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Old 08-29-2009, 07:52 PM   #1
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I'm looking at a peterbilt 387, are they a good start? I havent found many photos of 387's as conversion. There use to be a site I think it was Fast movers but I cant find it now. NO slides, keep it simple for towing.
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T. Payne
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Old 08-29-2009, 09:58 PM   #2
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I'd think a 387 would make a slick, toterhome, still a fairly new model, so its some what pricy yet, but killer looks.

Have you found a truck? year? Miles? Specs? I vote go 4 it!
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Old 08-30-2009, 09:53 AM   #3
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Thanks blizz, I found a 2003 760,000 miles ISX 450hp autoshift $15,000.00. My wife and I are planning to go to Hershey Pa. in Sep. to get ideas for the build. Are there programs for floor plans or layout (cad)? I would like to build off the sleeper.
Are there plans,blueprints or build sheets for conversions (I saw your price list on another forum.)
Over the years we had 3 rv's the first a class A 31' then a C, the last we ordered from Coachman E450 with a power stroke dsl, sold it in 2002. Never had the layout that we liked, just what was close.
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Old 09-01-2009, 10:21 AM   #4
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Tommy, as much as I love to see folks build there own, man alive, there are some rigs that you could drive away today for 75% of what you can buy the parts for! When You get to a class 8 like you are looking at, 50-60 grand can buy any one of around 20 on RacingJunk right now, for another 20k (the range that I have in my little 21' conversion) I could buy around 50 others on RJ add another 10-20k to build a big class 8 like yours and at $100K there are around 75-100 more to pick from.

The question is if you have an entire year to build it, and do you want to learn all the systems and subsystems, and pay for your own mistakes and re-cuts, to have a truly custom rig? Or buy a lesser priced one already complete, re-carpet an re upholster a used rig and be on the road in a few weeks.

Buying a name brand rig will help with your conversation with your banker also. Nothing is more worthless than a 3/4 completed project that you run out of money on, but still can't use.
been there bought that t-shirt

perhaps, you could run an add for a half completed project? there has to be dozens of them out there for an absolute steal!
-blizz
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Old 09-02-2009, 05:59 PM   #5
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I second blizzard's remarks!!! Now is the time to steal something from somebody else. Not the time to buy a truck and build it out.
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Old 09-02-2009, 06:19 PM   #6
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I'm with blizzard here!!! Don't build one, buy one now, ready to go.
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Old 09-02-2009, 07:04 PM   #7
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Hi Tommy,
I am VERY new to this, "posting"... But think buying someone else's is cool, but no fun...
I build Street Rods, I could buy them, but what fun is that, even have three of my cars in national magazines, but that is not why I build them, I like doing the stuff no one else wants to.
Recutting is a huge learning curve, I should know I have two trucks I have bought in the last year, and on my way to the mid west to get another to start.
I have drooled over the guys trucks that are telling you to go to racing junk... they are right , now is the time for deals... If ya want a 2004 F650 or a 99 VNL770 call me , I have deals !!!
But seriously the guys on this site BUILD and BUILD BEAUTIFUL and AWESOME TRUCKS !!!
I can only hope to turn one of my trucks into half of theirs, but that is what I do for FUN, stuff no one else in my area would even think of !!!
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Old 09-02-2009, 09:15 PM   #8
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...I agree with BURT....I couldn't stand to buy a cookie cutter and live in it and be happy/comfortable.....I have to have a custom built unite to be comfortable and I really don't care what others thing/say if I'm comfortable/safe and happy.....with the kind of things I do I have to have a very adaptable structure and a adaptable floor plan---- one week I'm fishing - next month I hunt....then there are the RV/ TRUCK and Various Equipment Shows/Off Road Events....a machine gun shoot/military show twice a year and a few gun shows to go to ....a few winter weeks in Florida near the beach and I have a few girlz that hang around to do the shows with me so I need a portable dressing room hair salon and a stripper pole for ''close encounters of the best kind'' from time to time....so I need to be quite adaptable with car/boat/gun show materials and all the hunting and fishing crapola that I carry.....my 37 foot trailer is just the thing for me....but might NOT be the answer for you....So I build to suit.....trucks/boats/Rv's and houses....kinda my thing to do....[and It keeps me from trying the stripper pole when no one is looking!] geofkaye
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Old 09-02-2009, 09:29 PM   #9
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Thanks for the info. I'm a member of RJ and have looked at alot of the rigs and have not found what I (we) like yet. I have a small chassis shop, I build drag cars, most are 4130 cm and all tig welded. I've looked at projects others started just to see things I would do different, not to mention the looks of the truck and build when finished. As Burt mentioned, it's not bad to be a bit different.
I've looked at this site for about 2 years and have seen some very nice builds and thought with some info from what looks to a very knowledgeable group, I would try to build exactly the one we want. Not to make light of what is involved in a build, I do understand what I'm looking at on these rigs and I see ALOT OF WORK that's involved in building one.
Thanks for the help, we will be at Hershey Pa. on Sept. 18 and I will make some crazy offers and if I get a taker I will post it. Well with that said, where do you guys think the market is on new units? Just so I dont look like a fool to a salesperson.
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Tommy
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Old 09-03-2009, 07:36 AM   #10
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Hey Tommy, If you have a chassis shop, then I suppose you understand the economics right now; My best friend from HS has been building drag cars for 25 years out in Ontario CA, he is pretty much keeping his shop booked (swamped) for repairs and alterations due to the fact you can buy almost new cars for 1/2 the price right now.

My opening remarks is a speech I give most everyone lately, maybe out of frustration with the fact that after $70K+ and almost a year of work, I still have a good month or 2 of weekends before I can hit the road with mine. So unless the guys that asks the same question you did is prepared for that, I'd like to save him his year and bank account.

Having said that, with your background, I'm sure you could take something that is close, and make it "special" without the hassle of stretching frames, drive-shafts, ordering windows, building storage boxes and wiring generators etc..

Unless you have a real cool totally off the wall cool idea, then of course you should tell us right away, because we like cool, neat off the wall stuff here!

-blizz
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Old 09-03-2009, 07:30 PM   #11
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Tommy,
Goofy question, where are you from ??? My thought if you are going to Hershey, must be sorta close... I live in NEPA, I am going to Wisconsin in October, with a stop in Elkhart , with a HUGE shopping list. If you are close, and you have a shopping list, I could shop for you as well, if you like...
P.S. That I hope is a good opening line for anyone with EXPERIENCE to guide me in Elkhart my time is sorta limited to a day, and have no idea where other than RV Surplus to go. I will have a 24 foot enclosed trailer behind my dually, I would think I could fill it with appliances and windows and other stuff as the technical terms go !!!!
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Old 09-03-2009, 07:36 PM   #12
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Hi Geofkaye, I have followed your posts, you seem VERY knowledgable.... would you mind some private tutoring, before I "start" my project... which is a Sterling with Cat C-10.
PS I am serious if any one could a Volvo VNL or F650 with a Cat C-7, I am one of those guys if I can't use it and someone else could....
Thanks either way,
Burt
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Old 09-03-2009, 08:29 PM   #13
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Burt; you can communicate 3 ways- by phone at 888-513-5293-or on list -of off list at Kayerivercity@fuse.net I'm available most afternoons and evenings.....If I can help let me know....geofkaye
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Old 09-03-2009, 08:42 PM   #14
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...one other thing BURT there is a guy named Doc Weaver that you have to hook up with....."he is a rigger of the first kind"....so to speak....and on the list some where [unless he is babysitting]....he is a father again soon and needs all the distraction he can get to keep his mind off things.....hehehehehehe....geofkaye
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Old 09-04-2009, 08:28 PM   #15
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Yes and Thank You,
I have read alot of what you and "Doc" do...
I hav high hopes for my truck... should be a learning expierence !!!
Burt
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Old 09-04-2009, 10:36 PM   #16
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Burt,
Thanks for the offer however I dont have a list, that's why I'm trying to get some direction on what it will take to build a Conversion, what type of tube for the floor, walls, roof etc. I live just south of Charlottesville Va. so I was thinking of going to Pa. to see how desparate the cookie cutters are, then put pen to paper to get a good idea for a materials list to see how much of a difference a build would be.

Geofkaye,
THANK YOU, SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY and a pole for the dancers, love to see that. I had a bad experience with a Ford class C and a 4-way stop (slid through with car trailer hooked to it). This is one of the reasons I have for wanting to do a build, (have a real truck). So to get the layout I like, safe and built right with some help from the experts here. I'm not in a hurry to get this done, but would like to initiate once I have some good information.

Thanks,
Tommy
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Old 09-05-2009, 06:37 AM   #17
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Thought I would chime in,

I couldn't find a vehicle that fit my needs and my budget. This is why I converted my own. I said that to say this. If you can find a manufactured model that fits your needs and wallet, I would definitely consider it. BUT remember that the RV parts are just as cheap. You could build a truck for cheaper than usual. A third idea would be to by a cookie cutter for cheap and customize it with the currently cheaper parts. So I guess my opinion would be to keep your options open. Not very helpful, huh

Burt, feel free to email/IM me. I'm not an expert, but I'll help if I can.



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Old 09-05-2009, 08:08 AM   #18
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Doc, I respect all opinions and appreciate them. I've noticed a small price drop on the tubing I use, and was wondering if that was the same for RV parts, I'm not above using used part also. I was just hoping to get some info to save myself time and to get the right parts from those that have done it, if I go with the build it my self path. All options are open.
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Tommy
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Old 09-05-2009, 09:56 AM   #19
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DOc, where are you finding cheap RV parts? The New RV parts are as expensive as ever (I suppose the demand from every one fixing up their old ones rather than buying new?) And a trip to Elkhart to the Surplus stores like we did gets you a whole lot of parts cheap, but then you find out later why the cookie cutter company didn't use them in the first place, stripped threads, obsolete windows in our case, unknowingly we bought 4 right side windows, then found out to get 2 lefts would take a special run at over 400 dollars each. plus 3-4 months wait. Although we bought a trailer full of bargains, I have a whole pile of stuff that I didn't use, and had to order out of the catalog$.

Our best deals were watching the Menards sales flyers, buy the stuff when it goes on sale and stashit 'till we needed it. cabinets, doors, drawer pulls, all plumbing other than tanks and pumps came from Menards. ceiling panels, wallboard, flooring-Menards Same with electrical although we found our lighting 110V at Lowes.
I have a stash of RV outlets and other goodies that I'll make someone a good deal on. I'll post pictures of the stash later this weekend.

Good luck on your build, You can call me anytime to chat it's easier than typing. cell 701-793-0919 -todd
I'm certanly not an expert on this stuff but I have had an excellent 1 year course on this subject.
blizz
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Old 09-05-2009, 01:22 PM   #20
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You guys are still buying from retailers. Call the manufacturers. They are starving and will break the rules to make the sale. I bought a shower stall for $75, a water pump for $25, windows for $40 each, and generator doors for $50 each. I used the internet to shop and once I found the part (brand and number), I called the manufacturer direct and asked them point blank, "I'm interested in this part" and "Do you want the sale". Other parts I bought wholesale: generator, stereo, steps, auxiliary fuel tank, Steel and aluminum, plastic wall coverings, TV, antenna, shower head and faucet.

The old adage is true "It can't hurt to ask".

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