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What the @#$% is an RV CAM anyway??

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by allengator, Dec 7, 2009.

  1. allengator
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    allengator Member

    All my life I have heard of people brag about putting in an RV CAM...

    What really is an RV cam??

    I have never seen one for sale....
    Was it a cam meant for an RV engine that people used because custom performance cams werent available...???? OR???

    (I tried to search but could not find anything!)

    Thanks in advance!
  2. zman
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    zman
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    RV cams are designed more for low-end torque than high-end horsepower.
  3. Mr48chev
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    Mr48chev
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    I think that they are referring to a grind that is aimed more for low end torque and pulling power rather then high end rpm.

    Lots of the off road guys want a lot of low end grunt but aren't all that excited about having an engine that will wind to eight grand.
  4. Da Tinman
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    Da Tinman Member

    typically an rv grind cam is a little bigger than stock, and will improve your lower end torque and mid range power, should get better mileage too.

    "RV Grind" is a generic term for any cam that does the above.
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  5. allengator
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    allengator Member

    cool! Thanks guys....
    I love this place!
  6. Mark Hinds
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    Mark Hinds Member

    You can ask the same question for a 3/4 race cam. Is that like a 4-7 swap cam
  7. squirrel
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    squirrel Member

    in the old old days...there were stock cams, semi race cams, 3/4 race cams, and full race cams. This terminology is meaningless today.
  8. millersgarage
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    millersgarage
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    I always thought a 3/4 cam was from a V6

    :p
  9. Licensed to kill
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    Licensed to kill Member

    Awsome :D:D:D
  10. pasadenahotrod
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    pasadenahotrod Member

    THAT is funny!
  11. allengator
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    allengator Member


    greatness
  12. squirrel
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    squirrel Member

    It was funny about 30 years ago :)

    btw, RV means a cam is almost stock, it's one step up.
  13. I'm sure the grind is still in cam catalogs, just has a different name. I had a couple of RV hydraulics that were on the lumpy side but still good for a daily driver.

    Bob
  14. Hemi Joel
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    Hemi Joel Member

    I had a ford boom truck that weighed 15 ton with a 391 gas motor. Even with 20 gears available, that thing was so slow it was a hazard. I put an RV cam in it. It had slightly more duration than stock, and quite a bit more lift, Also did dual exhaust with free flowing mufflers + quickened the advance curve. It sounded good, with a slightly choppy idle, but was still incredibly slow.
  15. novadude
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    novadude Member

    With SBCs, it seems like "RV cam" usually refers to the generic 204/214 @ 0.050, .420"/.442", 112 LSA grind.
  16. low budget
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    low budget Member

    I never heard it before, but then again they say us Ky boys are kind of behind the times on things:D
  17. ajmopar
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    ajmopar Member

    RV cams come from the same era that brought us the stupendously bad Edelbrock SP2P intake manifold.

    So can someone explain the Isky 5 cycle cam then?
  18. wbrw32
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    wbrw32 Member

  19. Ebbsspeed
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    Ebbsspeed
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    Basically it's a very long overlap cam that was used to help cool the piston and valves by letting a lot of the cool charge blow through the combustion chamber while both valves were open. Intake, Compression, Combustion, Exhaust, Cool. 5 Cycles. It worked OK on blower motors, not sure how effective it would be on a normally aspirated engine.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2009
  20. jlfutch
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    jlfutch Member

    I always knew the "RV" cam was for low end torque and was told that the "RV" stood for Recreational Vehicle. Hence the cam was for towing and hauling. But what do I know?
  21. ajmopar
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    ajmopar Member

    Thanks! I have always wondered about that.
  22. mctim64
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    I agree! ;) I don't know how many times someone has asked me if the 855 Cummins crank I'm working on was out of a VW, same sort of deal, never gets old. :p
  23. squirrel
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    squirrel Member

    that's exactly what it means.
  24. rustynewyorker
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    rustynewyorker Member

    I figured an RV cam was an excuse to charge you $10 more than the stock cam.
  25. Screamin' Metal
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    Screamin' Metal Member

    Hey Squirrel....I wonder if we ought to tell him about those 'Thread Stretchers' they've got at some machine shops and hardware stores to make those special bolts fit????? Naw....probably too easy....
  26. Nads
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    Nads Member

    Often times I hear people saying "it has a cam" about their hopped up engines, to which I reply, "Don't they all, unless they're rotaries or 2 strokes?"
  27. HEATHEN
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    HEATHEN Member

    Kind of like a "stall converter"? "Hey, it's got a stall converter in it". Well, guess what.....if it didn't stall at some point, it wouldn't be a torque converter!
  28. HEATHEN
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    HEATHEN Member

    But, most importantly, it gave Iskenderian an excuse to have that cool decal with the clown riding a unicycle.
  29. 2many projects
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    2many projects Member

    My 454" Chevelle's engine was put together with an RV cam.
    It has gobs of low end torque, lotsa oompf but it falls flat after 5000 RPM.
    That cam wasn't my choice, it was already plugged into the block when I purchased the car in the early 90's.
    It is trouble free and keeps me away from punishment at the red line.
    I does have lots of vacuum at idle and a tiny bit of cammy idle to it.
    I live with it!
  30. Shifty Shifterton
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    Shifty Shifterton Member

    Wanna know why an RV would need a different cam?

    They have higher cruise RPMs than cars. Typically they're so overworked that they're geared to highway cruise at 3000 or higher.

    "stock" cams are targeted to 2200ish cruising in most cars and light trucks. Scale up the specs so the sweet spot is around 3000, you have yourself an RV cam. Make sense?

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