Join Truck Conversion Today
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 09-17-2005, 09:58 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 13
Default

I am about to retire from a college teaching job and want to hit the road in a Garage Truck Conversion that will hall my Subaru Legacy which is 16' long 6' wide and 5' high & weighs 3500 Lbs. I want to travel to the interesting sites in the US and Canada (I want to visit lots of steam railroads too). I will be 63 in November and my wife (much younger) is going to work and will fly (common carrier) in on weekends to meet me (thus the need to have a car to pick her up at airports). I want not to have to tow a car, and Subarus (AWD) can not be towed. So please inundate me with suggestions and ideas. My initial ideas are Volvo or Freightliner with Cummins 8.2 and Allison transmission with air brakes. Yes?? No?? Why?? Why not??
What are traveling costs average for fuel, camping and supplies for a man and his dog and week end wife??

Thanks.

Michael94605@yahoo.com
__________________

__________________
The Enlightenment Coordinator
Profmcmillen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2005, 10:36 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,083
Default

....weekend wife will really cost you!....I learned the hard way!.....anyway go with a bigger truck. there is a garage coach on RacingJunk.com....guy that ownes it is in Indiana......Terry.... something...can't remember has a really good rig priced rite-will haul anything "roo" builds in style and comfort....Think he wants $115,000...Might make a deal if you work at it.....SF is a lot more costly to live in than traveling.....even with these fuel prices as you can overnite for free at truck stops and X-way rest stops-camp when you want to-make sure your dog has a AG. Permit or they inpound it and send you a whopping bill if it bites......geofkaye
__________________

__________________
women-food-money-naps...not necessarly in that order
KAYE RIVERCITY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2005, 11:42 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Ash Fork AZ
Posts: 127
Default

Quote:
Originally posted by Profmcmillen:
I am about to retire from a college teaching job and want to hit the road in a Garage Truck Conversion that will hall my Subaru Legacy which is 16' long 6' wide and 5' high & weighs 3500 Lbs. I want to travel to the interesting sites in the US and Canada (I want to visit lots of steam railroads too). I will be 63 in November and my wife (much younger) is going to work and will fly (common carrier) in on weekends to meet me (thus the need to have a car to pick her up at airports). I want not to have to tow a car, and Subarus (AWD) can not be towed. So please inundate me with suggestions and ideas. My initial ideas are Volvo or Freightliner with Cummins 8.2 and Allison transmission with air brakes. Yes?? No?? Why?? Why not??
What are traveling costs average for fuel, camping and supplies for a man and his dog and week end wife??

Thanks.

Michael94605@yahoo.com
Michael
sorry, this will be a long post and not my native language; i hope you can read it )

sounds like a great plan
...but IMHO pulling a full conversion (and a 3500lbs car) with a Cummins 8.2 together with a Allison will be painfull slow (not only on the grades )
i highly recomend you to look into something like the Eaton/Fuller "Autoshift" (air/electronic shifted "automated" manual trans; more gears then a auto, no chlutch needed for shifting, does not have the parasitic loss of a auto)

on the engine there is not realy a reason to not go bigger: a small engine has to work harder to move the same load so the MPG difference is very little. i personaly would not go with something smaller then the C12 cat or the cummins M11.
i like the cummins N14; there are a lot of them out there => you can get replacement parts almost everywhere and in a lot of truckstops 24/7.
a other nice side effect of a big diesel: you get a "Jake brake" engine brake IMHO one of the best safety features for towing. you almost never need to use the service brakes so they are "fresh and cold" for any emergency situation.

building a Truck conversion with a garage that can hold a 16'long car without a exessive overhang is a challenge (the rear axle of the truck is in the way)... i take it you dont like the idea of towing a enclosed "toybox" style trailer but how about a 5th wheeler/ gooseneck trailer?
they tow great (if you tow with a class7/8 you hardly know the trailer is there )
i personaly like Toters: a Toter is like a mini motorhome towing a large 5th/Gooseneck trailer. you have all the comfort for traveling like lots of elbow room (for our dog ) seating for 4+, sleeping for 2+, direct access to the restroom, kitchen, fridge, ...
in the trailer we will have more beds, another restroom, shower, living quarters, lounge and a garage for two cars.
so if you dont feel like driving the Subaru (long daytrip or a overnight trip) you could just park the `baru in the trailer, unhook the Toter and go
our rig will be 65' but with only one car, a dog and 2 peeps it could be shorter.

...just some ideas
stephan
__________________
--------------------------------------------------------------
-our Pete "379" Toterhome (Cummins N14/ Super 10 trans) http://sandcentral.net/trucks
-our dune/desert buggies http://sandcentral.net/cars/
-in the shop: Pete "38
spooner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2005, 11:58 AM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 13
Default

I want to thank those who have responded. Some good ideas to look into.



OK Round 2.

1) What kind of license will be required to drive a rig like this?

2) What are the costs and considerations regarding insurance?

3) What is the maximum practical height to go?

4) Is it possible to use low profile IE smaller Diameter wheels to lessen the intrusion into the garage space?

5) Is there any way to lower the entire profile (ground height) to allow the garage to have a lower center of gravity?

6) Is the registration for a truck based rig likely to be higher than the Bus type? (I live in California).

7) Is there another car that might be more practical than a Subaru to hall about?

8) Is it a good idea to try to have a motor scooter too?

9) If you were going to have a rig built for you which builder would be the most skillful and provide the best product?

10) Does this lifestyle of travel compete with the traditional Cars/Motels/ Restraints way to go?

11) What are the known downsides to this way to go?

12) Is there much danger of being robbed, assaulted or killed in camp sites or rest stops?



Thanks soooo much.



Michael
__________________
The Enlightenment Coordinator
Profmcmillen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2005, 11:39 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Ash Fork AZ
Posts: 127
Default

Quote:
Originally posted by Profmcmillen:
I want to thank those who have responded. Some good ideas to look into.



OK Round 2.

1) What kind of license will be required to drive a rig like this?

2) What are the costs and considerations regarding insurance?

3) What is the maximum practical height to go?

4) Is it possible to use low profile IE smaller Diameter wheels to lessen the intrusion into the garage space?

5) Is there any way to lower the entire profile (ground height) to allow the garage to have a lower center of gravity?

6) Is the registration for a truck based rig likely to be higher than the Bus type? (I live in California).

7) Is there another car that might be more practical than a Subaru to hall about?

8) Is it a good idea to try to have a motor scooter too?

9) If you were going to have a rig built for you which builder would be the most skillful and provide the best product?

10) Does this lifestyle of travel compete with the traditional Cars/Motels/ Restraints way to go?

11) What are the known downsides to this way to go?

12) Is there much danger of being robbed, assaulted or killed in camp sites or rest stops?



Thanks soooo much.



Michael
Michael

i hope my brother jumps in here and answers no 1+2+6 (he knows the legal stuff a lot better )

3; max legal height is 13'6". however, we try to keep the roofline of our Toter as low as possible. for us the Totertruck is our (almost) daily driver; its a lot easier to "get around" if we keep it under 12'. the big trailer will only be used for long trips so it will be a "two level" (lower floor garage, upper living) and right at the max of 13'6".
4; IMHO i would not use anything smaller then regular truck lopro 22.5" . if you ever have a tire problem you can get a standard truck tire replacement everywhere and 24/7 . the riding comfort of the tall tires is also a lot better. to install something like 17.5" you need also to re-gear the rear end to match the final gear ratio: can be lots of $$
5; i would not go too low (and i would also keep the rear overhang short); you can hit and do some $$$ damage . it also limits where you can go (campgrounds, nationalparks, shortcuts, driveways, off road, ....)
7; a Mini would be easy
8; why not (great around camp)
our garage will be 96" wide on the inside (our cars are very wide with sand tires on it ) if you haul a regular car (~62" wide) i guess there should be room next to it to strap a small scooter to the wall.
9; i would go with somebody like Randy @ Butler motor coach or Cobra or Showhauler ,......
not many here in the west
10; for me its complete freedom and mobility; i like to be "on the road". truck conversions have the strenght and riding comfort for driving long distance and hauling a big load (not like the underpowered plastic diesel pushers ). we have everything we need to camp wherever we want. i dont like camp grounds; most of the time we camp under the stars in the wide open desert here in the west. the Truck/Trailer acts as a base: we can go for sightseeing with the Toter or take the buggie (our "offroad" cars are street legal).
11; hmmmm ...dont know any
maybe this: some peeps will look at you funny (i guess in the sea of standard white RVs our rigs stand out a little )
12; its hard to answer that. i dont like/have guns. we travel a lot and i can say we never had any problems at all even on some odd places. i guess our dog (100+ lbs of french sheepdog muscle ...but looks like 300lbs with all the hair ) that hates strangers and scares the s..t out of peeps when he growls/barks at them helps a lot . in general i feel very safe traveling with the truck; from the outside you dont have the "easy prey" look of a "retired old peeps" diesel pusher.
on roadside reststops we usualy camp with the truckers; they usualy dont like RVs between them but with a Truck conversion your accepted. Truckers look out for each other and i think the bad guys know that. again, never had a problem or even a bad feeling

stephan
__________________
--------------------------------------------------------------
-our Pete "379" Toterhome (Cummins N14/ Super 10 trans) http://sandcentral.net/trucks
-our dune/desert buggies http://sandcentral.net/cars/
-in the shop: Pete "38
spooner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2005, 10:25 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Colorado
Posts: 150
Default

Quote:
Originally posted by Profmcmillen:
Re:

9) If you were going to have a rig built for you which builder would be the most skillful and provide the best product?
Transport Designs! Their products, flexibility, and quality are the best I could fine for the price I could afford.
__________________
Regards,
Alan
DrFun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2005, 07:45 PM   #7
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 13
Default

I want to thank you both for such good thoughts.

I picked up a copy of "The RVer's Bible" by Kim&Sunny Baker Copyright 1997.
ISBN 0-684-82267-9 It looks like some good basic stuf. Nothing on Truck conversions though. As I develop more questions I will put them up for your comment.

I want to express my appreciation for your input. My teachers pay will not allow me to make any new mistakes. (I'm still sorting out the old ones).

Best wishes

Michael McMillen
Sunny Oakland Calif.
__________________
The Enlightenment Coordinator
Profmcmillen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2005, 10:19 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,083
Default

.....I'm a retired teacher also and I don't feel your pain at all....most people would like to retire on $76,000 a year!....course I get a little workman' comp and I still have a small private practice of <25 clients...but I will manage. Can you build one yourself?....I did at about 30% of the price of a commercial model-fancy-NO!- it's not, but, it is bullet proof and really rugged.......and will do a flat out 102 mph just in case you got to outrun a hurricane........geofkaye
__________________
women-food-money-naps...not necessarly in that order
KAYE RIVERCITY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2005, 05:27 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 182
Default

Geof,
Is that all it will do? I wanted to see how fast mine would go, so while on the road I pushed it up to about 1900 rpm that came out to 96mph so I got scared and slowed down. I'm figuring that I could get around 110 or 115 at 2200rpm. Not sure I would like to go that fast!!! Too many deer standing beside the road....
Wick
Wick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2005, 08:45 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: ellijay, ga. usa
Posts: 235
Default

wick--- you are familiar with I81 just south of whites truck stop near raphine-- right--- ummm some time back i passed a lisa motor freight going up the north bound side from the bridge at about 110 to 115. there was some lift but i was to busy to check just what was left. oh--- your new rig looks fantastic! ---- take care --- mase
__________________

vapoppa 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 02:41 AM.


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