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Old 10-27-2009, 06:50 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Aurora, IL - United States
Posts: 1

Hello everyone,
I am new to the group. I have only lurked here a few times before joining. I have noticed a lot of members come from the midwest, IL and IN mainly. I am hoping to get some advice from all of you who have been involved with using HDT's as RV's. Here is my story. My Father passed last August after a year long battle with Leukemia. He had been an OTR owner/operator for most of his life. He owned a house in my home state of Montana, but lived in his trucks. His most recent truck is a 2000 Volvo VN770. It has just over 1 million miles on it with a 600hp Signature Series Cummins. Since fair market value for the truck where it was in Billings was about $5K, and considering that truck was my Dad's whole world, I decided I couldn't part with it. I am currently living and working here in IL in the Aviation industry. Three weeks ago I took the title my dad had signed before he passed down to the Sec of State facility, and explained to the nice lady that I wanted to get RV plates for the truck. It has a refrigerator, a microwave, a 110VAC inverter and a small sink in a drawer above the 'frige with tanks in the L/H lockbox. She didn't even bat an eye. It cost me $65 for the new title and $103 for RV plates. Next I went straight over to the CDL testing facility and took the written tests for Class A, Combination Vehicle and Air brakes. Having pretty much grown up in trucks with my dad, I only studied the CDL booklet for about 20 min before I took and passed the test for my driving permit. I did all of this literally the day before flying out to get the truck and drive it home with a friend who has his CDL. The same afternoon, I called my local American Family insurance agent and told her what I was doing. One hour and $568 later I had full RV insurance for the next year. My friend and I flew into Billings. I bought three new batteries and a fuel filter. We drove up to where the truck had been sitting for over a year. Put the new batteries in and drove back to IL without a hitch. We kept a drivers log book and stopped at each Port of Entry that was open. Each time, they flagged us. We only had the IL temp plate on the front of the tractor and still had expired fuel stickers on the sides. Once I showed them the paperwork and explained the story, all but one was very nice and wished us well. They did recommend that we contniue to pull through any open scales since the tractor does weigh 23,000 lbs. So now here are my questions: I am an aircraft maintenance tech, and have done(am currently doing another) complete aircraft refurbishment. I am thinking of adding either an RV or aircraft style lav in the space where the current clothes closet is in the sleeper just behind the passenger seat, putting the tanks on the frame rails on that side. Has anyone here ever seen or done any such project? I would also like to find some sort of RV trailer/toy hauler with a ramp on the rear that could carry a passenger car or Jeep aft and have living quarters up front. again, I hav some technical ability and plenty of aircraft hangars to work in, so starting with just a used double drop might be my best option. WOuld anyone out here have any other suggestions or ideas? I would sincerely appreciate any and all comments or concerns.
Thank you,

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Old 10-27-2009, 07:05 PM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Rockford
Posts: 490

welcome to the gang matt. i live in rockford il and have a freind with a race trailer that i think has living quarters. i can check out this weekend. you can check with me any time.

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Old 10-27-2009, 07:18 PM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: St. Paul, MN
Posts: 1,814

There's lots of 5th wheel toy haulers around. That's what I'd do. I'd turn the truck into a nice driving truck for you and your friends. Put some big side windows in and some nice comfy reclining seats for everybody. You would likely have to keep the minimum stuff there to satisfy the rv requirement. But I think it would be nicer and cheaper to pick up a nice trailer for all your living requirements.
'03 Freightliner FL112, 295" wheel base, with '03 United Specialties 26' living quarters, single screw, Cat C12 430 h/p 1650 torque, Eaton 10speed , 3.42 rear axle ratio
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Old 10-27-2009, 08:10 PM   #4
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: West Fargo ND
Posts: 300

Welcome to this forum Matt!, first my condolences on the loss of your father, I sure he is looking fondly over your shoulder as you roll his truck down the road, and probably giggling a bit as you struggle with dealing with the scale house LEO's.

May i kindly suggest that you spend a few nights on a different forum. the Escapees HDT I tend to hang out on both, this and that. but The Escapees is full of very helpful guys that have done exactly what you are proposing to do. Just copy/paste your same question there and whach those guys come out of the wood work to help you. But you have to post here with your progress as we tend to be more build it yourself kind of guys here, hense the name.

Good luck with your build. Mine is detailed on the MDT forum on Escapees also.

Escapees HDT Forum

2001 GMC 6500 Topkick, 22' box, dropped frame, designed to fit into a 9' garage door. 3126 CAT 6spd Man Lo-Pro 19.5's w/ 3.07 rear axle ratio
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Old 10-29-2009, 10:26 PM   #5
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 625

...condolences on your loss......I'd suggest you never put a toilet in your tractor..."one never eats-where one poops" is a chemistry issue....something about methane etc.....though most of all is the hygiene issue-something about a 5' radius of splatter....some of the guys that wear a rag on their head all the time do this and also cook while they are on the road-sleep and I imagine have sex----anyway do your self a favor and use the trailer or stop and go in a truck stop....I know those that fly do their duty at 50,000 feet and survive-but that is military and they take orders.....we are travelers and used to some modern consideration and cleanliness....geofkaye-[my 4 girlz have a 2 oz. bladder and have learned not to drink while I drive for at least 4 hours straight]
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