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Old 02-17-2004, 08:59 PM   #1
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Basically I have several questions & concerns to address. We are looking for a Motorhome with garage area but also want to tow a heavy trailer. We sell books at shows and need to transport several tons for books as well as a van. Thinking about a 30' box with 22' living area and 8' garage. Figure about 4 ton of books in garage area and towing a tri axle stacker trailer with van & set up stuff in trailer. Basically thinking a fairly short trailer 20' to 24' but still thinking tri axle because of weight. I don't really plan on taking 2 vehicles but figure we can use top of trailer for lighter set-up stuff. Also figure on a couple ton of books in trailer so trailer load (not including weight of trailer) will probably be about 10,000 lbs. I am about 3 months into researching this idea and figure I should go with a twin screw truck because of load and trailer weight as well as having 4 extra tires on the ground and an extra axle with brakes. Don't want to overkill but want to be safe. Also thinking I should go with 400+ HP and a 10 or 12 speed (automatic) or semi automatic. I will probably start with all new and I am a big guy 6'6" and about 300 pounds. Any suggestions as far as best overall truck to use, do's and don'ts, etc. I have looked at the Renegades and liked what I saw but I am not limiting myself to Renegade. The Renegades normally use Freightliners or Peterbuilts. Or customer can supply chassis from what I understand. Would I be better off buying chassis and having box put on or should I just use one from them? Anything anyone can suggest will help. I am hoping to do this once and use it full time for about 2 years then part time for about 15 years if all goes as planned. It seems price is going to end up around $250,000 for truck & trailer no matter how I go about it. Originally had thought about a toter with a 40' trailer and adding a bath room and master bedroom to trailer but that would add about $20,000 to overall cost. So I figured a garage unit would do about the same thing. I am a little concerned going with small motorhome and larger trailer because of weight that would have to go into trailer so once again back to Motorhome with garage. That way some of the load would be in truck & some in trailer. Am I thinking correctly?

Thanks!
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Old 02-18-2004, 06:06 AM   #2
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Just a thought - why not a full motorhome with a slightly larger trailer for the books/van/equipment? Either way the specs you've laid out should work great for you although the twin screw would be nice it's not necessary. My FL112 has a 22,700 rated rear axle and I'm nowhere close to it with a full load of water and the trailer hooked up. A few more tons still wouldn't be over the limit.

At 6'6" I'd stay away from the FL112, I'm 6'4" and slightly heavier and the windshield top is just a bit tooo short for comfortable driving. I'm going into either a Volvo or KW for that reason once this one sells. Not sure about the newer Freightliners or the regular semis though, the windshield thing mught just be an issue in the business class trucks.

One other thing, depending on the setup equipment you're talking about you might not need a full stacker. I've got a Renegade trailer at 9.5' interior height, put in shelves using e-track, brackets, 2x4's and plywood for all of my equipment and put my Jeep in under them. The shelf height is 6'6". Much cheaper than a lift of some sort. It's a 24' trailer, got some pix if you're interested in seeing the layout.


Sean P. Clarke
WERA Motorcycle Roadracing
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Old 02-18-2004, 07:19 AM   #3
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Sean,

I would love to see some pictures of trailer. As far as larger trailer and a Motorhome without garage that was my original plan but the more I thought about it the more I didn't like the idea of a trailer with a van and 6 tons of books inside pushing a Motorhome around. Figured by getting some of the weight into Motorhome it might be a little safer. As far as Stacker I have been tossing that back and forth and went back to stacker idea in case I want to bring something like a John Deere Gator along down the road. Being I am looking for something that I hope to keep & use for 15 years or so thought stacker might be worth the extra money. But maybe I am thinking to far ahead.

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Old 02-18-2004, 09:07 AM   #4
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The pix are at http://www.wera.com/grpahics/showhauler all of it that starts with trail (there are only 3 right now I'll upload more if I can find them).

Trust me on the trailer, you can put everything in it an it will not push the truck around. This ain't your granpda's oldsmomotorhome If you're really concerned then keep the twin screw idea for better braking, I may do that on my next one as well. My trailer is 24' and weighs about 12k with the Jeep and gear and bikes in it and it has no effect on the truck at all.

On the stacker idea, you can get the right size from Renegade and then add a lift if you need to later, just a thought for saving some up front money.


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Old 02-18-2004, 01:22 PM   #5
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O.K. I'll ask, what are you doing with 6 TONS of books!

If you are truely looking at carring that much plus a trailer w/ van and misc inside, then you definetly will want to go with a twin screw. Don't even think about that as a option. You must remember many of the toll roads will stop you from proceeding if you are over 21,000 lbs on a single axle.

Not sure how long you plan on staying out (fulltime, couple weeks, a few days) but if longer than a few day, don't even look at a garage coach, full motorhome is the way to go here. You could easily put the kind of weight your talking in a tri axe stacker with room to spare. And like Sean said we are talking semi-trucks here, these trucks are used to hauling 60,000 lbs.

Keep us posted as you work out all the kinks in the plan.

Bill

2003 28' Show Hauler Motorhome on a 1995 FLD 120 www.showhauler.com
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Old 02-18-2004, 02:11 PM   #6
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Bill,

Thanks! Basically we sell price guides about antiques & collectibles on-line as well as at shows. We have been doing mostly local running now with a one ton Chevy van but it limits us to local shows. Our plan is to start out full time on the road for a year or two and then decide if we want to buy another "real" house or stay on the road full time. With a rig under 40' we can get into a good many shows (outdoor spaces are normally 20x20 or 15x20 so by using 2 or 3 spaces we would have 40 to 45')with motorhome if we drop trailer somewhere. That would give us bathroom and kitchen at our site and we could also use the canopy as part of our set up. Once over 40' we wouldn't be able to do that. Also if product is entirely in trailer we would have to bring trailer in to unload then get it parked some where else. With small garage in motorhome we would be set without trailer when necessary.

I thought the only way would be the twin screw. I am really concerned about weight and safty. I am sure there will be times I am running with 10 ton of books plus another ton of set up stuff. I expect to normally run about 6 to 7 ton but sometimes ya just can't pass up a deal.

Another thing I keep thinking about is overall lenght. Would like to stay under 65' overall which would limit me to a 20' trailer plus 4' for trailer tongue. I am wondering how a tall 20' tri-axle trailer would handle. Most of the tall stackers are 28 or more. I wouldn't really mind the extra 8' but don't think I can run legelly in a good many states once I get over the 65' I know a lot of guys do it but my luck is not that good. Another issue once over the 65' is RV parks as I understand it.

Another thing I am thinking is if I use a 20' stacker I could move it around in tighter areas with my van. I wouldn't want to run down the highway with the van towing the trailer but I think I would be OK at a show, flea market, or trailer park - pulling trailer with the van. I would be maxed out for sure but only going a short distance that way. Any thoughts on that?

Any help will help! I am trying to do a lot with an overall lenght of only 65' and only 50' useable once you take off tongue and truck cab. Was also thinking about "V" nose trailer to gain a little space but don't know if is worth the extra money and it will also add a little lenght if I understand things correctly.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Also it is only 2 of us and we basically would be using motorhome to sleep and eat occasionally. We are normally on the go so not much awake time would be spent in RV even if we are in it full time. I guess occasionally all day on a rain day but otherwise just sleeping or taking a break.

Thanks,
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Old 02-19-2004, 09:42 AM   #7
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Guys,

I found a nice 22' Renegade used. Basically a lot smaller unit than I was thinking but cound modify my set up if necessary. Problems are it is the 300HP CAT with 6 speed and single screw. How bad would that be towing a 28' Stacker with about 6 ton total in stacker. Also guy is looking for around $90,000 for 2001 Renegade with about 50,000 miles on it. Has a bunch of options - How does that price sound? Basically about 12 to 15 thousand dollars in options at todays prices. One owner that was used for RV and small business. Not a bunch of drivers or a lot of hard use.

Thanks,
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Old 02-19-2004, 07:03 PM   #8
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Skip,

Can you say...bad idea?

The 300 will do it, slowly, for a while. Count on doing 40mph up hills and beating that small block and small tranny to death. If your plan is long term and big mileage then go big block and if you have choice go autoshifter.

I myself am looking for a used garagecoach and in my travels found a 2003 Renegade with a big block on racingjunk.com (go classifieds, then go trucks or toterhomes)

You should check it out. I do question the price. Seems quite high. It is more unit than I need. If you come across any decent used ones let me know. My ideal is a 2000-03 22-12 Renegade on an M2. If I knew which way you were leaning maybe i could steer you to a good used one.

Cheers
Dave.
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Old 02-19-2004, 08:07 PM   #9
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Hi Big toy. I have a Showhauler 24/10 garage coach which I use for hauling two Harleys and pulling a 1/2 ton Dodge pickup. My wife and I travel with two kids, 13 & 7 and have plenty of room for all. We're on the road almost all summer, continuously going to various biker events and generally on vacation. I think that my situation is similar to what you want to do, but with different cargo. Don't even think about a single axle. That was a mistake that I made and have since added a retractable tag axle. I definitely did not want another drive axle because I needed a shorter turning radius to back into my garage. The retractable axle was the way to go and in addition to gaining extra carring capacity, my stopping ability increased tremendously. I really needed the superior braking because the pickup is over 5500 pounds. Your trailer will probably have electric brakes, but you'll need the stopping ability anyway. My coach is built on a Freightliner Columbia with a Mercedes 450 and 12 speed Freedom transmission. This is a great combination and after traveling through western as well as eastern mountains, I can honestly say that I have no complaints in regard to the drivetrain capabilities. I hope that this helps you decide which direction you need to go.
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Old 02-19-2004, 08:17 PM   #10
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Skip,

Decided to price out that used coach I told you about. I found out why the price is so high (asking $199, says 250g's new)
The gentlemen has a $25,000.00 vehicle lift gate on the back. Whoa!

Nevertheless with all the options listed in the ad it tops out at $218,500 new. So unless he is not listing all the options I think the man is seriously optimistic at $199.

Anyhow if you are not lifting 3750 lbs at a time you don't need the 25g option. The 1500 pounder is $6800 bux.

Dave.
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