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Timt

HDT vs F450 to pull 20k lb fifth wheel

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Anyone tow with a HDT? Going to buy our truck today and have been looking at the newer F450's. Will the F450 require bags to tow a mobile suite? 

I know trucks but I know nothing about diesels or HDT's.  Would rather have the HDT to sit higher and all the benefits of pulling/stopping our rig but don't know anything about manufactures, milage, etc...  We will be traveling rvers living full time.  Thanks for any input. 

Edited by Timt

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There is an entire forum on HDT's on this site. Many people tow with an HDT and that is where this question should be asked. You will get plenty of answers. However, if you are going to buy the truck today you are a little late to be asking this question. I suggest you wait until you gather more information as to the comparison of an HDT vs. F450. 

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I just looked at the towing capacity of the F450=21000#.  I suppose that would be dependent on how it is equipment, BUT, what was the most surprising was the curb weight=8900#.  Some have called that the tail wagging the dog.  In your scenario, you will be towing 20000# with 8900#.  Think it through and make the best decision for you and your safety.

Not sure what the cost will be for the F450 you are looking at, but most of those trucks seem to be priced higher than a comparably equipped HDT, but the HDT has the capacity to tow 3-4 times the weight which also means it has the safety features necessary to do the job properly.  I am in the same exact dilemma.  

Even with similar engine specs, most LDTs will have at most a 6-speed trans but many HDTs have 9-13speed trans, even automatics at 10 or 12.

This forum is a wealth of info on tow vehicles and taking the time to learn before making a significant purchase might be a good thing.  I have a Newmar Kountry Aire, well into the 20K# weight range.  Previous owner, also an SKP, towed with an F450.  When I bought it, I picked it up with my MDT(middle of the road choice for me for now) and owner commented on my having a REAL truck to tow it with.  That was the voice of experience and I paid attention to that.

Still learning about HDTs and will likely step up at the right time.

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I towed 21k with a 3500. Power was great. Ride was unbearable. Had to add air bags due to pin weight. Bowed springs backwards. Bags fixed spring arc but made it ride like a rail. A 4500 will have heavier spring package. How will it ride? My HDT rides very smooth Bob tail or loaded. But with air suspension, cab and seat can't help but ride good. A 4500 would not be a good daily commute. 

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Listen to the words of experience here and on the HDT section.  It will always be a lot less expensive to learn from others who have been there and done that.

Is 20K your max weight on your trailer?  And do you think this will be your last trailer?

Know before you go!

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1 hour ago, Timt said:

Anyone tow with a HDT? Going to buy our truck today and have been looking at the newer F450's. Will the F450 require bags to tow a mobile suite? 

I know trucks but I know nothing about diesels or HDT's.  Would rather have the HDT to sit higher and all the benefits of pulling/stopping our rig but don't know anything about manufactures, milage, etc...  We will be traveling rvers living full time.  Thanks for any input. 

Hi Tim,

Welcome to the forum. What part of the county do you live in ? There is a big rally coming up for HDT's in October in Kanas . You don't have to have a HDT to attend the rally. Hope you can hold off buying that F450 till you get all of your questions answered.

Best of luck,
Al

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Time spent investigating truck specs and fifth wheel specs is well invested.  Don't rush a decision.  One truck does not fit everyone.  The HDT fellows have their good reasons to tow with an HDT as well as the LDT fellows with a diesel dually.

Don't overlook a newer F350 equipped properly compared to a F450.  Our 2014 F350 weighs 9,375 pounds and we tow 17,200 comfortably and safely.  I had air bags on the previous 2007 F350 to level it but don't need them on the 2014 2 wheel drive.  Mobile Suites you mention are heavier than our HitchHiker so be sure to do your analysis, don't rush it unless you have lots of $$$ to fix a bad decision.  Disc brakes on the fifth wheel is a good investment too.  It will take more than a day to read about trucks on this forum.       Greg 

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We tow our DRV 21k with a MDT....would really like to have an HDT, but price was the considering factor at time of purchase.  Aside from the comments above, I have owned 3 DRW trucks and would say that the longevity of an HDT or MDT is far superior over a LDT.  Our MDT should last 500,000 miles with regular upkeep and a well cared for HDT should last almost twice that.  Every one of my LDTs had mechanical problems even before hitting the 100,000 mile mark.

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35 minutes ago, ewacowboy said:

We tow our DRV 21k with a MDT....would really like to have an HDT, but price was the considering factor at time of purchase.  Aside from the comments above, I have owned 3 DRW trucks and would say that the longevity of an HDT or MDT is far superior over a LDT.  Our MDT should last 500,000 miles with regular upkeep and a well cared for HDT should last almost twice that.  Every one of my LDTs had mechanical problems even before hitting the 100,000 mile mark.

That is great perspective and experience you are sharing with us.  I suspected that but have not heard it from someone that has the experience to compare through first hand usage.  Seems like I am on a similar path to you.

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No one has done so, thus I'll say welcome to the Escapee forums!

4 hours ago, GlennWest said:

He has never posted back. Likely buying that 4500.

Give him a chance as many people only check the forums once or twice each day.  :)

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6 hours ago, rynosback said:

I tow my DRV Mobile Suites with a Ram 3500 with no problem.  I believe insuring a 350 is much easier the a 450 and HDT.

My Volvo cost me $375 annually as an add on vehicle to my auto insurance policy.  Licensed as a motorhome in Wisconsin.  Doesn't get much easier than that.

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