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8.1 liter Chevy engine - last year used in RV


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That was a very strong gas motor along with the Ford V-10.The V10 is still powers motor homes. We had the V-10 and had friends with the 8.1 pulling heavy 5th wheels. The MPG was very, very low particularity in the mountains  . We traded our V-10 for a diesel after 2 years of towing.  They were both pulling beast  the friend with the 8.1  now has a dodge diesel. IMO the V-10 gas motor  as  the 8.1 gasser was not suitable for heavy Rv's. 

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  • 1 month later...

I'm looking for a used Class A, and I won't buy anything but a Ford-powered coach. The Ford approach appeals to me. More displacement, lower compression. Works for me. Reminds me of the airplane i used to own. Besides, I keep reading is a beast, more like a diesel. I just don't know how to work a diesel, and I don't want to. Not at my age. So, a hard-pullin' Ford is what I seek. Budget, solar not included, is about $20K. A number of immediate add-ons. The aforementioned solar setup and an Excel tankless water heater, removing the booth seats and putting in individual chairs for that. Will free up some space during non-eating hours.

Edited by OldMan
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12 hours ago, OldMan said:

I'm looking for a used Class A, and I won't buy anything but a Ford-powered coach.

If you want something that is built in the past 10 years, it will be Ford powered as it is the only choice available. We had an early V-10 Ford chassis for 14 years (bought new) and never regretted the choice. The average fuel mileage for the entire time figured out to be a respectable 7.81 mpg. Highway milages usually exceeded 8 mpg traveling at 60 mph. 

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The 8.1 is the only Chevy I'd drive.

Yes, cruise control (at 59MPH) will be the salvation of fuel mileage. Cruise control and driving when others are not. Nights on the weekend, daytime during the week (avoiding congested places). I've already got my "theoretical first trip," as a fulltimer all sussed out. To early to commit, but as it stands now, trout fishing and a visit to the Very Large Array are included in that trip. I've been a space nut since 1960. I was 7 when Smilin' Al Shepard was the first American in space. I was hooked.

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16 hours ago, OldMan said:

Hoping to find one with a Banks system already installed.

We had no problem pulling the steepest grades but with high RPM,s  and perhaps 35 or 40 MPH and a lot of engine screaming. The V-10 is built for that. At high altitude we ran out of motor Pulling   23K or so. The  Combined vehicle weight produced low MPG if that is a issue. It was more a annoyance factor with the noise and screaming than anything else .  The banks system would be a wise choice  however IMO the V-10 does not need more power as it has plenty. Your choice of course but again IMO having pulled with both the diesel is a better choice.

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9 hours ago, richfaa said:

We had no problem pulling the steepest grades but with high RPM,s  and perhaps 35 or 40 MPH and a lot of engine screaming. The V-10 is built for that. At high altitude we ran out of motor Pulling   23K or so. The  Combined vehicle weight produced low MPG if that is a issue. It was more a annoyance factor with the noise and screaming than anything else .  The banks system would be a wise choice  however IMO the V-10 does not need more power as it has plenty. Your choice of course but again IMO having pulled with both the diesel is a better choice.

Several things:

Diesel is expensive. I don't know anything about them and thus I won't be able to work on them. If I was younger I'd dig in, but at my age, no. Did that years ago with flying and airplanes. More money pits.

You ran out of pulling with the V10 or the 8.1?

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Ran out of motor with the V-10 at high altitude. Right now the difference in price diesel/gas here in Florida is gas 2.59 diesel 2.89 better MPG on the diesel will make up for the  difference in cost over time. We also use the FJ/ Pilot RV plus card for 7 cents off diesel.

We are not knocking the V-10  had we  only  towed on fairly level ground or been low end users we would have stayed with it. It just was not suitable for us for high end use all over the country. We are just stating our experience and opinion.

It sounds like you have your mind made up.The V-10 will pull you wherever you want to go so go with what ever suits your present needs.

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21 minutes ago, Kirk Wood said:

When compared to gasoline engines, diesel engines are also expensive. 

That's a fact.  Depending on the size/year/manufacturer, they are expensive to upkeep/repair.  They have lots more torque than gas, infact if done right, diesels can be some serious horse power/torque monsters way surpassing gas albeit expensive to do.  More expensive to buy in vehicles new also.  That being said, I drive one.  Me thinks this is way off topic, if so, plz excuse.

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  • 2 months later...
On 12/11/2017 at 10:53 AM, Jeff & Suzanne said:

 I had that beast in my first RV tow vehicle. . .a 2009 Silverado  extended cab with Allison tranny pulling our 30 ft. Airstream Classic with a Hensley Hitch.  Twelve to fourteen mpg pulling or not.  Sweet!!

Did you do anything to the engine to get that great mileage?

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The Ford V-10 in our 34' Class A towing a 3500 lb toad takes us up the 6% grade through Fancy Gap on I-77 going from Charlotte, NC to Ft Chiswell, VA without dropping below 55 MPH. Our previous Ford 460 V-8 powered coach would drop to around 40 pulling the same stretch. The bottom line though, was that both coaches always got us where we were going...

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