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Old 11-15-2009, 07:16 PM   #1
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New to the site! Class 8 guys please help!

Hello All,

I am new to the site. I am not new to rv'ing however as I have been a full timer since 2007. I love it, and it allows my wife and I the ability to travel, see the country and be truly affective in our line of work which we love so much!

I have a beautiful Jayco Recon ZX and have been very pleased with it. I will say that I do not feel these things are built to be on the road full time as we are, but at the same time, I will admit that I have been treated very fairly by Jayco throughout my ownership. I am hoping to upgrade it in the next few months as I am wanting to take advantage of the additional slideouts in some newer models.

I am writing mainly from a tow vehicle standpoint. I originally purchased a 2004 Ford F350 diesel dually used. It really did serve me well, but I always knew it was pushing the thing hard to pull my unit. These 5th wheels are not the 13,500lbs they advertise...I challenge any of you that own one to actually take it over the scales. It will scare the sh@t out of you when you actually see what your asking your truck to pull. Well early 2008, while pulling up a flat highway in Ontario, my 350 literally blew up out of no where. No notice, no warning, nothing. Just went boom and that was it. I had JUST had it in the shop for service and they gave me the thumbs up! So long story short, I ran out and did what any "normal" 5th wheeler would do. I bought the "best" truck I could to pull my 5th wheel. The 24,000lb capable Ford F450. It is a gorgeous truck and I got a great deal, but now after running it for a year and a half, I know I am on my way to blowing it up too. They have them so choked up with emissions crap that the truck overheats all the time. I have had the rad replaced, and in the shop several times because of heating issues. They just give you the run around all the time and tell you they don't know what to do to fix it. Technically they do cover any issues under warranty, BUT not at my loss of a vehicle and down time. I am done being mad about it, and decided I had to face the facts...most 3 axle 5th wheels SHOULD NOT BE PULLED WITH A MEDIUM DUTY Ford, Chevy, or Dodge.

So, I just scored an amazing deal on a mint condition 94 Pete 379. I am excited to get it going and on the road, but I am asking for some help from anyone who can offer some suggestions on the following:

Insurance? I am mainly in Canada but in the States about 60-90 days a year.

Do I need to do anything fancy to hook it up to the 5th wheel hitch on the Pete?

Do you all wire in the trailer brakes or rely on the huge brakes in the Class 8 trucks to do the job?

Any other suggestions for a first time Class 8 guy would be very helpful. And yes, I have my Class A/1 endorsement and have been driving commercial trucks for over a year now. I am fine with the driving part, just want to know set up suggestions please.

Thanks so much! I appreciate all the input and knowledge you all can share and will be happy to try to offer whatever I can back to you all!


Jagger and Dida
Putting the BUZZ in Canada's Motorcycle BIZ!
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Old 11-15-2009, 07:24 PM   #2
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Suggest that you go to the escapees forums at www.escapees.com/forums under the HDT heading. All and any questions you may have will be answered there. Be prepared for about 4 days of solid reading.

1998 Volvo 610
2001 Alfa Ideal, 38.5, triple axle, triple slide
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Old 11-16-2009, 06:41 AM   #3
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Thank you Jim! I will check it out!
Jagger and Dida
Putting the BUZZ in Canada's Motorcycle BIZ!
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