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Old 03-23-2018, 04:18 AM   #1
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Default Highway Cruising Speed?

Hi gang,
Can you share what you think the fastest reasonable highway cruising speed is for this RV? I currently have a vanagon westy, but I would like something with a little more storage and a lot more highway speed. I'm also considering a eurovan camper, since I know I can cruise at 80+ with one of those.

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Old 03-23-2018, 06:26 AM   #2
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Default Re: Highway Cruising Speed?

I personally like to stick to 60 mph and below due to the height of the Sprinter Westfalia. I wouldn't want to get caught in a sudden wind gust above that speed. Higher speeds also make unexpected curves in the road a little more treacherous.

In theory, there isn't a posted speed limit that's too high for the Westy. The diesel engine in the Westy cruises comfortably on the highway and easily tackles mountains passes. I always set the cruise control at my desired speed because the van hardly breaks a sweat gaining additional speed.

The engine in the T1N Sprinter maintains low RPMs at highway speeds, and plenty of people pass me in their "normal" Sprinters at a high rate of speed. It all comes down to whether or not you want to deal with the problems caused by the Westy's height at 80 vs 60 mph. No wind and no curves, and the Westy should do a better job than the gas Eurovan on the highway.
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Old 03-23-2018, 08:34 PM   #3
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Default Re: Highway Cruising Speed?

There will be a lot of answers to this, but here’s my version: i’m comfortable doing 65 to 70 on long highway stretches without strong winds. Our Westy has been upgraded with Koni shocks, larger tires, and Roadmaster helper rear springs. I also keep front tire pressure at about 70 as opposed to the factory–recommended (underinflated) 55 psi. Occasionally, passing requires 75 or so, and I’m comfortable with that. In fact, with the changes mentioned, the Westy feels quite stable. The primary reason for limiting the speed is because of its aerodynamic limitations with the tall top. I just don’t like to strain this magnificent machine or get crappy mileage. Speaking of which, in all around driving conditions we are averaging between 19 and 20 mpg with the green diesel engineering tune.
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Old 03-24-2018, 06:47 PM   #4
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Default Re: Highway Cruising Speed?

Larger tires made the biggest improvement, Konis and extra rear leaf spring not as much.
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Old 03-25-2018, 09:20 PM   #5
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Default Re: Highway Cruising Speed?

What bigger size wheels and tires are you using?

[Quote from GoWesty.com re wheels/tires and shocks on VWs with original 14" wheels.]

Stability: Do I Need New Shocks?


The single-most important improvement that can be made to any VW camper is to install the correct set of wheels and tires.


Adding new shocks without adding good wheels and tires is like putting lipstick on a pig. That said: If you don't mind a really harsh ride, a stiffer shock will provide more stability over a softer shock, all things equal. But the trade-off is ride comfort, and it's a trade you don't need to make.


Interesting to note that GoWesty.com is using same wheel design type fitted to Mercedes 16"x7.5" wheels for some of their much lighter VWs (compared to our steel 16"x6" or alloy 16"x6.5" wheels).

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Old 03-29-2018, 01:14 PM   #6
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Default Re: Highway Cruising Speed?

My 2004 and 2006 T1N's are not RV's. What I have learned while towing my sailboat (maybe 2700# all up).

For highway. In 4th gear I run the rpm's up to around 2800 - 3000. That is around 2400 rpm in 5th. With my 3.727 differential (AC6 AXLE RATIO I = 3.727) that gets me to around 60 mph. Setting to that rpm allows me to drop down to 4th when needed, or run in overdrive most times.

The range around 63 - 70 mph seems less than ideal for my transmission/engine especially in hilly areas. When towing I either stay around 60 mph or jump up to 70 mph when conditions permit (3.727 differential). The transmission/engine seems to more likely to remain happy in 5th gear when up above 70 mph. When I'm not towing or when towing in flat areas the 63 - 70 mph range difference is not as noticeable.

The above said, your RV's probably have a lower ratio differential. There must be some similar sweet spots though.

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Last edited by Aqua Puttana; 03-31-2018 at 09:25 PM.
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Old 03-30-2018, 05:07 PM   #7
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Default Re: Highway Cruising Speed?

Originally Posted by OldWest View Post
What bigger size wheels and tires are you using?
Alloys and 245's.
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