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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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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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Old 12-05-2014, 11:40 AM   #11
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Slow and steady, started getting some of the cabinet face frames built, fridge cabinet and furnace installed. Hoping to finish the shower this week and then get the toilet in. I need to start doing some wiring so I can start installing the appliances. I bought a wrecked camping trailer that I am using the appliances and such from. I also plan to pull the electrical panel and as much of the wiring I can from it. The trailer I bought as a doner is 27', and the layout was close to what I wanted. I am hoping to uninstall and reinstall in a similar fashion.

It is cold and snowy here in Wisconsin and my garage isn't big enough for the camper so I improvised! Should work out good for the winter. With the wood wall I built insulated, I think it is more sealed up than with the garage door down. I have radiant heat in the shop floor along with a forced air furnace. it is nicer working on now that it was all summer!

Steve
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Old 12-06-2014, 02:13 PM   #12
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That looks cool coming out of the wall like that.
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Old 12-08-2014, 12:05 AM   #13
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Default staying warm

I like the way you are working in a heated area. I did most of my interior with the motorhome in the carport, dry but not warm. Your cabinet framing looks great, keep the pictures coming.
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Old 12-08-2014, 06:22 AM   #14
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Thanks guys. If I can work on it during the week, I only get an hour or two to work so it would be too hard to get the thing warmed up to work on every time I wanted to work on it. I keep the shop at 50 and doesn't take but a 10 minutes to be as warm as I need out there. So far so good. My goal is spring for it to be functional.
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Old 12-08-2014, 07:37 AM   #15
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looks nice !

after spending nearly 2 weeks in ours (just got home from an extended stay in pensacola).....ive got a suggestion (seeing that your sink & stove top aren't mounted).

I WISH our (double) sink was an UNDER MOUNT sink....it would be much nicer (if when we had the covers on the sink) that it was one entire FLAT surface/counter top.

Our 3 burner (gas) cooktop is mounted below the counter top level such that when the cover is over the burners it forms one continuous FLAT counter top...until you get to the (damn) sink.

we've got (counter top) matching sink covers but they are raised (since the sink is mounted from the counter top and not recessed).
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Old 12-09-2014, 06:30 AM   #16
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Thanks for the idea on flush mounting the oven/stove! I am going to attempt to under mount the sink as I bought a used counter out of a motorhome that has covers for it. I am still trying to find the correct sink for it. But before I mount the oven/stove I will have to look into lowering it so it will sit flush with the cover on. I like that idea! If you get a minute can you post a picture of yours? I would like to see how it was finished off on the edges.

Thanks, Steve
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Old 12-09-2014, 06:42 AM   #17
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this one is LIKE mine (so close I've used it as an example).

Ours has an oven (used to cook in once, used for storage LOTS).
the Cook Top COVER is hinged in 2 places and folds up against the back wall.

you can see the dbl sink w/ covers on....ours is EXACTLY like this...covers are not flush & while you cant tell by the picture,
the cover stick up about 1/2 and inch (or more)....just a pain in but such that the covers aren't used much.

I'll get a better picture of ours later today if not the next couple of days.

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Old 12-10-2014, 07:06 AM   #18
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Thanks for the picture, that is really neat how the counter cover goes over the stove like that. It sure makes it nice having a solid smooth surface. The sink covers are better than nothing but I agree would be a lot nicer if they were flush as well.

Thanks for sharing the picture.
Steve
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Old 12-17-2014, 09:05 AM   #19
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I've got the under mount sink and we really like it. I have the flat convection cook top. I have mixed emotions on it. Sometimes I like it....sometimes I wish I had gas. It just depends on how big of a pot you are boiling corn in.
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Old 12-17-2014, 09:22 AM   #20
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personally i prefer the gas based appliances (including the fridge).....it means i don't have to run the generator (except if i need air conditioning).

I don't think we've ever used the oven, maybe once and we very rarely even use the gas stove/cook top....if we do, it's as John says....to boil a pot of water.

we cook on the grill (outside) - which i plumbed to a quick disconnect to drawl off the main rv tank.
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