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First roadtest with 5er on the back


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Made it back for a 45 mile test drive the first time with the 5er in tow!


I was was a little concerned how the trailer would react with the hitch mounted 7'1" behind the axle and nothing on the deck, but it was just like the old days towing a standard travel trailer......


Looking back in the mirror while making 90deg turns looks a little freaky......Like the 5er is going to roll over to the inside of the corner. I guess I'm not used to looking at the entire 40' back there from that high perspective.


Power was a little bit disappointing, but like I have been telling everyone, my Dodge puts 100+hp more to the tires than this Pete and it's 6K lb lighter too boot.


I have a little play in the steering that is from the steering gear that wasn't really an issue before, but loaded it needs to be addressed immediately for driving comfort on the 2 lanes we drive on.


Overall we are happy with the move and the wife gave the thumbs up. The dog on the other hand needs more time to get used to all the air noises the truck makes.




Here it is hooked up yesterday, but had to finish the wiring and reinstall the temporary rear bumper....



I measure a 238" wheelbase.

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Good deal! There is a BIG difference in the type of power in these trucks. I too was used to the seat of the pants kick from almost 600hp and 1100ftlb of torque from a lil'ole 5.9 Cummins in a 7500lb truck. But after towing up and down some mountains passing those LDT's with hot brakes or screaming engines trying to climb while towing 15000lbs, this old Volvo does very nice indeed.

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One slight difference, you had to lean on that Dodge a bit to get 500+ hp. The Cat did that without breathing hard. And, it can do it mile after mile after mile..... At 410 you can probably turn it up a bit, Jake probably needs the rack run, and the exhaust brake may be a bit loose. Now, you'll stop because you want to instead of that red fuel light staring at you, LOL

I have 300 gal, call it 225 plus reserve, so that is about 2000 miles between fill ups.

Talk with Phil D he is very knowledgeable on Petes' and Cats


By the way, my Volvo and New Horizon weigh in at 44K and the jake holds on a 5-6% grade but I have an Autoshift and leave it on cruise. (It picks the gear)

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If I'm not mistaken, the C-12 in your '99 shouldn't be much different from the one in my '03 Kenworth. If that's the case, then yes, you probably have some options that you could discuss with the guys at the "Cat house" if you'd like to have more power.


The 2KS model C-12 like I have has normal, commercial on-highway "personality modules" (factory ECM programs) available with advertised HP ratings up to 430 (the actual peak HP is 445, due to a quirk common to many, but not all, Cat PMs, most likely including your 410 HP PM), with up to 1650 lb/ft of torque. There are Fire Truck & RV ratings available for the C-12 with up to 500 HP, but with only 1550 lb/ft of torque, and those would require special approval from Caterpillar.


Assuming that you have a three-stage Jake Brake, then I'm surprised that you didn't find it satisfactory. As long as you have enough RPMs and the Jake is in the third stage (all six cylinders operating), you should have plenty of engine braking.

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I was hoping the Jake would be stronger too, but the much better brakes will help out with balancing that.


FWIW: At the National rally we were encouraged to have the "overhead run" - that is have the valves adjusted. That made a huge difference in my Jake performance.

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Thanks for the pointers guys!


I should probably seek out a shop manual and check overhead clearance anyway. I'll have to go through the records and see when it was last done.


Maybe I need to drop one more gear and see how the how it holds too.......Had to get used to keeping the RPM's under 1,800 being used to hearing the little Cummins running up 2,800-3,200 all the time.

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