Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Pewaukee, WI, USA
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Re: Medium duty for towing fifth wheel
CrewChief, I don't know what the GVW of your trailer is, if you plan on a bigger trailer, or the size of your family, so I'll make some assumptions.
1) The family is/will be more then 3.
2) You will be upgrading to a bigger trailer down the road.
3) Safety is an issue.
1) F450/550. By the time you put a bed on it, dress it out, and smooth out the ride you're looking at $40K. Can tow a 16-18K 5ver, but brakes (no exhaust brake) and transmission (not enough gears) may be problem areas for towing. Would be comfortable when running to the store with though!
2) Cabovers. Imports have been the most popular, Bering and Nissan UD to name a few. They typically can only seat three unless you have a sleeper/crew cab mod done. Add air ride, bed, storage boxes and you're looking at $40K - $50K. You should look at an air ride hitch starting with these trucks (class 5-6). They can tow an 18-20K 5ver. 200-230 HP and 490-520 lbs. torque are norm. For towing, manual 6 speeds are your only option, until the new Allison T2000/2400 becoming available. Braking is excellent, exhaust brake and air over hydraulic are typical. Turning radius is also excellent. Wheelbase and overall length are similar to the F450/F550 extended or crew cab.
3) Other medium duties, i.e., Freightliner, International, etc. Can be ordered with extend, crew, or customized cab. Up to 300HP and 800lbs torque can be had, but it will cost you. Allison, auto-shift, or 6-9 speeds are the norm. With air ride, bed, storage boxes, you're looking at $60-80K. Need to watch the GVW or it will require a CDL license. Air brakes require a driver certification. Tow capacity generally exceeds any RV application. Amenities are abundant. Generally not something you’d feel comfortable driving to the store, because they're big!