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Old 04-21-2009, 11:08 AM   #31
spagthorpe
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I think the truck and cabover campers are a cool combination. Park anywhere, go anywhere with a 4x4, but those cabovers do seem heavy and not aerodynamic either. What do you think you'd get for mileage with one of those on a diesel truck? 12mpg?

A consideration with a towed vehicle is the fact that you are stuck with 55mph speed limit out here anyway. I don't know about elsewhere.
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Old 04-21-2009, 11:12 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Lobby
Interesting comments, all. Particularly the variability in them; one says "A," the next says "B, definitely."

I suspect this may be a personal decision more than anything else.

A friend in meatspace advised to get the motorhome. The wife can then walk around to the back and go to the bathroom while it's underway.
In order to make this plan work long term 'ish'... You are thinking the right thing. Keep her happy first, the rest will fall into place.
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Old 04-21-2009, 11:21 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by spagthorpe
A consideration with a towed vehicle is the fact that you are stuck with 55mph speed limit out here anyway. I don't know about elsewhere.
I've never seen that enforced in California and I've traveled there on vacation quite a few times. I know that doesn't mean swat to the poor bastard that gets caught. I wonder if having out of state tags helps or hinders.

Anyway, in every other state I've been in while traveling with my trailer I've not seen a speed limit that makes vehicles with trailers go slower. There are plenty of warning signs about steep downhill grades and that trucks should use low gears.
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Old 04-21-2009, 11:29 AM   #34
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I most definitely is enforced here. I know someone that just hauls a flatbed garden trailer with dirtbikes on it, and has been busted twice by CHP, just moving with regular traffic. I don't know about big 5th wheels and such. I would tend to think that most people would slow down anyway, just because of the gas mileage. I know with my old F250 diesel, the mileage difference at 65 and 75 was huge.
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Old 04-21-2009, 11:49 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by spagthorpe
I most definitely is enforced here. I know someone that just hauls a flatbed garden trailer with dirtbikes on it, and has been busted twice by CHP, just moving with regular traffic. I don't know about big 5th wheels and such. I would tend to think that most people would slow down anyway, just because of the gas mileage. I know with my old F250 diesel, the mileage difference at 65 and 75 was huge.
That's good to know. The last time I was in California with my trailer was 2 years ago. I have always run at 65 to 70MPH and I know I didn't do anything different in California. Next time I visit I'll keep my eye out for those signs.

My Dodge with the 5th wheel gets 10MPG running at 70MPH. I ran one tank at 65 and saw the MPG increase to 11 which isn't enough of a difference to bother with and things are safer for everyone at 70MPH. At that speed I'm traveling with the big rigs in the right hand lane. I've seen people do some really stupid stunts, like seeing that a semi is about to pass me and speed up so that they are in front of the semi. A few times I've watched as the semi has already started to pull into the left lane when the car makes it's move. If the trucker wasn't on the ball they would have driven over the cage.

Sorry for the thread highjack.

One other drawback with a Class C that I hadn't seen mentioned elsewhere. Depending on your situation you might be paying for an extra vehicle registration fee. If you're full-timing and only have a single RV plus bikes that it doesn't make a bit of difference. Others who might have a truck like I do for hauling junk around would pay a second registration fee on the Class C or A and the truck.
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Old 04-21-2009, 11:50 AM   #36
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One thing to consider no matter what choice you make is to make sure that you can carry more than a bag of chips and a six pack.

A lot of RV's have very little extra carrying capacity even when empty.
Once you put 50 gallons of water in the holding tank, fill the propane tank and have some water and crap in the dump tanks, you are over capacity sometimes by quit a bit.

Some of the worst offenders are the toy haulers. Some have 100 gallon water tanks, 35 gallon fuel stations and even without filling them you are usually over weight.

Like mentioned above, make sure whatever you get can take the load and if you are using a truck to pull it, overkill is probably the way to go.
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Old 04-21-2009, 11:54 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by McNeal
I've never seen that enforced in California and I've traveled there on vacation quite a few times. I know that doesn't mean swat to the poor bastard that gets caught. I wonder if having out of state tags helps or hinders.
I got stopped for that on I-80 in the Sierras, towing an XR650L behind a 4Runner on a little bike trailer. CHP told me to start reading road signs better and let me go with a warning.
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Old 04-21-2009, 12:05 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by jkam
A lot of RV's have very little extra carrying capacity even when empty.
Once you put 50 gallons of water in the holding tank, fill the propane tank and have some water and crap in the dump tanks, you are over capacity sometimes by quit a bit.
Are you talking about the toy hauler travel trailers? If so, I'm sure you're correct since most trailers try to stay under 10,000lbs.
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Some of the worst offenders are the toy haulers. Some have 100 gallon water tanks, 35 gallon fuel stations and even without filling them you are usually over weight.
Of the 5th wheel units that I've looked at all of them at least have a 3k payload. These are units that have a GVWR of at least 13k. If you're talking about the tow vehicle being over its limits then I would agree.

If you're speaking specifically of a 5th being over its GVWR when loaded with water and fuel I'd like to know which trailer you're speaking about so that I never look at or recommend that unit to someone. I just looked at the specs for a Heartland Salem 32SRVP and it has a 5,000lbs payload.
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Like mentioned above, make sure whatever you get can take the load and if you are using a truck to pull it, overkill is probably the way to go.
Yup. Nobody ever complains about having too much truck.
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Old 04-21-2009, 01:11 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkam
One thing to consider no matter what choice you make is to make sure that you can carry more than a bag of chips and a six pack.

A lot of RV's have very little extra carrying capacity even when empty.
Which is why I recommended a tag axle class A. I was looking at buying one pretty hard a few years ago. All of the gas ones, and a few of the lower end diesel pushers had less than 1000 lbs carrying capacity if you figured for four people on board and half full tanks.
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Old 04-21-2009, 01:13 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by McNeal
Anyway, in every other state I've been in while traveling with my trailer I've not seen a speed limit that makes vehicles with trailers go slower.
Ohio's signs say it.
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Old 04-21-2009, 01:39 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by ImaPoser
Ohio's signs say it.
Obviously I've not been to every state. So far I've traveled in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Arkansas.

Now, it's possible that some of those states also have a restriction on speed when towing a trailer and (a) I didn't notice and (b) didn't get pulled over. I wonder also as to the wording of the law. It might be that cars and light trucks towing trailers have to maintain a lower speed limit. That law might not apply to a 5th wheel since 5th wheels are very stable compared to a bumper pull trailer.
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Old 04-21-2009, 02:37 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by McNeal
Obviously I've not been to every state. So far I've traveled in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Arkansas.

Now, it's possible that some of those states also have a restriction on speed when towing a trailer and (a) I didn't notice and (b) didn't get pulled over. I wonder also as to the wording of the law. It might be that cars and light trucks towing trailers have to maintain a lower speed limit. That law might not apply to a 5th wheel since 5th wheels are very stable compared to a bumper pull trailer.
I'm not trying to bust your balls, just pointing out that it is more common than most people think. I'd be willing to bet at least a few of those states have a lower speed limit for towing trailers as well. If there's two speed limit signs side by side you can bet the lower one is going to be for any vehicle towing a trailer and probably buses as well. Are they enforced heavily? usually not. But, I would most definitely pay attention to the speed limit signs when entering a state for the first time.

50 states towing laws
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Old 04-21-2009, 02:39 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by kobudo28
The term "RV" and the phraze "decent fuel economy" are at odds with one another to some extent.

My in-laws live full time RV with no house any more. They have a 42 foot diesel motor coach, not good fuel economy. They travel from time to time with some friends who have a fifth wheel with a Dodge HD with Cummins diesel in it. Dad said if he had it to do over again he would go fifth wheel instead of coach for a number of reasons.
  • The tow truck eliminates the need to tow a car behind a coach. This will be the same issues if you have a class C should you want a car or a trailer big enough to hold a car and bikes.
  • If you have a fifth wheel you can drop it and take the truck any time you want. A fifth wheel is more manuverable then a 42' coach, which allows you to get into to some tighter spaces then you can with a class A coach and some class C's as well.
  • An HD truck with a programable engine management system will typically give you better fuel mileage then a coach and power when you want it by pushing a button.
  • I would go diesel for the towing power. Dad had a 40' with a V-10 Ford chassis and it was a DOG. His Cat 325 makes a ton of torque and he said you can feel the difference, even in something that big.
  • At least a truck has some other uses and perhaps better re-sale oportunities then a class C.
I am not sure what the cash outlay would be for a good truck and a fifth wheel vs. a class C.

Just my .02, which really isn't worth that much.
What he said. I'd recommend a PM to Sasquatch as he works for a mfg.

We had a 32' gas A on a Ford V-10 platform and now we have a 37' diesel A with an ISL Cummins. The 37' gets better mileage than the gas did. We pull either the Honda or a 16' Pace trailer with storage for the bikes and gear.

In the do it all overagain category, I'd be looking at the Airstream (due mostly to the all AL exterior with no rubber roof to mess with) and put the bike in the bed of the truck.

Cost wise, 5th wheels run 40K to 60K depending on the length and amenities. A 350/3500 dually will probably run you the better part of 40K. So the total comes in at $100K or about the same cost as a mid size C or an entry level gas A.

I'm a Ford person but the class C on the Kodiak frame looks awfully apealing and the fuel mileage is supposted to be good also.

My 2 cents.
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Old 04-21-2009, 02:48 PM   #44
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Old 04-21-2009, 03:11 PM   #45
McNeal
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Originally Posted by ImaPoser
I'm not trying to bust your balls, just pointing out that it is more common than most people think. I'd be willing to bet at least a few of those states have a lower speed limit for towing trailers as well. If there's two speed limit signs side by side you can bet the lower one is going to be for any vehicle towing a trailer and probably buses as well. Are they enforced heavily? usually not. But, I would most definitely pay attention to the speed limit signs when entering a state for the first time.
I understand where you're coming and I probably sounded like a bit of a know-it-all. I didn't mean to be. So far, I can't remember seeing a double speed limit sign in my travels. I do watch for posted limits because they do change and I know certain states are real quick to give tickets (New Mexico is one that comes to mind).

Question to the folks who've been pulled over in California. Were these incidents within the last 9 months? I've noticed here in Colorado the police have been giving out more tickets in the last six months or so. Nobody has gone on record, but it sure seems like the cities and state has been trying to increase their revenue since the tax base has dried up and it appears they've asked the police to write more tickets.
I just looked at this like and summaries don't mention speed restrictions (At least from A-C they don't). I looked at the link which is given for California and the link is bad. And yes, I know that poking around on the web page would provide me with the information. I just thought it funny.

One thing I did note from that site which I had forgotten about. Folks can pull a 1500lb trailer without being required to have trailer brakes. There's a good reason to limit the speed of a car pulling a trailer.
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