58 OCTOBER 2018 scca.com
INSIDE SCCA AUTOCROSS
Ten years ago I wrote about my search for an RV to make my autocrossing
life easier. After considering a variety of
options, my wife and I ended up with a
diesel pusher Class A RV. A decade later,
that decision seems to have been the right
one, at least for us – but that’s not to say
our choice is for everyone. Current Class
C models have weight carrying and towing
capacities to fit many needs, so they may
be adequate for a lot of autocrossers. There
are also smaller front-engine Class As that
may fit the needs of some. But for enclosed
trailers and production-based cars, neither
of those fit our bill. So, for us – and maybe
you – there are diesel pushers and Super Cs.
Looking at Super Cs, tow ratings up to
about 40,000lbs ought to cover just about
anything any autocrosser needs to pull.
Until fairly recently, that category of RV
was pretty Spartan. Lots of the Super Cs
are set up to be able to hose out to clean
up, and many are set up as bunkhouses,
sleeping 10 or more. Most have a bunk over
the cab and the TV is located in a corner of
that space. But, unfortunately for us, those
are not features we were looking for.
Newer Super Cs are also available with
plush interiors along with all the features
of any higher-end Class A RV, and the
semi-truck chassis they’re built on have
expected lifetimes of at least a million miles,
so for any SCCA member, annual mileage
is not a concern. But the price tag might
be a concern, with Super Cs being out of
DOWN THE ROAD
Ten years of autocrossing later, it’s time to shop for a new RV
WORDS Paul Brown | IMAGES Courtesy Winnebago
The tow rating is often
the limiting factor
when RV shopping.
The Class C is easy to drive, affordable,
but it can lack in trailer load rating.
Class As feature both front and rear engine setups,
offering variety and power, but they can be pricy.
Paul Brown opted for a used Class A Winnebago
Journey 40R to pull his car to Solo and ProSolo events.
reach for many. Cash aside, it is possible to
order a Super C that meets anyone’s needs.
But since price is always a concern,
diesel-pusher, Class A RVs are the solution.
The upsides of pushers are that they are
all big enough to fit the family, they can
generally tow at least 10,000lbs., the chassis
configuration guarantees capacious storage
in the basement, and the variety of floor plans
is amazing. And their prices are realistic.
After 10 years of owning a Newmar
diesel pusher, logging roughly 150,000
miles running to and from Solo and ProSolo
events, we had a pretty good idea of what
we liked and what we wanted. We had an
ISB ( 5.9L Cummins), so we knew a bigger
engine was a necessity. Later ISBs are up to
6.7L and are far less limited in power, but
we decided we wanted to go big: the 8.9L
ISL engine. Diesel efficiency means that
the mileage isn’t going to change much,
but we’ll get to our destination faster.
We also wanted better TV
viewing – spending so many evenings at
remote sites gives us lots of opportunity to
enjoy movies – and we really wanted a king-
sized bed. Overall length limits mean that
with a 20-foot trailer, we wanted to keep the
overall length of the new RV to no more than
41 feet. Since we spend so much time on
site racing, a functional kitchen was a must.
Our requirements list seems like a pretty
easy thing to meet, but it turns out that’s
not the case. In particular, a king-sized
bed and good TV viewing are rarely found
together in the same RV. Also, most RVs of
40 feet and longer are in a bath-and-a-half
configuration, which for two people is pretty
much a waste of space. With all the slides
tucked in, the rear full bath is inaccessible
without crawling over the bed, which seems
like an odd requirement given the well
seasoned demographic in this market.
After much searching, learning about how
much quality varies between brands in the
RV world, and nearly giving up on finding
something that would work better for us
than our trusty Newmar, we settled on a
40-foot RV with an ISL and a bath and a half.
Ten years of technology advancement
makes for a considerably more complex
RV (lots more to go wrong), and our model
has things we don’t like – a residential
refrigerator which was never designed to
keep things on its shelves while driving
down the road comes to mind. But a
MacGyver solution fixed that. The RV
world offers more options than ever and
we have found that an RV enhances our
racing experience more than just about
anything we’ve ever done. We have to buy
it, maintain it, and store it, but for us, it’s
well worth the trouble and expense.
“Ten years of technology
advancement makes for a
considerably more complex
RV (lots more to go wrong)”