Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Sports chassis and similar units becoming obsolete?
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 > Sports chassis and similar units becoming obsolete?

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aarondeere

Maryland

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Posted: 04/08/21 03:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I haven't posted here in some time and honestly haven't even looked at the forum in quite a few yrs but while recently camping at a large resort saw a few freightliner medium duty trucks and got me wondering. Pickups have come a long ways these last few yrs with hp/tq and tow ratings. Almost to medium duty numbers. With this do you think the days of medium duty trucks are somewhat numbered? I mean pickups aren't cheap but for 80k I can get a fairly loaded dually with 4x4 and all the gizmos. A sports chassis doesn't have much of that and costs 150k plus along with the higher maintenance costs. I know they'll last longer but at the price difference you could bank the difference and buy another truck down the road when the pickup is done. Maybe I'm wrong. Also fun to read the posts after so long away. Not much has changed. Lol


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Lwiddis

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Posted: 04/08/21 04:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

“I know they'll last longer but...”

Based on who’s data?


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spoon059

Just north of D.C.

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Posted: 04/08/21 05:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Couple differences that I see...

That Freightliner will still have a substantial value in 10-15 years, the pickup won't.

That Freightliner has great comfort features like air-ride seats, can't get that in a pickup yet.

That Freightliner likely doesn't even "need" trailer brakes, the pickup truck will need some sort of help slowing down at higher weights.

But, for people that like bling, a new pickup truck offers lots of gadgets and gizmos and will haul decent weights with respectable power.


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Michelle.S

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Posted: 04/08/21 06:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Spoon, I'll agree with most of what you said except the part about not even needing brakes. We lost the brakes on our 17K unit and had it towed to the shop by a 10 Wheel semi-heavy tow rig and we followed in our TV. The driver blew through a few Red lights because as heavy as his Rig was he couldn't stop our trailer without lots of space to slow down.
So I wouldn't want to be pulling a heavy unit without brakes very far.


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blt2ski

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Posted: 04/08/21 06:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It's also illegal in most states to tow anything over 4500 lb with out brakes. So the tow truck pulling that 17k trailer in reality was illegal.

With that said, it is true most true full size mdt's will outlast a pickup by 2-3x as many miles etc. You can set them up nicely. BUT as noted, with current power specs of the 35dw pickups, getting an MDT with at one time power specs double to triple pickups, no need to step up to an mdt in the rv world.
To say they will be obsolete! ROTFLMAO ?? a 35 series rig does not have the power and payload to do as I do, look up a 12-15 k trailer, and haul 3-6 tons of my case topsoil, bark, plants or some combo legally, safely etc. Or 6-8 tons of cargo only!
Commercially speaking, the MDT is a better unit in most cases from experience than a 35DW rig.
Current 35's, as are any pickup in ANY class 1-3 realm, better than the last 70s when I first started driving pickups.

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rjstractor

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Posted: 04/08/21 07:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would say that in the relatively small realm of Rving, yes the more capable pickups have largely made MDTs obsolete. A buddy of mine had a mid-2000s F650 to tow his 40' fifth wheel and he says his new F350 6.7 is superior all the way around for towing his trailer. But the real world of medium duty trucks is doing work that pickups simply can't do no matter how much power and torque they have- hauling a 24' van body full of freight, a dump box with 5 yards of gravel or a flatbed with six or eight pallets of concrete block.

Grit dog

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Posted: 04/08/21 11:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

^This.
But sports chassis haulers are super cool!
Disagree with spoon though on value compared to pickups. I believe that pickup trucks retain just as good a % of retained value, compared to new.


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aarondeere

Maryland

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Posted: 04/09/21 01:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great points made. I should have clarified in my original post I was only referring to the rv market part. I have a 2012 mack pinnacle with a automated manual I use in my business and love it but wouldn't really want to use it pulling my camper and then sight seeing in it. Too big,restricted places it can go, can get stuck easier, etc. I guess the point I was making was with pickups ever increasing capability, the advantages of a medium duty like a freightliner class 6 are disappearing unless you're pulling one massive 5th wheel. And with changes happening so fast in the industry now and so many new advancements do you really want to keep a truck that will last forever? Thanks for the comments. They've been great.

valhalla360

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Posted: 04/09/21 05:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

MDTs have always been specialty items and have never made up a significant percentage of the RV market.

Most that I've seen have been in the carney business. If you are doing 50-75k miles per year towing massive 5th wheels, the long term durability may make sense. For a more typical full timer doing 10-20k/yr, it's more a neat toy and I'm betting most of the people buying them will continue to do so.

From what I've seen, they don't retain value significantly differently, they still need trailer brakes and modern pickups are darn comfortable to ride in.


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carringb

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Posted: 04/09/21 06:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think they'll make a come-back soon.

Biggest detractor is lack of a good 4x4 option. Any true MDT with 4x4 is too high for towing most 5th wheels.

Once somebody offers a series-hydrid powertain, front electric motors will make 4x4 (or really AWD, but in some ways this can perform better) feasible without raising the chassis-height.

Articulated transit buses already offer a similar powertrain. Diesel gens-set is mounted at the back. Rear and center axles are electric-powered.


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