Ford vs Mercedes diesel

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

MikeFromMesa

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 13, 2014
Posts
295
We are still looking for our new RV and the units we are now considering are mostly diesel, but some of those are Ford diesels and some Mercedes diesels and I do not know if one is better than the other one.

I do know that there are a lot of Ford dealers around while there are few Mercedes dealers, so maintenance would be much easier and probably less expensive with a Ford, but I have no idea of the relative qualities of the two engines and drive-trains.

Are Mercedes diesels more economical in terms of fuel economy? Or is it a wash? Are they more reliable? In general, is there a reason to look for one over the other? My gut reaction is that the Mercedes are probably better, but perhaps that is based on advertising and completely wrong, and it can be a long way between Mercedes dealers, especially in the rural US southwest. One example is that the nearest Mercedes dealer to El Paso, Texas is almost 500 miles away just outside of San Antonio, and that is a long way to get towed.

Any information would be helpful.
 
What RVs (motorhomes?) have you found with Ford diesels in them?.  It would be a whole lot easier if you were more specific in your description of "RV"  class "A'  "B"or  "C"  Where I come from Ford powerstrokes are considered junk (alto they make good pick-ups the powerstroke is garbage.>>>Dan
 
Diesel anything...I just hope they don't slap a "Dirty Tax" on them like the europeans ..
 
I think there may be a few Class C's that offer the Ford diesel in an E450 chassis. The Mercedes diesels are all either B's or C's, as far as I know.  I'm guessing, though, that he is looking at the Thor Super-C's, which have Ford diesels on an F550 chassis. Thor also offers an array of MB diesel C's, but they are all smaller.
It would make more sense for Mike to outline the size, style and features he wants in an RV and then see what powertrains are available in that range.
 
Utclmjmpr said:
What RVs (motorhomes?) have you found with Ford diesels in them?.  It would be a whole lot easier if you were more specific in your description of "RV"  class "A'  "B"or  "C"  Where I come from Ford powerstrokes are considered junk (alto they make good pick-ups the powerstroke is garbage.>>>Dan

Sorry about that.

The Mercedes diesel models are the Tiffin Wayfarers and some of the Thor Gemini floorpans. The Ford are other Thor Gemini floorpans and the Winnebago Fuses. All are either B+ or small C, depending upon your viewpoint.

The Ford diesel:

3.2L I-5 Power Stroke? Turbo Diesel with 185HP & 350 lb. ft. Torque


The Mercedes diesel:

3.0 6-Cylinder Turbo Diesel Engine with 5-speed Automatic Tip Shift Transmission 188 HP/325 lb Torque

I expect to make the decision based on my wife's interest in the floor plans and the available functionality, not the engine, but it would be good to know so I could factor that in as well.
 
The word "Powerstroke" is meaningless, just advertising hype.  For some to say Powerstrokes are junk is also meaningless because there are five completely different families of engines with that badge.  There are V8, V6 and I5 configurations built by Ford, Navistar and foreign companies.
 
Gary RV_Wizard said:
Turbo-diesels aren't dirty anyway...
You are kidding me  right....look up particulate matter...Turbo or not someone is selling you ...They won't even LET you into some cities if you have a diesel!  others fine you the dirty tax.. 
 
reniram said:
You are kidding me  right....look up particulate matter...Turbo or not someone is selling you ...They won't even LET you into some cities if you have a diesel!  others fine you the dirty tax..
Which cities and how do they stop you?  My 2013 F350 does NOT EVER belch black clouds!
 
Diesel is an inherently dirty fuel..major strides have been made in the last 20 years to reduce the carbon emission etc by installing automatic particulate filters and cleaner fuels thereby drastically reducing emissions..The French and Brits recognize this but they are mandating by the year 2030 or so there will be NO internal combustion engines..this seems like a big stretch to me..can't see it happening here or anywhere!. ..but..believe it...there are cities in europe that will not allow certain vehicles in their streets and those that do slap a hefty tax / fine  . If a diesel is properly maintained the problems are greatly reduced and almost eliminated..the real issue is when they get older and some owners maybe ignore filter changes and some even removing emission controls..it ruins it for the rest of us.....
 
reniram said:
Diesel is an inherently dirty fuel..major strides have been made in the last 20 years to reduce the carbon emission etc by installing automatic particulate filters and cleaner fuels thereby drastically reducing emissions..The French and Brits recognize this but they are mandating by the year 2030 or so there will be NO internal combustion engines..this seems like a big stretch to me..can't see it happening here or anywhere!. ..but..believe it...there are cities in europe that will not allow certain vehicles in their streets and those that do slap a hefty tax / fine  . If a diesel is properly maintained the problems are greatly reduced and almost eliminated..the real issue is when they get older and some owners maybe ignore filter changes and some even removing emission controls..it ruins it for the rest of us.....

I am not knowledgeable about this, which is why I originally posted the question, but a search on the internet turns up almost exclusively British/European articles with almost nothing about the US. That leads me to the question as to whether or not the US requirement for ULSD has largely solved this problem. That is not a statement, but it is a question. Has the problem largely been solved by ULSD?

The associated question is why more and more RVs are being sold with Diesel engines. In looking at new B+ small Class C RVs almost all I find is diesel.
 
reniram said:
You are kidding me  right....look up particulate matter...Turbo or not someone is selling you ...They won't even LET you into some cities if you have a diesel!  others fine you the dirty tax..
The new ones aren't nearly as dirty as they used to be. When I bought my 2016 Newmar Ventana, with a Cummins 360 HP diesel, the state of Colorado gave me a considerable tax break for a "clean air" vehicle. A goodly chunk of this cleanup comes from the use of DEF, BTW. That being said, no gas or diesel engine is "clean." Neither are electrics, in the sense of where does the electricity come from to charge them, and how much pollution is there from building the batteries?
 
The original question of this thread was:

Are Mercedes diesels more economical in terms of fuel economy? Or is it a wash? Are they more reliable? In general, is there a reason to look for one over the other? My gut reaction is that the Mercedes are probably better, but perhaps that is based on advertising and completely wrong, and it can be a long way between Mercedes dealers, especially in the rural US southwest. One example is that the nearest Mercedes dealer to El Paso, Texas is almost 500 miles away just outside of San Antonio, and that is a long way to get towed.

but it has been drawn into whether Diesel engines are inherently more "dirty" than gasoline engines and no one has posted any answer that actually addresses that question. Does no one have any relevant information? When I posted it I thought users would have some data on the relative merits of the two diesels.
 
I have no data between the two but I have the same gut feeling towards the Mercedes..I don't think I would be too concerned with either..diesels are so reliable these days so I think it comes down to the look and feel of each unit and floorplan that works for you..I imagine the Ford may have better service coverage seeing as there is a dealer in almost every city throughout the U.S.  I am also seeing a lot of large companies buying fleets of the Sprinter style Mercedes but pretty much all of the RV dealers can do the regular maintenance required whatever you choose...so I suppose you make your choices and enjoy the experience... Happy Camping...
 
The small Ford diesel is a new (2018) engine, so very little track record at all and zero in the Rv application. The MB V6 diesel has been around several years and has performed reasonably well and produced good fuel economy in small RVs.  Anecdotal reports are that MB chassis/engine maintenance and repair are higher than other brands and MB dealers that can handle RV-sized vehicles are few and far between, but I don't know how accurate those reports are.


Likewise, the Tiffin Wayfarer is a brand new type and model, so little to go on. Tiffin is just branching out into Class C coaches. I looked at their website and see only the MB Sprint diesel chassis, not any Ford-based models.  Are you finding them on dealer lots?  The I5 diesel would be in the Ford Transit chassis, which is available as a van cutaway that could be made into an RV, but as I said, no track record yet.
 
MikeFromMesa said:
The original question of this thread was:

Are Mercedes diesels more economical in terms of fuel economy? Or is it a wash? Are they more reliable? In general, is there a reason to look for one over the other? My gut reaction is that the Mercedes are probably better, but perhaps that is based on advertising and completely wrong, and it can be a long way between Mercedes dealers, especially in the rural US southwest. One example is that the nearest Mercedes dealer to El Paso, Texas is almost 500 miles away just outside of San Antonio, and that is a long way to get towed.

but it has been drawn into whether Diesel engines are inherently more "dirty" than gasoline engines and no one has posted any answer that actually addresses that question. Does no one have any relevant information? When I posted it I thought users would have some data on the relative merits of the two diesels.

I cannot answer your question but I have one for you.  Have you ruled out gas engines or are you just trying to find information about two types of diesel engines?  I would suggest you search YouTube for videos.  You seem to be asking for impartial information based on data but you aren't getting that. 
 
Gary RV_Wizard said:
The small Ford diesel is a new (2018) engine, so very little track record at all and zero in the Rv application. The MB V6 diesel has been around several years and has performed reasonably well and produced good fuel economy in small RVs.  Anecdotal reports are that MB chassis/engine maintenance and repair are higher than other brands and MB dealers that can handle RV-sized vehicles are few and far between, but I don't know how accurate those reports are.


Likewise, the Tiffin Wayfarer is a brand new type and model, so little to go on. Tiffin is just branching out into Class C coaches. I looked at their website and see only the MB Sprint diesel chassis, not any Ford-based models.  Are you finding them on dealer lots?  The I5 diesel would be in the Ford Transit chassis, which is available as a van cutaway that could be made into an RV, but as I said, no track record yet.
Thank you for the information. As to whether we are finding Tiffins on dealer lots, the answer is a qualified yes. By qualified I mean that there are only 2 dealers in this area, one in the Phoenix area and one in the Tucson area. However there are several models on the dealer's lot.

All of the Tiffin models we have seen were on Sprinter chassis and so have the MB diesel. I have asked the dealer about the cost of routine maintenance on the MB engines and was told that an oil change was $350. Interestingly enough the MB (auto) dealer also does Sprinter maintenance and only changes $210 for the same service, but you have to assume an RV dealer is going to over charge. But then again I expected the MB dealer to over charge.

I made a list of all of the main specs for all of the B+/small C RVs we are interested in and the numbers turned up something interesting. All of the RVs 24 feet or shorter use the Ford Transit chassis and the Ford diesel while all of those longer use the MB Sprinter chassis and diesel.
 
Drifterrider said:
I cannot answer your question but I have one for you.  Have you ruled out gas engines or are you just trying to find information about two types of diesel engines?  I would suggest you search YouTube for videos.  You seem to be asking for impartial information based on data but you aren't getting that.

It is not a question of ruling out gas engines. Our current 2005 Pleasure-Way Class B uses the Ford V10 and it has been a sturdy and economical engine and I would not mind getting another one in a new RV. My present one is giving me 13-15 mpg on the road at 65-70 mph and gasoline is everywhere, so I feel very kindly toward it and Ford. My oil changes and tire rotations at the Ford dealer are only $50.

The real issue is that all of the B+/small C RVs we have looked at use diesels, either the Ford or the Mercedes, so we do not seem to have a choice. We also looked at a small Class A (a Thor Vegas) which is only about 25 feet long, and it has a gasoline engine, but it is probably too large for us. Sitting inside it is enough to really spoil someone who is used to Class B RVs, but my wife is a bit concerned about the height and width, so we will probably end up with something a bit smaller.
 
The 5 cylinder Ford diesel in question has been around for several years. I’d favor it over the Mercedes because Ford dealers are common and I assume servicing and repairs are more available and cheaper.
 

Latest posts

Members online

Forum statistics

Threads
131,928
Posts
1,387,654
Members
137,677
Latest member
automedicmobile
Back
Top Bottom