Join Truck Conversion Today
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 02-23-2009, 07:42 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 8
Default

I'm a trucker and was thinking about buying this truck to drive as a truck, but nobody will lease it on because it's a single axle. It's set up for mobile home hauling right now, but i could easily convert it to pretty much anything. Nobody's buying mobile homes at the moment, so thats a no-go
i was thinking bout converting it to an rv, because the truck is cheap and i want to build an RV

Anyway, I was wondering, is there any way to convert the inside of a 48' van trailer into an RV and be able to register it as an rv, instead of a truck?

I also thought about putting a fifth wheel RV hitch on it and getting a fifth wheel trailer (and then pulling my car behind that), but i dont have a fifth wheel trailer. and where would i get such a fifth wheel, because as far as i know, pickup truck ones stick up to the top of the bed, and the back of a semi is already that big?

i also thought about just converting it into a motorhome

and i'd live in while im doing the conversion too.

and where can i find some space to build the thing at?
__________________

Lexxi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2009, 03:16 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 625
Default

....get a good comfortable chair and read the past posts for ideas....also Escapees.com under HDT and MDT......then you will answer your own questions and we all/I will/can help with the details along the way....we'd need to re-write the whole forum to answer your questions listed....and a lot of us would-but there are time constraints as you well know.....good planning is the most important part of your adventure so it won't cost a lot and you can get advice from those that have built their own. The mobile home hauler is generally not a good idea _unless_ it is low miles and has air bag suspension-frame lengthening is not too expensive right now cuz of the depression-so it can be done pretty cheap-maybe around $1500-$2000 if not too long or not bent already....most toters are beat to crap so picking the truck is a way to go first.....you can forget the double axles if you build with little weight-I'd suggest a good set of drawings before you start to consider the weight issue.....with the current money situation a 48' dry goods van as a RV is unlikely to get licensed-but it does happen.....geofkaye
__________________

geofkaye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2009, 03:16 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 625
Default

....BY THE WAY.....welcome aboard!.....geofkaye
geofkaye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2009, 03:35 PM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 8
Default

I'm not worried about the double axles, i only mentioned that because it's why i dont want to use it as a truck The truck weighs less than 18,000lb and the rear axle can legally have 20,000 or so pounds on it, and i really dont think im going to build a 10,000lb house.

I want to do it without lengthening the frame, i dont have the money to spend a couple grand on that (sure would be nice if i did :P)

It is a little beat up, but it's only been mobile home hauling for 5 years, not the full 20.

Oh, and it has a million and a quarter miles. The engine has 400,000 on it, but i'm thinking that using it as an HDT would put a lot less wear on the engine than as a semi, so i dont think im going to be able to wear the engine out. It has air ride switches on the dash, but i didnt actually check to make sure it still is air ride (I would assume it would be, since the switches are there!)

My idea (if i converted it to a motorhome style vehicle) was to use the existing sleeper as the bed (hey, even has a matress already! just need to get the armpit smell out of it!), and i sit on my bed a lot, so :P, and use the existing back section of frame and add some overhang..wouldn't be that long, but im trying to figure out how much overhange would be reasonable. I'd like to get SOMETHING put back there so i could put a trailer hitch on the back of it, but something well engineered yet substantially less material than the rest of the frame on a semi

Another idea i had, which would allow a lot more legal weight because i'd have more axles, was to get a 48' van trailer, put a fifth wheel on the truck ($400, checked with a junkyard....it still has all the switches and knobs and brackets needed) and convert that into a camper. would be a nice size. And then i'd pretty much leave the tractor the way it is. The only thing is, i'm not sure if van trailers would work well, since theyre extremely flimsy. Also, im not sure if it would be possible to license it as a motorhome.

The only reason i was really even considering this is because the guy only wants $2500 for the truck. It has about $500 worth of fuel in it, so its only $2000. And the truck runs great, and im told it drives great (i didnt get to take it on a test drive yet, but i would before buying it). Seems like its been taken care of reasonably.
Using a trailer would open up a huge amount of basement space as well

I'll be reading up this forum too. I don't know if any of this is new ideas yet, because i dont get much time on the internet.
Lexxi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2009, 07:43 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 105
Default

Lexxi,
I've been looking through this board and others (this is the best I've found yet for those that want to custom build) since I want to do much the same as you, modify an HDT and build a custom 5th. I have looked over many options: converting an existing enclosed trailer, building on top of a flatbed, convert a 40' shipping container into a "bulletproof" custom, etc. Everything keeps returning to building the entire trailer as custom as the best way to go. I want something for full time living eventually and a full blown custom is the only reasonable, cost effective solution I see. All of the mass produced trailers are just junk (even the "high dollar" ones). I can do most of the work myself or sub it out so I know I can build something that meets my needs exactly for a fraction of the cost. The only limitation right now is $$$$ and a large place to build it in :-)
I'm wondering if having a commercial trailer builder assemble the frame and VIN/title it as an RV would be the easiest/quickest/safest way to get a rolling chassis that's ready to roll and license as an RV and then build on this. I need to look into it more, but this might save allot of headaches on the legal side.
Good luck, you found the right forum for many of your questions.
dgorila1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2009, 04:24 PM   #6
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 8
Default

The easiest way to register that traileris to say the trailer is assembled. No matter what it started as, whether its scrap steel or a 53' van, after you're done with the conversion, wouldn't you say you built it? There won't be a vin number, and the year will be the current year. Here in michigan, they don't ask to see it or anything. You'll have to weigh the trailer at a truck scale and tell them what it weighs, or some people just guess at it. (A great dane 53' van with sliding tandem axles is registered as 14,000lb, if you build it that way and want to guess )

Oh yeah, be really careful what you call it. They'll print whatever you say on the registration as the make. I have a utility trailer that says its a 2003 homemade trailer, do you really want it to say that?

Also, anything over 2000lb in michigan has to have a title too. Still not a problem, just an extra piece of paper and an extra $20 or so.
Lexxi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2009, 06:03 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 625
Default

..............cheapest way is to get a already built frame and axles and siding/roofing installed.....you do the interior to your taste....a 35' tag will cost about $8000 wholesale with .60 sheeting and 3 -8000# axles at "dealer cost".....$4000 more and you are going top of the line with 1.5"X16ga. tube frame and 8" X2"X.25" frame rails with a Amer-tect floor and a single piece aluminum roof....right now cash is king and one can negotiate if one has the cash.....with a little game in play one should be able to get the top of the line for $8000-.....interior is your choice-I always figure about $4000 for an interior.....so for $12,000 you got a custom made and it is bullet proof......your price may vary depending on your negotiation skill......AND THE BEST PART IT WILL LAST 10 YEARS ON THE ROAD!.....geofkaye
__________________

geofkaye is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:35 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.