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Old 12-22-2011, 11:58 PM   #1
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Default toterhome build

i am starting to look into building a toter home or possibly a motor home to pull a trailer with. the truck that im looking at doing this with is a used fl 70 with a 3126 and 6 speed. however, the engine is only rated at 250hp which may be a little down on power so ive been thinking more about doing a toter instead of a motor to keep weight down etc... anywho... my question is this...

its a 270" wb truck and is the extended cab version. there is currently a 22' custom box on it now (its a mobile satelite truck) and after the rear fender theres about 5' of overhang so looking at most trucks i think you could safely put a 22' motorhome style box on it and put a heavy duty motor home hitch on it as well. but... if i went with a toter home style box instead and used a goose neck or a fifth wheel deal how long of a box would i be able to get away with being that the body is an extended cab? id almost like to turn the extended cab into a deal with 1 or 2 more seats in it so that you could properly fasten a car seat for a toddler. maybe im nuts?
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Old 12-23-2011, 08:10 PM   #2
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I have a fl60 with the ISB Cummins/ 6 speed, and I have no problem with power. I have been told the computer can be upgraded for more power. You might see if the CAT can be upgraded from someone who knows.

The FLs ride better than most class 6, but they are loud .... and the CATs are very loud. If you end up with an FL, contact me and I will give you some tips on what worked and didn't work on mine.
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Old 12-27-2011, 11:51 AM   #3
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Your box length will depend on the trailer you want to pull. The fifthwheel or gooseneck ball should be directly above or slightly ahead of thre rear axle. You have to leave clearance enough for the trailer to turn. A gooseneck equipment trailer with a narrow neck does not need as much clearance as a box trailer with a square front end.
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1989 FLD120 with 2000 NRC conversion
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Old 12-28-2011, 07:58 PM   #4
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You will need a minimum of 5' between the gooseneck ball or fifth wheel and the back of the toter box for clearance if you need to make a 90 degree turn relative to the trailer. Particularly if you are not on level ground and the trailer tips even a few degrees relative to the truck. You really need that full 5' with the width of the body on a truck conversion, with the narrower cab on a dually pickup you can get away with less with a trailer with a narrow front. Any racecar/box type trailer is going to have the hitch back under the deck some, as opposed to a fifth wheel camper that usually has the hitch extended out past the front. It's really not worth trying to save a few inches in this area as the damage to both the truck and the trailer is very bad if you make even minimal contact. Err on the side of plenty of room, and don't forget to allow for things like door handles, hand rails and ladders. I've seen more than one toter with the ladder all jacked up from hitting the trailer.

Also there are many professionally built toters with the ball placed significantly behind the rear axle, by a foot or more. Toter style TC's are notorious for being at the edge of overloaded on the front axle and plenty of weight to spare on the rear axle so placing the ball rear of the axle helps place more weight on the rear axle and helps take a little off the front. The fiver RV guys with a singled up class 8 truck generally use an air ride 5th wheel hitch placed about 3' back from the axle so the can get the air hitch box mounted low enough for a RV trailer, and they all report that works well. the escapees forum has some good info on the mechanics of those kind of conversions, but this is your best forum for the box build. BlizzardND's build is the best documented on here for the nuts and bolts of building out the box.

Good luck!
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Old 01-13-2012, 03:00 PM   #5
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Default Gear ratio advice

I just joined this site and need help. I am converting a 2006 Kenworth T300 FedEx expedite box truck to a 5th wheel puller. It has a 78 inch double bunk standup sleeper with a 22 ft. box. It is rated at 33K GVWR(12K front axle and 21K rear axle). I am going to haul three or maybe four exotic cars in an enclosed 44 ft stacker trailer. The truck has an 8.3 Cummins set at 350hp with 10 speed manual. The rear gears are 4.56:1. I need to get the best fuel mileage of course so what gear ratio do I need? I'm thinking of something around 3.70:1. Any help or advice will be appreciated!
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Old 01-14-2012, 10:10 AM   #6
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In the old days I would explain the math, but why bother these days? There are any number of gear ratio calculators online if you google it. here is one:
gear ratio calculator

You need your tire size, overdrive ratio for the gear you will be running in, your target rpm, and the speed you want to run at, and the tool will calculate the gear ratio. Maybe some of the diesel guys out there can help with the most efficient cruising rpm for your engine?
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