Jump to content

HDT overall length skimping? (Ordering/making the way I want?)


Top_Speed1
 Share

Recommended Posts

I’m in the market and planning my HDT. I would like a Volvo 860, which is already quite long with the 77” sleeper. My below desired specs...

Single drive, most likely mid mount loca. Favoring RVH Lifestyles for the new truck order plus deluxe bed, turnkey.

Smart Car load, keeping it forward as much as possible. Maybe passenger side mirror removal, and/or trailer deflector hinged and pinned. Would I be the first this crazy idea?

Hitch forward as much possible, noting the (2.28 desired) gearbox’s below loca.

Trailer pin box as straight drop, this should get the back of the hauler box closer the the 5er. Turning/pivoting space allocated of course.

———————————————

So what I’m trying to do is skimp as much as possible on my overall length. My RV is already 44’-10” and in campground maneuvering or just taking up “space”, I’d like the smallest footprint I can get. With this size rig, that’s probably an oxymoron statement. Of course me being a CDL guy, I understand the like of the needed 90 degree (jackknife so to say), I also know and have seen tons of wasted space on a lot of rigs, primarily between the hauler box’s back end, and the non-goosed front leading edge of the 5er.

Am i crazy to try to plan on compacting as much as possible? This is typical me, maybe I’m just an over planner too. Lol

/?/
Yes, I will be contacting Jack Mayer, but knowledge and thoughts about this have been kinda driving me nuts.


KJ & Debbie

Youtube.com/WhereTwoNext?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Howdy KJ,

I understand your wanting to be short but unless you plan on boondocking on two track forest service roads or putting your rig into very old State forest campsites in "my opinion" your over thinking this. 

I also tow a 44' 10" trailer and I do need a few acres ( not 40 ) to turn my rig around as my overall lenght is 72 feet but I have been able to get into many spots that leave the spectators scratching their heads wondering how the heck did he do that.  The shorter your tractor the chopper the ride, having had a Freightliner that was singled and shortened mid, "I" much prefer the ride of the tandem stock lenght Pete, also the longer truck is much less affected by wind and rides much smoother.  Just my experience that of others will vary.

Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As far as the side deflectors being hinged or pinned, it will most likely not work as the newer smart cars turned sideways are 106" and the dimensions from deflector to deflector will be closer to 102"  and you would need to allow clearance for cab and car bounce. On our Freightliner Century Mid Roof, I ended up removing our side deflectors so I could get the car closer to the back of the cab. 

Also be sure to lay out the truck bed corners to allow the trailer to pivot at least 45 degrees with the straight down pin box. You may need to cut the corners at an angle to get enough clearance.

I suggest drawing it all out to scale to make you have tried to cover all items and to see if you math holds up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, noteven said:

Hi KJ - 

Does your “mission profile” require the Big Sleeper?

 

I’m 6-4, Debbie however is only 5-3. And,  If we use the truck as an individual bobtail style “camper” on some (very few) but select outings, I figure the additional 7” will come in handy. This is the 860 at 77” and the 760 at 70” comparison of course.

12 hours ago, mr. cob said:

Howdy KJ,

I understand your wanting to be short but unless you plan on boondocking on two track forest service roads or putting your rig into very old State forest campsites in "my opinion" your over thinking this. 

I also tow a 44' 10" trailer and I do need a few acres ( not 40 ) to turn my rig around as my overall lenght is 72 feet but I have been able to get into many spots that leave the spectators scratching their heads wondering how the heck did he do that.  The shorter your tractor the chopper the ride, having had a Freightliner that was singled and shortened mid, "I" much prefer the ride of the tandem stock lenght Pete, also the longer truck is much less affected by wind and rides much smoother.  Just my experience that of others will vary.

Dave

Thanks Dave.

You’re probably correct on a few things here, like yeah, I’m probably over thinking. I just wanna be so careful as this is going to be a one and done purchase. I’m getting close to retirement, and buying new, it should be my last hauler. I told my better half, you may be getting a new Luxe 44FL someday (her dream living machine), but this hauler will be our one and only. Would not be the statement of course if I did by chance go used.

 

1 hour ago, Star Dreamer said:

As far as the side deflectors being hinged or pinned, it will most likely not work as the newer smart cars turned sideways are 106" and the dimensions from deflector to deflector will be closer to 102"  and you would need to allow clearance for cab and car bounce. On our Freightliner Century Mid Roof, I ended up removing our side deflectors so I could get the car closer to the back of the cab. 

Also be sure to lay out the truck bed corners to allow the trailer to pivot at least 45 degrees with the straight down pin box. You may need to cut the corners at an angle to get enough clearance.

I suggest drawing it all out to scale to make you have tried to cover all items and to see if you math holds up.

Those fairings being hinged... I kind of was doing my best NASA prototype day dreaming. I understand about the air ride cab and the box shifting. Still has my interest side of me perked up.

I took mechanical drawing in school. Not sure that in almost 40 years later I could scale out in precision of what is needed. I could get close I guess to at least get it sent to my nephew who is an engineer in this field. Hmmm

 

At least nobody called me nugging futts! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Top_Speed1 said:

I’m 6-4, Debbie however is only 5-3. And,  If we use the truck as an individual bobtail style “camper” on some (very few) but select outings, I figure the additional 7” will come in handy. This is the 860 at 77” and the 760 at 70” comparison of course.

Thanks Dave.

You’re probably correct on a few things here, like yeah, I’m probably over thinking. I just wanna be so careful as this is going to be a one and done purchase. I’m getting close to retirement, and buying new, it should be my last hauler. I told my better half, you may be getting a new Luxe 44FL someday (her dream living machine), but this hauler will be our one and only. Would not be the statement of course if I did by chance go used.

 

Those fairings being hinged... I kind of was doing my best NASA prototype day dreaming. I understand about the air ride cab and the box shifting. Still has my interest side of me perked up.

I took mechanical drawing in school. Not sure that in almost 40 years later I could scale out in precision of what is needed. I could get close I guess to at least get it sent to my nephew who is an engineer in this field. Hmmm

 

At least nobody called me nugging futts! :)

Howdy KJ,

"cardboard" is your best friend.  As a long time fabricator, I long ago learned to use cardboard mock ups to to see exactly how much space things take up and how best to lay out what ever it is that needs to be mounted, carried or just put someplace in particular. Draw out on the driveway or garage floor with chalk the proposed outline of your truck bed, make a cardboard representation of your Smart Car's, foot print, the hitch and area needed to insure that when the Smart Car is loaded and you are hooked up to the trailer everything will clear when you put the truck 90 degrees to the trailer , remember to allow for ground slope and suspension movement.

Using the cut outs it's easy to move things as needed until you figure out what you need to build it right the FIRST time, changes cost way more money then doing it right the first time.  Just a suggestion, attend a rally BEFORE you buy-build, sit in and drive different rigs, see for yourself what it feels like to drive a singled, shortened, truck as well as a tandem or any other combination of which there are many.  If your looking to build the last truck you will ever own, you owe it to yourself to test drive as many different rigs as you can to be sure your making the right choice for YOU no matter which road you take.

Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The mirror on a smart really doesn't stick out much.  Removing it will be a safety issue.  Poor gain to risk ratio, imo.

Second, be aware that often your tightest clearance will be with the trailer at 45 degrees, not 90.  I discovered this when the tail light on a motorcycle was rubbing the corner of the trailer.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also, the mirrors in the later model smart fold in, (not sure about the earlier ones). I have the dimensions somewhere for them. 

I was lucky that I did drawings for work so had Autocad and use that to lay out our setups. I originally planned to hinge our fairings but then did the measurements and felt it wasn't worth the hassle to remake all the support brackets behind them. Only issue I had with removing them was our truck has a turn signal on the lower part of the fairings, but I solved that by making some small panels that mounted the lights but did not interfere with the car during loading and unloading. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We started out with the HDT at one hitch length, then changed the hitch location to accommodate a 3rd quad or a smart car.  Basically, moved the hitch rearward about 30 inches.

Anyway, the maneuverability of the rig with the hitch in the extreme rear position was significantly better.

I didn't feel the attached length was much of an issue, rather the ability to turn and turn quickly was the issue.  Having the hitch behind the rear axle made turning much better.

If I could do it again, I would have kept a similar deck size (quads / smart) but then single the HDT as short at possible with the deck and hitch extending rearward.  Keeping the config in a way that one could do a 90 degree turn with the largest required payload on the deck.  Having the pin rear of the axle and a short wheelbase will serve you well in tight spaces.

So basically, start with the shortest possible wheelbase then drop on the minimum deck you need with the hitch behind it; what does that look like as a starting point?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All great info, thanks guys. I really appreciate the input from you HDTers. I will plan put with cardboard, great idea. I also will scrub the smart car mirror removal idea, I didn’t know they folded, that will be a halfway but acceptable method.

I will hold off until I get to a Rally. I have to get Debbie onboard with all this anyways, I figure other wives may shed some light on it, at least maybe influence her that it is the safer way to haul around our big 5ers. One benefit that I pushed was the fact that she could have a portapotty. She said oh yeah, this truck has a bathroom? Lol.

We’ve had several cross country episodes where she had to pee and while I was on an Interstate w no rest or truck stops in the near gps insight (she has the iExit app on her iPhone). So this is my wild card as she doesn’t match up well with me break wise (she calls me a camel!) lol.


KJ

Youtube.com/WhereTwoNext?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, steiny93 said:

We started out with the HDT at one hitch length, then changed the hitch location to accommodate a 3rd quad or a smart car.  Basically, moved the hitch rearward about 30 inches.

Anyway, the maneuverability of the rig with the hitch in the extreme rear position was significantly better.

I didn't feel the attached length was much of an issue, rather the ability to turn and turn quickly was the issue.  Having the hitch behind the rear axle made turning much better.

If I could do it again, I would have kept a similar deck size (quads / smart) but then single the HDT as short at possible with the deck and hitch extending rearward.  Keeping the config in a way that one could do a 90 degree turn with the largest required payload on the deck.  Having the pin rear of the axle and a short wheelbase will serve you well in tight spaces.

So basically, start with the shortest possible wheelbase then drop on the minimum deck you need with the hitch behind it; what does that look like as a starting point?

I saw your rig setup, very nice. So I was first looking into a 740, lower height cab. When I was in the hauling business, this was popular with tanker guys. But, I see you 5er is only like (maybe) 1ft taller? Not sure if you 5th is around the 13ft A/C height. If so, I may put the shorter 740 back on my list, as those lower profile guys always dunked me in the mpg game.

Don’t wanna bother you, but any pics or links to your rig hooked up, level side view preferred. Thank you in advance!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have the mid roof VNR 42 640 ans a DRV Fullhouse that is 13'6" and the 5th wheel is about a foot higher than the truck. Truck at back of sleeper is a little over 11" the 740 is taller.

Ken....

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Eg90KFyW0mgdKa3QOXfgDoiIWm4E7FvB/view?usp=sharing

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1x4VcKrbAUmgoEkDW0IU_XqwYpbQByPnM/view?usp=sharing

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our trailer is 13'4" to tip of AC units and if I remember correctly, the ACs are about 11" tall putting the body of the trailer around 12' 5" high. I also think our Freightliner MidRoof is 12'0" to the top of the roof and looks to match up pretty close to the height of the trailer. I think the Volvo 730/740 is similar in height. Unless you plan to go with a Spacecraft with mini-spilts, and want the extra height of the condos, you might might to keep considering the shorter height cabs. U0s3FU0l.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This may not be consistent with your thinking but I don't give MPG a single thought. We have been FT for 11 years and have put 100K on the Volvo. We have also put 90K on the smart since we got that. 2 years of the Volvo being an everyday driver. At one of the rally's the subject came up of changing the rear end gearing to improve MPG and Greg Shields had dollar figures for the cost of the change and the improvement in MPG and fuel prices. The difference would never pay back in our FT lifetime so I have never given it a thought since. I live with my 7.5 - 8.0 MPG and go on. Life is to short to worry about the trivial things. 

When I got our Volvo I had it singled short but left the frame untouched. Why? We were newbies (green as anything you can imagine) and we were anticipating the smart, just didn't know when. Back then a big concern with singling was the amount of weight that would transfer and possibly over load the front axle. This was not a problem for us since we had a 14.6K front axle instead of the 12K that was pretty common back then (I don't know what is common anymore).

Come to a rally and you can gather all the info you will ever need. I was on over load after my first one and nearly wore out a camera taking so many pictures. It is also the best way to get the wife to come around.

Edited by Brad & Jacolyn
spelling
Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 hours ago, Top_Speed1 said:

I saw your rig setup, very nice. So I was first looking into a 740, lower height cab. When I was in the hauling business, this was popular with tanker guys. But, I see you 5er is only like (maybe) 1ft taller? Not sure if you 5th is around the 13ft A/C height. If so, I may put the shorter 740 back on my list, as those lower profile guys always dunked me in the mpg game.

Don’t wanna bother you, but any pics or links to your rig hooked up, level side view preferred. Thank you in advance!

The 5er in my sig is a couple trailers ago, that one is 13' 4" tall at the tallest point.  In the pic the HDT looks very similar in height but I believe it is more like sub 11ft tall.  I can probably find some pics of the various setups, PM me your email address and I can send over what I can find.

When we were shopping I didn't want a full height HDT.  The rational was when bobtailing I didn't want to worry about height issues.  I'm 6'4", I didn't desire a taller sleeper, but their was a few times having a shorter HDT would have been a good thing (tree lined streets in small towns for example).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So going to a rally is the best idea if you can make one.  There will be a showing of many different configurations from home built to manufacture built- RVH Lifestyles, Herrin, etc.  

As far as deck designs, plan for the future.  Smart Cars are no longer imported.  Most folks are going a little longer on the truck bed to accommodate a lengthwise vehicle.  In doing this, what many people have learned is that moving the 5th wheel hitch more than 6ft behind the rear most axle causes undesirable towing behavior in the 5th wheel.  Plan your truck bed to accommodate your future needs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Howdy KJ,

One of the things important to "me" is the look of the whole rig.  My first HDT was a singled Freightliner Columbia, a great truck and one I would still be driving if we hadn't bought the Smart Car.  I bought the Freigthliner as a turn key truck, it did a great job of dragging the trailer but I just never liked the "look" of the combination, the condo roof line didn't match well with the roof line of the trailer.  This is an old photo of the Columbia and the then brand new toy hauler trailer, towing it home for the first time.

 

DSCF3076-XL.jpg

To "me" the look of the lower roof line of the Pete, this is a full stand up sleeper, matches the roof line of the trailer much better and the whole rig looks more in proportion.

IMG_4278-XL.jpg

We all have our priorities, there is no right or wrong answer that fits everyone, what works for YOU and in my opinion makes YOU SMILE whilst behind the wheel is the way to go.

Dave

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you all for the pics, and Steiny93 those were just what I wanted, :)

Beers are on me when I can get in on a HDT Rally!

On the rear gearing not worth the change, I agree if this was used/preowned. But ordering in from the factory it’s a no brainer (for me). Being that I was an O/O (owner operator) in the CDL LTL world for years, I know the importance of even 1 more mpg. If I weren’t for having this throughout my big travel plans of my upcoming retirement... we’ll that would change the desire for the 2.28 rear as well probably, but I’m thinking long term here.

thanks again guys, I can’t wait to meet up in this community. It’s a niche market that to me hits home, and as my wife says... “you just miss driving big trucks, that’s why you want one for towing our Toyhauler!”

Now to change her mindset... but, she is partially correct! Lol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The ECR starts n the 17th in Crossville Tenn. A great place to get very valuable info. Not knowing where you are located it might not be convenient but the invite is always there. Pat

 

 

The Old Sailor

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I was ordering one, especially with higher gearing, I would look real hard at  the 14 speed I Shift and or a lower geared x and over drive. I would love a granny reverse when the wife says backup 6 more inches so I can see around that tree, trailer what ever.

I also prefer the look of a truck that is the same or slightly lower than the trailer roof I wouldn't count the ac as part of the trailer hight when it comes to looks. That said my 630 is a little higher than my trailer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Lance A Lott said:

If I was ordering one, especially with higher gearing, I would look real hard at  the 14 speed I Shift and or a lower geared x and over drive. I would love a granny reverse when the wife says backup 6 more inches so I can see around that tree, trailer what ever.

I also prefer the look of a truck that is the same or slightly lower than the trailer roof I wouldn't count the ac as part of the trailer hight when it comes to looks. That said my 630 is a little higher than my trailer.

Howdy All,

I'll second the suggestion of a transmission with more gears, on of the things I hated about the 10 speed Auto-Shift, was the gap between 9th and 10th.  Now with the 18 speed Auto-Shift, there is a forward gear for any situation it really makes a difference when stuck in traffic or when driving in the mountains, up or down the grade.  Oh and having three speeds in reverse is great, low reverse makes backing to the pin or tight maneuvering much easier.

Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will definitely look into the 14_IS tranny.

I’ve watched a ton of in op videos where the rigs are starting out in 3 or even 5th gear. I thought with my 2.28 rear gearing, I would be utilizing the spectrum a bit more. But if said above is for the 14, Im all ears at the dealer or RVH lifestyles.

-KJ

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Too high a gearing in reverse is a pain. 

Eaton Ultrashift transmissions will skip shift they can be skip shifted manually while in "Drive" mode by clicking the up 'n down switch with a short pause between the clickages. 

You can also select higher starting gears.

I'm sure modern latest version of automated transmissions of all makes have driver initiated shift capability. 

My personal experience knowledge base is now 2017 model year trucks and older, Kenworth. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

RVers Online University

campgroundviews.com

Our program provides accurate individual wheel weights for your RV, toad, and tow vehicle, and will help you trim the pounds if you need to.

All the water you need...No matter where you go

Country Thunder Iowa

Nomad Internet

Rv Share

Dish For My RV.

RV Air.

Find out more or sign up for Escapees RV'ers Bootcamp.

Advertise your product or service here.

The Rvers- Now Streaming

RVTravel.com Logo



×
×
  • Create New...