TONY: Why did Travco put bigger and bigger engines in the motor homes? Did they realize they were underpowered at first.
JOE: No actually they weren't underpowered. Those first ones had the 318 engine in them. This was before CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) so they used leaded gas and got a tremendous amount of power out of them. I believe that engine produced 280 horsepower originally. Over the years, Travco also used a 383, a 413, and of course, the big block 440, then. Now that engine was a powerhouse. CAFÉ or a demand for better fuel economy forced all automobiles to rethink the engines they used and the amount of horsepower they could get out of them. In other words, as fuel economy had to increase, the engines could not produce as much power, so they had to go to a larger engine to boost horsepower back up. I believe yours has the 440. Now that 440, of course, that's just a workhorse of an engine. What do you get, about 10-12 miles per gallon?