just turned 400K miles, I have put 40K miles on it since I got it about 8 years ago, no major work was required (I only changed shocks-turbo sensor-brake cans-main air brake can), 10 speed Rockwell transmission (only use clutch when taking off from stop)( This is an amazing and fun transmission), 2:93 rear end ratio (contributes to good gas mileage), sleeper bed replaced with a jack-knife couch, 2-speed jake brake (love this feature on down hill grades), frame on air bags, trailer saver hitch on air bags, cab on air bags, air seats, quiet cab, Cummins M-11 400hp engine, large bolt -on storage boxes under bed, bed covered with Rhino Lining, motorcycle loader loads bike and then slides forward to put bike between fairings, 8KW Kabota 60 AMP output diesel generator under bed, generator instrument panel with gauges and time clock (512 hours), separate outlets and breakers for appliances to be added to truck later, power input connector for RV park power to power these added-later appliances, led tail lights, 125 gallon fuel tank capacity ( 200 gallons in tanks), steel channel used in bed plus the positioning the generator to the rear of the axle has moved the center of gravity rearward making the weight on the front axle and the weight on the rear axle within 300 pounds of each other ( This means that this Volvo has weight on the rear axle that improves braking and driveability when driving with out a trailer) This Volvo is registered in Ca. as a motorhome. Some states have a reciprical agreement in their code books. That is, they agree to take in a vehicle from another state as that state licensed it, (without seeing obvious fraud).
I have enjoyed using this Volvo to pull my Alpha 5th wheel. The power to pass on hills is amazing. The ability to engine brake on downgrades is impressive. After a coast to coast trip, my trip computer said that I had used 24% of my engine load. I was just cruising about the country at 1500 rpms and 60 miles per hour getting 10 mpg. I do not have the 5th wheel any more, so this Volvo is ready to go to its next home. I have 60k in it and will sell for 39k. adding pics to post not working well, can send pics to your email.
Bye for now,
PS. off the top of my head:
- I always liked the height of the truck to match the height of the trailer
- I know of instances where a truck was purchased cheap and a lot of money was needed to bring them up to good operating condition.
- The Rockwell ten speed manual transmission is "bulletproof. It offers any gear for any situation. Clutch only needed when taking off from a stop. The rest of the time shifting is done by engine rpm, controlled by the driver. It has been widely produced and used for years. Parts and mechanics, if ever needed, are inexpensive and easy to find. Kinda like needing service on a chevy or a jaguar in some small town.
- Other transmissions are very heavy, very complex and very expensive to service. They are complicated and are controlled by computer software. Probably harder to get serviced across the country. My transmission allows the driver to select the gear he wants for what he is doing. Shifting is done by engine rpm's. Each gear has speed range window. When the speed for a particular gear is reached, the engine rpm is brought up to 900/ 1200 rpm, and the shift is made by the driver. Since the rv is so much lighter than the usual commercial trailer, the driver has much flexibility to shift as he wants and needs. There is an accessory called Gear Master that some people use to align these two shift requirements. It sits on the dash above the instrument cluster. It has a red bar that comes out from each end toward the middle. One red bar represents the rpm, the other red bar represents the speed. When they meet shifting the gear can be done properly. I never got one because with the light rv, it was easy to get used to what speed each gear need or to say it another way: what gear what speed needed.
I believe my transmission to be more fuel efficient. I would not want to be going thru gears 1,2,3,4,5,6, if I did not need to. I started to drive in the desert once with my trailer attached. first gear started the rear wheels to dig holes. I just shifted in 4th gear and took off with out disturbing the sand.
- I like the weight distribution on my truck. front and back axles are within 300 pounds of each other. stable driving and handling without a trailer.
- over the road truckers did not like my model truck, the M11 engine 350/450 did not have the power that they wanted, now 500 hp or more is common, for our use the 350 /400 M11 by Cummins is perfect. lighter, easier to service, better fuel mileage, and power to spare. 1285 ft/lbs of torque, about 10mpg
- a truck the age of mine has less regulations on the emission requirements, after 1999 or so, more emission equipment was added. This may have reduced the performance of newer engines and created upkeep problems.
- more miles than mine is a gamble, more wear and tear, duty cycle of 24/7/365 is brutal, more time for improper maintenance,
- Volvo is the only brand of truck to be considered for our purpose. nothing compares
- It cost me 60,000 dollars to purchase and get my truck built the way I needed it to be for full time rving. Now I am selling, so I can go on with my next goal. my Volvo, registered as a motorhome can't be beat.
The above is background info that I picked up over the last few years. I hope there is something there that you can use as thinking points to research further.
If you want more pictures or other info, you must call me at 951-491-4673
Edited by Bill R, 05 March 2013 - 02:05 PM.