DEARBORN – Ford, America’s best-selling motorhome chassis manufacturer, is increasing production capacity by approximately 35 percent to meet renewed recreational vehicle demand in the United States.
At the same time, Ford is increasing production capacity of its 6.8-liter V10 engine that powers its motorhome chassis lineup.
“We’re pleased that while other chassis manufacturers have left this segment, Ford continues its commitment to the RV upfitter industry,” said Ken Czubay, vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service. “We’re increasing our participation in this industry as motorhome customers return to the market.”
The Ford F-53 motorhome and F-59 commercial chassis are built by Ford’s partner at Detroit Chassis at its state-of-the-art facility in Detroit. The 6.8-liter V10 gasoline engine is built in Canada at Ford’s Windsor Engine Plant in Ontario.
Class A motorhomes are recreational vehicles built on a stripped truck chassis where the driver’s area is part of the living area. Ford supplies parts such as the frame rails, suspension, powertrain and steering components to Detroit Chassis for assembly into motorhome chassis for customers like Winnebago, Thor and Fleetwood.
Shipments of Class A motorhomes were up 14 percent in 2012 but growth rose dramatically as the year closed, according to the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). Sales accelerated to 33 percent in December and 43 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to the RVIA.
Ford F-53 chassis registrations reached their highest levels in 2012 since 2007.
Motorhome chassis aren’t the only Ford products seeing increased demand. Production capacity of the company’s segment-exclusive 6.8-liter V10 gasoline engine that powers the F-53 will increase 25 percent by 2014 at Windsor Engine Plant to meet strong demand from commercial customers. The 6.8-liter V10 is also used in E-Series vans, F-Series Super Duty chassis cabs and the F-650 medium-duty truck.
Ford offers the best-selling RV chassis in both the Class A and Class C (E-Series chassis) markets. The F-53 Class A lineup includes six offerings ranging from the “tailgater’s special” 16,000-pound GVWR chassis through the capability leader 26,000-pound GVWR chassis, which gives motorhome builders the opportunity to offer the most advanced, most luxurious RV bodies yet. Prices for Class A motorhomes can exceed $150,000.