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mtlakejim

Spacecraft

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Getting ready for retirement. Trying decide between a Class A diesel pusher towing a "stacker trailer" or a custom two story 5th wheel.

 

Looking into having Spacecraft build us a custom 5th wheel. Currently in a Thor/Keystone Montana High Country 381TH. Looking to have Spacecraft build a similar unit but with the mid Kitchen floor at the same height as front living room and rear bedroom/bathroom (basically like most Class A diesel pushers). The idea being to have a massive basement garage for as many toys as we can fit UNDER the living space. Its the next logical step in the evolution of the two story toy hauler concept that started with the Grand Design and Montana HC 381TH.

Wanting to open up conversations with current Spacecraft owners. Particularly interested in what they tow with. I know our current 1 ton dually won't be enough but hoping to not have to go full HDT and have to bring a daily driver along......

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Saw your posts on the new horizons owner's forums, I am interested in following your journey with this custom concept. 

I spoke with Marcia couple years ago regarding a 5ver toy hauler build very similar to the new 2020 grand design momentum 376THS , and she said to budget 500lbs per ft plus 4k additional cargo which put my design at 25 k and 5000 pin. Can't imagine what you're looking at doing being any lighter than that, probably needing even more cargo capacity for all the toys?

I know Marsha sold the company but you should reach out and contact spacecraft directly regarding your design , they may not be able to do it in a 5ver but be able to do that design in a semi trailer frame. 

I think you're looking at minimal a mdt,  550 for those weights,  maybe bigger but spacecraft can answer your questions. 

Please post back your experiences and best of luck !

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Palmeris,

Yes we expect to be in a MDT at a minimum. What we hope to do is thread the needle between being too heavy for the MDT and being able to fit as many toys as we possibly can. We don't want to be so heavy we have to move up to the HDT as that would not be practical at all for in town daily driver and we would be forced into getting a small vehicle for that which of course takes up valuable toy space.....

Basically we want to be able to take as many toys as possible but we also want the highest quality of finish we can get in our RV. I think there a LOT of folks who like us are empty nesters with disposable income that are in the exact same boat. It certainly seems that way from how the HC381TH took off in sales.

We are just a few years away from retirement and trying to decide if our RV will be a Class A diesel pusher with a massive toy trailer in tow or an MDT towing a custom 5th wheel. I think the costs will be similar either way we go. Right now we are full timing due to my career but we do own a country estate in North Central Arkansas. We are looking at buying property in Florida as well for snow birding when we do retire. At the point of retirement, we will use the RV for hopscotch trips around the country during the summer and maybe to winter in Florida but we will never sell the Estate.

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I wouldn't be so quick to reject an HDT.  You can configure an HDT to have more capacity and be physically smaller than a typical Freightliner M2 MDT.  It just depends on what your needs are.  A properly configured HDT can be the same physical foot print of a crew cab dually (or even a little shorter) and it will be much more maneuverable than the same dually.  It will be taller than a pick up though, so usually no drive thru's or parking garages with it (but those are really the only restrictions if it is properly configured).

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I had a  MDT 2005 M2 with a c 7 cat and a 10 speed ultra shift. Not a whole more power than my 2000 Ford 7.3 PSD and about the same fuel mileage. Now 2014  Volvo 630  WAY quieter, smoother ride and better mileage. Not even close and less money than some of these M-2's.

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Would a Freightliner M2-112 work for you? I have a 2006 SportChassis M2-112, MBE 4000 Mercedes engine (pre-emissions, no regen, no DEF) and TRV 4000 Allison 6 speed automatic transmission. We just retired and thinking about down sizing from a 43 foot toyhauler and the SportChassis to a 36 or 38 foot 5th wheel and an F350. Still in the planning stage, no firm decisions yet on selling or trading. 

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From what you are saying, my vote would be a Spacecraft semi and HDT.

I have a MDT and it's short on power. With a HDT you have no power problems.

With a HDT you can carry a small car on the back.

I am not a fan of short wheelbase HDT. I see many HDT that or over legal weight. Get the three axle to prevent that.

PM me for more information.

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A short sleeper truck mid roof is very manuvable as a daily driver. Same footprint as a dually. Jack Myer did this for nearly a decade. Will turn inside the circle of any dually. One can remove bed and install seats if needed. All we are saying don't rule out an HDT and get less toyhauler than you want.

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I have a dual purpose Volvo shorty, used for a million miles of work and also to pull our fiver. I've also had an MDT.. I think, in general, you'll be less than satisfied with the compromises inherent in the MDT choice.. What is gained with using an MDT over an HDT? Maybe six inches of overall height? Clearly I'm biased, but I fail to see any advantage in choosing the MDT over an HDT. Jay

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I will begin by saying I take advice from some folks above, I don’t give it.  I have much less experience. 

I shopped online for a used diesel PU to replace my rusty GMC half ton “pumpkin eater”.  They were very hard to find, and almost always well over $50k plus high mileage for a PU.  The MDT haulers were even higher than the pickups and much harder to find.  There are lots and lots of used HDTs out there and I saw a few late models under $40k.  
My point is that availability plays into this comparison as well. The prices seem much more competitive in the used HDT market.

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  I agree with Jaydrvr. I got the M/HDT because of wife and $$$. It has the same axle weight rating as a HDT, but the engine of a Ford Pinto. lol.  The main factor for me is STOPPING. I use 75% of my brake capacity to stop i.e. 75% of my axle weight.

I have seen HDT's that are over weight.

I said in earlier post I am not a fan of short wheel based HDT. The shorter WB is not as forgiving in emergency situations. (slick roads). RVers do not travel on Icey roads. This is my experience, right or wrong, no big deal.  

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This would be the way to go for a TV.

http://www.rvnetwork.com/topic/137929-new-price2008-volvo-730-43000-lowered-price/

 

Dennis

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