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Old 01-16-2013, 05:15 PM   #1
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Default 2001 Peterbilt 387 Toterhome Project

I have been working on a conversion for the last few weeks I thought I would share. In April of 2012 I purchased a stock Peterbilt 387 with higher mileage. After a full in-frame, head work and much more including fresh 13spd we started the bigger chunk of the project. This is a build we are doing our self with just help from some friends. None of us have any experience doing this and thanks to reading on here and other sites the project is in motion. We are hoping for a complete project in 4 months, which is tuff since I work a full time job and just have friends help when they can. But progress is moving along pretty well so far....

Here is some pics of the truck process up to now.



Here is the stock truck as I bought it in April...



I used it a few times through last summer to haul my race trailer. My whole purpose is to have a place to hang out at the track and save hotels.
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:15 PM   #2
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In the beginning of December I had a good friend of mine who builds some of the coolest custom rigs on the west coast help me do the frame stretch. It only took him about a week to do the work. Basically we took a roll over 2-axle 379 he had in the yard, cut the back off and attached it to my chassis and had a local shop shorten a driveline to 3-piece the drive shafts. Extended the chassis by 114"





The plan here is we attach a 14' box to the back of the 5' sleeper giving me a 19' living space. So we used a Peterbilt sleeper ring for the box to cab.
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:16 PM   #3
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I am skipping some of the little photos in between, but the basics behind the box are 4" C-Channel around outside base. That is attached to 6" I-Beam which we recess down to allow channel to sit lower. We used 2" Angle across for center supports and screwed down a 3/4 plywood floor to sit flush at top of C-Channel. I had My brother's work fabricate some 12g steel radius corners and roof caps. I did not want square corners since the truck is so rounded to start. Plus this gave me ability to design the box with no screws exterior. The walls are built with 1" square tubing and the roof is 2" for added stability when we stand on top of it.




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Old 01-16-2013, 05:17 PM   #4
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For the sides I decided to go with FRP panels from TPD Trailers locally. It would then match the appearance of my trailer and give me that smooth seamless side I wanted to achieve. The corners we had built are pressed over the top of the siding to allow the panels to be secured on the ends. Each center wall section is secured using 3m tape that TPD uses on their trailers.


Paint the corners and the box is ready to sit on the frame...
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:18 PM   #5
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Here is it is lowered down on the truck. We secured it to the chassis by making our own u-bolts using big all thread and 3/16 flat bar.


It looks funny because of the height being lower then the cab. But to clear the in-motion dish and A/C on the roof we had to keep it about 11" lower then the cab to be safe. Next off season I am going to fiberglass some roof caps that will extend the appearance of the roof to match the height of the rid on the outside edges.
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:18 PM   #6
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This is where we left off Sunday night, now about 45 days into the primary build of the toter. We have electrical ran, insulation, and put an interior base wall to glue my interior panels too. Last night we fabricated up the rear bed and steps, tonight I should finish welding there and get it ready for paint.






What's left.... Once the bed is finished we will get our under cabinets fabbed and built. At that point I now have my areas to mount up my 36 gallon grey and black tanks, and my 100g fresh water tank and begin the plumbing for shower, sinks, hot water and etc. Most all of my parts are here with the exception of the generator. There so EXPENSIVE I am holding off on that until last. At that point its finish work on the interior and such, and hopefully be ready to use it come first weekend of March!
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:57 PM   #7
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Very nice. Keep the posts and pics coming.
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:49 PM   #8
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Looks great, I like the rounded corners to match the look of the truck. Are you in the Sacramento area? TPD makes nice trailers. Keep the pictures coming. Kenn
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:24 AM   #9
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Holy toterhome Batman! You guys don't fool around. When I started reading the thread I saw 4 months for projected build time, and I was thinking "double it and add a year" the way most of these projects work out, then I started reading and I stand corrected. Incredible progress and really nice work.

Are planning to build tool boxes below to house your generator, tanks, etc. and give it that finished toterhome look? Also looking forward to seeing what you did with the hauler bed.

Keep the pics coming!
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:13 AM   #10
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When I first read 4 months I thought it was a typo. Thats incredible what you have done in a short timeframe. I have been building a similar toter "part time" for the last four years! I wanted the box to match my race trailer as well. I did not lengthen the frame since I was trying to keep the overall "RV" length legal at 65'. The box only being 12', I deceided to install two 6' slideouts.
Keep the pic's coming. I need all the ideas I can get. MMM
Attached Thumbnails
100_2239.jpg   toterhome update 001.jpg   toter toolbox doors 014.jpg   toter one 028.jpg  
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:22 AM   #11
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Haha thanks guys. Its been A LOT of work. But we did heavy heavy planning during the race season so we knew exactly how much material to buy, where to buy, and had full blueprints laid out so anyone could help build as long as they could read a tape measure or work a chop saw or welder. Saves a TON of time there. Last night we finished up the rear bed as scheduled and will hopefully get it to the paint shop today or tomorrow so we can get it put back on this time for good. My friends and family all said I was nuts too for thinking we could do in a little less then 4 months. They see it today and are amazed. My friends are hard hard workers, one of which is my employee at my store so we get to work at 8, leave at 5:30 for my race shop, and work till 11-12. Then weekends is 8-midnight every day.


Kenn.... I am in Merced, about 2 hours south. But the guys at TPD are great, gave me a killer price on the siding. I'd buy one of their trailers without thinking twice.

Hot Rod... Yes sir, we are going to be making the under box brackets tonight to bolt up to the frame. That will hold our tanks and goodies, plus leave me about 26x84 of storage down each side. I am still a little un sure on what we will use for the cabinets right now, we have been back and forth. My first thought was brushed from the truck steps to the rear and on back would be great! But then I have to go hours away to use a break and shear so that puts a big damper on it. We could build in my shop with aluminum and paint white, but I'm afraid white will be just too much. Although MUCH cheaper for me.... Guess I better decide soon!

mmc101... Nice Rig! I wish I would have done the slide outs still. Everyone talked me out of it, they were in the original plans. Everyone kept telling me we would never get to use them at the dirt tracks much since its usually one trialer up next to each other close. But they make soooo much more room inside! I have not hooked up yet, but I should be right at 65'... Cross my fingers! I have some room to move the hitch forward to squeeze the CHP. My trailer is only a 32' over all, which is perfect for us because I can haul 2 up stairs and 1 on the deck but still short enough to keep me close to that 65' marker.
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:39 AM   #12
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Nice work ! You guys don't fool around... love the look
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:18 PM   #13
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Just amazing.I have been thinking... how it would workout to convert a Pete 387(and planning for 4 years). Can I ask you few questions?
#1
Since factory sleeper is composite material and has air ride/shocks...how did you connect the extended(new) sleeper to the original?
#2
How much did it cost you to stretch the frame? Local shop(NorCal) here quoted $20K to stretch to 45 feet.
#3
Is there anyway to chop the high rise factory sleeper?
#4
Whats the overall semi length now?
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Old 02-15-2013, 01:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vijay View Post
Just amazing.I have been thinking... how it would workout to convert a Pete 387(and planning for 4 years). Can I ask you few questions?
#1
Since factory sleeper is composite material and has air ride/shocks...how did you connect the extended(new) sleeper to the original?
#2
How much did it cost you to stretch the frame? Local shop(NorCal) here quoted $20K to stretch to 45 feet.
#3
Is there anyway to chop the high rise factory sleeper?
#4
Whats the overall semi length now?
First off we removed the air cab, I did not feel comfortable with that much movement in the sleeper vs box. Adding the extended length to chassis makes them ride MUCH softer anyways. After we completed that, I had multiple test drives with the stretched chassis and different people, and all agreed they could tell no difference to the air cab being eliminated. To connect the box to sleeper was done like most any other truck. We used the larger, I believe Ultramax sleeper ring. Cut my ring out and riveted in the new ring using the buck rivets. We also made sure to attach to the existing aluminum bracing that is on your back wall already. In reality, the addition of the ring now should add strength to the back wall of your truck which was just thing sheeting to begin with. We put the matching ring on the front of our box and are using the stock style Peterbilt 1-piece seal to connect the two together.

I got lucky for the truck stretch. I have a close friend who builds some of the most radical and custom trucks out there. He also drove one of my racecars last year, so he volunteered for the frame stretch. He also is sort of a collector in the peterbilt world. So he has dozens of trucks from fire/rollover and etc. in the yard to get frame sections from, and many other parts. Because he has stretched, chopped, dropped, and made the most crazy trucks around, he knew what he was doing. I would be glad to pass on a phone number if you would like him to give you a quote. I will attach a couple of his trucks maybe you will recognize. Guy is bad a$$ and a great dude! BOTELHO CUSTOM TRUCKS, here is a link to a build he did too: 10-4 Magazine - For Today's Trucker











We looked into chopping the sleeper down, we decided too much work! Anything can be done with $$ and imagination. But for us on a limited build time, we didn't venture. I have seen other cut the back sleeper off like a daycab, and that eliminates the high rise in the cab. My big plan is after all done, during off season, I am making almost like a top "fairing" that will run the length of my box and match the truck height. It will hide my AC and stuff on the roof and look better.

My truck now is right about 36' total. I had to keep everything on the dwarf side to push me close to the 65' total length before harassment deal.
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Old 02-15-2013, 01:58 PM   #15
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Here is a little bit of updates, we are doing what seems to be the small time consuming work lately!

Rough frame from bed design


Steps are built


Now it has bed spray under with aluminum sheeting around wheel area. Side rails are now painted white as well, just can't seem to find a pic with the white rails.
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Old 02-15-2013, 01:58 PM   #16
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Appliances are here and all installed now



Counter and cabinets are in
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Old 02-15-2013, 02:00 PM   #17
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All of the wall covering is in, and most kitchen appliances


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Old 02-15-2013, 02:02 PM   #18
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This was last night, we painted all the walls and most of the trims and such. Should have plumbing for kitchen and bathroom finished tonight. And more of those small details done like lighting fixtures, tank monitors, switches, recepticals, and etc.
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Old 02-15-2013, 02:09 PM   #19
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Hopefully this weekend we will have most of those details wrapped up inside and be back working on the outside. I have to build my under boxes next. I already have the brackets made up, and material at the shop. Going with the Polished from the front steps all the way around lower section. Black and Grey tanks are installed, just waiting on the fresh tank to get here (for the 4th time!!!).







Diamond plate sheets are here for the covering of the bed deck.

March is only a VERY short time away, starting to think were not gonna make the target date. We are running out of steam VERY fast now, and my guys seem to be dropping like flies of the past couple weeks. But I'm still trying, and were pretty close!
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Old 02-15-2013, 03:57 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundEncounters View Post

I got lucky for the truck stretch. I have a close friend who builds some of the most radical and custom trucks out there. He also drove one of my racecars last year, so he volunteered for the frame stretch. He also is sort of a collector in the peterbilt world. So he has dozens of trucks from fire/rollover and etc. in the yard to get frame sections from, and many other parts. Because he has stretched, chopped, dropped, and made the most crazy trucks around, he knew what he was doing. I would be glad to pass on a phone number if you would like him to give you a quote. I will attach a couple of his trucks maybe you will recognize. Guy is bad a$$ and a great dude! BOTELHO CUSTOM TRUCKS, here is a link to a build he did too:


Thank you Sir, Yes any reference to his shop would be great. I have seen his work all over Internet!!!! Can I use your truck/name as reference when calling him?
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