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No, I seriously doubt it.

The Transit van has higher GVWR at the upper range than an Econoline van, so Class B conversions won't be an issue. And regarding the cutaway chassis for Class C motorhomes, Winnebago is already building RVs on ProMaster chassis which have much lower GVWR than a Transit. I believe the ProMaster is limited to around 9350 pounds in part due to single rear wheels and FWD chassis.

For the time being Ford has said it will continue to offer the larger E-Series cutaway chassis for commercial use. But for smaller RVs like the Winnebago Trend a lighter and more fuel-efficient chassis like the Transit should work out nicely.

By the way, years ago I owned a small Coachmen Class C on a Ford E-350 chassis that had a GVWR not that much higher than the Transit's. And the chassis probably weighed more due to the cast iron 6.8-liter V10 engine. I'm just saying that while the compact Transit chassis isn't for everyone, there are a lot of future buyers looking for lighter RVs with improved fuel economy. RV manufacturers will just have to learn to make simpler and lighter RVs.
 

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I think its hard to say if the Transit will work with RV set-ups blanketly. It seems to depend on the exact set-up that the customer wants and how much those parts weigh. It might not be good for some heavier set-ups, but it will work for others.

Sometimes it isn't the worst to have to work with a limitation too. It'll force some more innovation and problem solving to make lighter and more efficient RVs.
 

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....cut......

Sometimes it isn't the worst to have to work with a limitation too. It'll force some more innovation and problem solving to make lighter and more efficient RVs.
Exactly my thought as well. It's not always necessary to add heavy features -- although buyers ultimately decide on what they want.

A good example are slides, which add a lot of weight. With clever layouts and better packaging maybe they can reduce the need, much like Winnebago has done with Trend. And it's not like RVs didn't exist before slides. And in Europe many RVs are based on smaller and lighter chassis with lower GVWR.

Another possible area is eliminating a generator and using lithium batteries with inverter for when shore power is not available. It wouldn't be for everyone but would work for me and others who normally stay in campgrounds with hookups.

And there is also using smaller holding tanks. We are spoiled in US in thinking we always need to design for worse-case conditions/needs instead of occasionally having to put up with a little inconvenience like dumping tanks more often.

And do RVs really need 3 TVs and so on? For some yes, but others can make do just fine with a simpler and lighter unit. Going on a diet may actually help the final product. What I don't want again is a 23-ft Class C that only got 8 MPG.
 

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I have a 24' fleetwood jamboree on a sprinter chassis. It is smaller, both in height and width than most of the Ford E-450 based C-class units and accordingly it delivers good mileage with the Sprinter diesel (14 mpg at 70 mph). It is definitely tight, however, since there is only one slide. I can't imagine the builders will be keen to take another 800 lbs out of the equation... it gets expensive.

I haven't heard for sure that Ford is dumping the e-450 platform. Is it? Ford has a designated RV chassis in the F-53, and the drive train is essentially the same as the E-450 with the 6.8L v-10 Triton motor and it isn't going anywhere. I can't see any reason for them to abandon the E-450 if the new Transit cant meet the GVWR requirements of the larger C-class units, particularly since all the main parts will remain in service for the bigger F-series trucks.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
No, I seriously doubt it.

The Transit van has higher GVWR at the upper range than an Econoline van, so Class B conversions won't be an issue. And regarding the cutaway chassis for Class C motorhomes, Winnebago is already building RVs on ProMaster chassis which have much lower GVWR than a Transit. I believe the ProMaster is limited to around 9350 pounds in part due to single rear wheels and FWD chassis.

For the time being Ford has said it will continue to offer the larger E-Series cutaway chassis for commercial use. But for smaller RVs like the Winnebago Trend a lighter and more fuel-efficient chassis like the Transit should work out nicely.

By the way, years ago I owned a small Coachmen Class C on a Ford E-350 chassis that had a GVWR not that much higher than the Transit's. And the chassis probably weighed more due to the cast iron 6.8-liter V10 engine. I'm just saying that while the compact Transit chassis isn't for everyone, there are a lot of future buyers looking for lighter RVs with improved fuel economy. RV manufacturers will just have to learn to make simpler and lighter RVs.
Hasn't Winnebago stated that they have an exclusivity deal with Ram?

I haven't seen any movement towards Class C's on the Promaster other than the Trend.

And I've already been seeing critiques and complaints on the Trend's layout and GVWR/towing on RV forums.

(Though, to be fair, the layout issue could be attributed to first adopter problems. It was pointed out that there are much better examples of Ducato-based layouts in Europe.)

I have a 24' fleetwood jamboree on a sprinter chassis. It is smaller, both in height and width than most of the Ford E-450 based C-class units and accordingly it delivers good mileage with the Sprinter diesel (14 mpg at 70 mph). It is definitely tight, however, since there is only one slide. I can't imagine the builders will be keen to take another 800 lbs out of the equation... it gets expensive.
Yeah, that's the problem. There's a good chance that manufacturers will simply continue with the Sprinter as the small Class C of choice and barely even bother with the Transit.
 

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....cut....

Yeah, that's the problem. There's a good chance that manufacturers will simply continue with the Sprinter as the small Class C of choice and barely even bother with the Transit.
Perhaps. But maybe the issue is being exaggerated by people who see everything black and white; as if the new Transit chassis would have to accommodate 30-foot Class Cs.

Other countries are doing lighter RVs, and even here in US Cruise America rents a small Ford Class C based on single-rear-wheel chassis that has lower GVWR. It can be done and is being done.

The Sprinter may indeed dominate small Class Cs due to added payload capacity, but in my opinion the much higher price of M-B Sprinter-based RVs will open the door to entry-level Transit-based RVs.

Personally I'd like as high a GVWR as possible, but if some company comes out with an inexpensive compact Class C that gets around 12 MPG on gasoline instead of existing units that get around 8~9 MPG, then they may sell themselves in spite of lower carrying capacity.
 

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The Promaster is 9350 lb gvw. Any vehicle under 10,000 lb gvw has to be crash tested. That will keep a lot of motorhome builders from building on the Promaster Chassis because it is expensive to build 1or 2 motorhomes to crash test. I was at the Winnebago factory last week and saw a crashed Winnebago Trend. I don't know how many they have to crash test.
 

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Seems like it's worth it to increase it's curb weight to combat this but ****, 700 LBS, thats a lot.
It would be possible if they redesigned the chassis, suspension, brakes and drivetrain. There is no practical limit even if they maintain the single rear wheel which I prefer. For example, the Ford F-350 with single rear wheels can be had with GVWR well above 10,000 pounds. I think it may go as high as 11,500 pounds with single rear wheels. In my opinion both ProMaster and Transit could be upgraded if there was enough of a market for it and they wanted to pursue it. My guess is that it's just not possible to justify the cost for the few vans at that GVWR.
 

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That is true, whats funny is that they can likely save money by doing this, stick to using heavier but cheaper material where needed and it could work out much better in the end, good amount of weight to play around with.
 

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Are any of you guys actually planning on getting a Transit RV? Is this something you are just commenting on, or will it actually affect you. I mean ultimately people will end up buying whichever brand of van that gives them what they want. Perhaps some other brands will be able to offer some things that the Transit can't but I don't think it will have a huge impact on sales.
 

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Are any of you guys actually planning on getting a Transit RV? Is this something you are just commenting on, or will it actually affect you. I mean ultimately people will end up buying whichever brand of van that gives them what they want. Perhaps some other brands will be able to offer some things that the Transit can't but I don't think it will have a huge impact on sales.

Take one in a second over a Sprinter
 
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