Oil for motorhome

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Oct 22, 2003
By Detroit
I have a deposit down on a 1997 Itasca Class A 32'motorhome with a 460 Ford V8. Currently I have a 1990 E350 27' Class C, also with the 460 V8.

Here is the interesting part: The E350's 460 calls for 5w30 or 10w30 PCMO, but the Class A's 460 calls for 5w30 or 15w40 HDMO (specifically says rated CF4).

So I am both excited and dissapointed at the same time. I am excited that I can run Valvoline Premium Blue 15w40 in it, but I am dissapointed because my 160 quart oil stash has absolutely no HDMO.

Ah well, I probably can just beef up the PCMO with SLOB or some other additive.

As for the big difference in oil spec, I can say the Class C is 9500 lb dry weight, whereas the Class A is 13000 lb dry and has a larger load capacity than the Class C.

The Class C's 460 runs 65 psi hot on 10w30, so I could not imagine running 15w40, but maybe the Class A's 460 is built different. Perhaps the oil pump is different. It will definitely work harder with the extra lbs.
Forget about the oil ...tell us about the added hardware

Now I hope you did the proctologists exam on the thing before putting your money down. Sump size ...big trans cooler ..any aux oil cooling ...etc..etc.

I have no oil advice here, but congratulations on your purchase. I would LOVE to have a rig like that to go touring in.
Given it's a Winnebago/Itasca, I expect the sump, cooler, etc are in order, but would not hurt to check. I spent three hours at the dealer today on the roof, walking around, and on a creeper beneath. Wife and kids were checking out the inside.

Wish I had gotten it last month. Just did a 5000 mile, 17 day trip to the Four Corners area in record heat (most days around 100F) and no air conditioner (my project generator flunked).

Anyway, there are some things the dealer needs to do before we commit. Not a done deal but looking pretty positive.

Gary probably recalls I was hoping the tranny on my class C was okay, else I was going to trade it in. Well I talked about it too much and, though the tranny is fine (it was all three u-joints bad), wife wanted to check out the class As. I'll say the Class A is a whole world different: real truck frame, not an undersized van, tons more storage inside and out. This unit has central air, that is ducted through the celing. It was 87 today and we had to have the vents mostly closed to keep from getting cold.

No wider than my class C, but freaky to drive at first because the class A has the full width in the cab, whereas the class C fools you with the van front.

I already found the place to mount the oil pressure gauge. Once we commit, I'll be shopping HDMO. My stash is no problem, I can sell it off. I already sold 24 bottles in the last month: 6 Pennzoil Platinum, 6 Startup, and 12 Pennzoil Synthetic SL.
...or you could try & find 10W-30 Delo in the winter or year-round, should you prefer to do so.

Might be the best of both worlds.

Of course, Amsoil's HDD 5W-30 would be right up at the top (IMHO) if you go to an extended OCI.


p.s. What kind of gas mileage did you get in your Class C? What do you EXPECT in the Class A?

They are, basically, the same motor 7.5/460 Fi, are they not?
Or I could probably get a 10w30 HDMO from Schaeffers too.

Class C: Just checked over 4500 miles on trip to Four Corners area including 4 11000-foot Colorado passes and got 8.1 mpg.

Class A weighs about 3500 pounds more and is slightly higher geared (est 4.40 vs 4.10), so maybe will only be 7 mpg, but the Class C had 38 gallon tank, whereas the Class A has 75 gallons.

Yep, same motor. The '90 was rated 380 ft/lb and the '97 is rated 400 ft/lb, both at 2200. Both 245 hp.
Hey there is a place a few miles down the interstate called "Motor City Truck: Ford/Sterling" I bet they would have 10w30 HDMO.

But hey, haven't even decided for sure to buy this rig, but if not this one, some other and it will be a Class A so probably HDMO either way.
One more bit of info on the oil. The Class A oil pressure spec is 40-88 psi at 2200 rpm hot, whereas the Class C's is 40-65 at 2200 rpm hot.

I suspect the 88 is to allow for the 10w40.
Good point 04SpecV. Unit only has 41000 miles, so Redline should not make a leak, but then it is 9 years old and I think age has a bearing on whether synthetic will cause a leak. Redline would definitely do the job.

It's not like it needs an HDMO for soot control/TBN. Mainly I think they just want to ensure high zddp and Redline has that, as would certain additives.

I have no problem buying more oil for this thing, but if I can dope up my present stash of PCMO and use it, it would be nice.
I again thank my lucky stars! My '87 F250 SuperCab 2WD has the last version of the 460 with a carb and the C6: With my 3K lb. camper in the bed I get 9 mpg, in town, out of town, to the Coast, etc.

No 11,000 ft. passes, but over the Coast range...

Interesting, I looked at the manual on a '98 Itasca (same model), but with the Chevy 454 engine. It specifies a PCMO. Maybe the Ford needs the extra beef of an HDMO because it works harder?
Are the service intervals the same

The only difference that I can see between either is deposit control and starting base numbers. There are some AW differences ..but that should effect interval more then anything else ..or so I reason
Don't know what the service intervals are.

Anyway, I was at Murrays today and see they have Motorcraft Diesel CI4/SL 10w30 for $2.39 a quart.
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