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Old 02-10-2009, 08:00 PM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1

I see alot of big chassis motorhomes and Toter's but I have another idea in mind which is what id like some advice on.

I have been intrigued with the idea of a Class C style motorhome to pull my small enclosed car trailer and race stuff. the only reason I have not gone out and just bought something off a lot is mainly the chassis / drive train. there does not seem to be very many options for diesels out there. a E450 chassis with a diesel would be perfect, just can't find it. with that ive signed up here with the idea of just building something completely how I want it possibly by buying something and doing a drivetrain swap and redoing the interior for more of my taste and needs.

any advice on drive train swaps and or straight up building something like this?


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Old 02-12-2009, 09:02 AM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: West Fargo ND
Posts: 300

2 things come to mind about the E450 and diesel power.

The first is front axle weight, when you stretch a chassis for a RV weight that normally would be carried by the dual rear axle is transfered to the front axle as a matter of weight time distance. because of that if you look at most Class C Rv's you will notice the have a lot of rear overhang to balance (teater- totter) sp? the front axle wt back on the dual rear. If you add the additional weight of a diesel engine, you have to add more counter weight and that starts to put a E450 axle over its limit.

2nd thought, I considered retrofitting just as you are but by the time you add up all the costs for the new engine, and everything that goers with it (I even considered buying a complete truck and doing a 2 engine swap and sell the formerly deisel pickup now with a gas engine) Then figure the difference in mileage and the number of miles one would have to drive just to break even on the install costs You almost have to drive your RV hundreds of miles daily just to rack up enough miles to make the conversion pencil out. (Then there is that pesky physics problem above you still have to work out.

good luck with your choices lets see what you come up with, but I think if your thinking diesel, you might be right in the cat birds seat to buy a class A pusher for a song in this economic environment.

2001 GMC 6500 Topkick, 22' box, dropped frame, designed to fit into a 9' garage door. 3126 CAT 6spd Man Lo-Pro 19.5's w/ 3.07 rear axle ratio
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Old 02-12-2009, 06:58 PM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 748

How about buying a Ford E450 Box Van with a diesel motor and converting the interior yourself?

You may not get the box length and the overhead sleeper part, but you may get the chassis, box and diesel motor. I think most boxes are in the 12-14-16' range.

The diesel motors are a $5,000 option upgrade. Most RVs in the E series are built with a gas motor to keep the price down. I'd like to know what percentage are gas versus diesels in the RV versions.

I own a 2002 Ford E350 dually, with a 14' Grumman box, pass through opening, metal roof, slat walls, roll up rear door, with a 7.3 diesel. It runs like a fine sewing machine at freeway speeds. Quiet...

I'm thinking of selling and have it listed locally. I want a Class 8 Truck Conversion.

Here are a bunch of Ford diesel box vans currently on ebay:
"I have marveled often at the thin line that divides success from failure and the sudden turn that leads from apparently certain disaster to comparative safety." Ernest Shackleton, Antarctic Explorer, Sea and Land, 1874-1922.
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