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Old 02-15-2004, 08:27 AM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Decatur, IL
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I'm new at this forum, but becoming an addict.

I just knew that there had to be somebody that was putting RV bodies on a Class 7 or 8 truck. It has been my dream for 4 or 5 years, but I never saw one except at races. I've been looking on the web for quite some time and one night I came across "Truckcoversion.com". Holy Cow! There is somebody out there doing it and the conversions are really cool.

In this last few months I have been all over the web trying to find this forum, knowing there just had to be one and finally after all this time it was right under my nose.

I read with great interest the photo history of Warpath's Showhauler. I was so enthralled by the process that I made a point of going to the Showhauler plant. Great experience and Lonnie couldn't have been nicer. I'm looking throuhout the scope of the major manufacturer's to see who can provide me with what I want in an RV/motorhome.

First of all, I'm looking 4-5 years down the road. I will be retiring and will probably sell my house to be able to afford this vehicle/home. I plan on the motorhome becoming my place of residence

Most of the folks on the forum are familiar with Showhauler, Haulmark, NRC, & Kibbi, but I have only seen limited comment on Kingsley and virtually no comment on Powerhouse Coach. Is there a reason? Are they not as good? Are they a different price range? Are they too far away for us folks in the Midwest and East to do business with? Would someone with contact with Powerhouse, either as a customer or know someone who has owned one please fill me in?

I'm so impressed with the Showhauler and NRC building methods. Both are built like forts and that is what I want around me and my wife. The idea that if I have problems on the road that I can go to just about any truck stop facility and get it fixed and not have to be dragged off to the nearest dealer just makes too much sense.

I'm beginning to ramble. I'll have many questions in the future. I can tell by the comments that I have seen in this forum that there are some extremely knowledgeable and friendly people left in this world. I look forward to future discussions with you.
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Old 02-15-2004, 12:23 PM   #2
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This is just my opinion, but I think one reason you don't see as much "talk" concerning the Kingsley or Powerhouse conversions is that they are not constructed as strong as the others you mention. Most, like Showhauler, use a welded steel framework surrounding the coach. Heavier, oh yeah, but that is not as much a concern when you are dealing with a truck with a 20,000# capacity on a single rear axle. The Powerhouse pretty much uses an as-built trailer coach with its stick-and-staple construction, and I think Kingsley isn't much stronger than that just described.
Anyway, stick around, ask lots of questions, and you will find out more than you dreamed of! I sure have! Welcome to the group!
Gary Atsma
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Old 02-15-2004, 02:29 PM   #3
cjc
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Location: Cape Coral, Florida, USA
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Hey Photoguy, I have a Showhauler garage coach and I looked at the others that are built in the Elkhart area. I chose Showhauler for the same reasons that most of the members on this site have spoken about. I've seen and been in a number of Kingsley coaches. Their factory is located in Pa., so they are also an East Coast dealer. Their coaches are also quite a bit more expensive than the others that you mentioned. Most are in the $500,000 range. As far as quality goes, I've only seen one that I fell in love with. It's a garage coach with some ribboney type graphics and a large American Flag and is on their website. This particular Kingsley appears to be flawless. I even doubted that it was made by the same people that put together other Kingsley's that I had seen prior to this one. The ones that I had seen before this one had fiberglass skins that were not gelcoated and therefore, even though they had expensive complete two part paint jobs, the fiberglass mat showed through, spoiling the look. Their woodwork was just ok and interior design appeared bland. The exterior wall to roof connection appeared sloppy although it might have been perfectly functional, but then again, maybe not. Esthetically, for coachs that cost half a million, the workmanship appeared shabby. I also question the ethics of a company that builds coaches without regard to some states motor vehicle laws. They have built coaches that are up to 63 feet in length. Most states, although some don't enforce the law, only allow a length of 45 feet. Kingsley builds whatever you want according to the depth of your pockets. However, having said all that, here's the scoop on the one coach that they built that I mentioned previously. This particular coach had more bells and whistles than anything I've ever seen. They had four cameras, one pointing to the rear downward, one to the rear outward, one set at the roof height forward to look out for low hanging branches and one on the right side blind spot. The exterior skin was gelcoated before a deep, flawless two part, multiple clearcoat paint job was applied. There was no oilcanning effect on the skins that showed the verticle framing members as I had seen on previous coaches. The wall to roof joint was neat and clean. The interior was tasteful and the thing that impressed me most was the tile job that covered the front half of the coach. They used a blue granite square edged tile. They laid this tile so carefully that not one edge stood proud of any other. It looked like a sheet of flat ice. Gorgeous and extremely hard to acheive by even the most experienced tile setters. The coach is 48 feet long and I believe was built on a fairly new Kenworth chassis with a Detroit? engine. They were trying to sell it for about $500,000. If your pockets are that deep, it might be worth a trip to the factory. Maybe they've finally started building products that are worth what they attempt to sell them for. If you're like the rest of us, stick with a Showhauler and enjoy. Good luck.
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Old 02-15-2004, 08:23 PM   #4
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Location: Urbana,Illinois heading tor St. Louie
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Hay photoguy>>> well it is nice to make your acquaintance..I am up the road a piece in Urbana. We have been researching RVs for about 5 years and are about to make a decision, I think... Full timing is our plan...a conversion or a 5er and tractor... the thought of living in a 5er for a while to learn exactly what we want in a conversion is appealing. And driving the tractor will allow me to de-bug it prior to having it converted... I have been mostly lurking around here and learning a LOT...We made a trip over to indy and drove the conversion that is for sale at the volvo dealer there... very nice.. a picture is in the galery here..drives like a dream.. volvo/showhauler conversion.. have driven a lot of motorhomes also.. no comparison... welcome the the forum..give a shout and we can communicate some more.
John
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