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Old 12-09-2012, 05:03 PM   #1
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Default MDT for RV Hauling

Hello All. Just joined and looking for some feedback. I sold my class 8 tractor and started delivering new RV trailers with my F-350 pickup. But this pickup, as well as past other brands, is not proving reliable under the mileages I am putting on it. So I am looking at building a new medium duty truck. It will either be a Hino or a T-270 Kenworth with a PX-6 (6.7 Cummins.)
I want to put an expeditor type bunk on it, like what Alumi-Bunk offers. I'm sick of motels, or sleeping in a pickup, truck stop showers and crappy road food.

There are pros and cons to this....more expensive purchase than a new pickup, and probably not as good of fuel mileage, but how does it factor out when you figure in 70 grand average for a new pickup, that has been giving me numerous engine problems (8 grand out of warranty so far) and stuff like wheel seals, pinion seals, etc. failing constantly. Not to mention high tire and brake wear.

What kind of mileage are you all getting out of your medium duties?

I can have a truck with bunk built for cheaper than one of those custom Sport Chassis types with a hauler body. So it makes it tempting.

Thanks.
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:37 PM   #2
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I'd look at a toterhome with a real shower, dinette and bed. the Power and braking of a HDT would beat almost anything in the MDT lines

something like this on RJ is cheaper than a new F450 and has only 250K miles, you will never tax this truck pulling campers...




http://www.racingjunk.com/Toterhomes...Toterhome.html
you wont wear out anything on a HDT like you have experienced towing with a LDT this truck seems to be a bargin well below your 70K number @ $55K

good luck no matter what you decide
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:37 PM   #3
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My 2004 topkick 6500 with a Cat C7 and Alison transmission does a good job hauling my 40 foot fiver. I fulltime so it's loaded and heavy. I don't put the miles on it like a commercial guy would though.
I have had dually diesels in the past, braking was always a problem and running at or near max weight.
Guess I am getting around 9 mpg, never really did a long term test.
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:43 PM   #4
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Better shot of the truck. Thinking I may add a sleeper, cut the frame and extend it 60 inches or so.
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:51 PM   #5
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Thanks guys. I should have singled out my highway tractor and kept it. But too late now.
I know a class 8 would be more reliable, but I'm trying to get an idea on the difference in fuel mileage, if the medium would be any better? I know I could have gotten 7 to 8 mpg with my 525 h.p. tractor pulling travel trailers.
Fuel is the big killer in this industry. There's not a lot of profit margin. Only reason I did it, is it is a lot less stress and bull than trucking.

A used toter like you showed me would be even more cost effective even.

I realize the fuel mileage is less than my F-350 but like I said, you have to factor in the cost per mile when repairs come into account.

Nice trucks there by the way.
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:53 PM   #6
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At the risk of going off the deep end....on average what do new Toterhomes cost? I know it all varies, but something livable not overly fancy.
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:04 PM   #7
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Big money well over 100 g

I built 6 trucks this last year for guys hauling their fivers, mostly fulltime Rvers. The one that left here last month, a big Volvo, these guys figure it's cheaper and safer using a big truck too haul their trailers.

Pic of the Volvo during the build.

What part of northern ontario are you at
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:14 PM   #8
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By the Sault On./MI. border Coal.

Low mileage used would probably be the way to go. Like BlizzardND said, not much more than another new pickup.

Don't want to get too long either as you need the manueverability. Most factories just dump the trailers out in tight rows in farm fields. And most dealer lots are even worse. Some I have to drop out on the road with the pickup, lol.

I spec'd out a T-370 with a 64" bunk (no shower or bathroom of coarse) and a 104" tow body and it came out to the same length as my crew cab long box pickup.
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F-350 Explorer View Post
I sold my class 8 tractor and started delivering new RV trailers with my F-350 pickup. But this pickup, as well as past other brands, is not proving reliable under the mileages I am putting on it. So I am looking at building a new medium duty truck.
From what you said the focus of the truck will pulling RV trailers for delivery. Pulling a 5th wheel in one direction and returning empty in the other direction.

I see those types of things all the time on I roads in the area; they are always pulling something north and west bound out of Chicago and Milwaukee. Suggestions:

If you're buying new, consider going with a compressed natural gas (CNG) engine. I was at a CNG a few weeks ago in Sheboygan (WI) partially sponsored by Kwik-Trip the La Crosse (WI) based convenience store/truck stop operator. KT is making a HUGE committment to CNG. They had two CNG semi tractors for us to look at. I think both had Cummins CNG engines. The larger used CNG and diesel, the smaller (which would be great for a MDT like you need to pull the 5th wheel RVs) was exclusively CNG. You wouldn't believe how quiet the CNG engine was.

Kwik Trip Advocates Natural Gas Adoption - Truckinginfo.com

I don't know about the current availability of CNG on the routes your run, but the savings is significant. CNG appears to run 50% to 60% the cost of diesel. KT said they think they will never buy another diesel truck for their operations; CNG or LNG going forward.

Build your truck so you can haul something on the back hauls and make a little money. Is a car carrier or deck for pallets or tow truck stinger for cars and trucks a possibility?

I normally see 1 ton duallies pulling the 5th wheel RVs for delivery, but is that the best thing out there? is there something better? Making the right truck/engine combo selection will have a dramatic impact on how much money you make.

Let us know what you find out!
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:33 PM   #10
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the nice thing about the HDT over the MDT is many times the wheel cut on a HDT is much tighter than a MDT, add a hitch further back behind the singled axle and the HDT will turn inside the radius of the f450 super-cab duelly.

I would not by new in this economic environment, the race car guys are all re-accessing next season and sponsorship will be very tight again next spring. If the economy doesn't turn around for them, thier fleet of "for sale" toterhomes will be devaluing more and more as winter progresses.

RV's on the other hand are selling really well to the babyboomer soon to be retirees, which should be good for your trailer toting for some time to come.

Find a good used toterhome, then remodel, re-carpet what ever to suit your needs and then get it on the road and make some money.

Possibly even look to re-gear it to tow the light loads that you will be towing so that empty return trip maxes the MPG as much as possible.
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