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High Rise Sleeper Height Issues


going360

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Hello, I have been lurking here for a while and admit I am very new to the HDT scene. We have been towing our 38' fiver for two years now with a 1 ton Ford. Made several tips to the west coast from CO and many more trips into and through the Rocky Mountains. The fiver only weighs in at about 12,000 lbs dry (estimate) but with four kids the crew cab pickup is getting tight. I am very intrigued by the HDT possibility and have been researching it heavily for about a week (I realize thats not much time). I have gained a lot of info reading this forum and other sites.

One thing that seems to be controversial is how much the height of the HDT matters. I have read that you should never even think about a high rise sleeper as it will cut the RV Parks you can access in half!! Then I have read that its not that big of a deal and hasn't been an issue. The trailer I will be pulling is 12'8" tall. Thats without a AC on the front bedroom which I may add next summer. That would put it very close to if not slightly over 13'. Has any one here found the height of a 780 or any high rise sleeper to be an issue? I have ben looking at the Freightliners as well. If so would it affect your decision next time it comes to purchasing a truck?

There are a lot more 780's or 770's out there than 730s but I don't want to be sorry later.

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

 

 

 

 

 

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My 780 has not been an issue. It is 13'3" which is the height of my trailer. Most campgrounds figure trailers are gonna be about that height and plan access accordingly. So it really makes no sense to have a 13'3" trailer then worry about a lower truck height unless you are using the truck for other purposes as Glenn suggests.

2006 Volvo 780 "Hoss" Volvo D12, 465hp, 1650 ft/lbs tq., ultrashift

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Same here. Truck and trailer same height. No stack as I have a weed burner exhaust.

 

Only time its an issue is without trailer. Just have to watch.

 

We carry a car so don't use truck too much solo anymore. But never really caused any problem.

Bill and Joan and 3 Collie pups

2001 Volvo VNL 770 "The Doghouse" Singled short, "ET" hItch VED12 465HP Gen 1 Autoshift 3.58 ratio  2005 Mobile Suite 38RL3  2011 Smart Passion loaded piggybacK

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In most cases it will not be an issue. You do need to pay more attention to the low bridge signs, even we do with our Mid Height Freightliner. We are the odd balls here as our current trailer is actually lower than our Mid Height truck but at some point in time we will get a taller trailer.

 

With most HDTs you will need to do some modifications to be able to seat 4 people comfortably in seat belts, 5 is possible but 6 might be hard and still be comfortable. I know we could fit 4 across in the back of ours but it would be tight fit and I do have 4 seat belts that I installed there, but two would have to be without legs because of our cabinets and bed/seat arrangement.

 

Check some of the older posts to see what people have done with the work stations models and see if they would handle 4 in the back better. I believe using seat belts on side facing passengers is not the best, now if you want to install 4 or 5 point racing harnesses, that should keep the kids in place no matter what!

 

Come to the ECR rally in April or the Kansas Rally in Oct (or the Western rally, sorry don't remember when that one is) and check the trucks out in person.

 

Dave

2005 Freightliner Century S/T, Singled, Air ride ET Jr. hitch
2019 46'+ Dune Sport Man Cave custom 5th wheel toy hauler
Owner of the 1978 Custom Van "Star Dreamer" which might be seen at a local car show near you!

 

Check out http://www.hhrvresource.com/

for much more info on HDT's.

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The fiver only weighs in at about 12,000 lbs dry (estimate) but with four kids the crew cab pickup is getting tight.

With four kids (and a wife, I assume) it's going to be just as tight in an HDT. There is only so much space for seats in an HDT. Even if you turn the lower bunk into a bench seat, its gonna be tight sitting four across. I don't think that 6 people riding in an HDT for any length of time would be much fun.

MY PEOPLE SKILLS ARE JUST FINE.
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2005 Volvo 780 VED12 465hp / Freedomline transmission
singled mid position / Bed by Larry Herrin
2018 customed Mobile Suites 40KSSB3 

2014 smart Fortwo

 

 
 
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My truck is 3 inches taller than the trailer and have had no problems. Just a branch or two that hit the truck and trailer. No worries.

2009 Volvo 780. D-16 500hp 1850 torque with a Herrin hauler bed.

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I guess thats what was thinking but really didn't know the height of the 770 or 780, Are the Freightliners taller?

 

Good info on the 4 kids in the back. I was really hoping things would be more comfortable in a 78"sleeper. Maybe I should be thinking a class A pusher but a HDT looks like sooo much fun!

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As a rule, commercial trucks run about 13'3" giving a few inches on the National Network minimum of 13'6".

 

You have a better chance of the trailer being taller.

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In all the years of hanging around this crowd I only know of one instance where the truck height was an issue.

2820985640096176628jOodvd_fs.jpg

 

Jeremia%2525201.jpg

 

The gentleman who owns this truck has fulltimed for a long time, during this time he had a "colorful" history of dealing with surprises and adversity. Although, this is not uncommon for those who start late in life having not done any RVing before.

Incidentally (as stated by others above) he did not do it while pulling his trailer, he did it on a day when he took the truck instead of his wife's car to go golfing. Although his wife's car would carry the golf clubs as well as the Volvo truck, the car was better suited to go under the low bridge on the way to the golf club.

 

I talked to the company that does truck and trailer body work locally and was working on his rig (it did get fixed beautifully), the owner of this body shop mentioned that this particular bridge has been a source of substantial and steady work for his company for years.

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I guess thats what was thinking but really didn't know the height of the 770 or 780, Are the Freightliners taller?

 

Good info on the 4 kids in the back. I was really hoping things would be more comfortable in a 78"sleeper. Maybe I should be thinking a class A pusher but a HDT looks like sooo much fun!

Freightliner's are available in different heights and their condo height would be similar.

 

Maybe put in stadium type seating two in front of two with the rear ones above the front ones.

2005 Freightliner Century S/T, Singled, Air ride ET Jr. hitch
2019 46'+ Dune Sport Man Cave custom 5th wheel toy hauler
Owner of the 1978 Custom Van "Star Dreamer" which might be seen at a local car show near you!

 

Check out http://www.hhrvresource.com/

for much more info on HDT's.

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Freightliner's are available in different heights and their condo height would be similar.

 

Maybe put in stadium type seating two in front of two with the rear ones above the front ones.

I like the stadium seating idea! Take some buckets out of a small sedan. The two kids that are good get to sit on top and throw popcorn at the naughty ones sitting below!

 

I am curious how wide the seats are that come with the drivers lounge. The seats on either side of the table. Could two small people sit comfortably side by side on one seat?

I realize there are safety issues with sitting like that. 1st thought is that there used to be a few cars produced that had this type of third row seating. 2nd thought is that in a truck like that you are going to have to hit something pretty solid to feel much. Also, it assumes that you are going hit something head on. Not always the case. The only accident I have been in was when I hit the guard rail and it wasn't head on. More like at a 45 degree angle. I was young and stupid so wasn't wearing a seat belt and flew across the cab and hit my head on the passenger OS handle. In that case it wouldn't really have mattered if I was sitting facing the front or the side. Course it would have helped had I been wearing my seatbelt.

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I am curious how wide the seats are that come with the drivers lounge. The seats on either side of the table. Could two small people sit comfortably side by side on one seat?

There are no seatbelts in the work station, so those would have to be added, and the seats in my 780 are tight for two people, side by side. You can do it for a bit, but not for long. The compartment that runs from one side to the other takes up the leg room for the person sitting closest to the back wall.

MY PEOPLE SKILLS ARE JUST FINE.
~It's my tolerance to idiots that needs work.~

2005 Volvo 780 VED12 465hp / Freedomline transmission
singled mid position / Bed by Larry Herrin
2018 customed Mobile Suites 40KSSB3 

2014 smart Fortwo

 

 
 
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Freightliner's are available in different heights and their condo height would be similar.

 

Maybe put in stadium type seating two in front of two with the rear ones above the front ones.

I suggest that earlier to a young guy with a herd of kids. But with a variation. Remove the locker behind the passenger and the fridge behind the driver. That would remove the obstructions to the view. Raise the 3 rear most seats higher by not sure how much and the 2 in front a little less.

 

Storage could be under the bench seats and a small chest freezer under the front ones.

 

www.doityourselfrv.com/rv-freezer-portable-arb/

 

No loss of storage.

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There are no seatbelts in the work station, so those would have to be added, and the seats in my 780 are tight for two people, side by side. You can do it for a bit, but not for long. The compartment that runs from one side to the other takes up the leg room for the person sitting closest to the back wall.

 

OK. That makes sense. Didn't realize there was a compartment underneath the table along the backwall.

 

I suggest that earlier to a young guy with a herd of kids. But with a variation. Remove the locker behind the passenger and the fridge behind the driver. That would remove the obstructions to the view. Raise the 3 rear most seats higher by not sure how much and the 2 in front a little less.

 

Storage could be under the bench seats and a small chest freezer under the front ones.

 

www.doityourselfrv.com/rv-freezer-portable-arb/

 

No loss of storage.

 

Good suggestions. 5 forward facing seats would be great! I did find this post on HHRV Resource: http://hhrvresource.com/node/432

Not sure what size those seats are along the back but seems to be plenty of room.

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I guess thats what was thinking but really didn't know the height of the 770 or 780, Are the Freightliners taller?

 

Good info on the 4 kids in the back. I was really hoping things would be more comfortable in a 78"sleeper. Maybe I should be thinking a class A pusher but a HDT looks like sooo much fun!

Measured mine today and it is 12'8" or real close. didn't climb on top to get it exactly.

2003 Teton Grand Freedom towed with 2006 Freightliner Century 120 across the beautiful USA welding pipe.https://photos.app.goo.gl/O32ZjgzSzgK7LAyt1

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Measured mine today and it is 12'8" or real close. didn't climb on top to get it exactly.

Thats good to know. I think I read that you have a Freightliner Columbia 70"? That truck is right near the top of my list and I was wondering if they were much different height wise than the 770/780.

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Had a look at my 730 today, even with the bump out cab liner on the outside walls there is plenty of room for 3 seats across the back.

Are you speaking of the boxes on the sides of the sleeper? Between those? Sorry, Have only seen pics of the sleepers. If those boxes were out could you get 4 buckets out of a small corolla or fiesta in there?

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Thats good to know. I think I read that you have a Freightliner Columbia 70"? That truck is right near the top of my list and I was wondering if they were much different height wise than the 770/780.

2006 Freightliner Century Class with 70" sleeper. Sorry didn't make that plain.

2003 Teton Grand Freedom towed with 2006 Freightliner Century 120 across the beautiful USA welding pipe.https://photos.app.goo.gl/O32ZjgzSzgK7LAyt1

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I may pick up the truck tomorrow, if so then I'll have a look. 4 side by side may be possible but perhaps not that comfortable. I'm thinking in the case of a 60-40 split. My 730 has a wider and longer cab than a 600 series, so I'm not sure of the dimensions of your cab.

 

I'm surprised others who have their trucks on site haven't chimed in.

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My 730 has a wider and longer cab than a 600 series, so I'm not sure of the dimensions of your cab.

 

 

The 730 and 780 are 5" wider. That could make a difference in seating possibilities.

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