Join Truck Conversion Today
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 06-20-2006, 10:04 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3
Default

I'm considering buying a truck conversion as the show/race vehicle for my business. We go to 15 to 20 events per year and that number is growing. Motorcycle races, motorcycle rallys and shows. We currently have a 24' Aluminum Optima trailer that we haul anywhere from 3 to 6 bikes in with cabinets, a couch and some bunks and tools to do maintenance and installs (probably 6-7K pounds). For some events the trailer is a bit of overkill (for 2-3 bikes going to a race, mostly to just race and do some promotion).

We rarely camp out of the trailer due to lack of basic facilities (shower, toilet, refigerator, stove, etc.) We are currently pulling the trailer with a Chevy Avalanche but I don't think the tranny will be able to take another 50K miles next year. Motels are inconvient and expensive. I was thinking about getting a diesel pickup and adding a shower and head to the trailer but then we'll start to run out of room in the trailer. I rented a Class C motorhome last year and coming back from Sturgis almost killed 4 of us when we suddenly came upon a large black cow going 60 on "open rangeland" at night. I won't buy one of those tin cans.

Mostly, I'm looking for something that has basic facilities for up to 4 to 5 guys (more typically 2 to 3) to live out of for up to a week at a time. Not luxury, utility. It would be nice to have a small garage so we wouldn't always have to drag the trailer along. Enough to hold 3 bikes. Heck if the back of a toter home had enough of a deck, that would be fine. The rig has to look professional, we will probably do a wrap on it or at least big graphics.

Fuel mileage is very important because of the long term cost. I'd pay a bit more to get 10-11 mpg over 7 mpg. An automatic tranny is not important (although the auto shift tranny sounds nice).

Since I was originally budgeting around a diesel pickup, I'd like to spend somehwere between $40K and $60K. Am I dreaming? Again we're not looking for luxury. What rigs are going to give the best gas mileage. The people I talk to the have the smaller Freightliners rigs (FL60/FL70) are getting 7mpg but that's with an auto tranny. Reading here it sounds like folks with Class 7/8 conversions are getting up 10-12mpg without a big load.

It seems like you can get a good solid tractor for $20K. Anyone know anybody doing basic conversions like we need for not too much money. Anyone know anybody with something like we are looking for?

Thanks for any and all help in advance.
__________________

youngwerth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2006, 01:06 PM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Paxton, IL
Posts: 37
Default

You need to spend sometime on racingjunk.com getting educated on equipment and prices. I searched for almost a year to find my rig, and if you are patient yopou will find one too. You may have to raise your price level slightly, but not by much. Check out the Towing/Toterhome section

Racing Junk
__________________

John (C-IL) is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2006, 07:34 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3
Default

Anybody have any experience with Powerhouse Motorhomes out of Bismark, ND? From the pictures they seem to be in the right kind of category for us. Not very fancy on the inside but look like a decent conversion for the money. They have a one year old conversion on a '95 FLD120 with a Cat 3176 and a 10spd for $70K. Is this a decent price? He will warranty the conversion for a year and the tractor for a month. He wasn't real sure on the mileage on the tractor.

He said the local Freightliner dealer did a complete service on the unit before he converted it. Can a dealer do some basic tests on the tractor to give me an idea of how close the drivetrain is to needing an overhaul? What does an engine overhaul on one of these thing cost?

Thanks again for the help.
youngwerth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2006, 11:05 PM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 30
Default

Class 8 big rigs provide great RV haulers and older one can be found that are not too expenseive but watch out, fixing things is expensive. A complete in frame overhaul is easily on the order of $10,000, Cats more expensive than the others. Untill things like u-joints, wheel bearings, internal gear box things are really bad it is hard to tell how long they will serve. Privately used rigs commonly suffer from extended "deferred" maintenance and neglect. Test candidates hard and beware and buy at a price that you can afford to put at least a few k$ into fixing things that can cry out pretty soon.

racingjunk.com is a good source of rigs and some with middle 1990's trucks can be seen in the $40,000 to $60,000 range. Good luck.
medent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2006, 09:59 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 108
Default

I race with a guy that has a cheapy powerhouse and he is constantly making apologies for the lack of quality ! He keeps telling me "but It was cheap and I could afford it "
Do yourself a favor and call Randy Butler @ 920-386-4633 I think he can help !
or email him at sales@butlermotorcoaches.com Randy gave me an education that was pricless when I began to search for a coach and I found everything that he said to be 100% true and unbiased good luck t
fastlap is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2006, 09:23 PM   #6
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3
Default

Thanks for everyone's advice. After reading here and talking to some industry folks I know that have been driving these things for awhile, I decided that I definetly wanted a HDT. It came down to have something new built on a used to more used tractor for $120K to $90K or buy something close to what we were looking for now and get on the road on 7/10 for a planned 45-day road trip this summer. The latter choice saves us $8K plus in travel costs over that time.

I choose the used route and paid $67K for an '02 Trendsetter with a 10' garage with lift and 14' living quarters (plus the bunk) on a '94 FL120 with a Detroit 60 and 9 speed. It is optioned out just about how I would do it if it was new, mostly the functional options (upgraded appliances, diamond plate flooring, etc). Truck had a full Freightliner service before it was converted at 340K miles. It has only gone 20K miles since being converted. He claims it is perfect (and the pictures seem to back that up), enoguh so that he's willing to hold back a chunk of the price in escrow to cover any repairs needed, mechanical or cosmetic, to the conversion or the tractor in the first 45 days.

I think it's a good fit for us and we'll probably upgrade in a year or two but this should help us figure out what we really need and we (hopefully) won't have to take too much of a bath on it when we sell it.
youngwerth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2006, 07:06 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 262
Default

Our trendsetter has been great quality wise and also United has been helpful when I had a question. We have had no issues besides one arm on the couch coming loose and they sent me a whole new one. It cost me $12.00 to ship the old one back, that was it.... GOOD LUCK with it and enjoy.
__________________

Camping Dutchman is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:35 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.