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Old 03-13-2005, 08:08 PM   #11
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Blue Skies,

The answer is yes and no. They use a box built to their specs by Thor Industries while PowerHouse uses Teton Homes. The difference is that Kingsley physically attaches the box and the cab while PowerHouse uses a rubber boot and a fairing on the outside. To say standard MH construction is very misleading. For starters what is "standard MH construction"??? WarPath very much likes how Show Hauler builds their coaches. You would have to ask him what details he likes over the rest. I know Kingsley uses thicker steel cross members and lower box frame mebers than anybody.

I know this since I toured Kibbi, Trendsetter, ShowHauler, NRC, Haulmark, and Kingsley prior to purchasing mine. I spent anywhere from 4 hours to 3 days at each location. When it came down to it I wanted a floorplan and some options that only Kingsley could build. The biggest being a full height cab to box jucntion. I did not like the smaller cut out that everyone (except Kingsley and PowerHouse) use. I also did not want a cab over bunk. At the time everyone used only Freightliner or Sterling chassis. I wanted a Volvo. There where several other reasons for my decision but ultimately it is up to you and your needs.
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Old 03-13-2005, 10:40 PM   #12
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From what I know, the difference between "standard MH construction" and that used by Showhauler and many other truck converters is that most truck converters use a STEEL tube cage and heavy aluminum sheet in their construction while Powerhouse and Kingsley units are either wood and thin aluminum siding, or light aluminum studs and thin aluminum siding. In a nutshell, Powerhouse and Kingsley units are NOT built as strong as the units from Showhauler and others using similar construction.
Gary
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Old 03-14-2005, 07:43 AM   #13
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Actaully, I have been thinking about this and I have decided to change my stance on this whole subject. Until I see that people are having issues with their coaches due to the different build techniques, all is good in my book. So much is changing in the industry so quickly that I really can't apply what I had researched 4 years ago to be true now. The only real way to know if a manufacturer is doing good or bad is to get feedback from the owners of those coaches, not by me speculating on what I think is good or bad.

My big thing when TC's came about was that for the first time I saw a vehicle as having the weight carrying capacity to use a lot of steel (16" o.c.) which would offer the ability to use real solid wood throughout without the chance for it falling off the walls. In traditional MH construction weight is a major issue and so companies use steel or aluminum on 24" or more and then have to use faux this and fake that to keep weight down and the cabinets on the walls.

BTW: I do think Kingsley puts out the nicest looking (from the outside) rigs out of anyone. They really pay alot of attention to details like matching roof lines, extending polished s.s. on the sides all the way from front to back, ect...
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Old 03-14-2005, 08:35 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Gary Atsma:
From what I know, the difference between "standard MH construction" and that used by Showhauler and many other truck converters is that most truck converters use a STEEL tube cage and heavy aluminum sheet in their construction while Powerhouse and Kingsley units are either wood and thin aluminum siding, or light aluminum studs and thin aluminum siding. In a nutshell, Powerhouse and Kingsley units are NOT built as strong as the units from Showhauler and others using similar construction.
Gary
Actually, Kingsley's walls and roof are a 2.5" sandwich of plywood, boxed aluminum studs, plywood, and then fiberglass. The studs are at 16" centers and they use beadboard insulation between the studs. My roof is also spaced at 12" centers since I attend race events and frequently have 8-20 people on the roof. Just because it is made of steel does not mean it is stronger. For example, many of the new cars and trucks use aluminum frames where they used to use steel. Why, you ask? In these cases, the aluminum is actually stronger and lighter than the steel they replaced.

If you really want to look at strong construction when NOT using steel just look at the race transport trailers built by Kibbi (aka Renegade) and FeatherLite, amongst others. These trailers are made of all aluminum and they carry tons of weight, are used daily, and they travel all over the country.

Warpath, On a separate note and out of curiosity, who do you think puts out the niceset interiors? Unfortunately for Kingsley, most of it's past customers where people that wanted cheap and that is what was put out. Some of them where actually finished by Thor as "demo" interiors so the quality was on par with one of their TT or 5ers. I have seen some of Kingsley's newer ones that include cherry, maple, and hickory cabinets. Granite floors and countertops, etc. There are even a couple that rival a Prevost conversion on the inside. Since every one of them is made to the customer's wants and desires, the interiors do not necessarily reflect upon the manufacturer. One of the ones that was just finished last week had red cabinets, yellow countertops, and blue walls!!! To me it looked like a preschool classsroom but that is what that particular celebrity wanted and that is what he got. He LOVES it!! The new sales manager, Paul, came from the custom home arena (he owns his own company). He uses the same design center for his coaches as he does for his houses. Wait until you see one fo the ones designed by him.

Also, Kingsley now sells 2 levels of shells for the DIYer ala Prevost. The first is just the box mounted and blended into the cab (i.e. NO mechanicals or interior). The other is a shell with all of the below-floor mechanicals completed (i.e. gen-set, plumbings, wiring, etc) per the customer's specs. This allows the customer to have total control of how the interior is finished. It will be interesting to see how these do.
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Old 03-14-2005, 09:15 AM   #15
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See this is why I am changing my tune. The information I am relying on is out of date and it sounds like Kingsley has stepped up to the plate and is building some quality rigs with alot of steel.

Your right thought on the older rigs, you look at the used units on the site and some of those look like a Thor RV on the inside.

As far as interiors go, I think that is more personal prefrecence as long as the quality and materials are top notch anything goes. I personnally like more of the wood look, with very little glitz, just real functional.
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Old 03-14-2005, 05:57 PM   #16
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Wow, Bill, your re-thinking got me rethinking! While it's still true that the steel-cage idea is still probably the best, it's not to say that other methods are necessarily bad. There's always more than one way to skin the proverbial cat! Also, though, like you said, the RV bizz is catching up on better and stronger build methods, I'm sure partially because of the ever-increasing liability climate. It can only improve the breed.
Gary
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Old 03-14-2005, 08:29 PM   #17
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Well I am certainly glad I stumbled onto this site before I plunge into one of these big toys.

I am very appreciative of your (collective) experiences as I begin my research.

I might retrace some of Bill's recent steps on the path to his beautiful truck. With little kids of my own, I will likely borrow some of his ideas for a rear bunk bed set up and forward facing Flexsteel swivel chairs to belt in the car seats.

The only limits with these big machines appear to be imagination (and of course that annoying detail of eventually getting the money to pay for it).

Again, thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences. That's what these forums are all about.

John
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Old 03-14-2005, 11:30 PM   #18
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......my tax man is working on that money detail issue as we type....more news when he hands me the bill for services and how much I owe US GOVERMENTfor '04 and the down payment on '05......geof kaye
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