By Tony Barthel
Sometimes my worlds collide. Like when a racing channel I follow was talking about their new RV. So, I thought I should share this with you. What the team got was a 2021 Renegade Classic RV based on a Freightliner Cascadia chassis that is referred to as a “toterhome.” Essentially it’s a large semi-truck tractor with a motorhome on the back – not completely unlike the ARI Legacy Sleepers I wrote about last December.
While Renegade doesn’t make a lot of noise about these, they do offer them. Granted, there’s not a huge market for a tow vehicle that can tow some 20,000 pounds without thinking about it. However, there are a variety of models available. These include models that aren’t designed to tow huge trailers, as well.
Please note: The images are point of reference only and not of the exact rig mentioned in this article.
Who is the Renegade Classic Toterhome for?
This isn’t going to be something you likely see at your local RV park. That is, unless that RV park happens to be located at a carnival or raceway or somewhere where someone needs to haul a tremendous amount of cargo. Plus, keep a crew happy at the same time, even if that crew is just your spouse.
There are a variety of models available here. Those include the bunk model that Cleetus McFarland bought in order to keep its crew happy and comfortable while working race events.
In this rig, you’re not so worried about the weight of the RV itself when the load outweighs you by several times. That means you can have things like an 8KW Onan diesel generator aboard. Moreover, that generator will charge eight AGM house batteries which can run things through a 3,000-watt hybrid inverter.
Appliances in the Renegade Classic
In the case of the coach I was looking at, that meant everything was either operated by diesel fuel or electricity extending to an induction cooktop. These come with a residential refrigerator of the Samsung variety. In the video I’ve attached, the owner is thrilled that if he experiences a problem with this unit he can just get a new one at the local appliance store. But I wonder if he’s aware that he’ll likely be taking out the entire slide room to facilitate this repair?
A 12-volt refrigerator that’s actually designed for RV life would seem like a so-much-better choice. Especially Samsung. Yuck.
For hot water, there’s an Aqua-Hot 10-gallon diesel water heater, which should do the job well. There are also 150 gallons of fresh water storage, 75 gallons of gray and 75 gallons of black storage. As fuel prices rise, think about filling 120 gallons of diesel fuel along with however much DEF this thing takes. Yup.
If you see big rigs rattling down the highway, know that they are as much a technological tour de force as any modern passenger car. Your personal vehicle may have such things as lane departure control or adaptive cruise control. Consider how much those features are appreciated in something weighing as much as this rig does.
And forget about rowing gears. Modern trucks have fully automatic transmissions. Yes, the way this is accomplished is very different in a big rig than it is in your Kia, but the effect is the same. In other words, just press the accelerator and go – with the vehicle doing all the shifting for you.
What your passenger car or even most pickups and SUVs do not have are things like Jake brakes with adjustable settings or diesel engines with some 2,000 pound-feet of torque. Consider that the Cummins diesel engine in the Ram pickup is up to 6.7 liters in displacement. That’s nothing compared to the Detroit engine in this thing with 15.6 liters of displacement. However, both are six-cylinder engines that are naturally balanced and just make sense.
Why the simulated rumble strip noise?
One of the more unusual things I noticed in the Cascadia cab was that the audio system actually simulated running over rumble strips on the sides of the road. In other words, if you get too close to the side of the road the truck simulates hitting those rumble strips they put there to keep you centered in your lane.
Now, you might think this is more technology than needed. But consider that the entire RV portion of this rig as well as the driver and co-pilot seat are suspended on air. That means they may not even feel those rumble strips. This makes sense.
The in-dash GPS is attached with a magnet
Another thing I liked in the cab of the Renegade Classic Toterhome was the in-dash GPS which is a Garmin unit. But it’s more like a tablet computer than an in-dash system. It is attached to the instrument panel with a magnet. This makes sense as the co-pilot can grab it and adjust the route or check on other things monitored by the system.
Unless you’re hauling carnival rides or race cars, which are sort of like carnival rides, the Renegade Classic Toterhome might not make sense. Instead, you can buy a one-ton dually pickup and one heck of a nice fifth wheel for about the same price as this rig. And you’d have change left over for a set of e-bikes.
But that’s irrelevant when you and your crew need to get somewhere with 10 tons of trailer in tow so you can be set up for the next race or other big events. As they say, go big or go home.
These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. We receive no money or other financial benefits from these reviews. They are intended only as a brief overview of the vehicle, not a comprehensive critique, which would require a thorough inspection and/or test drive.
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