Jump to content
jloux2012

MDT (M class) vs. Ram 3500 or Ford F450

Recommended Posts

Hello All,

I am starting this topic to compile info in one spot for my husband.

We are planning on purchasing a DRV fullhouse soon. We need to up grade our F250 of course. Well, we have been looking at the Ram 3500 and the Ford F450.

 

I know everyone's situation is different, ours is that I will be commuting to my job, sometimes up to 50 miles one way (depending where we camp in relation to the location of the center for my company). We want a toyhauler to keep our RZR1000 and our smoker with us, so that leaves out a toad.

 

So basically, would a M2 class be the best option for us? Also, if you could give your opinion on why a larger truck would be better than the pickups.

I know one drv dealer and the sales rep for drv said F450.

Thank you for your time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A larger truck will be more stable which will be nice when towing in normal situations and even nicer if you have to make an unexpected maneuver at some point. Another issue is the small engine in the pickups, they have the same basic engine as the 250 class trucks and I believe some of the heavier pickups actually have less power. Running down the road with a pickup type truck you are going to get a lot of engine noise due to the high RPMs resulting from the low axle ratio, a more powerful engine will be quieter and give you more reserve power for hills or wind.

 

I had an International 4700 that was quite adequate for my needs but it cost a LOT more than converting a used HDT and was less comfortable and quiet on the road as well as suffering badly from lack of power (275/800) on hills and windy conditions. Sizewise my IH wasn't much smaller than a small HDT although if you go with a smart hauling bed and a big cab the HDT can get pretty big.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used an F350 dually on my old fifth wheel (15,500 GVWR) but decided to go with an M2-112 on our new DRV (21,000 GVWR) after one trip. The M2-112 has the running gear from a class 8 truck (13 liter Detroit Diesel with 450 HP and 1650 ft-lbs of torque), uses an Allison automatic for easy driving and will fit in the same width space as our F350 will (it is about 12" longer though). There is NO comparison when talking about pickup truck brakes vs the air brakes I have now or the ability to use a real Jacobs engine brake compared to the exhaust brake on a pickup (mine has 505 braking horsepower). Air ride suspension, air ride seats and air ride cabs make for a nice day's driving and if we need to be somewhere, I don't feel fatigued a bit after putting in 12 to 14 hours on the road. It is also fun to drive right on past folks in the hills without slowing down.....

 

Are MDT's for everyone? no.. Neither are HDT's. Some on here will swear by their pickup, others by their larger HDT's some will stick to the medium duty trucks for the extra seating they provide. We are looking at moving to the HDT as our needs have changed and we no longer need a rear seat. I am still hesitant to change but the wife would like a Smart car to putt around in and I have always wanted a KW....so......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice rig, that!

 

If I were looking at that heavy of a rig.. with a RZR.. and considering a daily commute to work.. my first choice would be an HDT with a smart. My second choice would be the F450, but I wouldn't have a third. $ to performance, comfort, safety the HDT option would win hands down in my book. Not to mention you'll save a bundle in daily expenses going with a smart over commuting with the F450.

 

One other thing to consider is that also gives you 2 vehicles. You may have the smart at work, but if your husband needs to run errands.. he's still the HDT.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Watch the tow and payload ratings on the F450. The 4x4 version has less payload capacity than a F350 with a 4.30 axle.

 

The payload capacity is one thing you will need with the Fullhouse.

 

Ken

Edited by TXiceman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks all. The spot for the smart car, would a jeep wrangler fit? I have my 98 jeep that is paid for, and I don't like being so close to the ground in a car.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks all. The spot for the smart car, would a jeep wrangler fit? I have my 98 jeep that is paid for, and I don't like being so close to the ground in a car.

 

Smart will load sideways, Jeep will not. It can be done lengthwise, but then you will have a much longer deck - and truck. Overall length can become an issue. There is one member on the HDT forum who runs his Jeep up on ramps over the back of the cab.

 

Try a smart sometime, you will be surprised at how comfortable that are. Harsh ride? Yes, but very comfortable to drive and exceptionally safe, especially as compared to a Wrangler (which I am getting ready to buy to replace my BMW). On a smart the silver part is all frame, like an egg. Ours has stability control, anti-lock brakes, traction control and eight airbags. I managed to wreck our original smart and all that happened to me was the airbag knocked my glasses off.

 

Considering the cost of entry an HDT and a smart is a very viable option.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This always seems like a polarizing question.

 

Smart car on the highway ? Please.. have you ever seen a smart car in a low speed accident... you would probably be better off on a bike.

Consumer Reports gave a Smart 28 out of 100 possible points, earning it a spot on its "lowest scorers" list. They call it the "unsmart" car. Unfortunately, it really is one of vary few cars that will fit sideways on a class 8 so it fits a niche.

 

The last owner of my FL60 pulled a 23K pound race car trailer ... it has a much easier job with my trailer... however, I think Georgie Hybrid has hit the perfect solution for you with the M2-112. Power of a class 8... maneuverability and ease of use (but better) than a 350/3500 dually... I run my FL60 all over town so we don't need another vehicle to own/insure/repair.

 

Good luck with your hunt for what ever you choose..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Being one that tows 24,000 and greater mulitple times a week, a proper MDT is a must. Having dumped our Ram 3500 dually's, I can speak from experience that is the wrong truck for anything near that weight. We started using our MDT as a daily driver and turns sharper in less space than a 3500 long bed. Out of all our trucks, our MDT and HDT are the best and pleasure in handling heavy loads.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How much is pin on that full house DRV? I have heard DRV is reducing pin for LDT. I have also heard of "tail wagging" due to light pin and long distance behind axles. I rently upgraded from a 3500 dually 2012 for a HDT. There is no comparison in safety, comfort, braking and power. I haul a Smart and it is such a better commute than the dually. My Teton is just shy of 21k

Edited by Glenn West

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

really grassy ?

 

how much road rash do you expect to get in a smart dump humm?

 

I will take road rash over the alternative any day of the week.

 

We actually looked at buying one.. but what surprised us were the crash tests... apparently, when car crash testing are done, it is only against a "like sized" vehicle.

 

Our opinion was later reinforced when we saw a smart car that was hit by a van at moderate speed.

 

Everything is a matter of choice/personal preferences and RV'ing is all about compromises.. that is one of the reasons we chose the MDT vs HDT route..

 

Cheers..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You Sound like we did 1 year ago. We too are going to be doing the exact same thing. Only we sold our SXS and have a SlingShot 3 wheeler now, Went back to the road as finding places to ride were harder while traveling and the SxS was sitting a lot. The 3 wheeler is working better for us now. So I need a truck to go to work with as I have a gang box with tools and because sometime I need to move some material from on site storage to the job site. I work at hospitals, construction mostly. Right now we have 2 trucks the 5th wheel and a enclosed trailer. My wife drives the work truck with tools and tows the enclosed trailer with the 3 wheeler in it. I drive or drove a chevy 3500 HD dually towing our Redwood. We are working towards trying to get the new DRV Full House or having a Space Craft made to except the SlingShot. We need 14’ garage. Then we are going to sell the pickup truck and enclosed trailer and go down the road in one vehicle towing the new toy hauler with SLingShot in the back. BUT my dually is very close to it max per smart weight that we had done with what we have now. We tow a 40’ Redwood that is right at 18,000# and my 3500 loaded was right at 13,026#. So I have no room for the bigger toy hauler which I’m guessing at between DRV at 24,000 and possibly SpaceCraft at 28,000#. So I need a bigger truck but it has to work for me to get into tight spots Job sites and parking lots and loading docks along with hauling my tools and pulling the new toy hauler. I don’t have a CDL or air brake endorsement that I would need for the HDT or the big block MDT’s. Neither would be a problem to get as I worked on them for years before changing careers. But any how. I have been looking at the hauler bodies for a couple years. 5 years as that is how long we have been full timing jumping from job to job. Always want a MDT Sport Chassis but couldn’t afford or find the right one. Talked with Greg at the Tampa show this year about his HDT’s with the bodies. For me the HDT wasn’t going to work both financially or how I needed to use it. Was looking at the F450’s with a hauler body. A lot of money and still over powered by the 5th wheel. Meaning, you know when you have that feeling that someone is standing over your shoulder looking at what your doing? Thats how the how the 5th wheel felt when I was towing it with my dually at 18,000# not to mention the 24,000# plus pounds that were looking at. It’s riding back there just waiting for that instant it can say “See I’m bigger then you”. I knew I could do better. I really want my wife riding with me and not driving a truck towing a trailer behind me. Not to mention some of the, lets just say “Spirited” conversations that we have had over the last couple year about it. She does great but its all she wants. So. We just picked up our new left over 2012 Sport Chassis demo with less then 6500 miles on it last friday. Flew to the factory in OK. Picked it up and drove 23 hours back to FL. the next day to pick up our 5th wheel then towed it to GA so I could be to work Monday morning to start the next job. The difference in towing with our MDT is hard to explain, as there is that big of a difference. HUGE!! comfort wise, stability, just everything. It almost feels like Im towing a large enclosed trailer then 18,000# 5th Wheel and I’m relaxed when we get to the next spot. Its just a completely different relaxing, calming feeling. So now when we get the new toy hauler in the next 6 months to a year we will have the truck to tow with it. Another thing to keep in mind is that there is a lot better financing options available for a MDT (Sport Chassis) then most others and easier for us to insure. So keep that in mind also. The little bit smaller MDT truck just works better for us then the HDT would.

Sorry for the long post, but I know that 50 mile barrier to the next job very well. Need to figure out how to post a pic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Undrpsi... did you get the M2-106 or 112 chassis? And I'm not sure what you mean by a "leftover 2012". It's great to finally see another Redwood owner. Congratulations on the Sportschassis. I think that will be the direction we'll go when the time is right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tom

We went with a New 2012 M-2 106 that had been sitting around inside the factory under cover. This was a demo that had 6000 miles on it. It has the 8.3 Cummins 350 HP 1050 Torque. New 2 year factory unlimited miles bumper to bumper warranty. All I can say is WOW what a difference!! This Sport Chassis truck is going to work out perfect for us and our plans.

Give me a call if you like.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tom

We went with a New 2012 M-2 106 that had been sitting around inside the factory under cover. This was a demo that had 6000 miles on it. It has the 8.3 Cummins 350 HP 1050 Torque. New 2 year factory unlimited miles bumper to bumper warranty. All I can say is WOW what a difference!! This Sport Chassis truck is going to work out perfect for us and our plans.

Give me a call if you like.

Congrats..you will never want to go back pulling with a pick up...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats..you will never want to go back pulling with a pick up...

 

Grassy....since I don't see it in your signature, what MDT did you go with?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Grassy....since I don't see it in your signature, what MDT did you go with?

 

I bought a low mileage '01 FL 60 Sport Chassis. I wanted to avoid the emissions and the technology. I also like the 4 doors vs a bunk..and the dog co pilots like them too. I also like the versatility of the rig. I have been able to customize it to our liking. It has air rear suspension, cab and seats (that I upgraded)...I recently replaced the tires with a bit more sidewall flex so the ride is even smoother. Thought about air in the front but the jury seems to be out on this one. I hear that some new Petes with it are scary in side winds..

 

So far, pretty impressed and it is hard to wipe the smile off of my face when I am driving.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We towed our Voltage with a 2010 Ram 3500 DRW and it towed it okay....but now that we've towed over 12k miles with our M2-106 I'd NEVER go back to a LDT! Stopping power, stability and comfort are no comparison.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

as a side note. how much does a "smart car" really weigh in at?

any good on a hill? or more like a older vw bettle? cross winds?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎2‎/‎23‎/‎2018 at 7:20 PM, packnrat said:

as a side note. how much does a "smart car" really weigh in at?

any good on a hill? or more like a older vw bettle? cross winds?

The 2016 and up 453 models weigh about 2,200 pounds, will run 80 mph all day long on the interstate, don't slow down on hills and have stability control for crosswinds. They are pretty much like a regular car only shorter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/5/2016 at 10:16 AM, Grassy said:

Smart car on the highway ? Please.. have you ever seen a smart car in a low speed accident... you would probably be better off on a bike.


Consumer Reports gave a Smart 28 out of 100 possible points, earning it a spot on its "lowest scorers" list. They call it the "unsmart" car. Unfortunately, it really is one of vary few cars that will fit sideways on a class 8 so it fits a niche.

Better off on a bike? Really? And, yes I have seen several smart cars involved in accidents. They hold up better that you claim. And it is the ONLY car that will fit sideways.

On 6/7/2016 at 7:17 AM, Grassy said:

I will take road rash over the alternative any day of the week.

We actually looked at buying one.. but what surprised us were the crash tests... apparently, when car crash testing are done, it is only against a "like sized" vehicle.

I'll take a metal cage and air bags over road rash any day. What size vehicles do they use when crash testing that bike you think is as safe as a smart? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

RVers Online University

campgroundviews.com

Our program provides accurate individual wheel weights for your RV, toad, and tow vehicle, and will help you trim the pounds if you need to.

Rv Share

Dish For My RV.

Find out more or sign up for Escapees RV'ers Bootcamp.

Advertise your product or service here.



×