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Old 07-06-2017, 11:14 AM   #1
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Thor vs Forest River Mercedes Diesel vs Ford 350

Hello Fellow RVers. This looks wonderful to be able to share information. I am not new to RV's and in fact have just signed paperwork to trade in my forest river Forester Mercedes diesel for Thor quantum C class. Does anybody out there have experience comparing the quality overall between these two brands? Also, The Mercedes diesel was a powerful engine and I am concerned whether the Ford 350 in my new Thor will match up. I didn't push to drive before making the commitment and am concerned. I pick it up on the 17th. Anything I should watch out for? I'm excited but also have some concerns.
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Old 07-06-2017, 11:30 AM   #2
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The V-10 has plenty of power to handle whatever you throw at it. Remember it is in much larger and heavier coaches than the Class C you'll be picking up.

Just remember that it is a gas engine and not a Diesel and you should be fine (a bit less low RPM torque and it loves to rev).
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Old 07-06-2017, 11:51 AM   #3
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Thank you so very much for your reply. Forgive my ignorance but you clarify your "remember that it is gas and not diesel" advice. How should I handle it differently?
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Old 07-06-2017, 12:30 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Roots and wings View Post
Thank you so very much for your reply. Forgive my ignorance but you clarify your "remember that it is gas and not diesel" advice. How should I handle it differently?
Typically Diesel engines have more torque and a much lower redline than gas engines. Consequently the shift points for transmissions connected to Diesels are much lower than gas engines.

Conversely gas engines will typically have more horsepower and rev higher.

The net affect of these differences is that in truck instances (motorhomes, pickup trucks towing trailers/5th wheels, etc.) Diesels will get you going a little quicker from a stop due to all the low end torque available but when at speed a gas engine will ultimately go a little faster on the top end (for engines with comparable specs).

I remember reading a Road n Track comparison of Diesel and gas pickups once where one of the tests was a 10,000 lb tow up a hill. The Diesel engines made it up the hill at a relatively constant speed and engine RPM. The gas engines started out slower but ended up passing the Diesel's up the hill as they picked up speed and engine RPM.

Basically when you're driving your Class C around don't be afraid to let the V-10 rev a bit higher than you're used to. It does get noisy--although I'd bet the Ford cab on the Class C provides better noise insulation than Thor does with the Class A cabs where the driver is sitting right on top of the V-10.

In addition: Expect the V-10 to be a lot more thirsty: 8-10 mpg.
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Old 07-06-2017, 12:50 PM   #5
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JaimieGeek thanks a million! Both of your responses were extremely helpful. Thank you thank you!
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Old 07-06-2017, 01:09 PM   #6
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I can provide my opinions on this. I went from an Itasca Reyo (Sprinter based class A) to the Axis (E450 based class A). From what I know, the E350 and E450 use the same engine and transmission, the frame is what is different. (And, I'm sure if I'm wrong, someone will pipe up!)

I was also concerned about power when I made the transition. For a while, I was towing a 4 door Jeep with the Reyo. We have 2 houses, one in Atlanta and one in Utah, that we migrate back and forth between with the RV. Before I decided to leave the Jeep in Utah, we towed it back and forth. The Reyo towed the Jeep just fine and that was up and over the Rockies on I70 west of Denver.

Now that I've driven the Axis through that same route, I have a much more informed opinion on the differences. As JamieGeek pointed out, the Sprinter didn't rev nearly as high and the E450. It can get kind of loud in the Axis when climbing a 7% grade. But, I do think I had more power available in the Axis. I was able on a few occasions to actually pick up a little speed in the Axis on one of these grades, and I don't think I was ever able to do that with the Sprinter.

The Axis will downshift on a drop of a hat when going up pretty much any kind of hill. Sometimes, it takes 2 gears before it can keep up the speed I set on the cruise control. When it does that, the engine does rev up considerably.

It's funny that JamieGeek mentions that the diesel should be faster from a dead stop. I think the Axis feels faster from a dead stop. But that is just my feeling, not like I measured and tested anything.

The gas mileage is much different. On the last trip with the Reyo (I had to get some engine work done before the last trip which affected mileage), I got about 14 MPG. The round trip out to Utah in the Axis was 10 MPG (10.5 on the way out and 9.5 on the way back).

I hope this helps. And, if you got any specific questions, just let me know.
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Old 07-06-2017, 01:27 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Roots and wings View Post
...
Does anybody out there have experience comparing the quality overall between these two brands? Also, The Mercedes diesel was a powerful engine and I am concerned whether the Ford 350 in my new Thor will match up.
...
If you thought the MBS was "powerful" you'll likely change that thought once you experience the V10's power because that is a tiny diesel at roughly 40% less power comparatively in both HP & TQ. Certainly there's a MPG cost to that choice and the 10 likes to spin at higher RPMs. However the lower cost and easier to find servicing makes up for at least some of that.

FWIW... The MBS was what we were looking for a few years ago and I found its power to be lacking (frustrating) for mountain travel especially when near max GCWR.

Out of the box (new) the sprinter chassis handled better than the Fords hands down. Since I've had several E chassis, I knew they just need tuning to handle well with the weight they carry.

It'll be interesting to hear your thoughts once you get a chance to drive your new rig.
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Old 07-06-2017, 01:29 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by BSexton
It's funny that JamieGeek mentions that the diesel should be faster from a dead stop. I think the Axis feels faster from a dead stop. But that is just my feeling, not like I measured and tested anything.
Yeah in theory since the Diesel's have much more low end torque they should be faster.

I've driven a few Diesels (namely Ford's old 7.1L Powerstroke, and an International truck) and in both cases the Diesel's feel like they don't like to accelerate RPM's much.

The V-10 on the other hand can rev up from 500 RPM to 5000 RPM almost like the 4 cylinder in my old Focus--very quickly. I think this tends to make the V-10 feel like a fast engine.
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Old 07-06-2017, 02:12 PM   #9
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My 2016 E350 Vegas 24.1 has the 5 speed trans. So I believe that the earlier E350's had the 5 speed trans and the 450's had the 6speed trans or at least they did during the transition back and forth last year. It might be nice if all the new ones got the 6 speed trans.

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Old 07-06-2017, 03:12 PM   #10
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My 2016 E350 Vegas 24.1 has the 5 speed trans. So I believe that the earlier E350's had the 5 speed trans and the 450's had the 6speed trans or at least they did during the transition back and forth last year. It might be nice if all the new ones got the 6 speed trans.

Doc
Doc, that's essentially a non issue. The Ford revision from 5- to 6-speed affected all E-Series with V10 at same time -- and it was based on chassis model year. Ford only kept the 5-speed longer on E-Series that had the old 5.4-liter V8, but in practice very few motorhomes were built with that 5.4-L V8.

The 6-speed upgrade was not a function of E-350 versus E-450.
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Old 07-06-2017, 03:34 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
Typically Diesel engines have more torque and a much lower redline than gas engines. Consequently the shift points for transmissions connected to Diesels are much lower than gas engines.

Conversely gas engines will typically have more horsepower and rev higher.

The net affect of these differences is that in truck instances (motorhomes, pickup trucks towing trailers/5th wheels, etc.) Diesels will get you going a little quicker from a stop due to all the low end torque available but when at speed a gas engine will ultimately go a little faster on the top end (for engines with comparable specs).

I remember reading a Road n Track comparison of Diesel and gas pickups once where one of the tests was a 10,000 lb tow up a hill. The Diesel engines made it up the hill at a relatively constant speed and engine RPM. The gas engines started out slower but ended up passing the Diesel's up the hill as they picked up speed and engine RPM.

Basically when you're driving your Class C around don't be afraid to let the V-10 rev a bit higher than you're used to. It does get noisy--although I'd bet the Ford cab on the Class C provides better noise insulation than Thor does with the Class A cabs where the driver is sitting right on top of the V-10.

In addition: Expect the V-10 to be a lot more thirsty: 8-10 mpg.
We have a 2004 Jayco and one of the things we don't like is the noise. Can you explain more? Do you know if newer ones are quieter?
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Old 07-06-2017, 03:38 PM   #12
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switch?

in fact have just signed paperwork to trade in my forest river Forester Mercedes diesel for Thor quantum C class.

Can I ask why you switched brands? We are deciding between a RF and Quantum. What are your thoughts on the rubber roof vs. fiberglass?
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Old 07-06-2017, 04:01 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
Yeah in theory since the Diesel's have much more low end torque they should be faster.

.....cut......
The Ford 6.8L V10 has more torque than the Mercedes 3.0L turbodiesel at sea level -- I believe 420 versus 350 lb-ft if memory serves me right -- didn't look it up.

At very high elevations the MB diesel should generate more torque than the Ford, plus the Sprinter motorhome should be lighter, so I'd expect the diesel MB to "feel" quicker in normal driving, specially at higher elevations.

The 6-speed has much lower 1st gear ratio, so should launch much quicker off the line than older 5-speed MHs.
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Old 07-06-2017, 04:09 PM   #14
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We have a 2004 Jayco and one of the things we don't like is the noise. Can you explain more? Do you know if newer ones are quieter?
Class A or C?

For what it's worth, the V10 engines are the same in Axis/Vegas and Class Cs, but sound insulation must be very different between what Ford and Thor provide. Comparing the two directly may not tell much.
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Old 07-06-2017, 04:14 PM   #15
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Class C
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Old 07-06-2017, 04:19 PM   #16
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The V-10 has been the same for a while now. In our pickups (F-250 and F-350) it wasn't that noisy but the engine in the pickups is way out in front away from the passengers.

In our Axis the front two people are pretty much sitting right on top of the V-10--very noisy. I had added some extra insulation to the doghouse and to the inside front compartment to quiet it down--we can now hear each other without having to shout.

The Quantum is a Class C with a Ford van front. I would suspect it will be a little bit quieter than our Axis.

If your 2004 Jayco is a Class C I would suspect that the Quantum will be as noisy or slightly less as it would be the same Ford front end (just a few years newer).

(I can't comment on roof materials as all of our RVs have always had a rubber roof--including the Axis past the front cap. Well I can say one thing: The fiberglass on the top of our front cap has seriously faded due to UV damage in the 3 years we've owned it. If the whole top was that I think I'd prefer the rubber roof!)
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