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Old 11-24-2013, 03:15 AM   #1
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Default How/where to learn?

Hi, I just joined this forum to ask some questions. I want/need to learn how to convert a box truck into an RV. I know what I would like & can picture it in my head but I don't know how to make it a reality. I don't know anything about RV's or building but I'm gonna have to learn fast. I have no interest in owning a house ever & I'm not willing to give my entire paycheck to a greedy prick landlord. I also like to travel a lot, can't stand being in the same place for more than 6 months & I will never trap myself in a lease. I got myself trapped in East TN. for the past 18 years, I hate it here & it's killing me. So now my #1 goal is to never get trapped anywhere ever again. My home has to have wheels from now on.

So how did you learn to build/convert it yourself? And if you don't do it yourself where can you take it to get the work done? I've been watching youtube videos & trying to learn but they're not geared towards a beginner. I still feel like I don't know anything. It would be really nice if I could meet somebody in real life that does this sort of thing but I'm not that lucky.

And say I bought a truck, what order should I do stuff in? I need a list of things to do & in the order I need to do them. Like insulation, installing windows, water tanks, batteries etc. I'm afraid I'll do something & it will get in the way of something else that I should have done first.

This is something I have to do but I don't even know where to begin.
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Old 11-24-2013, 05:16 AM   #2
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Sounds like you need to go to an rv store to figure out what you want and maybe buy an rv. The only reason people are building rv's out of trucks is to 1 tow a large trailer safely or 2 they are retired truckers that need an excuse to still own one If you don't have a passion for building your own RV and are just doing it to have a mobile home you probably would be better off purchasing one.
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Old 11-24-2013, 09:37 AM   #3
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I'm curious spider001 - how old are you ?
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Old 11-24-2013, 03:57 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by superbird03 View Post
The only reason people are building rv's out of trucks is to 1 tow a large trailer safely or 2 they are retired truckers that need an excuse to still own one
I like the idea of designing it my own way (I'm an artist). Only putting in what I want. And leaving out crap I don't need that will only waste space.

I also think most RV's are ugly & look ridiculous. And when you're looking for a used RV you're not going to be able to pick & choose the right paint job & colors. You'll be looking for good condition & the best price. The way it looks, the price & the condition will NEVER match up. A plain white box truck looks a lot better to me.

I also really like the "stealth" aspect of it. It looks like a plain old delivery truck on the outside & nobody will know I live in it. I just think that's really cool. I would totally prefer a plain truck to a gaudy looking RV.

And I really only need a place to sleep & wash up. I don't need furniture, cabinets, counters & all that extra BS. The only things I really "need" are a bed, a shower, heat/AC & my Xbox.

Hell, if I just stick a bed in a box truck that's a million times better than paying the stupid BS prices they charge for apartments. I don't understand how people bust their asses on crappy jobs that they hate every week of their miserable pointless lives just to hand everything over to a greedy landlord. I won't live that way, I'm not that kind of person, that lifestyle will never work for me. I tried to live like that but it just won't work. I don't want to support these people. I don't want to pay their rent & help them buy new cars & pay for their dinner at the most expensive restaurants while I get shit in return. I'd rather spend *MY* money on *ME* rather than piss it all away on some douchebag landlord.

Right now we pay $600 a month for rent. We've been here around 18 years. $600 x 12 months= $7200. $7200 x 18 years= $129,600.00. So that's $129,600.00 to live in a place that I despise. And I don't know where to move to. I don't know where in the USA that I will like. I'm from CT. I want to move back up to the New England area but it's ridiculously expensive up there. There's no way I could afford to live up there. But if I had a truck I could go wherever I want without being enslaved by over priced rents, greedy prick landlords & leases. Just imagine if I put $600 into fixing up a box truck every month instead of burning it on a rent. It would be like building my own house only a lot cheaper & with total freedom to move around from state to state.
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Old 11-24-2013, 08:07 PM   #5
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i take it your not single. can you all be in the back of a truck all day and night in bad weather with out driving each other nuts? do you have a place to work on it? place to park every night and get water? what about jobs or do you sell your art work? what lenght truck are you thinking about? will you have a car also? tell us what you require it to have. plan on running a generator?
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Old 11-24-2013, 09:04 PM   #6
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i take it your not single. can you all be in the back of a truck all day and night in bad weather with out driving each other nuts? do you have a place to work on it? place to park every night and get water? what about jobs or do you sell your art work? what lenght truck are you thinking about? will you have a car also? tell us what you require it to have. plan on running a generator?
Totally irrelevant!


I'm asking what is the best way to learn for a beginner. Where is the starting point? How do you acquire the skills & the education? Do you need to go to school? Read certain books? Watch certain dvd's?
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Old 11-25-2013, 06:58 AM   #7
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There is no single place to find any of the knowledge you need but the best place is on this site. Read any of the builds and when you see something you want more info on, ask the builder. My build is under "Coach in the Making" and the reason I'm posting it is to help others and get feedback when I do something stupid.
So a quick dirty listed for you:
*Futon - sofa during the day, bed at night
*Fresh water tank and a 12v pump to move the water
*Cheap one piece shower stall from Home Depot or Lowes
*Grey water tank under the shower but you need a trap between the two because of smells.
*Toilet which drops straight into a black water tank. Both grey and black tanks go below the floor unless you want to put the bathroom up on a raised floor. Somewhere these tanks need to be drained so you have to figure out how/where to do that. These tanks need a vent line thru the roof.
*Sink is optional as you can use a hand sprayer in the shower for that.
*A couple roof vents to let in light and air.
*Some 12v lights
*Cut a hole from the cab to the box for an entrance. You need to seal the hole which can be several different ways.
*Windows kill the stealth look

I bought my stuff from PPL motorhomes and RV Parts Nation plus Bontragers Surplus.

Sound like what you want? What other questions?
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Old 11-26-2013, 12:07 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by RLPRACING View Post
There is no single place to find any of the knowledge you need but the best place is on this site. Read any of the builds and when you see something you want more info on, ask the builder. My build is under "Coach in the Making" and the reason I'm posting it is to help others and get feedback when I do something stupid.
So a quick dirty listed for you:
*Futon - sofa during the day, bed at night
*Fresh water tank and a 12v pump to move the water
*Cheap one piece shower stall from Home Depot or Lowes
*Grey water tank under the shower but you need a trap between the two because of smells.
*Toilet which drops straight into a black water tank. Both grey and black tanks go below the floor unless you want to put the bathroom up on a raised floor. Somewhere these tanks need to be drained so you have to figure out how/where to do that. These tanks need a vent line thru the roof.
*Sink is optional as you can use a hand sprayer in the shower for that.
*A couple roof vents to let in light and air.
*Some 12v lights
*Cut a hole from the cab to the box for an entrance. You need to seal the hole which can be several different ways.
*Windows kill the stealth look

I bought my stuff from PPL motorhomes and RV Parts Nation plus Bontragers Surplus.

Sound like what you want? What other questions?
Yes, a lot of that is helpful. Thanks!

I would really like to know the order I should do stuff. When I get my truck what's the first thing I should work on?
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Old 11-26-2013, 07:06 AM   #9
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Do the work to the box first. Vents in the roof, passage cab to the box and any changes to the walls, floors and ceiling like adding any insulation and /or paneling. Windows if you still want them. I like the idea of the bathroom in the rear on a raised platform. Roof of the box should be high enough to allow that. Tanks can be under that platform with access to them via the rear door.
One big issue is power. You are going to need some kind of power generation. Generator? Solar? Running the truck to take a shower would be a little expensive.
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Old 11-26-2013, 06:52 PM   #10
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Did you read Randy StClair's thread about the "Stealth Camper?"
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