Volvo Model Lines
The Volvo Product line has five basic cab configurations, four sleeper cab and one day cab versions. The Day Cab model is called that because there is no sleeper accommodations since a day cab truck is generally used by the driver only for the day. Day cab tractors are seldom used for long haul work. Short haul work can actually be worse for a truck than long haul, more stopping and short trips, all leading to more wear and tear on the truck.
The Volvo sleeper cab models come in a short height, medium height and two "condo" heights. The medium height sleeper is 10' 10" high. Often, a fiberglass roof fairing is added to the medium height sleeper to bring the top roof line to 13' 3" to be close to the height of a typical commercial box trailer.
The Volvo "condo" height sleeper cab models are 13' 3" high at the top of the roof. Like the medium height sleeper with a fairing, the 13' 3" height of the "condo" sleeper is to be close to the height of a commercial box trailer. Note, the typical high-end RV trailer is around 13' 3" - 13' 6" high at the top of the air conditioner units
The "condo" sleepers use the extra height inside for a more confortable double bunk configurations. You may find a medium height sleeper with dual bunks but the space is cramped.
The other variation in the Volvo "condo" sleepers is the length of the sleeper measured from the back of the driver's seat to the back wall of the sleeper. The shorter "condo" sleeper has the same length as the medium height cab, 61". The longer "condo" cab is 77" and is a little wider was well.
With the sleeper cabs defined, we can now talk about the actual models. There is the Generation I Volvo models which were build in the 1999-2003 timeframe. The Generation II Volvos started in 2003 and are recognizable by the larger grille and vertical headlights. The larger was mandated by the higher temperatures of the diesel engine changes required by EPA Regulations. There are many system changes with the Gen II Volvos and we will make an effort to point them out when applicable.
Decoding Volvo Model number:
|6||6 wheel hubs|
|610||Mid-roof sleeper with 61" from the rear wall to the back of the drivers seat|
The left two Volvos are Gen Is and the right two are Gen IIs. Note the difference in the headlight shape change. While looking at the headlights, you will note that the fenders are narrower because of the wider grill opening.
One last model variation is the length of the nose, VNM (Medium) and VNL (Long). You will only find the VNM in the Day Cab models with smaller engines. You will see Models list as VNL610 and VN610, they are the same.
Now the Model lineup:
The VN420 is basically a Day Cab with a 42" sleeper added. That leaves just enough room for the bunk.
The VN420 does have a more compact profile than the other sleeper models if size is an issue.
The height is 8' 7" at the top of the cab.
VNL610, VNL630 Medium Height Sleeper
There is one berth across the back of the sleeper with storage below it. There may be cabinets behind the driver’s and passenger’s seats.
A VNL610/630 Volvo has clean lines and a raised roof integral air ride sleeper which rises up to just below the roofline of most 5ers. This makes for good air flow over the top of the truck and trailer as compared to a flat roof sleeper. The medium height provides a shorter profile when the truck is going to be used as a daily driver.
VNL660, VNL670 Condo Height Sleeper
The VNL660 (Gen I) and the VNL670 (Gen II) are condo height sleepers (13' 3") and a 61" long sleeper.
There are two berth across the back of the sleeper with storage below the lower berth. There may be cabinets behind the driver’s and passenger’s seats. There are side windows for the upper berth that can be opened and have integrated screens.
The VNL660/670 Volvo condo height matches many of the later high-end 5th-Wheel trailers. While the height may seem to be a deterrent as a daily driver, you have to remember that trucks deliver to stores that located everywhere and the VNL660/670 can go there too.
VNL770, VNL780, Extender Condo Height Sleeper
The lower bunk is also a dinette-like table with seats called the Driver's Workstation. The lower berth is wider than the upper berth
. Aldo, since the cab is wider than a VNL660/670, there is a storage compartment at the end of the lower berth.
The lower Beth seats are storage compartments accessible from inside as well as through the outside baggage doors.
The cabinets behind the driver’s and passenger’s seats are wider and deeper than those on the VN 660. Many VNL770/780s have a refrigerator mounted in the cabinet behind the driver. There is an option for a drawer above the refrigerator that can hold a sink with a water pump faucet. A microwave can be installed in a cabinet above that drawer.
The cabinet behind the passenger provides for hanging clothes storage. Above the hanging storage, there is room for a TV.
Like the VN 660, the VN 770 has windows for the upper berth. The VN 770 also has windows with built in screens for the lower berth. Many VN 770s have a skylight window in the forward cab roof.</p>
VNL730 medium height extended Sleeper:
You have the extra cabinet space but only the single berth.
Other Generation II Differences.
The under the driver/passenger side fairings, if present, are released with handles. This is far easier than the bolts that are used to secure the same fairings on the Generation I Volvos.
The lighting on the Generation II Volvos is more sophisticated than the Generation Is. The area of concern is the computer sensing of lights workings or not which makes the computer tilt when the usual lighting changes are made for the bed and the trailer receptacle.
The Generation II dash is arranged a little different than the Generation Is with the main area of concern is the location of the brake light switch, the normal attachment spot of an air pressure sensitive trailer brake controller.
There are also VN830 and VN880 models in the Generation II line. These are special trucks to appeal to the macho truckers who prefer long noses, exposed exhaust stacks and polished fuel tanks. The VN800 series trucks have a longer wheelbase and because the front axle is positioned differently, do not have the 50 degree wheel cut. Basically the VN830 and VN880 are not suited for RV Toter use.
The attachment location of a MaxBrake sensor is different for a Gen II Volvo. See the differences on 5th-Wheel Trailer Brakes.
The use of a tail light converter is much more sensitive with a Gen II Volvo. See the comments on Tail Light Converters.