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Old 09-13-2002, 07:09 PM   #1
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Location: N.E. Ohio
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O.K. why didn't someone put together a site like this before I bought my truck.

Here was my vision when I bought my truck. I was looking for a small sleeper 48" to add 2 additional air chairs for my kids. I spent 3 months re-doing the interior and got it just the way I wanted it. Yesterday, I found out it had to be cut off, do to configuration problems. I also found a picture of a conversion done the way I was going to do mine. It looked real bad, it just did not look right.

Well there are a number of issues to consider before you buy that truck for a motorhome conversion.

#1. Cab height. Do you want a sleeping bunk above the cab? Many of the new Class 8 & some of the older trucks have a cab which is to tall to allow for a sleeping bunk. The New Mack Vision is a good example of a cab which is to tall. The space above a cab this tall can only be used for storage &/or entertainment system. I was lucky in this area, my cab is just low enough.

#2. Cab type. My cab had a integral 48" sleeper, my conversion will be a 26'. With a overall length of almost 40' the wheel base will be to long for a single rear axle. Can it be done yes, done right no. Integral sleeper pose another problem, it is not easily removed, and major modifications are needed to do it right. Oh and all that work I did is worthless.

#3 Transmission - what ever the truck has when you buy it is what your most likely stuck with. If you have a manuel transmission you could upgrade to a Allison 740 Automatic ($15,000 - $20,000) if your rear end gearing is right. (if your truck as a Fuller 10 speed forget it) Also the 740 is not a smooth shifting transmission. A Allison World Automatic(very smooth) can be done if your engine is computer controlled and you have $25,000 - $30,000. I have a Fuller 10 speed Manuel transmission and hated it for the first 3 months. It has taken some serious driving time, but it really has grown on me and don't mind it at all.

#4 Don't worry about nice big air horns on the cab roof. They will need to be removed and put under the hood to accommodate the bunk over the cab.

#5 Do not purchase stainless steel wheel simulators for those steel wheels. Bite the bullet and put polished aluminum rims on. The price for the simulators are just slightly cheaper than the aluminum rims. Aluminum perform much better, look nicer and weight alot less. Oh by the way I have a set for sale

#6 Don't let a set of newer tires be the deciding factor on one truck over another. Most trucking companies do not opt for the best tires. I had newer Bridgestone's on my truck, but they where low end tires and road & handled horribly. One of the best riding tires is the Michelin XZE or XZ2 series tires.

Well I am getting a Harvard education in building a truck conversion motorhome, just hope I am learning.


Bill

1995 FL FLD120, M11, custom interior.
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Old 09-13-2002, 08:39 PM   #2
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Sorry to hear about your truck problems. Is there
a website for your conversion. Have a good day.
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Old 09-13-2002, 09:53 PM   #3
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Warpath.

You might consider selling your truck to an RVer. It would be great for towing a fiver.
I have had people ask me if I could remove the bed and install seats in the back of the sleeper like you have. My answer was no. Way too much work.

If you recalculate all your probable future costs it may not be worth continuing a conversion with your current truck. It seems to me you will also need to lengthen the frame on your current truck, to make the conversion work. Thats not cheap either.

Calculate your costs with a different truck. Possibly a day cab with a suitable length wheelbase? Ask the guy who you have been planning on having do your conversion what he thinks your bets bet would be.

I know you hate to think of the time and money you have already spent, but you just might be better off in the long run.

Just my two cents,
Larry

[This message was edited by onezman on September 14, 2002 at 12:24 AM.]
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Old 09-14-2002, 07:14 AM   #4
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Larry I thought about that, but I have done so much other work to the truck it is almost like brand new. It only took me 2 hours to rip out what took 3 months to build.

Monday I will have the polished aluminum rims put on along with Michelin tires, Tuesday I am have all the tire rod ends replaced. Next Saturday it is off to Show Hauler to get that sleeper cut off, new cab paint, chassis stretched and 26'conversion put on. To finish it off we are putting some really wild looking graphics from front to back put on.

Should get it back sometime in mid December.

Hamie - pictures of the work I did are in the photo gallery under Bill Rowell(warpath) as far as Show Hauler their site is just being put up so I don't think it is finished. www.showhauler.com

Show Hauler will be sending me a weekly photo progress up date which I will post here.

Bill

1995 FL FLD120, M11, custom interior.
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Old 09-14-2002, 11:37 AM   #5
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Warpath,

Sounds good Bill. How many feet are they going to stretch the frame? Will they send you pictures of the completed frame prior to starting on installing the living quarters? I would definitely request these pictures. I would also want to know how many feet deep the new frame rail inserts are going to overlap the existing frame rails.

In addition, I would ask how many class 8 bolts they plan to install in each of the four frame "sandwiches."

Just more of my two cents,
Larry
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Old 09-14-2002, 07:26 PM   #6
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I did find some info about the ShowHauler at
www.wrightwaytrailers.com/showhauler.html
Don't know how to make it clickable. Looking
forward to seeing your pictures as it's being
built. Have a good day.
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