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Old 07-30-2011, 05:07 PM   #1
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Smile Highway OPie and his 379 Pete

Hello all:

Just thought I would say hello to everyone here on the list. I just joined today, and look forward to lots of great conversation.

I am about a year into my project of coverting a 379 Peterbilt road tractor into a motorhome. Its a 2003 model, 550 Cat, 18 speed trans, 3.56 rears. So far I have removed the 5th wheel, dropped the front driver and lengthened the frame 6 feet, installed a new 16' Morgan dry box, and had a stock Peterbilt fuel tank made into a split for fresh and gray water and mounted it aft of the driver's side 130 gal fuel tank.

All is progressing well. My next step is to replace the 63" sleeper with one I am building which will be 83" and complete the walk-through from the tractor/bunk into the box.

I'll post some pictures for anyone who may be interested as soon as I learn how!

This is my "retirement project" which I expect will last the rest of my life!

Thanks,

Highway OPie
Grand Rapids, MI
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Old 07-30-2011, 09:36 PM   #2
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Welcome.....
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Old 07-31-2011, 10:00 PM   #3
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So you'll have a 23 foot "living area"? Sounds interesting. There is not better looking vehicle on the road that 379 Peterbilt! Will you have twin chrome air cleaners and stacks? Keep us posted.
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Old 08-01-2011, 03:33 PM   #4
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Hello,
I am still in the planning stages on my project. What made you decide to remove the 63" sleeper and custom build a 83" instead of just using a longer dry van box? Did you use a refer box? I am still wondering if I should go regular cab or condo sleeper with a dry van box behind it. Other input is appreciated as well.
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Old 08-02-2011, 03:42 PM   #5
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Default OPie follow-up

I want to thank those who welcomed me to this net!

For Porter, I'll try and answer your questions. When I was designing the overall "look" of what I hope would resemble the project when finished, I had a few "must have's" from the Chairman of Board, my wife. One was that she didn't want the dry van box sticking up significantly higher than the sleeper, for esthetic reasons. That made us finally decide that a16' dry van box would be the right length, and since it was custom made, we spec'd the height just a bit higher than the sleeper.

When the box was mounted to the frame, the "wings" on the sleeper made it necessary to have about 24" in between the back of the sleeper and the front of the box.

Forward ahead about a year, and I am now good friends with a fellow who owns a custom fabrication shop, helping him out most days for a few hours as the shop gopher and floor sweeper. For this, I am learning all about heavy truck assembly, and disassembly.

One day he says to me, "Hey, how about we take two Pete sleepers and join them together and eliminate that 24", and make a walk-through from the sleeper to the box?"

That sounded like a pretty good offer; and now the project has started. The two "doner" bunks are now side-by-side, one interior has been removed, and I start removing the other tomorrow. Next week, the cutting and hucking will begin!

Lastly, early on in the design phase I wanted my finished motorhome to look more like a truck than a camper. That's why I kept the sleep on.

I'll try to post some pictures of the project as it moves along.

Thanks,

Highway OPie
Grand Rapids, MI
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Old 08-03-2011, 09:00 AM   #6
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Welcome to truckconversion.net. Glad you found us. That is a very cool project you've got going. I just looked at the photo album of it. Great idea to use a fuel tank for the gray and fresh. What are you doing with the black? I love those steps you made. Very good idea. Might want to get one of those fold out handles like most of the 5th wheel camper trailers have? I like the looks of the sleeper cabs then mating them to the box. Are you going to make the sleeper into seating for guests when cruising the highway? I've seen where some builders use jacknife sofas on both sides of the sleeper so everybody can ride in comfort and chat, and then they fold down together to create another bedroom. Or, I'd like 4 nice air ride seats, all facing forward, and some side windows for the back seats. Keep the pictures coming.
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Old 08-08-2011, 12:41 AM   #7
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Hello everyone, just wanted to say HI Project been on hold as I just completed a in ground swimming pool at home (gotta keep mama happy) It's hot hot hot here but of course "it's a Dry heat " we'll be getting back on the project here shortly and keep you all posted (at least now I can jump in the pool and cool off while i'm working on the camper)
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Old 08-09-2011, 07:51 PM   #8
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Default Hi 377Pete

Hey, swimming pools are great, but trucks are greater! Hope you post some pictures of your 377 project, I would really like to see what you are doing!

I am new here, but would like to say, "Welcome" and I look forward to your progress reports!
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Highway OPie (Speed Gray) Grand Rapids, MI: 2003 Peterbilt 379 Motorhome; 550 hp 6NZ Caterpillar C15, Eaton-Fuller 18 speed transmission, 3.36 rear; 63" sleeper and 16' Morgan box.(highwayopie@aol.com). There are many Peterbilts, but this one is mine!
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:36 PM   #9
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Hi H.O. I dunno if my pics are still on the site I posted them about a year ago, maybe even longer, life got busy and I took a hiatus from the build out, I am looking forward (anxiously) to getting started again, just to hot here in Phoenix right now, another 4 weeks and the weather will break, then it's 9 months of "T" shirt weather I was up in Grand Rapids MI last May, wow beautiful country, and an awesome lake !
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Old 08-10-2011, 02:46 PM   #10
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Default Super Sleeper

Hello 377 Pete and all others:

Here in Grand Rapids, MI were are in a spell of very pleasant weather after some mid-90's and high humidity since early July. Nice weather to get back to work on my truck conversion project.

Scheduled to begin next week, the actual construction of the super sleeper will begin after many hours of thought and design. My 379 currently has a standard 63" sleeper, with about 24" between the rear of the sleeper and the front of the 24' Morgan box. My fabricator friend commented that we should "fill" this 24" in and make it living space.

I now have two doner sleepers which will be joined together; a 63" and a 73", cut so they will total 83". The super bunk with then go out for paint. When ready, the old 63" bunk will be unbolted and lifted off, and the 83" bunk will be set in its place. New frame mounts will be fabricated, and two new accordian rubber gaskets will complete the outside construction. The new living space will be continuous from the windshield of the tractor to the rear of the camper box, about 23'.

The only outside work needed, in addition to the painting, will be the welding of the main frame for the sleeper for the extension of the aluminum siderails.

Nest week, when I start "cuttin' metal and drilling hucks" I'll start posting some pictures as the project progresses.
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Highway OPie (Speed Gray) Grand Rapids, MI: 2003 Peterbilt 379 Motorhome; 550 hp 6NZ Caterpillar C15, Eaton-Fuller 18 speed transmission, 3.36 rear; 63" sleeper and 16' Morgan box.(highwayopie@aol.com). There are many Peterbilts, but this one is mine!
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