The Ford is a gas hog compared to the GM 8100 Engine. There have also been a few recalls on the Ford V10 engine from what I have read. I own a '02 Southwind with the GM/Allison combination. It is a strong engine and although I have had trouble with the coach the chassis has performed beyond expectations. Towing a dinghy up Black Mountain near the Tennessee/North Carolina border will test the metal of any motorhome. Mine has done it a few times with flying colors. I know there are a lot higher mountains out there than this one but I wouldn't be afraid to tackle any of them.
Maybe you could take a trip to a popular campground, where there will be plenty of motorhomes, and just asked some of the people who own the different units.
Hi Dave, welcome to the forum. You didn't say are you looking to buy new or used? In the 1970's Dodge had the lyons share of MH chassis business, in the 1980's it was the Chevy P-30 that dominated, a big inprovement over the Dodges. In the late 80's and thur most of the 90's Ford's F-53 dominated and was superior to the Chevy P-30 pretty much all the way around. Chevy pretty much dropped the ball and did little to improve update the chassis and in about 1998 or 99 sold the chassis part to Workhorse, they have dramatically improved the chassis and are now on par or may even be a bit ahead of Ford. As for engines I am not aware of any recalls on the Ford V10 the 98 anad 99 engines were 275 HP in 2000 the heads were redesigned and some other changes and it went to 310 HP, some time this next year the V10 will have ne heads with 3 valves per cyl. giving it another boost in HP about 345HP, it is a strong very reliable engine gets good fuel mileage for a big block engine. The GM 454 had throttle body fuel control from about 1990 until about 1997/98 when it was given multi-port injection and was called a Vortec 7.4, then about 3 years ago GM came out with the 8.1 V8 a big improvement over the old 454, but it has had some issuses with piston slap. As for average fuel mileage there isn't a nickles worth the difference between the GM 7.4 or the Ford 460 or between the GM 8.1 or the Ford V10, remember motorhomes are large heavy vehicles and hills & winds play a big part in fuel useage.
I have owned both a GM & many Fords and much prefer the Fords as I am a Ford guy, my advice is if you prefer GM products then thats what you want to go with on the other hand if you are a Ford guy thats the way to go. I have well over 185000 miles under my belt with the Ford 460 and never have had a problem with them, I have drien a GM product for about 25000 / 30000 miles and never had a problem, but I really like the Fords much better. Good luck with the search. :laugh: :bleh: :approve: