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Old 09-06-2012, 02:12 PM   #1
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Default Featherlite toyhauler on top of 24' box truck

Is this a realistic project?

Put this 24' featherlite surv 7924..


On top of something like this.

I realize the ramp would be to high to use but would be used as a deck since I could pull something to haul my toys..

Main issue would be the rear axle and wheels matching the wheel wells on the featherlite. But other than that.. Everything's done..

Crazy?
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Old 09-06-2012, 03:26 PM   #2
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The biggest concern I have with using a conventional RV and putting it on a commercial truck chassis is most of them are very lightly built so they can be towed by a standard PU, not sure how long the structure and interior will hold up on a much rougher riding truck frame. You will also find a lot of hidden costs and materials that will add up, and quite likely by the time you buy a truck and a trailer and add up all the costs, you could get one already finished off of racing junk. I have been fighting the battle of build my own or buy a finished unit for some time, I would defiantly prefer to just buy one and be out using it, but have not been able to find one that meets my needs, and cost less than 200k lol.

Doc Weaver on this site has built him self a nice looking rig using a box truck as a starting point and finishing out the interior. Spend some time looking around on RacingJunk and some of the other web sites and you will find lots of different rigs for a good price in this economy.

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Old 09-06-2012, 04:55 PM   #3
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The biggest concern I have with using a conventional RV and putting it on a commercial truck chassis is most of them are very lightly built so they can be towed by a standard PU, not sure how long the structure and interior will hold up on a much rougher riding truck frame. You will also find a lot of hidden costs and materials that will add up, and quite likely by the time you buy a truck and a trailer and add up all the costs, you could get one already finished off of racing junk. I have been fighting the battle of build my own or buy a finished unit for some time, I would defiantly prefer to just buy one and be out using it, but have not been able to find one that meets my needs, and cost less than 200k lol.

Doc Weaver on this site has built him self a nice looking rig using a box truck as a starting point and finishing out the interior. Spend some time looking around on RacingJunk and some of the other web sites and you will find lots of different rigs for a good price in this economy.

Dave
Thanks. The featherlite isn't really a conventional toyhauler. Featherlite stopped making them because they couldnt sell them as cheap as the stick built toyhaulers. All aluminum welded on 16" centers. No frame.

So the floor would only be 4" over the truck frame.

The biggest obstacle would be the new rear single wheel drive axle and then reuse one of the original as a tag.

I bought the toyhauler for $8K. I figure I can find a ford 7.3 diesel 24' uhaul box truck for around $3k and scrap the box out. $
Engine rebuild/replace with turbo $5k Maybe another $5K in the rear axle.. Add on another $4k in hidden expenses and for $25K Iv got a pretty sweet ride.

Thinking out loud.
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:50 PM   #4
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Check Racing Junk.com regularly. You might find what you're looking for for a reasonable price. Too many unknowns. There are a few trucks on Racing Junk that look like someone put a travel trailer (which is essentially what you have) on a medium or heavy duty truck chassis.
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:56 PM   #5
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I've seen where people have put a trailer on a class 6. they're kinda odd but functional. Look who's talking, right? Those toy haulers are pretty tall. how tall would that be on a class 6.7.8? Mine is 12.5 feet and that gives me problems at times. The wheels on that trailer are probably 15" and a truck will have at least 22.5" wheels. That frame is much higher.

Just FYI, I bought a truck with a lift gate and we can load bicycles, motorcycles, even a lawn tractor once or twice.
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Old 09-11-2012, 09:38 AM   #6
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Second on Racing Junk...that's where I found mine for about 2/3 of your budget.
Having been through the experience of building up my Landcruisers, buying something close to what you want is WAAAAY more cost effective than building from scratch. Those $5 - $10 parts will add up quick, not to mention the $500 - $1000 unforeseen issues.
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Old 09-12-2012, 01:55 PM   #7
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Second on Racing Junk...that's where I found mine for about 2/3 of your budget.
Having been through the experience of building up my Landcruisers, buying something close to what you want is WAAAAY more cost effective than building from scratch. Those $5 - $10 parts will add up quick, not to mention the $500 - $1000 unforeseen issues.
Agreed.. But when you cant find what you really want, its tough compromising.

Some Uhaul box vans have a low floor with smaller wheels. The frames have a hump for the rear axle which could be recessed into my 4" floor construction.


My box is 8' 6" tall, and wide..

Its funny.. Some days I dont even consider crazy ideas like this one. But then other days it starts to sound like a feasible option when I start thinking about the cummins powered 4x4 van I really want.
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Old 09-12-2012, 05:43 PM   #8
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Some Uhaul box vans have a low floor with smaller wheels. The frames have a hump for the rear axle which could be recessed into my 4" floor construction.
Be very careful. Smaller wheels, lower capacity! Figure out your fully loaded weight ahead of time, calculate in what you want to pull (if anything), and them make sure the axles, wheels, tires, hubs, bearings, springs, tie rod ends, shocks, steering linkages, and frame rails will carry the weight.
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Old 09-12-2012, 06:48 PM   #9
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Be very careful. Smaller wheels, lower capacity! Figure out your fully loaded weight ahead of time, calculate in what you want to pull (if anything), and them make sure the axles, wheels, tires, hubs, bearings, springs, tie rod ends, shocks, steering linkages, and frame rails will carry the weight.
What.. your saying a u haul designed to haul a family across the country wont haul my rig?

Show me the numbers..
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:41 PM   #10
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yes it is very very easy to overload a u-haul, which is one of the main reasons they sell so cheap, nobody wants them because they spent most of their life overloaded..

Furniture, insulation, interior walls and doors add up. add in water tanks, propane, and a whole long list of things you will be buying to outfit this rig, I'm sure you will be very close to capacity by the time you are finished.

and yes I have the whole list of weights for everything I used to balance my truck conversion. I discovered real quick on paper that I needed to move my fuel tanks, batteries and generator as far back behind my rear axles as possible to balance off the ft axle. My numbers worked out withing a hundred or so lbs of the finished project.
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Old 09-14-2012, 05:46 PM   #11
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Wait a minute. I thought Rebar already has the trailer? The Featherlite toy hauler? Fill up the water tank and propane. Then go weigh just the trailer. Then find out how much the two axles with tires weigh. Subtract them from the weight. Then add back in a bunch of weight for food, clothing, kitchen furnishings, all your friends that are going to want to come along, all their food and clothes, etc.... Now, figure out how much that U-Haul chassis is rated for. Don't bother weighing one since you're going to pull the box off anyhow. If it's rated for more than what you've figured out your Featherlite weighs, you should be good to go. Assuming the weight will balance out okay front to rear. Then make sure it'll pull what you want to pull.
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:06 AM   #12
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The toy-hauler weighs 6400 empty. I weighed it on the way to colorado loaded with bike/tools/kayak food gear etc. No water though, and had 7900.

Cant find weight's for my torflex 5200# axles and brakes. But a conservative estimate would be around 1300# complete. So heavy TH estimate of about 7000 w/o wheels and axles.

But wouldn't I subtract the weight of the uhaul box I would scrap from what the trucks rated for?
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:38 AM   #13
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I don't think so. I think the chassis sticker inside the door was put there before U-Haul put their box on. The sticker I think should say what each axle is rated for, and then what the entire truck max weight would be allowed. And then it might say what the gross combined weight rating is. That would be the weight of the truck and whatever you are towing. I think anyhows. Maybe I'm wrong though.
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Old 09-16-2012, 07:40 PM   #14
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oh the dreaded unforeseen problems and bills ...... WOW do they ever add up
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Old 09-16-2012, 08:26 PM   #15
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What.. your saying a u haul designed to haul a family across the country wont haul my rig?

Show me the numbers..
Look at the data plate on the U-Hauls you're interested in. Look at empty weight and gross vehicle weight. Like Mr. Blizzard says ... start to add up the weights.
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Old 09-28-2012, 02:54 AM   #16
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Wht not just put a side door on the u-haul box,a bed in the mother-inlaw attic and pimp the inside the way you want.then you can still have a trailer or sell the trailer.I have seen a couple that were converted u-hauls and they where pretty nice.You could even do the front 10-12 feet as housing and the back 12 as toy hauler.just build some ramps for it.Seen one that hauled a rock crawler like that.
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:27 AM   #17
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I like this idea best because it's what I have in mind for my 23' of box space. Like most guys here, I envision my own uses, which are outside the normal spectrum of Mom and Pop buying a motorhome to tour the old USA.

Thus, what I suspect will happen for us is similar to what is mentioned above. Our space allocation, because we like to eat out, won't include much for kitchen and food prep. Instead, I envision dividing such that the forward 4 or 5 feet becomes the bathroom/closet with the remaining space 18-19' being an open floorplan workshop with a Murphy bed, which we fold down at night. This gives us a larger general purpose working space (fold down worktops) instead of dedicating private space for sleeping (we don't ever anticipate anybody else sleeping with us - it just ain't happening).

In our specific case, we also have the sleeper of the cab, which has an existing refrigerator, double bunk, and TV, which we're considering converting to office space where Lynn can hang out in air conditioned comfort during the day while I am off playing with my toys. E.g. she can fart off playing solitaire, watching TV, or working by processing orders off our website, and the other stuff we do from our regular office (everything except shipping, of course).

Rolling your own is neat!
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Old 05-09-2013, 07:55 AM   #18
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weight certainly does add up... My U Haul is a simple weekned warrior hauler... back 16' is the garage for my 04' TJ (5000 LBS fueled up) and the front will be a futton small galley with the matress up over the cab. I do not think I am adding another 600 lbs in windows insulation paneling cabs and furnature... the FRP I cut out to insatll the windows weighed more than the windows themselves... and I ditched the bench for two air rides and cut a pass through from the cab to the box... the big savings is NO facilities (bathroom) Instant heat and 45 gallons(aprox 360 lbs) of fresh water will be the heaviest addition ... pottapotty in the garage for emergancies and an outside shower set up...

again only a weekend warrior sorry should mention 1989 S1654LP 26' box

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Old 05-09-2013, 10:06 AM   #19
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Funny you mention the port-a-potty. I am thinking of one of the Lovable-loos instead.



The outdoor shower you mention, what's that like? Wife wants privacy when showering, naturally enough, so I will be forced to dedicate some space to a shower within the box unless I can come up with something acceptable.

Cheers,
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:04 AM   #20
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Funny you mention the port-a-potty. I am thinking of one of the Lovable-loos instead.



The outdoor shower you mention, what's that like? Wife wants privacy when showering, naturally enough, so I will be forced to dedicate some space to a shower within the box unless I can come up with something acceptable.

Cheers,

I am actually going to set up the outdoor shower commonly found on traveltrailers and RVs on the garage side of my divider wall... so when the jeep is not in the garage you simply shower out in the garage... a fiberglass base pan with drainage thru the floor... very simple but should be effective since 90% of my camping is done in non developed areas...woods / swamp
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