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Topic: Ford e350 vs e450

Posted By: lotiman on 09/13/12 05:16pm

Hi Group,

I am just getting started looking for a motorhome. I am looking at a Ford E350 or E 450 chassis. Really would like to find a E450 but the only thing I am finding or the E350. Trying to stay in he lower end of cost like a 1990 to a 2000 and a size of 25 foot roughly.

I will be towing an enclosed trailer about 18 foot with a MGB in it. Gross weight should be right around 5000 pounds.

What is the better choice? Also what is the difference between the Ford 460 engine and the V-10?

Thanks,

Craig


Posted By: ksg5000 on 09/13/12 05:57pm

If your towing then the E450 is the way to go - bigger/strong and better suited for the task. S/B lots of threads discussing the weight/capacity differences between the two models.


Kevin


Posted By: Mocoondo on 09/13/12 07:03pm

I've never heard anybody complain that they had too much chassis or too much engine. I personally like the E450 with V10. It's just a better package all around, in my opinion.






Posted By: j-d on 09/13/12 07:29pm

If you are looking for the 1990-2000 model years, the vast majority will be E350s and they'll have the 460/7.5L V8 engine all the way through CHASSIS YEAR 1996. Since you're just getting started on this, I want you to understand that many RVs will be on a Chassis that is one year older than the Model Year assigned by the coach builder. So a "1997 Four Winds 5000" (just to pick a name) is very likely to be on a 1996 Ford or Chevy chassis.
Fords starting 1997 Chassis Year are the V10s. There was a worthwhile improvement to the V10 in 2000 chassis year. Personally, I'd have no concern about getting a 1996 and earlier with the 460.
Also, the E450 didn't come out till around 2000. There was an "E Super Duty" (notice no numbers like 350 or 450 in that name) in the late 1990s that is essentially the E450. Ford just couldn't decide what to call it. You can recognize it by the door sticker saying Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) is 14,050 pounds. E350 is less.
Happy Hunting!


God Bless, jd
2003 Jayco Escapade 31A on 2002 Ford E450 V10 4R100


Posted By: jcsb on 09/13/12 07:33pm

Some time in the 08 - 09 model era most switched to the E450. Larger fuel tank is one reason as well as overall increased weight capabilities. I also understand the overall chassis is better due to the weight changes.

I doubt that you will find a 450 before that time frame on a shorter class C.


Jim Hunter


Posted By: ron.dittmer on 09/13/12 07:38pm

My opinion here....

Our motor home is built on a 2007 E350 chassis with V10 engine & 55 gallon fuel tank. The rig is less than 24 feet long and 9,200 pounds empty, 10,200 to 10,500 on trips. We tow a 4300 pound Jeep Liberty and do quite nicely. Actually I wonder if we'd do fine with the smaller 5.4L V8 engine that Ford offers but RV companies don't order them that way. I wonder if the fuel economy would improve with still adequate power.

With that said, the E450 does have advantages in gear ratio for towing, better braking with the hydro-boost power braking, and of coarse, can carry a bigger load. But with a lot of extra "load" margin with the rig, you'll be shaking the house to death. That is why RV companies use the E350 on the shorter/lighter models and the E450 on the heavier models. You don't ever want to over-load, but getting within a 1000 pounds on your trips is ideal for a smoother ride that won't be breaking your dishes and shaking the cabinet doors off their hindges.

About engines....be sure to get the Triton series, either the 6.8L-V10, or the 5.4L-V8. I personally advise to look at nothing older than a 2004 to avoid some minor issues that have surfaced with older models. One thing for certian, I'd try my best to avoid the older 460 as it is problematic with exhaust manifolds and it's lesser fuel economy. The 6.8L-V10 gives more power and better fuel economy.

Of coarse, the newer the better. Anything from 2009-2012 gets you the best in cabin design, braking, handling, and load cabability.


2007 Phoenix Cruiser model 2350, with 2006 Jeep Liberty in-tow



Posted By: path1 on 09/13/12 09:27pm

deleted

* This post was edited 03/10/13 08:55pm by path1 *


1990 37 ft King of the road 5th wheel. Great carpentry, summer home
1997 33 ft Holiday Rambler, Never again will a new RV come into this family
2003 25 ft Majestic M/H, Old RV rental Best travel machine we've ever owned.


Posted By: pnichols on 09/13/12 09:00pm

Also in both an E350 or E450 starting in 2005 you get Ford's TorqueShift computer controlled 5-speed transmission, which seems to be a superb tranny. Having one more gear makes a big difference on some long grades.

The E450's rear differential is geared slightly lower than the E350's, which provides overall better pulling power without quite as much torque conversion (slippage) having to take place inside the transmission when under load. This means less heating of the transmission for a better margin against any over-heating in hot weather pulling long grades.

The E450 also has beefier brakes and about 5 more quarts of transmission fluid that an E350. With a small Class C that can be had on either chassis, the E450 chassis provides better reliability due to these type of design margins.

* This post was edited 09/13/12 10:56pm by pnichols *


Phil, 2005 E450 Itasca 324V Spirit


Posted By: TyroneandGladys on 09/13/12 09:10pm

IMHO I will take the 460 on the V10 if you get one that has enough threads for the spark plugs, one that has the correct angle for the spark plugs or the ones do not have the "extendeded length" sparkplugs they would be a good choice


Tyrone & Gladys
26' 1986 Coachmen


Posted By: mlts22 on 09/14/12 12:52am

Around 1999-2000, not many makers did that much in that size range, mainly because gas was cheap so people went for class A rigs or longer C models. One sees a lot of improvements recently in the 22-25 foot range in the past few years because of fuel economy and downsizing.

I also second looking at 2005 or newer on the chassis (likely 2006 or newer on the MH). The two piece spark plug issue has been solved. The only real issue to check on, other than the usual stuff (mechanical condition, roof condition, seams, plumbing, electrical) would be to check if the refrigerator is on the recall list, and if it is, if it has the recall module.


Posted By: Solo on 09/14/12 05:03am

MGB? What about the Seven?

Craig, I wonder if you might actually get along just fine with the E350? What engine did your truck have, the 4.6 or 5.4? That will give you some idea of what it might be like with a lighter coach and smaller engine. Of course, I've mentioned before to you, I do really like our E450 and the V10 combination for towing. Do you think you could get a chance to hook to a E350 and give it a test drive? As much has you have towed, you would have a pretty good idea in a hurry if the E350 would cut it.


Solo
Our Winnebago Aspect + Kayak/Motorcycle Trailer. Combining our outdoor Passions!
2005 Winnebago Aspect 23D


Posted By: pnichols on 09/14/12 08:44am

Solo,

Nice looking setup you have there!

That's about the smallest Class C I've seen on an E450 chassis. Isn't your Class C about the same width as the newer Aspect models - 7'11"? If so, how did they build your Class C on an E450 chassis without good sized fender flares at the rear, because the E450 rear stance is around 4.5 inches wider than the E350.

As you know, Winnebago no longer offers a Class C that small at the Aspect quality level ... the same situation as is the case for our 2005 24 foot Itasca.

P.S. Can your motorcycle be used offroad?


Posted By: mlts22 on 09/14/12 09:53am

I think Winnie finds that they can make more cash from the View or Via, with the Sprinter chassis and the additional price premium that commands.

It would be nice for them to make an E450 class C with the Aspect quality level. The short Cs are where the market likely will be growing due to gas prices, so might as well offer a choice.


Posted By: tatest on 09/14/12 02:04pm

1990 to 2000, most will be E-350 because the E-450 badging didn't show up until the 2001 model year upgrades. Prior to that, if a manufacturer was build a C too heavy for the E-350 ratings, they used the E Super Duty (no number).

The difference is as much as 3500 pounds increase in GVWR (depending on which of the several available E-350 ratings you are comparing too). There are different parts (rear axle, brakes, springs, anti-roll bars) that distinguish an E-450 or E Superduty from an E-350. Exactly what parts those are will depend on model year, because for the past 20 years that platform has been subject to year by year incremental improvements and sometimes a part used first on a heavier GVWR model will filter down to a lighter model within a year or two.

In the model years you are looking at you should find no small Cs built on E SuperDuty or E-450; very few RV manufacturers would pay extra for a heavier platform when they didn't need it. Around 2003-2004, the price gap closed, and many C manufacturers simply bought all E-450s in one size for simplicity, and modified lengths as needed. Once slideouts came to be demanded, they were building few lightweight Cs anyway. Many manufacturers built their remaining lightweight models on the Chevy 3500 cutaway instead of the E-350, as the Chevy was less expensive and could be had with 12,300 GVWR, about 500 pounds better than the E-350.

Anything before 1997 is going to have the 460 V-8 (or rarely, the 351 Windsor), or the 7.3 diesel. Anything after 1999 should have the V-10 or the 5.4 Triton V-8 or whichever diesel was current (7.3, 6.0). In between, what you find will depend on the gap between Ford's model year and the RV maker's model year, and how long the RV maker held chassis in inventory.

For towing, what is better is to find a V-10 E-450 on a very small motorhome, so that more of the capacity is left over for towing. Most E-450s came with a GCWR of 20,000 pounds, all were at least 18,000 pounds, and the motorhomes should not have been over 14,000 in actual weight.


Tom Test
Itasca Spirit 29B
2001 Ranger Edge



Posted By: pnichols on 09/14/12 03:20pm

Quote:

For towing, what is better is to find a V-10 E-450 on a very small motorhome, so that more of the capacity is left over for towing.


Or in our case (an E450 supporting a non-slide 11,800 lb. 24 footer) so that when not towing: The brakes wouldn't need replacing as often, the transmission would never overheat and run the risk of scorcing it's transmission fluid, the engine would never overheat when going up any grade in any month anywhere, and the coach had more side-force stability from the 4.5 inch wider stance in the rear.

We specifically shopped for a small Class C on the E450 because we wanted chassis overkill ... we just have to deal with the resulting stiff ride in the rear which is made worse by us using maximum air pressure in the rear duals so as to help get the best fuel economy that we can.


Posted By: Solo on 09/14/12 04:44pm

pnichols wrote:

Solo,

Nice looking setup you have there!

That's about the smallest Class C I've seen on an E450 chassis. Isn't your Class C about the same width as the newer Aspect models - 7'11"? If so, how did they build your Class C on an E450 chassis without good sized fender flares at the rear, because the E450 rear stance is around 4.5 inches wider than the E350.

As you know, Winnebago no longer offers a Class C that small at the Aspect quality level ... the same situation as is the case for our 2005 24 foot Itasca.

P.S. Can your motorcycle be used offroad?




Someone mentioned wanting "chassis overkill" when picking a smaller C and that's exactly what we were thinking when we purchased our 23D Winnebago. We have not been disappointed and really do not find the ride quality suffering. I can set the cruise control and go, really enjoying not pushing the chassis or engine. Yes, the motorcycle in this pic is an older enduro, best of both worlds on and off the road. I leave my Harleys in the garage much of the time even though they do go along occassionally.


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