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Old 05-14-2011, 08:08 PM   #1
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Why? (so few class C diesels)

Why are there not more class c motorhomes running diesel engines? There are plenty using van and 1 1/4 ton and such truck fronts that easily come with diesel powerplants, yet the motorhomes usually come with gas burners.
I say a e450 series front with a v10 should easily be ordered with a powerstroke just like the e350 passenger van can.
Is there some reason against this?
Just wondering.

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Old 05-14-2011, 08:32 PM   #2
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Two things come to mind. First the additional cost for the diesel engine compared to the gas engine when many motor homes don't get enough miles on to justify the additional cost. Secondly the price of diesel is usually higher than gas.

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Old 05-14-2011, 09:02 PM   #3
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ANyone know what the upgrade cost is for a powerstroke compared to the upgrade for v10? I believe the the stroke is about 8k and the v10 is around 3k, is that close? If so, oit would make the diesel option basicly $5k. I am guessing it would get 3-4 MPG better than the v10 in a motorhome? And currently diesel is $.15-.20 more than regular gas (which at $4/ gal is insignificant). And, I would imagine the diesel to have better power delivery. I am not seeing a down side here yet. People pay big $$ for options on a motorhome and also on a truck, and many buy diesels just to commute and never pull a load, so I would imagine the diesel would outsell the gas if it were available.
I may be wrong on this and surely there is some govt regulation that makes it hard?
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Old 05-14-2011, 10:20 PM   #4
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I would tend to disagree somewhat. As a class "C", usually has an overhanging bed, over the cab, I wonder what the weight on the front axle may become. Especially with full water tanks, propane tanks, etc. I know that "F" chassis 250, 350, 450, Ford trucks can be had had with a diesel, but I have have never looked at the options on an "E" series Ford van chassis. Therefore I may not know what I am talking about, but diesel engines are heavy, very heavy, and may not work with a van chassis or front axle. They are also bigger, and may not fit, and/or, can't be cooled properly, especially the turbo and the inter cooler.
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Old 05-17-2011, 04:43 AM   #5
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The e350 can for sure be ordered with a diesel, not sure on some others.
I see a few of the high end class Cs do have diesels, but not the ones in the under $80k range.

And I was apparently way off on the v10 upgrade coat, it is only 700-800$.
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Old 05-17-2011, 06:55 AM   #6
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I bought the 2011 Solera after looking at the Sunseeker with a gas enging. The Solera has the mercedes diesel. Just got it a couple of weeks ago. Love it so far. Taking it to Disney next month. I'll post a fuel report then. But on the way home from the dealer in high winds it got 13 mpg at 65 mph.
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Old 05-17-2011, 07:02 AM   #7
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Another factor may be people's unfamiliarity with diesels and the special maintenance requirements. I'd guess some people just don't want to deal with it. Gasoline is familiar and "safe".
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Old 05-17-2011, 07:55 AM   #8
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I would think it all boils down to initial costs. In pickups the difference between gas and diesels is around $8000 +. It is really hard to recoup that money based on increased fuel mileage. For example, if you drive 10,000 miles per year, gas @ $4.00/gal, diesel @ $4.29/gal (my local prices) @ 10 mpg you would spend $4000 on gas and at 14 mpg you would spend $3100 on diesel. At that rate it would take 9 years to pay for the diesel option. I just used some numbers I felt were realistic in my calculation. Your results may vary but the trend will be the same.

It will come down to how much you want to spend up front. $8000+ can buy a lot of options.

You will see in my signature that I have moved from a Jeep Commander to a 2500 Chevy Silverado with a diesel. I did this for 2 reasons. The Jeep was under powered, especially in the mountains or with head winds, and the transmission was starting to shift rough. I got the diesel for the power. I just pulled a 6100 lb car hauler with it from Texas. I didn't even know it was back there. As a plus I got over 15mpg. With the Jeep it would have been 10 mpg or less.

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Old 05-17-2011, 08:47 AM   #9
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If your going to be pulling a decent amount of weight a diesel is so nice to have, makes all the roads nice and flat.
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Old 05-17-2011, 09:26 AM   #10
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First off, its no longer a debate. Ford stopping putting the diesels in the E450 cab chassis last year. The diesel never really took off for a few reasons.
1. Cost. Diesel was about 8k more than gas
2. Power, unlike the Trucks the diesel in the Class C was derated. (305 HP gas, 255 diesel, 420 ft lbs torque gas, versus 440 diesel) Granted it was at lower RPM's..but not enough of an advantage to justify the cost.
3. Noise. Unlike the truck, where the engine is out in front, the Class C engine is between the driver and passenger. At low speeds the diesel was noisier (if thats a word)
4. Fuel. Diesel only got about a 25% economy increase. Assuming 9mpg on gas that's only about 2mpg. With diesel fuel being more expensive and the upgrade being 8k...again, does not justify the cost.
5. Propane Gen. There was no diesel gen in a 4k, so you got a 3.6k propane gen.

For those diehards that got the diesel, most were happy and they probably chipped them for more power.

A good comparison is electric cars. By far, the most popular hybrid is the Prius. Reason being it has no "just gas" equivalent. So are you willing to pay X amount of dollars for the Prius? sure... Whereas the Accord had a gas AND a hybrid. So are you willing to pay $13k for the privilege of having the same exact car but with an electric engine (that only runs some of the time)? $13k buys a lot of when you break it down based on what you had to pay to get arguably very little benefit, 99.9% of people opt for gas.

PLEASE do not send questions via Private Message, my inbox fills up too quickly. Post questions in the forum as a new thread so that other users can benefit from the answers. Use Private Messages for sensitive information only (VIN, Contact info or things you do not want the public to see).
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