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Is the Ford Chassis Reliable in RVs?

Is the Ford Chassis Reliable in RVs?

Did you know the Ford chassis is a popular choice for RVers looking for incredible horsepower and torque?

When you think of the Ford brand, you likely imagine the Ford Mustang or the reliable Super Duty line of Ford trucks.

Recently, though, the Ford motorhome chassis has faced some major scrutiny. Is it still worth considering?

Let’s take a look!

About Ford Motorhome Chassis

The chassis of a vehicle serves as the skeleton. You’ll find Class B and Class C motorhomes using the Ford chassis as their foundations. Manufacturers like Winnebego, Coachmen, and Thor are using this chassis.

There are two styles of this chassis for RVs, the F-53 and F-59. Both of these models come with a 7.3-liter V8 gas engine. Ford designed these models for power, ease of maintenance, and packaging. 

Hill-start assist, lane departure warnings, and increased Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings (GVWR) are just a few of the many reasons RVers love this chassis. The GVWR ranges from 16,000 to 26,000 pounds.

Exterior updates for Transit are subtle but functionally driven. A new power sliding door is available for cargo van and passenger van to make getting loaded up as well as exiting the vehicle easier. Premium high-intensity discharge headlamps with signature LED surround are available. Three grilles will adorn different models in van, chassis cab and cutaway configurations – a three-bar design with black or chrome bars and an open mesh design for maximum cooling. Vans equipped with the powerful 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine get a larger grille for maximum cooling.

What Is a Stripped Chassis Motorhome?

A stripped chassis refers to the chassis only and does not include the body of the motorhome. RV manufacturers purchase stripped chassis from Ford and build their motorhomes on them. This style of building allows motorhome manufacturers to benefit from the engineering and quality of experienced chassis manufacturers.

Large motorhome manufacturers and even custom motorhome builders select a stripped chassis to give them the freedom to build as they please. Only the builder or manufacturer’s imagination limits the flexibility of a stripped chassis.

Is the Ford Chassis Reliable in RVs? 

The Ford chassis uses a gas engine, which brings down the price but makes them more short-lived than diesel. Many users report having a wobble problem, especially when wheels are out of balance. Early editions had frequent reports of the infamous “death wobble.”

However, this is often only found in older models as Ford has changed their manufacturing to eliminate the wobble.

Changes in recent years made these chassis some of the most popular and reliable for Class B and Class C motorhomes. Ford has a reputation for its quality craftsmanship and commitment to improving with each new edition.

For work or play, Ford stripped chassis are the foundation of choice. F-53 – America’s best-selling Class A motorhome chassis** – gets new standard content to improve steering, upgrade center of gravity capability on higher GVWR models and enhance the driving experience. Both F-53 and F-59, commonly used for walk-in vans, get a new steering column, instrument cluster and electrical architecture.

Ford Recalls Tens of Thousands of Motorhomes

In April 2021, Ford recalled more than 16,000 2020 and 2021 F-53 Motorhome Stripped Chassis and F-59 Commercial Stripped Chassis vehicles. This recall addressed a lubrication issue on the rear axle. A lack of lubrication caused bearing damage and seizures, as well as driveshaft failures.

These issues could cause loss of motive power, failure of the parking brake, and an inability to shift into park. 

Which Manufacturers Use the Ford Motorhome Chassis?

The  Ford Motorhome Chassis is one of the top picks for manufacturers in Class B and Class C motorhomes. Brands like Pleasure Way, Winnebago, Coachmen, Thor, and Coach House use it.

Should You Buy an RV on a Ford Chassis?

Ford has a reputation for being an innovative and quality manufacturer. The Ford chassis is one of the most popular choices for Class B and C RVs. The gas engine frees up weight compared to a diesel alternative but sacrifices strength and longevity. If you’re looking for a top-shelf chassis to build on, the Ford chassis is one of the best.

The Ford chassis has developed a reputation among Class B and C RVers as one of the best. It’s tough and powerful but still affordable. It’s a great combination of durability when off-road and smoothness when in the city. Do you know what kind of chassis your RV has?

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  1. Ray Brown says:

    You mention “death wobble” in certain older Ford chassis. Which years?