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Old 04-08-2007, 08:21 AM   #1
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Everyone,

I'm working on a project for my 2008 teaching tour, and need to pull a 53 ft long by 12 ft high race-car trailer that's been outfitted with 30 workstations. I'm considering building a new air-ride triple axle 5-th wheel trailer with air over hydraulic brakes.

The race-car boys I talk to seem to haul their 48 ft trailers around with something like an FL60 MDT with a 12-ft RV conversion on the back that has a 10 speed tranny and 300 HP Cat engine. That seems a little light-duty for my application, considering I will take this rig back and forth across the country and the hills can be brutal. On the positive side, I'm not going to have a lot of weight in the trailer, just a bunch of desks and computers, but there will be 4 airco units on the roof and a 10 KW genny in the nose.

I like the idea of a small toter-home since that could become my remote office as well as sleeping spot. Most of these gigs will be done solo or perhaps with a hired driver, so I don't need room for a family. But certainly a toilet and shower would be really handy.

Any suggestions as to a tow vehicle? A Volvo 610 with the center axle singled comes to mind. Anyone you can suggest that could add a basic 10 to 12 ft RV to the back of a Volvo or other HDT? I don't have time to build this myself.

Also, comments on doing this in a MDT? I just don't think it would be safe, but perhaps I'm being over-cautions.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-13-2007, 09:26 AM   #2
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I would shy away from an HDT for the floowing reasons. The fuel efficiency will be a bit better but not good enough to justify the added safety and towing power. If you pull in a hilly or a mountainous area you will need and like the extra power.I have see that they are easier to drive. If you are looking for a used truck the MDT's were often used for city delivery and show the ccorresponding wear.

I'm interested to see how this turns out as I am talking to a non-profit about building them a mobile learning ccenter (essentially a coach for learning).

Good luck
Tony Desnick

ToolSet Motorhomes
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Old 04-14-2007, 09:26 PM   #3
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Quote:
I would shy away from an MDT......
Tony-
I have a feeling your first sentence should have started as above, instead of the "HDT" you had there, according to the context of the rest of the paragraph, which extols the virtues of Heavy Duty Trucks. I agree with your reasoning, by the way....

Gary
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Old 04-15-2007, 06:40 AM   #4
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The size of my proposed trailer keeps getting bigger and heavier, so the more I get into this design the more it looks like I'll need something like a HDT such as a Volvo 780 with a 450 HP engine. There's a few 780's with the condo sleeper at a local dealer I can look at this week.

So the question will be do I get a puller like a 780 with a stock condo sleeper, or convert a daycab HDT into a Toterhome for a more comfortable gig. Since I spend 100 plus nights a year on the road (all currently in hotels) I'm looking for a pull vehicle that make my gigs a little easier. The fuel milage issue is a minor one since there's a serious budget to get this done... the most important thing is that I arrive safely and rested.

So what's the best brand chassis to convert into a short-RV toter? And remember this will need a heavy-duty 5th wheel hitch pulling a very LOOOOONG trailer.
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Old 04-15-2007, 08:05 AM   #5
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Does something like this make sense? http://www.dolphin-motorsports.com/v...ome/index.html

Also, while this truck has 580,000 miles on it, what's the chance of it being reliable for my 50,000 mile per year gig? How much would a complete in-chassis rebuid of the engine cost on something like this? Or should I get an '05 Volvo semi truck and have a 12' sleeper installed on it? Also, I see most of these toterhomes singled (pull one of the tandem axels), but is that more for RV registration than for comfort? Since I'm going to have a sponsor logo wrap done on the truck and trailer, it's certainly going to require a CDL to drive.

The CDL part doesn't bother me since at least one of the event trailer dealers offers a 2 week "executive CDL" course with lots of road time and safety classes. And my local community college's continuing education guys will customize a similar CDL class for me on their local truck driving range for $250 a day. I'm guessing that for $2,000 of track time I should get enough practical driving in two weeks to pass my CDL in MD, assuming I do the book studies on my own.

And yes, I understand the driver's log and associated paperwork for a commercial rig. I just don't think there's any way to register this thing as an RV once I put the logos on it and a 53' event trailer. But I'll take any comments on that subject.

JMS
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Old 04-15-2007, 03:02 PM   #6
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Mike
Getting there safe and rested:
1. 580,000 is nothing on these trucks. If it's been well cared for and serviced regularly, it should easily go another 500K. If you want to do a major rebuild, figure on 8K - 12K to get it done.

2. Look for a truck with an autoshift transmission. I've driven them both and the automatic is huge when considering fatique especially in urban driving conditions.

3.Single or dual axle is unrelated to the RV designation but will have an impact on ride comfort. You said your trailer is LONG. Is it heavy? A heavy trailer may suggest the need to keep the tandems.

4. The RV world needs to know that are other choices for cabinetry besides raised panel oak stained yellow. If I see more of it over the coming years I'll puke. For those who really and truly like it I applaude their choice but it has become the lowest common denominator. I have just taken a job as Director of Design for Halcon Corp. (www.halconcorp.com) and have had my eyes opened wide to the possibilities. I want to make my next coach out of sequenced matched figured sycamore. Beautiful stuff.

5. We desiged a 14 foot toter to pull a 53' semi trailer with the side entrance that worked much better because we could alleviate the need for all the extra space on the rear deck and the need for the hallway to go the full length. I'd be happy to dicuss with you if you like.

Good luck.

PS - Gary, thanks for the heads up on the typo. It wasn't the first (even in that post) and I'm certain it won't be the last. When can we design a coach for you?

Regards to all, Tony



www.toolsetmotorhomes.com
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Old 04-15-2007, 03:26 PM   #7
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So Tony,

If I'm looking for a Volvo truck to convert into a 12' Toterhome, what sort of chassis should I start with? I thinking buying a 770 or 780 only to rip off the condo sleeper to put on a toter box seems silly. Or I've seen a few 770's with an add-on box behind the condo sleeper for the restroom area. Maybe that's the way to go.

Thing is, I'm pretty much a one-man show doing 100 nights a year on the road with the possibility of a second driver for my long gigs. I really don't need a full toterhome with room for a crew, just to sleep one in luxury and two on occasion.

As far as weight, I'm looking at a few 53 ft event trailers with 50 KW generators and huge airconditioners on board. Plus it will need a least a single 35-ft slide-out and 30 computer workstations. So there will be some weight, but not like I'm hauling pig-iron for a living. My gut feel says stay with a tandem, but the singled-axle haulers do look cool. I'll check on the axle weight of the proposed trailers and see what's up. I think it's about 20,000 lbs per axle, but of course the actual weight of the truck needs to be subtracted from the axel max.

Much more to figure out. Tony, do you want to quote on a conversion for me?

JMS
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Old 04-15-2007, 04:25 PM   #8
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Mike
If you have your heart set on a Volvo (I like them) I would look for a 610 (mid rise). The number designation relates to the length of the sleeper.

I agree that keeping the tandems is probably the right idea.

I would be happy to quote a conversion for you. Before we go any further, you should know that it takes from 6 - 8 months to complete them. We take the time to make them right.

My contact information is on our website if you want to talk.

Tony

www.toolsetmotorhomes.com
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Old 04-16-2007, 05:05 AM   #9
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So if I don't have the time or room for a full toterhome conversion, does anyone know who built this sort of garage add-on to a Volvo 770. http://lscx.net/. Is this a stock garage or a custom build? Either way, who made it.

I don't need the extended frame on the truck since this isn't to be a vacation hauler and I don't need to put bikes or a car on the deck. I just need to haul a big trailer around: http://www.eventpro.com/go/equipment...adcast-trailer.

And because I'm a one-man show, I don't need a toterhome big enough to sleep a full crew like a race team. At most it will be me and a driver on the road for a week at a time. Plus, I think the garage could have just be a sink and shower with fresh and gray water tanks. I'm not sure I want to mess with a toilet since they're available on the road and everywhere I teach. But it would be nice to be able to grab a quick shower to get ready to teach my class or to clean up before hitting the sack for a little shuteye.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

JMS
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Old 04-16-2007, 08:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
The RV world needs to know that are other choices for cabinetry besides raised panel oak stained yellow. If I see more of it over the coming years I'll puke. For those who really and truly like it I applaude their choice but it has become the lowest common denominator. I have just taken a job as Director of Design for Halcon Corp. (www.halconcorp.com) and have had my eyes opened wide to the possibilities. I want to make my next coach out of sequenced matched figured sycamore. Beautiful stuff.

PS - Gary, thanks for the heads up on the typo. It wasn't the first (even in that post) and I'm certain it won't be the last. When can we design a coach for you?

Regards to all, Tony
Big 10-4 on the oak, I actually like oak, BUT EVERYBODY AND HIS FREAKIN' COUSIN IS USING THE STUFF!!!!! OK, I'll quit yelling now.... Oh, and Tony, when the day should come that my rig should be built, you won't be too offended if I don't use oak, will you? ;-) Later!

Gary
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