WE BUILD 5TH WHEELS, BUT HERE ARE THE HANDICAPS OFF-ROAD

 
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2007 12:35 pm    Post subject: WE BUILD 5TH WHEELS, BUT HERE ARE THE HANDICAPS OFF-ROAD Reply with quote

Due to some people importing road running big Fifth Wheel Rigs from America, and a few building them here, I have been getting more enquires about them of late.. Yes we do build them, I have had a 29' myself. But there are a few serious handicaps in off-road situations and here is why:

The Tourist destinations all around Australia are over-booked, over-crowded, and over-priced in the good weather periods for each area about 9 months out of the year. Shocked Luckily, the best areas in Australia are not on the maps for several reasons. Firstly, the Government cannot afford to improve the roads in the remote locations, and secondly they do not want to bail out ill-equipped Tourists in those areas. Also, so that the "Locals" do not cause friction with the "Tourists", these places are a matter of local knowledge only and not on the maps and Tourist Agenda. For the most part they are more pristine and beautiful, and as a rule are better than the sites on the tourist maps. You will not get into a lot of these with a Fifth Wheel. These are the really beautiful locations to get into, not the ones on the tourist guides, and you find out about them by having a meal at the Pub and meeting the Locals. The 5th wheel itself has the problem of not enough articulation to get down and up banks or washouts, and off the road the tow vehicle on a back track could easily be 10-15 degrees leaning one way while the 5th wheel could be on the opposite tack. This and the problem of the maximum articulation up and over, and backing the van up a steep bank to do a three point turn to get out of a blind track, poses a major inconvenience to traveling to the desirable locations off the main Tourist agenda.

You cannot get to a lot of the Best Places in Australia with a Fifth Wheel rig, because of the following reasons:
(a) On a lot of vehicles the fifth wheel end up too high to get the clearance on back tracks for trees and such, and more importantly,
(b) With a Bushtracker you also have the other advantages of being able to unhook and pull out backwards if you have really made a mess, and you have better articulation and overhead clearance in the Bush. If you do get bogged with a Fifth Wheel, you cannot unhook and move it like you can with a Bushtracker.
(c) And the most important Handicapp: You have to understand that the Bushtracker and tow vehicle combination has a great deal more articulation to go over river banks and up the other side where a Fifth Wheel would bottom out and be hopeless. The Fifth Wheel by nature has to have the wheels well back from the Gooseneck, a minimum of 66% and as much as 80% on most. This means an unsupported front overhang that just bottoms out coming up a grade when the vehicle goes flat on top, it just pulls the Fifth Wheel into the ground... Shocked Or even going down over a bank, the tow vehicle goes over, but the suspension is too far back on a Fifth Wheel, and it just pulls the overhang in front of the suspension into the ground before the suspension gets there... Shocked Been there done that... Or going over a cattle grate when the tow vehicle goes over before the suspension of the Fifth Wheel, and you bottom out on the front overhang... It is not just side to side and front to back clearance on the bed of the tow vehicle, but this overhang in the front of the suspension that causes you problems...

It works good in America where there are roads everywhere, but not well in Australia where all the good spots are on back tracks. This will impact your travels being stuck on the main track side of a creek-river-washout-whatever, with undesirable neighbours and trash, when there was a pristine beautiful campsite on the other side the Fifth Wheel just won't get to. The long overhang before the suspension on the Fifth Wheel restricts you from getting through even a mild jump up or washout in the road. As soon as the tow vehicle gets on the other side of the hazard and the rear wheels come down off the jump up or down into the washout, then the front of the fifth wheel bottoms out. One trip, stuck on this side of the dry river and you would be joining the ranks of the converted.....To Bushtracker.

2. The Fifth Wheel people are always in trouble with their schedule. They are stuck with having to run to the major tourist destinations and put up the over-crowding. If they do not book ahead, they do not get in. If they book ahead, they lose their personal freedom. If they do not make their destinations by 4 PM, their site is given away, so they cannot stay and enjoy this adventure they have accidentally discovered (like a good fishing spot, or meeting an interesting Character who is willing to show them his gold minelab fossicking site, or gemstone festival, or Outback rodeo, or whatever you might stumble on in your wandering). They end up losing out on their freedom because they have to run on a schedule. We have gotten many converts to Bushtracker from these people.

We will build you one, as long as you recognise the restrictions it will place on your travels OK?

Best Advice on the matter from the lone Ranger...


Last edited by Bushtracker on Thu Sep 11, 2008 1:39 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Troopytracker



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2007 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

VERY interesting!

I'd often wondered if you'd ever do them and I recall somebody telling me there was one built??

Anyway, although the ENTIRE rear storage area of the vehicle is lost and hence lots more needs to go into the van, alot more can go in.....more room and more tow capacity in that format. I'd estimate 23 or even 25fter possible with a cruiser (6500gcm and 3300kg gvm around 2300kg tare) Having said that ,I still do not understand the exact rules as to how much more you can tow.

Biggest issue for me is clearance. The height of the front, the clearance between van and vehicle when leaning opposite directions and how low the front of the van is to the ground. This all depends on the shape/size of the front of the van, and also how the rear of the ute is setup....

Sooooooo, do you have any pictures of 5th wheel BT's to give us an idea of what the clearances are at the front of the van?

I very much like the idea. A custom tray that folded in on both sides for towing (giving much more tolerance for van and vehicle leaning opposite ways) wouldn't need to be a technical marvel...??

The advantages I see are these. Abiltity to tow much bigger unit while having a much shorter rig. Ability to tow much larger unit. The 5th wheels inherent stability-this has to count for alot. I think anything over 19ft is getting to big for people like myself (full time) with jap vehicles. With f250's no longer coming in (and Ford loosing $12 odd billion a year), and nobody else looking like they'll bring anything else in (Dodge seems a chance though, and I pray daily for the Tundra to come here Wink ) people will have to pay $130 odd K for an import or go for smaller vans. A 5th wheel would mean the Cruiser ute could tow a much bigger van.

Of course it will still be limited off road, but I think the difference could be made very small. Especially if you compare a 25ft 5th wheel to a 25 ft BT.....I'd put my money on the 5th wheel between equal van lengths (body). A 25ft BT is ALOT longer than a 25ft 5th wheel, which would help solve probably the biggest issue I've had with ours on real bush tracks-getting around trees! (or pushing through them Very Happy ) The 5th wheel would cut the corner nowhere near as much!

I'm going a bit here Very Happy Back to my original question, Steve, would you have a picture showing the front end design of a BT fifth wheel?

Thanks,

Matt
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Matt,
Here is a picture of my own 29', but it is only a horsefloat. We have built them in the Bushtracker format even complete with the alloy body armour. There is a 23' getting around with a Landcruiser...

The problem is still one of it not being able to go over banks. Or up out of creek beds. The suspension back so far means it cuts corners WORSE. But more importantly, the front of the 5th Wheel get pulled into the ground as the tow vehicle drops off over the edge of something, or when the 5th Wheel is still coming up a steep bank when the tow vehicle goes flat it pulls the front of the 5th Wheel to ground.
You will get Bogged any time you try and get off road with one. They really do not go anywhere much but on the flat. Here is a picture of mine, and note it has better ground clearance than most 5th Wheels:




Also, if you try and get even stoop over height up in the gooseneck bedroom, the whole unit ends up too high for the clearances cut in all National Parks and Crown Land by Fire Brigades. You will be hitting tree branches all the time. But again, the real problem is that you actually cannot go over much of a bank, down or up, before the 5th Wheel Bogs you. They just DO NOT GO WELL OFF ROAD... I mean not at all.

Been there, done that, and a Bushtracker van will go places the 5th Wheel would not even attempt... !! Shocked

Really... We build them, but they are not the way to go.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well that post above was a decade ago... That Ford was over a decade ago. I am back to testing Fifth Wheels for ruggedness in off-road conditions. The fiberglass import stuff would not stand a chance off road, here is the new carcass design I am working on:








I may modify suspension and chassis and jack it up a little for cattle grates and such, but this Powercoated alloy is built like an aircraft fuselage, polished stainless trim, steel chassis, double skin, and fully insulated. I get calls for a quad bike hauler, motorcycles hauler, boat hauler with living accommodations in the front, that sort of thing. But most Goosenecks will not take the work off-road.

They will always have severe limitations off-road, and will NEVER go where a Bushtracker will with ease, but I understand the predicament of a couple with two quad bikes gold fossicking, or a boat to heavy to go on the tow vehicle. In my case, the cargo is horses. I will finish R&D with this 30' carcass, and then try and apply my R&D to an 8' wide Maxi on air-brakes in 33-36', five horse fitout in back, and about a 20' Bushtracker in living quarters in the front. It would take a boat in the back, quads, motorcycles, gold dredge, what ever your fancy is... Mine is horses. Wink

Since I get so many requests, I am starting an R&D series on Fifth Wheel toy haulers.

This is the strongest built one I have seen or done and just looking at it here are the first required mods for dirt road work out West...
Step one will be a taller hookup and new hitch in front for more ground clearance.
Step two will be a raised up suspension.. I will start with 75mm.
Step three may be skid plates in front to drag through the dirt,
Step four will be skid plate aft to skull drag it off the dirt.

Will keep you posted on the results of attempting a proper dirt track model.

Kind Regards from the lone Ranger
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, here is the first stage:
75mm lift in hitch and suspension for added ground clearance, and it looks like this.....






The ramp in the back folds up against the barn doors. This is THE
TOY HAULER

or in my application, semi off-road HORSE HAULER

The lift gives be a better access cattle grids and washouts, and a better departure angle on the back. More results as I have them, but note the necessary clearance angles on the F-350 for articulation.

You are still far better off with a standard Bushtracker, but this is the answer for quad bikes, big boats, motorcycles, and so on. With the 4x4 Dually in front, it will go about half the places a Bushtracker will go with these clearances. In my case with horses, that is enough...

Regards from the lone Ranger[/i][/b]
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The following should give you an idea of the MINIMUM requirements in a dirt track Fifth Wheel.. I am 6' tall, and am only hamming it up in the photo to give you some size perspective on ground clearance. This is critical minimums for articulation up and down and sideways on the bed of the tow vehicle, plus ground clearance front and back of the chassis to get through washouts or cattle grate mounds.



Those clearances are minimums for the truck to articulate over the edge. Those fiberglass look, foam core, high front end type American Fifth Wheels will only sell us more Bushtrackers as they get in trouble on our bad roads. This rugged type of Fifth Wheel will do the dirt tracks with large cargo in the back like I get the occasional enquirey on for quad bikes and dry and wet gold dredge systems or what ever else..



Never know, someone might even want the same style of fold down as well as sliding and locking windows for ventilation like I do for the horses. Petrol fumes or just air is an asset for a Toy Hauler. We are puttng reasonable Bushtracker Living Quarters in the front.



That front door goes into the living quarters, a bit spartan on space as the back wall is only 2400 long, but it is livable. The back door can be a full width ensuite, in the front horse space that I am using it for. You could put in a motorhome door through the wall on the inside. It does have merit, but no where NEAR as Luxurious as a Bushtracker, and it will go no where near as far as a Bushtracker... But it will haul BIG TOYS.. Wink
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, here it is, a reasonable "Half a Bushtracker" in the Gooseneck...

This will eventually be for sale as a "Toy Hauler", but probably not for six months. It has a little Danfoss Waeco Fridge, top compressor, the new 240/Gas HWS, and our Swift stove with grill. It is not finished, but here is a peek:



A fold down table, where I will be on the Forum with my Laptop... Laughing



A Queen sized bed, and unfinished lockers and reading lights...



Now I needed four horse stalls, so I have a dual purpose Cowboy Shower in the end stall...



And this is the new Dometic Portable. 18 litre, and positive pressure flush.
You pump up the tank and it holds pressure, and is a push button affair.



Now, if someone wants a toy hauler, gold dredge, boat, gem stone or gold fossicking quad bikes, or motorcycles... They can take this end stall and put in permanant facilities in a full width ensuite and dressing room with wardrobe or something with an external access fixed toilet. I have a different purpose, and if I need the stall it converts back for a fourth horse.

This was a Prototype, testing off-road capability. I will be building a 35' Maxi on Air Brakes, basically 8' wide, 5 horse, and 20' Bushtracker accomodations up in the front, sometime late this year to be finished.. And then this Prototype will be for sale.

Epilogue: It will be NO WHERE near the capability or comfort of a Bushtracker. It will have LIMITED access off-road. But it will be a good toy hauler. The very high front end luxury 5th Wheels you see now and then getting around, will never get much off the highway, and are too high for Forestry, Crown Land, and National Parks as they fire break cut is only 12' clearance at the most. The American style ones are hopeless off-road.. IMO most of them I see will have trouble holding together on our patchwork roads up north at all...

This style of robust 5th Wheel will do limited access and hold together, built like a double skin inside and out, insulated aircraft fuselage. No, it is not the Ritz, no it will never go where a Bushtracker can, but it will carry big toys like quads, bikes, horses, or a boat... And get off on the dirt tracks and gravel roads in the Never Never...

Regards, stg
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have just had a Bushtracker Owner, getting his second Bushtracker, enquire on the concept of a 5th Wheel.

Now besides the disadvantages already talked about, the ones where the tow vehicle just pulls the 5th wheel into the ground when:

1) It is coming up a bank and the tow vehicle goes onto the flat, the 5th wheel gets pulled into the ground and bogs..

2) When the tow vehicle drops over an edge, the 5th wheel just gets pulled into the ground and bogs...

3) When the tow vehicle drops into a washout or goes over a higher cattle grate or grader burm, again the 5th wheel cannot follow like a Bushtracker and it gets pulled to the ground.

To even qualify for 5th wheel the wheels have to be back 66-75% and some are back as much as 90%. It just does not work off road. It will not articulate or travel anywhere like a Bushtracker. It would be limited to places a normal station wagon sedan could go, and no further...

There is one more serious disadvantage to consider, that I am not sure I have touched on much: If you DO get bogged, with Bushtracker you can unhook the tow vehicle and go to higher ground or use a winch and pull the Bushtracker through. You can even pull it backwards with the tow eyes. With a 5th Wheel Gooseneck trailer, you cannot pull it anywhere as it is a hard stand down with 1/3 the GVM sitting on the nose.... Just impossible, OK?

I would reserve the 5th Wheel for Handicapped people with serious mobility equipment to carry, gold fossickers with quad bikes and gold dredges, boats, larger motorcycles or hang glider types; or crazy people like me that travel with horses. Laughing

It just does not make sense for normal travel modes. OK?

Kind Regards from the lone Ranger, out there living, doing it, and scouting the trail for you is my Lifestyle Wink
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As an aside, Steve (sorry if off-thread), can you describe the technique of dragging a bogged Bushtracker out?
Which way should the jockey wheel be deployed, if at all?
Thanks
Bob
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bob,
It depends on the situation. If your ball weight is not too much, or if you are above the Bushtracker, you can just pull it out putting a strain on it to lift the a-frame and just lift the jockey wheel up out of the way. If winching, it is a dangerous position so make sure all of you gear is oversized, but again put a strain on it, and get the jockey wheel up out of the way. On a light duty job, no where near the capacity of the winch and cable, you could even use it to steer a bit, even like a rudder in the mud.. BUT I CANNOT RECOMMEND THIS AS IT IS DANGEROUS AND YOU ARE IN THE WAY OF A WINCH CABLE PARTING OR THE VEHICLE LOSING CONTROL AND YOU GETTING RUN OVER... (Disclaimer) Now that is not likely in a low pressure light duty job, but it could be dangerous, so here is a safer way to do it:

If you look at the jockey wheel, and it is facing the correct way, and the dogs are going in the right direction, the safe way to do this is to stay clear of it and just let the wheel rotate. If it starts to go off course, stop with the emergency brakes on or winch stopped and go an correct the steering of the J-wheel. Again, not if there is a huge strain or on uneven ground where you could be in danger.. If in the mud, it will just plain skid no matter what way it is facing, so no drama. If you are pulling from above it, again I would just take up the slack lifing the tow ball weight, and put the jockey wheel up out of the way.... You might have a bit of mess and leverage of a pole or jack, to get the a-frame back up high enough to put the J-wheel back down to hook back up; but that is not a drama, and is better than bending the j-wheel.

The other way is to pull it out in reverse from the tow eyes in the back... Personally, while I have not had to do it with a Bushtracker, I have done it with heavy trailers. Again, most of the time, if pulling from the front and higher, as you put a strain on it, it would lift the a-frame off the ground and the J-wheel is redundant, whether using a winch or not.

Of course, the easy way, it to stay hooked up and use a winch and winch extension straps (or heavy cargo slings) if the cable does not reach far enough, to pull both truck and van out together, staying hooked up. Wink That is what I have done most of the time, and when on expedition I carry two of these winch extension straps. Mind you, you are awfully unlucky if you get stuck that bad once a year. I may have only had it happen a half dozen times in the past ten or so years.

In any case, to get back on Topic, at least with a trailer you can get far enough off road to get stuck and have a great adventure in your memory... Laughing If you get stuck with a 5th wheel, you are in big trouble if you can only go forward but can't as the 5th wheel has been pulled into the ground. Then you are in REAL TROUBLE... Shocked

Even in civilization, at a Cutting event, maybe 5? years ago out west, I had truck and Bushtracker van. Everyone with 5th Wheels had to go across the Rodeo Grounds out in a back block and walk back and forth with gear and tack. I could drive through a 10M wide drain ditch, down and up the other side, to be the ONLY one on a nice grassy area between the arenas with both horses and tack, and boy did the Pros notice that concept... Wink

Regards to all... "On the Road Again"... Ranger
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is the next stage of the current 5th Wheel R&D project. The Mack 4x4 Horse truck box has been cut down, and an 8'X8' galvanized bed has been put onto the back with a 40,000 lb ball.

A Bushtracker Owner ask me yesterday why I did not put a turntable up there? Two reasons, with the ball, the hitch is cheap and all you need is another ball to change between two tow vehicles.. Secondly, I am battling height, and the ball is lower, with an extension telescopic hitch that drops down to suit a smaller tow vehicle like the F-350 King Ranch. Here is what that hook up looks like, dropped into a well, whole bed galvanized:



Box and Mack looks like this now (not finished)...




I will have massive storage in the 2M high truck box, for quad bike, 20 bales of hay, or a couple more horses... On Expedition, there is a 6kva air cooled diesel genset in there, three batteries, solar on the roof, and a 100 litre trailblazer fridge. The Power ramp is still there and bi-folds out.




Now this is cute, and will suit my horse ventures. But mind you, besides all the previously outlined off-road handicaps of pulling the 5th Wheel into the ground, there is one more serious problem that is really a nuisance for me: Because of the wheel placement in 5th Wheels, of usually 75-90% back, they cut corners really badly. Everyone seems to think they are so easy to manoeuvre, and I am here to tell you that is a city concept in parking lots! This is a horrible disadvantage on a track, you almost cannot make turn as the 5th Wheel cuts the corner so badly there is just not room to manoeuvre. I am CONSTANTLY battling this, and even after months of towing now with two vehicles, I am still riding over curbs and damaged the 5th Wheel twice. This is a very serious handicap, and another reason they really cannot go much off-road. Wink

I have extreme ground clearance now, but even with this:



As soon as I drop over much of an edge, the 5th Wheel will go to ground. Or as soon as I go up and on the flat, with the 5th Wheel coming up still, it will just go down into the ground. But the other really serious problem on ANY track, as I have stated: Is the cutting of corners and this is a constant pain and handicap. In my case with the horses, it is a necessary evil to contend with, but for off-road travel this is a huge handicap that will seriously limit access anywhere. I would like to quash any such ideas for travel around Oz as you will not get into the best places in Australia due to these handicaps, even with deep pockets and an extreme Rig like this..

Cheers from the road, Ranger, out living the R&D and reporting to your best interests......
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alright, that one is gone, and this is the new one I am currently going to do R&D on...

This one has Bus Cargo holds underneath. I am going to modify it for more ground clearance, and see just how far off road I can go with such a rig. I would hold a boat, quad bikes, or in my case 4 horses in the back with a drop down ramp. 6" more ground clearance, departure angle, jacked up, skid plates, you know the drill.. Shocked




It only looks luxurious at a distance, it needs to be upgraded on the interior and will never make the Bushtracker quality... But it will be fairly robust and luxurious when I get through with it... Wink





I am going to carry on and see just how far we can modify this rig with my practical experience off-road. We will jack up the suspension 150mm and carry on with my R&D. This suits my Lifestyle with horses.. Wink

This is just for you that have the curiousity about what the crazy lone Ranger is up to with regards to the Real Time R&D... I don't talk it, I walk it.. Laughing
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All right, here it is with a strongback under the chassis, and a suspension lift for more ground clearance.. That is the KING off road, ground clearance on the horsefloat.




This ground clearance is crucial, in the front and back, just to get over raised cattle grates and such... Wink



Cheers from the lone Ranger
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve, who is the clean shaven youngster in the picture?

Is that your son?

You know you can go to H*** for lying, just like cheating and stealing... Laughing Laughing youngster I wish...! I have had a beard or moustache most of my life, so not in the sun I do have a baby face underneath. But no youngster, except how I act on a horse... Wink Laughing Ranger
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well Friends, I ran a Post on whether or not you wanted to see R&D on Air Brakes addition to a vehicle like this. The POLL ran something like 84% in favour (YES)...

When you tow a very large Bushtracker, over 4500 GVM loaded, you need AIR BRAKES.. On a Dually like mine...



Now for me, it is not the large van, as much as combined 21' and 10' of Horse accomodations with bus cargo bays underneath and it is the UNHOOKED WEIGHT of the Gooseneck over 4500 kg that requires Air Brakes. This one weighs 5000 with water, 7000 kg with horses..





I am going to try and retire the Mack due to pain in the "tookas" Log Books and Interstate weigh bridge stops, and so on. This Silverado 3500HD will tow 7 tons and the Air Brake conversion will look something like this, except that this is on a Ford and mine will be better looking matching the interior: Laughing

Controls and air gauge...



Air Control Unit in line with Master Cylinder



Reservoir Tank up underneath alongside the chassis rail...



Main 12v DC Air Pump Up alongside the chassis as well..


Now THIS is BIG TIME R&D... You need to have some nerve to go out like this, this big.. I will let you know results "On the Road" as this will test the upper limits of the Silverado GCM.. Further test results on AIR BRAKE CONVERSIONS will be in the Category TIPS ON TOW VEHICLES in the Category on the 2009 Silverado Options.

Regards from the "Road Ranger" Ha! Laughing


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Friends,
The 09 Silverado Dually is now equipped with air brakes, and the equipment looks like this:

Fluid control valve, tapped into the Master Cylinder of the Silverado brakes..



Controls in cab, alarm, pull handle for trailer brakes, air gauge....




Air hookups on the rear of the Silverado..



This is the reserve tank for the air system, mounted inside the chassis with a blow down...



And this is the air compressor..




The next step: Is to make a 100 mm X 19mm wall thickness hollow bar telescoping hitch to extend down inside the bed. This is a massive 31' Gooseneck Horsefloat, 5 ton empty, 7 ton loaded as it has large bus type cargo bays under the floor, and we need to see how the Silverado feels for safety and control..



Now some of you will be wondering why the Silverado? Simple really, not only do you have the luxury of Holden Statesman or Sahara, but this one is running 400 HP where the Japanese trucks are lacking at only about 200- 220 HP. Not only that, but you have a luxury vehicle to unhook and go out to dinner or go exploring or what ever.. Even my Mack Horsetruck is only 270 HP. This is compact luxury, in a mid sized truck capability, with Big Rig horsepower...

It is within the 10.8 ton Silverado GCM, we just need to feel how safe it is for manuevres at high speed on the highway...

We should have the anwers in a couple of weeks, stay tuned..[/i][/b]
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Bushtracker
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Joined: 12 Jul 2007
Posts: 4985
Location: Kunda Park
State:: Queensland
Current Bushtracker owner:: Yes
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well Friends,
Here it is with the basic structure nearly finished...

I get requests for a "Toy Hauler" off road, a prime example was someone with a quad bike and a dry gold dredge blower. He would take in the large 4x4 Quad, to areas that no one could get to with a normal 4x4, hence the pickings were far better. I get requests for this and fishing, boats in the back sort of set up. Now the problem is that it will NEVER GO where a Bushtracker will. It will always have severe limitations. But I have to have one to haul my horses. This 5 ton rig, 7 ton loaded, is about a 21' van in layout, with 10' of horse quarters in the back for 4 horses, 31' in all.

Here it is with the Gooseneck overhang rebuilt, with an entire new and heavier duty towing structure. It now has more ground clearance, and more importantly 350mm clearance over the truck. You absolutely NEED this kind of clearance, so you can drop over the edge of a creek and not pull the gooseneck to the ground. This is about the minimums of clearances that will work at 350mm over the truck for articulation and some raised ground clearances, but still even with this it is LIMITED Off-Road at best.... VERY LIMITED.



This has a very limited range of travel, but with these clearances will get down a lot of dirt tracks and over cattle grids...

But look, in all fairness, it will never go down a river bank or up the other side. As soon as the tow vehicle drops over the edge, it will just pull the gooseneck to the ground and you are stuck... Shocked



The same goes for when you pull UP out of something like a river bed or gulch of some kind. As soon as the tow vehicle comes up onto the flat, the gooseneck will just get pulled to ground and be immediately stuck hard and fast in place. To be a gooseneck, the wheels have to be a minimum of 66% back from the hook up point, and a lot of them are back as far as 80-90%. It is just hopeless off road, and the major problem with them.

Now, we can do the job properly, but it is an expensive proposition and will have severe limitations off-road. It is the only option for someone that wants to carry some large toy like the Quad and Gold dredge, or a boat, but you will have very tight restrictions trying to get very far off the track. This truck with Air Brakes, Air Bags, and the goodies will get not much change out of $150,000 and to build the Gooseneck this large, also on air bags and such, will be that or more.



A standard Bushtracker Caravan, is better, easier, cheaper, and will go a lot further. This is just a very specialized and expensive option, for carrying horses or big toys like 5 motorbikes or something. It can be done, if necessary. Wink

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