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Old 05-31-2007, 08:50 PM   #1
gil
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hi guys -

i was wondering if any of you are familiar with the "Supernova" model produced by Gulfstream (www.gulfstreamcoach.com)

the cab looks like an M2, but it is an International.

specifically, how does this unit compare to the ones built by haulmark or other truck conversion companies?

thanks for the info!

gil
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Old 06-08-2007, 08:05 PM   #2
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my guess would be: its a piece of sh!t
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Old 06-10-2007, 07:40 AM   #3
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It is getting good reviews so far. While Gulfstream has had some issues in the past, they seem to be trying to turn it around. International dod put the bigger motor in the unit which will be nice.
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Old 06-11-2007, 07:16 PM   #4
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I seen one up close on the weekend, and it definately doesnt compare to any truck conversion on an M2. Plus it's only got the 300hp motor...
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Old 06-12-2007, 04:28 PM   #5
gil
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hi matt and camping dutchman -

when you saw the unit last weekend - how was the workmanship vs. a haulmark or other truck conversions?

isn't there "only" 50 hp difference in the 2 motors, but around 300 or so ft/lbs of torque - and is it the torque that makes the big difference?

also about the motor - was/is the motor similar to one that would be installed in a HD pickup?

thanks for both your input

gil
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Old 06-21-2007, 01:41 PM   #6
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Hey Boys! Long time no chat.

To answer your question. Don't even think about a conversion weighing in at 28,000 lbs. or more and a automatic trannie with less than 330 hp & 900 ft/lbs of torque. And that is just going to get ya by. If your towing a trailer than you want to be in the 400 hp range. The Meritor or Eaton trannie's will help some what when climbing hills, but it is still going to suck when you get caught out on every uphill you hit.

Also, stay away from exhaust brakes on an automatic! They do not provide nearly enough braking for rigs over that 28,000 lb mark. You definitely want a 2 stage jake.

After all of my experience, I would say the Columbia with a 450 hp Mercedes and a 6 speed Allison would have been the perfect chassis for most applications less hauling a big stacker and than I would use the Meritor.

Don't go cheap on the truck, you'll be miserable and looking to sell in know time to do it right.

As far as the Gulf Stream goes I will at least say they are moving in the right direction by getting away from the Kodiak chassis. But again if your a racer looking to haul a trailer than don't even go there. The thing is just not going to hold up to the hard miles of towing.

People use to say "you can never have to much motor" and of course I would never listen.

Well take it from me they're right!
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Old 06-21-2007, 03:43 PM   #7
gil
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hey warpath -

thanks for the input.

i noticed that you owned and then sold a unit based on the M2 chassis - do you think the supernova is a step below units like your old one based on the M2?

we will only be towing a dinghy and not a trailer, but my concern was being able to go up inclines w/o having to go down to a slow crawl.

we had looked at a number of haulmark units based on the columbia with the 450 MB engine - but i thought they came mostly with the meritor transmission?

(for some reason i cant find my brochures or i could probably answer the question myself)

also, do the haulmarks come with an exhaust brake or 2 sstage jake?

thanks again for the info!

gil
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Old 06-21-2007, 04:07 PM   #8
gil
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hey warpath - #2

i was able to find my brochures - the m2's are listed as having 350 hp with 860lb/ft torque and an allison automatic.

those specs seem to be close to what you called for in your reply

also the entire haulmark line is listed as having engine brakes - is this sufficient a problem to look elsewhere?

keeping in mind what i will be towing (just a dinghy) - do i still need to look into the columbia's?

also, i found this ad on racingjunk.com. i believe it is one of the few 30' units with the m2

http://racingjunk.com/post/869364/20...MOTORHOME.html

thanks,

gil
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Old 06-22-2007, 06:41 AM   #9
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I will be totally honest, I wouldn't even consider a conversion on anything less than a Columbia. The M2 is ok and would get ya by, but I will bet money that it won't take long before you are unhappy with it. 860 ft/lbs of torque is just not enough. On a cool day when the clutch fan doesn't engage you will do ok on rolling highway terrain. But get in the heat on a 4% plus climb and that clutch fan kicks in and it's over.

I know most guys say it won't bother them to slow down on the hills, but believe me it will. You will roll on by the truckers down the hill in the passing lane and than get caught out there and slow down and everyone is climbing up your butt and it just makes traveling a big pain.

The Allison automatic would be the best option specially in your case (just using it as a motorhome) but your not going to find to many used rigs setup that way. The Meritor is going to be a little jerky, but if it is just you and the wife (no one riding in the back) it won't matter as much.

When they say engine brake, that is the same as a Jake so your good to go there.

As far as Haulmark goes, they are not a bad rig, but the fit and finish is not as nice as a Show Hauler, Trendsetter, or Renegade. I climbed all over a couple of Haulmarks and I wasn't impressed with the amount of sealant they used in large gaps on the exterior. Interiors even on optioned out rigs seemed sparse, but I do see they are dumping them out for a great price. Exterior storage space on the Renegade seemed to be less than others and I hate that they do not close in the sewer bay. Interiors on the Renegade are very nice. Never did see a Trendsetter, but Camping Dutchmen seems to like his. If I where to do another one I would probably do another Show Hauler or possibly a Dynamax if I had the money, but that probably will never happen.

To be honest my Vectra rides 100% nicer than a conversion, with the motor out back is super quiet while driving, and all the little creature comforts they put into it makes living in the thing like a taj mahal versus a hunting camp for the conversion. Most of the conversion guys still have not come up with a rig designed for the RV'er.

Hope that helps.
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Old 06-25-2007, 09:06 PM   #10
gil
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hi warpath -

thanks for your insights!

which model vectra and what engine do you have?

it seems like a common thread with the "regular" motorhomes is that they are always very close to the maximium weights and you have to be careful not to overload it (both the weight of things in the coach and the type of vehicle that can be safely towed)

what were the big items that made you switch from the truck conversions to a regular motohome?

thanks again!!

gil
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