Semi tractor for camper

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  #1  
Old 03-09-06, 10:58 AM
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Semi tractor for camper

I have seen fifth wheel camper rigs on the road that used converted semi tractors as the towing vehicle, but have been unable to find any information on line regarding pros and cons for this idea. I'm figuring on becoming a "snowbird" in a few years, and will be looking at the "toy-hauler" fifth wheel trailer as a possible solution. Having been a professional driver for 20 years, I'd be very comfortable using a single axle tractor for this project. I've seen several possible candidates for sale under $20,000, but all having close to 500,000 miles on them. Lower milage units are more costly, of course. While I'm still in the planning stages, I thought I'd throw this idea out for a little feedback from you guys. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
 
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  #2  
Old 03-10-06, 04:48 PM
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One question comes to mind. What will you drive around town in for groceries etc., once you unhook and set up the trailer? If your comfortable with the ride of an unloaded tractor, and don't find it a little inconvenient, or a little impractical, well maybe. A couple of guys I've seen do that, don't usually stick with it, and end up getting a nice pickup with a diesel engine, then they have something to cruise into town with. One other thing, if you run out of beer in the middle of the evening, do you have an alternate driver that can drive that tractor ? Anybody can drive a nice pickup truck, and run your errands for you. (ha-ha)
 
  #3  
Old 03-10-06, 09:06 PM
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Valid questions, all those things have to enter into the equasion. A good ride in a bobtail tractor is a short ride, experience speaking here. I'm just weighing the alternatives, figure I have a few years to sort it all out. I've got a well worn 85 F250 4x4 460 cid that could be rebuilt and restored instead, and would probably be a lot more versital, I'm sure. I've had it pulling a heavily loaded trailer down a hill, and realized that I was in a very uncomfortable position at the time.... lost the trailer brakes and the Ford wasn't nearly heavy enough to do any more than steer and hang on. Can't imagine how that would feel with a camper going through the mountains. I don't have the camper picked out yet, so I can't accurately factor in gross weight; I want to carry my Harley-Davidson in the back, and living space for two of us to winter-over in a warmer climate is the objective. I've logged a lot of miles in a semi, and can't discount the advantages of being in a big, heavy tractor.... high enough to see over traffic is a big advantage as well. Just trying to plan ahead.....
 
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Old 03-11-06, 06:08 AM
gsr
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I think there are a lot of advantages both ways. A lot will depend on the size of trailer you chose. Check out rv.net there is a ton of info there on the forums and lots of people who have gone both way directions for their own reasons.
 
  #5  
Old 03-12-06, 07:12 PM
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Thank you for your prompt replies & messages. I knew I could count on this site for direction.
 
  #6  
Old 03-16-06, 03:14 PM
dabirdzR?T
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just to throw this out to you, as i am not sure where you are going when the snow flies. My parents bought a trailer in a park in flordia, (they are very cheap as spring draws near) all they do when they leave is close it up tight, and drive home in there car. All they travel with is clothes and personal items, as everything else they need gets left at the trailer, or purchased when they arrive. Just an option for you to think of, As they spent 2 years traveling down, renting a trailer until they found a park they liked the features of.


HTH
Bruce
 
  #7  
Old 04-03-06, 06:19 PM
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I think this is what you are looking for. These guys have been doing it for sometime now. Scroll down to HDT when you get to this website. You can register for free and get a lot of help when you decide what you want. Good luck.

http://escapees.infopop.cc/groupee/forums
 
  #8  
Old 01-28-08, 10:00 PM
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I neglected to return and thank you for the links. I found many a kindred soul on the escapees forum, and have since acquired a 2001 Volvo to pull my 37' New Vision fifth wheel toy box model. We're still a few years from wintering in warmth, but it is a great rig for vacations and weekend jaunts.
Thanks much for the leads.
Jess
 
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