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Old 11-04-2016, 05:25 AM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2016
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Wink Hi! Is there a list of sizes/shapes of different trucks/trailers?

Hey truckconversion.net!

I'm interested in mobile dwelling and I've been weighing my options. For a while I was considering van dwelling, then I looked to skoolies, then house boats and now I'm looking at truck conversions!

I think the square shape of box trucks/trailers is really desirable for a living space and more convenient conversion, and I really like the extra vertical height compared to a bus. I'm 6'0" and from what I can tell I'd have to be discerning about what bus I get if I want to be able to stand up straight comfortably (especially after insulation). Most trucks, even with the garage-style doors, tend to have more than 6' of clearance at their lowest point! Nice.

My search started by looking at Uhauls. There's a pretty old 14' one ('97, I think) for sale locally and I was pretty tempted by its ~$5,000 price. Turns out it (likely) needs a whole new transmission, it "slips around 30-35mph."

A lot of people have told me that Uhauls around that price generally have pretty big problems like that (and are usually close to 20 or more years old), and I'm not handy enough to evaluate the severity of those problems. I don't really mind factoring the repair into the cost of the vehicle and looking at it that way, but I don't have the expertise to know if that problem would lead to other problems nor the skill to discern any looming issues.

That said, I've been trying to evaluate the general price/condition of box trucks ("straight trucks," I've heard them called) and learn more about them so that I can make an informed move in a year or two. I'm excited to stop paying rent and be tied down by leases/needing to find a place wherever I want to live or work.

Part of becoming more informed is me trying to figure out what specific size/shape/features I'm looking for. It'll be a lot harder to be seduced by a good price and iffy purchase if I know what I don't want to compromise on.

Right now, I'm most interested in box trucks/"straight trucks" that have a cargo "attic" over the cab area. My plan is to put a bed there so as to save square footage of "living space." I definitely could build a "loft" for a bed and just have storage/systems in a sort of crawl space under in a box that doesn't have the attic, but I'm then compromising the length/living space that I could utilize for other things and that feels bad on principle. Maybe that will change with my perspective over time.

I also really want a cutaway between the cab and the box. This is one reason I'm hesitant to get a trailer, the other reason is that I'm not a professional driver and the idea of driving such a large vehicle with such a large trailer is pretty scary. I'm comfortable driving a Ram Promaster, and I feel like I could get comfortable driving a box truck/straight truck that's ~17', but the turning radius is a little intimidating to visualize right now.

I like the look of the smaller-cab flat front trucks (most I see here are Isuzu, but I know GMC and others have made them), but I believe the fold-forward service setup they have is at odds with having a cutaway and having a loft, so I imagine that's a no-go.

Anyways, the main thing I am looking for that would help me get perspective at the moment is some sort of list/chart/resource that has the varying dimensions of different sizes and types of boxes/box trucks. How tall are they? How long are they? How much space is there in the attic area? (I don't mind having a twin size bed or a smaller custom one, but I would like to be able to kind of sit up or sleep on my size in the loft bed area)

Besides that, I'm excited to start looking at some of the crazy campers you folks are living in and working on!
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