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Old 01-01-2019, 07:02 PM   #1
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Ford E-550 comeback?

Donít know if this has been covered already, but may be of interest to some of you that prefer larger Class C motorhomes.


Ford E-550 Econoline On The Way?


Ford offered an E-550 (heavier duty version of E-Series) for a couple of years, but discontinued about 15 years ago. It looks like Ford may be thinking of offering again an E-Series with GVWR above the E-450ís 14,500 pounds.

For reference only, below is picture of an old 2002 E-550. Note larger fender extensions to cover 19.5Ē tires, and solid front axle.
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Old 01-01-2019, 07:16 PM   #2
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Chance,
Could this be used for the A Class Vegas line up, like a beefed up 27.7 or a new double slide RUV?

Doc
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Old 01-01-2019, 07:24 PM   #3
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Since my old Outlaw was stretching the limits of it's rear axle capacity: this sure could be useful!
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Old 01-01-2019, 09:31 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by DocMike View Post
Chance,
Could this be used for the A Class Vegas line up, like a beefed up 27.7 or a new double slide RUV?

Doc

Doc, thatís an excellent question, and I have no idea. My ďguessĒ is that Ford could certainly offer an E-550 Stripped chassis (from technical standpoint) which would likely have up to 19,500 pound GVWR, but from a marketing standpoint Iím not sure how they would differentiate it from the lower GVWR options for the F-53, which start as low as 16,000 pounds GVWR (short of eliminating 16k and 18k F53 options).

I suppose that a major difference could be if the E-550 was offered with the F-550ís wide track coil spring front suspension instead of the F-53ís leaf springs. Even better would be if Ford developed a heavier duty Twin-I-Beam or other independent front suspension for an E-550. In any case, a wider front track like from F-550 should improve handling and appearance to Axis/Vegas-type motorhomes.

Iím highly biased because I like the E-Series cab dimensions and access from inside motorhome better than Ford Transit vans or F-550 Super Cs, so I think the real advantage to a possible E-550 would be for Class Cs 30+ feet long. Iím certain Ford is very aware that the trend over the last few years has been to shift from Class As to Cs, so this move (if it happens at all) may be to prevent all the overloaded 32-foot Class Cs with heavy slides.
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Old 01-01-2019, 10:22 PM   #5
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Chance,
Either as an A or C The slides add weight. It was announced that Ford was phasing out most sedans and going with the Mustang, SUV's and trucks (have seen pictures of the two door Bronco and the 4 door front wheel drive "Baby Bronco" on line...so maybe they'll add several new trucks for a wider clientele and usage options.

Doc
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Old 01-01-2019, 10:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocMike View Post
Chance,
Either as an A or C The slides add weight. It was announced that Ford was phasing out most sedans and going with the Mustang, SUV's and trucks (have seen pictures of the two door Bronco and the 4 door front wheel drive "Baby Bronco" on line...so maybe they'll add several new trucks for a wider clientele and usage options.

Doc
Ford has only released 1 image of the Bronco and its just a teaser: The Bronco covered with a tarp--no other official images are available at this time (wait a few weeks for NAIAS--the Detroit auto show; I bet they will finally introduce it there).
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Old 01-01-2019, 10:54 PM   #7
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Jamie...
You are such a tease...
That's twice that you've played this card: are you sure that there's nothing more "revealing" out there?
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Old 01-02-2019, 12:11 AM   #8
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Jamie...
You are such a tease...
That's twice that you've played this card: are you sure that there's nothing more "revealing" out there?
LOL! Sadly no, and I suffer from "Someone was WRONG on the internet!" too much sometimes LOL. (and, despite having family at Ford, I know nothing--really, I won't know until everyone else does).
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Old 01-02-2019, 12:17 AM   #9
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The interesting thing about that trademark filing: Its almost 18 months old (June 14, 2017). That would mean if they were working on it we might see something about it in the next year or so (automakers usually run in about 3-year cycles--when I was working at Ford there was a strong push to shorten that, however).
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Old 01-02-2019, 12:40 AM   #10
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The interesting thing about that trademark filing: Its almost 18 months old (June 14, 2017). That would mean if they were working on it we might see something about it in the next year or so (automakers usually run in about 3-year cycles--when I was working at Ford there was a strong push to shorten that, however).
Exactly, Ford must have been thinking about larger Class Cs and Cutaway commercial trucks for a few years, anticipating the need well in advance. Iíd bet Ford was shocked that the Transit van did not replace the E-Series like they expected. The E-Series is still the #1 RV chassis according to Ford media news if I recall correctly, which probably led to Fordís announcement that they were going to keep it around into the 2020ís.

What I donít get is why Ford doesnít already own the name ďE-550Ē since they produced it around 2002~2003. Would they have let the trademark expire to save a couple of $ or did they not have it at all (which may explain why it was taken off market). The only vehicle that comes to mind is Mercedes E series, but Iím not sure if they made an E-550.
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Old 01-02-2019, 01:58 AM   #11
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I have been lied to by my cell phone. I told it "Google show me the 2020 Ford Bronco" and it did (two doors, nice and boxy). Then I asked for the "2020 Baby Bronco" and it showed me pictures (four door, front wheel drive and all).

You just can't trust technology these days.

Doc
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Old 01-02-2019, 12:27 PM   #12
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The E550 in 2002 was a butt ugly truck, uncomfortable for a commercial user to get in and out multiple times over a day's work (doors were narrow and tall vs. the F Series cab) and it didn't offer a bench seat for 3 workers, among many other reasons. Buyers would buy the beefed up F Series instead. It only lasted two years before they discontinued it. Ford is trying to reinvent themselves with commercial trucks. A few years they got out of the commercial business all together except offering commercial versions of the F series. Termite trucks gave them tons of pickup business and motorhomes gave them plenty of stripped chassis business. The new F550 will make an excellent coach. The reason it didn't make a good coach chassis before was height. They had to raise the cab (thus the big bumper) to get the heavy suspension under it and it made it to high for a motorhome. Now that Dodge/Ram has entered the MH chassis market, Ford is trying to do what they can to keep market share. Converting the E Series to a 550 makes sense as it's already in place. Ford's biggest mistake was getting out of the commercial truck business a few years ago. They've now reinvented the F650 and 750 chassis but nothing heavier than that. Ford dominated with the L Series and HD tandem work trucks years ago.
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Old 01-02-2019, 01:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
LOL! Sadly no, and I suffer from "Someone was WRONG on the internet!" too much sometimes LOL. (and, despite having family at Ford, I know nothing--really, I won't know until everyone else does).



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Old 01-02-2019, 01:02 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by DocMike View Post
I have been lied to by my cell phone. I told it "Google show me the 2020 Ford Bronco" and it did (two doors, nice and boxy). Then I asked for the "2020 Baby Bronco" and it showed me pictures (four door, front wheel drive and all).

You just can't trust technology these days.

Doc
Was this the pictures that you saw?


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Old 01-02-2019, 01:38 PM   #15
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No doubt the E-Series has narrower doors than the F-Series, but pictures show that doors on E-550 were the same as on E-350 and E-450. I would guess that to clear the larger tires Ford raised the front end a couple of inches, but I doubt that would be a major issue for most buyers since they come with a step at front doors. Most RVers report they like to sit high anyway, so that may be a plus.

Some of the Internet pictures do make it look really ugly, particularly the entry level work trucks with dark plastic bumpers and wheel flares, and steel wheels without hubcaps. In my opinion E-350s and E-450s in same trim look pretty ugly too.

What I think is most important is that if Ford does offer an E-550, that they use a stronger and stiffer frame, and offer it in much longer wheelbases. Motorhomes requiring the GVWR of an E-550 will likely have wheelbases over 200 inches in length. They need longer wheelbase options like on F-550 and F-53 chassis.

I agree basic work trucks were ugly:
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Old 01-02-2019, 01:41 PM   #16
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On the other hand, the ones with appearance packages similar to motorhomes donít look that different to me:
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Old 01-02-2019, 01:50 PM   #17
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You know what they say: "Beauty is in the eye of the beerholder."
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Old 01-02-2019, 02:53 PM   #18
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That was it! Nice, stout and boxy looking (kind of like me).

Doc
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Old 01-02-2019, 03:41 PM   #19
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You'd look like a million bucks in it!
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Old 01-02-2019, 04:13 PM   #20
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Another drawback for the commercial E550 was access to engine for maintenance. As in all E Series, you have to remove the engine cover from inside the cab and access to the engine was very limited from under the "hood". The higher platform and additional step was a negative also. When you get in and out of a truck dozens of times a day in deliveries, this becomes a big factor. The competitors of Ford used these facts against them in sales pitches. The E550 was a failure, period. The picture above is of a bus. A similar motorhome would look the same. Personally I think it would make a great chassis for a C. It just failed as a "money maker" for businesses.
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