The Ultimate Tow Rig, doing what she does
There's been many a mile racked up on the old girl since my last post. My apologies. Life does tend to get busy.
We've been clear across the country and down to California. In all those miles I don't think we've once left a gas station without comment, and usually a photo op. People seem to love this thing. I can't say I'm surprised, but it really wasn't the intention. This rig was designed for purpose, and solely to suit my taste. Many folks have commented on the duramax engine. To paraphrase "It's be cool if it had a Cummins". Impressing them really wasn't the plan. Truth be told, I picked the powertrain before I picked the cab.
The consept of having the racecar and camping amenities all in one truck was the key. The V8 configuration meant that I could keep the floor almost a foot lower vs an inline engine. Critical stuff considering the main passenger space is directly on top. The other key feature resides under the kitchen floor. That being the Allison transmission. I won't speak I'll of the 48re, but I really don't think there's need.
It's a whole different experience to drive. The cab feels small, like an a100 van, but it is mighty large. All above and behind you. Of course you're also sitting ahead of the front wheels. I'd say it takes a solid 20 minutes on the road to settle in and hours to really be comfortable. It actually accelerates pretty briskly for a 36' monster though I wouldn't call it nimble. Riding up in the Sky lounge as it's known is an experience into itself. You're seated just higher than the driver's of passing semi trucks and they tend to be surprised to be looking over at you. You're above and behind the driver's compartment so the view is almost unbroken, but with the added height comes exaggerated body roll so again, comfort takes some time.
All in all I must say my complaints are few. There will of course be refinements as time goes on.
The UTR and it's usual cargo El Chupacabra II are somewhat of a match made in heaven. The 60s vibe is undeniable and both are not for the timid when it comes to driving. They are however very different. El Chupacabra II is loud, fast, and often trying to be sideways. The UTR is all truck. The size and weight as well as the giant steering wheel ( which came stock in the L600 ) demand trucker music. To date I can confirm that our return trip from Newfoundland was indeed six days on the road. It took us south and brought us back but did receive much thanks. So given the opportunity, this double clutching gear jamming coffee drinking nut, will no doubt park it next to a pink Mack.
Thanks for reading
Dangerous Chris Carlson