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Old 01-20-2014, 08:44 PM   #1
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Why so many Volvos?

I had a fairly short career as a truck driver. Most of my time was spent in a Mack CH. I also had a chance to drive International, Ford, and Volvo tractors. I always wanted to get behind the wheel of a KW or a Pete but never had the chance.
I'm considering upgrading my RV to accommodate the growing family. I'm looking at dually pick-ups to pull a FW and I notice I can buy a used road tractor for less money. So, it seems like it might be a good way to go.
I notice that most people using HDTs to pull FWs seem are using Volvo tractors. Is there something inherently better about them for this use? Are they just cheaper or more abundant?
Is there any known problems converting a KW or Pete to RV towing use?
The Volvo I drove didn't seem to me to be anything any better than the other trucks I drove. Although it did have the 10 speed that shifted between 9th and 10th automatically.
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:15 AM   #2
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Volvo....... comfortable and quiet ride.
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Old 01-21-2014, 11:52 AM   #3
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Just seams like there is more if you read all the threads you'll know why. It's just personal preference I prefer American iron.
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Old 01-21-2014, 12:11 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by jrgreenacres View Post
It's just personal preference I prefer American iron.
Trucks built in Dublin, VA. Engines built in Hagerstown, MD. Since 1981, Volvo has purchased White Motor Company (White Trucks) and GMC's large truck division and integrated them into Volvo Trucks North America. That's pretty American, isn't it?

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Old 01-21-2014, 12:27 PM   #5
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Assembly plants only
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Old 01-21-2014, 12:59 PM   #6
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Assembly plants only
American suppliers. I know this because I worked there.
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Old 01-21-2014, 03:57 PM   #7
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Actually there are several reasons that there are so many Volvos in RV service today, although the "roster" has been become far more diverse in recent years.

Early on, Volvos became popular because one of the early proponents of using an HDT for towing large fifth wheels used a couple of Volvos himself, then began converting and selling them to others. He favored Volvos because of their large, integrated sleeper cabs, which made it relatively easy to add the necessary items to register them as motorhomes in many states, the fact that the Volvo air ride suspension was easy to "single", they featured more wheel cut than many other truck tractors, which resulted in a smaller turning radius, and they were known to have favorable ride and noise characteristics.

Because of the number of trucks that he converted and sold -- mostly to people that frequented the Escapees forums -- the HDT owners that frequented those forums began to accumulate a substantial body of knowledge regarding the Volvo VN series trucks. This prompted others that became interested in using HDTs for RVing purposes to purchase Volvo VNs, because they knew where they could readily find information regarding just about anything pertaining to the operation or maintenance of a "retired" Volvo VN truck tractor.

Over time, as I mentioned, the roster of HDT makes in RV service has expanded. Much of what is known about Volvos applies to all brands of HDTs, so people branched out to other makes. When I was in the market for a truck, my preferences were 1) Volvo VNL770/780 (because of the amount of Volvo knowledge available), 2) Peterbilt 387, or 3) Kenworth T2000. Up until that time, the Volvos had always sold for less than the two comparable Paccar models, but when I was in the market, they were selling at a premium to the 387 and T2000, so I bought a two-pedal T2000 and never looked back.

Today there are a wide array of makes and models in RV service, and all of them are doing a good job for their owners. While certain models have advantages and disadvantages, any of them can be an extremely capable hauler for even the heaviest fiver. But now you know why the Volvos were the early favorites, and became the dominant brand for RV service back in the day.
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Old 01-21-2014, 05:49 PM   #8
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Like my Volvo very much but never had any other class 8.
Easy to drive, good ride, low noise, nice dash, and so on Plus they look cool.
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Old 01-21-2014, 09:49 PM   #9
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I ordered a 2014 VNL 730 single rear axle to haul our RV based on the collective knowledge on the forums about the Volvo. Safety features, the available 500/1850 D13 with the i-shift transmission so my DW can drive as well. Also, looking forward to the ride with full air suspension and Volvo offering the Bose seats from the factory.
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Old 01-22-2014, 10:39 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by RustyJC View Post
Trucks built in Dublin, VA. Engines built in Hagerstown, MD. Since 1981, Volvo has purchased White Motor Company (White Trucks) and GMC's large truck division and integrated them into Volvo Trucks North America. That's pretty American, isn't it?

Rusty
I was surprised how much paperwork and documentation is still labelled 'white GMC'

why Volvo
-wheel cut
-full air ride
-quiet
all top of industry,just now matched by Casadia and probably others,you run into truckers while camping and get a lot of feed back.
Company drivers are best they drive a variety and are not biased like OO.
They love their 'hoods'
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Old 01-22-2014, 01:52 PM   #11
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Not just the hoods we love the chrome too.
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Old 01-22-2014, 08:52 PM   #12
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Not just the hoods we love the chrome too.
Ya I know eh?
The chrome you can get for these things is amazing,you could break the bank .
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:24 PM   #13
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I ordered a 2014 VNL 730 single rear axle to haul our RV based on the collective knowledge on the forums about the Volvo. Safety features, the available 500/1850 D13 with the i-shift transmission so my DW can drive as well. Also, looking forward to the ride with full air suspension and Volvo offering the Bose seats from the factory.
Is it rude that I really want to know ballpark figure of your truck cost? If so I apologize.
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Old 01-23-2014, 10:25 PM   #14
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Hi Greg,

This truck took a lot of time to put together and has all the available options that I could think of and many that were suggested by forum members. I have included this link that shows the price (Cdn $) of the truck at the end of the document. I have added about another 12K worth of options since this mainly due to the Bose seats. I have changed the wheelbase and overhang as well. Once the truck gets here it will go to RV Haulers in Calgary Canada and Gregg will be putting on a full rear deck with hydraulic Smart Car loader.
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