Originally Posted by Tootalltechie
With regards to the placement of the 5th wheel hitch. They usually are centered over the rear axle or just a tiny bit forward. You would have to cut off at least 4 feet in front of the rear axle. That would mean on a long bus upto 14 feet to be removed since there could be 10 feet of over hang on the rear. JMO Gordon
Sent from my SM-T530NU using Tapatalk
Thanks for the input Gordon.
I'd planned to mount the 5th wheel hitch about 1.5" forward of center.
I also figured I would install a 20,000 LB hitch (even though the 5th wheel fully loaded is rated at 16,000 LBs). I figure a bit more capacity on the hitch is not a bad thing.
My 5th wheel is a full 102" wide, so I'd figured on moving the back cap of the bus forward so that I had at least 5 feet of clearance so that a 90 degree turn is possible.
The way I see it, removing what could be 15' of the bus (with the exception of the end cap) and all the seats will significantly reduce the weight of the bus.
This should offset the weight of the loaded 5th wheel quite a bit while still leaving me with a nice heavy vehicle to tow it with.
The trailer has three Dexter axles (with brakes on each), so by the time I add an exhaust brake to the bus I don't believe I will have any problems taking it slow and easy on the downhill grades.
I've always believed that you simply slow down and go slow on steep grades anyway and let the speed demons behind you sort out their own problems for wanting to go faster. If they are in a hurry to die and want to zip around me or blow past me in the fast lane, I don't have a problem with that.
I'm also hoping that the significant reduction in bus weight will allow me to get by without having to wait years for the perfect engine/transmission combination to come up.
Based on input so far I think I have definitely decided to try for a mechanical DT-466. If I can't get exactly what I want on the transmission, then I may have to settle for a transmission cooler and gauge, then just taking my time on the trip.