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Old 08-27-2008, 09:52 AM   #1
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Found this site and need some help on my Retirement plan for next year.

I'm looking for a 2003 or newer International 4300 (Crew cab preferably) to convert to a hauler for a 39' 20K Teton home for a 1-yr USA trip. The hauler would be used for "boondocking" also so I would need room for 2 side boxes which could hold 150 gal. of potable water each. and a LP generator w/2-40#tanks

King pin wt. of trailer would be about 6K or less, the cab would require quality creature comforts for my "Honey"...cause if honey ain't happy I ain't goin to be happy.........
so loking for International conversion outfiters at a reasonable price...
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Old 08-27-2008, 10:35 AM   #2
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Snowman,
I am far from a professional, so take my advice with a grain of salt. that being said, I have a question. Why are you set on the 4300? I had my mind set on an International too, until I test drove a 4300 over a weekend. To there benefit they have: solid and quiet cab, good looking truck, the DT466 is solid, and the interior fit and finish was great. The thing I could not get past was the ride. I drove both air and spring ride 4300s and they shook the fillings out of my teeth. I don't know why, but the FL60 I ended up buying (spring ride) rides better than either of the 4300s. the freightliner is louder inside and not as pretty, but I can fix those things. I am not experienced enough to make a MDT ride smoother. Just interested.

One man's opinion,
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Old 08-27-2008, 02:24 PM   #3
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Hey Mr. Weaver.....

I actually have been looking at Freightliners before I took a look at the Internationals. I haven't ruled out the FL-60's, depends on what I can find for the right price.

Part of the reason for picking the Int'l was the maintenance intervals, and the results of J.D. Powers customer satisfaction on MDTs. I know Peterbilt came in first, but I really don't want the Full sized features of a "big rig". That is why I went Int't or Freightliner. I am always looking on my commute as to what's pulling what. Out here on the Left coast, the top three seem to be FL's, Int'ls, and Hinos, which I have found are a division of Toyota (which I have and love). I just don't know if the Hino is up for the task.
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Old 08-27-2008, 07:03 PM   #4
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Just my opinion,...stay with a truck built on this side of the ocean, they're easier to keep running (parts are much more easily obtained around the country than off shore rigs).
I know you're into MTD's however,...you get alot more bang for your buck with an HDT.
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Old 08-28-2008, 07:34 AM   #5
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I had an Isuzu NPR before deciding to upgrade to the FL60. It was great for running around town, but failed in the OTR department. The only way to keep up with traffic was to draft behind other trucks. Could be the gearing, could be the body design, I don't know. It seems that maybe the rice trucks aren't suited to run at highway speeds.

Being that your converting, I would have to agree with Bob. New parts are obviously available, but modification and conversion parts may be a difficult find.

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Old 08-28-2008, 07:52 AM   #6
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Thanks Bob E.

There's a lot more than meets the eye regarding doing this. My wife is glad I like to research the web for things before doing anything. The Sales Rep I talked to at Int'l on Monday was including some things that Mr. Weaver was saying about the ride, however he stated that by adjusting the axles on the 5'er and placement of the king pin hitch would also adjust the ride of the truck. The axles on TETON are set for best turn radius, so I probably wouldn't do that. I was reading yesterday about the H2o tanks on the trucks as ballast. Who knows, that's why I'm here to listen to what you all have to say about your experiences.

The plan is to do the trip without destroying a truck, be able to go places with the MDT unhitched while on the trip, then when we settle down to "where" we want to build...the MDT needs to be able to be used for the construction of the house for materials (pulling a flatbed trailer).

Guess I'll just have to do some test driving...Obviously some of my concerns:

The ride...don't want to get beat up, whether it's 400 miles a segment on our trip or around town,
Maintenance intervals for this type of trip...don't want to be down in the shop for long periods,
Aerodynamics....how much extra mileage can I get with the design I'm comtemplating,
Realistic utility use...I want the truck to be able to get to the store, only taking up 5 spaces or less ;-} Plus, I want to be able to go camping with the MDT with or without the 5'er.
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Old 08-28-2008, 08:01 AM   #7
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Okay, here's another question about this...

Let's say I'm unable to secure a crew cab version of either product FL or 4300/4400, Am I correct in that a retrofit operation could get a cab? Or, another thought was to have a rear area that would house the "crew" seating and a side/rear entry "bike" garage (that's bicycles), the box should be flaired for the continued airflow over and around the 5'er. I've seen HDTs with sleepers that are designed this way. Just want the smaller version. Who does that?
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Old 08-28-2008, 03:06 PM   #8
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....crew cabs are about 10k more and not hard to find in some parts of the country.....if you want it it to be a work truck and a hauler you have to make it commercial or get busted....stop at all chicken coops and follow DOT and all the Regs.....the Drom boxes are custom made to do what you want-but are kinda pricey so to speak....think you need to keep doing your research and prioritize more.....geofkaye
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Old 08-28-2008, 03:21 PM   #9
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Sorry about that geofkaye,

"work truck" not like a "JOB" work....I meant work as in I'm retired and it needs to be able to fit my work around the house "work" as I find it necessary to need the larger truck.
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