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Old 01-27-2011, 08:25 PM   #1
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Chev 8.1 Workhorse or Ford V 10 Triton

Hello being a newbie RV owner wannabe, my head is swimming with all the information I have gathered. Many like the 8.1 Chev Workhorse and many the Ford V10 Triton. If the Workhorse recall is done, is there still chance of problems with the brakes? Also which give the best gas mileage? Thank you for your help.
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:32 PM   #2
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after the Bosch brake recall is completed there should be no concern of future brake problems. Both Ford and WCC make good RV chassis, and you should know that, other than the motor, the biggest difference is the Allison tranny that comes in the WCC VS. the Ford tranny. You also need to determine "which" chassis is under each coach you are considering as there are differences in chassis models from both companies. IMO, there isn't enough difference in MPG for THAT to be a deciding factor, none of them are great. Ed
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:40 PM   #3
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To answer your first question, I'm not sure there's that much difference in fuel consumption between the two. We bought the rig in our signature last July and have seen gas mileage around 7.5 - 8.0. Note that the west coast states involve a lot of climbing mountains! There might be a very small efficiency advantage in the V-10's desin=gn, but I think the major driver on gas mileage is weight.

At the time we started looking for our current rig, the Workhorse/Bosch debacle still hadn't been resolved, so we eliminated WH from our search. However, WH has another feature that would have put me off, namely "Autopark".

Because the parking mechanism in the GM transmission WH uses isn't beefy enough to hold a 24,000 pound motorhome if the operator doesn't set the parking brake, they came up with this system.

There's a drum brake somewhere downstream of the transmission. When the transmission is set in "Park" a 12V motor-driven hydraulic pump chimes in and sets that brake. There's also a big yellow button on the dashboard, designed to convince you that the rig has air brakes, which also turns the Autopark brake on.

The system is designed to fail "safe", meaning that if anything goes wrong, the brake goes on. Unfortunately many failures within the system can have that effect, and you could be driving down I-5 in LA rush hour when the parking brake activates.

Even after they fixed the Bosch debacle, I don't think I'd consider a Workhorse. Ford figured out how to make a transmission with parking pawls that could handle the chassis' max GW.
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Old 01-27-2011, 10:04 PM   #4
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To answer your first question, I'm not sure there's that much difference in fuel consumption between the two. We bought the rig in our signature last July and have seen gas mileage around 7.5 - 8.0. Note that the west coast states involve a lot of climbing mountains! There might be a very small efficiency advantage in the V-10's desin=gn, but I think the major driver on gas mileage is weight.

At the time we started looking for our current rig, the Workhorse/Bosch debacle still hadn't been resolved, so we eliminated WH from our search. However, WH has another feature that would have put me off, namely "Autopark".

Because the parking mechanism in the GM transmission WH uses isn't beefy enough to hold a 24,000 pound motorhome if the operator doesn't set the parking brake, they came up with this system.

There's a drum brake somewhere downstream of the transmission. When the transmission is set in "Park" a 12V motor-driven hydraulic pump chimes in and sets that brake. There's also a big yellow button on the dashboard, designed to convince you that the rig has air brakes, which also turns the Autopark brake on.

The system is designed to fail "safe", meaning that if anything goes wrong, the brake goes on. Unfortunately many failures within the system can have that effect, and you could be driving down I-5 in LA rush hour when the parking brake activates.

Even after they fixed the Bosch debacle, I don't think I'd consider a Workhorse. Ford figured out how to make a transmission with parking pawls that could handle the chassis' max GW.
I've looked all over my rig and haven't found what you have described on my W/H. Am I missing something??
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Old 01-27-2011, 10:13 PM   #5
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I have no intentions of starting an argument here...so just let me state the FACT that "most" Workhorse built chassis do NOT have the autopark brake feature so badly maligned in the above post.

Likewise, I have no interest in debating several of the inaccurate statements made above, however, please allow me to again state what I said earlier...." You also need to determine "which" chassis is under each coach you are considering as there are differences in chassis models...." Ed
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Old 01-27-2011, 10:22 PM   #6
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Silly me had pure aesthetics (big word!) - Ford had a bump in the middle
between the driver and passenger. We had a Ford before (class C), and
the engine was great, but dealing with the bump just got to me after 5 years.

Probably not the right reason to choose workhorse, but also the motorhome layout was the right one for us.
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Old 01-29-2011, 10:49 AM   #7
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I believe the newer Fords have a reduced size for the engine cover as we also went through the change from a Class C to a Class A and in 2003 the bump is larger as noted. Think it is quite reduced today. I checked the pictures of a new Georgetown and the size of the hump has been reduced significantly compared to our Georgetown.
The other inportant item to note is that the WH chassis is no longer produced as a gas unit, and Winnebago does not even advertise a WH chassis for gas units.
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Old 01-29-2011, 10:21 PM   #8
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I humbly apologise if my intepretation of all the links I have read on here and on RV.net about Workhorse and Autopark are in error.

I had been so spooked by what I considered to be very poor design engineering in the Autopark system, based on what I had read, I had erroneously thought all WH rigs had the system. Certainly, before we found out about the service brake issues, we had looked at quite a lot of rigs on the WH chassis, mainly in the 2000-2003 age range, and I remember that they all had the big air-brake style yellow knob for the parking brake and no foot- or hand-operated mechanism.

You're right about the big doghouse on the older V-10s. DW has a permanent scar on the left foot from snagging it on the deck catch that holds it down (and we've only had 19 days out since we bought it!). After an E-350 based Class C, we didn't find it particularly obtrusive. The class C doghiuse got hot enough to melt the soles of your shoes.

I will cease to pontificate about Autopark.

BTW, see the post from Freebird in December last, He had just the kind of failure I was concerned about. That was on an '01 WH. Maybe thos WH rigs with the Allison transmission don't need Autopark?
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Old 01-29-2011, 11:03 PM   #9
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When we decided to buy our NEW 2000 coach, the gas powered ones were available only on the Ford or GM chassis, as Workhorse hadn't entered the market at that time.

With us, our choice of a coach was primarily based on the floor plan that we felt best suited our needs and that's what we bought. Ours just happened to be on the Ford chassis. We still have it and continue to be satisfied with our decision.

Good luck with your choice
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Old 01-29-2011, 11:14 PM   #10
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Howdy y'all,
Maybe I shouldn't be in this 'game', but the question WAS Triton V-10 vs 8.1 Vortec! I've driven Fords since the gears were pedals and have a 460ci V8 in my Georgie Boy, which gets about on average 8mpg... Lots of power and dependable... smooth shifting Ford automatic transmission... I'll stay with Ford gassers until the electrics come out!!!! I also have a Ford 351 V8
with 275K on it, a Ford 150 300ci 6 with 260K on it, a Mazda(Japanese Ford)
2.9 4cyl with 165K on it and a 1942 Ford 9N tractor... I'M A FORD MAN
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Old 01-30-2011, 12:35 AM   #11
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Howdy y'all,
Maybe I shouldn't be in this 'game', but the question WAS Triton V-10 vs 8.1 Vortec! I've driven Fords since the gears were pedals and have a 460ci V8 in my Georgie Boy, which gets about on average 8mpg... Lots of power and dependable... smooth shifting Ford automatic transmission... I'll stay with Ford gassers until the electrics come out!!!! I also have a Ford 351 V8
with 275K on it, a Ford 150 300ci 6 with 260K on it, a Mazda(Japanese Ford)
2.9 4cyl with 165K on it and a 1942 Ford 9N tractor... I'M A FORD MAN
...Times two(2) Butterbean, I like the dependability of a FORD!!!!!!!!!!
David G.......
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Old 01-30-2011, 06:09 AM   #12
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I have been both Ford & Workhorse owner.
Went from Ford 460 with all its problems into the Ford V-10's on their truck chassis.
Their chassis's during that time period could not support the Newmar coach's that were on them.
When Workhorse came out got interested between chassis's and found a much better ride and drive train power with the Workhorse chassis.
Now we have Ford finally coming out with a chassis for RV's that I may envy any new Ford owner.
I saw it at the Tampa show last year and its impressive to say the least, new improved gas engine, new transmission and a chassis thats going to give Workhorse a run for their money.
I would like to have driven the Ford just to see if I got the same experience as when I drove the Workhorse for the first time.
I still love my Workhorse but will look for a friend with the NEW Ford chassis just to see if there is that difference.
What you need to do is drive both and decide for yourself.
There are some new Workhorse 8.1 still on market to make this decision.
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Old 01-30-2011, 07:58 AM   #13
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Unfortunately there will be no competition for gas engine motorhomes in the immediate future as Workhorse has basically left that field and the only units available on the WH are older stock chassis. Winnebago does not list one gas WH chassis. Even Monaco who are owned by Navistar, who also own Workhorse are providing Ford Chassis on their gas motorhomes.
Ford has the market so hopefully they will continue to support this.
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Old 01-30-2011, 04:05 PM   #14
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The only thing I didn't like about the V-10 was the scream under the doghouse when it shifted down to climb a hill. Sounded like I had a cat by the tail. Not as much power as my WH even with the Banks System installed
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Old 01-30-2011, 05:48 PM   #15
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One more fact to help with the decision... Selecting the Workhorse may be hazardous to your marriage.

See, we have the WOrkhorse in our Sightseer... when I'm driving, I just have this irresistable urge when at a stop light to open my side window and challenge the car next to me (if it is a Corvette) to drag to the next light. Makes my wife most unhappy, but with all that power I think I just might be able to win!

Ok, so there is a little exaggeration there... it doesn't make my wife all that unhappy.

Seriously though, I'm so pleased with the power in our SightSeer on the Workhorse chassis. When we were out west in the mountains with our 18,000 pound motorhome towing a 4,000 pound toad, I was holding closer to the speed limit than most of the deluxe deisels that I was passing.
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Old 02-01-2011, 02:46 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by antiquelady View Post
Hello being a newbie RV owner wannabe, my head is swimming with all the information I have gathered. Many like the 8.1 Chev Workhorse and many the Ford V10 Triton. If the Workhorse recall is done, is there still chance of problems with the brakes? Also which give the best gas mileage? Thank you for your help.
I've owned 2 fords with the v10 and 1 wh. I wish I would of bought a ford chassis
on this mh. This is the second brake recall on wh brakes so no one here can say this will be the last. I was told wh had solved all its problems before I bought this one. Also ford has sooooooo many dealers that will service your mh although I never had one problem with my 2 fords. WH imo doesnt have near enough service centers as far as Im concerned(2 in my state). Ford has 2 just in my area alone. If you are buying a new gas mh you will have to get a ford but from what Im being told you wont be dissappointed. Good luck and do alot of research and not on this site only.
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Old 02-01-2011, 04:33 PM   #17
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Have had both - would never go back to a Ford. The big determining factor? The Allison transmission. Brakes on my 07 were re-called and then replaced - never stopped me at all. Drive smart and it never comes up. The 8.1 Vortec is just very powerful - will pull anything you have.
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Old 02-01-2011, 04:53 PM   #18
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As you can see by my signature I have a Workhorse and really like it and really enjoy the Alision tranny. I get between 7.5 and 8 mpg which is about average and no big deal.

I had a 460 ford in my 2 class c's and really liked the engine, however the tranny left a lot to be desired.

Lastly the WH doesn/t have autopark on my chassis even though the emergency brake is on the driveshaft. Usually when I park the RV someplace I just leave it in park, however when in Campground or at home parked I have to use emergency brake as slides or jacks won't work if you don't.

Good luck in your choice
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Old 02-01-2011, 08:16 PM   #19
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Hi Tom:
I get about the same mileage as you in with my V-10 and I like you am happy with my choice of chassis. I had two 460 Fords in Ford vans, a V-10 in the Class C motorohme and now a V-10 in a Class A chassis and we all know its not the same transmission as in the old days. And the new 5 speed Ford transmission installed in newer units works very well and is now rated for up to 26,000 lb chassis. I have looked on the forums and do not see any amount of problems reported, We both know they are both good chassis, but to always use the transmission as the major advantage, I don't see it?
Its hard to make real comparisons as of today because most of the info on the Work Horse Chassis site is about 2 years old. I just looked for some up to date info on any of their models and nothing is updated. This is not a sign of a company that is really involved with the RV market at this time?
I have a beautiful Ford brochure about their 2011 Chassis which is as up to date as you can expect.
The Workhorse R series is dead, the UFO is about dead, and not too much info on their new diesel FREDs which I understand are very good.
And two years wait for a recall is unacceptable under any terms.
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Old 02-01-2011, 08:46 PM   #20
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This is not meant to upset anyone.. Just the facts;; On a caravan in/To Alaska, We had diesel/ Chev/Ford; On mileage the V10 did the poorst mileage 6/7 Mpg. Going up the hills we would have to wait for the ford, The chev, Pulled with the diesels; The diesels run 9/10 MPG. Chev/Wh. 8/9 mpg.. This was over a 3000 + mile trip; These are the facts that were compiled on the trip; Buy what you want they are all good; You are paying for it;; Life is good;
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