #12
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Thanks for the input everyone. I certainly think I would feel better with the 350/Allison 3000 combination!
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:21 PM   #13
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since these are bare chassis to begin with, can you not specify your rear gear at time of order? i mean, you can option just about anything else including horsepower (im assuming) so it would stand to reason your gear ratio should have a box to check as well.
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:31 PM   #14
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We'll maybe, but I'm talking about used coaches. So they come with whatever they come with in them.
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Old 03-25-2014, 09:15 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by dwaynerz View Post
since these are bare chassis to begin with, can you not specify your rear gear at time of order? i mean, you can option just about anything else including horsepower (im assuming) so it would stand to reason your gear ratio should have a box to check as well.
Forest River orders the chassis' and they only come with choice of engines. The transmission is based on the engine ordered and there is no option for rear end gear ratio.
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Old 03-25-2014, 11:30 AM   #16
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I have the 2011 RB with a 340 hp. I will say that I wish I had the 360 only for the 3000 transmission. That said I pull a Buick Enclave that weighs 5000 lbs. I have around 11000 miles and have no issues. It pulls great and as been said I don't win any races up the hill I'm not last either. I would rather have the extra GCVW that the 3000 allows. Pick the floor plan that works best. You only travel a few days but park for weeks.



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Old 03-25-2014, 06:39 PM   #17
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Well, thanks to everyone's help here! It looks like we are buying a (new to us!) 2008 Berkshire 390bh with the 350/3000 combo! I'll post pictures once it happens for sure...planning on this week. We're pretty excited! Now we are planning where to go first. :-)
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Old 03-25-2014, 09:09 PM   #18
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At 350 hp, would you be able to tell? 10 hp is down in the "white noise". Unless there's a significant difference in the torque/rpm curve, I doubt you'd be able to notice a difference. Bear in mind, I'm a gasser guy and all I know about diesels is from driving city buses at less than 35 mph..

I do know that a lot of the inter-city double-deckers in the UK have 650 cubic inch diesels that have max rpm levels around 2500. Must be torque they value most. It's quite a surprise to be doing the 70 limit on the freeway and be passed by a a big box (14' tall, 8'6" wide and 40' long) doing better than 80 mph. When I was testing motorcycles back there, the turbulence in the slipstream of those things was definitely an issue.
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Old 03-25-2014, 09:17 PM   #19
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Yes, it's not so much the horsepower bump as it is the step up transmission, which ups the towing and the cargo capacity. (And the aluminum wheels do look nicer than covers!)
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Old 03-25-2014, 09:45 PM   #20
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I didn't buy my motorhome to win any races but for the floor plan. With everything equal like the floor plan and options then choose the 350.
With the higher ratio rear end it will develop more rear end HP and with the higher torque you will not be bogged down as much.
Now go have some fun.
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