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Old 08-08-2017, 09:33 AM   #1
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Default Freightliner FL70

Just joined the forum and have a question I hope someone can answer. I have a 2017 Keystone Montana 3271 Legacy that has dry weight of 12600 & 16,800 lbs full. I have a 2001 Ford F350 and have had lots of work done to increase power especially through the mountains. After pouring ~ $8000 into it (rebuilt tranny, Edge computer and hydra chip, new pipes on Turbo, new Turbo wheel, etc.) it is not really that much better than it was originally. I am looking for a Class 7 or Class 8 truck to pull my RV. I found a truck on Craigslist that I am very interested in but not sure if it will have the power to travel through the west mountains and pull my RV without stress. It has the following Equipment: Cummins ISC 250 HP; Eaton Fuller RT-8709B 9-speed transmission; 10,000# Front axle; 19,000# Rear Axel; 3.07 Axle ratio; GVWR 26,000#; Air Brakes; Air system dryer. I am new to these trucks and really don't know what I should be looking for. Any help or information would be greatly appreciated. Not sure if this is how I should post this or if I am in the right area.
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Old 08-08-2017, 04:55 PM   #2
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Welcome to the group, someone will answer your question, I have read a lot of people are getting tractors, like a Volvo or similar and getting it register as a RV and pulling their Trailers with them. If I was going that route that is what I would do. Driving my Freightliner/Renegade is so easy and it pulled the mountains last year in Colorado, even went to Leadville. The temps were a little higher and the turbo worked more, but with altitude in the 7-9000' and I weighted around 36,000 pulling a jeep liberty. I am ready to go again!

Sam
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Old 08-13-2017, 09:04 PM   #3
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Have you driven a manual truck transmission? It's not like jumping into a pickup with a manual transmission. The transmission is square cut gears so you need to understand them to shift them. Things like double clutching or floating the gears by RPM. Also it probably has a clutch brake and if you operate it incorrectly it can destroy the brake and make it so you have to grind the gears to get into a gear when stopped.
Doing a little math here with a transmission of top gear of 1:1 depending on tire size and maximum engine speed it looks like this would be a good flat land vehicle. 3:07 gears are pretty tall and 250HP I think you are going to be slow on steep hills with your weights. It'll do better than a pickup but not much in my opinion other than the rear end is heavier duty as well as the beefiness of the vehicle overall.
If you can find something with some overdrives in the transmission and lower rear end I think you'll be happier. 300HP with an Allison 3000 series or a manual with the starting model "RTO-" the "O" stands for Overdrive. Something in a 0.75 or better will get speed on flats (AS well as better mileage.) and the rear-ends being a 3:70 or lower with those overdrives should do better for you. Feel free to send specifications and I can see if I can get you some grade-ability as well as top speeds of what you're looking at.
Items needed to do math are Engine top speed (Maximum RPM) top gear of transmission (Model of transmission if manual or Allison model and serial #) Rear axle ratio and tire size to figure out Revolutions per mile.
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Old 08-16-2017, 10:57 AM   #4
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Have you gone to the HDT Rally in Hutchinson, Kansas? HDT Rally I've been to several. This is a must do event for anybody considering something bigger than a p/u truck to pull their 5th wheel. Even if you have to fly in and stay at a motel, it will be well worth it for you. So much knowledge in this group. And there are lots of sight seeing attractions in the area. Have you read through all the info in the HDT section of the Escapee's forums? Tons of great info there too. I applaud your desire to get a better tow vehicle. And I'm sure you'll learn that you can do it and save money over your p/u too. Please don't do anything until you've attended the rally though. Have you checked the "for sale" posts in the Escapee's forum too? Usually several trucks available there that have already been converted to pull 5th wheels. You can usually save lots of money doing it that way.
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