There’s a lot to be said for diesel-pushers: no doghouse up under the dash, exceptional hill-climbing torque and long-term reliability. However, making the jump up to a diesel-pusher can be an expensive proposition.
Enter the Pathfinder series of diesel-pushers from Sportscoach. Three models are available, all measuring 40 feet in length, but each with its own floorplan. The 384 TS enters the market at $179,200, as tested. At this price, you might consider this an entry-level 40-foot pusher, but the full-body paint and luxurious interior seem to indicate otherwise. And speaking of paint, this coach features a motorsports paint scheme known as Talladega Red. When we rolled the rig over to our local sprint car track (Ventura Raceway) to photograph our cover, this coach fit right in.
Our test route found us hugging the Pacific Coast Highway up to Santa Barbara, Calif., where we turned inland and made our way up State Highway 154. A good test for both climbing ability and handling, the mountain pass includes plenty of turnouts and some outstanding scenery.
The 5.9-liter Cummins engine had to work to maintain a decent cruising speed up the hill, but we only hit the turnouts twice during the climb, and that’s not bad considering we were moving a 40-foot motorhome with only a 300-hp diesel engine up some pretty steep grades.
The streetside-galley layout is easy to move around in, even with all three slides retracted. It’s a nice feature if you happen to overnight in a place that restricts the use of slideouts. Open the slides and you have an expansive living space. Step through the 44-inch-wide double-door and into the master bedroom, and you’ll see that the entire rear wall is full of storage possibilities, from the cedar-lined closet — with two mirrored sliding doors — to the
concealed 20-inch flat-screen TV that swivels out for viewing. Another Pathfinder plus is the true flat floor in the bedroom, providing up to 10 inches of additional headroom around the bed.
The Pathfinder Sportscoach offers lots of good reasons to make the jump from a gas-powered RV: plenty of power, good handling, ample room and long-term reliability.
For complete details and full test impressions of the Pathfinder 384 TS, pick up the July 2007 issue of MotorHome magazine on the newsstand — then subscribe to MotorHome
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