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Slixter

New guy questions for those who know!

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I've narrowed my HDT choice down to the Volvo 780 preferably because of the sleeper size. I'm not planning on singling it up. I'll be towing a Toy Hauler and my preferred model is a Duthchmen Voltage 3970. The couple questions I have for those of you in the know before I start chasing down these 2 items over the next few months are as follows:

1) The 3970 has a length of almost 44'. I haven't measured the 780 yet but to stay under 65' total length I probably won't have much room on the bed for a car. Anyone have a similar setup that could advise?

2) With a published pin weight of 3500 lbs (I know the accuracy of these) am I going to be light on the pin with a 900 lb motorcycle in the garage? Any suggestions to help increase pin weight? Do replacement pin boxes make much of a difference?

 

Thanks in advance for your insight.

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You need more info.  Is that 3500# pin with the full rated garage load, or empty?  You will have a big teeter-toter (🤣) so you can play with water tank loading, etc.

We have a 770, and a Newmar X-Aire, supposed to be 41' but the tape measure says 43'.  We carry a car, and over all length is 64' 72".  Our pin weight is fine (roughly 23% of total gross), but I don't know the advertised specs.  We carry a total of about 1800# of bikes plus too much other stuff.  Our rated gross trailer weight is 21,000#.

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First welcome to the forum.

1.  Without singling you aren’t going to make it under  65’ with a 44’ trailer and remaining tandem.  Most wheelbases are around 230”.  Mine is 223” and we pull a 42 ft trailer.  So by the time you extend the frame to add a hitch you are probably going to be in the neighborhood of 68-69’.  We are 67’ nose to tail when hitched.

2.  Depends on your trailer weight.  You need between 20%-25% of weight on pin.  900 lbs just guessing would probably unload the pin about 100-200 lbs depending on how far behind the axles (fulcrum).  You can actually calculate that if you know your trailer lengths and weights.  My guess is you’ll be ok.

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54 minutes ago, rickeieio said:

You need more info.  Is that 3500# pin with the full rated garage load, or empty?  You will have a big teeter-toter (🤣) so you can play with water tank loading, etc.

We have a 770, and a Newmar X-Aire, supposed to be 41' but the tape measure says 43'.  We carry a car, and over all length is 64' 72".  Our pin weight is fine (roughly 23% of total gross), but I don't know the advertised specs.  We carry a total of about 1800# of bikes plus too much other stuff.  Our rated gross trailer weight is 21,000#.

Thanks. I'm assuming the published pin weight is based on an empty garage, no water, no propane, etc.

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49 minutes ago, SuiteSuccess said:

First welcome to the forum.

1.  Without singling you aren’t going to make it under  65’ with a 44’ trailer and remaining tandem.  Most wheelbases are around 230”.  Mine is 223” and we pull a 42 ft trailer.  So by the time you extend the frame to add a hitch you are probably going to be in the neighborhood of 68-69’.  We are 67’ nose to tail when hitched.

2.  Depends on your trailer weight.  You need between 20%-25% of weight on pin.  900 lbs just guessing would probably unload the pin about 100-200 lbs depending on how far behind the axles (fulcrum).  You can actually calculate that if you know your trailer lengths and weights.  My guess is you’ll be ok.

In your travels have you had any issues being over 65 feet?

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49 minutes ago, Slixter said:

In your travels have you had any issues being over 65 feet?

No I haven’t in 10 years. Couple folks have but very rare. 

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5 hours ago, Slixter said:

In your travels have you had any issues being over 65 feet?

We have been fulltime for 19 years. All but three of those we were over 65'. In some cases, 84' (towing doubles). 15+ of those with an HDT. Never had an issue but like stated above, some have - but it is very very rare. 

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Howdy Slixter,

I tow a nearly 45 foot Voltage 3818 toy hauler by Dutchman, my over all lenght is 72".  I am guessing your going to end up about that same lenght.  If you take the stock pin box OFF and replace it with a straight down pin box, I built mine Jack, sells a very nice one you can make the over all lenght of your rig close to 2 feet shorter then when you use the stock pin box.  Using the straight down pin box will also greatly decrease the stress on your trailer in my opinion its one of the best things you can do when dragging a long trailer.

Dave

Edited by mr. cob
cuzzi cant sqel

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3 minutes ago, mr. cob said:

Howdy Slixter,

I tow a nearly 45 foot Voltage 3818 toy hauler by Dutchman, my over all lenght is 72".  I am guessing your going to end up about that same lenght.  If you take the stock pin box OFF and replace it with a straight down pin box, I built mine Jack, sells a very nice one you can make the over all lenght of your rig close to 2 feet shorter then when you use the stock pin box.  Using the straight down pin box will also greatly decrease the stress on your trailer in my opinion its one of the best things you can do when dragging a long trailer.

Dave

Is your truck singled or do you still have the tandems?

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Just now, Slixter said:

Is your truck singled or do you still have the tandems?

Howdy Slixter,

Go to your profile page, change the settings so you can view "signatures" there is a photo of my setup below all of my posts.  I left my present truck tandem when I built it, my first truck was singled, the tandem truck rides much better and has TWICE the brakes.

Dave

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Slixter

Here is a video Gregg did a few years ago with a 730 that does a pretty good job of demonstrating the length.  If you stay tandem the hitch will be a couple of feet further back than in the video.  Don’t forget unless you are using the first generation smart car (05/06) you will be over width so does it really matter if you are over length as well?

 

Nigel

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=a0Nu4ts7zZk

 

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8 hours ago, Nigel said:

Slixter

Here is a video Gregg did a few years ago with a 730 that does a pretty good job of demonstrating the length.  If you stay tandem the hitch will be a couple of feet further back than in the video.  Don’t forget unless you are using the first generation smart car (05/06) you will be over width so does it really matter if you are over length as well?

 

Nigel

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=a0Nu4ts7zZk

 

I will. I’ve checked out a few of his videos. Always informative. 

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On 8/9/2019 at 12:08 AM, Nigel said:

 Don’t forget unless you are using the first generation smart car (05/06) you will be over width so does it really matter if you are over length as well?

Yes, it does. Being several feet overlength is a whole lot easier to see than a couple of inch on each side. I know people who got an overlength ticket but the officer never measured their smart. 

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8 hours ago, Big5er said:

Yes, it does. Being several feet overlength is a whole lot easier to see than a couple of inch on each side. I know people who got an overlength ticket but the officer never measured their smart. 

Phil,

I don’t advocate breaking the law but point of fact many of us are over length and I live with the reality of knowing I could be cited.  As the retired expert, my question would be in the hypothetical situation that I were pulled over and cited must I disconnect, hire someone to pull me to another location and reconnect?  Or can I just take the ticket and continue on down the road after the LEO leaves?  or am I “out of service” and can’t leave from where I’m stopped?

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1 hour ago, SuiteSuccess said:

Phil,

I don’t advocate breaking the law but point of fact many of us are over length and I live with the reality of knowing I could be cited.  As the retired expert, my question would be in the hypothetical situation that I were pulled over and cited must I disconnect, hire someone to pull me to another location and reconnect?  Or can I just take the ticket and continue on down the road after the LEO leaves?  or am I “out of service” and can’t leave from where I’m stopped?

I was wondering the same thing. I'm sure you guys have talked about this before but in my research it seems that a few states have regs that are lower than 65'. 

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Carl, the Federal regs allow CMV's to be placed "out of service" for a very select, few, safety items, ie: 20% of the brakes inoperative or out of adjustment, air leaks, air loss rate (compressor can't keep up), BOTH brake lights inop, either REAR turn signal inop, some tire violations, etc. Other than those it's "Here is your ticket. Drive safely".

Now, in Texas state law (the laws that apply to us/rv's,not CMV's), there is no allowance to be placed "out of service". Now we have all told the violator with no brake lights to "fix that before you drive away" but the most you can really do is write him another ticket if he doesnt. There are several reasons I can tow a vehicle against the owners wishes, but being over length is not one of them. I would question any officer that mandates that I disconnect and hire someone to tow my trailer. Now having said that,  every state is different.......

Remember the G*******'s who were given an overlength ticket by my coworker? "Sign here and drive safely". And if you remember he never even checked the width of their sideways loaded smart car.

Edited by Big5er

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Thanks Phil. That out of service was tongue in cheek. I knew that applied only to commercial but figured some may not. Again thanks for the answer. I had been meaning to ask that of you for awhile., especially since we’re embarking tomorrow on a 4000 mile marathon trip.   BTW hope you’re enjoying retirement. 

Edited by SuiteSuccess

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Anyone know why regulation length dimensions are often less overall for rv combinations than for commercial trucks?

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37 minutes ago, noteven said:

Anyone know why regulation length dimensions are often less overall for rv combinations than for commercial trucks?

Less training, less follw-up, less experience.

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6 hours ago, noteven said:

Anyone know why regulation length dimensions are often less overall for rv combinations than for commercial trucks?

Because typically RV's are NOT HDT's. The typical long RV is a truck and a trailer or a motorhome and a trailer. 
Can you imagine what some of these idiots would hook behind an F-250 if they could? A 40ft fifth wheel and a 20ft Ski Boat?

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13 minutes ago, Big5er said:

Because typically RV's are NOT HDT's. The typical long RV is a truck and a trailer or a motorhome and a trailer. 
Can you imagine what some of these idiots would hook behind an F-250 if they could? A 40ft fifth wheel and a 20ft Ski Boat?

100%! Even with the regs, some of the stuff I see out here is unbelievable!

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17 hours ago, noteven said:

Anyone know why regulation length dimensions are often less overall for rv combinations than for commercial trucks?

Probably politics. As semi trailers grew from 40’ to 45’ s even give then 48’ and 53’, the industry lobbied for longer limits. Most places straight truck and long trailer combos are not that common so there hasn’t been any pressure for change.

How many folks would even think about their length when shopping for a 5er to pull behind their CCLB? Some of you have HDTs that are shorter than my F350.

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I think it’s the “swoops and swirls” RV camouflage paint schemes that fools the enforcement re: overall length...

Either that or they have enough work to do catching road users who are posing an actual danger to the society and infrastructure...?

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I have been doing this for awhile now and I have talked to Leo's I know from several states. The general consensus is that unless we are doing something blatantly stupid they have enough work to do already without messing with us.

Brad

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15 hours ago, Big5er said:

Because typically RV's are NOT HDT's. The typical long RV is a truck and a trailer or a motorhome and a trailer. 
Can you imagine what some of these idiots would hook behind an F-250 if they could? A 40ft fifth wheel and a 20ft Ski Boat?

That's a daily sighting on I-94 across North Dakota... F250 all jacked up, 3-axle toy hauler with a boat behind it.... 75mph....

 

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