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Old 12-23-2008, 11:52 AM   #1
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I have also been lookinh at MDT straight trucks for possible RV conversion. Several questions:
1)What type is best for this purpose? I like the low desk height and "attic" the U-Hauls have but this leaves no storage, utility or generator space under the body. Anyone done a U-Haul and how did you overcome these shortcomings?
The higher trucks such as ones rented from Ryder have lots of space under for utilities, tanks, etc but require steps to be built into or retract out of. What experiences has anyone had with these type?

2) How do the aluminum or FRP bodies these come with hold up? How did you finish the inside (firring strips/insulation/interior finish)?

3) Whats the complexity in cutting the cab and box for through access? Does the box need to be removed to do this and install a flex sleev to make it weather tight?

4) What has been the overall costs for those that have converted these trucks and how do you like them?
Thanks.
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Old 12-23-2008, 03:08 PM   #2
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The following answers are from my experience in building a 24 foot freightliner. there are many more overall experienced cats in this forum.

1)vehicles rented by U-haul are usually wasted by the time of sell-off.

the space under the box can be extremely useful. besides the obvious generator and air conditioning space, there is easy access to running exhaust, electrical, plumbing, etc.

make sure you drive each vehicle. I ended up buying a freightliner because the ride was so much smoother than the internationals. the internationals were much quieter than the freightliners though.

2)The FRP looked like a great idea, but the aluminum made it easier to insulate with extruded foam between the studs. I then put plywood over the studs (on the inside) and glued plastic sheeting on top for a finished look.

3)I removed the seats and rear window from the cab, then took the drill, sawzall, and die grinder to the space. Use much patience. you can get an accordion seal from uni-grip.

4)believe it or not, $20k and a massive amount of sweat equity. I am still doing some finishing to the inside, but after two trips I am pleased. It doesn't ride like my Silver Eagle did, but I have lots hauling space, a dock high loading gate, and plenty of clearance for when I am at construction sites.

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Old 12-24-2008, 09:52 AM   #3
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Thanks Doc. I've been reading your posts since you are in the process of building one. Can you send or post pics of your build?
Are you using this as a combination work ruck/RV or pure RV?
Your price is right about what I figured it would cost to build something with this type of truck. It would be nice to have the u-haul type cab-over box for a convenient bedroom space. I agree that the U-Hauls are dogged out by the time they sell them.
I was figuring if I build one I would remove the lift gate and use the hydraulics for something else such as retractable stairs. I'd want to put a hitch on the rear to pull a trailer if needed, possibly even a wheel lift type for hauling cars if needed.
Thanks for the info. Can't wait to see your finished product.
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Old 12-24-2008, 03:59 PM   #4
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dgorila1,
I don't have any recent pics yet. I've been too busy using it. I will post some soon.

Mine is a work truck with a living space, so my layout is very compact.

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Old 12-24-2008, 09:18 PM   #5
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Thanks Doc. Would the DMV let you register it as an RV or did you have to keep the truck registration?
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Old 12-24-2008, 11:09 PM   #6
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....one of my partners just bought 6 that are in the 80's and they are a POS on wheels......he got them for $4500 total with title and service info......he needs mobile storage facilities and they will only be able to do that with major work....and I have the wrecker to tow the POS around if that fails.....geofkaye
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Old 12-25-2008, 06:23 AM   #7
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So far I still have truck tags.

Hey Geofkaye, I need to get in touch with your DOT buddy and pick his brain. A Mississippi weigh station stopped me and then didn't know what to do with me. They let me go on, but it was a small annoyance.

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