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Old 05-01-2009, 09:14 AM   #1
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Has any member did a construction quality vs price compairson among the various Truck converters.
One of my questions is, what construction method is best, and second, if a converter saves money or cuts cost on a building a unit, does he pass it on to the customer?

I've bought trailers and Motorhomes that I know were not top quality, but they didn't cost as much either.

On the truck conversion I'm going to buy thie year, I'm only going to use it 2 months a year and maybe 3,000 miles.
I'm not a racer or vendor who will spend a lot time in the rig.
It may make sence to buy a cheaper rig.

FRP seems quicker construction. Are FRP units cheaper?
Thanks
Glenn
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Old 05-02-2009, 05:47 AM   #2
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Interesting question. Now with the economy in such terrible shape I would think the best way to go would be buying something already made. There are lots of units for sale. Asking prices don't seem incredibly low but there is a big difference between asking and selling prices. I recently bought mine for quite a big price drop from their "asking" price last year. My rig had been sitting on the dealer's lot for almost 1.5 years. With such light use you plan I don't think it would make a ton of difference as far as type of construction and such.
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Old 05-02-2009, 11:26 AM   #3
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Another problem buying a New Rig is, How strong is the converter financially. In this economy, I would hate to see him go out of business with my unit 50% completed.
I bought a new Prevost bus 3 years ago from a small converter. He kept asking for more money to complete my unit. When I went to his factory, I found out, he was using my money to finish other customers units.
It ended up costing me another $400,000 to complete my bus. It was dumb on my part, but I trusted him, known him and his product for years and didn't go to his place and check the progress myself.

The point I'm trying to make is, no matter how honest a converter is, in this poor economy, if his lights are being shut off next week and he is 3 months behind on his rent, what will he do?
Glenn
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Old 05-04-2009, 04:35 AM   #4
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I just thought of another consideration. It is weight.

Several years ago, I ordered a new Freightliner toterhome with a 16 ft box. It was built like a tank. Two inch sq. Steel tubing and plywood floors and walls. Marble floors, etc.
The problem was, it was too heavy on the front end.

I blew two front tires in two years and almost wrecked the unit. Each time a tire blew, off went the front fender and a $3000 repair bill.

It might be better to have a very light unit that is not built as strong.
Glenn
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Old 05-07-2009, 10:10 AM   #5
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Hello GEPatch,

Was interesting to hear some of your comments. I am the Volvo Rep that specializes in the RV industry. you are correct about some shady outfits that will take your money. I do business with 14 of the nations leading truck convertors and would be happy to help in anyway. You brought up a very legitimate problem that you will find in most of the used truck conversions. The front axle is usually rated at 12,500lb. This is way too light and can bring a very expensive ticket if ever caught. I only will order a 16k front axle suspension with 15,660 rated tires and rims on the truck chassis that I stock. Not to mention what any attorney could do with an accident claim and an under-rated front suspension.

I agree with Bob about finding a unit that is on the dealers lot and making a crazy offer. Some just might take it. Especially on a freightliner columbia or M2 chassis that they are discontinuing.

Feel free to call or write if you have any further questions or need additional info.

Jeff "Big T."
800/886-4242
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Old 05-12-2009, 06:51 AM   #6
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I would defiantly agree with Price over construction. With this economy, and the 100's of conversions available for sale right now, buying a completed one at a discount will be much cheaper and far quicker than spec'ing one out and having one built.

So far, having started with a $16,000 truck and doing a lot of shopping in Elkhart for discounted parts, I have close to $50K into a 22' box atop a GMC 6500. The little things add up and the big things are expensive!

Do your homework and spend some time on Racing Junk to see if there is something close to your needs. Then after selecting a few truck that fit, call and ask questions, get dyno sheets, history reports and scale tickets. Then buy a airline ticket fly out and drive the unit. The money you spend on that trip will be chump change compared to the price you pay for a unit like this and it will be a bargain if the truck is a dog or mis-represented.

If it wasn't for my need for the unit to fit under my 9' garage door, I could be RV'ing in any number of units in my 50-60k range.

Good luck
-blizz
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Old 05-14-2009, 10:13 PM   #7
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....A 50-60% DISCOUNT IS THE USUAL PRICING NOW...I do owner cost plus deals all the time...show me the invoice/check/loan docks and we will go from there-beware of the duplicate/triplicate invoice system like car dealers....they still pull that crap once in a while....call your BANK repo-department and speak to the head guy....repos are becoming easier to get directly from the bank for cash if you are a customer. I get a call from US Bank once a month with a heads up on anything RV wise....you might do the same thing.....they are in a bind anyway and will do a deal for cost+paperwork and a coffee.....my Freightliner sales whiz will call the factory and get a bump to help with a deal with a very small margin "so as he can eat lunch on some deals"...and that is with a good long term customer and a check ready to deposit asap....cash is always good-I did a cash deal on a dump trailer tonight in the dark.....things are out there but you got to know what you are doing and looking for...take another person with you besides your wife...like a thug!...".What works-works/////and what doesn't-try something else"....geofkaye
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Old 05-16-2009, 07:12 PM   #8
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FYI--- 2007 Haulmark 3301 Bank repo conversion on a place called crankyape.com 31 761 miles bid is at $70,050.00Way Cheep. close date on bidding is 5/25/2009 Unit No is 13494
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Old 05-20-2009, 08:24 AM   #9
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Thanks for the info Mike.
I'm looking for a shorter unit around 32-34 ft in total length, which is hard to find.

I spend a lot of time in Calif which has a total length requirment of 65 ft. I've gotten 3 tickets for overlength in my 45 ft motorhome with 26 ft trailer.

My thinking is, if I get a 32 ft truck conversion and a 32 ft stacker, I can carry all my toys and still be OK on length.
glenn
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Old 05-20-2009, 09:12 PM   #10
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That's a nice looking rig on crankyape. It's at 101k as of right now. Hasn't met reserve yet either. I bet bids go to 160k and it doesn't make reserve.
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