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Old 12-19-2002, 10:36 PM   #1
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I've seen numerous pictures of truck conversion motorhomes. How much do the larger ones costs? I'm talking about one with at least 2 slides.

Also, how long can they legally be?

Thanks,
Brian
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Old 12-20-2002, 07:04 AM   #2
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I believe the max overall is 45'(though I think I have seen 47' bus conversion recently). I know states like California max out at 45', others may be a little longer.

A a full blown truck conversion on a new twin screw chassis w/ multiple slides should still come in under $200,000.

If you get something going be sure to keep us updated.

2003 28' Show Hauler Motorhome on a 1995 FL 120 completely refurbished chassis. Currently in production - scheduled completion 1/10/03 www.showhauler.com
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Old 12-20-2002, 08:26 AM   #3
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Following the links to motorhome mft, Power House Coach has a 50 ft. custom using a Volvo. That sure would limit where you could go.

Have a good day.
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Old 12-20-2002, 09:24 AM   #4
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California is 40'

Indiana is 65'

All of Canada is 41'

So your best to keep it at or under 40'.

2003 28' Show Hauler Motorhome on a 1995 FL 120 completely refurbished chassis. Currently in production - scheduled completion 1/10/03 www.showhauler.com
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Old 12-20-2002, 02:23 PM   #5
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Did we discuss finished height yet, Bill If we did, I forgot it.....and how much rise is there using your leveling system and/or your air bags...geof
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Old 12-20-2002, 09:50 PM   #6
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by warpath:
California is 40'

Indiana is 65'

All of Canada is 41'

So your best to keep it at or under 40'.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

California is 45 on the major interstates. I've never seen DOT pull someone over and measure. Also, since Prevost is made in Canada (I'm fairly certain), I don't think 41 is the legal limit.

Brian
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Old 12-20-2002, 10:05 PM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by warpath:
I believe the max overall is 45'(though I think I have seen 47' bus conversion recently). A a full blown truck conversion on a new twin screw chassis w/ multiple slides should still come in under $200,000.

If you get something going be sure to keep us updated.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Warpath...after speaking to someone today at Show Hauler and Beck's Marine, I don't understand why the RV crowd doesn't flock to these units. Full steel cage, multi-slides, fully loaded for under 200,000? Something doesn't smell right. Why would someone pay $250,000 or more with this option? Check out these prices:

1. 2003 Holiday Rambler Navigator..40 ft...$380,993.
2. 2003 American Coach Tradition...40 ft...2 slides...$254,506.
3. 2002 Tiffin Zephyr...43 ft...2 slides...$313,775.
4. 2003 Bluebird...40 ft...636,718 with NO slides!

None of these coaches have full steel cages. I just don't get it. Call me ignorant but what's the catch?

What is so different about these conversions? Are they loud? Do they drive poorly? Are they dangerous?

Brian

[This message was edited by Brian Rowe on December 21, 2002 at 01:50 AM.]
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Old 12-21-2002, 06:22 AM   #8
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Brian -

Truck Conversions are still a very new product, so most potential buyers do not even know they exists. A front engine is going to be louder than a rear engine, but it is no worse than a diesel pickup truck. Currently many of the trucks used are either manual or auto shift, which require the use of a clutch. I think many would shy away do to this fact alone, but with a little extra cash you can get a fully automatic Allison World Transmission. And the look of a truck conversion leaves a bitter taste in many who are die hard motorhome traditionalist.

These small negatives (for some) can't come close to the fact you can get a fully custom coach for the price they sell for. They are built on proven and well known chassis's where repairs can be made 24/7 by any truck repair facility. I would rather have a front engine diesel when repairs need to be made, which will be done outside of the coach. I would hate to see what your rear stateroom would look like after a engine overhaul in a pusher. The steel cage construction by Show Hauler is second to none and on and on...



About the lengths, I just found that on those area's DOT pages. I think your right about them not checking though.

Good luck, keep us posted.

Bill

2003 28' Show Hauler Motorhome on a 1995 FL 120 completely refurbished chassis. Currently in production - scheduled completion 1/10/03 www.showhauler.com
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Old 12-21-2002, 06:39 AM   #9
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by warpath:
Brian -

Truck Conversions are still a very new product, so most potential buyers do not even know they exesist. A front engine is going to be louder than a rear engine, but it is no worse than a diesel pickup truck. Currently many of the trucks used are either manual or auto shift, which require the use of a clutch. I think many would shy away do to this fact alone, but with a little extra cash you can get a fully automatic Allison World Transmission. And the look of a truck conversion leaves a bitter taste in many who are die hard motorhome traditionalist.

These small negetives (for some) can't come close to the fact you can get a fully custom coach for the price they sell for. They are built on proven and well known chassis's where repairs can be made 24/7 by any truck repair facility. I would rather have a front engine diesel when repairs need to be made, which will be done outside of the coach. I would hate to see what your rear stateroom would look like after a engine overhaul in a pusher. The steel cage construction by Show Hauler is second to none and on and on...

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Bill...Even if the fully automatic (which I would get) costs more, why not get it? I'm not a truck driver and have no desire to be shifting.

My only concern came to me last night around 2am while trying to design a floorplan. In my current 40ft motorhome, the cab area is nice as you and the passengers can get a very good view of the surroundings (like when sightseeing) and having the TV overhead makes for a larger viewing area. It just makes the living area that much bigger. It also provides a lot of light. From the pictures I have seen, it doesn't appear as though much light comes in these units. Most of them do not have many windows.

As far as the look goes, here are 2 links to coaches I have sent to my friends. They think they look fabulous:

http://www.becksmarine.com/Motorhomes/kwMHM11-02.htm

http://www.becksmarine.com/Archives/VolvoMhm61902.htm

That Volvo is awesome. I'd love to have something that looked that good.

Brian
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Old 12-21-2002, 08:33 AM   #10
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The yellow volvo is actually an expediters freight
truck , believe it or not.

If you notice the body becomes more square as you
go towards the back. This is the 16 foot freight box, all ahead of the crease in the body is
the "sleeper"... hence the lack of windows etc.

With this outfit you can do the motor home thing and get paid for it....

You might even pay it off in about 10 years....


It is similar to the garage type motorhomes, except that it wont shake itself to pieces after
a few years on the road, compared to the usual
motorhome chassis supplied by many of the more
well known rv companies...

its a beautiful "work" truck...
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Old 12-21-2002, 12:00 PM   #11
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Brian -

I had the same concerns with the amount of viewing my passengers would have. If you read back in some of my earlier posts on my project I had originally thought of having my kids in the 48" sleeper my truck had. Thankfully I did not stick to that idea, my kids are more into being entertained during our travels than the scenery. Also after a 6 hour trip back from Chicago in my Explorer I had to be nuts to want them sitting right behind me. It is going to be so much safer and saner to have them behind the cab and enjoying the stereo, TV, game boy or what ever. And give me some peace while I concentrate on driving.

Believe me I think they are the coolest looking RV's on the road. I have just heard from some of the die hard motorhome people who love the big box look.

kittywhopper -

I have seen the photo a bunch of times, but did not realize it was a expediter. Now that you mention it I see the safety plaques on the side and the box outline. That is one cool expiditer!

2003 28' Show Hauler Motorhome on a 1995 FL 120 completely refurbished chassis. Currently in production - scheduled completion 1/10/03 www.showhauler.com
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Old 12-21-2002, 06:28 PM   #12
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50 feet is just too long. Otherwise, its hard to top this one on e-bay. Travel options would be limited at best.


http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...&category=6728


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Old 12-21-2002, 10:12 PM   #13
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Bill-I still would like to know the interior finished height and also the Exterior height of the finished vehicle also the full raised height of the "bigfoot system"....thanks geof
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Old 12-22-2002, 02:50 PM   #14
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This is my first post, although I have been reading a long time. I won't post often, as I usually do not accept cookies, and it's a pain to turn them on... :-) </p>


Clearly, one does not want to go over 13'6", the general maximum legal height. I am guessing that most of the units shown lately, such as the Show Haulers, are pushing 13", and it would be hard to keep one much under that and have adequate internal room and ground clearance. Length will take some research, but I am guessing that 45' is your your practical maximum. Most of my travel is on interstates, so I have more flexibility.</p>


As for transmissions and specs in general: I see some advocacy of the Allison World Transmission. It is my understanding that this is now in the latest versions of the military Freightliners behind a Series 60, so one who wants to look at such an option should probably consider researching how theirs are set up, so as to have a good margin of error for power/weight issues. I am guessing that this is a lot more $ than even the Auto-Shift Fullers, and one needs to consider all of the implications. I happen to hate automatic transmissions in virtually all settings, and I have been an OTR driver, so I will probably spec a 13 speed for my unit once the time comes. One can drive it like a 9 speed, and just split the top hole for easy changes of speed on highways, and if you have enough torgue and a light enough unit, skip shifting is quite workable.</p>


I am in the process of applying for a very attractive job which just opened. It would require a second residence option, and travel to and from. If I am right, a custom RV (judging from what I have seen here, a ShowHauler) will do what I need, and be more affordable than an apartment; a house there would not be an option. Further, I am unlikely to ever fly anywhere again, due to the collateral consequences of the current situation, and I have good sized dogs. This makes a ShowHauler more practical for me.</p>
I expect to use either a Mack or KW, depending on what I can do for frame length. I prefer the Mack powertrain (probably a 380 MaxiCruise, with the 13 speed variant having an extra low first and reverse for close in maneuvering), but if Mack will not deliver a long enough frame from the factory, I know KW will. If KW, it will have a Series 60 (never met anyone who did not swear by that motor) and a 13 speed. Depending what i learn as I spec it, I would consider a single screw with a tag axle, which has the potential for a better ride, and lifting the tag for slippery conditions (more weight on the drive for better traction). One of the things that makes ShowHauler attractive is that they can customize certain things of importance to me: no LPG, all appliances to be electric, with more deep cycle battery capacity and generating power; stuff for the dogs and cat; a bigger bedroom/bathroom, with more water capacity, etc.</p>


The single best reason to go with a truck conversion, even if it were to cost more up front, is that the handling, brakes, construction, and other safety variables are of much better quality and capacity in a truck. The typical RV simple looks and acts like a wallowing barge on the highway; is underpowered, has crappy brakes and steering, etc.
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Old 12-22-2002, 04:46 PM   #15
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Geof -

Standard roof line is 11'9" add additional 14" for A/C units for total hieght.

Stroke on the BigFoot units is really dependant on the vehicle, but I think my truck has 17" total stroke.

Doug -

Glad you found us and keep us updated on your conversion plans. I agree with your last paragraph totally.

2003 28' Show Hauler Motorhome on a 1995 FL 120 completely refurbished chassis. Currently in production - scheduled completion 1/10/03 www.showhauler.com
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