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VNM truck question


Stan Wright

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About every day I check places like Truckpaper, Ebay, etc. for used trucks. It seems about a month ago some large fleet unloaded a bunch (hundreds) of trucks since they are all spec'd the same:

 

2012 VNM630

385 hp D11

I-shift, 2.64 rearend

205" wheelbase

Single 150-gallon fuel tank on the driver's side

Fixed fifth wheel

Dual air ride seats

Super single rear tires

400K-500K miles

 

Other than the super singles they seem like a nice, simple truck that might make a good RV hauler. Prices range from $20K-30K, which seems lower than normal for a newer I-shift truck with under 500K miles, and that brings about my question. What about these trucks makes them cheaper? Are VNMs less desirable? Is it just because such a large volume of them hit the market at once?

 

 

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The VNM is the "short-hood" model. If my memory serves me right, it's something like an 11" difference between the front of the truck and the base of the windshield. The dog house is shaped a little differently, and they can't accommodate the big block engines, but otherwise most the differences are in the hood--they retain the headlights of the gen-1 trucks, and use a functionally identical turn signal housing (but with a clear lens and amber bulb instead of an amber lens).

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Usually fleet trucks are less optioned than owner operator units. Things like high hp, power drivers window, fridge, workstation, air ride passenger seat and side fairings are often left off. Trade in a couple of hundred trucks at once and now you have a surplus in supply and we know what that does to pricing. I think as long as the passenger seat has air ride for you or the wife, the trucks you are asking about would make great rv haulers. I prefer the look of the VNM myself.

 

Nigel

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  • 2 weeks later...

About every day I check places like Truckpaper, Ebay, etc. for used trucks. It seems about a month ago some large fleet unloaded a bunch (hundreds) of trucks since they are all spec'd the same:

 

2012 VNM630

385 hp D11

I-shift, 2.64 rearend

205" wheelbase

Single 150-gallon fuel tank on the driver's side

Fixed fifth wheel

Dual air ride seats

Super single rear tires

400K-500K miles

 

Other than the super singles they seem like a nice, simple truck that might make a good RV hauler. Prices range from $20K-30K, which seems lower than normal for a newer I-shift truck with under 500K miles, and that brings about my question. What about these trucks makes them cheaper? Are VNMs less desirable? Is it just because such a large volume of them hit the market at once?

 

 

 

The number one reason it is so cheap is the D11. Those trucks are all over the place in different colors. Tec Seattle has a blue one that they think is worth $55K :lol: The VNM cannot have the D16 but can have the D13. Yes it has enough power to pull a 5er but there are a few other things to consider.

 

1. You are maxed on HP at 405. so you can only make a small upgrade and are then done. I would rather have it set at 405 and have another 95 available.

 

2. The D11 has a good amount less retarding HP as well (jake break) and will not slow you going down as well.

 

3. Your resale will be next to nothing.

 

If you are only going to pull a light trailer through flat states then it will do fine for you but if there is a chance of mountain driving and or a heavier trailer in your future I would pass and get a D13. Look at my thread here. http://www.rvnetwork.com/index.php?showtopic=124984

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  • 6 months later...

Hi all,

Forgive me for digging up an older thread, but I'm new here, and I'm looking for my first HDT. I've seen several of these VNM 630s for sale during my quest, and they intrigue me, so I figured I'd continue this thread rather than start a new one.

Now, I am not a mechanic; in fact, I know very little about automotive mechanics. I change my own oil when the weather's nice, and I've replaced a crankshaft position sensor in a Jeep Cherokee once after lots of cursing and help from folks on the Internet.

1. I plan to haul a 5er with an unloaded weight of 13,400-15,100 (depending on which model we buy) and a GVWR of 16,500-20,000. I'm assuming the 385 HP D11 engine will still provide ample power for my needs? We'll be traveling nationwide, presumably, so yes, mountains in the west, but I don't have any desire to be racing up to the mountaintops. I just don't want to be dogging it. My primary reasoning for selecting the HDT platform is comfort and safety. My wife and I will be traveling with our toddler and two dogs with no "home base," so we'll be spending a lot of time in whatever tow vehicle we select.

2. I'm not too concerned about resale value. As long as we don't wind up with major problems or totally dislike the HDT platform, I intend on keeping whatever truck we buy for the next 10 years, if we can.

3. The 630s, particularly the medium-nosed trucks, appeal to me because we will not be hauling a Smart car or any other "toys." We're full-timers, so the Volvo will be our "daily driver" when we're setup at a campsite. Therefore, the shorter height and shorter possible wheelbase of the 630s, and particularly the VNMs, is appealing.

4. @NoDirectionHome stated that it may not be as simple as replacing the super-singles with doubles, which is what I would want to do. Can anyone elaborate on this, and how can someone who knows little about this subject (me) verify that the conversion to doubles would not be prohibitively costly?

5. Does anyone foresee any issues with singling the VNMs as opposed to the VNLs? Any other "gotchas" regarding conversion for RV hauling that might come up compared to the more common VNL trucks?

6. I notice there's only one fuel tank on these VNMs. Would it be prohibitively costly/complicated to add a 2nd one? What kind of ballpark would that be?

Thanks - so happy I found Escapees... this is a great resource!

Here's a pic that is representative of what I've found for sale... these trucks look exceptionally clean, which makes them all the more tempting.

 

 

vnm1.jpg

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The VNL is not really much longer, and the D13 typically found in them will give you far better performance in mountains, while still being economical in general use. Especially with an XE configuration or a 2.67 rear. I would entertain sticking with the more common truck, although there is not really anything wrong with the VNM. 

I had a Volvo set up as you suggest. I used it as a daily driver for three years fulltiming. It was superb, and the IShift would only make it better - I had an autoshift. It had a 182" wheelbase, and could carry a motorcycle but not a smart or a larger ATV.  So IMO it could serve as a daily driver without much sacrifice.

The singling is the same between the models. It would not be economically justified to add a fuel tank, and it is not terribly "simple", but not rocket science either. It falls into the category of "not worth the extensive effort". Same would apply to the fairings....they can be added, but it is fairly complex to get it right. It would seem simple...it is not.

It will cost you thousands to convert to duals. Why? Just buy a truck with duals already, or stick to the SS. There are lots of clean 630's out there.  Do you have a plan for seating in the rear of the truck? There are various ways to do that, but you do need forward facing seating with belts. 

If you have additional questions feel free to ask, or you may contact me directly. 

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18 minutes ago, Jack Mayer said:

The VNL is not really much longer, and the D13 typically found in them will give you far better performance in mountains, while still being economical in general use. Especially with an XE configuration or a 2.67 rear. I would entertain sticking with the more common truck, although there is not really anything wrong with the VNM. 

I had a Volvo set up as you suggest. I used it as a daily driver for three years fulltiming. It was superb, and the IShift would only make it better - I had an autoshift. It had a 182" wheelbase, and could carry a motorcycle but not a smart or a larger ATV.  So IMO it could serve as a daily driver without much sacrifice.

The singling is the same between the models. It would not be economically justified to add a fuel tank, and it is not terribly "simple", but not rocket science either. It falls into the category of "not worth the extensive effort". Same would apply to the fairings....they can be added, but it is fairly complex to get it right. It would seem simple...it is not.

It will cost you thousands to convert to duals. Why? Just buy a truck with duals already, or stick to the SS. There are lots of clean 630's out there.  Do you have a plan for seating in the rear of the truck? There are various ways to do that, but you do need forward facing seating with belts. 

If you have additional questions feel free to ask, or you may contact me directly. 

Thanks, Jack. I appreciate all you contribute to the community. I've read just about every page on your website; it's been most helpful!

Since we have a toddler, I will need to figure out how to replace the bunk with a convertible jackknife bench/bed that can accommodate seat belts and a child seat.

I will probably heed everyone's advice and stay away from the VNMs with super-singles. The fewer mods I have to make from the get-go, the better.

Thanks!

Charlie

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Hi I just bought one of these trucks same specks as the original post. I drove it from TX  to VT just under 2000 miles got just under 10 mpg.  This truck really pulls hard.  The only issue with mine is the shock in the drivers seat is shot bounce like a pogo stick.  It never left high gear even going up 81 through PA. It is speed limited at 65.  I was wondering why you were thinking of going too dual wheels, singles are not as hard to find as they were and you can get used Michelins for less than a pair of duals. I expect to replace mine because of age I will never wear them out with my 15000 lb trailer. It is very hard to match two used tires if you have to replace one and if they are not matched they will wear each other out much faster than normal. I hope if anyone else buys one that we can help each other with our projects.  

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