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Old 06-22-2016, 05:30 PM   #1
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Purpose Built Tow Vehicle

A purpose built tow vehicle is not the norm. Very interesting to find one.

This is a 1999 that the current owner purchased in 2012. He said that it was one of the early years that Freight Liner built a tow vehicle. Weighs 12K lbs, has 8-1/2" of ground clearance, and is powered by a CAT. Only issues mentioned were that it rides like a buckboard without a load and the AC is a little light duty for hot climates.

Travel safe. Pat
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Old 06-22-2016, 05:48 PM   #2
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Can he switch to air ride? or at least in the seats.
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Old 06-22-2016, 06:19 PM   #3
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A bit overkill for an airstream, any 3/4 ton diesel pickup will do about all you want,even have an exhaust brake
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Old 06-22-2016, 07:30 PM   #4
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So what do they offer that will tow more than a Bambi?
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Old 06-22-2016, 07:59 PM   #5
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It has air ride and the owner is looking to upgrade it for a better ride, however with his trailer hooked up, it rides Cadillac smooth. Air ride on the hitch too.

Bambi - surely you jest.

Why? Look at all that storage. No payload constraint. It has a low center of gravity. It has a long wheelbase. It has a short overhang. No need to wait for Tesla to develop high capacity battery for AS. Just install a lead acid high capacity bank in the bed. Get it worked on at any truck stop. No one will mistake it for a minivan. Should last a million miles. What is not to like?

Travel safe! Pat
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Old 06-23-2016, 01:08 PM   #6
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Wait till you buy your first set of tires, or want to drive to downtown Scottsdale and shop. Thats why I bought my airstream so my daily driver is with me at all times. I get my tires rotated for free, my oil change is $69, and I can run it thru the car wash.
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Old 06-23-2016, 01:15 PM   #7
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The cowboys and rodeo folks have been using those light/medium rigs for several years, since the availability of the RV/horse combination trailers.

Of course, with a rig of that sort, one could simply haul his Airstream trailer instead of towing it.


Regards,

JD
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Old 06-23-2016, 04:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdalrymple View Post
The cowboys and rodeo folks have been using those light/medium rigs for several years, since the availability of the RV/horse combination trailers.

Of course, with a rig of that sort, one could simply haul his Airstream trailer instead of towing it.


Regards,

JD
JD - yes, that is how this one was sourced. Family was no longer using it and ready to pass it along.

VB - Tires should not be so bad, since the size is much smaller than the monsters you see on big tractors. They were one of the upgrades made in the first year. The original spec tires on the front were overloaded and performed poorly. But you are right. It's not a daily driver.

Enjoy your toys and travel safe. Pat
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Old 06-23-2016, 04:47 PM   #9
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My best friend from way back had one of those. Towed 38-40 ft 5 th wheel. He said it was the worst riding vehicle he ever had . Actually had air ride installed, seats and frame at the insistence of his wife. Big bucks! They were full timers. 1 yr later they got rid of it and bought phaeton coach. Good luck with it.
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Old 06-23-2016, 08:57 PM   #10
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I recently pulled up to a diesel pump and one of these rigs was in the adjacent aisle. I thought it was a regular tractor then noticed the small 5th wheel plate so asked what he towed so he showed me a photo on his phone. As I recall, it was a 40' 5er but what got my attention was the Fiat riding across the back of the cab. Glad he had his fuel bill and I had mine.
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Old 06-23-2016, 09:20 PM   #11
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I knew a guy that had one of these about 15 yrs ago. His rig had a sleeper cab. Much like a professional truck driver, he was a private contractor and hauled RV's all around the country.

Tom
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Old 06-26-2016, 06:47 AM   #12
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No offense intended but a truck without 4WD is worthless to me. My '12 Ram 3500 SRW CCSB CTD 4x4 pickup does just about everything I need a truck to do, to include towing our '14 FC 27FB without difficulty. YMMV.


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Old 06-26-2016, 03:43 PM   #13
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No offense intended but a truck without 4WD is worthless to me. My '12 Ram 3500 SRW CCSB CTD 4x4 pickup does just about everything I need a truck to do, to include towing our '14 FC 27FB without difficulty. YMMV.


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21 - no offense taken. It's not a rig that I would purchase as I have my dedicated tow vehicle, but the idea of purpose built solutions is intriguing. The equipment boxes on that rig seem much better than having to heft stuff into a pickup bed. A low center of gravity should be safer for towing. The rough ride seems unnecessary with an air ride independent suspension. Always thought CAT power was really cool too.

Understand that while most folks do not need 4 wheel drive, some folks really do use it. It certainly comes in handy when the weather gets a bit snotty. Torque vectoring kind of helps too. Have always wondered if the original HumVees would be a good tow vehicle. Independent suspension all around, wide stance, diesel power, and a rigid chassis. Unfortunately, you don't see many and cost is a significant hurdle.

Now, you travel safe. Pat
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Old 06-26-2016, 08:18 PM   #14
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Some of the high end 5'ers can weigh 24,000 pounds. With 25% of the weight on the pin, that's 6000 pounds right over the axle. Add 250 pounds for the hitch itself and you can see why a heavier truck is needed. Remember that nearly anything can drag a trailer down the road (for a ways, anyway), but the real test is stopping it. That's why so many of the full-timers with those heavy 5'ers use at least a medium duty truck, and quite a few use a heavy duty truck (think semi). Yes, they either carry a tiny car on the back or one person drives the truck and the other drives the car.

Right now our Foretravel weighs just under 30,000 pounds and tows about 5000 pounds of Jeep. When we switch to the Airstream and F250 the pair will be under 20,000 pounds. I just wish that I had the $$$ to buy a new truck and have a custom bed on it.
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