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Old 10-30-2013, 07:11 AM   #29
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Tim,
33,000? What the heck do you have now? Do you have any pics? I'd love to see it!
From a total newbie point of view, the Volvos seem a lot more comfortable and luxurious inside, and the powertrain, especially the tranny, seems to be well-liked. Hjsdds and other owners would know, but that's the impression I get.
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Old 10-30-2013, 10:53 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by bigfiver View Post


I am very interested in moving up to an HDT from our existing crewchief MDT. It was enough power/brakes with our 43ft Travel Supreme, but is seriously lacking on our newer, heavier rig (33k empty). It seems like most HDT folks end up with a volvo--why is that?

Tim
Tim you might find my website of interest, if you have not seen it. It answers your question, to an extent. Feel free to email me if you need more info...
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Old 10-31-2013, 02:24 AM   #31
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Tim, 33,000? What the heck do you have now? Do you have any pics? I'd love to see it! From a total newbie point of view, the Volvos seem a lot more comfortable and luxurious inside, and the powertrain, especially the tranny, seems to be well-liked. Hjsdds and other owners would know, but that's the impression I get.
BigBaron, we have had MDT trucks and fifth wheels for 10 years. Had good luck with our current truck until we got a heavy Continental Coach--we love the camper, but our truck is really maxed out in the power dept now.

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Old 10-31-2013, 02:27 AM   #32
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Tim you might find my website of interest, if you have not seen it. It answers your question, to an extent. Feel free to email me if you need more info...
Jack,

Thanks for the link to your very informative site.

Great stuff!

Tim
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Old 10-31-2013, 08:25 PM   #33
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Tim, as you can see I tried a "stable" of pullers including an MDT.

But my experience with MDT pulling a 36 footer told me that the 23,500 lb 40 footer I bought (parked behind it) was gonna be slooooooooooow!!!! going up hill if I ever tried it. I had this vision of going up hill and being passed by Amish buggies.
I was casting about on the net trying to figure out if an MDT with 8.3 Cummins or an International with a 570 might do the trick. Jack took pity on my internet pleadings with his sage advice, "you ought to look at an HDT" and "take a look at my website".
After spending a week on his website (and the links) it didn't take me long to get rid of the MDT and "take the plunge".

By the way, Jack's site is a bad news. Once you get on it you get the HDTitis virus. The first symptom is the need to get a weekly fix of Truck Papers. As the disease progresses you start hanging around truck stops and talking to truckers. So far the only known cure is the purchase of an HDT.

hjs
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Old 11-01-2013, 05:27 AM   #34
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Tim, as you can see I tried a "stable" of pullers including an MDT. But my experience with MDT pulling a 36 footer told me that the 23,500 lb 40 footer I bought (parked behind it) was gonna be slooooooooooow!!!! going up hill if I ever tried it. I had this vision of going up hill and being passed by Amish buggies. I was casting about on the net trying to figure out if an MDT with 8.3 Cummins or an International with a 570 might do the trick. Jack took pity on my internet pleadings with his sage advice, "you ought to look at an HDT" and "take a look at my website". After spending a week on his website (and the links) it didn't take me long to get rid of the MDT and "take the plunge". By the way, Jack's site is a bad news. Once you get on it you get the HDTitis virus. The first symptom is the need to get a weekly fix of Truck Papers. As the disease progresses you start hanging around truck stops and talking to truckers. So far the only known cure is the purchase of an HDT. hjs

Our current MDT had done well until it took its first trip lugging our Continental Coach Elegance into the rockies last month. Never had those issue with our previous fifth wheel (which was 10k lighter than the CC).

Thanks for your input and expertise. I was really impressed with Jack's site.

Tim
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Old 11-01-2013, 08:37 AM   #35
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I really want to thank you Tim and Henry for tolerating my ignorance...
Baron
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Old 11-01-2013, 12:38 PM   #36
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I really want to thank you Tim and Henry for tolerating my ignorance...
Baron
Now, now, don't fret, your journey to wisdom has just began. My ignorance was wide and deep, until I got on Jack's website 8 years ago. Now I am considered an elder statesman, guru, sage and a general wise-ass.
All it took was a dislike of the fact that "ignorance is a terrible thing".
Although, it is also a fact that a significant portion of our society is perfectly happy to remain in that state.

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Old 11-01-2013, 02:48 PM   #37
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Baron, we've been traveling in rv's for at least 10 months
/year for 17 years and I'm still ignorant! ;-)
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Old 11-01-2013, 03:00 PM   #38
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Tim, as you can see I tried a "stable" of pullers including an MDT. But my experience with MDT pulling a 36 footer told me that the 23,500 lb 40 footer I bought (parked behind it) was gonna be slooooooooooow!!!! going up hill if I ever tried it. I had this vision of going up hill and being passed by Amish buggies. I was casting about on the net trying to figure out if an MDT with 8.3 Cummins or an International with a 570 might do the trick. Jack took pity on my internet pleadings with his sage advice, "you ought to look at an HDT" and "take a look at my website". After spending a week on his website (and the links) it didn't take me long to get rid of the MDT and "take the plunge". By the way, Jack's site is a bad news. Once you get on it you get the HDTitis virus. The first symptom is the need to get a weekly fix of Truck Papers. As the disease progresses you start hanging around truck stops and talking to truckers. So far the only known cure is the purchase of an HDT. hjs
Henry,

Thanks for all of the info.

We switched from motorhomes to fifth wheels in 2004 with a 43ft travel supreme and a toter with a cat 3126:



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After a few years, we upgraded to a Crewchief--which we love. Then when we got our new fiver, we painted the Crewchief. The empty space on the back deck is for bikes.



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I need more power but hate to dive into a new truck at this point. So more research and conversations! You and Jack have offered some great ideas and experience. I wish I would have found this forum a few years ago!

Tim
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Old 11-01-2013, 09:20 PM   #39
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Crew Chief does nice conversions. I've seen and been inside few of them (years ago) and suffered an envy attack. They do many other things like expedited delivery truck, tool sales trucks, etc., which tend to be done on MDT chassis. Nothing wrong with MDTs. For many of these applications that is all the truck that is required. The issue is that even with class 7 MDT that 7, 8 or 9 liter engine kind of "poops out", once you take up to the gross combined weight or beyond. And the fifth like yours takes it quite a ways beyond.
I checked their website and it wasn't clear whether they offer HDT based Crew Chiefs. For fifths like yours you really need that 12 or 15 liter engine.

hjs
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Old 11-02-2013, 02:08 AM   #40
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Baron, we've been traveling in rv's for at least 10 months /year for 17 years and I'm still ignorant! ;-)
I have to ask why only ten months a year?
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Old 11-02-2013, 02:18 AM   #41
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Crew Chief does nice conversions. I've seen and been inside few of them (years ago) and suffered an envy attack. They do many other things like expedited delivery truck, tool sales trucks, etc., which tend to be done on MDT chassis. Nothing wrong with MDTs. For many of these applications that is all the truck that is required. The issue is that even with class 7 MDT that 7, 8 or 9 liter engine kind of "poops out", once you take up to the gross combined weight or beyond. And the fifth like yours takes it quite a ways beyond.
I checked their website and it wasn't clear whether they offer HDT based Crew Chiefs. For fifths like yours you really need that 12 or 15 liter engine.

hjs
You are totally right. Not only the bigger class engine, but better braking is another HDT advantage.

Crewchief is not the same company it was several years ago. In 2009, the parent company, Alumibunk went out of business. The owner's daughter and her husband reorganized "Crewchief Conversions". IMHO, they make a superior product now. They will convert anything you bring to them. Their strength is converting day cabs to toterhomes that the condo part rides on air. Aluminum welding that is aircraft-worthy.

Like I said earlier, I didn't need a class 8 with our previous rig, so an HDT was not on our radar. I only have 100k miles on our current truck, and it is fabulous mechanically, so I hate to leave that behind. I only struggle in the mountains right now. Decisions, decisions!
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Old 12-03-2013, 03:42 PM   #42
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I would love to know about your experience with Spacecraft! We are looking at the Continental Coach and New Horizon right now but have also tossed around spacecraft.






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Yes, a big rig.








65 feet and 120 inches. Living my driveway after a short visit.

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