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Old 11-03-2003, 11:49 AM   #1
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I am fresh back from a trip out to Chicago and back in the rig and on the way we stopped in to see Lonnie at Show Hauler. (I didn't even have anything for him to fix on mine) I did get a good opportunity to test out my anti-spray mudflaps I added with S.S. FL logo anti-sail weights on all 4 corners. These really made a big difference, because I ran through alot of rain and the MH stills looks pretty decent.

While we where there we looked at what was in production, boy people are doing some crazy stuff. There was a unit being setup for dog grooming at the major dog shows, a unit setup to carry bikes with a storage area above (a config I had not seen yet), and a lot of other garage style units.

Saw some picutes of the new Volvo VNL 300 with a 28' motorhome which looked very cool, and it seems like everyone is using the FL Columbia chassis. Show Hauler is also using some really trick clear lense marker lights which really blend in with the body.

Now I love my rig, it cruises the highways like a Cadillac, has about a 2500 mile range, tons of power, and tricked out with all kinds of add-ons. But there is one problem, it is the wrong setup for the majority of my usage. About 90% of our time is spent doing weekend camping at small campgrounds in Pa, Ohio, WVa, & Michigan. We would really like to down size by at least 6-8 ft. So we are in the initial stages of thinking out a new conversion for a possible build date of late next fall.

To shorten things up we will be looking at FL's new M2 business class chassis. Also we may consider a 26' box with a super slide to make up for the lost space. I will detail out the whole process using the knowledge I have gained from doing the first one. To be honest the first time really went better than I could have imagined and there really was not one compremise or item I would have changed if I where to do it again. The reason I say that is if I went smaller I could be think larger now, you really don't know until you actually experience it for yourself.

So the first item I will be looking at is the M2 chassis, all of the specifications, get some pictures, power options, ect... I also hope to test drive one if possible, if nothing else drive a box truck version just to get a idea of how it handles. Look for that in a month or so.

The thought of giving up my current rig and all of the looks I get everywhere we go is something I am going to really have to consider over the next few months.

Bill



2003 28' Show Hauler Motorhome on a 1995 FL 120 www.showhauler.com
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Old 11-03-2003, 05:10 PM   #2
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Here is the picture of the Volvo chassis I was talking about.



2003 28' Show Hauler Motorhome on a 1995 FL 120 www.showhauler.com
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Old 11-04-2003, 08:55 AM   #3
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Re: So the first item I will be looking at is the M2 chassis, all of the specifications, get some pictures, power options, ect...

Please post your impressions on the FL M2 chassis. I've exchanged email with Lonnie at Show Hauler and had a couple of phone calls with Ken Downey at Hill Freightliner. The M2 looks promising for its smaller size but I'm interested in what you think about the engine/transmission options and the cab layout.

I'm too am interested in a compact conversion and am playing around with a floorplan that fits in a 16 or 17' coach box with a fold-out couch for the bed in hopes of holding the overall length down to 25 - 26'.

You've got lots more experience than many of us so I look forward to hearing your thoughts and decisions.

Regards,
Alan
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Old 11-04-2003, 10:23 PM   #4
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Look into the A/C issue in the Freightliner cabs-I uderstand there is room for great improvement there....geof
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Old 11-05-2003, 04:41 PM   #5
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> We would really like to down size by at least 6-8 ft.
Also we may consider a 26' box with a super slide to make up for the lost space.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Bill, you lost me somewhere between cutting the length by AT LEAST 6-8 ft., and considering a 26' box w/ super slide to make up for lost space. Uhhhh, WHAT lost space? A 26' box only loses 2' off your present 28 footer! What happened to shortening it 6-8 feet? THEN you would have something maneuverable! Can you clear this up? I'm curious about this.
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Old 11-05-2003, 04:45 PM   #6
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I too am interested in a compact conversion and am playing around with a floorplan that fits in a 16 or 17' coach box with a fold-out couch for the bed in hopes of holding the overall length down to 25 - 26'.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
This is the size coach I want to do. I've found if you look at floorplans meant for toters, there are lots of them in this range of floor lengths. Keep us posted on your progress! Sounds good so far!
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Old 11-05-2003, 06:03 PM   #7
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Gary -

My current cab is 12', a M2 is 8 1/2'. So there is 3 1/2, dropping to a 28 to 26 gets me 2'. The big difference from 28 to 26 is a walk around bed in a 28. This is pretty huge, I have had both styles in previous motorhomes. Also 16 sqft is a pretty big difference in interior and another 16 sqft of exterior storage lost. Show Hauler will do a 27' with a walk around bed.

If I can cut my wheel base down, get the length to around 36', the M2 has a 55 degree cut on the front wheels, that should get me in and out of these small campgrounds around here.

Bill

2003 28' Show Hauler Motorhome on a 1995 FL 120 www.showhauler.com
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Old 11-05-2003, 09:18 PM   #8
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Bill-
Got it! I see where you're coming from, and that WOULD make a difference. The 106" BBC is short; make sure the engine you want is available in that model. Other wise you may have to go to the 112" BBC in order for the engine to fit. Sounds exciting! Keep us posted!
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Old 11-06-2003, 05:14 AM   #9
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I drove a 38' Class A for a year. Even though my SH is 40' I can go places I never could before. My guess is the Freightliner turns MUCH sharper. Warpath, have you had a look at your steering stops? They should be adjustable.
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Old 11-08-2003, 06:01 AM   #10
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bill, i've sent you a link to trek by safari. they use a brop-down bed which i bieleve could be improved upon. oh, my kingsley has a walk-around bed wiht stogage under the complete bed. drawers on the end and sides with a large two bay box under the center, i'm using gas struts to lift the top and the mattress. it's for bulky stuff we only want occassionly. with my t2000 and a 27 ft box my oal is 34' 9". i'll have to get plans and photos to you. mase
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