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Open Roads Forum  >  Class C Motorhomes  >  Class C

 > E350 vs E450 chassis pros and cons for a short 24 ft class C

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ron.dittmer

North-East Illinois

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Posted: 04/23/19 07:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Desert Captain wrote:

depending on what years you are comparing the 450 will be 2 to 3,000# heavier and that is for every mile you drive.
{The 450 has a 4:56 rear end vs the 4:10 on the 350.}
According to Ford's website, the difference in curb weight between the E350 chassis and the E450 chassis with the same wheel base is only 206 pounds, not 3000 pounds. The E450's extra weight is in the thicker frame material, bigger brakes, thicker springs, and a few other minor influentials.

I understand the 2019 E350 and E450 have the same E450 rear end due to their limited production numbers, in place for a few years, maybe since 2017.

I agree that an E450 chassis for a 21-24 foot motor home will be just too much for the application. Like I previously mentioned, I would still go for it and plan to have a local shop change the front springs to lighter-duty E350 10050 versions, and remove one (or two) rear leaf spring per rear corner to get back to the right ride. This way you get a stronger frame for less twisting, bigger/better brakes, and more for a small investment. It's an your opportunity to get the suspension customized properly for the actual application. My 24 foot 2007 E350 11500 could use the 10050 front springs, but my front wheel alignment with offset bushings would all have to be reverted back to stock. Maybe one day I will get that done.


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


Gjac

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Posted: 04/23/19 07:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Are the V-10's in these class C's the same as in the Class A's just de- rated by the computer or different engines? 362 vs 305 HP is a big difference.

Desert Captain

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Posted: 04/23/19 08:12am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Load an E-350 and a 450 to their GVWR's {as many of us do} and the 350 will be between 2,000 and 3,000# lighter {depending on the model year} yet both will have the same engine and trans. The small difference in empty curb weight between them illustrates the minimal differences in the construction of the two chassis'.

Payload, much like towing capacity is more a matter of marketing than actual physics.

As far as the difference between the 362 HP V-10's found in Class A's those are the 3 valve model that are too large to fit into a Class C application.

[emoticon]





charles

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Posted: 04/23/19 08:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a 2019 Thor 22B which is a 24 ft Class C. I can tell you that the V-10 gives you immediate pickup and there is no problem merging onto interstates or passing with it. I don't know what the MPG on it will be yet as I have only taken short trips so far but I would expect it to be rather low. I had a Class B with the V-10 and it got around 10 MPG, this will be lower. As for the ride, it doesn't lean much but it does wonder a bit and will most likely need an alignment. It is also a little noisy compared to the Pleasureway B.


2019 Thor Chateau 22B

ron.dittmer

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Posted: 04/23/19 08:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Desert Captain wrote:

Load an E-350 and a 450 to their GVWR's {as many of us do} and the 350 will be between 2,000 and 3,000# lighter {depending on the model year} yet both will have the same engine and trans.
Hi Desert Captain,

I think you missed my point in all this.

Just because a 21 foot motor home on an E450 chassis is capable of carrying 3000 more pounds than an E350 equivalent, does not mean the owner is going to add 3000 pounds more weight. My assumption is that he will load the two flavors the same.

DrewE

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Posted: 04/23/19 10:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gjac wrote:

Are the V-10's in these class C's the same as in the Class A's just de- rated by the computer or different engines? 362 vs 305 HP is a big difference.


They're different variants of the engine. The class A (and pickup truck, for that matter) version of the V10 uses a three valve head, while the E series uses an older two valve design. The three valve head version does produce more power but doesn't fit in the E series chassis, hence why the older one is still used. That's not to say the two valve heads haven't changed or been improved at all over the years, of course.

Especially for a relatively light class C, the V10 is perfectly capable of getting you where you need to go in reasonable fashion. You won't be the fastest vehicle up hills, nor for that matter the slowest; but it's quite sufficient for the vehicle in my opinion. I have a somewhat larger class C with an older (and less powerful) version of the engine, and the four speed transmission with decently large gaps between the gears, and I find it satisfactory.

They are not especially quiet engines when making power, and rev higher than you may think appropriate for a truck engine, and don't get exceptionally great fuel mileage; but they are reliable and effective.





pnichols

The Other California

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Posted: 04/23/19 11:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When I went shopping for a small Class C and discovered that some of them were offered on the heavier duty Ford cutaway van chassis, that was where I focused my search. Here's why: My "tool philosophy" was to always as much as possible for best performance use a heavy duty tool in a light duty way. At the time, I didn't know the specifics as to the differences between the two chassis, but I trusted Ford to have done some things different between the two chassis and that those differences would mean that an E450 chassis loaded well below it's maximum design level would in the long run be superior to an E350 chassis loaded much closer to it's design maximum.

We have had a ~11,800 lb. 24 foot Class C on the E450 chassis for around 13 years, and it has provided what you would expect when underloaded by the coach structure and it's contents -> need brake pad replacements way less often, pull harder on grades due to it's higher gear ratio rear differential, and due to this higher ratio not slip it's transmission torque converter as much (to reduce transmission heating) when crawling off-highway with a heavy vehicle, sit a bit higher and more level all around (I also use larger diameter tires for improved ground clearance of all drive system and suspension system components), not sway as much on highway curves and when entering/leaving parking lots, not tend to get pushed sideways as much when a big rig passes by, and ... most of all ... reduce to zero any concern of ours on how much or in what way we load it with gear. i.e. We can travel with all tanks full and it's handling is not affected to any extent.

Yes ... it used to ride stiff in the rear due to it's E450 leaf springs back there (the E450 front coil springs provide a decent ride in the front). However, I took the sting out of the ride in the rear by using rear shocks that do not add shock stiffness to rear spring stiffness on highway potholes and cracks. You can do this with special shocks in the rear that provide soft - or no - damping on fast road surface changes, but stiff damping on gradual road surface changes. One type of variable action shock that does this is Koni's FSD shocks, which is what I run in the rear.

Note that most of what I say above DOES NOT apply to a larger/heavier Class C motorhome on the E450 chassis - which is the chassis that is absolutely required for those. I'm only addressing why I chose, and my experiences with, a smaller Class C motorhome built on the E450 chassis which could have been built on the E350 chassis.

The bottom line is, though, that use of an overkill chassis under a motorhome may ultimately depend upon your "tool philosophy". [emoticon]

* This post was edited 04/23/19 11:47am by pnichols *


Phil, 2005 E450 Itasca Spirit 24V

tarnold

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Posted: 04/23/19 12:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One word: BRAKES. My e350 front brakes just suck. I'm on my 4th set of front brake rotor/ calipers. 3 Rd set of front brake lines. Learned to just replace lines when doing a brake job. 115k miles. Rears still have 50% (drum) shoes left. Twice I've had front right caliper lock after a hard brake. Just takes 2 blocks to start smoking! Pull off an let cool down, then limp to nearest repair. Bigger is better in most regards.

carringb

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Posted: 04/23/19 01:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

tarnold wrote:

One word: BRAKES. My e350 front brakes just suck. I'm on my 4th set of front brake rotor/ calipers. 3 Rd set of front brake lines. Learned to just replace lines when doing a brake job. 115k miles. Rears still have 50% (drum) shoes left. Twice I've had front right caliper lock after a hard brake. Just takes 2 blocks to start smoking! Pull off an let cool down, then limp to nearest repair. Bigger is better in most regards.


Starting with 2008 models, the E350 got the E450 front brakes.

Sticking calipers has little to do with brake size, and everything to do with long-term parking outside.


Bryan

2000 Ford E450 V10 VAN! 450,000+ miles
2014 ORV really big trailer
2015 Ford Focus ST


Desert Captain

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Posted: 04/23/19 01:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ron.dittmer wrote:

Desert Captain wrote:

Load an E-350 and a 450 to their GVWR's {as many of us do} and the 350 will be between 2,000 and 3,000# lighter {depending on the model year} yet both will have the same engine and trans.
Hi Desert Captain,

I think you missed my point in all this.

Just because a 21 foot motor home on an E450 chassis is capable of carrying 3000 more pounds than an E350 equivalent, does not mean the owner is going to add 3000 pounds more weight. My assumption is that he will load the two flavors the same.


Ron, as usual we agree more than we don’t. The Op’s Questions have been thoroughly addressed by a number of different posts. My point is without sacrificing ride quality and fuel economy my (and your) 350’s get everything done, neither of us needs the extra capacity of a 450 to tow your Jeep or I my motorcycle/trailer.

As I previously stated if one wants to tow or load heavy the 450 becomes the better choice but most folks who choose a small C have no need for the extra capacity that comes with a 450 especially with what you have to give up.

As always... Opinions and YMMV.

[emoticon]

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