Join Truck Conversion Today
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 01-19-2011, 07:21 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 527
Default just getting started on toterhome project...

Hello all-

We are just getting started on a toterhome project based on a 2003 GMC topkick cab/chassis to pull our fifth wheel/gooseneck trailer. It's going to be a "renegade" type toter with the bunk over the cab, and the rear fifth wheel hitch. I have been going over the forums for ideas trying to get all my ducks in a row before firing up the 'ol welder.

My first dilemma I have been brainstorming is joining the cab to the box. My ultimate goal would be to have both the roof and cab cutout so we can pretty much just stand up out of the seats and walk back, as opposed to just a square cutout you practically have to crawl through. My concern here is the possible movement between the cab and the box. I saw the info on this site for a supplier for a rubber boot, but that does not seem to be a good option to wrap up over the cab roof and all. I would just weld the cab solid to the box, but I am concerned over stress at that point as the cab is on rubber mounts, and the box would be bolted solid to the chassis.

Any thoughts on that issue? Just one of the many things I want a definite plan for before I start cutting up square tubing and welding it together.

Also, trying to figure out sizing and placement for fresh water and black/gray tanks. There are 2 of us, that stay in the unit mostly long weekends dry camping at the racetrack or fairgrounds, but occasionally for a week or more in a campground with hookups. Is there any reason why the gray and black tanks can't be combined, as long as it is big enough? Also a good source for tanks?

Thanks in advance for any help.
__________________

hot rod is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2011, 07:50 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
mmmc101's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Choctaw,Okla
Posts: 174
Default

Welcome aboard Hot Rod !
You have come to great web site for your project. There is a wealth of knowledge on this site and many have "been there done that" on about any problem you may encounter. They have saved me many "do overs" with their advice.
I am also building a Toterhome on a Kenworth W900 chassis to pull my race car trailer. I chose not to go with the overhead bunk. My research found the roof cutout significantly reduced the structual integrity of the cab and the cab to box seal can be a problem. I deceided to go with two 76" slide-outs instead.They appeared to be less challenging than the roof cut-out/seal problem. I have my box framed in and generator installed. I am ready to install the holding tanks but like you I am looking for input for sizing the tanks. I only have 26"x29"x72" space to place them. Almost any size and shape tank can be purchased on Ebay or one of the RV surplus places. I am just not sure what the tank ratio's should be.
Again welcome to the site and I am looking forward to following your project.
MMM
__________________

mmmc101 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2011, 03:38 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 527
Default

Hi MMM-

Thanks for your reply, and for the welcome. I have been reading through the various threads for a few months now, and gotten a lot of good ideas.

We currently have a 40' gooseneck trailer (around 20,000#) with "living quarters" we are pulling with our dually, and just beating the truck to death and need something bigger to pull it. Going the toterhome route for comfort and to hopefully get around scales, etc.. I know that is a stretch these days though. We have been using the current trailer "living quarters" (really more of a racers lounge) but it only has a toilet and sink, but no shower, been using fairgrounds/campgrounds facilities for shower. The trailer only has 20 gallon fresh water, and each black/gray tank is about the same. We get by for long weekends, but really have to be careful with the water use. The toter will have a full bathroom with shower so I really need more capacity than before, just not sure how much. Obviously I could put in a huge tank, but there is only so much room to work with and I really only want to put in just what is needed. I am sure there is a formula or rule of thumb somewhere based on persons and number of days, but I have had no luck finding anything like that.

I was surprised by your comment about the cab seal vs. slideout. I just automatically dismissed the idea of a slideout as being over-complicated for a first time build. I really don't know what goes into the mechanism, but just assumed it would be difficult to do right. I looked through Blizzard's RumRunner build and saw how it looked like he basically just welded the back of the cab to a piece of sheet steel to form the front of the box. Looks simple, but I was worried about the box wanting to flex vs. the cab. Plus I really want the bunk over the cab not just for stand up room, but it looks a whole lot more like a real RV and less like a box truck when coasting past the scales. Any place I might look for info on building that slideout you mentioned?

Again, thanks for the welcome, and hopefully somebody else will chime in and help us both on that tank size question.

Hot Rod
hot rod is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2011, 04:08 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Bob86ZZ4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: St. Paul, MN
Posts: 1,814
Default

I used to have a 32' Allegro class A gas rv. It had 66 gallons of fresh water, 32 gallon gray, and 32 gallon black. The gray tank would almost always fill before the black. My current truck has 200 fresh, 75 gallon gray, and 25 gallon black. You can see now I need to flush out the gray and black twice with each fresh fill. It works well since it's often easier to find a dump than a fill station. The ratio seems to be pretty good too. I was at first worried I'd be filling the black well before the gray. But it doesn't seem to work that way. They both seem to fill about the same time, or pretty close anyhow. As for combining gray and black into one tank. I don't think I'd do that if you can avoid it. The main reason being it's sure nice to rinse that hose with the gray water after dumping the black tank. You'd be dealing with a biological mess trying to rinse out the hose after dumping from a combined tank, wouldn't you? When I'm dumping the gray tank I grab the hose and wriggle it around a bunch to rinse it out better. I don't know, maybe it doesn't help any but it makes me feel better.
__________________
'03 Freightliner FL112, 295" wheel base, with '03 United Specialties 26' living quarters, single screw, Cat C12 430 h/p 1650 torque, Eaton 10speed , 3.42 rear axle ratio
Bob86ZZ4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2011, 04:12 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Bob86ZZ4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: St. Paul, MN
Posts: 1,814
Default

As for the pass thru from cab to quarters. I think you can get a pretty good size pass through without cutting into the top roof of the truck can't you? And then build your living quarters to extend above the cab. You might need to remove the rubber between the cab and the frame and just shim it there and bolt it tight. I don't know much about that. BlizzND is our expert there. Mine has the rubber accordian boot between the box and the cab. Seems to work well. I think my cab is bolted solid to the frame but I never looked to see for sure.
__________________
'03 Freightliner FL112, 295" wheel base, with '03 United Specialties 26' living quarters, single screw, Cat C12 430 h/p 1650 torque, Eaton 10speed , 3.42 rear axle ratio
Bob86ZZ4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2011, 06:05 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
mmmc101's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Choctaw,Okla
Posts: 174
Default

Hotrod
I crawled under about 50 various types of RV's with slides trying to determine how they worked. What I discovered is there are as many type slide mechanisms as there are RV's.Some are Hydraulic,some electric driven screws and some are cable operated electric driven.I almost gave up the idea. I then called Liftco inc. A company that builds various type slides for many RV companies. I explained to them I wanted to put two slides in my toter that would handle sleeper sofa's.They sent me all of their literature. I chose their "touchless floor model" .They look fairly simple to install although that remains to be seen as they are scheduled to arrive on Monday.I have yet to find anyone that has installed one to get some lessons learned.They have some good pictures of their various models on their website.Just google liftco,select products,then glideouts.
As for the holding tanks,I found a 105 gal fresh water tank that fits just right.($200) I think I still have room for a 30 gal grey tank and a 20 gal black.That is close to the ratio Bob has on his unit and he says his works well.
If you look at the posting "building the outer walls" on this forum you will find some pictures of my project from a few months back.Actually, Blizznd posted them for me. I couldn't figure out how to do it.(lacking computer skills) I just got the truck back from the paint shop last week.It's now white with sunburst orange pearl fenders.I'll try to post some more pictures soon as work progress. MMM
mmmc101 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2011, 07:40 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
#90-GTSC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Grafton
Posts: 285
Default

Talking about the hose for the dumping the grey and black tanks took me back 15 years ago when I went racing quite often with a friend who had a Prevost. He started with a GMC motorhome (Toronado front wheel drive), then a Bluebird, and had four or five custom built Prevosts before he retired from motorhoming. He had the converter install a long tub (probably stainless) between and above the tandem rear axles of the bus; transverse, from one side of the bus to the other. There was a little door he'd open and inside the door was the "the hose". I thought that was a clever way of storing "the hose". Maybe a self-builder could use that idea. Good luck!
__________________
Started looking for 379 Peterbilt TC, 24' to 30' box, bumper pull--but ended up w/1999 Liberty Coach conversion of 45' Prevost XLV bus. 1,000sf heated/AC'd race shop w/dump station, 50amp shore pwr where bus parks, 3 NASCAR/ARCA race cars & 26' Bravo trailer.
#90-GTSC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2011, 07:47 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Bob86ZZ4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: St. Paul, MN
Posts: 1,814
Default

My old rv the back bumper was square steel tubing and I slid the dump hose into that. Worked pretty good.

My present truck has a Liftco slide. It's got two long threaded rods on the underside. One electric motor turns the screws. It has worked fine for me. I think they're a good company.
__________________
'03 Freightliner FL112, 295" wheel base, with '03 United Specialties 26' living quarters, single screw, Cat C12 430 h/p 1650 torque, Eaton 10speed , 3.42 rear axle ratio
Bob86ZZ4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2011, 10:47 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
mmmc101's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Choctaw,Okla
Posts: 174
Default

I had not even given any thought to the dump hose.That has been the most challenging aspect of this entire project. Where to put all of the amentities of your house in 100 SF of "mobile" space! I have a great deal more respect and admiration for those folks that design and build RV's than before.MMM
mmmc101 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2011, 11:06 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 49
Default hey hotrod

check out schwintek slide sold by Lippert industries they have several you tube video's posted I have been researching slides for several months, In all my research this seems to be the best one out there, just my opinion,

i''ll let you know more thoughts once I get it installed
__________________

377pete is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:13 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.