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Class A Motorhome Gasser

wtmtnhiker
Explorer
Explorer
Hi all,
I'm trying to decide between 2 motorhomes. One is a 2005 with a GM drivetrain 8.1 engine and Allison transmission with 11,430
miles. The other is a 2006 with the Ford V-10 drive train and 34,000 miles. I remember reading that the Fords had trans issues on some earlier years but were improved upon later. To those of you who know what year did they make that upgrade to the Ford tranny? Also should I be worried about the very low mileage on the 2005? Both of these coaches meet my price point and look to be in very nice condition with floor plans that I like. Thanks for reading , any thoughts and input are appreciated.
bgbassman(bluegrass bass man)
30 REPLIES 30

John_Joey
Explorer
Explorer
The V10 was designed for commercial applications and was never installed into personal use cars. Bullet proof.
There’s no fool, like an old fool.

FloridaRosebud
Explorer
Explorer
Our 2006 V-10 has 117,000 miles and no issues. Does not use/burn oil either.

Al

pianotuna
Nomad II
Nomad II
ArchHoagland wrote:
pianotuna wrote:
camper19709,

Mine has about 134837 miles. So far one o2 sensor and replace catalytic converter (done 200 miles ago). The tail pipe rusted out just in front of the converter.


Is it a Ford or a Workhorse?


Ford E-450 with the V-10
Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp-hours of Telcom jars, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

Rick_Jay
Explorer II
Explorer II
wtmtnhiker,

Well, since they are both on floorplans you can live with, I think you've settled on the most important part.

As for Workhorse vs. Ford, those years were pretty competitive between the two manufacturer. You'll find proponents & opponents of both. For rigs that old, I have to say that overall condition is a major factor which would effect my decision. I don't necessary agree with those that say the WH will have parts issues. I haven't, yet. The low mileage on the WH does cause one to raise an eyebrow, but perhaps it was just driven to a relatively close campground several times per year or left there for the season. So it was driven every year, but just not far. On the other hand, if it's just been sitting with NO activity (and this goes for the Ford as well), I think I'd be more worried about possible water or rodent damage if it hasn't had regular attention.

Unlike TechWriter, our WH drives and rides very well. It's no DP, but I've driven much worse. The first thing that needs to be done for steering control is to make sure the front tires are at the proper pressure. Dealers and tire places inflate them to the maximum on the sidewall of the tire, and I can tell you that driving mine that way was a handful. Lowering the pressure to the proper psi made a HUGE differece. I also did upgrade the shocks a few years after I bought it which helped the ride over expansion joints and rough surfaces.

One thing you should know IF you're trying to compare specifics of each chassis, that it's quite possible that the 2005 WH is on a 2004 WH chassis, and the 2006 Ford is on a 2005 Ford chassis.

You also probably noticed that there are a lot more Ford mohos in the era than WH. The main reason for that is because the WH had anywhere from a $2,500-$5,000 premium on it over the Ford on the EXACT same floorplan. Most of us that bought the WH felt that premium was worth paying for (Allison transmission and lower doghouse, in our case. For what it's worth, I usually preferred Ford to GM). Anyway, dealers ordering models for their stock or customers who didn't know the difference, would order the Fords because of the cheaper price tag.

Can you see them for an in-person visual inspection and take each of them for a test drive?

Good Luck,

~Rick
2005 Georgie Boy Cruise Master 3625 DS on a Workhorse W-22
Rick, Gail, 1 girl (27-Angel since 2008), 1 girl (22), 2 boys (23 & 20).
2001 Honda Odyssey, Demco Aluminator tow bar & tow plate, SMI Silent Partner brake controller.

ArchHoagland
Explorer
Explorer
pianotuna wrote:
camper19709,

Mine has about 134837 miles. So far one o2 sensor and replace catalytic converter (done 200 miles ago). The tail pipe rusted out just in front of the converter.


Is it a Ford or a Workhorse?
2004 Monaco La Palma 36DBD
Workhorse W22 8.1 Gas Allison 1000, 7.1 mpg

2000 LEXUS RX300 FWD 22MPG 4020 LBS
US Gear Brakes

pianotuna
Nomad II
Nomad II
camper19709,

Mine has about 134837 miles. So far one o2 sensor and replace catalytic converter (done 200 miles ago). The tail pipe rusted out just in front of the converter.
Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp-hours of Telcom jars, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

camper19709
Explorer
Explorer
I have a 2006 Ford V10 drivetrain. 60,000 miles. No issues so far. "knock on wood"
Chip
06 SurfSide
30ft class A
2 slides
Ford V10 chassis
04 Chevy Astro van toad

RetiredRealtorR
Explorer
Explorer
A 2005 model with 11K indicates it was only "driven" about 600 miles per year, or has it been sitting idle, never even cranked, for a number of years? I'd certainly be sure I had the answer to that question before pursuing that particular coach.
. . . never confuse education with intelligence, nor motion with progress

wa8yxm
Explorer III
Explorer III
I had a 2005 with an 8.1 and an allison. the only engine/drive train issues I had were either 1: broken serp belt (Hey that happens on all engines) and 2 "Externally caused" problems.. By that I mean the problem was caused by something OTHER than design or engine failure.. Like a road hazard or a rodent. and that too can happen to any engine.

I've heard of Ford having design issues on some of the V-10's (not sure which model years)

Now when it comes to who makes the best engine. Ford or Chevy.. That's dang near a religious argument or if you like a political one (You get a lot of folks who yell one or the other)

But if you ask who makes the best transmoission.... ALLISON ALLISON ALLISON (wispered.. Another make) ALLISON.

Even Ford says ALLISON. (Their latest tranny they advertised as "The answer to Allison" thus admitting Allison was the best).
Home was where I park it. but alas the.
2005 Damon Intruder 377 Alas declared a total loss
after a semi "nicked" it. Still have the radios
Kenwood TS-2000, ICOM ID-5100, ID-51A+2, ID-880 REF030C most times

rjstractor
Nomad
Nomad
Given the age of these two motorhomes, condition of the coach part IMO is more important than mechanical condition. I'd pick the one that was the cleanest, had the most complete service records, and gave me the impression of being the best cared for. I would certainly invest in professional inspections to help you make a decision. All things being equal, I'd pick the Ford chassis for the aforementioned parts availability. Nothing wrong with the GM chassis either, both have roughly the same performance and MPG. The Ford will rev a bit higher to do the same work.
2017 VW Golf Alltrack
2000 Ford F250 7.3

Dutch_12078
Explorer
Explorer
The only occasional problem I'm aware of with the early R100 transmissions Ford used with the Triton V10 engines was an occasional check valve failure in the transmission cooler bypass line on the side of the body that led to overheating. The quick and easy fix was to just crimp the steel bypass line so the fluid always went through the cooler. The longer fix was to buy a set of bypass eliminator fittings and remove the bypass completely. In 2003 Ford eliminated the bypass. With the exception of doing the bypass crimp about 5 years ago and replacing the starter a couple of years ago, our 2001 F53 V10 equipped motorhome has performed quite well for about 65,000 miles.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
Bigfoot Automatic Leveling System
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox baseplate

Bruce_Brown
Moderator
Moderator
Between those 2 chassis I'd go with the Ford simply for the better support.

As to any transmission issues, keep the fluid clean. The last gas MH we owned was on a Ford chassis, it was flawless.
There are 24 hours in every day - it all depends on how you choose to use them.
Bruce & Jill Brown
2008 Kountry Star Pusher 3910

Sandia_Man
Explorer II
Explorer II
Production of 8.1 liter GM motor continued until 2009 according to online sources, parts available at workhorseparts.com or ultrarvparts.com, actually same company that specializes in all things workhorse/8.1 liter engine.

Four years ago we purchased our current class A with 8.1 liter/Allison 2100 tranny, it has been bulletproof thus far. We live NW of Albuquerque at 6K' elevation and coach robustly handles mountain driving, easy to maintain powertrain.

way2roll
Navigator
Navigator
If memory serves - GM stopped making the 8.1 in 2006 and Ford continued production of the v10 until 2019. That may affect parts availability.
2023 FR Sunseeker 2400B MBS

TechWriter
Explorer
Explorer
I had a 2004 with a 8.1 and Allison transmission and while both performed flawlessly, the ride quality, especially steering, was awful.

On the other hand, our new to us 2001 has a V10 and ?? transmission which drives like a dream.

Best to base your buying decision on how INDIVIDUAL coaches perform, not generalities.
2004 - 2010 Part Timer (35’ 2004 National RV Sea Breeze 8341 - Workhorse)
2010 - 2021 Full Timer (41’ 2001 Newmar Mountain Aire 4095 DP - Cummins)
2021 - ??? Part Timer (31’ 2001 National RV Sea View 8311 - Ford)
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