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Old 01-12-2015, 02:29 PM   #1
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Hi I am new to this forum. My name is Bill and I'm a retired heavy equipment mechanic. I have a large shop and any and all fabrication tools and the skill to use them. And lots of time. I have a 02 T300 KW mechanics rig that i'm thinking about building into a truck motorhome. The truck maybe high miles but it is in very good condition. I have swapped the OEM Cat 3126 engine for a very low miles ISC Cummins. The entire drivetrain is near new if not new. I have owned every type of RV known to man in 37 years of working on Pipeline jobs all over the world I have wore out more RV's than most. So I'm interested in a motor coach that will be better built and more durable than your average RV. So I'm thinking about a motor coach conversion for the T300. My question is. I have looked at the Spacecraft 17' 9" motor coach and have not priced it yet. And several others, and I'm comparing it to building it myself. I want to be able to tow two tag a long type trailers behind it both about 26 ft. long neither is very heavy. At differnt times. If I did something like the Spacecraft 17'9" and put a bumper on the back I would be about 26 ft. long on the truck. So about the size of a good sized class C motorhome. Would I really save any money by doing it myself, Or would the spacecraft conversion be about the same money. By the way the T300 had a sleeper on it at one time. and has a daycab conversion on it now. Any opinions on this conversion or ideas would be considered. Thanks Bill
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Old 01-13-2015, 11:45 AM   #2
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Welcome to Truckconversion.net! Great to have another member. I can only pass on what I've heard from others that have built their own. Do your calculations and pricing. Then double what you think it will cost you, and double the time you think you could do the build in. Then maybe even add a bit more to both. Should get you in the ballpark now. If you're retired (like me) you might rather be cruising around enjoying this great country than cutting and wrenching and gluing and screwing, and sourcing all sorts of goofy materials that aren't going to be found at Home Depot. I sure like your idea of buying a living quarters from Spacecraft and bolting it onto your chassis. Is that what you were talking about in your post? Spacecraft is a top notch builder. Sounds like you've done a lot of work on that truck and it should make a good base for such a build. I have almost no skills whatsoever (except starting fights on the internets) so I bought my coach off the lot and started enjoying it right off. There are a lot of good deals to be found on truck conversions if you know where to look. So, do a ton of shopping first and consider how much you could sell that T300 before finalizing your plans.
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Old 01-13-2015, 11:51 AM   #3
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Did you see this thread?: Selling my Rumrunner..

Todd (blizzardND) built a really neat truck there. I've been in it. Might be worth checking it out. I don't know how the Kodiak/Topkick chassis compares to the T300 though.
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Old 01-13-2015, 12:19 PM   #4
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The truck I have in it's current config. would be very hard to sell because it has 750,000.00 miles on it. Even though the engine only has 48,000 and the trans has 5,000 it has a new radiator the front suspension and rear suspension has been rebuilt and the rear end has been rebuilt. I still couldn't get much out of it as a mechanics truck. But the bed the autocrane and are worth quite a bit. I thought it would be a great choice for a truck coach. And I understand about the need to get on the road with it. But I do enjoy building things as I have done it my whole life. But now that I'm retired I ask myself if I really want to spend all the time on it building. And I am well aware that the costs of building have a way of doubling or tripling. But would it really be as much as buying a finished body from someone like Spacecraft. Bob like you said in your post if you source materials right then maybe. But I do like the idea of taking the truck to Spacecraft and dropping it off and picking up a finished truck ready to go. This will take some thinking. Building it myself has one advantage that I don't hear of much. I would know the coach from one end to the other. I already know the truck very well. I would be using it to pull a enclosed car hauler and a BBQ contest rig. So it would get some miles on it. I guess I'm just looking for a opinion from some who have done it as to what it would really cost to do it by myself. So thanks again and keep the opinions coming. Bill
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Old 01-13-2015, 05:20 PM   #5
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Yes I know that a older truck doesn't have any resale value. But the new trucks are not very impressive and won't be getting any better. In My first post I said that I was a Heavy Equipment mechanic. As a master mechanic for some of the largest company's in the US. I was taking care of large fleets of trucks too. And can tell you that the cost's and down time on the new trucks is very expensive. Mostly due to the tier 3 diesel emissions, Particulate filters, DEF injection, EGR valves, and ultra high pressure injection systems. They are prone to failure, if you don't think so then you haven't drove by a truck dealership in this country lately. You see them on the side of the road all the time. And it has started whole industry's devoted to restoring older trucks because of it. So older trucks are worth more than ever, and the truck prices are starting to reflect it too. And I really don't care about resale value at all. As a mechanic I can keep this truck going for as long as parts can be had. So for Me it boils down to do I do the conversion or just sell the truck and go with a diesel pusher motorhome to pull my trailers. And I know it's My choice, but I make choices by trying to find out everything I can about something before I do. And that is what I'm doing here. One question I find is a real help is. If you built a toterhome or truckcoach would you do it again knowing what you know now. So please keep up the opinions and thanks
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Old 08-27-2018, 11:18 PM   #6
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re:
Replace Cat with Cummins

Excellent choice!

re:
Our rigs

1997 Ford CF8500 8.3 cabover registered as RV, towing a
1980 Utility 40x8 OTR reefer registered as RV.

We initiated this project with our REQUIREMENTS.

We need capacity in axles and tires and landing gear.

We need all aluminum without wood walls or floor.

We need a commercial chassis. With this, we avoid the typical RV mish-mash of plywood and staples.

We have the capacity for five ton of water.

With our PV, we have no interest in hooking-up in a RV park.

Our ideal camp is remote Baja. Drive out onto those perfect beaches no other humans for weeks.

So, Bill, what are your REQUIREMENTS?
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