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Old 07-26-2013, 03:34 AM   #1
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Default 45 foot T2000 Conversion with Camper

I have been collecting parts all year for my conversion and figured I should start my own post. My family drag races and we have a 34 foot tag stacker trailer that we haul our cars around in. When loaded the trailer is pushing 24k lbs. Because of this I have shyed away from a motorhome and decided it would be better to go with a truck chassis. My goal for this project is to be under $20k for the build but as we all know that usually doesn't hold true!

I started with a Kenworth T2000 with a 6 foot condo sleeper. I have bought a 30 foot fiberglass travel trailer with 2 slide outs that I plan to put on the back. I have seen some done in the past and some are pretty scarey looking and others not so bad. I am going to do everything I can to make it NOT look like I stuck a travel trailer on the back! My main reason for not buying a cargo box for the conversion is I really want to have slide outs in it and I don't want this to turn into a 5 or 10 year project from having to build the camper from scratch. The travel trailer I have had some water damage done to it but is a good start. All the electrical works in it, walls and ceiling are nice. Will just need flooring and cabinets built. The subfloor is in good shape, just the laminate and carpet were removed.

Currently I am using the truck as it was as an over the road truck to pull our car trailer. After our racing season is over I plan to start doing the frame stretch. I will be adding 10 feet infront of the drive axles and plan to have 8 feet hanging off the back. I am leaving the 6 foot sleeper on the truck and adding the camper to that. I plan to be right at 45 feet long. I am hoping before the weather turns I will be able to set the camping trailer on the truck frame. I know I will be pushing the limits of my front axle with a 30 foot wheel base but from what I have been reading as long as I put tires on there that are rated for the weight I shouldn't have any troubles with DOT.

I tried to mock up what it will look like in "paint" and attached that picture along with one of the truck as it sits now. The black toter is my father in laws that I helped him build last fall.

I am up for recomendations and criticisms. I know putting a travel trailer on a truck chassis is kind of dicey but I am hoping I can make it work.
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Old 07-26-2013, 09:28 AM   #2
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Good luck with your build. I think you're making the right decision to stay away from a motorhome. There are only a couple of motorhomes that could come close to handling a trailer that big and heavy.

With all the stuff for sale on RacingJunk.com, I surprised you're building vs buying something already built.

Keep us posted.
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Old 07-26-2013, 06:23 PM   #3
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I am on there daily! It seems like anything in the $20k to $40k range is a medium duty with a small CAT motor or DT466 motor. I also haven't found anything with a slideout in it for under $50k or so.

Thanks,
Steve
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Old 07-30-2013, 01:00 PM   #4
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I think most of the early Kingsley Coach's were built in that manner. You might keep an eye out for those and if you see some close go look them over good for ideas that might help you.
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Old 07-31-2013, 10:34 PM   #5
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I was not aware of that! Thanks for the tip.
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Old 04-23-2014, 11:59 PM   #6
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Default Frame is stretched and Box is on

Plans changed a bit, what else is new! Originally I had planned on installing the travel trailer directly to the frame of the truck. After further review of the construction of the travel trailer I was not confident the travel trailer would stand up to the abuse of bouncing down the road on the truck chassis. So I have added probably another year or so on to the project and decided to put a 26' Morgan on the truck instead. Overall length of the truck will be around 43' now. I will now be building from scratch which I didn't want to do based on I didn't want this to be a 4 or 5 year project. I will just have to work on it twice as much now to make up for the additional work load!

I do plan on using the internals from the travel trailer I purchased however to help build the inside with. It has a 7' slide out that I plan to put in the back of the box in place of the roll up door. This will make my box longer in reality as the bedroom will be made just large enough for the bed when the slide is in and will "grow" a walkway when it opens up. Appliances, heater, AC unit, power panel and switches, some of the furniture, ect. Planning on using the tanks but I am a little concerned on the sizes. The fresh water is 45 gallon's, which I plan on adding an aditional one as I would like 90 to 100 gallons total. I will just have them tied together I think with a tube. The gray and black tanks are 35 gallons and I am not sure that is large enough? The gray I am not too concerned with as we usually are camping at a race track in the grass and can always leave that valve open, however 3 kids, my wife and I, I am concerned that the black tank will not be large enough on a 3 or 4 day camping trip? Any thoughts on that?

Here are a few pictures along with one of it hooked up to our car trailer. It's maiden voyage will be this saturday as it is opening day at the race track for us.
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20140422_100108.jpg   20140422_125137.jpg   20140422_194003.jpg   20140422_161402.jpg  
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:13 AM   #7
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More proof that you should double your time and cost estimates for any self build project.

Looks pretty good with the box on there though. I think that will look better than bolting a camper trailer onto the frame.

My rig has 75 gallon gray and 25 gallon black. I thought that 25 gallon seemed too small when we bought it. But, after 5 years of use it has worked out just fine. We don't have as many people as you do. I'm pretty sure I can go over a week with the two of us and not fill the black up. I think my old Allegro rv had a 33 gallon black and it lasted pretty long between dumps.
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:16 AM   #8
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I think most builders remove the cab air ride and bolt it down. I guess there's maybe too much movement between the cab and box if you don't?
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Old 04-30-2014, 11:37 PM   #9
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Thanks for the input on the tanks. I have the cab air ride limit limited to 1 1/2 inches of travel which I believe the accordion boot will be able to accommodate.

As far as buy or build, I guess I will know when I am done what I would have should have done! I had a couple opportunities to buy some nicely built "back yard garage" units for $40k to $50k but could never find one close enough to the layout or options that I wanted. I know the money I will have invested will be less than that however the time invested is going to be scary!
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Old 05-01-2014, 12:13 PM   #10
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looks great
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