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Old 10-16-2012, 06:09 AM   #1
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Default Murphy's Law Motorsports Toy hauler

Hi all.

I have been checking out this site for a while now and I figured I'd post up my project now that I have actually started.

I am involved in a offroad race sport called ultra4 racing where I race a rock crawler. For the past 3 years I have been hauling my rig all over the country with a pickup and an enclosed trailer. It is not really any fun to drive and not the safest thing on the road for sure.

I finally pulled the trigger on a 1999 Kenworth t-300 expedite truck with a 24' box and 6' sleeper. It has 550k miles on it. I had been watching the truck for months on craigslist and the owner of the truck dropped his price to $10k I finally went to look at the truck. As it turns out the truck is in great shape. It has had an in chassis rebuild on the the engine (cumins isc) a new turbo fan clutch radiator batteries and front runners.

the only issue I have found with the truck is that the boot between the sleeper and cab was bad. It was a pretty easy fix and the cab is now dry.

My plan is to build out the front 8' of box to be a camper and the rest will be garage for my race rig.

The first thing I figured I would work on is aquiring parts. One stop to the local rv dealer and I was able to get a 30' fifth wheel camper with roof damage for a few hundred dollars. It had some good parts inclduding windows doors A/C heat awning. I also had an old truck camper which had a ton of good parts as well which stripped for parts as well.

Right now I am trying to figure out a layout that works both for racing and camping with my faimily. I attached a screen shot from solidworks of what I have been playing around with (I am an engineer by day) For sure I will make a pass through from the sleeper to the box and do some type of seating in the sleeper that can fold out into a bed as well. I figure I can use the under body on one side for tanks and the other side for race related storage.

I am interested in any input I can get.
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:09 AM   #2
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Looks like it will be a great build!
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:55 PM   #3
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I think it will work great. For an idea about how to set up the sleeper portion check out what Hawk did here: Balin Family - I like that setup. Opposing jacknife sofas that fold flat to make a nice bed. Showhauler has done that too. I'm guessing making the pass through to the box from the sleeper might be the most difficult. Check out 40's Rock's thread: Portal

Great plan to scavenge parts off that 5ver. Keep us posted with pictures.
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:04 PM   #4
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I think it will work great. For an idea about how to set up the sleeper portion check out what Hawk did here: Balin Family - I like that setup. Opposing jacknife sofas that fold flat to make a nice bed. Showhauler has done that too. I'm guessing making the pass through to the box from the sleeper might be the most difficult. Check out 40's Rock's thread: Portal

Great plan to scavenge parts off that 5ver. Keep us posted with pictures.

Hey thanks for posting up. That is exactly the stuff I am looking for. The sleeper setup is sweet. My friend just got me some parts from a conversion van. I am going to see If I can make the sofa and captains chairs fit in there some how.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:19 PM   #5
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T300 should ride very nice. I came close to using a T300, but I couldn't get the price I wanted. It looks like you're planning is sound. I can't wait to see it complete.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:54 PM   #6
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How are you going to get the rock crawler in the back? Let it crawl up?
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Old 10-16-2012, 09:29 PM   #7
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T300 should ride very nice. I came close to using a T300, but I couldn't get the price I wanted. It looks like you're planning is sound. I can't wait to see it complete.
It is funny you mention the ride. I haven't even ridden in it yet. In Ma I need to get it converted to a camper before I even bother with registration.

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How are you going to get the rock crawler in the back? Let it crawl up?
My friend runs a scrap yard and he gets rental truck ramps in as scrap quite often. My plan was to shorten two of them up and make a place between the frame rails where I could slide them in like a u-haul.

Here is a pic of the new car I am building.
you can check out some more on facebook http://www.facebook.com/murphyslawmotorsports

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Old 10-20-2012, 08:05 AM   #8
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Your find is remarkably similar to mine in respect to miles, rebuilt engine, and box size. The only significant difference is mine has an auxilliary axle, which is of little use to me and will stay stowed forever because I doubt I ever load Moby sufficiently to justify lowering the axle. In fact, if there's a market for it, I would sell it.

Naturally, everybody has a different vison of what makes the perfect truck, but there are some similarities, e.g. cooking, eating, sleeping, working, and sanitary set up. For example, I like your ideas for the garage and sleeping arrangements but I wonder, what are you planning for SSS (shit, shower, and shave) facilities?

I presume the plan is to reuse components from the 5th wheel find, but where are you planning to install toilet, shower, and sink? I wonder because I didn't notice them in your drawing. Speaking of which, I had to zoom the browser to 400% to see much of anything, how about emailing me the .sldasm drawing so I can eyeball it more closely?

email: info at sanfordmachine dot com

Meanwhile, I've different plans for Moby, my conversion, because my garage space is for a modeling workshop instead of a car. That said, I would love to figure out a way to load a car because I am into them too: http://www.hobbytrading.com/private//62gto/

Does your truck have a lift gate built onto the back of the truck? Mine does and I obtained a piece of 8" aluminum channel for loading my Harley (to have wheels on location), but this won't lift a car. I am thinking maybe ramps, but they would have to be very long for a street car. Regardless, this is low priority for me while ramps are very high priority for you. That, and your kind of vehicle has greatly reduced overhang fore and aft, which makes getting it in and out of your truck far easier.

Finally, I think I've sussed out the SSS facilities for Moby - thoughts in the Moby build thread but please keep your thread going, it looks like a very interesting project.
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:15 PM   #9
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The plan is to have a full bathroom with shower and toilet. The living quarters will be pretty tight since I need 16' of garage space for my toy. The sw files arent quite done yet.

This weekend amongst many other things I managed to spend a bit of time on working on the truck. Someone removed one of the air horns and did a half a$$ed fix on the one remaining air horn. Since the headliner was out of the truck as well as all the insulation I went ahead and filled the holes in the roof and installed two new roadmaster air horns and put the headliner back in.

My good friend got me an electric bed and two captains chairs from a conversion van. The bed and two captains chairs will be installed facing one another on either side of the sleeper. This area will double as a dinette as well as passenger space. For our cross country trips I plan on taking 4 people total so there can always be a driver and co-driver at all times.

I have the sleeper just about gutted. The next step is going to be to cut in the pass through to the box from the back side of the sleeper. I have already picked up the Boot material. I found this place called Uni-grip. They sell the accordion boot seal material for $3 dollars a foot which is half of the next cheapest place. I had to buy about 40 feet, because I replaced the boot between the sleeper and cab as well.
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Old 10-31-2012, 04:51 PM   #10
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I have been making some headway on gathering parts. I picked up a '98 onan 7kw gas genset last night for $600 dollars. It hadnt run in 5 years and after I cleaned the carb I got it running but it didnt put out any power. With a bit of web searching I found that it was common to have the brushes and the surface they ride on get dirty and not make good contact. Sure enough It was dirty and it it is a working gen set.

My Plan right now is to get the pass through and side door cut in.

First question, What should I do for the floor in regards to insulation?

The truck has a solid hardwood floor and 3" steel Ibeams to support it. My first thought was to insulate right over it,and put down a new subfloor but I am thinking that a good strong floor sanding and some poly might be a good tough floor substrate for free providing I could insulate the bottom side.

Any input is appreciated.
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Old 11-01-2012, 12:57 AM   #11
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I would vote for insulating below the hardwood floor. If you build a second floor above the first you could end up with everything being higher by at least two or three inches. It will be a lot of work to insulate below but in the long-run you might be better off.
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Old 11-01-2012, 10:05 AM   #12
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I would agree that under the floor would be the best way, here is what I see as the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Insulating over existing flooring: This would be by far the easiest way to go. If you use a good quality rigid insulation designed for under concrete slabs, you could use a 2" thickness with a 5/8" to 3/4" Plywood (tongue and groove preferred to ensure an even floor) over the foam. The plywood will spread the load out evenly over the existing floor and you can screw the new plywood down through the foam into the existing wood floor with long deck screws. I would install wood sleepers at the perimeter of the box to fasten the edges down to, the foam itself will support the load elsewhere. (If you have a garage area and plan to load a vehicle I would place some wood sleepers under the path of the tires, and anywhere you install a tie down) Then build out your walls on top of the new floor. With the insulation continuous over the whole floor you will not have any cold spots, or thermal transfer through the steel framing under the floor. There will be no worries of any trapped moisture or water from the exterior assuming the floor was weather proof to start with. the insulation can be grooved out on top in places you want to run wires or plumbing.

Insulation under the floor: Kenn is right that this way will take up less box space and keep your floor as low as possible, but it is not without its issues. Unless the box is off of the frame it will be difficult at best to get rigid insulation installed in many places. Steel framing members will be penetrating the insulation layer and transferring cold up to the bottom of the floor. The biggest issue would be keeping water and moisture from getting trapped in the insulation, this can cause rot and mold on wood surfaces and rust on the metal. A good quality closed cell rigid foam will not absorb water, but you will need to a good job sealing around the edges. Having expanding spray foam installed would be the best as it gets into every crack and crevice and does not leave edges to seal. However not a cheap way to go. While I have seen unprotected foam insulation under some conversions, possible damage to the foam from constant exposure to the elements, and debris coming off the road surface bothers me to much to leave it exposed. It may be possible to install a sheet metal underclosure, but again that would have to be sealed to keep out the water. Perhaps a spray on under coating designed for cars would create a water proof protective shell. I have not looked into if it would be compatible with foam insulation.

With all that said, If I were building from scratch or had the box off the truck, I would probably go with insulation under the floor, otherwise on a build out of an existing box I would more than likely go with on top of the existing floor.

Anyway my $0.02

Dave
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Old 11-01-2012, 04:59 PM   #13
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I appreciate the input. I think looking at I think going over the current floor is going to be the easiest thing. There is a ton of structure under the floor and the only realistic thing I could think of doing is getting it sprayed which I don't like simply for the fact that welding near it could cause quite a fire. The truck is 9' inside so I could stand to loose some height with out any real issues.
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:09 PM   #14
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Nice setup. Are you getting ready to take this to the hammers.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:01 PM   #15
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to insulate under the truck see if you could get a spray foam guy to spay the hell out of it after you have finished everything on the inside, run all your wires though bigger pvc so the can be pulled or added to later, unless you want to try to dig through the spray foam, I would think they would do it for a couple hundred dollars if you drove your rig to their shop after hours.. ?

-blizz
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:44 AM   #16
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The fifth wheel and truck camper will be an excellent source for parts. The windows from the 5er could work well also. You can study floor layouts for very small campers and truck campers for ideas. One thing that won't transfer well from the camper is the tub/shower because the tub takes to much room. Dad used a corner shower like this Shop Ove Decors 76-in H x 34-in W x 34-in L Breeze Chrome Round Corner Shower Kit at Lowes.com in his last bus conversion. His had acrylic doors. This style works well because it still has plenty of room and you do not have to leave room for the door to open. You can pieces of board insulation to the bottom of the floor. It will be a bit tedious working under the truck around all of the wires and stuff but I think well worth the effort. Dad has always put lots of insulation in his bus conversions and brags about the ease of heating and cooling and his low electric bills.
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:06 PM   #17
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Thank you all for the input. I haven't put a ton of time into this lately, other than working on the layout a bit. It is going to be pretty tight fitting my race car in the garage and getting a reasonable living space, but I am in hopes to finish off the garage so it can be a hang out place when the rig is not in it. A freind of mine's work had an R&D project going on with truck air ride seats and he gave me 2 brand new Sears air ride seats like these.



-Lucas
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:08 PM   #18
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My 2 cents:
A decoupler mat would help with the sound and give some air insulation as well. Sound travels through surfaces as much as pure air. A decoupler will usually have a hard vinyl sheet and closed cell foam layer. that combined with the hard surface the sound waves (noise) will be broken down and "decoupled" from the floor and frame. This is not the dynamat stuff. the dynamat type products are a barrier not a decoupler. barriers are good for some things too, but a decoupler would give you the double benefit on the floor. At the very least, put it between the joists and the subfloor.
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:20 PM   #19
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Quote:
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My 2 cents:
A decoupler mat would help with the sound and give some air insulation as well. Sound travels through surfaces as much as pure air. A decoupler will usually have a hard vinyl sheet and closed cell foam layer. that combined with the hard surface the sound waves (noise) will be broken down and "decoupled" from the floor and frame. This is not the dynamat stuff. the dynamat type products are a barrier not a decoupler. barriers are good for some things too, but a decoupler would give you the double benefit on the floor. At the very least, put it between the joists and the subfloor.
Interesting. I'll check it ouy
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:51 AM   #20
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Murphy, those seats are worth $850 at your door step each, good friend! I wish I had one mounted in my step van, which I've owned 20 years but don't drive it enough to justify the expense. Fortunately, Moby has a pair of similar looking seats, though considerably more worn and due a visit to the upholsetry shop for new padding and what not . . . but still working marvelously.

Doc, where do I find decoupler mat? How do you attach it?
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