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HDT Shopping and comparing, advice and banter welcomed!


Top_Speed1
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Hey guys,

Probably a popular story among us already hauling around a pretty big 5er RV. So outline for us, we currently tow our 2018 XLR model 422AMP (44’-10”). I ordered in a 2017 F350 Platinum. Very comfortable truck for my 6-4 frame, my wifey is small and can adapt to pretty much anything. BUT... she hates the look of the truck I’ve pre-picked out; 2022 Volvo VNL 740. Considering RVH Lifestyles in Kansas for the conversion.

So... I’ve heeded advice and want to attend a HDT Rally/event before I do anything drastic. Kinda like how I went out and ordered both the truck and RV within 6 Mos. Of each other and having my wifey on my side with those purchases. This one, she’s just not onboard. She’s ridden before with me (I have a CDL) but that was my Frieghtliner, not a Volvo, and I’ve test drove a 2020 VNL (780) and it was quiet and a pure joy to drive. Can’t convince her however, so I’m thinking maybe, just maybe hearing testaments for other pillions may turn her around.

If I’m way off here, let me know. I’m focusing on a new ‘22 Volvo VNL 740 (a little lower profile than my commercial trucks I drove prior). Our Toyhauler is 21K GVW, but I want to plan for retirement years, so maybe a Luxe TH down the road. With that said, I think the D13TC should suffice nicely. I will want the tallest (lowest number) gear ratio possible, I know all to well that these engines like the low RPM torque production, and, our RV’s are light in comparison to the normal usages these units are built for.

‘Touring trim may help convince her too, also if I can get some sort of bathroom slash port a potty, that would be a great selling point for me. One of her only complaints while traveling w me, I guess I’m like a camel of sorts. Lol

let me know on anything I’m off base on here. Thanks guys!

KJ

 

 

 

 

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Yes, if you can get her to a rally that may help her decide by talking with other spouses. Especially if you are considering a larger / heavier trailer or want to bring more toys with you. 

We carry a porta potty in our truck, it is one of the items to help us get our Motorhome registration and the wife has used it on occasion. It also comes in handy when we are using the truck as a mini motorhome. We have a refrigerator and microwave in there also. 

Just be sure to map out your mission profile so that you make sure you get the key items you want with your truck so that you buy it once and since you are going new, it should last you a good 20-30 years or more in RV use. We have had our used 2005 Freightliner now for 9 years and if all goes well we will get another 10 years plus out of it.

Dave

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The biggest seller for my wife on an HDT was the seat. An F350 rides like an F350. Her back did not like traveling long distances.

Now with air ride seat in an air ride cab, she has no complaints. I did have to concede and agree to an auto shift. While I tolerate it, I also was not in love with the automatic in the Ford either. Yes she does drive too.

I find that I am not as tired at the end of a travel day. Especially windy days. Living on the open prairie, you have to deal with wind, or stay home. Last trip, we were battling 45 mph head winds. Didn’t get very good fuel mileage, but made good time!

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Thanks Stardreamer and Moresmoke!

You confirming this with what I already was thinking is reassuring to me. Sometimes I get crazy idea's, but hopefully this is not one of them.

Porta-potty may not be the most "plushest" of selling points, but I think I can work with it on her.

I tried to get in on the HDT East Coast Rally in TN., but it's sold out (camping wise). So my final selling point (to her) will I guess have to wait.

 

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On the pricing and my (probably crazy) realistic thoughts on why going new makes sense for us...

 

I can land the Volvo VNL 740 with all top packages incl Touring Trim for ~150K.

Conversion from RVH Lifesyles ~35K (Premier Box, Single Axle- Mid Mount Position

Smart Car (used since they don't import new ones anymore) 2018ish ~10K

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

~200K

 

Now for that, I have a lifetime truck to haul/tow whatever 5er I morph into in the retirement years. It will more than nicely accommodate my current ToyHauler. Being new from the get go, I know what it's been through like no pot holes as deep as a revine, no leasing of fleet abuse (remember I am a CDL guy too!). I think when they are your own, you take care of them like they are your own. When not? Yikes, I've seen horrendous things out in the commercial field.

So, comfort and the feeling I will have everytime I go and hook that bad boy up?... priceless.

Knowing I'm going across the entire Country and then ride up the PCH from LaJolla (friends there) to Seattle?... priceless!

With a new rig and a million mile menu on it's plate, stress and the overall worrying factor will be pretty much negated. Always have to on your toes of course, just with a lot less to worry about. Retirement years are now in smaller single digits too, so why not do it sooner than later I figure. Like I'll never wear it out in my lifetime, but I might as well give it a try! ;)

 

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If you're ordering a new truck, just get it as a single axle.  Why spend the money to mess around with it when you can order it already done, likely for much less $$?  Plus, you'll have a drive that's built for the job.

If we were full time, we'd be going down the same path as you.

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Definitely get to one of the rallies.  You didn’t say where you are located, but the three rallies are in Tennessee (ECR), Kansas (National) and Idaho (WCR).  The WCR campground is also full for the upcoming June rally, but you could come in and stay in a hotel as a possibility.  We always have at least one couple do that every year.  I run the WCR if you want to contact me to get more information about the rally experience.  I try to keep a big social component to the rally to allow people to get to know one another and share experiences 

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4 hours ago, rickeieio said:

If you're ordering a new truck, just get it as a single axle.  Why spend the money to mess around with it when you can order it already done, likely for much less $$?  Plus, you'll have a drive that's built for the job.

If we were full time, we'd be going down the same path as you.

Definitely, and if I go with RVH Lifestyles, they’ll order it in as single, and I can have options on the drives as well, like super singles. It can be titled as an RV also at that order time. So yep, a few benefits going brand new.

 

We’re not full timers yet either. Not retired quite yet, but ever since Covid and I can work remotely, we’ve snowbirded this past winter.

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3 hours ago, Chad Heiser said:

Definitely get to one of the rallies.  You didn’t say where you are located, but the three rallies are in Tennessee (ECR), Kansas (National) and Idaho (WCR).  The WCR campground is also full for the upcoming June rally, but you could come in and stay in a hotel as a possibility.  We always have at least one couple do that every year.  I run the WCR if you want to contact me to get more information about the rally experience.  I try to keep a big social component to the rally to allow people to get to know one another and share experiences 

Hey Chad, thanks for this info. Yes I gotta get in on a rally, even if I show up with my F350, but I’ll be more educated and even more importantly have my wife onboard with the HDT transformation.

Our home base is smack dab in the middle of NY State, called the Finger Lakes.

 

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15 hours ago, Top_Speed1 said:

....

I tried to get in on the HDT East Coast Rally in TN., but it's sold out (camping wise). So my final selling point (to her) will I guess have to wait.

 

The campground maybe sold out but you can still come to the ECR rally. There are other campgrounds nearby that you can use. Maybe Check with Carl (host) and see if he can recommend another one. 

If you do decide to come and want to stay the night at the rally, we will have room in our trailer for guests. 

Dave

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Thanks to all who messaged me!

My current thoughts are:

VNL 860

Loaded w Touring Int trim

425hp iShift

Super Single Rear, mid mount. Ordered in from Volvo along with some other RV amenities.

Overhead exhaust (maybe twins, just cuz I love the look). One of my pet peeves when at a campground with dirt or gravel roads, are the rigs that come in and blow dust up everywhere, and on their own tow rigs more than anything. Also Quartsite vehicle entries are horrible with the brush burners. Bad all around, I’ll just get a custom drom box built, prob aluminum. So yes, I absolutely hate brush burners, especially now that I invest in DEF, why now use some it’s advantages!

‘Most importantly!....

2.28 gearing. With these new compound turbo’s, peek torque is now at only 900 RPMs. And, since we are not nearly at a heavy tow load in comparisons, I should still be well over power spec’ d. Mileage is an important factor, especially when fuel prices rise, like now. I’m still considering the 455hp, but what I’ve read and heard, the 425 for our pull range is more than enough even in the Rockies. One of the reasons to go brand new is to take advantage of these new fuel improvements.

Still learning, still shopping :)

 

 

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7 hours ago, Top_Speed1 said:

Thanks to all who messaged me!

My current thoughts are:

VNL 860

Loaded w Touring Int trim

425hp iShift

Super Single Rear, mid mount. Ordered in from Volvo along with some other RV amenities.

Overhead exhaust (maybe twins, just cuz I love the look). One of my pet peeves when at a campground with dirt or gravel roads, are the rigs that come in and blow dust up everywhere, and on their own tow rigs more than anything. Also Quartsite vehicle entries are horrible with the brush burners. Bad all around, I’ll just get a custom drom box built, prob aluminum. So yes, I absolutely hate brush burners, especially now that I invest in DEF, why now use some it’s advantages!

‘Most importantly!....

2.28 gearing. With these new compound turbo’s, peek torque is now at only 900 RPMs. And, since we are not nearly at a heavy tow load in comparisons, I should still be well over power spec’ d. Mileage is an important factor, especially when fuel prices rise, like now. I’m still considering the 455hp, but what I’ve read and heard, the 425 for our pull range is more than enough even in the Rockies. One of the reasons to go brand new is to take advantage of these new fuel improvements.

Still learning, still shopping :)

 

 

RVH Lifetstyles would be a place to look and Jack Mayer the guy to talk to about ordering a truck.  They have a build sheet that they use that adds all the RV friendly options and removes "Trucker" features.

 

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Hey Rick,


Listed under 2022 Volvo for the D13TC

405 w/ 1750 ft/#

425  w/ 1750 ft/#

455 w/ 1860 ft/#

 

Maybe I’m reading things wrong, wouldn’t be the first time lol.

 

In doing tons of video reviews w commercial hauls (with these newly revised eco engines), and hauling typical just under CGVW 80K loads, some drivers are experiencing over 10mpg. Some LTL guys have 12+mpg.
 

I’d be happy at 10 and is my modest goal. If I get more with my measly 21K 5th wheel, just added gravy, and then... happy will turn to ecstatic. :)
 

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Edited by Top_Speed1
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27 minutes ago, Alie&Jim's Carrilite said:

RVH Lifetstyles would be a place to look and Jack Mayer the guy to talk to about ordering a truck.  They have a build sheet that they use that adds all the RV friendly options and removes "Trucker" features.

 

Oh yeah, Jack and RVH Lifestyles are definitely on my radar. I’ve seen vids where they talk about being competitive with ordering in Volvo trucks, and titled as RV and w the correct hookups, even w the super single in the mid position from factory. 😎

 

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8 hours ago, jenandjon said:

If you are still shopping I would suggest you look at a Kenworth 660 or 880 with the X 15 cummins and Allison. Its like driving a pickup. I cannot describe how much I love mine. I have driven an auto shift and this Allison blows them away. No comparison.

Hmmm. Interesting. Being a CDL guy here for many years. I always thought this to be true for the Volvo’s as the best overall driving truck. My company always spec’d me into Frieghtliners, but that didn’t mean that’s all I drove.

I know Kenny’s have their fans for sure, and, at truck stops I’ve heard banter good and bad on all of them including the V’s. But with that said, the V’s have always won out on the ease of drive including quietness combined with smoothness. For that reason, my focus was/is with the V’s, primarily the new VNL 860.

But I do respect all the other makes n models, they all have a few pluses/options/features that I would like to add to my build, but this is the EXACT same way both Debbie and I feel about shopping the RV’s. We want something from all of them into our one big package. Yeah, I’m dreaming for sure. ;)

So.... The New Kenworths are not totally off my radar, I guess a test drive would be in order to see if it could make my hotlist.

TY for the Kenny idea.

 

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On 3/30/2021 at 5:07 PM, rickeieio said:

So by 405 hp you're referring to the D11 rather than the D13?  My local Mack says the 11 holds up better than the 13, not that it will ever matter in RV use.

The D11 can’t tear itself up. I only own one because it was cheap. It works for what I need, but I wouldn’t buy a new one on purpose.

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18 hours ago, Danandfreda said:

If you can make it to the east coast rally we have a 2021 kenworth t680 you could see or test drive. 

I can definitely make it with most importantly my better half (Debbie), but the caveat is that the campground is being sold out. I don’t like the idea of off location stay, then commute back n forth. Feel this sorta defeats the purpose, as most likely not only will we be “outsiders looking in” but also the lack of any bonding with possible new friends.

We are currently associated with several of these different groups, mostly with our 2 different branded Motorcycle groups. We know how important being onsite will be. For that reason, I will shoot for next year....

or, not sure if there is a cancellation list? That would be our only option for this years ECR.

 

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