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//// Custom Tow rig for expedited RV work ////

Discussion in 'Truck Talk' started by Andyinchville1, Dec 26, 2017.

  1. Andyinchville1

    Andyinchville1 Active Expediter Owner/Operator

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    HI All,

    I've been seriously thinking about building a custom tow rig to haul RV's (5th wheel and large pull behinds).

    The runs are about 1380 miles round trip and it pays about $1.35 per loaded mile.

    I have access to a 1990 Dodge d350 diesel dually (engine and tranny was sold so it is basically a rolling chassis with a 3.08 rear end).

    I was thinking of putting in a TDI from a 2003 Jetta that a friend had wrecked.

    I also have access to a 13 speed big truck tranny (yes air shift but I can rig up a compressor (electric maybe to eliminate parasitic losses).

    The all up weight being moved would be about 17K (truck and pulled RV (less if moving smaller RVs)

    I know it sounds crazy but even the strongest Big rigs roll 80,000 lbs using about 600 HP and 2000 lb feet of torque so I figure a lightly modded TDI should be able to move 16K when backed up to a 13 speed tranny. (FWIW most big rigs do NOT roll with 600 HP....just the strongest ones...most make do with a fair amount less power).

    Yes, I could go conventional and simply buy a diesel pick up ready to roll to do this (or for that matter use the pickups I already have) BUT I figure a custom build could get better MPG's and fuel is a huge part of costs when hauling (next to labor fuel IS the largest other expense).

    Of course I could use a 4BT but a TDI may be able to eek out more MPG's....

    Any ideas on the likely MPG's from this set up?

    Any potential things I have not thought about ?

    Thanks in advance for any help on this.

    Andrew

    PS - As a potentially more efficient tow rig I was thinking of one that could haul one like a roll back (although the overall height may be too tall so it may require some tinkering....maybe a front wheel drive truck / van front with an ultra low deck in the back to carry one on the truck itself and tow one behind)....

    I don't want to go CDL so trying to keep it simple (the company said RV deliveries are exempt from lots of paperwork / rules).

    Thoughts or opinions on this?

    I
     
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  2. BigStickJr

    BigStickJr Veteran Expediter Retired Expediter

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    Trying to keep it simple. ????

    Go buy a truck and get to work.
     
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    • danthewolf00
      Batty

      danthewolf00 Veteran Expediter

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      Most rv haulers use a flat bed tow truck with a sleeper to move 5th wheel and smaller around if set up right and just so you know you WILL have to log and go thru scale houses no matter what you use to pull the rv with.
       
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    • paullud

      paullud Veteran Expediter

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      Thoughts or opinions? Terrible, bad, and really dumb jump to the top of the list. You are looking at a really basic operation and trying to completely change it into something complicated that dramatically increases risk for a rather poor paying gig if they can't find backhauls that pay well. FYI That operation is CDL so your whole premise is dead from the start.
       
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    • Worn Out Manager
      Amused

      Worn Out Manager Veteran Expediter Owner/Operator US Air Force

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      I guess my first thought is, is that all they pay loaded? I'd rather drive a van.

      Sent from my XT1710-02 using EO Forums mobile app
       
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    • BigStickJr

      BigStickJr Veteran Expediter Retired Expediter

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      I agree with WOM. Except for driving the van part.

      I want to know how he was going to Bolt that 13 speed to the engine ?
      Would the trans get it’s own pusher axle ?
      I had a vision today of the engine spinning furiously on the front of the 13spd.
       
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    • Moot
      Confused

      Moot Veteran Expediter Owner/Operator

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    • piper1
      Adorable

      piper1 Veteran Expediter

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      Better carry a few spare engines with you. Transposing what a purpose built truck engine can do into a car engine trying to operate on the same scale is.....well....silly.

      This venture would certainly qualify for a "stepping over dollars to pick up pennies" award.
       
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    • Andyinchville1

      Andyinchville1 Active Expediter Owner/Operator

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      From here and the TDI forums, most people are of the bigger is better thought as far as engine...

      I may break down and go for a 4BT swap instead of a TDI but another thought popped into my head...

      Big truck engines tend to turn really slowly in comparison to a TDI or 4BT....

      How would a 13 speed fare behind a higher RPM engine....could one still float gears or is it harder with the higher RPMs?

      Would the 13 speed tranny handle higher RPMs?
       
    • Moot
      Confused

      Moot Veteran Expediter Owner/Operator

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      If bigger is better and you want some revs, get your greasy paws on a Detroit 6V92. It goes exceptionally well with an old Fuller Road Ranger.
       
    • piper1
      Adorable

      piper1 Veteran Expediter

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      Ahhh....a nice old Detroit. Turns fuel into noise, smoke, oil leaks and horsepower...in that order. Heck if he's fixated on the small engine try a nice 3-53....I'm sure at somewhere near 7000 rpm they would make enough hp to lug around a 5th wheel. Better get the extra HD signal flasher to keep the 4-ways running.
       
    • BigStickJr

      BigStickJr Veteran Expediter Retired Expediter

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      And cash out the stereo, you’re not going to hear it anyway.
       
    • Kip life

      Kip life Active Expediter Owner/Operator

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      Jetta engine to pull rig. .stupid Is a kind word

      Sent from my SM-N900T using EO Forums mobile app
       
    • BigStickJr

      BigStickJr Veteran Expediter Retired Expediter

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      For those younguns that don’t know what a Detroit is, it’s the engine that coined the phrase
      “ fill the oil and check the fuel. “
       
    • Boatcat
      Balanced

      Boatcat Active Expediter Owner/Operator

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      If you really want to spend that kind of time putting this Wimpy Frankenstein together, plan on spending a Lot of time wrenching, getting all the bugs out, and even more time shifting that 13 speed to keep that little screamer in the power band. ( The 13 speed is my favorite tranny, but I don't like it That much... ; )
      Sounds like a fun project if a person was independently wealthy and had nothing better to do...

      Sent from my SM-N910V using EO Forums mobile app
       
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    • Worn Out Manager
      Amused

      Worn Out Manager Veteran Expediter Owner/Operator US Air Force

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      I was independently wealthy, then I discovered Expediting

      Sent from my XT1710-02 using EO Forums mobile app
       
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    • BigStickJr

      BigStickJr Veteran Expediter Retired Expediter

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      I asked someone how WOM was doing.
      He said swimmingly.
       
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    • BlindSquid
      Crappy

      BlindSquid Active Expediter Owner/Operator US Army

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      Many times you see these weird threads. You know their looking for someone to say "yeah that's cool" & get on board with it.

      Alas this is not one of those times (or threads).
       
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