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Old 08-25-2004, 10:40 AM   #1
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So my thought is that rather than build a box from steel tube (like showhauler) it would be much easier and probably save a lot of time to use a dry van box (like a 26ft'er).

Is there any problems with going this route? I can't think of any. Morgan Van body makes a nice box with FRP smooth sides with a door and stairwell already built in. I have talked with a company that manufactures them close to where I live and if I need to walk on the top, they can put in extra roof bows.

Any comments are welcome!

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 08-25-2004, 06:12 PM   #2
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Here's one that someone did.

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Old 08-25-2004, 07:20 PM   #3
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What is going to hold up the cabinets, tv, ect..? Box trucks are not designed to carry weight on the walls or roof, there is no real structure. You are going to need to add steel structure which will need to be attached to the floor frame rails. So why not begin with the proper structure and add the panels yourself. I know when I first started this site, I hunted around the net and found a number of trailer component suppliers who handle the panels, trim, caps, ect.. I would hate to see ya buy a box and then have to dismantle it to add steel(or aluminum)framing.

I did read somewhere in here about a member who was converting a box truck, but have not heard any updates.

Bill
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Old 08-25-2004, 10:11 PM   #4
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.....I'd think if you used expanding bolts on the hat channels that they would stay in place.....after all, a lot of dry vans have hangers/e-track/rings/eyes and hooks to keep cargo form shifting....geof
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Old 08-26-2004, 10:48 AM   #5
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If you were considering using a FRP body go look at a Penske, Ryder rental truck. They use a FRP body and then inside the FRP they use a Z metal stud. Attached to the Z metal, running horizontal, are woods runners, probably hardwood 1" x 4".

This does create a space for insulation and this style of construction would support the cabinets. Also a cavity for wiring. Wiring cound be run at the top and bottom of the walls using a 45 degree panel to cover it. This is done in some RV construction. One advantage would be by removing the panel you could service, change, the wiring.

In some ways the steel framed body mfrs, Showhauler, NRC and United Specialities, are similar except on the inside of their steel wall studs they put OSB panels. They then glue a metal skin on the outside of their steel studs. The Z studs would be better for insualtion because there would be less gaps in the walls that are not insulated. Tubing creates a air space with no insulation.

The appearance of using a dry van body would be similar to a Renegade. Check with the manufacturer of the body to see if they offer a FRP with a smoother exterior finish. Some of the FRP panels have a rough texture.

FRP is heavy and adding interior studs will be more weight. But steel construction is not light either. You could probably find aluminum for the Z studs. Or you could use aluminum C channel also.
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Old 08-26-2004, 07:50 PM   #6
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I currently have a van box on the back of the truck for hauling my drag racing motorcycles and I pull a toy trailer. The box has the wood slats that you mention. I put up 3/8 ply over the wood slats and some wainscoating over that. It seems pretty sturdy, I would not have a problem hanging cabinets on them, especially if they were screwed into the hardwood slats.

I had the idea of possibly putting electrical wiring behind the plywood and along the wood runners. Seems like it would be easier to run and as you noted, easier to access later if needed.

I mean, these boxes have forklifts crashing into them with loaded pallets. Seems to me like the construction would be more than adequate.

Mike
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Old 08-26-2004, 08:44 PM   #7
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....wiring could go into the roof or under the floor and pop up/drop down where you need it. Increased insulation means more comfort and less energy usage which equates to smaller generator and less propane use-also less energy use when pluged into a camp ground system-meaning no brown outs and less blown fuses/circuit breakers....Ideally, use of homeowner appliances mean less overall cost of construction[HOME DEPOT WALMART K-MART HH GREGG-or used]. I don't know about others but I'm less than impressed with RV appliances....they seem very junky and oiverpriced as heell....Look at some of the new "Smart House Systems" they seem better designed and built....just adding a switch near an appliance would in most cases allow you to balance a system in case you run into a 30 amp park....modern housing appliances are much more energy efficient than RV stuff.....geof
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Old 08-26-2004, 08:48 PM   #8
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.....BTW I calculated the insulated space inside my trailer's steel tubing studs which ammounted to 2.75 square feet of non insulated air space.....hardly worth worrying about out of 1200 square feet of R-12+ insulated space.....geof
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Old 08-27-2004, 11:00 PM   #9
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....yes-I was bored that day and it was raining....geof
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Old 08-27-2004, 11:21 PM   #10
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geof. What type of insulation were you planning to use to get the R-12+?
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