Feature Vehicle: Cabriolet Custom Trucks "La' Tour"

Oct. 01, 2000 By Mr Dune

  So you just bought that 40' fifth wheel of your dreams, packed it to the gills with food, water, fuel, and toys. Hooked it up to your bad ass one ton dually and you're headed to your favorite ride spot to get in some quality time camping and riding with the family. You've planned for every possible contingency...

   Except one.

   Your trailer now tips the scales at almost 18,000 pounds, your F350 4x4 weighs in at a tad over 8,000. You just hit the bottom of 15 mile 7% uphill grade. As you shift into 2nd and bury the throttle through the floorboard the best uphill speed you can muster is 47 mph.

   A VW microbus puking black smoke and full of hippies on their way to a Grateful Dead revival passes you like you're in reverse. Not to worry! As you finally crest the hill and start your eight mile descent down the other side, you can feel that 18,000 lb behemoth pushing you. You're gonna catch back up to them!

    55 mph, 60 mph, 65 mph, 70 mph... You hit the brakes and as you slow back to about 55, the  brake pedal goes to the floor. Gaining speed on the grade, you blow past the microbus at 75 mph, smoke streaming from under your wheel wells. And like a fighter plane going down in flames, so are you. Your brakes are on fire, any possibility of checking your speed is gone. Better hope that there aren't any corners coming up...

   The current trend towards bigger and bigger boats and RV's has caused a dangerous situation on our roads. Your one ton truck has a GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) of 11,000 lbs and a GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating) of 18,000.  That means your 8,000 pound truck can tow a 10,000 lb trailer safely. A 40' fifth wheel weighs from 12,000 to 20,000 plus pounds and a 36' cigarette boat weighs about 14k full of fuel. You don't have to be a math whiz to see that adds up to...


   Now we all know the manufacturers give a "little room" in those ratings. And I myself tow a 15,500 lb 40 footer to the Dez behind an F350 PowerStroke. I've also lit my brakes on fire and almost rear ended a semi on Interstate 8.  Wanna see something REALLY scary? Pilot a 24,000 lb missile down a curvy 7% grade with flaming brakes!

   What to do? Well we all know that "Size Matters." The solution is to go BIG! And when you wanna go big there is only one word you need to know...


   We got in touch with the guys that have the ultimate solution for your big towing needs, Sport Hauler Trucks. Located in Provo, Utah, Sport Hauler is the western region dealer for Cabriolet Custom Trucks, who manufactures and customizes the biggest and the baddest recreational haulers money can buy. With a product line that includes four basic models. The Super Duty and Classic LE, which are based on the Ford F450/550 chassis, and powered by the Navistar 7.3L PowerStroke. The Sportliner, based on the Freightliner FL60 and powered by a 275 or 300hp Cat 3126B. And the top of the line La Tour, based on the Freightliner FL112 and powered by a ground shaking 410hp Cat C-12. The Cat C-12 puts out 1450 ft-lbs of torque.

   "Give me the keys... I wanna drive it!"

   I had the opportunity of taking a test spin pulling a 48 foot flatbed loaded with two Hummers. About 24,000 lbs worth of trailer and payload. And, all I can say is, "I want one!" Smooth, comfortable and easy to drive, this truck is the Holy Grail of toy haulers. With its six speed Allison automatic transmission in fifth, gear I pulled a 6% grade on Interstate 15 at 75 mph, with throttle to spare. The La' Tour was easier to drive with it's 40,000 plus pound combined weight than my F350 is with half that. The truck's road manners with it loaded, and at speed inspires confidence.

   Well enough blubbering about how bad I want one to tow my 40 foot Weekend Warrior with, how about some photos and stats!

Click any image for blow up, or to get to more pics in the photo gallery!

A commanding view of the road, complete instrumentation, and excellent ergonomics make the La Tour a dream to drive. Note the push button selector for th Allison six speed to the right of the steering wheel The optional power adjustable air seat is the most comfortable thing I've sat my butt in next to my Barcalounger at home. These seats are designed to reduce operator fatigue on long trips. The sleeper is decked out with a power folding bed/couch. Leather upholstery is throughout and is glove soft.
I know I get plenty hungry and thirsty behind the wheel!         Microwave and 'frig should make those long miles more bearable. Nothing beats a cold beverage and a hot snack while you're gobbling up some interstate! A rear view video camera helps with the chore of backing up and hooking up your trailer. The camera itself is mounted near the top of the sleeper to get the best view.
Cavernous storage compartments abound in the body. Plenty of room for emergency equipment, spares and kids that get "out of line." All the cargo doors lock with a single key for extra security and convenience. They are also weatherstripped to keep out the elements. This truck was equipped with the optional "Trailer Saver" air ride hitch. Suspended on Goodyear air bags the ride was fantastic!
Yup, 410 diesel hp and 1450 foot-lbs of torque. The Caterpillar C-12 is one bad ass motor. This truck will pull your rig up any grade like it wasn't even there! This is a recreational vehicle so you do not have to stop at truck stops. However due to it's air brakes you are required to have a commercial drivers license. What more can I say... "Wanna go to the Dez?"


Chassis Specifications:
Cabriolet La' Tour
Freightliner FL112 Business Class

Engine: Caterpillar C-12
Horsepower: 410
Torque: 1450 ft-lb
Transmission: Allison HD 4060P six speed automatic
Rear  Axle Ratio: 3.73:1
Fuel Capacity: 160 gal
Tires: Michelin PXZA 255/70R22.5 Highway Tread Radial Tires

Freightliner 12,000 lb Taperleaf Springs
Hendrickson 20,000 lb Air Ride Suspension
Brakes: All Brake Package
   Wabco 4 Channel ABS with Traction
   Bendix AD-9 Air Dryer with Heater
Tow Rating: 48,000 lbs
GVWR 32,000 lbs
GCWR 60,000 lbs
Overall Length:
Overall Height:


   The La' Tour is one serious tow machine. Its list of  hundreds of standard features and dozens of optional accessories is much to long to be provided in this forum. To find out more about this incredible truck please follow the link below. I don't know about you... But after driving one myself, I'm convinced that this is the only way to travel!

Sport Hauler also carries the F450/F550 Classic LE and Super Duty Cabriolet Custom Trucks.

  For more info on Cabriolet Custom Trucks...

Click Here!

Sport Hauler Trucks
1475 North State Street
Provo, UT 84604

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