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Old 01-10-2015, 11:43 AM   #1
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Default Hi all

Hi, I ran across this forum while looking for information last weekend.

I am disgusted with the $GMC$ I own, and won't consider another half ton for pulling. I like diesel engines despite the price per gallon (translates as taxes I think) but the cost of buying a used low milage dually is approaching the cost of a high milage HDT.

I left the perceived security of a big 3 auto studio. In the Design business, I can see part timing or even full timing for a few months or a year in one location as needed. At this time in my life, I have rejected settling down in one spot for retirement. (still 10 years away..... I think) As a skilled tradesman I have many necessary skills and tools to maintain an HDT, but my current rate of repairs on the GMC make me think I could get in over my head pretty quick.

So "hit me" with your advice, I'm open.
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Old 01-10-2015, 05:57 PM   #2
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Welcome ! How big a Trailer do you have ?

a good clean (medium mileage / 500k) tractor can be had for as little as 30k from my experience & looking. the skys the limit cost to convert (decking etc).
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Old 01-11-2015, 05:00 AM   #3
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Welcome ! How big a Trailer do you have ?
Thanks BushPilot! Nice of you to shout out to the new guy.

Our camper is a 5k R-Vision Trail Lite, 26 feet. The camper is fine for our needs at this time, but too small to even consider for full time.

I have some boating background, and have read many accounts of the live-aboard experience. Some boats are designed for it and some are not. So I will approach our next rig with a strong bias toward sturdy and reliable.

The GMC I own is an 01 heavy half ton. I like the interior pretty well and the new models will be fine for me. I not had any problems with the engine. 5.3 is not 5.7. It's the American Axle components especially the rear axle and brake rotors that I have replaced so many times. The northern trucks are known for heavy corrosion of brake lines. GM refuses to talk about it. At 156k miles I have maybe $5000 into just these items. DE-ranting.......

Everyone knows the HDT's are engineered better for longer life, so I think I'm going to spend less money over time. On the other hand. a brake rotor might cost a weeks wages to replace. I hope to read more about this to help make up my mind.

I'm glad you asked!
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Old 01-11-2015, 05:16 AM   #4
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Default New Hampshire on our way to Bar Harbor

I hope the image makes it this time.
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Old 01-11-2015, 10:04 AM   #5
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Welcome, Sir! Like you, I am looking for another truck and by the time I find what I can afford I get the most bang for my buck with a class 7 or 8 truck. Look around the southeastern US to Texas for what seem to be the lowest priced units. If you get the right one and do a few things to it you just might be able to retitle it as a motorhome. That is what my intention is. Good luck and keep us informed!
Tom
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Old 01-11-2015, 10:54 AM   #6
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West of Lake Superior? Hmm, I've never been there.

I found a NC document and posted the link in another thread about license requirements, so that qualifies as spreading info (not rumors) right? JK

I think this is going to be interesting.
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Old 01-11-2015, 11:08 AM   #7
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West of Lake Superior? Hmm, I've never been there.
Great place to visit in the summertime!

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I think this is going to be interesting.
I am really looking forward to it! I used to drive big trucks many years ago and they have improved tremendously in creature comforts since then!
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Old 01-11-2015, 12:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sculptor57 View Post
Thanks BushPilot! Nice of you to shout out to the new guy.

Our camper is a 5k R-Vision Trail Lite, 26 feet. The camper is fine for our needs at this time, but too small to even consider for full time.

I have some boating background, and have read many accounts of the live-aboard experience. Some boats are designed for it and some are not. So I will approach our next rig with a strong bias toward sturdy and reliable.

The GMC I own is an 01 heavy half ton. I like the interior pretty well and the new models will be fine for me. I not had any problems with the engine. 5.3 is not 5.7. It's the American Axle components especially the rear axle and brake rotors that I have replaced so many times. The northern trucks are known for heavy corrosion of brake lines. GM refuses to talk about it. At 156k miles I have maybe $5000 into just these items. DE-ranting.......

Everyone knows the HDT's are engineered better for longer life, so I think I'm going to spend less money over time. On the other hand. a brake rotor might cost a weeks wages to replace. I hope to read more about this to help make up my mind.

I'm glad you asked!
hey you don't have to convince me (I've got an f350, crewcab, longbed, 4x4 w/ a gear vendors dbl overdrive & 50gal aux tank).....its a capable truck but it would not have the added margin (i desire) to pull a heavy load like an HDT.

i don't know about the cost of an HDT Rotor (not many have disc brakes, yet).

The cost of component parts is really not that expensive - theyre quite plentiful actually, even shop labor rates is not bad....brake shoes are 26-40 bucks & drums are 75-100 (depending on the axle)....not that you'd have to replace them often (if ever) considering you get a few 100k miles out of a set.

Tires are considerably more expensive (considering acquisition cost alone) at about 700 bucks per tire - every 5-6 years but you can get 1/2 a million or more miles out of a tire.

the guys at RVHaulers.ca get about 80k for a singled/converted low mile tractor...which seems pricey to mean but that included the "smart" car deck too.
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Old 01-11-2015, 12:42 PM   #9
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Welcome Sculptor! I'm a die hard Truck Conversion lover. But an HDT pulling a trailer would be my second choice, maybe. Either way it's the truck that makes it great. I think you're on the right track about going to an HDT. These things are made right for getting the job done. Unlike a half ton p/u. I have found that most repair/maintenance work is actually less expensive than similar work on a Euro car. You'd be surprised but these things are made for easy repair since time is money and the longer it is in the shop the less money the owner is making. Prices for HDT's are all over the map. My son was a truck driver. He bought an '03 FLD120 with condo sleeper, N14 engine, straight 10 trans, 1.1million miles, 100k miles on rebuild, for $18k. He's been driving it for work for the last two years. Very few repairs. And he's pulling 50-60k lbs. inter-modal container trailers all day every day. So, it can be done. Finding an inexpensive HDT and pulling your light (relatively) camper trailer around. Have you heard about the HDT Rally ? This is a fantastic resource for somebody in your shoes. I've gone to 5 of the last 6 rally's. I mostly go to keep in touch with the wonderful people I've gotten to know in that group. I'm the oddball with a T/C. There is also the HDT forum over on Escapees: HDT - Escapees Discussion Forum
Stick around here too though. This is a nice small group of people into heavy duty camping.
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Old 02-15-2015, 12:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Have you heard about the HDT Rally ? This is a fantastic resource for somebody in your shoes. I've gone to 5 of the last 6 rally's. I mostly go to keep in touch with the wonderful people I've gotten to know in that group. I'm the oddball with a T/C. There is also the HDT forum over on Escapees: HDT - Escapees Discussion Forum
Stick around here too though. This is a nice small group of people into heavy duty camping.
T/C = Trailer Camper? Thanks for the welcome and reply Bob86ZZ4. I have tried the Escapee site but not ready to buy a membership just yet. Maybe soon. I have browsed the Eastern Gathering interviews and checked out the National pics. I got a lot more out of the video interviews from the Eastern gathering. I would REALLY like to attend.

For now the way I see this working; we will replace the current pickup with a REAL truck. Then will be looking to upgrade to a 5th wheel at a later time as money allows. Hope it won't be much later but you never know. In the mean time I will need an everyday commuter, so I will maybe get a Jeep or even a Samurai to get by. I want to have a great way to load the thing. I think the hydraulic platform is great but guessing it's $25k and I want a cheaper option.

Signed Kevin the Dreamer.
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