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Old 02-10-2004, 05:07 PM   #1
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I am new to the forum, but have found so much information that I am not sure if this is a good place to start. I found a 2001 Kenworth t2000, c-15 Caterpillar 550 HP, auto od,engine brake,air glide suspension,3.58 ratio,235"WD, 75" aerocab aerodyne sleeper, 24.5lp tires,aluminum outside wheels, V.I.T. interior 18 speed autoshift. Is this a good truck to start with ? I saw one on the photos page and thought it looked sharp. any information would be appreciated.
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Old 02-10-2004, 05:26 PM   #2
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Well Bob, you've done your homework well as far as I can tell.
Seriously, I don't think you could want much more truck!
You've completely filled the wish list with that unit.
If you can afford it....your hunt is done..
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Old 02-11-2004, 08:58 PM   #3
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Bob,

That's a good place to finish, not start. More HP and torque than you can imagine. good ratios. The only two thing's I personally don't like is the approx 13' 4" height, and the 18 speed.

18 speeds are for heavy hauling. I know you can click the autoshift up to 5th gear for starting off, but that still leaves a lot of gears to go through. You can shift an auto manually using the button, skip every other
gear. Skip shifting will help a lot. That's a lot of truck for anyone.

onezman

http://onezman.tripod.com/yourrvhaulercom
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Old 02-12-2004, 06:41 AM   #4
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If I recall correctly, the 18 Autoshift will do its own skip shifting. I am pretty sure I saw that once when I downloaded the driver's manual for that tranny.
That's what I would have if I were to spec an OTR truck again for some reason.
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Old 02-12-2004, 01:55 PM   #5
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bob, mase sanford, you've got my truck only i'm runnin' 3.08 . the tranny is the cat's meow or something. just great. if it's in good shape and the price is right go drive it. if you like it buy it. if you want to, call me at 540-672-4342. mase
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Old 02-12-2004, 08:21 PM   #6
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Thanks for the information. I have a few more questions is this to much truck? I am going to use it for my 39" fithwheel will I have problems getting it to campgrounds? How much work will it take to remove one of the axels. What is considered high miles on these trucks? The asking price is 54,500 is that about right? There is some one on the photo page that has one posted, It looks sharp! vapoppa what would be a good time to call, I am in N.Y.
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Old 02-12-2004, 08:47 PM   #7
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evenings------- 7:00 to 11:00, any day nearly.
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Old 02-13-2004, 12:52 PM   #8
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In my opinion this would be a great truck to have, but I think you will find it too long and too tall. Also, that is a lot of power and a lot of gears for RV use. You might check with Larry about removing the axel, I think I read that this is not as easy with a Kenworth. I am sure if you could make it work it would be an awesome RV puller.
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Old 02-13-2004, 01:08 PM   #9
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Sounds like an awesome truck!!

I've seen two Kenworth tractors with single rear axle - both had the forward axle removed leaving a long wheel base. Would be hard to remove the rear axle due to the way the brackets are used to mount the two axles. Larry might have more info on this subject.

I do not find the 13'2" height of my truck to be a problem -- heck, some 5th wheel RV's are that high, too!

I do like the shorter wheel base I have - makes it a LOT easier to get around turns, etc in RV parks - State Parks, etc.

To much HP? No such thing! You'll only use the power required anyhow. Shifting will be a learning experence - once you have your truck PRACTICE will take care of any problem.

Let us know of your progress with the Kenworth.

Don
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Old 02-13-2004, 06:47 PM   #10
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Bob,

That KW would be a terriffic truck for OTR use, but I agree with RB7OD, it's too long and too tall for "practical" RV use. I don't know how much Rv towing Don has done, but I have been in lot's of RV parks you couldn't get into with a combination such as yours.

All parks have plenty of clearance for motorhomes, but they frequently don't have limbs cut back, or room to park a tow vehicle that size. In many parks you will be too long to maneuver when trying to back your 5er into a space.

Problems can probably be avoided in many cases, by calling ahead, but you won't be able to fit into a good percentage of parks.

I have never converted a KW. I THINK you will have to buy new single axle spring hangar brackets in order to accomplish this. That still leaves the height problem, but at least three guys have bought tall sleepers in the last 6 months. I don't know if any of them are full timing yet though.

Unless team driven, that KW shouldn't have more than 125K miles per year in service.

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Old 02-15-2004, 09:50 AM   #11
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Ok the kenworth may not be a good idea for what I want to do I guess I will have to start looking for something else or stay with the truck that I have know. Thank You for all the info.
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Old 02-15-2004, 10:29 AM   #12
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It may not be perfect, but if it is in good shape, I would not be afraid of it.
Too many gears? Phoeey. It's an autoshift. You will not care, as it does all the work.
Too much power? No such thing, just don't go ape stomping on the throttle.
Too tall? Maybe, as I have not been in many RV parks, but there are also other places to park. And with the big sleeper, you have more room to gut and modify, such as extra seating, fridge, microwave, etc.
Tandem? Well, I like them, but don't have anything to do with 5th wheels, so that may be an issue. Check with a KW dealer to see what kind of a PIA that is to deal with if you really need to.
I would be more concerned with the overall condition of the truck. You may find it better to get a good used truck and learn what works for you and what doesnt, then buy according to those lessons.
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Old 02-15-2004, 05:40 PM   #13
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Thank you Doug for the info I did not think there was any thing as to much power. I only have three years till I retire and only want to do this one time. I appears that onezman has had good luck with the volvos, I just liked the look of the kenworth
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Old 02-17-2004, 03:42 PM   #14
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Bob,

I know one guy who tows his Travel Supreme with a converted T2000. He really likes it. You just have to plan in advance what RV parks you can stay in.

Guys with pickups and MDTs never have enough HP, but believe me, 430 HP and 1,550 torque will keep you smiling. 550 HP is more than you can ever use in any RV situation and will wear out your drive tires much faster IMO.

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Old 02-17-2004, 05:30 PM   #15
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Ummmmmmmmmm- how does more rear wheel horse power make your tires wear out quicker--- just askin' -- just askin'-- oh you can use all of the horse power on some of the hills that they have out in the rockies--- mase
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Old 02-17-2004, 10:30 PM   #16
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....it's all that street racing against those posure cars....geof :&gt
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Old 02-18-2004, 07:08 PM   #17
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Vapoppa

With 550 HP, Im guessing that motor probably has 1,750 foot pounds of torque. That kind of power will cause imperceptable wheel spin, even when towing.

I understand that OTR drivers who have 600 HP engines wear drive tires out twice as fast as normal in mountainous terrain. Even with 40K on the drive tires, they still get imperceptable wheelspin which wears tires out faster.

With 430 HP and 1550 torque, if a driver keeps the boost up, and has no curves or traffic problems, he can tow 20K at the trucks top speed up a 7% grade. Even doing that won't be working the engine hard enough to cause the engine fan to activate, or bring the pyrometer above a rather pedestrian 750 degrees.

There is simply no way to utilize that kind of power towing 20 K. Right now I have a 2000 Volvo which has a 500 HP Detroit with 1,650 torque. I won't get an opportunity to tow with it because the buyer is picking it up this Friday. I think it will tow 20 k up a 7% grade like it was towing a bicycle.

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Old 02-23-2004, 07:56 PM   #18
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On the 18-speed....

I have a 10 speed autoshift. My opinion is that an 18 speed would have to many gears to move through. As Larry said, the purpose of those gears is to move heavy loads to speed - you will not be doing that. While it is true that "you" are not doing the shifting, you ARE waiting for all that shifting to happen to get up to speed. I find even my 10 speed takes longer than I want to pull up to road speed - if I manually shift (using the Hold) then I can circumvnet this. I can't imagine using an 18 speed.

Jack Mayer
1999 Volvo 610, 182" wb, ISM 400/1450
36' Newmar Kountry Star 5er
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Old 02-23-2004, 08:52 PM   #19
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......I have been told that 18's are Owner/operator specs and that they are "old fashioned" and that newer vehicles are using less gears and more speed/torque form each gear....another words winding them out more?.....this is an opinion from a Freightliner salesman that I have a lot of respect for......geof
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Old 02-24-2004, 10:36 AM   #20
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A 10 speed will get the job done 99% of the time for all OTR applications. 18 and 15 speed transmissions are becomming a thing of the past in the market place.

Generally, 18 speeds are only used for very heavy haul applications. These transmissions were popular when HP ranged from 250 to 350 with torque ranges from 1050 to 1250.

With the advent of higher HP higher torque engines, that many gears are entirely unnecessary.

For RV porposes, even a 10 speed is too much. The lower gears will almost never be used. For towing, 4th gear is sufficient for starting off. I use 5th gear starting off bobtail. The only time an RVer will use lower gears is for "creeping."


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