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Hitch Height/Pin Height


The Few

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Hello Everyone... Uh-Oh, another 'Newbie" just joined the ranks of the worthy and privileged!! (lol) I'm also pursuing my dreams of owning one of these beautiful behemoth's in the near future, and just like anyone else that is starting off, I HATE asking questions that has already been answered 100 times already, but here goes.. I plan to purchase a Volvo VNL780, build my own smart car deck (simple deck), and used an air hitch and air pin.. I would LOVE to buy one of Heartlands Toy Haulers (model Cyclone 4200).. I plan to keep the tandem axles on the truck for my own reasons, and will place the hitch just 'aft' of the rear tandems.. My question to anyone that is listening is, What would the average pin height be for the 780 with a similar or same trailer if anyone has an Idea.. ALSO, if anyone out there has a 300 gallon total fuel tank (150/150), what did it cost to fill it (as of April 2015), and how far can you drive till you are bone dry(I doubt anyone wants to answer that one)LOL?? I plan to take coast to coast trips among other trips around the country.. Anyone want to take this question on?? THANK YOU ALL for being great advocates to the RV world, its nice to finally have someone else with the same ideas and frame of mind, that wont look at you crazy for the idea you are using something to haul a RV with that is (in their opinion) OVERKILL or OVERSIZED.... UGH!!!! (some people just don't get it, but that's not my problem)..."laughing"

 

 

The Few, The Proud.......

 

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The standard plate height is 47-48".

 

How much it takes to fill the 300 gallon tanks is dependent on how empty they are :) Diesel has been around $2.50 the last week in KS and CO. A little more some places. I'd use $2.70 as a good average TODAY, depending on what area of the country you are in. Your mpg will vary based on lots of factors: terrain, speed,wind, weight. Figure 7-9mpg and you will be in the ballpark. More on some combinations in the right circumstances. You don't want to generally go below 1/4 tank before fueling. At least I do not. I try to minimise the risk of running out of fuel....which is a major issue with a diesel, most of the time.

 

Take a look at the beginning of the HDT section of the forum and there is a Q&A section there that may interest you; also a link to the Resource Guide.

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sir Jack, I am honored to meet your acquaintance (by default, but none the less).. You are quite the online/HDT RV celebrity and your YouTube or online presence makes you one of the "to go to" guys.. I LOVE quick responses!! Let me start off by admire your beautiful truck/trailer combination, as well as The Mater, suite Success, bmzero, and OMG the whole slew of you!! ( Everyone's HDT RV rig that I see online and at the rallies are awe inspiring)!!

 

HDT RVing had come a LONG WAY in a short period of time, and I have to thank each and every one of you, that continues to puts the hard work and dedication to these rigs.. You all have single handedly defy the common thoughts of the law, by building what many think is impossible, then go out and actually DO IT!!

 

BUT, I still didn't get an answer about how far can you drive ( take your rig and trailer for example) before you are stranded on the side of the road... Would it be possible to drive from coast to coast without a single fill up?? 2000-2500 miles?? My calculations says it is possible, but my calculations were figured with 10-12mpg in mind.. Your thoughts ( or anyone else's thoughts) please??

 

The Few!!!

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Not with 150 gallon tanks at 9mpg.

 

You will find that you can only fill a tank to 95% of its size due to placement of the fuel filler. And as Jack says you do not want to go beyond a 1/4 tank due to multiple reasons so you really only have effectively about 110 gallons in each tank giving you just under 2000 mile range. We only have 100 gallon tanks so our range is shorter and I very rarely go over 1000 miles mainly because we try to fill when fuel is the cheapest.

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I made 9.9 with a tailwind from Tenn,until the wind shifted to 'on the nose'then 9.2 for the trip @60-65 mph.

On the way there 2 weeks ago we had a 40 knot headwind,so we were driving close to 90 mph :angry: ,that resulted in mileage right at 8 mpg.

If you can drive 55-60 mileage is very good,but try to think in terms of 'cost per mile, not mileage because of the big tanks you can fuel up in the lowest cost location.

We save over a buck a gallon that way.

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We likely have the "tiny Tim" HDT on the forum with a fairly light 97 Freightliner Century with a small M11 Cummins dialed down to 370 hp/ 1350 ft, our 30 ft toybox is very light at 8k so we likely get a bit better milage than most. We do carry a lot of water (330 gal) and horse gear & feed on our truck deck but we feel that keeping the large load out of the trailer helps the trailer tires and keeps the weight on the truck where it is less likely to detract from our fuel burn.

 

Our problem out here in the West is that everywhere we tend to go seems to involve crossing several mtn passes ( in the last three days we towed up and down 21 passes of 3k to 5k with altitudes of around 8K at the tops in a 2000 mi OR / CA/ NV run so all of the up and down is a real MPG problem. We hope to AVERAGE 10 MPG in our mtn travel at about 55 mph and we have seen as good as 14mpg on flat roads at 55 mph......the real test is how many people will "SLOW-down" to 55 mph on level & straight roads (not many I assume).......We often travel less-traveled back roads that are best driven at 55 mph or less so often our milage is pretty good.

 

Once you get East bound of Denver your speed and route will determine your mileage West of the cont. div. the lowest routes will likely yeld your best mileage but crooked roads can detract from mpg as well........

 

HDT's are not for everyone and many factors conspire to help.... OR.... hinder fuel burn, so each trip is a adventure so to speak.......

 

Out here in the West, I tend to never let my tanks get lower than 1/2 since remote diesel is very $$$ (Adel OR yesterday $4.99 gal) AND sloshing the last 5 gals of diesel in the bottom of a 150 gal tank WILL stir-up the sediment in the bottom of the tank and clog your fuel filters.......no fun and more $$$.....

 

With large HDT tankage mileage is not as large a factor as shopping your route for the best fuel prices then topping-off the tanks at the best price ($2.57 in Fallon, NV two days ago).

 

The bottom HDT line.......buy one for ........the Brakes, Stability, Power, Robust Powertrain , and ease of upkeep IF you keep them in good order....... Your mileage will vary as the old saying goes.........

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We likely have the "tiny Tim" HDT on the forum with a fairly light 97 Freightliner Century with a small M11 Cummins dialed down to 370 hp/ 1350 ft, our 30 ft toybox is very light at 8k so we likely get a bit better milage than most. We do carry a lot of water (330 gal) and horse gear & feed on our truck deck but we feel that keeping the large load out of the trailer helps the trailer tires and keeps the weight on the truck where it is less likely to detract from our fuel burn.

 

Our problem out here in the West is that everywhere we tend to go seems to involve crossing several mtn passes ( in the last three days we towed up and down 21 passes of 3k to 5k with altitudes of around 8K at the tops in a 2000 mi OR / CA/ NV run so all of the up and down is a real MPG problem. We hope to AVERAGE 10 MPG in our mtn travel at about 55 mph and we have seen as good as 14mpg on flat roads at 55 mph......the real test is how many people will "SLOW-down" to 55 mph on level & straight roads (not many I assume).......We often travel less-traveled back roads that are best driven at 55 mph or less so often our milage is pretty good.

 

Once you get East bound of Denver your speed and route will determine your mileage West of the cont. div. the lowest routes will likely yeld your best mileage but crooked roads can detract from mpg as well........

 

HDT's are not for everyone and many factors conspire to help.... OR.... hinder fuel burn, so each trip is a adventure so to speak.......

 

Out here in the West, I tend to never let my tanks get lower than 1/2 since remote diesel is very $$$ (Adel OR yesterday $4.99 gal) AND sloshing the last 5 gals of diesel in the bottom of a 150 gal tank WILL stir-up the sediment in the bottom of the tank and clog your fuel filters.......no fun and more $$$.....

 

With large HDT tankage mileage is not as large a factor as shopping your route for the best fuel prices then topping-off the tanks at the best price ($2.57 in Fallon, NV two days ago).

 

The bottom HDT line.......buy one for ........the Brakes, Stability, Power, Robust Powertrain , and ease of upkeep IF you keep them in good order....... Your mileage will vary as the old saying goes.........

X2 and let me say all the above are sage advice. My tanks are 140 gallons each for 280 total. While conceivably you can go coast to coast i personally would not attempt to do so. I like to fuel when at half tanks so if where me I would fuel at least once halfway. Yes it is sticker shock the first time you fuel up taking 140 gallons or more. With a LDT you fuel 30 gallons 4 times possibly more or once. Biggest advantage has been mention is you can get fuel cheaper at the one stop and more than likely at an average lessor cost. :D

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Hey Few what year of truck are you looking at? Our 07 weighs aprox 21k with the RZR on deck and our Cyclone tops the scales at 19k. I run at 75MPH for most of our trips and average 6-7 MPG. When planning trips I use 6 MPG x 180 gals for travel between fuel stops. I bought our truck for safety and room not fuel mileage.

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Please don't take this the wrong way. I don't intend to come across as a smart a$$.

 

If the cost of fill up is a big concern, you are playing the wrong game. RVing is not the cheapest of activities, and playing with big toys brings big bills.

 

That said, I spend about the same per mile for fuel as I did with my F-350, but in the long run, my maintenance costs are lower. And yes, filling up this gentle giant costs a lot, but think of that 300 gal. as a small savings acc't. Choose your refueling stops, and NEVER run it dry. Last summer I stopped at Muncho Lake in British Columbia and paid close to $8/US gal. rather than chance running out of fuel. Granted, I only put in 50 gal, but I wasn't walking. Call it poor planning on my part. :o

 

Do your homework and wear out a couple of pencils to see if this is the route for you.

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Here is another way to look at it...

It cost us the exact same to travel the same miles as a dually pickup would towing (if they could) the same trailers. We, HDT's, just stop for fuel less often. If a pickup has a 30-gallon tank, you generally stop and fill when it hits 25 gallons. We, Alie and I, generally fill at 1/4 to 3/8 tanks. That's in the 175-180 gallon range, but 1750-1800 miles or so. On the trip we're currently on, we're averaging 10.5mpg on the truck computer which is actually accurate. The downside of big tanks is last week I saw diesel for $2.21 a gallon, but we had 3/4 tanks so I didn't top off, today it's $2.71... oh well.

1998 Volvo 610

Cummins M-11 pre-egr

10sp standard

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HOLY COW!! I never expected the responses I received for this post, and I have to say I am overwhelmed with gratitude!

 

My intent to have one of these " awesome vehicles" is just plain common sense!! I'm not rich, but I am not stupid either!! I want to have safe reliable fun camping, sightseeing the country, and the sheer sense of being the one to drive one of these monsters on the road and loving life at the same time..

 

When I decided to get into this "HDT RV" game, I made this decision with my wife first and foremost!! Because if she was NOT on board with the whole idea, this would have otherwise turn out to be a very 'significantly emotional event" for me!!

 

We both are NOT going in on this feet first without looking, we are covering every aspect, and making this work for us and our budget.. We are not planning to full time, but we do want to travel and experience the rig for what it is intended for.. If money was going to be an issue for us, " remember me saying something about " Significantly Emotional Events"??

 

I am NOT a "been there, done that" type of guy, so I am all ears to those whom HAVE been there, and done that!!!

 

@CRAZYBANSHEE... I am looking at an exact replica of your truck (and other HDT RVers as well) without singling, MUST have an I-shift transmission, and hopefully a great color for what I will be looking for at that time.. I would LOVE to own something between 6-8 yrs old with 600000-700000 miles, and between the price range of $30000-$40000 without too many issues.. I know I am going to have a few, but a lemon I do not want... I certainly DO NOT want to tap into that " significantly emotional event" situation!! LOL

 

I am also following the leads of bmzero and his Idea's.. I like how he is taking us with him throughout his implementation, planning, and project executions phases.. I can actually see myself in his rig, because I plan to do the same things.. as with many of you I also watch "online" how your rigs are set up, or on "you tube" at the rallies, and that is what inspired me to KNOW or have the confidence to do this!!! I'm certain this it is not all easy, but you all make it look as such!!! I also have a GREAT RESPECT for Gregg Shields and his HDT RV role, and of course " Jack Mayer" in this as well, just to name a few!!

 

Again, thank you all for sharing your thoughts, this is starting to really get me and my wife motivated.. She NEVER KNEW people could actually have anything like this.. With all of your pictures and successful journeys I have shown and shared with her, she is already trusting my decision to own one of these HDT RV Haulers!! Looks like with all of your help, we will be one of the " good folks" to join you in the near future ( maybe 1-2 yrs).. Do Me a favor, I know I am the new guy on the block, but PLEASE save me a good parking spot at one of the future HDT RV rallies, and not the one next to the smelly "Port-O-potty"... LOL

 

Respectfully Submitting,

 

"The Few"

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The fuel issue has been covered well. We only camp in ours, not a lot of traveling, and I fill up once a year!

 

DO want to save you a bit of money. You mentioned air hitch and air pin. Please change the "and" to "or"! You either need an 2 axis air ride hitch OR as two axis rigid hitch and air pin. You can use both, and some do, but why spend the extra money when one does the job? And put that hitch right on the tail of the truck--you'll be glad you did the first time you back the trailer into a tight spot!

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I get 10.5 in mine pulling the trailer. That's running about 65 and no "attacking" the hills. My setup is lighter than most right now. Soon, I will be adding a Smart and a bed, but I don't see that having a drastic affect on fuel economy.

 

My truck has a 3.18 gearset, which I feel makes a big difference in relation to some others. In the later model 630's, you can get 2.50's. At some point, I'm going to put a locker in my drive axle. At that time, I will swap to the 2.50 R&P if possible.

 

My truck has dual 125's. My wife, either kid, or myself has to stop long before we need fuel, so there are plenty of fill up opportunities along the way. We don't get in a hurry in the truck, so stopping is generally not a concern or burden. Plus, my kids really enjoy stopping at the truck stops. I'm sure that will change as they get older.

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I know you said you wanted an Ishift [i would like one ,too] but there are other automated manual trannys [AMT] out there that are worth considering: Autoshift, Freedomline and Ultrashift. I wouldn't let my desire for an Ishift keep me from a truck that otherswise met my needs. Just my opinion. Charlie

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The fuel issue has been covered well. We only camp in ours, not a lot of traveling, and I fill up once a year!

 

DO want to save you a bit of money. You mentioned air hitch and air pin. Please change the "and" to "or"! You either need an 2 axis air ride hitch OR as two axis rigid hitch and air pin. You can use both, and some do, but why spend the extra money when one does the job? And put that hitch right on the tail of the truck--you'll be glad you did the first time you back the trailer into a tight spot!

Couldn't have asked for better advice Jeff, All this is being noted!!

But my plans are to purchase a toy hauler weighing in (max loaded) 20,000#.. If I did have the choice, I think I would go for the air hitch then... ET or Trail air I'm guessing..

 

The Few

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I know you said you wanted an Ishift [i would like one ,too] but there are other automated manual trannys [AMT] out there that are worth considering: Autoshift, Freedomline and Ultrashift. I wouldn't let my desire for an Ishift keep me from a truck that otherswise met my needs. Just my opinion. Charlie

Thank you for the opinion "sclord2002".. I will further research on your transmission choices, but I'm somewhat hardheaded and stuck on the I-shift transmission for a few reasons already mentioned in the forum.. I just don't have the time or the patience to fiddle around with jerky or non compliant backing, especially with my own HDT RV hauler.. I KNOW that all this (jerky driving) can be resolved through my own driving abilities, but if I am on vacation in which I am supposing to be having a great time, and I will be backing up in a spot next to you, will you hate me when my truck " accidently" jerks into your trailer?? No sir, I will take the easy road on this one and choose something I KNOW I can handle without injury or embarrassment, because you and I BOTH KNOW, that everyone will be watching the NEW GUY and how he/she handle his/her rig...(laughing)!!!

 

The Few

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A small point to consider.....if you want an IShift you are looking at trucks in the 2009 range or newer. The IShift was available in 2008, but it is VERY difficult to find one. Of course, now they are standard..... :)

Yes sir, fully aware that the I-shifts are currently "GOLD" between the years 2008-2011... But if I want something bad enough, then I guess I will just have to be patient and wait, just like everyone here did!! I'm not special, so I will just sit till I can get what is waiting for me, when the time comes..

Thank you Jack!

 

The Few

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I get 10.5 in mine pulling the trailer. That's running about 65 and no "attacking" the hills. My setup is lighter than most right now. Soon, I will be adding a Smart and a bed, but I don't see that having a drastic affect on fuel economy.

 

My truck has a 3.18 gearset, which I feel makes a big difference in relation to some others. In the later model 630's, you can get 2.50's. At some point, I'm going to put a locker in my drive axle. At that time, I will swap to the 2.50 R&P if possible.

 

My truck has dual 125's. My wife, either kid, or myself has to stop long before we need fuel, so there are plenty of fill up opportunities along the way. We don't get in a hurry in the truck, so stopping is generally not a concern or burden. Plus, my kids really enjoy stopping at the truck stops. I'm sure that will change as they get older.

Thanks again bmzero.. Question about the rear end change; I have also considered changing whatever ratio I have in my truck to something in the low 3:00, high 2:90 range stemming from a YouTube video I seen on Gregg shield's HDT RV hauler site.. I am in no hurry to get anywhere, but when I do get moving right along down the road, I just love to keep on going till I get to my destination, or as close to it as I can without having to use a lot of fuel (because I am cheap), so the added fuel economy measures just makes sense and makes me feel better in the long run.. ( just my own personal preference).. Have you figured out the cost to change the rear end out?? I will be keeping my truck tandem BTW..

 

The Few

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Thanks again bmzero.. Question about the rear end change; I have also considered changing whatever ratio I have in my truck to something in the low 3:00, high 2:90 range stemming from a YouTube video I seen on Gregg shield's HDT RV hauler site.. I am in no hurry to get anywhere, but when I do get moving right along down the road, I just love to keep on going till I get to my destination, or as close to it as I can without having to use a lot of fuel (because I am cheap), so the added fuel economy measures just makes sense and makes me feel better in the long run.. ( just my own personal preference).. Have you figured out the cost to change the rear end out?? I will be keeping my truck tandem BTW..

 

The Few

 

It's $918 to put the locker in my axle, including parts and labor. I have not priced the ring and pinion for the different ratio, though. I want to do some calculations on it before settling on the 2.50's.

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It's $918 to put the locker in my axle, including parts and labor. I have not priced the ring and pinion for the different ratio, though. I want to do some calculations on it before settling on the 2.50's.

Hmmm, either I better not tell the wife about this idea of mine, or stop shooting my mouth off about what I want to do with my truck.. I better either get a REALLY GOOD paper route delivering newspapers in the morning for extra cash especially if I have to (X2) this price with a set of tandems, or keep wishing, because wishing "my friend" is guarantee to be free!!!

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I know I'm jumping in late but I wanted to come in. First welcome and you won't be sorry you made the switch to a HDT in my opinion. I wish I would have done it a long time ago. My Kenworth T600 has a 400 gallon fuel capacity, 2x150 and a 100. Yes it is pricey to go from empty to full but like the others have said, it cost the same as with a pickup, you just fill up less often. I just drove from New Jersey to Louisiana and still had half a tank left. I was in the 7-8 mpg range on my trip down due to some old tires causing more drag. I bought new all position tires in Crossville TN and upped my mpg to just over 10 mpg. My kenworth has a c13 cat with a 3.07 rear end and the eaton 10spd ultrashift trans and was factory singled. There is a twin to my truck on truckpaper.com right now. Search Kenworth T600B and it will come up. It is a high mile truck but it was fleet maintained and did very light work in its previous life. These trucks pulled doubles for Dillard's dept store. Hope you find what your looking for and welcome to the club.

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I know I'm jumping in late but I wanted to come in. First welcome and you won't be sorry you made the switch to a HDT in my opinion. I wish I would have done it a long time ago. My Kenworth T600 has a 400 gallon fuel capacity, 2x150 and a 100. Yes it is pricey to go from empty to full but like the others have said, it cost the same as with a pickup, you just fill up less often. I just drove from New Jersey to Louisiana and still had half a tank left. I was in the 7-8 mpg range on my trip down due to some old tires causing more drag. I bought new all position tires in Crossville TN and upped my mpg to just over 10 mpg. My kenworth has a c13 cat with a 3.07 rear end and the eaton 10spd ultrashift trans and was factory singled. There is a twin to my truck on truckpaper.com right now. Search Kenworth T600B and it will come up. It is a high mile truck but it was fleet maintained and did very light work in its previous life. These trucks pulled doubles for Dillard's dept store. Hope you find what your looking for and welcome to the club.

ATCBoomer, Thank you for your contributed advice, it is always welcomed here sir.. You are NOT late, in fact you are right on time to answer any questions or give advise.. you have (2) 400 gallon fuel tanks sir??? Now THAT is what I call, "no need to worry", till it is TIME to worry!!! You sir, have the pick of whatever fuel station you want to stop at anywhere in the world!!!...LOL Thank you for that information about how old tires can cause drag, and also telling me about your rear end ratio which is very informative, all noted in my little bag of tricks!!! I am learning more on here (this forum) this week, than all the time,(days, hours), I have been frantically scouring information online trying to learn about simple things relating to the HDT RV.. I should have signed up a LONG TIME AGO!!! Lesson learned...

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Just a cation about rear ratio's. Unlike a pickup there is a very wide variance on the numbers and what is appropriate. As an example, my Volvo 610 with auto shift, 400/1450 hp/torque had a 3.90 rear ratio. That was perfect for the hp/torque and trans gears I had. You CANNOT assume that a number that works well in one truck works well in another. There are far too many variable to make that assumption. There are simulator you can use to see what the effect is on a truck by changing gears. Having a lot of torque allows options that a lower torque truck does not have.

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