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Old 06-17-2004, 03:58 AM   #1
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The only thing I'm really worried about is the "extended bunk over cab" concept. None of the major vendors are doing that, and I'm thinking there's gotta be a reason for that which I'm not aware of yet.

Here's a typical Showhauler with a good view of an overhead bunk:



So...basically, is this design workable? Anything obviously wrong? "Blueprint" done in Windows Paint so don't laugh too hard...I ended up doing my own scaling ruler.
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Old 06-17-2004, 07:11 AM   #2
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Here are some thoughts on your ideas.

35 foot box will require a tamdem, which you show. The cab on the chassis will be a minimum of 10 feet bumper to back of cab, possibly longer. There will restrictions in some states on what roads you can use with a 45 plus foot unit. Mostly restricted to interstates and major two lane highways. Might be problems on secondary roads.

Interior lighting. Make sure the light is over the front of your body, not behind your head. Behind your head casts shadows on things like reaading materials. I have seen this mistake in at least one manufacturer's layout.

Extended cabover, slide in campers have them. Ask manufacturers. The only problems I can see would be possible blocking of engine compartment for major service and front axle weight.

Bathroom layout. How are you going to be able to use the sink with it stuck so far into the corner? The wall in front of the toilet could be a problem. If you would suffer a knee injury, like a torn ACL, you need to be able to sit on the toilet with your leg fully extended. You cannot bend your knee for a few months. Solution is to move door to center hall. If necessary the door can be left open to extend leg and the sink wall can be extended so the sink is more accessable along that wall.

200 gal fresh water. Will you have large enough waste water tanks to match?

This is going to take a very large chassis with a lot of axle rating. Will even a 12,000 lb front axle rating be high enough. For example, I have been told that Kenworth T-2000 chassis with a 12,000 lb front axle come close to be overloaded on the front axle with some motorhome designs.
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Old 06-17-2004, 07:58 AM   #3
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IMO the bath is way too small that shower would work for an Etheopian but that's about all. The bunk over the cab after you put a mattress in it will also be fine for an Etheopian...maybe 12-14" of vertical space. Showhauler is very reasonable...let them design you something livable, insurable and resellable. Showhauler offers 2 showers the standard which is way too small is only 36" diagonally. I opted for the larger which measures 44" if I recall corectly. In the pic below the standard shower is shown. Hopefully that give you a scaled idea how much room the bath really needs to take up. That's just my .02
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Old 06-17-2004, 11:23 AM   #4
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I have a 32" three side closet shower it is enough room for me [6'-1'/232#]... if I have a guest in there with me... it seems to speed up the showering process rather than taking all the time....ah...."necessary"....bunks over the cab are usless for me as there is only about 16" max of space to romp around in and I need more because of my back and chicks don't like cracking their head repeatedly on the ceiling.The "attic" is good for storing crap that you really don't need anyway.....If I were you I'd go with a smaller unite and a trailer......geof [then again I'm not you ]
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Old 06-17-2004, 08:10 PM   #5
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Thanks guys!

First, I wasn't paying a huge amount of attention to the bathroom part...it was more like "rough something out, let the pros figure that part out later and I'll approve the final design".

Second, I know that for decent overhead bunk space I have to carefully pick a LOW tractor cab. The Freightliner M2 series is one such, Peterbuilt has had a full-duty "lowrider" rig I'm investigating (as in, any around on the cheap and can an auto/semiauto tranny be swapped in?) and there's a few others. I'm even wondering if a cab roof can be "slammed" about 6", in hot-rodder parlance. (Even without that, the M2 chassis is available as a dual-rear-axle, air-ride and auto tranny setup perfect for larger motorhome converstions.)

In the pic I've done, the center divider in the cabover bunk is removable. This is just one possible layout up there for a couple of kids if that ever happens.

The rear bedroom would be the main..."play area" with as close to 5ft vertical clearance as I can get.

The two things that seem to really differenciate my design:

* There's a vertical hatch in the bedroom area "floor" down into the garage. As I was explaining to Lonnie in EMail, I ain't sleeping in a bedroom deep in a pocket with no back door. Ain't gonna happen.

* The cabover bunk is extra "deep", and pokes slightly out over the living room area. I don't see that as a problem but there may be hidden bugaboos.

Another thing: we have this issue going where we need two wheels to hold up the back, but if we move them far enough forward to take all the weight the rear end will scrape. Move the rear wheels back, and you overload the front axle and/or steering tires.

It seems to me that part of the solution is to go ahead and move the rear axles back pretty far, but then also transfer WEIGHT back there as close to the rear axles as possible.

So...why not remount the diesel tanks? Slide 'em WAY back to where they're a foot from the rear rubber (but still forward of the rear axles). The area where the tanks used to go can be converted to storage. That's up to a 5ft+ shift of up to 300gallons. Move that towards the rear axle, take it off the front, and now your rear axles can be brought back some more without overloading the nose.

Right? Or am I missing something else?
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Old 06-17-2004, 08:50 PM   #6
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Your rear bed area and escape hatch seems very well thought out but still how do you get outside from there....I think RVMA uses escape windows from rear sleeping areas...the cost of a cab-over attic will determine if you really need to have that much money in a sleeping area for kidsand/or crap collection area....It was the first thing to go when Bill[Warpath] measured his for me and I discovered I couldn't use the space....My origional ball park estimate from Showhauler was around $60,000 for a 26' on my truck without adding a lot of glitz-My coach plan was for an all electric coach with NO propane.....since then things have changed drastically as Larry Zeigler talked me into the Volvo towing idea and W&M built me a custom trailer and my guys and girls are converting it now...[bed gets built Friday and Saturday and finished Sunday.....keep polishing your plan the more time you spend now the more you will enjoy your rig....geof
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Old 06-17-2004, 08:54 PM   #7
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Jimm. You might want to check the specs carefully on the M2 chassis. My impression is that the basic M2-106 is the replacement for the FL-70. It has the lower cab height but also is limited to a C-7 Cat engine at 300 hp and 860 lb torque.
The back of cab to front bumper length is about 8 1/2 feet.

If you want a larger engine, possibly with the tandem, you go to the M2-111 which is the replacement for the FL-111. This might have a higher cab. I believe the bumper to back of cab length is 10 feet.

Again I am not exactly sure of all the specs but I remember somewhere seeing two sizes of M2. But I also could be mistaken.
If you find out please post the correct info.
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Old 06-18-2004, 08:09 AM   #8
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KAYERIVERCITY: once down the hatch you walk to the rear and lower the ramp/door. I *assume* that can be done from the inside!? If not...well that will have to be dealt with somehow...

There's different door types available, at least ONE will be openable from the inside (big ramp/door, smaller double doors with smaller ramp, rollup with lift, etc.
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Old 06-18-2004, 08:14 AM   #9
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CM: yes, I'll be checking into all issues regarding cabs. I've really got half a mind to have the cab height custom lowered some ("slammed") before it even gets to Showhauler or whoever (they're my preference right now).

Another possibility: completely rebuild something VERY old, as early as 1960s, as those were lower. Totally new engine, tranny, re-do the suspension to air...sure, you're out $30k - $40k in the updates but...hey, it'd be classy as hell .
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Old 06-18-2004, 08:20 PM   #10
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easier way is to drop the cab from the 60's on to a late model frame that was rolled or fire damaged in the cab.....could be a lot of fun actually.... but would taka a lot of time...I have a friend that dropped his Dodge cab and box on a army 6X6...off-road heaven.....geof
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