May '16

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74 • RV PRO • MAY 2016 rv-pro.com any added stress that a stock component – especially the engine and drivetrain – can't handle. For towing, for example, we have a setting that produces usually a 50 to 75 horsepower increase, but we know from years of research that that's still a safe increase." Diablosport's Litsch says this combi- nation of performance benefits has seen interest in his company's products rise not only for tow vehicles, but for large RVs themselves. "The upside for the customer is a better- performing RV or tow vehicle, with more power and less fuel consumption, leading to savings at the pump," he says. "We have seen a steady interest in our tuning prod- ucts for the RV and towing market over the past 10 years. V-10 Ford-based RV applications are among the most popular for Diablosport, Litsch says, noting that tunes for gas vehi- cles are based on the octane of fuel used, while diesel applications are based on power levels. Different levels exist for 40-, 65- and 100-horsepower gains, for example. Litsch adds that diesel applications are always greater than gas applications, with gas applications producing in the range of an additional 15 to 25 rear wheel horse- power, while diesel engines like those found in late model Ford trucks realize close to an additional 90 rear wheel horsepower. Options like the ability to disable AFM/ MDS (four-cylinder mode) are also popular with customers. With all this talk of horsepower, sources are quick to note that improved torque is equally as important when it comes to heavy towing. "Power gains when towing are incred- ibly important, especially if you can get the power to come in at a lower RPM," says Litsch. "Ideally, we allow you to make more torque down low, with less throttle input, which means you are using less fuel to make more power. The same principal applies when pulling a load at cruise speeds. If you can use less throttle to maintain speed on the highway, you'll use less fuel and see savings in your pocket." Beyon d h orsep ower an d torq ue, improved shifting performance is among the top performance improvements reported by customers using tuners and programmers. "Shifting is a huge area for improve- ment, as our tuning can help eliminate unnecessary downshifting," says Super- chips' Barker. "This can also have an impact on mileage potential as the tuning and shifting are more efficient. "The shifting and performance improve- ment are worth the affordable price of a tuner alone," he notes. "However, cus- tomers also get things like diagnostics, read/ clear of trouble codes and data logging. The DTC (diagnostic trouble codes) read/ clear feature is something that many truck owners have to pay for, as they'd need to go to a shop to read a code or clear one, and that step can be completely avoided with one of our devices." Beyond performance and cost savings alone, Espino of Gale Banks Engineering says that utilization of a programmer or tuner, in the mind of the customer, is really about having freedom to choose the right application for the right situation. "Specific programs or tuning levels can take advantage of the specialized 'recipes' for fuel-sipping MPG gains or tire-smoking high-horsepower," he says. "The customer can feel more in control as they are able to select for themselves the level of per- formance that they want from either of these devices." Install Tips & Tricks The benefits to a customer using a tuner or programmer are numerous and varied and so too are the reasons why RV dealers who have yet to sell and install these prod- ucts should give them strong consideration. First and foremost, the install process is extremely simple. Most programmer products connect to a vehicle's diagnostic port, or OBD2 port, under the dash. Then the devices themselves guide installers – or even the customer themselves – through the installation process with on-screen instructions. "(A programmer) will actually walk you right through the tuning process and the only input needed would be a choice of which pre-tuned level to run and turning V-10 Ford-based RV applications are among the most popular for Diablosport, according to Michael Litsch, technical support manager for Diablosport. He notes that tunes for gas vehicles are based on the octane of fuel used, while diesel applications are based on power levels.

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