✅ Most reliable and worst Ford and Chevy MOTORS and TRANSMISSIONS?

I need to buy a used box truck with a 12’ box and preferably with single wheels in the back. I will convert this into a motorhome / tiny home. I will be very conscious of keeping it as light as possible while building. Most box trucks have full size Ford or Chevy van front cabs with gas V8 engines. Miles and price matters so I don’t know what year I will be buying yet.


  1. Which Ford and Chevy V8 gas engines AND automatic transmissions are the most RELIABLE?

  2. Which Ford and Chevy V8 gas engines AND automatic transmission’s should I AVOID like the plague?

Thank you!:grinning::call_me_hand:t3:

Seriously ? How do expect anyone to answer your question ? No price range , what size box truck or even what you plan to do with it.

When you find something you are interested in pay a shop to inspect the vehicle for possible reasons to buy or pass on it.

Stay away from Ford 5.4 liter V8s, they are a problem. Stay away from Chevys with variable displacement engines. They are a problem.

Other than those specifics either will be pretty durable. Not sure what years you are considering but be sure to pay your mechanic check out anything you are thinking of buying before signing.


I edited it.

I don’t know what years yet because that will be based on the price, miles, condition and IF it has an engine and trans that is known for reliability.

Any thoughts on the most reliable transmissions and worst? (Figure a 12’ to 14’ box with single wheels in back.)


I’m thinking your desire for single wheels in the back will limit your load quite a bit. Check out tire load ratings compared to the weight you’ll be carrying.

I would look at used motor homes . It might be less expensive besides they will actually drive better .

I think you mean a single rear axle with dual tires ( 2 on each side in the rear ) .

I don’t remember the weight capacity numbers but the way I will build it out (and including stuff I put into after) will be well below the payload.

Thanks but most motorhomes are built cheap and ticky tacky and I have specific needs for the interior that won’t work with any motorhome.

Single rear axle but I don’t want duallys.

You usually don’t get much of a choice in gearboxes. Both brands have pretty good trans, auto or manuals.

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I think you DO want duals. Otherwise it is just at most a 1 ton van and you likely won’t find a cutaway chassis with that low a capacity.

And the stuff you put in to make a motorhome is heavier than you think. Water for starters.

I’ll be doing pretty much the same thing most do when they build out a full size tall 1 ton Transit, Sprinter or Promaster into a tiny home. Very few of those tall vans have duallys. And unlike most builds that are ridiculously heavy, I will focus on keeping the build as light as possible.

I would like to upload a photo I have of a Ryder box truck with a 12’ box and no duallys but I don’t see how to do that with this forum.

A photo of something is not needed . If you want to have it checked out by a mechanic that is needed .

A 12 ft box truck only has a 3100 lb payload. That is pretty low.

Thanks, but I already know that. It’s the most reliable Ford and Chevy gas V8 engines and transmissions (and ones to avoid) that I’m interested in knowing about. For example, I know that the trusty old Chevy 350 is a very reliable engine and that Ford Tritons suck.

My build will probably be 1000 pounds under that and that’s including food, water and junk.

Any used box truck is going to have very high miles. A used class C motor coach typically has very low miles. Class C coaches depreciate like mad so can be found cheap. Especially near tourist destinations. You won’t have to build it out, just repair or replace the broken things.

Thanks, but like I told the Volvo guy, I have very specific needs for the interior that won’t work with any motorhome interior. Also, I was a cabinetmaker and don’t like the ticky tacky cheapo construction of motorhome interiors and they are always loaded with crap I don’t want.

I know someone who got a bus with a wheel chair lift with a bit over 200k miles on it. It’s a Ford probably from around 2002. He sort of turned it in to an RV.

Now at 250k miles he says there is an engine knocking noise. Says all Fords do it by 250k. But I bet he used the cheap dollar store too thin 5W20 or 5w30 oil and didn’t change it enough. Fords need 35 weight oil above 150k miles! 40 weight above 200k!