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Old 05-26-2015, 11:03 PM   #11
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Poohbear. As far as I know, Jayco is only using the E450 for chassis class C's up to 32', and I believe the GM chassis on their larger, Seneca model. Someone, not Jayco, I believe is now using the Ford F550 chassis, with the Diesel engine. To me the advantage would be eliminating the engine bump between the front seats, and maybe a bit more gross vehicle weight.
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Old 05-26-2015, 11:11 PM   #12
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thor is the manufacturer using the F550. If I had my choice and a few thousand extra dollars, I would prefer the freight liner chassis.
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Old 05-27-2015, 08:12 AM   #13
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I recently moved up from a 2006 Chateau Class C built on a Ford E-450 with the 6.8 V-10 platform to a new Seneca built on the Freightliner M2 chassis with the Cummins diesel. While the Ford served us very well (never a single breakdown, only routine maintenance) the difference between the Ford and Freightliner capabilities is quite significant. 14,050 lbs. GVWR on our former Ford, 27,000 lbs. on the Freightliner. We would get 6.5 - 8 MPG on the Ford over the 8 years we had it, 10.8 MPG on the first trip we took with the Seneca with less than 1,000 miles on the engine! That was even towing a SUV 1,500+ lbs. heavier than the Focus we towed with the Ford.

We looked hard at the Thor medium-duty products since I am a die-hard Ford fan, but came away convinced it wasn't for us. Research showed that even though the Thor F-550 units have a 19,500 lb. GVWR; by the time you fill it with fuel and water there isn't a lot of reserve for people and cargo. With full fuel, water, and propane my Seneca still has 4,000+ lbs. of capacity for people and "stuff".

Another factor was serviceability of the engine. No comparison between the Ford F-550 cutaway pickup compared to the Freightliner M2, where you tilt up the entire front end exposing almost everything on the engine. Since I service my own unit that difference was another factor I weighed in my purchase decision. And if you research the Ford F-550 diesel online you hear some horror stories regarding the seemingly fragile injector pump with many customers eating huge bills to replace the pump when Ford denies warranty coverage claiming "contaminated fuel". Not that it cannot happen on any diesel, it just seems more common on the newer Ford Scorpion engines.

I loved my Ford E-450, and they probably have gotten even better. But if you want more cargo and towing capacity than the van chassis offers, it was not much of a contest between the Freightliner and the Ford F-550 chassis.
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Old 05-27-2015, 10:15 AM   #14
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I must be one of the outliers here but I think the V-10 is barely adequate for the job. My ram 3500 (9500#) with the 6.7 Cummins towing my 18,000# 5th wheel (combined 27,500#) would go up the Pennsylvania mountains at 70mph and never shift out of overdrive. It kept about 1900 rpm and never got hot. I averaged 10 mpg while doing so. Jumping into the V10 gasser, any grade above level or any headwind causes you to slow down or downshift. I haven't had my toad behind this current motor home, but I can't see that it will impress me at all. Call me crazy, but I don't like running this motor above 4000 rpm if I don't have to. I have seen the cracked headers and I really don't care to do that myself.

Yes, this motor is adequate. If I really wanted a long haul cruiser with reserve power and towing capacity, I need a Seneca. This gets me to where I need to go and yes, oil changes are a piece of cake. But it is not what I would call powerful or efficient. I could tow my RV with my truck and still get better mileage. I wish they would put a 250hp/500tq midsize diesel in it and then we could all get 14-16 mph and be able to tow something behind us at something less than 5000 rpm.
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Old 05-28-2015, 04:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluesky46 View Post
Poohbear. As far as I know, Jayco is only using the E450 for chassis class C's up to 32', and I believe the GM chassis on their larger, Seneca model. Someone, not Jayco, I believe is now using the Ford F550 chassis, with the Diesel engine. To me the advantage would be eliminating the engine bump between the front seats, and maybe a bit more gross vehicle weight.
IMO, the F550s have a horible turning radious, at least in a bus. The longer "snout" and extended wheel base really makes them hard to make tight turns. Not sure on the MH, but a 176 wheel base on an E450 bus with an extended frame makes for a very maneuverable vehicle. The dog house, although it does take up some leg room, makes for very easy access to spark plugs and other maintenance items. Im 6'3", 315lbs and have no problems driveing one many miles comfortably.
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