While attending the RVIA Expo, I always make a point of stopping by the Ford exhibit to see what’s going on for the current model year. As some of you may recall, Dan Snyder from the Ford Marketing Group, attended the 2011 National Rally in Urbanna Virginia. During his presentation, Dan introduced us to new Ford technology called “Eco-Boost” and he also focused on the advantages of the F-Series Super Duty Class A Motorhome Chassis. For model Year 2013, Ford enters the arena as the #1 best selling class A motorhome chassis in the country. Available in GCWRs from 16,000 to 26,000 pounds, Ford provides chassis from 158″ to 252″ inches in length.
The forward control area features a large 17.5″ steering wheel on the F-Series which is connected to heavy duty steering components which offer 50° wheel cut giving the driver excellent maneuverability. From left to right is seen the coolant recovery bottle outboard from the air filter box. The power steering fluid reservoir has a yellow cap and directly above is the Bosch HydroMax brake booster. Seen directly below the air box is the cool pack which is comprised of the condenser, transmission and oil coolers (below) and the radiator to the rear. 22.5″ aluminum wheels are fitted on all 4 corners for GVWRs of 22K and above as standard equipment.
The Triton V-10 continues to provide the power to all RV chassis in Class A and C applications to a 5-Speed Ford built TorqShift (R) electronic transmission featuring a large pump for optimized cooling and offers a .71:1 overdrive. The transmission electronics provide a tow and haul mode of operation which compels the gears to remain locked while climbing and also provides engine braking in all forward gears on descent. Ford provides high performance electrical components using a 175 amp alternator and 78 amp-hr 750 CCA chassis battery. The braking system on the F53 is comprised of 4-Wheel, 4-Channel ABS and is powered by the industry leading Bosch HydroMax booster to ZOHT twin piston calipers using 15.55″ rotors. The park brake is foot applied via an in-line drum brake and the transmission is provided with a parking pawl.
The Ford Triton V-10 displaces 6.8L and produced 363HP at 457 lb-ft of torque. The Triton features a unique fail safe cooling system and extended tune up intervals. The V-10 can be fitted with CNG or LPG fuels using the gaseous engine prep package. The prep package provides hardened valve faces and seats. The V-10 outputs to a Ford built TorqShift electronic transmission which features a heavy duty torque converter and tow/haul mode. The overdrive ration in 5th gear is .71:1 which yields excellent mileage while cruising down the Interstate.
The chassis provides its owner with excellent ride and handling capabilities using weight specific tuned Bilstein shocks with front and rear jounce bumpers. In chassis over 16,000 pounds, stabilizer bars and long leaf springs provide unparalleled ride comfort. Vehicle control is further enhanced by front and rear stabilizer and track bars. The chassis comprises the foundation for the motorhome and is manufactured using 36,000 psi steel up to 22,000 GCWR and 50,000 psi steel on the 24,000 and 26,000 pound rail featuring a 9.16″x3.0″x 0.25″ continuous rail. Braking is supplied by either a Hydro-Boost on the light rails while a HydroMax booster with large 73mm front caliper pistons on the 24,000 and 26,000 pound versions.
The 80 gallon fuel tank sits behind the rear axle. The 9.16″ deep continuous C channel frame rails provide a strong foundation for the motorhome body. Long tapered multi leaf springs of various ratings are specifically fitted from 11,000 to 17,500 pounds of GAWR(R).
22.5″ Michelin XRV 255/80R LRG radial tires are standard and mounted on bright aluminum wheels on GVWRs over 22,000 GVWR. The perimeter ladder type frame on the 22,000 GVWR chassis is comprised of 36,000 psi steel. 4 Dana differentials translate power to the road, the S130 is used in the shown 22,000 GVWR chassis.
To quell the rumors, the V10 isn’t going anywhere and it is expected to continue to power the F53 for several more years. Ford also wants you to know that the E-Series van cutaway Class C chassis has not been dropped from its lineup and you can expect to see that vehicle around for quite some time. In 2013 Ford has moved all RV product production into a single facility in Ohio and products formerly manufactured in Mexico are moving back to the USA and will be providing Americans with jobs and more RV products “Made In USA.”
Ford provides the #1 selling Class C chassis in the USA. There are 2 models of the van-cutaway chassis for model year 2013, the E-350 and the E-450. Either model may can be supplied with the 5.4L V8 or the 6.8L V-10. The V8 provides 255 HP and 350 lb-ft of torque. The V-10 is tuned to provide 305 HP and 420 lb-ft of torque. The 5-Speed TorqShift is the standard transmission. The E-350 will feature up to 12,500 pounds of GVWR and 18,500 of GCWR. The E-450 will provide 14,500 pounds of GVWR and 22,000 pounds of GCWR. The E-series come with a 5 year 60,000 powertrain warranty and a 3 year 36,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty. Ford provides Roadside Assistance for 5 years of 60,000 miles as well. There are over 1,900 service facilities that can provide support for Class C motorhomes.