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Over the past 18 months, we have always managed to stay under our Gross Combined Weight, but have struggled with maintaining a safety factor on our rear axle due to a heavier pin weight then I had originally anticipated. We finally concluded that we could not cut down enough on the pin weight, so started looking at upgrading the truck. The 2013 F450’s have a higher rear axle rating and gross vehicle weight rating than the 2011’s , but actually 3,000 pounds less combined weight rating than what I have. The F550 gives me 49% more GVWR than what I have, +2,000 pounds on Gross Combined Weight and +5,700 pounds of Rear Axle. In order to get the safety factor I am looking for as well as the gross combined weight rating that I need, it would have to be a F550, but it only comes as a Chassis Cab. That means finding an up-fitter that adds RV Hauler bodies.

Elite hauler bodyAfter comparing offerings from several companies, I settled on my old friends at Utility Bodywerks who could include a Kelderman Air Ride Suspension with the hauler body. Our hope was that we could place the order and pickup the new truck in Junction City after attending the 2013 NHOGers Rally in Kerrville TX at the beginning of May. After placing the order with the Ford dealership in Junction City in January, we were given a production start date of March 18th. That seemed to fall into into our schedule.

Needless to say, I was totally surprised when on March 12th, Utility Bodywerks called to say the truck had arrived. We could pretty much depend on the truck being ready and in Junction City by the middle of May. As ambassadors for New Horizons, we have shown our rig to a number of people interested in New Horizons. This winter, one of the couples attending the Open House decided instead to get an ‘experienced RV’ from New Horizons and would be going through Junction City in the summer to pick up their 'new' RV and were in need of a larger truck. So the stars aligned and we came together on their purchase of our truck as well, and it would be sitting in Junction City waiting for them.

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