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 > Small Class C on a Ford 350 vs Transit chassis

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ron.dittmer

North-East Illinois

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Posted: 04/30/22 08:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The Transit is more car-like with easier access, both concerning inside and outside access. It is like stepping into a minivan rather than stepping up into a standard van like the E350 and Sprinter. It will also yield roughly a 20% improvement in fuel economy compared to the E350 with the new V8 as long as the house it carries has excellent aerodynamics. If the Transit has a large wind-catching over-head cab bunk, then the gap in fuel economy closes.

The Transit diesel has been dropped by Ford for some time now, replaced with a twin turbo gasoline engine. This change in the power plant drops it's fuel efficiency significantly, bringing it down to that 20% improvement over the current-day E350 with 7.3L-V8 engine and 6-speed transmission. I personally would rather have the E350 with it's normally aspirated engine. The slight drop in fuel economy compared to it's benefits in power and chassis rating, it is something to think about.

If your goal is to be as "car-like" as possible, the Transit is the one to consider. But it would concern me, after owning it a while, you might say something like......

"Why didn't I go for piles more power & capability for just a slight drop in fuel economy? My engine works so dang hard just to maintain cruising speed. The turbo is always singing in boost-mode. My fuel economy is not what I expected.
My chassis is always over-loaded! Why didn't I just get that E350? I would have gotten used to its inconveniences."

It took some effort and about $4000 to get our 2007 E350 to a good place with some suspension upgrades and front coil spring reduction. I wouldn't know how the ride and handling compares to a Transit, but compared to a stock E350 motorhome, it is a monumental change for the better. The house is not getting all shaken up and it handles very nicely. It climbs up mountain passes while towing our Jeep Liberty. It does everything it should without feeling like it's being over-worked. Our 2007 E350 with 6.8L-V10 engine fuel economy "trip average" without towing is 10.5mpg. Reports of the current more powerful 7.3L engine are coming in at 1mpg better....more power, better fuel economy, and more quiet too. That is a 3x win for the 2022 E350.

So what is most important to you?

* This post was last edited 04/30/22 08:33am by ron.dittmer *   View edit history


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

Gjac

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Posted: 04/30/22 08:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bobndot wrote:

Are you going by the advertised dry weight when calculating the payload ?
If so, a trip to a scale from the dealers lot would be in order before you load it up.

Most class C’s in this size will roll down the road, loaded for s trip in 12,000lbs range.
Incl : Fluids, gear , food, people , optional rv equipment.
The GVWR is only 11,000 lbs. GVWR is 15,000 lbs. Their brochure says the CCC is 2490 lbs. It is a much lighter chassis than a 350. It looks like a unibody chassis rather than a frame type chassis that you would find on a 350.

ron.dittmer

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Posted: 04/30/22 08:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gjac wrote:

It looks like a unibody chassis rather than a frame type chassis that you would find on a 350.
Very true. It is in-part how Ford was able to lower the cab to be more like a mini-van. That is why it's load capability is less. It is also why the wheel base cannot be modified. The outfitters must work with the available wheel bases.

That is actually a good thing to me. I was happy to learn that our rig has an unmodified standard 158" wheel base. I like keeping things as standard as possible with framing, drivetrain, and such. But making suspension upgrades is a safe bet.

Gjac

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Posted: 04/30/22 02:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ron.dittmer wrote:

The Transit is more car-like with easier access, both concerning inside and outside access. It is like stepping into a minivan rather than stepping up into a standard van like the E350 and Sprinter. It will also yield roughly a 20% improvement in fuel economy compared to the E350 with the new V8 as long as the house it carries has excellent aerodynamics. If the Transit has a large wind-catching over-head cab bunk, then the gap in fuel economy closes.

The Transit diesel has been dropped by Ford for some time now, replaced with a twin turbo gasoline engine. This change in the power plant drops it's fuel efficiency significantly, bringing it down to that 20% improvement over the current-day E350 with 7.3L-V8 engine and 6-speed transmission. I personally would rather have the E350 with it's normally aspirated engine. The slight drop in fuel economy compared to it's benefits in power and chassis rating, it is something to think about.

If your goal is to be as "car-like" as possible, the Transit is the one to consider. But it would concern me, after owning it a while, you might say something like......

"Why didn't I go for piles more power & capability for just a slight drop in fuel economy? My engine works so dang hard just to maintain cruising speed. The turbo is always singing in boost-mode. My fuel economy is not what I expected.
My chassis is always over-loaded! Why didn't I just get that E350? I would have gotten used to its inconveniences."

It took some effort and about $4000 to get our 2007 E350 to a good place with some suspension upgrades and front coil spring reduction. I wouldn't know how the ride and handling compares to a Transit, but compared to a stock E350 motorhome, it is a monumental change for the better. The house is not getting all shaken up and it handles very nicely. It climbs up mountain passes while towing our Jeep Liberty. It does everything it should without feeling like it's being over-worked. Our 2007 E350 with 6.8L-V10 engine fuel economy "trip average" without towing is 10.5mpg. Reports of the current more powerful 7.3L engine are coming in at 1mpg better....more power, better fuel economy, and more quiet too. That is a 3x win for the 2022 E350.

So what is most important to you?
What is most important to me is a small MH without a tow car. When I was younger I had several Hi-Top vans that we would travel in and camp with. Really enjoyed those vans. When I retired several friends with MHs said just get a Class A because you will end up with one eventually. So I bought one in 2006 and put 100,000 miles on it. Enjoyed the room but not the break downs and finding shops willing to work on one. This Transit base MH is larger than a Class B but smaller than most 24 ft Class C's and lest expensive. At my age I don't want to spend $4000 and the effort in suspension mods to make the ride good. Having said all that the new Ford engine in a small MH, with more FW and more capacity is a trade off that one must consider. Something like BT Cruiser 5210 would be close and give you the 7.3 engine, but less storage, shorter WB, less FW and jackknife sofas.

ron.dittmer

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Posted: 05/03/22 09:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The Phoenix Cruiser 2100 is similar to that BT Cruiser 5210, but is 11" shorter, 3" more narrow, and 5" lower. Its beauty is that it fits in a regular parking spot. It is also "fully featured" just like typical class C motorhomes. Nothing is micro-sized to get everything to fit. You can take a real shower, have a real fridge and freezer, a real furnace and all the rest. Adding the "quality" of a Phoenix Cruiser and model 2100 would be my recommendation.

If you cannot afford a new one, consider a used one.

* This post was edited 05/03/22 10:15am by ron.dittmer *

Gjac

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Posted: 05/05/22 06:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ron.dittmer wrote:

The Phoenix Cruiser 2100 is similar to that BT Cruiser 5210, but is 11" shorter, 3" more narrow, and 5" lower. Its beauty is that it fits in a regular parking spot. It is also "fully featured" just like typical class C motorhomes. Nothing is micro-sized to get everything to fit. You can take a real shower, have a real fridge and freezer, a real furnace and all the rest. Adding the "quality" of a Phoenix Cruiser and model 2100 would be my recommendation.

If you cannot afford a new one, consider a used one.
The main disadvantages of the PC 2100 and BT 5210 is the lack of storage, 26 gals FW, 138 WB and sleeping arrangements. The PC is on a 450 chassis I imagine the ride would be rather harsh without some suspension mods. I could not find a price on a new PC, have you seen a price to compare? The list price on a Transit CBT was $89k.

ron.dittmer

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Posted: 05/05/22 07:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What is a Transit CBT?

A brand new Phoenix Cruiser 2100 is costing a whole lot more than $89,000.

Gjac

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Posted: 05/05/22 07:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

https://www.coachmenrv.com/class-c-motorhomes/cross-trail/20CB/5891 Do you know what the Pheonix Cruiser costs?

ron.dittmer

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Posted: 05/06/22 07:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gjac wrote:

https://www.coachmenrv.com/class-c-motorhomes/cross-trail/20CB/5891
Do you know what the Phoenix Cruiser costs?
I do not know the current pricing for any Phoenix Cruiser. One thing I have observed is that prices seemed to have doubled in the past 10 years.

We paid $67,000 for our new PC-2350 HERE in 2007. Today the same rig would be more than double that price....maybe closer to 3x.

* This post was edited 05/06/22 08:09am by ron.dittmer *

Gjac

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Posted: 05/06/22 10:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One thing is for sure everything is a tradeoff especially with a small MH. In a larger Class A, storage is better, FW is usually 60 gals or more, more living space inside and at least a Queen bed. People complain about the ride on both the C and A Ford chassis and many suspension mods to fix the ride, that is why I started looking at the Transit based MH. I would prefer a naturally aspirated engine also, and 350 HP vs the 310 hp. I purposely chose a new Rav 4 over the new CRV because the CRV had the turbo, however many people like their 3.5 engines in a truck and vans. Cost is another tradeoff. If the PC is 3 times what you paid in 2007 that would be about $180K. Is it twice as good as a similar sized C and worth the extra $100k? Like you said what are the inconveniences you can live with and get used to get something else that is more important.

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