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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
    Joined: Sep 21, 2006
    Posts: 293

    from Keller, TX

    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
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,511

    from Garner, NC

    RV cams are designed more for low-end torque than high-end horsepower.
  3. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 21,470


    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
    Joined: Dec 29, 2005
    Posts: 4,217

    Da Tinman

    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
    Joined: Sep 21, 2006
    Posts: 293

    from Keller, TX

    cool! Thanks guys....
    I love this place!
  6. Mark Hinds
    Joined: Feb 20, 2009
    Posts: 468

    Mark Hinds
    from pomona ca

    You can ask the same question for a 3/4 race cam. Is that like a 4-7 swap cam
  7. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 37,066


    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
    Joined: Jun 23, 2009
    Posts: 1,902


    I always thought a 3/4 cam was from a V6

  9. Licensed to kill
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 214

    Licensed to kill
    from Alberta

    Awsome :D:D:D
  10. pasadenahotrod
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 11,777

    from Texas

  11. allengator
    Joined: Sep 21, 2006
    Posts: 293

    from Keller, TX

  12. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 37,066


    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.

  14. Hemi Joel
    Joined: May 4, 2007
    Posts: 381

    Hemi Joel
    from Minnesota

    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
    Joined: Dec 15, 2005
    Posts: 532


    With SBCs, it seems like "RV cam" usually refers to the generic 204/214 @ 0.050, .420"/.442", 112 LSA grind.
  16. low budget
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 4,348

    low budget
    from Central Ky

    I never heard it before, but then again they say us Ky boys are kind of behind the times on things:D
  17. 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?
  19. Ebbsspeed
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 3,879


    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
    Joined: Feb 15, 2005
    Posts: 25


    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. Thanks! I have always wondered about that.
  22. 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
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 37,066


    that's exactly what it means.
  24. I figured an RV cam was an excuse to charge you $10 more than the stock cam.
  25. Screamin' Metal
    Joined: Feb 1, 2009
    Posts: 506

    Screamin' Metal
    from Oklahoma

    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
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 11,501

    from Hypocrisy

    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?"
    Joined: Nov 22, 2005
    Posts: 7,594

    from SIDNEY, NY

    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!
    Joined: Nov 22, 2005
    Posts: 7,594

    from SIDNEY, NY

    But, most importantly, it gave Iskenderian an excuse to have that cool decal with the clown riding a unicycle.
  29. 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
    Joined: Oct 1, 2006
    Posts: 4,966

    Shifty Shifterton

    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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