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Old 01-21-2012, 11:29 AM   #11
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So we're you going to put the 26 guage between the ground and the t&g floor? How far were you going to space the studs. Also what is your plans for the floor framing? Like width and materials. Thank
Jason
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Old 01-21-2012, 03:06 PM   #12
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Jason, My plan is to use 4" structural C channel for the two main rails and for the perimeter of the floor. 4" structural channel crossmembers will be coped in at 8 foot centers along the floor, 4" light 11ga gauge channel joists at 16" centers will infill between the heavy crossmembers. With the floor upside down, I will sheet the whole underside with the 26ga galv. using VHB tape and either Tek screws or Hilti fasteners as a secondary fastening method. Then will flip the floor back over and put on the truck frame. Before floor is installed onto truck I will build the basement storage, and skirting much the same way as Kenn has on his project. All of the partition walls in the storage compartments will be diagonally braced and will have removable cross braces underneath (so i can service the drivelines and running gear when needed.) These will help to transfer some of the forces from the weight of the walls and roof load back to the frame reducing loads on the floor joists. Then I can frame the walls flat on the floor deck and stand them into place much as you would when building a house. the roof will be framed last on top of the deck using the walls as a template to keep it square and the correct size, then hoisted up into place and welded. After that I can spray foam the floor joist cavities and install my plywood sub floor. I am choosing channel for the roof and floor joists because its open side allows for the spray foam to fill the void and create less cold pockets, also cheaper..lol. trying to use diagonal bracing and lighter materials to reduce weight and still retain the needed strength. I will be doing all my building out in the weather unless i get lucky and find a good deal on shop space to rent until the rig is water tight.
Dave
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Old 01-21-2012, 03:37 PM   #13
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I am also in the planning stages of building my toter, the chassis is bought and here, and parts and plans are accumulating.

I found the top corners at a surplus yard just up the street from Bontrager's (can't remember the name, but it is just up the street), they had the cast aluminum corners for the front and back, as well as the extruded aluminum trim for the top, and lengths of rounded stainless to match for the front corners and top front. Basically will look like a nice flat roof race car trailer which will work good for me because it will match what I am towing. You're gonna need to plan a trip to Elkhart before you get too deep into the build, there are just some things you can't get anywhere else. For example that trim is in 20' lengths so you can't ship it and your local rv/trailer shop would rake you over the coals. There are a bunch of surplus stores there, plan on taking a big list and spending a full day or 2 there. I got a bundle of 10 new matching cargo compartment doors (framed with hardware, just screw them in) for $100 for all, and a nice new entry door with screen door for $90, you get the idea.

I, like most builders, I think tend to over-think, over-build, and over-engineer, and end up with too much weight and spend too much money. While it certainly can't hurt to build with bigger tubing with thicker walls, it is just overkill and weighs too much. Which you'll hate every time you fill up, and every time you get on a grade. Every extra pound takes power and fuel to lug around the country. My older Pace trailer (back when they were good, before they sold out) is built with the old fashioned hat posts in the walls and 1x1.5 square tubing in the roof and 2" angle iron for the top of the walls. The thing is 10+ years old, gets loaded to 20,000+ on a regular basis, totet all over the country, and still looks like new. And I guarantee that 40' trailer takes more flex than a 20' box on a class 8 frame. I've been trailer shopping the last few months and the hat posts are still common for the walls, and 1" tubing the first step up (which I don't care for) and 1x1.5 on the better trailers. So I'm thinking that 1.5" square in the lightest thickness you can find is more than adequate for strength, and is wide enough to make sheeting inside and outside easy. I do like the idea of heavier corners and perimeter, and Dragonslayer's idea of triple corners would make sheeting the inside simple, you'd have something to screw to on both walls which is something I wondered about. Actually, you could probably just use 2 posts there, so you could use rounded sheet metal on the outside for a cleaner look. Figure your side and end walls so the posts match up corner to corner and weld the seam all the way up. Anyway, don't over-build the size/thickness of your steel, you're getting your strength from the complete structure, not the individual tubing.
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Old 01-22-2012, 09:39 AM   #14
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Yea I agree with trying to build it without lugging to much weight around. I have a 24' enclosed now and it only has 1" box on the sides and roof so your right 1 1/2" should be plenty with the same for the roof. I live in ca so there is no way I can make it to Indiana.y plan is to buy a class a rv and strip it for the interior, generator, inverter, windows, maybe the bathroom if it is nice. Also I will get all the tanks from the donor. I have seen decent Ones for 7k or so. So if I can get a truck for 10-12k I would be right on budget. I figure I can get it done for 30k hopefully. That will leave me 13k for building the box and any other little things I may need. I leaning towards a peterbuilt now probably pre 98 to try and avoid smog in ca. Are the older Pete's still decent on mpg? I think they went to electronic motors by 97. Seems most have a Detroit in them.
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Old 01-22-2012, 12:20 PM   #15
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These details are very interesting. Whether building one's own, shopping for a used T/C, or event a factory built motorhome or trailer ... you guys are making me think about things I would not have thought about.

Regarding the studs in the outside walls. It appears everyone is using rectangular tubing. One of the posters talked about moisture and condensation which is an important concern. Is anyone using or has anyone considered using channel vs rectangular tubing for the studs and event the floor and roof? Less weight, one less piece of steel to transmit cold (and contribute to the condensation problem), and another cavity opened up for foam insulation. Added benefits would be probably cheaper, easier to route plumbing and wiring.

I'm not an engineer. I don't know if using channel versus rectangular tubing results in a woefully inadequate structure ... or if using as much steel as is used and welding (or securely bolting everything on top of a Class 8 chassis to begin is more than adequate.

Looking forward to the comments and debate.

Dick
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Old 01-22-2012, 12:22 PM   #16
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These details are very interesting. Whether building one's own, shopping for a used T/C, or event a factory built motorhome or trailer ... you guys are making me think about things I would not have thought about.

Regarding the studs in the outside walls. It appears everyone is using rectangular tubing. One of the posters talked about moisture and condensation which is an important concern. Is anyone using or has anyone considered using channel (same dimension and gauage) vs rectangular tubing for the studs and even the floor and roof? Less weight, one less piece of steel to transmit cold (and contribute to the condensation problem), and more cavities opened up for foam insulation. Added benefits would be probably cheaper, easier to route plumbing and wiring.

I'm not an engineer. I don't know if using channel versus rectangular tubing results in a woefully inadequate structure ... or if using as much steel as is used and welding (and/or securely bolting) everything on top of a Class 8 chassis to begin with is more than adequate.

Looking forward to the comments and debate.

Dick
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Old 01-22-2012, 03:13 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haddixj View Post
Yea I agree with trying to build it without lugging to much weight around. I have a 24' enclosed now and it only has 1" box on the sides and roof so your right 1 1/2" should be plenty with the same for the roof. I live in ca so there is no way I can make it to Indiana.y plan is to buy a class a rv and strip it for the interior, generator, inverter, windows, maybe the bathroom if it is nice. Also I will get all the tanks from the donor. I have seen decent Ones for 7k or so. So if I can get a truck for 10-12k I would be right on budget. I figure I can get it done for 30k hopefully. That will leave me 13k for building the box and any other little things I may need. I leaning towards a peterbuilt now probably pre 98 to try and avoid smog in ca. Are the older Pete's still decent on mpg? I think they went to electronic motors by 97. Seems most have a Detroit in them.
I don't mean to be a Debby Downer, but you are using the same budget that I started my build with, your VHT tape alone will cost you 1500, the little things add up so fast. I think we spent 3-4K at Menards alone. The 060 aluminum is over 110 dollars a sheet. Steel is $pendy. I figured in the beginning my 15K truck and 30K to build a 22' box. I have nearly 90K in it using many used parts from Elkhart.

But you have me hooked, what are your special requirements that there wouldn't be a similar used model for sale on Racing Junk?

blizz
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Old 01-22-2012, 03:58 PM   #18
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what i have seen on RJ in class 8 is over 100k and they are way to long. I am looking for something that is about 32' long bumper to bumper so I can tow a 28' stacker and remain under the length limit. I have looked into MDT and they seem ok but I might as well just do a P pumped cummins like in my f350. what kinda weight do you tow with your setup? What kinda mileage? From what I read people seem to be unhappy with them. I would rather have a big truck that will get around the same mileage as a mdt and be safer. I also enjoy building stuff. From what I have seen if I did some rough calcs on 2x2 steel that was about 7k and that was .25 that I had priced out for another build, if I can do 1 1/2x thin walled which should be half the cost and build the box like a heavy duty enclosed trailer sheet the outside with plywood then skin it with AL sheet. For the interior I will get an older Class A and use all of it. That will save me on the little things inside. Generator will be used as well as inverter. I found nicer older ones for less then 8k. I will build in stages one I start the outside I wont stop until its weather tight. My main concern is what I will do for the roof. I'm not sure how much someone would charge me to do a rubber roof on it.

oh I forgot to ask what is the VHT tape? is that the butyle tape for sticking down the siding? Is it me or does that seem sketchy? I know rivets will hold. I am not into making it a show winner or anything just looking for an RV that I can take camping or tow 15k plus and not be worried when stopping or if i will make it up the hill.
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Old 01-22-2012, 07:43 PM   #19
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The VHB tape is an extremely sticky double side tape used by body builders to fasten sheet siding to framing and itself. It comes in two thicknesses a thin on for sheet to sheet lap joints and a thicker one for sticking the sheets to the framing. Properly installed and you will destroy the sheet metal trying to peel it off. There are very detailed directions on how to prepare the metal and covering the installation, if not followed you will have joints coming apart. The tape also provided a barrier and thermal break between the aluminum and steel. There are several threads on this site that discuss the differences between using tape and or screws. Big thing to remember is the alum siding expands quite a bit and can and will produce some waves and wrinkles in the summer heat. the preformed metal studs and joists are quite strong, both the C shape and the Z shape are stronger than they appear, but only in one direction. they rely on the sheathing/siding products to give them lateral strength. I have designed many mobile office buildings for the modular industry with 11 ga. Z shaped joists and rafters. These support far more snow and internal loading requirements than a motor home will need. Aside from lower weight and cost, you get about 10% less voids in your insulation due to being able to insulate the framing cavities. It is still wise to use structural steel at the corners and framing around doors and large windows. the price of steel is very high and they charge a premium for the tubing. One would be very wise to listen to Blizz's advice on budget. you are combining RV with Big truck nothing for either of these is inexpensive. at my work we have to estimate materials for all types of buildings, and its still surprising what gets overlooked. If you can find something that meets your needs already built you will probably be money ahead, and far easier to finance. i have been looking for a good rig close enough to what I want that I could tear out the inside and remodel, but so far no luck. It does not help that I want a classic KW or Pete conventional with manual transmission. Most conversions are Volvo/Freightliner with the automatics. As far as the rubber roof, that is a easy project that you should not have any problem with doing your self. I have done two of my own RV's for a very reasonable price (less than $600 for my 30' class C.) First thing is to avoid any RV place for sourcing your materials. If you happen to have an ABC roofing dealer near you, they usually carry the Mule-Hide EPDM roofing (either .45 or .60 mil.), just order it about a foot or so longer and wider than your rig. They also have the water based glue to fasten it to the decking. Cover the whole roof, then cut out the openings for the vents and such, and fasten them down over the rubber. Eternabond micro seal tape then goes over all the joints and around vents. (This stuff sticks to anything in any weather forever..lol)

Dave
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Old 01-22-2012, 07:45 PM   #20
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my Rumrunner gets 10-11mpg although it only weighs 19K and I don't tow more than an open 16' trailer

Racing junk has many trucks under 60K that would pull your trailer

you could not replace /build this truck for 80 grand:

1997 C7500 13' Toterhome For Sale


Volvos have great turning raduis, this truck will turn tighter than a dually pickup
Volvo Toterhome and Pace 40 ft. race trailer For Sale

this freightliner only has 200K you'd never wear it out, engine might be small for your stacker though.

You should get anothe 200 thous. miles on this big bad boy
Toterhome, Truck conversion, Race Hauler For Sale

needs water added, lots of truck for the money.
1988 Peterbilt Toterhome For Sale

blizz
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