This new luxury Super C motorhome from Thor Motor Coach combines diesel power with the familiarity of a cab chassis.
By Mark Quasius, F333630
The Super C is a growing segment in the motorized RV market. Thor Motor Coach recently introduced the Pasadena, its first venture into this sphere. Both the Pasadena and its sister ship, the Inception, are built in the Thor Motor Coach diesel motorhome facility in Wakarusa, Indiana.
I traveled to the Wakarusa plant to test and review a Pasadena 38MX, a double-slideout floor plan with a rear full bath and a mid half bath. Other Pasadena floor plans include the 38FX, which offers three slideouts and a street-side bath, and the 38BX, a full-wall-slideout, bunk-bed layout. All three are packed with features not typically found in Super C motorhomes.
The Pasadena is built on the Freightliner S2RV chassis, an evolution of the M2 chassis originally designed for medium-duty trucks. The S2RV includes an upgraded suspension and weight distribution more suited to RV applications. The Pasadena is powered by a Cummins 6.7-liter ISB engine, which produces 360 horsepower and 800 pound-feet of torque, and is connected to an Allison 3000 Series transmission. The front I-beam axle sports a 55-degree wheel cut, which makes for a nice turning radius on the 279-inch-wheelbase chassis. The ride is smooth, with tapered leaf springs and Sachs shock absorbers on the 10,000-pound-rated front axle and with Airliner air-ride suspension on the 23,000-pound-rated Detroit rear axle.
All three Pasadena floor plans have a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 32,700 pounds, providing a typical occupant and cargo carrying capacity (OCCC) of 8,315 pounds. The gross combination weight rating (GCWR) is 46,000 pounds. A 15,000-pound-rated trailer hitch is standard.
The chassis’ 100-gallon fuel tank and 10-gallon DEF tank are accessible from the driver’s side. The DEF tank is located at the front of the vehicle, while the fuel tank is close to the rear axle. This improves weight distribution; however, it does require a bit of jockeying if you want to add both fuel and DEF at the same time when refueling at truck-stop pumps. The Pasadena is outfitted with 295/75R22.5 tires on aluminum wheels. Hydraulic leveling jacks are standard equipment.
Both the driver and the passenger experience a comfortable ride in the cockpit’s air-suspension seats. The 10-inch touch-screen dash radio offers the usual entertainment selections, such as Sirius satellite radio and Bluetooth, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and the monitor is used for the backup and side-view cameras as well.
Construction begins with Thor’s Atlas foundation, a steel-framed structure built by MORryde that provides a sturdy, rigid base to support the superstructure. The floor incorporates 3/8-inch exterior plywood over an insulated 1½-inch steel frame with lauan and a Darco moisture barrier. The laminated sidewalls include aluminum frames and foam-board insulation. A one-piece roof membrane over lauan-covered aluminum joists tops off the coach. The domed front cap and the rear cap, both made of molded fiberglass, provide an attractive, streamlined look.
Perhaps the Pasadena’s most striking feature is the large cab-over SkyBunk. Its increased height — 37 inches of headroom — makes it one of the largest bunk areas built to date, according to Thor Motor Coach officials. At night, after you’re done looking at the stars through the large, tempered safety glass window in the front of the cap, it can be covered with the Sky View power shade. This 2-inch-thick shade is filled with insulation to prevent solar heat build-up during the day and heat loss at night or when the weather is cool.
A mounted ladder on the rear cap provides roof access. A 17-foot power awning with LED lighting shields the patio area and the exterior 40-inch LED TV. Opening the coach’s deep-tinted frameless dual-pane windows provides plenty of natural airflow.
This particular unit was finished in the Crescent City exterior paint scheme, one of three available choices.
The test coach was finished with Regatta satin-finish cabinetry and Long Beach furniture and décor; Shell Gray painted cabinetry and the Evening Shade décor package are available as options. The cabinets are accented with brushed nickel-plated hardware. All of the furniture features a leatherette covering for comfort and durability. Residential luxury vinyl tile covers the floor.
The driver’s-side slideout houses theater seating with power footrests plus a 78-inch convertible Dream Dinette, equipped with seat belts. The theater seating is opposite a 40-inch LED TV and the entertainment center fireplace; the dinette sits opposite the galley. The solid-surface galley countertop work area incorporates a stainless-steel sink and a combo cooktop that features a two-burner gas range and an electric induction cooktop. A 30-inch-wide convection-microwave oven is in the cabinetry above the counter. A 21-cubic-foot stainless-steel French-door residential refrigerator/freezer completes the galley.
The midships area of the 38MX contains the half bath, equipped with a porcelain toilet, a sink/vanity, and a mirrored
medicine cabinet. The cabinet opposite can be used for storage but is also prepped for a stackable washer-dryer ensemble.
In the bedroom, a wardrobe and dresser set fill the driver’s-side wall. Across the aisle, a 72-inch-by-80-inch king-size bed is tucked into the passenger-side slideout; its Tilt-A-View inclining bed mechanism provides comfortable viewing of the 32-inch LED TV on the opposite wall. Nearby, a 120-volt outlet is available to power a CPAP machine.
Directly aft of the bedroom is the main bath, which features a sink, a vanity, and a mirrored medicine cabinet along with a 30-inch-by-36-inch fiberglass shower with an Oxygenics shower head. The test coach shower also contained an Aqua View ShowerMi$er, a device that eliminates wasted water when first turning on the shower. Turning a valve allows incoming water to bypass the shower head and return to the fresh-water tank. Once the water is heated, an indicator changes color. Turning the valve back to the operating position provides instant hot water.
The Pasadena’s 120-volt-AC needs are provided by a 50-amp power cord and an Onan 8-kw diesel generator; both are connected via an automatic transfer switch. An automatic generator start system will turn on the generator if the battery voltage drops below the set level or the thermostat calls for air conditioning when shore power has failed or is not present. The 12-volt-DC accessories are powered by a bank of four 6-volt deep-cycle house batteries that are charged by a 55-amp converter and a 100-watt roof-mounted solar panel. An 1,800-watt inverter draws power from the house batteries to provide AC power to the entertainment system and various receptacles while driving or when the coach is parked and no other power is available.
The Pasadena includes Thor Motor Coach’s Rapid Camp+ multiplex wiring system, which controls lighting and various coach accessories via several small panels or a 7-inch central touch-screen monitor. The system also can be controlled via a smartphone app.
Heating and cooling needs are handled by two 15,000-Btu air conditioners with heat pumps and by a 35,000-Btu propane furnace. A propane-fired tankless water heater furnishes instant domestic hot water. The 25-gallon propane tank has an exterior connection for a portable grill or propane fire pit.
Holding tank capacities are generous: 100 gallons of fresh water, and 80 gallons each for gray water and black water. The black tank is equipped with a tank flush system; both the gray and black tanks are fitted with the 360 Siphon vent caps to remove tank odors efficiently.
The 40-inch exterior TV, 40-inch living room TV, and 32-inch bedroom TV are all connected to a central matrix that can send satellite TV, cable TV, over-the-air broadcast signals, or output from the Blu-ray player to each TV. Both HDMI and coax connections are provided. Sound bars in the living area and exterior entertainment center supply audio to each area.
Wi-Fi connectivity is important to most RV owners, and the Pasadena makes it available via a Winegard ConnecT 2.0 4G/Wi-Fi system, which includes a router and an HD TV antenna.
With the Pasadena, Thor Motor Coach has created an attractive package for its entry into the Super C motorhome market. The Freightliner S2RV chassis on which it is built is becoming increasingly popular in the RV world. The S2RV rides and handles well. The air-ride pilot and copilot seats, typically found in larger Super C motorhomes built on the Freightliner Cascadia chassis, create a very comfortable ride. These seats come standard in the Pasadena and typically are not offered in other coaches in its price range.
I found the décor attractive and the floor plan roomy, with a decent amount of window space providing ambient light. The Tilt-A-View bed lift and the ShowerMi$er shower water saver are sure to be a hit with any owner. The galley is equipped with higher-end appliances, and the overall feel of the Pasadena’s interior is more of an at-home atmosphere than an RV “roughing it” feeling.
The extra height of the cab-over bunk is a nice step up as well, with a slight cutout to allow easier access to the cab from the RV’s interior. The large bunk has plenty of windows to allow light to enter and afford a nice view, yet the insulated Sky View power shade provides both insulation and light control not typically found in bunks with thin shades.
I believe the new Pasadena from Thor Motor Coach will be an attractive choice for many buyers seeking a Super C motorhome.
SPECIFICATIONS | THOR PASADENA
Thor Motor Coach,P.O. Box 1486,Elkhart, IN 46515; (800) 860-5658; www.thormotorcoach.com
6.7-liter Cummins ISB-XT; 360 horsepower at 2,600 rpm; 800 pound-feet torque
Allison 3000 Series, 6-speed automatic
4.78 to 1
air drum, front and rear
front ― tapered leaf; rear — air ride
chassis — (2) Group 31 12-volt; house — (4) 6-volt deep-cycle
Onan 8-kw diesel with automatic start
39 feet 10 inches
13 feet 3 inches with A/C
GROSS COMBINATION WEIGHT RATING (GCWR)
GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT RATING (GVWR)
GROSS AXLE WEIGHT RATING (GAWR)
front — 10,000 pounds; rear — 23,000 pounds;
FRESH WATER CAPACITY
HOLDING TANK CAPACITIES
gray water —80 gallons; black water —80 gallons
100 gallons;10 gallons DEF
tankless on-demand, propane
(2) 15,000 Btu with heat pumps
21-cubic-foot French-door residential refrigerator/freezer
(2) porcelain with foot flush
1 year/15,000 miles limited; lamination ― 6 years/50,000 miles limited; structural ― 12 years/100,000 miles limited
BASE MANUFACTURER’S SUGGESTED RETAIL PRICE