As the economy continues its slow but steady rebound, it appears that demand for commercial and recreational vehicles is on the rise – at least for Ford anyway. With claims of being the best-selling motorhome chassis builder, Ford is increasing production of its stripped chassis (pictured), which is used to underpin large commercial vehicles and Class A motorhomes, to meet rising demand.

Ford says that motorhome sales were up 14 percent last year, including a massive 43-percent surge in the fourth quarter, and registrations for its F-53 motorhome chassis were the highest they've been since 2007. To go with the increased chassis production, Ford is also upping production capacity of the 6.8-liter V10 it uses in the F-53 (and the F-59 commercial chassis) as well some E-Series and F-Series Super Duty models. Feel free to read more in the press release below.
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Ford Boosts Chassis, Engine Production Capacity to Meet Rising Demand for Motorhomes

-Ford is increasing Class A motorhome and commercial chassis production capacity by 35 percent to meet renewed demand for recreational vehicles as the U.S. economy and consumer confidence grows

-Ford also is increasing production capacity of its 6.8-liter V10 gasoline engine used in the Class A motorhome lineup. The engine boasts 362 horsepower and 457 lb.-ft. of torque, and can be prepped for CNG operation to help save money at the pump

DEARBORN, Mich., Feb. 18, 2013 – Ford, America's best-selling motorhome chassis manufacturer, is increasing production capacity by approximately 35 percent to meet renewed recreational vehicle demand in the United States.

At the same time, Ford is increasing production capacity of its 6.8-liter V10 engine that powers its motorhome chassis lineup.

"We're pleased that while other chassis manufacturers have left this segment, Ford continues its commitment to the RV upfitter industry," said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service. "We're increasing our participation in this industry as motorhome customers return to the market."

The Ford F-53 motorhome and F-59 commercial chassis are built by Ford's partner at Detroit Chassis at its state-of-the-art facility in Detroit. The 6.8-liter V10 gasoline engine is built in Canada at Ford's Windsor Engine Plant in Ontario.

Class A motorhomes are recreational vehicles built on a stripped truck chassis where the driver's area is part of the living area. Ford supplies parts such as the frame rails, suspension, powertrain and steering components to Detroit Chassis for assembly into motorhome chassis for customers like Winnebago, Thor and Fleetwood.

Shipments of Class A motorhomes were up 14 percent in 2012 but growth rose dramatically as the year closed, according to the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). Sales accelerated to 33 percent in December and 43 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to the RVIA.

Ford F-53 chassis registrations reached their highest levels in 2012 since 2007.

Motorhome chassis aren't the only Ford products seeing increased demand. Production capacity of the company's segment-exclusive 6.8-liter V10 gasoline engine that powers the F-53 will increase 25 percent by 2014 at Windsor Engine Plant to meet strong demand from commercial customers. The 6.8-liter V10 is also used in E-Series vans, F-Series Super Duty chassis cabs and the F-650 medium-duty truck.

Ford offers the best-selling RV chassis in both the Class A and Class C (E-Series chassis) markets. The F-53 Class A lineup includes six offerings ranging from the "tailgater's special" 16,000-pound GVWR chassis through the capability leader 26,000-pound GVWR chassis, which gives motorhome builders the opportunity to offer the most advanced, most luxurious RV bodies yet. Prices for Class A motorhomes can exceed $150,000.

About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 171,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 49 Comments
      jesse_j
      • 2 Years Ago
      How friggin fun would it be to drive that chassis just like it is in the photo!
      rmt_1
      • 2 Years Ago
      To paraphrase an old saying regarding GM, "What's good for Ford, is good for America". If these Ford chassis are being used to build commercial vehicles, then that means businesses are confident enough in the economy to invest in new equipment to maintain or grow their businesses in the near future, as opposed to simply repairing and keeping old equipment to avoid incurring new debt. This usually means more jobs where they build the chassis, where the chassis are converted to commercial vehicles, and for whom uses those vehicles in business. If they're being used for RVs, then that means people feel that it's safe to spend a lot of money for a big ticket item. Whatever the case, it's good for Ford as long as they keep selling what they make.
      DMS502
      • 2 Years Ago
      I always wondered why they use the Gas v10 instead of a clean diesel? Seems like the extra torque and mpgs would be better suited for a motorhome.
        Snark
        • 2 Years Ago
        @DMS502
        Cost - obviously. Why would you even ask? Diesels are expensive.
          raphi121
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Snark
          agreed that in small scale the cost might make a difference, but as they become more poular, the cost of developing and building would (should) go down and become more price effective. think of the original prius, when they first came out the prices were ridiculous, but with time they slowly came down in price, it\'d be the same with diesels in the long run.
        Rick
        • 2 Years Ago
        @DMS502
        Simple. The diesel spell quite a bit of up front cost, just as it does in the pickup world. RV's tend to put on miles slowly so unless the extra power is warranted these BB gas engines serve well. Extra power and torque are always nice but it does come at a cost.
        Robert Ryan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @DMS502
        You are right. The Hitch limits the towing to 5000lbs on the V10.
        Jerry
        • 2 Years Ago
        @DMS502
        The Modular engine families go back a ways and are probably dirt cheap when compared to a clean diesel or anything else in its power range. Also, no DPF, urea injection system, etc required with a big gas power V10s despite the drawbacks in torque and fuel economy compared to clean diesels. Probably a financial decision more than a performance decision.
        XT6Wagon
        • 2 Years Ago
        @DMS502
        diesel can be hard to find some places, the V10 has diesel like torque, and costs much less to operate per mile outside of fuel. Couple that with higher prices for diesel fuel as of late and the V10 can compete even there.
        F_Monk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @DMS502
        I was thinking the very same thing. It's even more puzzling considering Ford has a perfectly good PowerStroke available.
        Ross
        • 2 Years Ago
        @DMS502
        Always wondered that as a (former) owner of one of these beasts. Got 6 MPG on the highway normally. I was ecstatic when I hit 10 MPG once... Not to mention the thing was slow as anything. Honestly though, it was fun going flat out with a v10 and going nowhere.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Drakkon
      • 2 Years Ago
      There is a sign of positive disposable income.
      John Storms
      • 2 Years Ago
      No reason why they can change that chassis to a FRED (Front End Diesel.) Just makes sense. The V10 is obsolete.
        Rick
        • 2 Years Ago
        @John Storms
        Not obsolete as long as people are buying them. As with any vehicle, checking the diesel column adds an immediate addition of thousands of up front cost. A modestly sized RV can be served well by the V10 and since most RVs put on the miles relatively slowly it's quite possible the owner will have traded it long before recouping the extra cost of the diesel. When people stop buying the V10 it will become obsolete, until then it offers choice and we all know that choice is good.
          raphi121
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rick
          Agreed, Ford is not in the business to loose money. if an old design meant obsolete simply for its age there would be a lot of things discontinued by now, but like you said, as long as people are still buying, i\'d keep selling.
          F_Monk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rick
          No choice, in this instance. It's petrol V-10 or... petrol V-10.
      Michael Powers
      • 2 Years Ago
      Don't really know if Chrysler builds class a motorhome chassis, but if they do I would take one with the 6.7 Cummins any day over the Ford. Ram (Dodge) can and will outpull, outrun, get better mileage, and outlast anything built by Ford.
        F_Monk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Michael Powers
        WOOT! I'm a fan of a corporation, ya'll!!!11!
          S.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @F_Monk
          My corporation is better than you're corporation, yeehaw!
        jtav2002
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Michael Powers
        Woo my hypothetical vehicle with specs I made up is better than your vehicle that actually exists! Because internets!
        itguy08
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Michael Powers
        Hardly - Hemi = POS.
      That Guy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow, that\'s the best looking vehicle Ford makes!
        Rich
        • 2 Years Ago
        @That Guy
        I get it, because it doesn't have a body... OH YOU!
        willied
        • 2 Years Ago
        @That Guy
        No wonder you like Chevy so much.
      mktnb
      • 2 Years Ago
      Slow but steady rebound? Wow, rebound and slow finally found a life together. Better writing, please.
        S.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mktnb
        You could apply. I wouldn't count on you getting hired though
      That Guy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Pretty sad when that is the besst looking vehicle Ford makes. Furthermore, proper research by the author would have revealed that the reason Ford is seeing an uptick in business, is ONLY because the only other manufacturer of gas powered, low end class A chassis went out of business, and Ford has inherited the market
        S.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @That Guy
        That's also known as a good thing for a business
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Snark
        • 2 Years Ago
        Are you determined to make a completely asinine, borderline nuts comment in EVERY autoblog thread?
          Nemebean
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Snark
          It's some sort of spambot. It pulls in names of SyFy shows (of all things) for at least half of its posts.
      Rick C.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Rented an RV equipped with this powertrain set up last year for the Grand Canyon trip. RV rental rep said it would get 10-11 mpg. Oh no. More like 6-7 mpg. For the price of the rental and gas, I could have flown and stayed in a really nice hotel.
        jtav2002
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rick C.
        Most people who regularly RV probably aren't doing it because it's the financially better option. Especially with how expensive alot of them can be.
        Neez
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rick C.
        That engine gets 14mpg in the F250 unloaded. I really don't see how it's going to get 10-11mpg with all that extra weight and drag. You got taken!!! FYI, i RV because i can take my dogs with me. It's cheaper than putting them in a kennel for $64 a day. Most RV parks are about $30 a day which is half the price of a motel. It does make financial sense for me. But you do it more for the lifestyle and being closer to nature.
          EXP Jawa
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Neez
          My father\'s E450 class-C with the older V10 and a Banks kit gets 9-10 normally, or 6-7 if he\'s pulling the car trailer. Even with the kit, it still struggles on grades, though not as badly as a lot of other coaches. Still, I expect it\'s lively compared to the school bus he normally drives...
    • Load More Comments
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