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Old 03-30-2004, 04:14 PM   #1
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Ok, thinking of a conversion in a few years and have some basic questions.
First, how much box length can you get and still be a) able to get into most commerical campgrounds; and b) still be able to tow a good size pickup as a toad?
Second, I have seen some units that have toy storage under the master bedroom for motorcycles, including where the floor lowers as a ramp. Is that a very expensive ($) option?
Third, how about seating while traveling? I have three kids and want them to be safely seat belted. How does that happen when most of the plans I see have sideways couches?
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Old 03-30-2004, 07:23 PM   #2
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Box length depends on the cab length. My FLD120 cab is 12' & with my 28' box I am 40'. I have had no problem getting into the smallest CG's in Ohio & PA. I know most state parks around here will not allow motorhomes over 40'. So 40'is a safe length. No problem towing a Dooley if you want.

Not sure on the $ for the under master storage area.

The couch is the area Show Hauler will add seat belts. I added seat belts to the dinette as well. We don't travel unless everyone is seated and belted in. Is it as good as the captains chairs in the cab, no but it is better than not being belted in at all.

Bill
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Old 03-31-2004, 04:30 AM   #3
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Well, I am running a 29' TT now, so it seems doable.
Do the major builders do a lot of custom layouts or do they just tweak their current floor plans?
I have 3 kids and I am thinking of a master bedroom in the back above a motorcycle garage, and a double bunk along the side behind the cab in addition to the bunk over the cab. I am currently thinking of two captain's chairs opposite the bunk unit (front to back). We don't really care about a couch, but would want two dinettes. Maybe one that just holds two with a captain's chair behind it and using one of the other captain's chairs turned around to eat. (Giving 3 captain's chairs for traveling in.) We have not figured out the bathroom, but we don't really wnat to go though it to get to the master bedroom. Thinking of a shower/tolet area on one side with walls and the sink on the other side out in the open.
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Old 03-31-2004, 05:51 AM   #4
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To get an extra storage area there is a fairly easy to get the room. Raise the bedroom. With the usual bedroom you can almost stand on the bed and still not hit the ceiling. Unless you plan on standing on the bed regularly just raise the level of the bedroom floor and that extra vertical space can be used in the storage area, basement, below.

Some regular motorhomes uses this kind of idea. Bigfoot, Tioga or Jamboree 26Q and the Gulfstream Endura 631 model use some variation of this idea.

Also you might talk to Transport Designs, they have a web site. They had a picture of a truck conversion they build that had a raised bedroom with a large storage area below it. They build custom rigs so they could build anything you wanted.
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Old 03-31-2004, 06:31 AM   #5
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by BeenThere DoneThat:
Well, I am running a 29' TT now, so it seems doable.
Do the major builders do a lot of custom layouts or do they just tweak their current floor plans?
I have 3 kids and I am thinking of a master bedroom in the back above a motorcycle garage, and a double bunk along the side behind the cab in addition to the bunk over the cab. I am currently thinking of two captain's chairs opposite the bunk unit (front to back). We don't really care about a couch, but would want two dinettes. Maybe one that just holds two with a captain's chair behind it and using one of the other captain's chairs turned around to eat. (Giving 3 captain's chairs for traveling in.) We have not figured out the bathroom, but we don't really wnat to go though it to get to the master bedroom. Thinking of a shower/tolet area on one side with walls and the sink on the other side out in the open. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The beauty of a Showhauler is it costs the same to get one custom as it does using one of their floor plans. Scribble out an idea, fax it to Lonnie and his designer will tweak it to make it work. That part...is free!
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Old 04-01-2004, 07:29 AM   #6
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We also have kids that we take with us. I can tell you that the more storage you have the more you will take with you and still probably not have enough space.
We found that the 2 single most usefull features that we added have been the trash compactor and the extra height, that really makes the overcab bunk nice. The compactor really helped. Also pay close attention to the size of water and sewer, both need to be doubled and we actually only doubled the water and are short on grey water storage.
Patrick is right, Lonnie is the man!!!!
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Old 04-04-2004, 09:14 PM   #7
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Hi, Been There. I have a 45 foot Showhauler with a garage. It's a 24/10 unit on a Freightliner. I've traveled through a good part of the country and have never had a problem getting a campground because of the length. Of course, there are campgrounds that can't accomodate a rig of that size, but they are also the same ones that can't handle anything over 30 feet. As far as storing the bikes under the bed, Showhauler will do that, but not the way that you're thinking. I've only seen Kingsley store bikes and small cars in the fashion that you mentioned. My wife and I travel with two kids and two big Harleys. The bikes are stored in a separate 9 1/2 foot garage. When I asked Lonnie to make the garage below the bed, they couldn't do it the way that Kingsley does it with a drop down hydraulic floor. They can do a drop deck floor and build a bed over the garage area, but you won't have that much head room in either the garage or the rear bedroom. And the side door garage with a ramp sometimes causes problems with loading a bike because the ramp is so short and steep and the bike gets hung up on the frame. I think that the best way to do it would be the way we did with a separate garage area and lift gate. If I had it to do over again, the only change that I would make would be to have a heavier duty lift with a longer platform so that I could load both bikes on it at the same time. As far as keeping the kiddies belted in, good luck. There are seatbelts that are bolted to the floor below the couch. In theory, you could tie down three rugrats, but I doubt if it will happen. It's probably easier to drive defensively and hope for the best than to fight with them about staying seated when they have all that room, dvd, refrigerator, in motion satellite system, vcr, etc. available to them. If you talk to Lonnie at Showhauler, he will be able to advise you about what they are able to do and what they won't do because it violates RVIA certification. Other manufacturers will build anything you want, but they won't build it to RVIA specifications and may even stretch the laws in regard to what's legal to put on the road in most states. As far as your tow capacity, figure that it's basically unlimited. I have a one ton F-350 Ford which I have towed and could tow all the time if I wanted to. It weighs well over 9000 pounds. I prefer to tow the Dodge quadcab half ton which weighs about 5500 pounds. Either of these trucks are towed with the standard receiver hitch. It's not one of those heavy duty hitches that guys tow 30,000 pound stacker trailers. The standard hitch is good for 14000 pounds, but nobody makes a tow bar rated for over 10,000 so you're good to go with anything that you want as a toad. Remember one thing when shopping for a truck conversion. It's not a Class A. It doesn't drive like a Class A and doesn't look like a Class A. These truck conversions are a breed onto themselves. They exceed in almost every way everything that you get in a Class A motorhome, but they do it differently. Look around, talk to people and take your time when specing one out to actually build. Several months of back and forth emails, phone calls, sketches and faxes between manufacturer and customer are normal. Good luck.
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