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Old 06-16-2010, 12:17 PM
 
128 posts, read 770,758 times
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Ok well you all have really got me thinking about the truck now. I'm so glad you've brought this up. Up until now a regular one ton always worked fine but I can see that isn't the case anymore.

I called Chevy and asked them what their trucks were rated to haul and it turns out the 2011 3500 is set up to haul up to 20k lbs. But the 2010 and older will only haul up to 16k. Which isn't gonna work.

The MDT's are so expensive, and lol, I don't know how to drive a semi, which sounds like an issue with HDT's. Do you all have any opinions on the 2011 one ton, or any other thoughts on other vehicles? If we have to have an MDT then we have to have one, but boy if a regular one ton would work....
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Old 06-16-2010, 03:26 PM
 
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Now you see some of the hassles of towing a TT or 5th wheel, and why I went back to a class A...LOL......I can give you a little advice but maybe someone that tows a 5th wheel daily can chime in on what I missed.....

First you are talking about a big 5th wheel (@40 ft) so I would not even look at anything smaller then a 1 ton dually and even then based on the weight of the 5th wheel that might not be enough truck.....anyway…….

Just to make sure the weight is within specs you need to accomplish the following, and then worry about everything else later.....

First what you need to do is find your GCVWR, (gross combined vehicle weight rating), the GVWR, (gross vehicle weight rating), of the truck and the GVWR of the trailer you are looking at......... Most trailers have this info on the left front side..... Also.... find the GAWR, (gross axle weight rating) front and rear for the truck.

The GVWR for the two vehicles, truck and trailer, added together must be less than the GCVWR...... Next, find the pin weight of the trailer you are interested in and make sure that it will not exceed the GAWR of the rear axle of the truck........ That is where many people run into weight problems with trucks to small…….. remember you also have to add the weight of everything carried in the truck like yourself and all passengers including the dog plus any other misc items carried in the truck that contribute to the axle loads and you must factor all of that into the final number including the weight of the 5er hitch itself.......Still with me?


Finally, before you close on any deal take the rig to a commercial scale and get all of the axle weights and total load weight to make sure everything is within limits...... A pain yes but will save you much heartache later on......Current wisdom is to aim for 80% of capacity for a safety factor but the final number is up to you….if its over weight don’t do the deal and look for a smaller lighter 5th wheel or a larger truck….
Once everything is within the numbers you feel are safe then hit the road and enjoy you new toy's....
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Old 06-16-2010, 11:28 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,622 posts, read 39,986,663 times
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The issue I have w/ HD 1Tons, is that they really are too light and wimpy for the big 5r's. I prefer to have a truck that can offer safety in an emergency situation, not one that is marginal under normal conditions. The MDT's can handle the weight, but are not very comfy cruisers, as they are built from 'delivery' truck chassis.

I strongly recommend driving a HDT or bus as they are EZ in many ways, and certainly can handle the weight. They are more economical, safer, comfy and you probably won't have to touch a wrench to it for 600,000 miles (excluding some routine maint).

The kids, dog, and mom will LUV the condo sleeper. (or the WHOLE bus, if that is the route).

If you do the Semi instead of a bus, you can drive a car up on the rear deck, to have a vehicle when you get to a central stopping point. (or haul in the bay of a 'toy-hauler')

Automatic transmissions, air brakes, plenty of mirrors, good 'high' visibility, and plenty of power. You can get really nice ones for under $25,000. I just got a decent one for $3000.
I suggest Volvo with a Volvo tranny and engine. They are deluxe. The kids and hubby will be proud ! (and safe)
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Old 06-17-2010, 07:53 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
9,421 posts, read 17,405,113 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtandc View Post
WyoNewk I am not in the market for a PU but last time I looked I can assure you there was a difference between a F350 and F450. You have to look at things that are important when towing to see the difference, things like larger brakes and rotors for stopping, a wider track for tighter turning, larger tire and rim packages, maybe larger axles or cut splines etc....If you look at the two trucks I am sure you will see there is a difference with the F450 having upgrades over the F350 in these types of classes....
Oh I know there's a difference where it counts. When I said the "F450 appears the same size as an F350" I should have put emphasis on appears. I mentioned that in response to your statement about "what are you going to drive around town in when you are set up at a campground...." The F450 wouldn't be that bad as a run-around vehicle. We've been using our F250 as our primary vehicle for nearly 11 years, preferring it over my wife's Saturn whether were making a road trip or running to the grocery store. The F450 isn't much bigger and will actually out-maneuver my F250. I have to look at the badge on one to see if it's an F350 or F450. Chevy's 4500 sits way up in the air and looks like a big truck, whereas Ford's looks like a pickup.

I'm not against HDTs at all. I've seriously considered one and haven't ruled it out yet, especially considering the price tag on a new F450. I read reports of $62,000+ for a King Ranch. That'll buy a VERY nice singled out Volvo and leave you with a year's worth of traveling cash. I've chatted with Escapees members online who have HDTs and been invited to try out their tractors. I'm a little intimidated by their size and complexity.
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Old 06-18-2010, 03:00 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,622 posts, read 39,986,663 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WyoNewk View Post
... considering the price tag on a new F450. I read reports of $62,000+ for a King Ranch. That'll buy a VERY nice singled out Volvo and leave you with a year's worth of traveling cash. ... been invited to try out their tractors. I'm a little intimidated by their size and complexity.
Size CAN be an advantage.. You are much less likely to rip the roof of your 5'r off, if you first risk scalping yourself (& or WIFE) . + the view is extraordinary. (Like the first time you woke up and stepped out your tent / camper and were greeted by the Tetons )
The sense of security (safety) is comforting

Standing up and walking around the cab and sleeper can be nice for the passengers. (I added some pics from the ATHS annual show last week in SF - sorry for quality, but camera was on the fritz) http://www.city-data.com/forum/membe...ase-cgnsa.html

Complexity is a benefit...(actually they are much ez'r to get fixed, and you seldom see them towed in (for the number on the road). You pop a couple rubber straps on the hood and the whole engine is exposed. You climb-in and have access to most everything. Under-carriage is roomy and plenty of ground clearance for deep snow and road kill. (antelope )
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Old 06-18-2010, 07:27 AM
 
1,477 posts, read 5,038,266 times
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Originally Posted by WyoNewk View Post
Oh I know there's a difference where it counts. When I said the "F450 appears the same size as an F350" I should have put emphasis on appears. I mentioned that in response to your statement about "what are you going to drive around town in when you are set up at a campground...." The F450 wouldn't be that bad as a run-around vehicle. We've been using our F250 as our primary vehicle for nearly 11 years, preferring it over my wife's Saturn whether were making a road trip or running to the grocery store. The F450 isn't much bigger and will actually out-maneuver my F250. I have to look at the badge on one to see if it's an F350 or F450. Chevy's 4500 sits way up in the air and looks like a big truck, whereas Ford's looks like a pickup.

I'm not against HDTs at all. I've seriously considered one and haven't ruled it out yet, especially considering the price tag on a new F450. I read reports of $62,000+ for a King Ranch. That'll buy a VERY nice singled out Volvo and leave you with a year's worth of traveling cash. I've chatted with Escapees members online who have HDTs and been invited to try out their tractors. I'm a little intimidated by their size and complexity.
Ok got ya now....No not a big difference between the looks of the two, I think the F450 is a little taller and wider and has a more aggressive grill package but that’s about it as far as looks......I also thought about a HDT for about a second before I sold my 5er but decided it would still not fit my type of life style while Rv'ing...The problem I ran into when thinking about an HDT is the restrictions that would be placed on me. Many states would place me under a commercial status as far as where I could drive or park the truck so it would limit me on many of the sight seeing trips that I personally enjoy doing when on the road....

I am not a full timer yet and just semi retired but I get to spend about 6 months a year on the road and often I am "on the road" so going back to a class A made more sense for me as far as ease and comfort as I am not one to sit at one location for months at a time without moving.
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Old 06-18-2010, 07:55 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
9,421 posts, read 17,405,113 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtandc View Post
...The problem I ran into when thinking about an HDT is the restrictions that would be placed on me. Many states would place me under a commercial status as far as where I could drive or park the truck so it would limit me on many of the sight seeing trips that I personally enjoy doing when on the road....
I couldn't swear that all states do this, but many (most?) RVers towing with HDTs convert them to "motorhomes" so they can be licensed and driven as motorhomes without expensive tags and CDL drivers licenses being required. There's a list of requirements needed to call them motorhomes, but it's pretty simple for those with sleeping quarters -- refrigerator, microwave, water, porta potty, bed, generator, heating and A.C., etc. It's been a couple years since I looked at the list, but I'm thinking there was a list of around 10 items, and it had to meet 8 of them to be considered self-contained. OTR trucks have most of the stuff included as standard, so you're looking at a cheap potty and maybe a microwave and bottle of water to have it meet minimum requirements.

That was actually one of the bonuses my wife and I considered, as it would be possible to take just the tractor for a weekend camping trip if we didn't want to move the 5er.
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Old 06-21-2010, 06:33 AM
 
1,477 posts, read 5,038,266 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WyoNewk View Post
I couldn't swear that all states do this, but many (most?) RVers towing with HDTs convert them to "motorhomes" so they can be licensed and driven as motorhomes without expensive tags and CDL drivers licenses being required. There's a list of requirements needed to call them motorhomes, but it's pretty simple for those with sleeping quarters -- refrigerator, microwave, water, porta potty, bed, generator, heating and A.C., etc. It's been a couple years since I looked at the list, but I'm thinking there was a list of around 10 items, and it had to meet 8 of them to be considered self-contained. OTR trucks have most of the stuff included as standard, so you're looking at a cheap potty and maybe a microwave and bottle of water to have it meet minimum requirements.

That was actually one of the bonuses my wife and I considered, as it would be possible to take just the tractor for a weekend camping trip if we didn't want to move the 5er.

Yeah but no matter how you try to list your HDT as it still is going to fall under many restrictions if you try and use it as your daily driver which is all you would have to use by towing a 5th wheel. As far as how your register your RV or HDT that is the simple part, once I decide to go full time I slap on a TX or SD tag and I’m done...cheap legal domicile....no big deal.

The problem you are going to run into is where you can take and park that HDT while you are traveling this great country of ours. No matter "how or what” you may have your HDT listed as in your home state you still have to follow the local zoning ordinances in the city or town you may be visiting or driving though. Where I live a HDT falls under a commercial vehicle no matter if it is privately owned or not due to its weight and size so that means it may not be parked on the roadway, or a city owned parking lot. Also it may not be parked in any residential neighborhood. So if you decide to come to the beach and stay at one of the campgrounds a few miles away, you cannot drive your HDT to the oceanfront itself and find a place to park it so you are stuck leaving the HDT at the campground and finding other means of transportation to get to the ocean…..

Also something as big as an HDT would also restrict you from driving on many scenic roadways across the nation because of its “truck” status, many of these roadways fall under a “no truck rule” so again you are stuck on the outside looking in no matter how you try to register the vehicle...Call it what you want but it is the width and weight of the vehicle that is going to be restricting you from certain roadways…


Many people shy away from towing their 5th wheels with HDT's for just those reasons because it limits where they can go and places they can visit in such large vehicles

Now don’t get me wrong, people driving a large class A without a toad would have the same problems I just listed for the HDT, but hooking up a small toad to just about any class A is a very simple and safe way to have alternate means of transportation…......not so with a 5th wheel…that is why I went back to a class A…………………… A class A is very easy and comfortable to drive with everything I need right behind me without having to pull over and run back to the 5th wheel and get something out. Once I arrive at my location set up is a flash and the big thing is I don’t have to drive a MDT or HDT as my only means of transportation because the choice of toad vehicles I can tow behind my class A is almost unlimited
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Old 06-21-2010, 01:16 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,622 posts, read 39,986,663 times
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My HDT recopmmendations should have been prefaced by the OP comments of DH wanting a 'toy-hauller' for RV (and a great place to keep your toad while enroute). The kids (jr high and older) can always sleep in the tractor if it is too tight in the RV when you overnight enroute, for younger kids there is usually plenty of space on dinette / sofa.

Also the guy I know who went from a MDT to an HDT, due to safety, economy, comfort. Keeps his toad 'piggy back' on tractor (as previously mentioned). His toad is a bit small for a family, but I have seen plenty of Saturns, Toyotas, CRV's riding 'inclined' piggy back on HDTs and MDTs. With a family I would use a Jetta or Passat Diesel wagon, or (if you want to 4x4) a Jeep of some variety as a toad.

Granted, a nice Class A and toad is probably the easiest solution for traveling w/ family. (I would caution against 5r and pick-up as per previous reasons... 'cramped' traveling, not terribly safe in an emergency). There seem to be plenty of Buses under $100k. Again, That would be my choice for safety / comfort.
Good RV brand?
Warning... there seems to be a preference in the USED market for having 'slide-outs' with all RV styles. If you are gonna resale, be sure to consider buying one with a slide (or 3), or risking tough resale.

If OP is going back to AK, there might be a good market in leasing / selling a bus to a private tour / RV center. Many rich folks would gladly pay for a chauffeured AK inland tour.

I have relocated several A's and really don't like the 'ship-on-the-waves' rocking motion. Especially I-80 through Nebraska. A tandem rear and long wheel base seems to help.
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