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Old 06-14-2003, 03:02 PM   #1
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Location: Oklahoma City, OK, US of A
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I've been wanting to do this(class 8 to class 7 conversion) for some time but, having never seen it or discussed it with anyone, had no idea where to begin. Being a truck driver for the last 9 years, I know some about trucks and have seen class 8's converted to class 7's for hot-shot work. But I've never come accross anyone using one to pull their RV.
I'd like to thank Warpath for providing this web-sight and onezman and all others for the great info.
Having read the posts, I've done some research and discovered a few things and come up with a few thoughts on various discussions. I thought I would share them here.
There have been a couple of discussions re. leaving the third axle in place as a hedge at resale time. This will only work if you plan on reselling within the first year. This is mainly because of the current glut in the used truck market. If you intend to keep the truck more than a year, your best bet is to drop the third axle and target RVer's and hot-shotters at the time of resale. The benefit to you will be reduced weight, increased fuel milage, increased handling, increased ride performance and reduced maintinance costs. The only draw-back will be the loss of one set of breaks. When you consider the fact that the weight of a fully laiden, heavy fiver is considerably less than that of an empty 48' dryvan, you realize this really isn't a draw-back at all.

On the subject of insurance and registration, I notice that many of you insure and register your conversions as RV's. While this may work, it may not be your best option. Primarily because insurance companies do not consider RV's to be daily drivers.
Many insurance companies-GMAC and Progressive to name two- will insure a class 8 as a non-commercial motor vehicle and several states-Oklahoma and Nevada are a couple- will register a class 8 as same. You may be asked to supply a sworn afidavit attesting to the fact that the vehicle will not be used as a source of revenue. If you have this option in your state, this may well be your best route(I am not a lawyer. The preceeding suggestion was offered only as an idea for you to further investigate).

For those of you wanting to use a daycab instead of a sleeper-cab, Freightliner, Kenworth, Peterbuilt, Mack, Western Star International and Sterling are all fairly easy conversions, provided the sleeper isn't integral. If it is integral, Freightliner offers a reconfiguration program which will convert your integral Century, Columbia or FLD to a day-cab. There are several third party outfitters that do this as well but Freightliners reconfiguration comes with a full, bumper-to-bumper inspection, all necessary repairs, full detail and paint, new interior panels, a 1 year or 100,000 mile warranty and they'll pull the third axle for you if you desire. Check with your local Select Trucks dealer.

I plan on buying my rig sometime around October and am looking forward to full-timing. Thanks again for spurring me on in my decission.
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Old 06-14-2003, 03:36 PM   #2
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Hi Jerry,

Currently Freightliner has several thousand trucks sitting around they are having a hard time selling. For the past couple of years they have been refurbing higher mileage trucks in Utah. They install new tires, batteries, paint, and dress up the interior.

They try to bump the price up pretty good if they can. Always check the mileage on any truck you buy. Check the ECM mileage against the odometer and check the hub meter on the axle if there is one. I would stay away from trucks with more than 650, 700K miles.

If I were building a motorhome on a truck chassis, I would look at day cabs, unless I wanted the full walk through from the truck into the coach.

It might be a good idea to look at various brands of trucks from several different sources.

Just my two cents,
onezman
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Old 06-14-2003, 07:12 PM   #3
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Greetings Larry,

Not to pick nits, but my name is James

The only reason I mentioned Freightliners reconfig program is because it's the easiest, most economical way to convert an integral sleeper in to a day cab.
What you say about Freightliner is true. It is also true of almost every other heavy truck manufacturer. They all have more used trucks in the marketplace than they desire and, in a lot of cases, will do anything to reduce that number.
Having driven Freightliners, Internationals, Western Stars, Kenworths, Peterbilts and Volvos, I prefer Freightliner. I know my opinion doesn't match that of others. Isn't choice a beautiful thing.
When you consider the fact that I'll be traveling alone and add in that I hope to be able to bring all 3 of my motorcycles with me, you'll understand why a long wheelbase day cab is what I'll be looking to drive.
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Old 06-15-2003, 09:13 AM   #4
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James,

Humblest apolgies my friend. I wrote that post real quick, as I was in a hurry to leave at the time.

Choice is indeed a beautiful thing. We all like different things. Ford versus Chev is a prime example. Many drivers do like Freightliners. Freightliner does have more than twice as many used trucks for sale now than any other manufacturer.

They are refurbing some of the units that are the most difficult to move. In some cases, they are converting tractors to dump trucks or other configurations. They finance practically anyone with a CDL wanting to go into the trucking business.

They are not doing this with their later model lower mileage units. I would check truckpaper.com and other dealers before ruling out anything but Select trucks.

There are some threads discussing Select trucks on some of the trucking forums.

onezman
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Old 06-18-2003, 02:57 AM   #5
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Went to the Great American RV Rally in Louisville Ky. today....Wasn't impressed at all....mostly sticks and staples and Highline stuff [bus look alikes]....maybe 2000 5'ers/MH/tag trailers in parking lot...it's going to be hell leaving there if it rains....only one class 8 conversion-kinda home made lookin' bed on a T-2000 with a 5'er....not many Airstreams.... extension chords run everywhere-it was an electrician's nightmare-though they did have large CAT generators around the lots to hook up to....guessing that individual generators make too much noise or they don't have them to run and need to hook up to shore power but, I couldn't tell. Anyway It wasn't my way of living-even for a short period of time-I'd go nuts! So these large rally deals are off my personal list of personaal activities I'd like to attend....My local RV shows are more interesting to me and factory tours of course....geof
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