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Old 01-22-2015, 06:43 AM   #1
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Default Ride Height/Ground Clearance

Hey guys,

I am working on my T2000 truck conversion with 27 foot box and trying to come up with an appropriate ground clearance for the lower cabinets. My fuel tanks and bottom of the brake chambers appear to be the lowest part of the truck and are down around 10" but those are near the wheels. My concern/question is how much clearance should I have in between the two to not worry about scraping/bottoming on uneven ground, entrances and such? I want to start laying out my lower cabinets and mount my stairs but am a little concerned with what height to make them? Was curious what other people have for ground clearance in the middle of their trucks? Any feedback of what others have would be appreciated!

Thanks,
Steve
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Old 01-22-2015, 10:01 AM   #2
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I'll have to measure mine - I'll try to get over to the garage this afternoon if not by this weekend & let it down off the jacks to take some measurements.

Ive never had an issue dragging anything mid-ship or otherwise.

our driveway is pretty steep & its the only place I've ever even come close (but not) scraping, when backing in.

these pictures might give you some perspective. consider where the basement storage door sits relative to the tire/wheel -

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Old 01-22-2015, 10:42 AM   #3
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I appreciate the pictures and any measurements you can offer. Yours looks pretty low, that is encouraging that you haven't had any issues. It might be an illusion, but are your rear cabinets slightly higher than your mid cabinets?

Thanks,
Steve
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Old 01-22-2015, 10:48 AM   #4
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I see a big old stacker trailer behind you rig, how long are you going to be overall with the trailer?
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Old 01-22-2015, 11:26 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superbird03 View Post
I appreciate the pictures and any measurements you can offer. Yours looks pretty low, that is encouraging that you haven't had any issues. It might be an illusion, but are your rear cabinets slightly higher than your mid cabinets?

Thanks,
Steve
an important note - I'm ONLY 43 feet (bumper to bumper).
my overhang from center of the (rear) axle to the rear of the coach is 11 feet.

We've never even as much as scrapped anything (including my extended length receiver hitch backing in our driveway).

I think what your seeing is an optical illusion either as a result of the camera (phone) lens or because of some angle of the ground....if you look at this picture it almost looks like the mid ship storage bays are higher than the rear...at least to me. It could be because there is a slight incline or more likely the suspension is not settled or level.

in the one picture (w/ the house in the background) there is the crown of the street to consider & in the DRIVERS SIDE view picture at our storage lot there is a slight slope (towards the rear) & it looks like like I've raked the wheel (in the turn pretty hard & created some lean to one side).

heres a couple more (click on the pict to increase the size).



i think in this picture i may have let the pressure out of the rear airbags, the street is sloped toward the front of the coach to facilitate draining toward the street drains (so thats why the front may look a light higher too).



here one of my favorite coaches...which might give you some thoughts about tapering the rear storage bin a bit to increase clearance in / out of streets & driveways.

this guy is 3 feet longer than our coach at 45 feet PLUS trailer....

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Old 01-22-2015, 03:47 PM   #6
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Hey Don,

Thanks for the clarification. The last picture shows it best I think, you are flat along the bottom the whole way. I am going to estimate you are around 14" when aired up but looking forward to what you measure. That other rig is beautiful to say the least. Having the matching trailer is pretty cool. Mine is going to be about the same length as yours, about 43 feet. I have about 9 feet of overhang from the center of the rear drive axle. I went back and forth between having two drive axles or going to one. I would have loved the extra storage but will be towing a 24k pound trailer most of the time so I was thinking the stability would be better and another braking axle couldn't hurt. The rig I really liked is below and is kind of what I have in my head of what I want mine to look like when complete. It is a 45 footer. I would have liked to have been that long but it just didn't work out. I have a slide out that I am going to install out the back to make up the extra 2 feet. If I look at the pictures close, it would appears yours has this? What are your thoughts on that? Would you of rather had the slide out the side or out the back works for your needs?

Steve
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Old 01-22-2015, 05:27 PM   #7
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originally i wanted a 2nd drive axle too.

loved the idea of independent locking diffs & axles that can be locked together (ala 4 wheel drive). I was convinced that the added traction, brakes and extra tires would provide additional margins of safety....THEN i priced the tires and thought i could get by w/out the added 3k in rubber

im 32k lbs (12.7k/19.7k - front/rear) well loaded (120 gal of fuel, 220g water, 50 gal of propane, beer, shorts & t-shirts), which if i remember correctly leaves me somewhere between 4k & 5k, for the old english sheep dog, wife & liquor.

if i were towing something larger than the occasional race car/trailer or jeep wrangler i think i would definitely want the added brakes.

Quote:
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...I have a slide out that I am going to install out the back to make up the extra 2 feet. If I look at the pictures close, it would appears yours has this? What are your thoughts on that? Would you of rather had the slide out the side or out the back works for your needs?

Steve
yeah we have the rear slide. the rear wall/slide on ours is all wardrobe/cabinet. The head of our queen bed on the drivers side. If the rear slide is NOT out you don't walk around the bed (or open many of the wardrobe/cabinet drawers).

I'd almost rather have no slide on the rear (just something more to break or leak) and it only slides out a foot - without the rear slide we'd have no bedroom storage (which we do need/use).

i often think id like a passenger side slide (in the living room) - but i don't want to have to deal with sitting behind that or looking around it when were "in camp" (it would only benefit me when I'm on my Mother in Laws curb, since i cant put the drivers side slide out into the street). I do with our bed had nightstands on both sides of the bed.

I'll get a picture of the interior when i measure the ground clearance - but heres a picture of the rear slide fully deployed.

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Old 01-24-2015, 07:37 PM   #8
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Hey Don,

.... I am going to estimate you are around 14" when aired up but looking forward to what you measure.
Steve you pretty much got it right....

Aired up:
the BOTTOM of the front cabinet DOOR (just behind the cab/fuel tank) measures 14 3/4 inches.
And the BOTTOM of the REAR cabinet doors/body measures 15 3/4 inches.

WithOUT air in the (rear) suspension the clearance is 12 inches at the bottom of the rear cabinets/body work.

Interestingly enough I measured the ground clearance of my generator tail pipe (probably the lowest point on the coach) and i 10 inches at the most (probably closer to 9 3/4). My generator exhaust/tail pipe is about 2 feet from the rear of the coach on the drivers side.

I also measured my exhaust tip (which exits just in front of the rear axle) and it only has 9 inches of ground clearance.

the bottom of my "house" entry door step shows 14 inches of ground clearance when the step is retracted (8 1/2 when when the step is deployed or extended).

this link provides access to pictures that might be helpful - CLICK HERE
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Old 01-24-2015, 07:48 PM   #9
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you also asked about our rear slide - and i didnt have any photo/details so i took some of those tonight too.

you can see, when the slide is retracted (for driving) - it doesnt TOUCH the bed, but it does come close (you can still snake your hand in a drawer to get anything you might need)....the top wardrobe (mirrored) doors completely clear the bed when the slide is "in".

Ive tried to label all the photos so the perspective is clear in this slideshow - CLICK HERE
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Old 01-25-2015, 10:34 AM   #10
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bushpilot, you actually built all that yourself?
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Old 01-25-2015, 10:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
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bushpilot, you actually built all that yourself?
don't make me laugh

no i did NOT build my Haulmark Coach.
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Old 01-25-2015, 10:40 AM   #12
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DOH!! I didn't realize it was a Haulmark...... Here I was all ready to tell you how much I liked your wood working skills........
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Old 02-17-2015, 03:18 PM   #13
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I see a big old stacker trailer behind you rig, how long are you going to be overall with the trailer?
Hey Hot Rod, sorry I missed your question, I am right at 83' long total. The truck is 43' the hitch sticks out an additional 1' and the trailer box is 34' plus 5' for the tongue.

Steve
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Old 02-17-2015, 07:29 PM   #14
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Hey, what's an extra 18' over legal amongst friends. The PUCO officers here in Ohio are known for their kindness and understanding. lol.

The sideskirts on my truck are at 14" to match the trailer we tow, and never came close to dragging anything and I do get in to a few odd places at fairgrounds and such. Not nearly as long a wheelbase as you of course, but if you are going to racetracks, truck stops etc, in other words places designed for big rigs, you are not going to have any problems with ground clearance. I'm assuming you have the common sense to not blindly drive an 83' rig into places you oughtn't be trying to drive it in the first place. Most of the places you could get into trouble like steep driveway approaches and the like are places that truck is to big to squeeze into in the first place. If anything I'd worry more about the back of the truck and maybe angle everything up a bit behind the axles. That is pretty common on the big TC's.
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Old 02-18-2015, 08:09 AM   #15
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Thanks for the measurement. I figured if you are going to be over the length limit mind as well blow it out of the water! I only hope that if I do cross that bridge someday with the police that they don't park me and only ticket me. I see lots of people at our racetracks that are that long or longer. Not that it makes it right, I will just continue to hope that the Police are as confused about the laws for these things as we are.

I am still debating on what to do with the rear boxes, like you said taper them up a bit in the back or just run them straight back. The hitch I have right now I made is an oversized version of what you would find on a pickup. 3/8" side plates that bolt through the side of the frame and an 8"x8" 3/8" walled square tube that ties them together. I then have a 3" square receiver tube that my hitch slides into. with this setup it ends up being the lowest part in the back up the truck at around 9 or 10 inches and does scrape occasionally. I would like to have one of those 40k lb fully adjustable hitches installed, but not sure where to have that done at. If anyone knows a place that does this, please let me know!

Thanks,
Steve
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Old 02-18-2015, 09:09 AM   #16
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Heres the set up that came on our coach (i had a 2" receiver built, for the bike rack & the towbar).



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Old 02-19-2015, 10:35 AM   #17
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Anyone know where I could go to get one built like that? I would like to have something like that put on mine, I just don't have the right equipment to do so myself. Below is a picture of what I made but I would like to upgrade to what Don is showing in the previous post.
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Old 02-19-2015, 12:34 PM   #18
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That is the same style hitch I originally built before the truck was converter. I thought it was better than what was installed because it gave better protection for grounding out but the manufacturing company thought otherways.
They installed a hitch built at VRT Industries (or maybe under another company name) and the guy I talked to was Tyler 800 482 1839
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Old 02-20-2015, 12:40 PM   #19
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That hitch you built looks plenty sturdy. At least as good as any of the factory built stuff. And certainly stronger than the weak link of either the pin, the 4 bolts holding the ball on, or the shank of the ball itself. I have been as guilty as anyone else of overthinking and overbuilding and overbolting a hitch to the truck, and then look at the finished product and realize there is still just the one pin, and the one shank of the ball holding the whole rig together anyway. I know on my trailer saver hitch, there are 16 5/8" grade eight bolts holding it to the truck, and I couldn't talk myself into skipping drilling any of those 16 holes through the 1/2" steel plate deck it is bolted to, even though I knew in my head it was overkill and not the weak link anyway. I fabbed my bumper hitch similar to yours, but I used 2x4x1/4 tubing above and below the receiver tube. Your setup looks way beefier and cleaner, I like the way the receiver tube goes through the 8x8. Mine feels inadequate now, thanks!
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Old 02-20-2015, 01:25 PM   #20
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Im w/ hot rod - that hitch looks adequate to put it mildly.
the only advantage i see of the one on my coach is the adjustment (and the dumb asses blocked some of it w/ the air line connections, so you cant get a pin in or out at the higher settings).
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