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click above image for more shots of Ford's new F53 Super Duty chassis

Right now my father and uncle are in Louisville, KY supporting the family business (shameless plug!) at the National RV Trade Show, where Ford recently announced a new chassis called the F53 Super Duty for Class A motor homes. For those not mired in the inner workings of the recreational vehicle industry like myself, this is a big deal as Ford supplies 69% of all gas-powered Class A motor home chassis in the country and 34% of the entire Class A market when diesel pushers are also taken into account. It's also the leading chassis supplier in the Class B and C segments, as well. And despite high gas prices and a wonky economy, the RV industry continues to grow because, well, an RV is one of the coolest big boy toys you can buy.

This new chassis for flat front RVs can be ordered up with a maximum GVWR of 26,000 lbs., which means it can be packed with more amenities than ever before. And with motor home manufacturers continuing to evolve their designs with things like multiple slide outs, higher quality materials like granite and real tile, as well as new consumer electronics like heavy plasma TVs, the need for a stronger chassis is definitely there. Whether or not the same 362-hp Triton 6.8L V10 is up to the task of pulling all that weight is another question, but it's gonna try. Ford also claims to have improved ride, handling, steering and NVH levels for this Class A chassis, though we can attest that once you load on the body and all your creature comforts from home, every motor home shakes, rattles and rolls like an aging hipster down the road.

[Source: Ford, The Detroit News]



PRESS RELEASE:

FORD MEETS RV GROWTH WITH MOST CAPABLE MOTORHOME CHASSIS EVER

Ford introduces the most capable motorhome chassis to meet growing demand for larger RVs with more features and amenities.

  • Ford adds most capable RV chassis ever to America's best-selling motorhome chassis lineup to meet consumer needs for larger RVs with more amenities.
  • Ford F53 Super Duty Class A motorhome lineup boasts best-in-class 362 hp and 457 ft.-lbs. of torque from the proven 6.8-liter Triton™ V-10 engine.
  • Improved ride, steering and NVH makes long trips more enjoyable while extended service intervals and quality legacy should reduce down time.

LOUISVILLE, Kent., Nov. 27 – Celebrating the growing popularity of RVing and the increasing luxury RV market, Ford introduces the most capable motorhome chassis to the new 2008 F53 Super Duty Class A lineup that has been fully re-engineered for better driving dynamics, more diverse offerings and reduced noise, vibration and harshness. The new chassis borrows heavily from the industry's most capable heavy-duty truck – the new 2008 F-Series Super Duty – and was proven out on many of the F-Series "Built Ford Tough" truck durability tests to improve on the Ford RV's 25 percent quality advantage customers reported in Ford surveys.

Ford offers the best-selling RV chassis in both the Class A and Class C (E-Series chassis) markets. The launch of the new package options in Class A expands Ford's F53 Super Duty Class A lineup to six offerings, ranging from the "tailgater's special" 16,000-pound gross-vehicle weight rating (GVWR) chassis through the new capability leader, 26,000-pound GVWR chassis, that gives builders the opportunity to offer the most advanced, most luxurious RV bodies yet.

Ford's new 24,000-pound GVWR package firmly settles into the heavy class of motorhome chassis, one of the fastest growing RV class segments. Going one step further, the new 26,000-pound GVWR package sets a new best-in-class marker for motorhome chassis capabilities, providing a stunning 30,000-pound gross combined weight rating.

"Ford's new heavy-duty F53 Super Duty chassis allows customers to continue bringing more of their home to their home on wheels," said Shelly Smith, marketing manager, Ford F53 Super Duty motorhome. "Motorhome builders are adding more luxurious amenities such as granite countertops and slide outs so we met the challenge with the most capable RV chassis ever."

Components such as the new heavy-duty steering system, class-leading Dana rear axle and suspension, increased capacity front axle and suspension, four-wheel anti-lock brakes and 50,000-PSI (pounds per square inch) ladder frame are all integral components to provide class-leading capabilities, ride comfort and predictable handling.

The 6.8-liter Triton™ V-10 engine's best-in-class 362 horsepower and 457 foot-pounds of torque provided help support the largest motorhomes with plenty of power on the highway. The powerful engine is mated to Ford's exclusive and proven TorqShift® automatic overdrive transmission.

The new, high-end F53 models also features a new, more robust steering system with a new steering gear that, combined the new suspension, improve ride and handling. Steering and handling are complimented by the 50-degree wheel cut (increased from 42 degrees) for a tighter turning radius. Specially tuned stabilizer bars, Bilstein shocks and higher-capability front and rear springs make the ride more comfortable.

"We engineered the top-of-the-line F-53 models to provide the same steering precision, ride comfort and quietness as the rest of the lineup – just at much higher loads," said Laurie Call, chief engineer, F53 Super Duty. "We think the driving dynamics and comfort, combined with our quality record, will lead to more customers demanding Ford chassis from their dealers."

Ford will launch an unprecedented marketing campaign with a strategic shift of emphasis to retail customers from the previous campaigns centered on motorhome dealers and builders. Even though Ford doesn't sell to retail customers, the goal is to build awareness of Ford's leading motorhome product innovations and reinforce its quality heritage so retail customers specifically request F53 models from dealers.

Ford is the RV leader with the widest number of offerings, including new products in all three classes, A through C, for the 2008 model year alone. Ford F53 Super Duty chassis are America's number-one-selling Class A motorhome chassis, while Ford's E-series is the top-selling chassis for the high-volume Class C market thanks to the widest range of product offerings. Ford also remains the Class B leader with the E-Series serving as the most popular conversion van.

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles in 200 markets across six continents. With about 260,000 employees and about 100 plants worldwide, the company's core and affiliated automotive brands include Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo and Mazda. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.fordvehicles.com.


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  • 27 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      The F53 chassis with a high reving, low torque V10 and a Torqshift trans holds nothing over a Workhorse chassis with a Vortec 8.1L backed by an Allison transmission. Only the cheapest of RV’rs chose Ford.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Very cool, but what we really want to know is how fast can it run the Nürburgring?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yes, but that's just about how long your better half takes to cook up a good caserole. 7-layer supper for everyone!
        • 7 Years Ago
        7:38, 7 hours 38 minutes that is
        • 7 Years Ago
        It might be able to break the elusive 30 minute barrier!

        Watch out, Koenigsegg!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Anyone who buys something that big with a gas engine is an idiot, plain and simple. You can literally get as low as 3 MPG if you are driving in mountains or off freeways - and the whole time you are fighting to stay at speed.

      Either man up and buy the diesel or buy something 1 year old with the diesel for less money than the new gas version.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It always amazed me how I need a CDL to drive a single axel Ford F850, yet a 16 year old kid with a permit could drive an RV that weighs twice as much and is at least twice as large. :-/
      • 7 Years Ago
      Erm, would it not be cheaper to stick the cash saved from not buying one of these monsters in the bank, and then just use that money to pay for nice hotel stays in the various places you'd like to visit. Plus you wouldn't have to deal with the drama of maintaining, piloting and parking this gigantic automotive fanny pack.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I'm with you about the hotel thing. RV/Trailers and such sounded so nice. Until my Dad had to put on gloves up to his elbows to empty out the "waste water" tank in some stink hole. Then there was the questionable water supplys at different campsites. Most so bad you could smell and taste the bleach they poured in to kill what was in it.

        All my driving vacations always have and will be driving something that handles better than an elephant on skates complete with a thousand squeaks and rattles. NO THANKS! I will be sleeping on fresh crisp linens at posh hotels where someone else can do the laundry, wash the dishes and cook our meals.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I guess you've never done any camping...

        This is for a motor home, which people use to traverse the countryside in a manner that suits them, not some SUV that soccer moms troll around in. Sure, you could save money by staying in hotels, but why not bring your bed with you?

        My grandparents paid about $135K for a Class A motor home last year, which is their third, and they take it everywhere. They retired 15 years ago, and each year go on at least two month or longer trips across the US. Last year, they went to Alaska, twice. They've got two big dogs (Golden Retrievers), so they can't just drop them in the back of the Cherokee and stay in any motel along the way. They've got the Dish network, have their own shower, stove, fridge, a queen bed, and everything they could need, being away for so long.
        • 7 Years Ago
        We have quite an ignorant, judgemental lot that post here.

        Before current Moron-in-Chief tried to turn these United States of America into a Police state, into exactly what we were taught despise about the Soviet Union and "RED" China, I took an oath to fight and possibly die to protect people's right to choose whatever life style they chooseto live, within the boundaries of the laws of this great land. I felt strongly enough about it, that I took that oath twice. It really bites my ass when whiney, snivelling little latte sippin' panty-waists like the writer of this post think it is their birth-right to try and dictate to others what they should and shouldn't do with their lives.

        Granted, every lifestyle out there is not for everyone, just like every vehicle out there is not for everyone. It's not your business to cry about everything that you don't like. Before you ask the question, No, I do not own a RV nor do I aspire to ever own one.

        I included the link below so you can educate yourself about RV-ing. It's more than just buying a luxury coach, it a lifestyle. Mostly for folks that have already played house, the kids are gone and they have the money and FREEDOM to travel from sea to shining sea of this great country. To these people, hotels are an inconvenience.

        http://rvbasics.com/rv-lifestyle/why-families-choose-rving.html
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yeah, I almost didn't post that comment because I didn't want to step on any toes, I didn't want to appear judgemental about people who enjoy and enthusiastically pursue RVing, I didn't want to be a downer.

        Then I realized if you're a big enough jackass to think that RV's are a good thing, I could care less about stepping on your toes. Sorry, but they're awful. They take up road and camp space and endanger people in smaller cars on our highways (much like 18 wheelers), they're hugely wasteful with fuel economy, they're terrible to drive, they're for people with more money than sense.

        If you want to go camping why not buy a tent. Is it not $99,750.00 cheaper and a more natural overall experience, while infringing less on the national park space and experience of others?

        • 7 Years Ago
        Where the hell do you get off saying that 18-wheelers are dangerous to other traffic? Is it because they scare you?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yes Mike, it would be cheaper. It would be cheaper still to stay home and watch the travel channel.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Never understood the RV crowd. I guess these things become appealing when part of your brain begins to degenerate with age...
      • 7 Years Ago
      Where do you sit down?

      Great, so now soccer moms will be everywhere with these too.
        • 7 Years Ago
        While I was in Mexico City this summer, you could see bare chassis like this zing by on the highway. The guy driving was wearing a helmet.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Why use a gas engine rather than a diesel?
        • 7 Years Ago
        This is the same thing I asked my grandfather last year, when he bought his new one. He said that the diesel was about $10K more, but that he was kicking himself for not getting one. Sure, the fuel is more expensive, and it costs an additional $10K, but hell, when you're talking about something over $100K, what's 10 grand?
        • 7 Years Ago
        I'm not sure why they don't offer one. Until now, noise was the biggest problem in forward control chassis. Same with Class C motor homes. The big pushers are all diesel. Depending on the amount of miles you plan to drive, the extra 8-10k might not be worth it.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Its like a really long Ariel Atom. ;)
        • 7 Years Ago
        Clearly, someone needs to just slap a seat and a roll bar on there, and call it a track-day car. It would probably actually be reasonably quick, even if it didn't corner worth anything.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Just today BBC news reported that Winnabaggo's sales of RV's are DOWN this year, for the first time in almost a decade. And that EVERY other time Winnabaggo's sales have declined, the country was just months away from a financial meltdown.

      BTW, oil prices declined by over $3.00/barrel, today. Speculators/traders BELIEVE OPEC is about to increase production and that the U.S. oil companies have more reserve in inventory than is needed for this time of year.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I am just waiting for someone to shorten up those frame rails, and make a giant pickup out of one of these... :D

      That turning radius might actually be better than some of the new HD pickups, looking at how far those wheels turn.
      • 7 Years Ago
      does the ford chassis continue the long tradition of having an alternate campfire source stored in the steering column? that would sure be handy!
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