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Old 02-17-2014, 11:29 PM   #1
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Default Small dropped garage behind axle

My 97 FL70 arrived today. Has 27,000 miles 8.3 cummins & Allison 5 speed auto. Most all of the interior is missing, lots of dash parts missing or need replaced. Need to find a truck salvage yard im thinking. It's a 208 or 209 wheelbase. Frame stops right after rear spring mounts. I don't want to stretch wheelbase but have the idea of going straight down off the end of the frame and do a dropped garage to haul 2 dragbikes with either a rear ramp door or a passenger side ramp door if i need to keep the tail shorter. The floor of the garage would basically be at the same height of the storage compartments that would be in front of the axle but angle up in the rear slightly for ground clearance. Could maybe keep the ramp door and ceiling of the garage at 6' so I could have a bedroom over it and that short portion could be a small slideout for a bed. The floor section of the bedroom that is over the garage would obviously be a step up to the bed that would be on a slideout. I would also like to do a large slideout on the drivers side. I will on ocasion pull a boat with this and when my dragcar is back together, will pull a 24 to 28 enclosed trailer. I'm wanting to do this simply, quickly, cost effective but quality. Any thoughts on this ?
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Old 02-18-2014, 09:12 AM   #2
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I like the garage idea and lean toward the side door loading. If you keep it short, you will not need to put any angle in it and can keep it low. You will be putting a lot of weight hanging back there so try to add heavier items toward the front to counteract it.
The slideouts are another animal. Adding them takes the "simple, quickly" out of the equation. We gave up on the idea. Too expensive and too much engineering to make it work. If I had to do it, I would look at getting one out of a salvage yard RV.
When we built ours, we bolted the trailer hitch to the frame rails and built the box around them. You can't just weld the receiver to the box unless you make the box out of some pretty beefy tubes. You are going to have to plan the hitch before you start building the box.
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:48 PM   #3
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Kingsley Coach (no longer in business) built several truck conversions with a small garage under the back bedroom, behind the rear axle down low. Some they built with the deck on a long hinge near the front edge. It would allow the entire deck to drop the back edge down to the pavement for loading. Seems to me they used an electric screw thing mounted on both sides near the back that would lower the deck. I could be wrong about that since I didn't look close enough when I saw some of these rigs. The problem I had with them is there isn't a real good way to mount a trailer hitch. They told me they were working on some sort of chain or cable system to stabilize the thing when closed and allow a hitch to be mounted to it. But I don't know if they ever got anything to work like that. Might see if you can find any good pictures of some of those Kingsleys and see if that might add some ideas to your build/design. If I find any I'll link here.
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:10 PM   #4
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i think the side door would be better. you could load and unload with trailer still hooked up.
i would think you could find a good fabrication shop to help you with doing garage frame work. let me know and i can give you a guys phone # in rockford.
i think i would buy slide outs. i have seen slide out parts but i dont know about complete units at elkhart.
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:41 PM   #5
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The guy that started Kingsley Coach is Ralph Dickenson. His son is JD. I don't know if Ralph is still with us. JD runs a business here in MN called Buses For Sale at BusesAndMore.com - Buy Buses and Sell Buses. If you click on the rv's for sale you'll find a few garage coaches with that drop deck floor I was talking about.
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:22 PM   #6
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What dimensions do you need to store the two bikes? What is your desired overall height of the rig when you're finished?
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:33 AM   #7
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Hawk Engineering builds some of his rigs with a garage under the bedroom, has a fold down ramp on the back, room for two bikes. Not too bad if you do not need or want a stand up bedroom. He does have a standard receiver hitch under the back not sure how much weight capacity it has.

Jason has a used one on his site that has been for sale for a long time. https://www.hawkengineering.com/4509gcddgta0csb.html. This is one of his earlier conversions that the owner upgraded to a new one on. (price has come down a bunch as well, to bad it would not work for us.

We have a big harley touring bike, and it will not fit in a side loading garage as it is longer than a 102" wide coach body. With a rear door garage that's a lot of overhang.

That leaves us with either the full garage on top of the frame rails with a lift gate similar to Haulmark or Showhauler, or designing something custom. Leaning toward the custom route as we do not want to give up that much interior space to a full garage.

Frodaddy has a thread going in the "building your own" section of the forum,
New Hauler He has built his own rig with a side door garage on a KW-900. Lots of pics and a great looking rig.



Good luck,

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Old 02-21-2014, 02:19 PM   #8
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I like that Hawk unit a lot. I looked pretty strongly at buying it. I talked to Jason and he said that hitch is good to 10k lbs. I may get a stacker trailer some day and wanted to be able to pull more than 10k lbs. so that ruled out the coach. It's very sad about the economy being so bad. That current asking price is way lower than they were asking back in '09. Somebody should snap this coach up.
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Old 02-21-2014, 10:03 PM   #9
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My only real concerns were the height of the bedroom, and that they did not remove the upper bunk in the sleeper, so there is a low duck under from the sleeper to the coach. Being 6-4 and not so young, I figured i would be shaped like a question mark bending over in those areas. But again it was 30K more back then too. good solid rig at a price that would allow some interior updating to bring it more current.

Dave
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