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Ford vs. Chevy Engine for Class A Motorhome

GM Allison transmission Allegro Bay

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8 replies to this topic

#1 Ralph



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Posted 13 August 2012 - 06:40 PM

Currently looking at used class A motorhomes. I have heard arguments both ways regarding the Ford V10 engine vs. the Chevrolet 8.1-litre with the Allison transmission.

Could you please let me know your thoughts?

Now looking at 2005 Allegro Bay with Chevy setup, Should I be leery? What about power and gas mileage advantages?

Any thoughts greatly appreciated.
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#2 bsinmich


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Posted 13 August 2012 - 07:05 PM

Cummins makes diesel engines and Allison makes the transmissions for the 8.1L . We have a '03 in a Newmar and think it is a great combo. We have the 5 speed trans., drive 62 mph and always have the toad. Our mpg runs around 8+ on the highway and 6 in cities. You may have the 6 speed trans in an '05 and that give 2 ODs. The automatic grade brake is also on that year.
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#3 vsheetz



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Posted 13 August 2012 - 07:43 PM

I think the question is Ford V10 / Ford trans vs. GM 8.1 / Allison trans, correct? Both are good drive trains. To take it a step further consider the chassis that usually goes with each as well - Ford F53 or Workhorse. The all Ford combination might have a plus in service locations and being more common for shops to service. The GM drive train has a bit more power and often another gear in the trans for a given year. NADA will typically show a higher value for a coach with GM/Allison/Workhorse.

I recently bought a coach that was built with either - while I would have preferred the GM/Allison/Workhouse, the unit I found in great condition and the right price was on Ford foundation - the condition was over-riding factor.
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#4 desertdeals690


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Posted 14 August 2012 - 10:40 AM

I would consider a Cummins. I have a ISB which has more pulling power that most gas engines and an Allison 6 speed. It gets between 10 and 11 mpg towing a Silverado 1/2 ton going coast to coast.
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#5 billkoboldt


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Posted 16 August 2012 - 10:14 AM

I have the Chevy/Allison combination and love it. Get about 7.5 mpg. towing a Saturn Vue. Has all the power you need. Going to Florida from Michigan I have only one hill I have to downshift, that is crossing into Tenn. from Kentucky. The only downside to this combination is that Workhorse no longer builds RV chassis with the Chevy engine because GM doesn't build them anymore. Couldn't meet emission standards. But I am told by my service center that parts are still readily available.
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Posted 13 March 2013 - 12:02 AM

My previous Motorhome was on a 02 Ford V10 chassis, the current is a 05 Workhorse 8.1/Allison chassis.  I was very pleased with the Ford chassis & had no problems in 40,000 miles.


The Chevy/Allison chassis seems to have more power. I noticed that it down shifts less often, or later when going up inclines. I am very happy with the Workhorse chassis. However, the 05 & later Fords do have higher HP.


So far the fuel mileage has been a bit better with the Chevy.

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Ellen & Greg

05 National Dolphin 5342

Workhorse W22

#7 Kevin510


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Posted 31 March 2013 - 09:02 PM

For what its worth, I owned 3 on the Ford chassis and currently own a 03 Newmar on a Workhorse.  I would be pleased with either and would focus more on finding a coach that fits your needs best and has the best floorplan. 

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2003 Newmar Scottsdale 3670
2006 Jeep Commander HEMI toad

#8 DickandLois


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Posted 31 March 2013 - 11:00 PM

I believe that both engines are good over all, but these are the numbers I look at when comparing them:


Ford Triton V-10= 6.7 L

     457 Lbs of torque @ 3250 RPM's


GM V-8 / 8.1 L

     450 Lbs of torque @ 2800 RPM's


With an additional 450 RPM's one gains 7 Lbs of torque


I look at the torque to HP @ a rated RPM's  when looking for an engine that will be used to move heavy loads.



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#9 GerryDewees



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Posted 01 April 2013 - 01:41 PM

I own a 1999 30ft Rexair class A and tow a 1992 Olds Cutlass (full size, four door) on a tow dolly.    The coach is on a Ford chassis with a 1998 Ford V10 and Ford transmission.    I love that engine even though it is only rated a 275 hp.   It does a good job with a super maintenance free record.     I've driven it almost 70,000 miles.   I drive at 55 to 57 MPH and get about 8 MPG towing and over 9 MPG without a tow.    (And that's burning California gasoline!)     I feel that the V10 engines are the best gasoline engines Ford (or anyone else for that matter) has ever built!

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