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Big decision. Going to the Dark Side


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Well, after two years of research and hand wringing on what kind of tow vehicle we would fulltime in, my wife and I have decided on purchasing a 2016 Volvo VNL42T780. We just ordered it last Monday and sent in the deposit check.

We have actually gone and done it!!!!

The truck is slotted for an April 27th production date. We are extremely excited and can't wait for May to arrive!!!

The forum has been a huge help to us and I'd like to thank everyone.



This should be correct now. I have changed the "Share" settings as Jack suggested (Thanks Jack). It should work now with the below link.

Here is the link to the build sheet


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Congratulations. Did you do the specs yourself or work with the engineers like RickS?

Thanks. We are excited. It was a combination of starting with a baseline truck using input from Gregg Shields. Comparing notes with RickS and the Volvo engineers allowed us to work through the pro's and cons of each detail. We knew that we wanted to focus on fuel efficiency so we spec'd the XE package in a D13 mated to an iShift. LOL...and about 27 approved "options" later we had our final product!! They don't build many 780's with "truck-type" specifications (as opposed to tractor spec's). Pictures will be uploaded a'plenty once we take delivery.

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David......Congrat's! I'm glad you got it all figured out as it is a lot of work. Keep in mind that there is a timeline that you can still make changes if needed. Only once at no charge and charges apply after that. Looking forward to seeing the spec sheet to see the final product. Hope to see you down the road. Soon we have the Volvo engineer's spec'ing "Dark Side Spec" orders. ;)

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Congratulations! Would you mind posting the spec sheet when you have items finalized?

Thanks to everyone.

Once finalized, I'll definitely post the spec's. I don't think there are any changes but we are continually reviewing to make sure we didn't miss anything.....and it is a lot of "things"!

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Well you got a truck that can pull anything..... :D

So what you gonna pull?? :)

Yes, what to pull was another huge decision. We have ordered a DRV 44 foot Houston. It is the front bath model with a few customizations (modified to include a walk in pantry/laundry area). It will be the Vegas Nights full body paint scheme.

Volvo said they would match the black color of the truck to the DRV as a "custom color" choice.


Having trouble concentrating at work.....LOL

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I think RickS & I both made some serious inroads to Volvo engineering. There was a lot of back & forth discussions about options and why we wanted certain items spec'd.

I have discussed a factory tour to see our truck built with the Communications Director at the factory and my salesman has made the official request.

Volvo does allow owners to view their trucks in production depending on several factors the most important being what shift the truck is at a certain stage of the build. They only do tours on day shift. I am waiting to hear back on if our tour can be arranged.

If it can be set up then we will definitely go.


As RickS said, we may have developed a Dark Side Spec at Volvo!

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All kidding aside, I think what you, Rick and Gregg are accomplishing at Volvo is not only exciting but also paves a way to a whole new segment in the RV world. The sizes of the RVs have crept up now to the lengths and weights which require serious pullers but other than Gregg rebuilding used trucks there was no avenue for those who wanted the quality and reliability of a new puller with the range of options. So in one sense you guys are the pioneers as it was years ago when the MDT segment went from customs to factory built.


Again congratulations!

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Volvo has a plant here in virginia, if it's being built here I would be more than happy to go by and supervise the build if you like :)


I'm excited for you!



Ha,ha...very nice of you to volunteer John.

We hope to visit the New River Valley plant in April or May. Dublin, VA is not too far away..... and yes, that is where our truck will be built.

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David.....give us some of the highlights of the order. :) Color/Trim Level/ Configuration

I'll have to download the spec sheet from home tonight but here are some juicy details:

Color: Black (will match fifth wheel)

Trim level: Limited with Lennox Ivory trim pkg. Leather two tone seats, heated with back cyclers

Configuration: 230"WB, D13 XE pkg - 405 hp @ 1650 lb-FT, premium iShift (console), 13,200 front axle, 23K lb rear axle with a 2.67 rear axle ratio, 23K lb rear Volvo air suspension, Disc brakes all around, Volvo factory TPMS/ Bendix Smartire, horizontal exhaust

Other misc: Gold level trim, LED lights, twin 125 gal fuel, premium radio/bluetooth, fridge, sink, M/W prep, shore power, inverter (dealer install), power windows, power/FOB remote locks,Dura-bright polished wheels and workstation.


For those that are wondering why "only 405 hp"...we wanted a fuel efficient truck and our fifth wheel will weight about 24K lbs loaded. This is well under the capabilities of the 780. Volvo Engineering agreed and put this package of HP/Torque to maximize MPG with the load we would haul.


We will look at the Webasto bunk heater after everything is done to see if it will fit underneath. We also added extra insulation in the luggage compartment.


Whew!! and that's the "Cliff Notes version".

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Thanks David.....looks very familiar. Here in Canada any dealer installed options were way too high priced and my salesman suggested we do everything possible at the factory. They installed the Webasto / Magnum MS2012 Inverter / Extra chrome trimming / Bose Seats at the modification center which saved a bunch of money. If, you find that the 405/1650 spec with the 2:67 gear is not enough for you can move that up in the future. The extended warranty I purchased was more expensive with the 500/1850 spec. If the truck could have been ordered with D16- 600/2250 that's what I would have spec'ed.......engineering said the single rear diff wouldn't take it. :) If, you want a picture of the compartment with the Webasto/holding tank and inverter that was done at the factory please let me know. looking forward to seeing the complete spec sheet.

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The wheelbase of your new Volvo (230") is 2" more than my 36' Foretravel DP (228"). That's pretty interesting. Are you going to have room for a small car on the deck?


I've always thought that if I didn't have a motor home I'd have a hard time going back to a pickup towing a 5er now that I'm used to the better seats, the room, the visibility, the handy fridge and the ability to hit the sack where the sack is nice and warm. :P





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The wheelbase of your new Volvo (230") is 2" more than my 36' Foretravel DP (228"). That's pretty interesting. Are you going to have room for a small car on the deck?



My tractor has a 230" wheelbase and an overall length of 29' 3". It has a 77" condo with enough facilities to live in reasonably for a week or more with 2 people. But no shower. And we don't really use the portapotty. I carry a smart on deck. Built again the truck would be one foot longer. I pull a 45' trailer with it, so lots of space. When "on the road"we only enter the trailer for the bathroom - and usually not then (we use rest stops to stretch out legs). We have a dinette to eat at.


The trucks can be very comfortable to travel in. But they are not up to the comfort level of a DP. Close, though.

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