ford 6.8 L triton V10

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Well-known member
Jul 22, 2006
kansas city MO
My wife and I will be picking up my late mother-in-law's 1999 minnie winnie with a triton 265HP V10 engine.? We are taking on the responsibility of keeping it for ourselves or selling it for the family.? My wife and I were thinking of getting an RV so we may just keep this one if we like it.? My question is about the engine.? Everything has been meticulously maintained and only has about 20K on the odometer.? I was looking into the reliability of the engine and as usual some people love and hate it.? The one thing that makes me a little nervous is I heard they have a problem of spitting out spark plugs and catching on fire.? Where I saw this was more in the work truck application, but is this engine strong enough for the minnie winnie at around 17,000 lbs. loaded down, and then pulling a jeep wrangler?? Any input is apprecated, thanks? Phil

Everything you need right there. You should be able to pull your GCWR no problem.
PS...banks power packs work even better on the older V10's
The weak link is the 4 spd tranny, so get the trans command too. That will help since Ford didn't get a proper tranny till 05. 
The V10 is plenty for that rig - it pulls around much larger coaches than that - many of them in the 20-22,000 lbs class. V10's have been quite reliable - there are always a few that go belly up, but on the whole it has been a sound power plant.  The V10 is designed to rev high, though, so be prepared to see some high RPMS when you need full power for a hill climb.

As Phil said, the transmission is the weak link in this drive train.  It works well on the open highway or around town but can be an irritant on steeper hills. There is a large gap in gear ratios between 2nd & 3rd, so once you have to drop to 1st or 2nd, its kind of  acrawl up the hills.  If you travel in mountainous areas and its a problem, the best solution is a Gear Vendors Over/Under Drive, which effectively adds  an additional gear.  But I doubt if that will be necessary for you.

Keep the Minnie Winnie and enjoy it. Do more camping and less worrying.
This subject has not had much action lately (I started with a search on Gear Vendors and selected the most recent response), but I am wondering exactly how the Gear Vendors "switch" works with an automatic Ford 6.8L Triton V10?

I will call Gear Vendors tomorrow, so this shows how impatient I am, but I am really curious. The literature says that there is a switch that can be mounted on either the gear shift or the floor, but unless it is just an "enable" switch, I can't see how the floor mounted switch will work?

In other words, if I'm climbing a long steep grade, for example highway 260 from Payson to Heber Arizona, how do I control the Gear Vendors to find and then stay in that "in between" gear that I really needed two weeks ago between 2nd and 3rd? (I crested the two or three main grades at 4000 rpms and 50mph in 2nd gear.)

Thanks, I'll repost tomorrow night after I talk to the Gear Vendors guys.

BTW, I'm interested in the GV product because I rarely seem to drive on truly flat trips, I will be taking at least two trips a year between Albuquerque and Scottsdale through the aforementioned Payson/Heber 260 route as well as trips into and out of the I25 Raton Pass corridor (another steep mountain grade).

I know it is not absolutely mandatory to maintain a speed of 50+ mph, but I figured since the GV product was available and because I really like my RV (2001 Southwind with Banks), I might as well consider this add on seriously.

Thanks for the help, this site has been very helpful for me.

Ray in Corrales (NM)
The "button" on the GV is merely a shift button. It doesn't make any difference where you mount it, floor, shift lever or on the roof,  it causes the GV to shift, moving you up or down a half a gear.  If you were in your tranny's 2nd gear and hit the GV upshift button, you are now in between 2nd and 3rd. 

Your transmission shifts normally. The GV is in series with it and shifts under control of the button, changing the effective gear ratio.
I have the V10 in my 37ft Winnebago ( 22,000lbs) and we tow a 2001 Jeep Cherokee Sport (4,200lbs). Initially I did find the tranny irritating, but with a zen approach of driving slower (at about the posted speed limits), I find it adequate, even on hills. While it is not my ideal, it has been entirely reliable and easy and cheap to service. The ride and handling are good, much better certainly than my prior RVs.
The OverUnder Gear (which I considered but didn't buy) is basically an added overdrive (which has a ratio halfway between factory third and factory fourth which is the factory overdrive).  I will call fourth gear 4/OD. It is bolted between the gearbox and the prop shaft. For hills, you do two things, press the gearshift button which turns off the factory 4/OD, and "simultaneously" step on the OverUnder floor button which engages the new 'three and a half' OverUnder gear. I decided against it because it didn't solve the particular problem I was trying to address (an annoying automatic downshift to third on minor hills while using cruise control), and because for the driving I do, mainly up and down the I95, there are usually slow lanes on the long grades and I slot in with the big tractor trailers.
Your rig and tow make you a fair bit lighter than mine, and I think you will find the V10 good. You have to learn the tranny, and manage your driving so that you don't find yourself in second at 3750 revs which is really really noisy, and makes you jump the first time you do it. My Modus Operandi is to turn off the Factory Overdrive when I have a hill in front of me and take it steadily up it. That way you hardly ever need second gear, and even if you do, your speed is low enough the the engine is at 3000 or so which is much nicer.
I would also point out, that if you want the GM 8.1 with the Allison 5speed tranny or some other equipment that is better than the V10 and fourspeed, then you are probably into more money, partly because those vehicles will be newer.

IMHO, if you are taking over this vehicle, you should not be paying any more than what an RV dealer will pay for it. I would first take it to a couple of RV dealers and ask for a price for them to buy it from you outright, and then find out if the family is happy with that price.  I'm guessing that someone in the family will go online to RV private sale sites and find very high asking prices for similar vehicles, and expect you to equal them. But this is a standard feature of private sales sites, ------- owners want ten thousand more than the actual market price.  This does not represent the actual  value of the vehicle you have available to you. Conversely, you could go and buy an RV and trade this one in on it, giving the family the trade-in value.
I hope I am not interfering here, since you didn't ask this specific question, but my experience with my family and my wife's family and several other families, is that it may be difficult to take over this vehicle without rancour from someone.
Good luck.

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