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Old 07-11-2010, 05:23 PM   #1
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I am looking into building my own conversion. I have a 2000 Pete 379 with a c-13 cat in it. Has a 43" bunk on it. I believe. Its not the 70 inch bunch. Would I be better off removing the bunk and putting a box on it or leaving it on there. Or Take it off and have somebody like Hawk Engineering build a sheel. I want to do all of the finish work inside my self to keep cost down. I have no idea what it will cost thats really what I am looking for is a ballpark. Already have truck. Dont need anything fancy. Would like around 30 ft of living space with one or two slide outs. Any suggestions or hints would be help full.
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Old 07-11-2010, 08:30 PM   #2
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A Pete 379 would make a cool conversion.



I can't tell you one way or the other about removing the sleeper, pro/cons pro- it adds a sleek aero transfer from the cab to the box, cons, you loose a few valuable sq ft particularly if you are thinking a lounge slide out.

As for build it yourself or farm it out?
Farm it out!! to someone like Hawk, SpaceCraft or a few others they have the expertise to stretch the truck, design in the ft/rear balance and build leak free slide outs. Once the box is built, wired, plumbed, and insulated you can then install the cabinets, flooring and wallboard. As well as trim and soft goods like curtains, interior doors, beds and sofa sleepers.

I would not attempt to build one from scratch for 2 reasons.

1) it takes too much time, a to learn everything you need to know just to design the truck, then the time and shop space it takes to construct the truck is incredible. Room for all the parts, a high ceiling to work on the roof etc. When you are all done you will think that with all you learned by mistake that perhaps you should build a second one just to use all your new knowledge and newly learned skillz.

2) Money and resale. It will cost you twice what you originally budget. If you are thinking 30' figure 80-100 grand to start. 3,000 bucks a foot without slides. Hawk and Spacecraft can give you good solid bids to get it to my above stage. From there you can use conventional pricing for the finish. Shop Menards, Home Depot, Lowes etc. to figure how much your shower, sinks, beds, countertops cabinets and flooring will cost.

Before you start anything have those finish numbers to add to your Hawks bid, don't forget to add in the truck cost, then decide whether you want to spend a year building (finishing) your truck or just spend a weekend on Racing Junk to pick out a completed unit for a 40% off, truck short sale and be trucking by the next weekend.

I mentioned resale, by having a coach builder build your box you can at least sell your project completed or where you give up with a brand to attract a potential buyer.

Does this make sense?

I just type as thoughts come to me- I hope you understand. You can search my project here and follow the whole build over on my escapees post, to give you an idea of how my thoughts have been backed up by 2 years of rookie RV manufacturing experience learned the hard way.

Good luck, looking forward to seeing your layout plans.
-blizz
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Old 07-12-2010, 05:46 AM   #3
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I have the truck. So what you are saying is that we will have 80,000 in just the box. or that is eveything inside of it.
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Old 07-12-2010, 06:13 AM   #4
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Pen,
Bliz gives some good advice in the above response.

Some other things to consider when building a conversion is the order in which you do things. When Hawk did our conversion the last thing he did after all of the walls are built, doors and cabinets hung, HVAC, electric 120/12v and water lines run is to skin the outside of the coach. This keeps it easy to make any changes and 100% test all of the systems with the interior completely finished. This requires a building to house and work on the coach.

Having built my home and my other RV, like Bliz, I started down this road with the same idea you expressed in your first post...to build my own. The bottom line - when I really worked on the plan / schedule, I realized that it would be years before we ever got to use the coach. Now that we are done I am glad we had it built to 90+ % complete. With all of the other things I wanted to add, the pre trip prep and post trip cleanups, I am more than busy and it feeds my “need to build” and then some with no problems.

My experience is $3k/ft to $5K/ft for top-end finish and that is why a used finished truck remodeled by yout to meet your needs starts to look pretty good. However if you want something that is your-own and built just for your purpose...NOTHING beats building your own. That is what we did, and we paid to build it just the way we wanted it and I would do it that way again if I could.

Good luck with however you choose to proceed...

Rad
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Old 07-12-2010, 06:22 AM   #5
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Yeah that makes sense. I was leaning toward having someone build the box. We have a wood shop that makes cabinets and eveything like that. Thats why I was leaning toward just having the box built. Being that my dad is a truck driver and I am too on the side. We are thinking about building it together. So we both can use it. It will be overkill for what we do. But they just look awsome. I will pull a 18ft or so trailer with a Trans am behind it so its not like we need that big of truck. I just hate to see the truck go to waste. Its too good of truck for that. We have access to a great 379 pete and was looking into building a conversion. Any idea what it cost per foot just to have them built the box. Im in now hurry on the build. It can take a few years. I would like to just have it built but I dont think I can swing all of that if you know what I mean.
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Old 07-12-2010, 06:23 AM   #6
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also Radman do you have any pics of you truck
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Old 07-12-2010, 07:16 AM   #7
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I'm kind of on the side of buying a used one for a terrific deal too. But I can understand your position. I think the one thing Blizz was talking about is the cost of the truck, even tho you have it, it does have value just as it sits and could be sold outright. So, you can't just figure you've got a free truck. You could sell it and use that money toward a completed truck. I think that might be what he meant.

Back to the original post. I like the idea of taking that short sleeper and turning it into passenger seats. Put some nice big windows on each side. 3 captains chairs across and leave enough room for a walkway between them. 1 on 1 side and the two together over toward the other side. Or you could get a jacknife sofa in there and get one narrow enough to walk past on one side into the living quarters? That'd give you another bed. Or two small jacknife sofas on each side that come together for a bed as in this coach: www.balinfamily.com I think that looks like a cool way for friends to ride and add sleeping. My coach was made on a day cab and it's kind of seperate between the living quarters and the cab. Makes it hard to conversate with passengers.
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Old 07-12-2010, 07:41 AM   #8
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Penn,
Email me off line with your reply address and I will send some to you. I dont have any posted on the site. And you can see some pics of it at Hawk Enginnering's or Craftsman Ind's Website.

To Bob's note, we did 2-captains chairs with swivels on one side and a Jack Knife sofa on the other side (with a flat screen) of our 75" sleeper. It works great when traveling with my buddies and then makes into a dinette or sleeping area. This is an area that we spend lots of time in on the road and it was esentally "FREE" with the truck. At $3-$5K per foot that's $18K +...but you still need to finish it out.

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Old 07-12-2010, 03:09 PM   #9
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Thats not that bad. I dont think I would even have them stretch it out at all. With sleeper I could get a 18-10 box. It would have about 4-5 ft overhang. But that shouldnt hurt anything. I really dont need all that fancy stuff inside right away either. Just a place to cook, sleep, and bath. Can you buy water tanks and thinks like that or do you have Hawk do that also.
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Old 07-14-2010, 03:44 PM   #10
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Don't forget what Blizz said, it'll cost you twice what you think it will to build yourself. At least twice I'd say.
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