Towing RV with a Big Truck
Our Big Truck
We knew we wanted to buy a fifth wheel this time around, but couldn't decide on a tow vehicle. We had owned a Dodge 3500 dually and really liked it, but wow the price to get a new one was nearly $40,000. Our last Dodge we put over 100,000 miles on it in eight months!
We couldn't see spending this kind of money and wearing the truck out in a couple of years, so we looked at other options. Don used to be a professional driver and still has his CDL, so we decided to look at a big truck instead.
We found this beauty as a bank repo for only $6900. What a deal! With only 330,000 miles on it there is over a half million miles of life left in this good-ole-truck.
It pulls our trailer like it isn't even back there. The engine brake helps control the trailer on steep downhill grades, and we don't fuel very often on trips. Plus we are getting about 11 miles per gallon, which isn't too bad.
It's been working out really well for us. Although we do get some strange looks from people occasionally. When we pull into RV parks we generally get a lot of interested men asking about the big truck and wishing they had gone the same route with their fifth wheel and tow vehicle.
Of course there are things to consider before going this route. Insurance, it can be difficult to find personal insurance for anything over a one ton truck. Special licensing such as a CDL may be required to tow your RV. Check with your state to see if labeling the truck "Not For Hire" is sufficient, this is generally based on GVWR.
Maneuverability may be a draw back for some people because they just won't be comfortable in a vehicle this large. I don't drive our big truck, but Don is very comfortable driving big rigs.
Also, older RV parks have fairly small or short parking spots, so fitting into those can be challenging. We also don't tow a second vehicle and this is our only vehicle while traveling.
When you figure how much we saved buying this truck though, we'd have to buy an awful lot of fuel to spend the difference between $7000 and $40,000!
It works for us...add your comments and tell us what you think!