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Towing Options...Need some advice

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Hi everybody!

I'm about to retire my ford E350 SD extended van in favor of something with a sleeper etc (HDT) but I have no clue where to start.

I do not know what my options are (whats smaller than an hdt?) class numbers etc, what would "average" milage be 500K?, Any advise you can offer would be great.

A little background on me...played music professionally for over 30 years, construction background, I own a cbd oil business so I can work from anywhere :)

Would like a sleeper with enough room to build a small office space, not sure about hauling a small (smart) car may just take my motorcycle :)

Caper is a bumper pull Jayco 32 bhds, 36 foot ..around 9500lbs loaded

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With a bumper pull camper, one could put a large box on back. 14' bed is very doable, what I have, and a 14' box, 101" wide suffice for your needs? Steve Dixion has a nice, custom build travel trailer. Large man cave on back of truck. Look at the resource guide on hdt section. Many pics of HDT builds. 

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First welcome. Second you really don’t need an HDT for a 9500 lb pull behind. I’ll let others smarter than me chime in but that light of a trailer may not hold up well behind an HDT. Third point is if you use the  truck as an office you may well become a “commercial “ truck and all that entails. There will be a whole raft of folks debating that point and saying it is no different than your trailer having an office. That’s why it “may” become.  Do your research beforehand. Lastly the trucks below an HDT are Medium Duty Trucks (MDT),  Super Duty Pickups (F450, 550),  Lighter Duty pickups (F250, 350). 

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I suspect you don't know what makes a truck an HDT. Federal DOT places trucks into ONE of only EIGHT classes based STRICTLY on the GVWR. LDTs (Light Duty Trucks) are Classes 1, 2 and 3 (think F150, F250, F350 approximately). MDTs (Medium Duty Trucks) are Classes 4, 5 and 6 (again, think F450, F550, F650 approximately). HDTs (HEAVY Duty Trucks) are Class 7 and 8 (F750; I don't believe an F850 is made but, Ford has made Class 8 HDTs). Class 7 STARTS at 26,001# and goes up to 33,000# GVWR. Class 8 HDTs start at 33,001# and go up from there (sometimes to well over 100,000#!). When you see most ANY "pickup" truck claiming to be "Heavy Duty" it truly is not (unless its' GVWR is 26,001# ~ 33,000#, ie an F750). Each year, more and more RVers are switching over to TRUE HDT tractors to pull their fivers (which today, can exceed 40,000# just for the trailer!) Your trailer at 9,500# might do well with a Class-7 MDT Crew Cab (although they tend to be expensive). You've found the Escapee Forums all with LOTS of useful information . A good used HDT tractor can cost much less that a new high end pickup truck and, the comfort and safety a TRUE HDT provides is something a pickup truck can only dream of. Most people are surprised that fuel economy from an HDT can be better that that of a big honking' pickup. There are THREE HDT Rallies held each year and EVERYONE is welcome to attend. It's not unusual to get ~ 20 newbies attending who come to learn about HDTs (and these rallies are a GREAT place to get a good education re HDTs). The ECR ~ East Cost Rally will be in Crossville, TN in late April. The WCR ~ West Coast Rally will be in Cauldwell, ID in June and, the National HDT Rally is held in Hutchinson, KS in October. I got a GREAT introduction to HDTs at the 2014 ECR (I stayed on site in a camping cabin). Shortly after, I found the Class-7 HDT based Super-C motorhome I currently own. HDTs may not be for everyone but, it's better to have more truck than you need than to have not enough truck; especially when the SHTF. Even if you decide that an HDT is not the right truck for you now, the rallies are fun and, you'll meet LOTS of knowledgable and friendly people. Good luck in your search! 

  

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Welcome to the forum!  For your weight, I'd stick to a won ton, brand your choice.  Unless you plan on buying a much bigger RV, an HDT is not needed.  Toy haulers can haul bikes/atvs/golf carts, etc if your going to upgrade.  If not, you can haul your bike in a won ton's 8ft bed.  Some folks use a 3/4 ton for that weight but I personally say you are pushing it for many reasons.  You did not say what state you live in, or are incensed in.  Some states do not recognize an HDT, regardless of how it's fixed up, as an RV and require a CDL, do you have one?  Some states require a non-commercial class A CDL.  Either way, you will be testing in a big truck with trailer attached.  Not hard to do, just another step to go through.  Another thought, HDTs take a lot of room to drive/park.  If your only taking your bike, there is going to be a lot of times you need a vehicle to go places.  Can you see yourself driving an HDT like a family car around towns/cities/parking lots?  Don't get me wrong, lots of ppl do it and enjoy it, I'm on the other side, drove one professionally, I would never want to drive one as a family car.  I'll stick to my original comment, I'd stick to a won ton with 8 ft bed if you want to take a bike along and pull a bumper pull.  As far as an office, alot of ppl have a toy hauler and use the garage as an office.  Just my 2 cents, in the end, its your choice, your the one that has to live with it.  Do what makes you happy.

Another thought, probably not the direction your talking, sell your camper and buy a motor-home, class A, or C.  Then flat tow a car, or buy a trailer to haul your bike sideways with a small car also on it, open or enclosed trailer.  Much less hassles for what your talking about doing.  IMHO, again, do what makes you happy.

Edited by NDBirdman

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11 hours ago, GlennWest said:

With a bumper pull camper, one could put a large box on back. 14' bed is very doable, what I have, and a 14' box, 101" wide suffice for your needs? Steve Dixion has a nice, custom build travel trailer. Large man cave on back of truck. Look at the resource guide on hdt section. Many pics of HDT builds. 

Thank you for the great advice  :)

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8 hours ago, SuiteSuccess said:

First welcome. Second you really don’t need an HDT for a 9500 lb pull behind. I’ll let others smarter than me chime in but that light of a trailer may not hold up well behind an HDT. Third point is if you use the  truck as an office you may well become a “commercial “ truck and all that entails. There will be a whole raft of folks debating that point and saying it is no different than your trailer having an office. That’s why it “may” become.  Do your research beforehand. Lastly the trucks below an HDT are Medium Duty Trucks (MDT),  Super Duty Pickups (F450, 550),  Lighter Duty pickups (F250, 350). 

SuiteSuccess, thank you :)

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7 hours ago, jkoenig24 said:

I suspect you don't know what makes a truck an HDT. Federal DOT places trucks into ONE of only EIGHT classes based STRICTLY on the GVWR. LDTs (Light Duty Trucks) are Classes 1, 2 and 3 (think F150, F250, F350 approximately). MDTs (Medium Duty Trucks) are Classes 4, 5 and 6 (again, think F450, F550, F650 approximately). HDTs (HEAVY Duty Trucks) are Class 7 and 8 (F750; I don't believe an F850 is made but, Ford has made Class 8 HDTs). Class 7 STARTS at 26,001# and goes up to 33,000# GVWR. Class 8 HDTs start at 33,001# and go up from there (sometimes to well over 100,000#!). When you see most ANY "pickup" truck claiming to be "Heavy Duty" it truly is not (unless its' GVWR is 26,001# ~ 33,000#, ie an F750). Each year, more and more RVers are switching over to TRUE HDT tractors to pull their fivers (which today, can exceed 40,000# just for the trailer!) Your trailer at 9,500# might do well with a Class-7 MDT Crew Cab (although they tend to be expensive). You've found the Escapee Forums all with LOTS of useful information . A good used HDT tractor can cost much less that a new high end pickup truck and, the comfort and safety a TRUE HDT provides is something a pickup truck can only dream of. Most people are surprised that fuel economy from an HDT can be better that that of a big honking' pickup. There are THREE HDT Rallies held each year and EVERYONE is welcome to attend. It's not unusual to get ~ 20 newbies attending who come to learn about HDTs (and these rallies are a GREAT place to get a good education re HDTs). The ECR ~ East Cost Rally will be in Crossville, TN in late April. The WCR ~ West Coast Rally will be in Cauldwell, ID in June and, the National HDT Rally is held in Hutchinson, KS in October. I got a GREAT introduction to HDTs at the 2014 ECR (I stayed on site in a camping cabin). Shortly after, I found the Class-7 HDT based Super-C motorhome I currently own. HDTs may not be for everyone but, it's better to have more truck than you need than to have not enough truck; especially when the SHTF. Even if you decide that an HDT is not the right truck for you now, the rallies are fun and, you'll meet LOTS of knowledgable and friendly people. Good luck in your search! 

  

Thank you I agree "more is better" the $ on mdt's are ridiculous and the rally should be a great staring point! 

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6 hours ago, NDBirdman said:

Welcome to the forum!  For your weight, I'd stick to a won ton, brand your choice.  Unless you plan on buying a much bigger RV, an HDT is not needed.  Toy haulers can haul bikes/atvs/golf carts, etc if your going to upgrade.  If not, you can haul your bike in a won ton's 8ft bed.  Some folks use a 3/4 ton for that weight but I personally say you are pushing it for many reasons.  You did not say what state you live in, or are incensed in.  Some states do not recognize an HDT, regardless of how it's fixed up, as an RV and require a CDL, do you have one?  Some states require a non-commercial class A CDL.  Either way, you will be testing in a big truck with trailer attached.  Not hard to do, just another step to go through.  Another thought, HDTs take a lot of room to drive/park.  If your only taking your bike, there is going to be a lot of times you need a vehicle to go places.  Can you see yourself driving an HDT like a family car around towns/cities/parking lots?  Don't get me wrong, lots of ppl do it and enjoy it, I'm on the other side, drove one professionally, I would never want to drive one as a family car.  I'll stick to my original comment, I'd stick to a won ton with 8 ft bed if you want to take a bike along and pull a bumper pull.  As far as an office, alot of ppl have a toy hauler and use the garage as an office.  Just my 2 cents, in the end, its your choice, your the one that has to live with it.  Do what makes you happy.

Another thought, probably not the direction your talking, sell your camper and buy a motor-home, class A, or C.  Then flat tow a car, or buy a trailer to haul your bike sideways with a small car also on it, open or enclosed trailer.  Much less hassles for what your talking about doing.  IMHO, again, do what makes you happy.

Thank you , it gives me some more options I had not considered  :)

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And just to add these big boys come with big up keep costs. If still tandem, you may have to replace 10 tires at once. We replaced 4 last year, and it cost as much as putting 6 on a one ton dually. Oil changes/coolant changes are not cheap, you can google them on any truck stop page.

That said, they can not be beat for safety and visibility when driving.

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