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Old 11-06-2008, 12:08 PM   #1
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I hear from a reliable source that now could be a good time to build a rig. If you were to build something for under 50 grand, what would you recommend ? Something simple, not necessarily a full time rig although that could be a possibility. I would think a good used HDT, would you build essentially a big "sleeper" add-on with enough room at the tail for a 5ver hitch and just use the toter for some overnight stays or some one or two week stays. Yes, insulate with iso, respectable tanks, batteries and solar.

What do you think Doc ? It was good to talk with you today, if you have any other thoughts on that computer project, give me a call.

randy
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Old 11-06-2008, 08:43 PM   #2
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.....spend $30k on the truck and $20k on the trailer and you are going to have a top of the line RV Conversion-doing it yourself....ALSO if you aren't handy with tools I suggest one looks at RacingJunk.com.....they are giving away stuff at bare bones pricing in many cases....the markup in custom built vehicles is about 5/7 or more to 1 and now there are good rigs in the 2 to 1 category and with cash one can beat that down.....I see a lot of stuff with a "take over payments" tag....A few of the owners I have talked to are letting go of their stuff for current value minus a chunk-just to get it off the balance sheet......one entertainer asked if I was willin' to spend some time with her on the road as a inducement.....I can't sing a note or play any kind of instrument-so I passed......[she was older than I anyway-and did church type stuff]....keep at your dreams as it is still cheaper to live on the road than in sticks and bricks....geofkaye
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Old 11-06-2008, 08:50 PM   #3
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.....one other issue is insulation...with a used rig of any kind-it will pay back any insulation in 3 years-heat or cooling....a guy with modest tools could remove interior walls and roofing and insulate with SPF or even chunks of insulation board with spray foam around the edges to keep the wind out and have a very comfortable unite with low HVAC issues.....From MY point of view.....at my age I need comfortable surroundings or I head for a Holiday Inn and get a room at $110 a nite so the insulation pays off quite quickly....with out a permanent spouse one might get away with discomfort for some time-but it won't last forever.....geofkaye
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Old 11-07-2008, 05:39 AM   #4
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even though geofkaye could be called my mentor, and his advice is probably more valuable than mine, I will put in my 2 cents.

I bought a MDT 24' straight truck for $9000 and have spent (to date)about $5000 and six months of hard labor on conversion. I plan to be using it in about 2 weeks. I owe it to:
1) research and asking geofkaye
2) internet buying (like craigs list)
3) a good set of tools
4) hillbilly ingenuity

Doc Weaver
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Old 11-07-2008, 06:08 AM   #5
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ah yes . . . that's what i'm talkin about. see geofkaye, you have a gift when you write about the things you've experienced. i'm getting a kick out of picturing you onstage as a performer . . . maybe a 60 some year old intellectual punk rocker with the moxy to back up the attitude . . . you could probably have sell out crowds.

seriously though what rig do you like in that 30K (or less) price range.

hey doc weaver, i like the budget figure you're at but i really think i would like to have air ride luxury.

geofkaye, you don't have to sell me on the insulation factor, been in that field for 35 years. yes, now it's profitable on a daily basis and for sure on a monthly basis when the bill comes in to see a significant savings on energy usage from some 21st century insulating practices. and yes air infiltration plays a vital role there as well. we use SIP's, structural insulated panels, so you get the strength advantage also.

so, the question of the day : what HDT, what motor, what trans, would you single it, what ratio and would you fit the rear with a locker.

doc weaver, are you going to license as a MH ?

thanks gentlemen, always a pleasure
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Old 11-07-2008, 06:59 AM   #6
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Quote:
doc weaver, are you going to license as a MH ?
from what I understand, since it will be used for business travel, I must register it as a truck. We used to register bus conversions as motor homes (with the band thing) no problem, but DOT seems to be a little more stringent on truck conversions.

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Old 11-09-2008, 07:36 PM   #7
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Builder, if you are going to build your own RV, You must beg, borrow or rent a cargo van and take a little run to Elkhart IN. The rv surplus stores there will help you trim 1000,s off all the bits and pieces. You can get everything from furnaces, inverters, generators, sinks, microwaves etc. It is a builders dream.

Most of the stuff is unmarked like a giant RV rummage sale, 2 weeks ago I picked something I thought was like, $25, I asked the guy, he says hmmm, how 'bout $8? I say sold, and so it went all day.

Elkhart is really sad right now, everyones laying off. I think the RV bubble burst over $4 gas. Real bummer, every one we met there from the RV Museum to the restaurants were real nice friendly people.

Figure out what you need, then buy it before you finalize your design, that way you can engineer around sizes that you find.

Also, my 1-1/2 x 1-1/2 sq tube 21' x 6'-6" high (yours will be 8' I'm sure)RV Box weighs on paper with all the above figures in so far at 7000 lbs with 30 gallons of water. and 3 batteries.

I'd spend a little time figuring out your needs, then post them. I'm sure others will jump in and help.
good luck
-blizz
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Old 11-09-2008, 09:19 PM   #8
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....._STICK WITH WHAT WORKS FOR OTHERS_....use the info from others to outfit your rig.....I use a freezer which opens on top....I use a timer/thermostat to run it at nite for a few hours to get the thing down to -20 or so and it keeps the next 3-4 days-without running. The freezer made here in Ohio called Woods and it is a foam surrounded 5 cubic ft. chest type.....washer/dryer is a Splendid that is a 120 volt machine it is on rollers so I can roll it outside and hook up to a hose and use it outside.....or if not going on a long trip I can leave it at home-or use a Laundromat....flexibility is the key to comfortable travel-fuel savings-and having the things you need on the trip and no more.....I now am playing around with a propane fired hot water heater that is big enough for a whole house.....constant hot water at 4.0 gallons a minute with 940 gallons per 20# cylinder....made by Bosch....I have 20 gallons of water in trailer[electric HWH] and 125 gallons on the tractor bed for extra should the girlz need to wash their hair-[which takes 20 gallons at least]....I have no cold water or cold water piping-as I have no use for it only hot water....simple and fool proof. Electric toilet that needs to be burned off 2 times a day at most...microwave and an small outdoor stainless grill-8 chairs and a plastic top table and some couches and a TV with a satellite antenna......a cooler for fresh food with frozen bottles of water.....plenty of blankets/sheets/pillows.....One roof A/C and 2 roll around A/C unites [should it get over 100 degrees for a week or two....a dehumidifier and 2 electric heaters[1500wt] and 2 fans....I like an electric blanket to sleep on as I sleep on the floor because of my back on a 2" carpet underlayment pad.....The other bed is a 7'-6" round foam bed that the girls sleep on...Or -I go to the truck cab [with electric A/C-refrig-TV-porta crapper and micro-if they want to talk all nite like a slumber party and play rock music and watch TV and talk on th3e cell phones to BF's....we travel as lite a possible and quickly as possible. I am equipped for Fishing-Hunting-Vacation in Florida-Truck and Rv shows and many local construction/equipment shows/auctions for overnite and weekend camping summer or winter....I just change the setup as needed.....I also have a 34,000btu pellet stove for below freezing temps and "ambiance"......I don't full time and I can only stand a 3 week vacation before I start pacing the floor....I'm more utilitarian than a lot of others but that is my style that I'm comfortable with.....my rig cost >$50K and with a little fluff and glitz would sell for $250k....geofkaye
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Old 11-10-2008, 06:54 AM   #9
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Geof mentioned his freezer, that reminded me of what I was told in Elkhart regarding refrigerators.

When I was looking at buying a surplus electric/propane fridge, they told me that Lowes sells "Katrina units" Basicly replacement refirgerators for all those FEMA trailers still out there. he said they sold for under $300. I just did a quick search on Lowes website, I didn't find that particular unit but I did find the perfect unit for DIY rv builders! check out this "Compact Kitchen"

link:
Compact Kitchen

Just another idea to throw outthere for you.
-blizz
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Old 11-10-2008, 08:26 AM   #10
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...There is one here in Cincy that is all SS and is written down....at Lowe's on Highland ave IIRC....also you can deal direct with Woods in some cases and have a drop ship to your area's appliance dealer for a nominal fee...this also would replace some of the stuff in a road tractor if you could get rid of the stove part and use a microwave in its place...water tank under the sleeper berth and just a drop for water discharge on the ground hot water could be an instant unite mounted under the counter and plugged into 110vt....geofkaye
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