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Perverbial what truck to tow my big trailer question

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Good evening! We are heading into full time RV life (newbies for sure) we are buying a DRV Manhattan. We thought we had the towing and appropriate truck for the trailer. Did all kinda of research. We have now confused ourselves to tears. While I believe knowledge is always king! We kinda biffed it on this one folks. I’m not asking for you all to make up our minds. More like if we could borrow yours for a reboot! Please forgive us our lingo is not up to par and at this point a MDT or HDT means gobbley gook to my mushy brain. Shoot I don’t even know if mdt is the proper term. I apologize. Selling our home buying a 5th wheel and truck along with home schooling. Health issues and general exhaustion has really fried my brain. Makes me want my mama! Please if you have any solid information we can glean from you seasoned pros. We would be eternally grateful in all seriousness. Thank you for your time and patience with us!

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What kind of time frame are you looking at as well, if your not in a BIG rush start looking thru both sub thread sections on MDT and HDT, I know I researched almost 2 years before we made our decision, but we did rv that whole time with a Ford F-350 dual rear wheels. Knowing we would eventually end up with a larger 5th wheel was why were looking for the larger truck. Don't be afraid to ask questions no matter how silly you may think they can be very important and if you have time try to attend a HDT Rally there is the National getting ready to start in Kansas then the next one is the East Coast Rally in Crossville Tn. in April then in June the West Coast in Id. There is a lot of very smart folks here that will guide you but don't be scared of by some of their bark they really don't bite and will be very helpful. Good luck on your decision.

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Welcome to the Escapee forums! We are here to help and we promise to do our best to smooth the road forward.

One of the most helpful internet sites that I have run across in my many years of RV life is that of Changing Gears and while Jack hasn't been really active since he went back to work, I think Jack Meyer's Living the RV Lifestyle may also be very helpful to you. If you have not yet considered where and how to maintain a legal residence for things like insurance, vehicle registrations, driving license, & voting I suggest that you visit The Issue of Domicile from a practicing attorney. 

Please feel free to come back to any of the forum areas here with questions, comments, or just looking for a friend anytime that you feel the need. It is what we do here. 

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Welcome to the Forum. You asked about MDT and HDT.

HDT is the truck that that commonly makes up the 18 wheeler. The truck its self commonly has 10 tires but a rear my be removed for RV pulling. The truck alone in not a Semi. These are Class 7, 8 & 9

MDT, can be a smaller versus of Heavy Duty or a beefed up light duty truck. These are class 4, 5  & 6 like Ford F450-650 or Ram, GMC 4500-6500.

The basic difference between classes is the weight one can haul and BRAKES. Many trucks can pull a load but stopping????? Based on your location I'm sure your familiar with having adequate brakes and protecting them on the long grades.


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Best advice I can give you. If you want a big 5ver over 20K.  Got MDT at minimum not a 450 pickup. Look at the new Kodiaks or International Sport Chassis. You want a true MDT. If money is an issue look at a used MDT or HDT. Same money spent in most cases at the end of the day. This way if you upgrade or go bigger you already have plenty of truck.


I have a Topkick and it will hold my 6400 pounds of scaled pin weight squatting maybe an inch. F450 pickup was buried in the rear. Same for the new 3500 Air ride dodge. There rating my say it but there not the same build quality or the same league.

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