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Old 11-17-2013, 08:50 PM   #1
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3100ss owners?

I am looking at a 2004 3100ss with 33000 miles anyone have one? Any special issues with coach or E450 V10?
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Old 12-08-2013, 09:42 PM   #2
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Rekwiat, I am just seeing your post so I am not sure if you have made the purchase yet or not. I recently bought a 2005 3100ss with 53k miles. We have camped in it three times so far and I have been really happy with it. This is my first RV so I am still learning, but we have really been happy with our purchase. Had to learn the hard way that these units have 3 tanks, but other than that all has gone smooth.
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Old 12-09-2013, 05:23 AM   #3
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We have a 2011 model 3100SS that we bought new. It now has 29,000 miles on it and we’ve used it almost 300 nights. We’ve had no problems related to the model. The problems we’ve had are minor and could have occurred with any motorhome.

The V-10 engine has been totally reliable. All I have done is change the oil and filter. Almost every mile has been towing a 4,000 pound Nissan Pathfinder, sometimes in the Rockies at 10,000+ foot elevation and 8% grades. The coolant gauge never moved during a 10 mile, 45 mph climb on a 7% grade at 100+ degrees. The five speed transmission has likewise been trouble free and has never overheated. I change the oil under the “Heavy Duty” service schedule, and plan to change the transmission fluid and filter when it comes up, too. This is off your topic, but just in case, I carry a spare drive belt (only Ford had one), one ignition coil and a few new spark plugs. Also, the transmission uses a specific fluid, so be careful that you get the right one if you need any.

Some of the early V-10’s would spit out spark plugs, but Ford improved the heads, changing the spark plugs from 4 threads to 8 threads, and eliminated the problem. I’ve read the change was made about 2002, so your V-10 should be okay, even if it’s a 2003 chassis.

Take a look at the front tires for wear due to misalignment, and drive to be sure it doesn’t pull one way or the other. Ford did not install camber adjustment bushings unless they were needed on a vehicle to bring it into alignment. We had to have them installed to get ours properly aligned, at a total cost of $300. That is a one-time cost. It may have already been done to the one you are looking at.

Of course, check the date code on the tires. With 33,000 miles they may be the original ones and may need to be replaced due to age. Here’s a web page with instructions on finding and reading the date code: http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=11&
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Old 12-09-2013, 06:49 PM   #4
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The V-10's are almost bullet proof...
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:35 AM   #5
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Have a 2008 3100ss that we bought slightly used, 5000 miles on it in 2008. No problems except the cheap plastic that the drawer roller slides on under the bench. I don't like the gas milage that I am getting but then it may be normal for such a big unit. At 55-60 in tow mode pulling a Colorado on flat Florida land I get 6-7mpg. Alll service are done and it is mechanically sound. Other than those 2 things it is a great RV.
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Old 01-08-2014, 09:26 AM   #6
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We get about the same mileage with our 3100 towing a 4000 pound Pathfinder. We prefer avoid interstates and drive on good two lane roads when possible. At 55 mph on rolling roads we get about 8 mpg. We get 6-7 mpg at 60-65 mph on some rolling interstates.

Interestingly, we got mpg in the low 9's in Colorado on 25-30 mph mountain roads with 8% grades. I guess the much lower wind resistance from the thinner air and slower speeds, plus 100+ mpg sometimes going down the grades, averaged a little better. This happened over two full tanks so I know it wasn't just a matter of not getting the tank completely full and having a misleading fuel amount for the miles driven.

(100+ mpg? Yes, it happens - briefly. I have a Scangauge II that shows fuel flow and mileage. It shows that the fuel will sometimes completely shut off when going down grades.)
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Old 01-08-2014, 10:34 AM   #7
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RamblerGuy, you stated you carry an extra ignigition coil and some spark plugs with you. When I bought my 2005 3100SS the engine was missing a little (which the dealer told me about) and it needed some coils and all the spark plugs changed out. It has run great since then. I think it is a good idea to carry those with you, but my question is how do you know which coil is bad. I know they have diagnostic computers you can plug in, but I don't think they are very cheap. I was just wondering if there was a way to tell which coil was bad without having to spend a lot of money on the diagnostic tools. Forgive my ignorance as I am no mechanic. Just want to be prepared as possible when on the road. Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-08-2014, 04:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mccoyag01 View Post
RamblerGuy, you stated you carry an extra ignigition coil and some spark plugs with you. When I bought my 2005 3100SS the engine was missing a little (which the dealer told me about) and it needed some coils and all the spark plugs changed out. It has run great since then. I think it is a good idea to carry those with you, but my question is how do you know which coil is bad. I know they have diagnostic computers you can plug in, but I don't think they are very cheap. I was just wondering if there was a way to tell which coil was bad without having to spend a lot of money on the diagnostic tools. Forgive my ignorance as I am no mechanic. Just want to be prepared as possible when on the road. Thanks in advance.
I carry a code scanner. The OBD (On Board Diagnostic) will tell you which cylinder (coil or plug) is misfiring.

Carrying a coil and a few spark plugs is probably not necessary since these are the same for many other Ford engines and just about any part store should have them. However, my local NAPA store did not have the belt and the Ford dealer I went to had to order it. I don't know if the belt for the E-450 is different from the belts on other V-10 installations. Sometimes they have to use different length belts because of clearances or different size accessories like the huge alternator on the motorhome chassis.
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