Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×


Join Truck Conversion Today
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-14-2011, 11:56 PM   #21
Senior Member
 
Kenn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Willamina Or
Posts: 277
Default

#90-gtsc actually my car is a DSR (D sports racer) in SCCA. It is very low to the ground (1 3/4" at rest and about 1" at speed) but it is very easy to load in the trailer. I have 6' ramps that fold down from the rear door. I block the door 3 1/2" off the ground and raise the nose of the trailer just a few inches with the trailer jack. My trailer has a beaver tail built into the last 4'. I also take the nose off the car and that gives me plenty of room. At home I load the car without the trailer hooked to the truck or motor home. I have crewed on a GT1 car with a splitter that can not be removed and it was a job to get the trailer at the right height so all would clear. Today I helped a friend load his car (a DSR with about 1/2" ground clearence). We pick the car off the ground with what looks like hand trucks with hooks. One guy is front and one in the back and in we go. His car is very light light around 800#.
Attached Thumbnails
IM000058.jpg   Russell school 051.jpg   Russell school 053.jpg  
__________________

Kenn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2011, 05:49 AM   #22
Member
 
Highway OPie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 74
Default Welds!

Kenn:

Great welds; you are quite the craftsman!

Please keep the pictures coming so we can see your progress.

Thanks
__________________

__________________
Highway OPie (Speed Gray) Grand Rapids, MI: 2003 Peterbilt 379 Motorhome; 550 hp 6NZ Caterpillar C15, Eaton-Fuller 18 speed transmission, 3.36 rear; 63" sleeper and 16' Morgan box.(highwayopie@aol.com). There are many Peterbilts, but this one is mine!
Highway OPie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2011, 03:24 PM   #23
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 47
Default

instead of sliding the hitch up and down, what about over-riding the height control for the airbags on the rear axle, pumping them up to max?

(Or, it's a great reason to install a set of levelers (Like a Bigfoot or similar system), and extend the rears way out!)
__________________
-Currently window-shopping for a class8 coach conversion...
Eskimo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2011, 10:52 PM   #24
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: se michigan
Posts: 25
Default

you could make an airjack out of an airbag, just a simple base and frame to keep it in place, put it under the tongue of the trailer or the hitch and put the air to it
SHORTS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2011, 08:58 PM   #25
Senior Member
 
#90-GTSC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Grafton
Posts: 285
Default

Interesting idea Shorts ... I was thinking the same thing! I was at Brainerd International Raceway this weekend with a friend running in the SCCA Trans-Am series. Simultaneously BIR had the season ending Muscle Car Shoot-Out running on the dragstrip. I saw a food vendor truck (looked like an old Penske box truck) with an airbag under the receiver. Looked like it could up and down. Should have taken a picture.
__________________
Started looking for 379 Peterbilt TC, 24' to 30' box, bumper pull--but ended up w/1999 Liberty Coach conversion of 45' Prevost XLV bus. 1,000sf heated/AC'd race shop w/dump station, 50amp shore pwr where bus parks, 3 NASCAR/ARCA race cars & 26' Bravo trailer.
#90-GTSC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2011, 12:59 AM   #26
Senior Member
 
Kenn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Willamina Or
Posts: 277
Default Next step

I have reached a point that the mechanical repairs and up-grades to the truck are done. I think. I am now doing the fabrication of the lower halve of the coach. Because of my 10' high shop door, I am building in two main parts. From the floor down and from the floor up. I am mounting the box frames on top of the truck frames with oak between them. I need to fine toon the wood with a power plane. I am using 4 ubolts on each side and they are 7/8" grade 8. I made the plates that go under the frame out of 2" chanel iron and then welded in 1 1/4" x 1/4" flat bar to beef them up. I bolted what I think are called fish plates to the truck frame and then welded stops to the box frames (4" chanel) to prevent the box from moving forward in a hard braking event. I made a water level so I could put pads on the floor and have the truck level in the shop. My floor drops more than 2" in 20'. The ubolts are called square but have a small radius so I welded 1/2" blocks to the frames and then ground a notch for the ubolts and they look like the bolts make better contact. I also welded 1/4" x 1 1/2" pieces between the flanges on the chanel to keep it from crushing. It feels good to be moving forward even if it is at a sloooooow pace. I will try to post pics.
Attached Thumbnails
IM000004.jpg   IM000008.jpg   IM000025.jpg   IM000030.jpg  
Kenn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2011, 01:04 AM   #27
Senior Member
 
Kenn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Willamina Or
Posts: 277
Default more pics

A few more pictures.
Attached Thumbnails
IM000033.jpg   IM000037.jpg   IM000029.jpg   IM000042.jpg  
Kenn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2011, 02:03 AM   #28
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Camano Island, WA
Posts: 163
Default

Kenn, Glad to see you are making progress, looks like you are doing a great job, Really nice looking welds. Please keep up with the pictures for us in the design phase of our projects. Always looking for good ideas. Are you going to put a piece of rubber or something between your 'fishplate' on the frame, and the welded stop? Wondering if it was not isolated it might be one of those metal on metal squeeks that can drive a guy crazy going down the road.

Dave
Dragonslayer140 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2011, 10:27 AM   #29
Senior Member
 
Kenn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Willamina Or
Posts: 277
Default rubber isolation

Dave I never thought abouts insolating the joint, but I will add a piece of rubber before final assembly. Thanks for the idea.
Kenn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2011, 12:37 AM   #30
Senior Member
 
Kenn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Willamina Or
Posts: 277
Default 1 year and $28,000

Today is one year since I bought the truck and I have spent about $28,000. I can't belive how fast the year has gone, I can belive how fast the money goes. I feel good about the project and look forward to working on it every day. When I look back at what I have learned and done to the truck, I feel like I am just about on time and budget. I knew it was a big and expensive job. I spent several years thinking and planning and so far, so good. I knew my shop was small and I could not built anything bigger. The box length ended up being 230.5" (it will be 1" longer with the FRP siding). I am building the lower part of the floor framing and the compartments below. The shop feels like it is shrinking as I add more steel to the truck. After I finish the lower part I will lift it off the truck and move the truck outside and I will gain about 10' of room (length) in the shop. Right now it is about a 70' walk to get from the left tail light to the right tail light and I knew that would be the case. When I remove the lower frame I will finish welding it and then mount the compartment doors (roll up) then remove the doors and paint the finished lower halve. It is hard to get any good pictures in the shop but I will post what I have. I look forward to seeing it outside and taking better pictures. I have had a lot of people tell me that I should buy and not build, and I know if I got a job flipping burgers and spent the same amount of time, I would earn enough money to pay for a nice motor home, but I am a stubborn old guy that would rather weld than flip burgers. I have not for a moment wished I had taken a diffrent rout.
Attached Thumbnails
IM000076.jpg   IM000078.jpg   IM000070.jpg   IM000083.jpg  
Kenn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2011, 12:21 AM   #31
Senior Member
 
Kenn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Willamina Or
Posts: 277
Default Harbor Freight to the rescue

In the past few days I have used my Harbor Freight porta-power and my chain-fall. If I was better at clamping I would not need them. While welding floor framing I managed to heat warp some 2 x 2 x 3/16 tubing (just 2 peices). I used the chain-fall to lift them back up. I will post a pic. I also found that the 2 x 5 x .120 tubing that the floor framing ties to on the outside had moved inward. I used the 10 ton porta-power to spread them so I could get the cross pieces in. I have spent lots of $$$ at HF over the years. I try to buy quality tools if I plan to use them a lot (welders and maching tools) and I get by with the low cost things that I need once in a while. When a HF tool fails, I try to remember how much I save when I bought it.
I have finished the basic framing for the floor and am starting on the lower compartments. Today I moved the truck outside for the first time since I began the framing. I got some better pictures which show how low the bodywork will be (15" off the ground). This will give me compartments that are 31" tall with a door height of 27". The body rear overhang will by 7' behind the rear axle. I wanted to see what it would look like so I cut up a piece of 1/8" stuff I got at Lowes and clamped to the truck. I also tried to decide how much clearence I need around the rear tires. Up next is to cut all of the upright 2 x 2 tubing for the compartments and then order the doors.
Attached Thumbnails
IM000105.jpg   IM000108.jpg   IM000118.jpg   IM000133.jpg  
Kenn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2011, 11:43 AM   #32
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Camano Island, WA
Posts: 163
Default

Thats a good idea clamping a panel on to give you a preview, I am still in the design phase of mine, and am trying to work out how much overhang vs ground clearance I will need. Don't want to drag tail down every driveway like my current class C does. and yet I need enough behind the wheels to get my Harley in. Where did you find to get the compartment doors from? I find plenty of places to get the standard light weight rv style door, but I would like the heavy duty style with a single handle/latch like a upper end class A's. Keep up the progress reports, gives us in the still in the armchair phase encouragement lol...

Dave
Dragonslayer140 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2011, 12:11 PM   #33
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: se michigan
Posts: 25
Default

contrary to the popular practice of putting basement boxes behind the axle and close to the ground, I think that the rear boxes should be kept above or at least no lower than the bottom of the rear bumper to protect the sheelmetal from road rash, it's going to take a substantial amount of structure to protect sheetmetal from the weight and power that is readily available to cause damage inadvertantly.
SHORTS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2011, 01:08 PM   #34
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Camano Island, WA
Posts: 163
Default

Good point, If nothing else, at least sloping up from behind axle to slightly above bumber, definatly increases the angle of departure. Unfortuantly behind the wheels ends up being some of the most available area for storage, and to keep the weight off of the front axle. I plan on keeping the bottom of my coach work a bit higher than normal to start with. I seem to end up off road more than I would think. My current class C has fairly good ground clearance and yet still manages to drag its tail all to often. So many of the truck conversions I see have very low clearance and long overhangs, not sure how they do not drag coming out of the entrance ramps to parking lots.

Dave
Dragonslayer140 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2011, 11:41 AM   #35
Senior Member
 
Kenn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Willamina Or
Posts: 277
Default doors

Dave, I plan to order my doors from Gortite roll up doors built by A & A Manufacturing. I want to use the roll up doors because when I worked as a Firefighter, our equipment had roll up doors. I know that they are strong and hold up well. I have never seen a motor home with them and don't mind doing things that others don't. I also like the way I can build the compartment frames with 2" tubing, strong and simple. For extra $$$$ Gortite will paint the doors to match the body color of the motorhome. I have been to some race tracks that pack the motor homes and trailers in so tight that it was hard to open even small hinged doors. The pics are of a local fire rescue rig and the doors are made by another co. You can check them out at www.gortitrdoors.com

Shorts, you are right about the overhang vs ground clearance. I have seen rigs that look like they would not make it into a lot of places without dragging. I plan to beef up the rear to handel any dragging and I will have 16" of clearance on level gorund. I used a model to help me see what the overall look would be (or close to it). I will post a pic of my model and of a rig for sale that I looked at. I would have made an offer if it had less overhange. Overhang causes clearance probles with the rear end swinging out so much. In the pic you can see that they are painting the back because he hit a pole.
Attached Thumbnails
IM000645.jpg   IM000646.jpg   IM000499.jpg   kennworth 011.jpg  
Kenn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2011, 11:45 AM   #36
Senior Member
 
Kenn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Willamina Or
Posts: 277
Default

I made a typo on the web site it should be Roll Up Doors ? Gortite Doors
Kenn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2011, 12:33 PM   #37
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Camano Island, WA
Posts: 163
Default

Thanks Kenn, I had not thought about roll up doors. I was a volunteer firefighter for a long time, and we had them on some of our rigs. I have been planing a "industrial" look to my conversion anyway so those should fit right in. Thinking of having stainless skirting so i would not have to paint the doors. I have been unable to find a rig already made that will fit my needs so have made the decision to start from scratch. Trying to decide if i will have someone build it or if i will do it in house. (will probably end up with someone building the body and then finish it myself.) Want to stay with a classic style conventional (379 or W900) and have room for my bike. That and being a die hard manual transmission guy eliminates most of the "off the shelf" conversions out there.

Dave
Dragonslayer140 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2011, 06:59 PM   #38
Senior Member
 
#90-GTSC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Grafton
Posts: 285
Default

Kenn ... I too had been thinking about roll-up doors. There is a fire station across from work and often there is a support truck (3/4 ton Chevy) with roll-up doors on the side. They look nice and are functional. But won't you lose some headroom in the compartment?

I had a friend who owned a series of Prevost motor coaches (Liberty Coach in North Chicago did the conversions) who was kind of enough to bring the Prevost when we went to the races in Indianapolis and Michigan. First class travel. The big buses have compartment doors which swing up and don't require much side room to open, but of course have a somewhat (as I recall) complicated mechanism to accomplish that. One of the things about the Prevost that I like was that when you locked the door to the coach, all the compartments locked too. When you unlocked the coach, all the compartments also unlocked. So you didn't have to run around the coach and manually locked the doors.

Can you give us an idea of the general cost of the Gortite doors? Of a typical lower compartment, what do you think the cost will be. Naturall alumiinum looks nice!

I agree with Mr. Dragonslayer ... a Peterbilt 379 is the ONLY way to go. If I'm going to spend this kind of money and this much time putting something together ... I want it to be the meanest, baddest looking rig in campground, in the race track paddock, or in the Wal-Mart parking lot.

Dick
__________________
Started looking for 379 Peterbilt TC, 24' to 30' box, bumper pull--but ended up w/1999 Liberty Coach conversion of 45' Prevost XLV bus. 1,000sf heated/AC'd race shop w/dump station, 50amp shore pwr where bus parks, 3 NASCAR/ARCA race cars & 26' Bravo trailer.
#90-GTSC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2011, 07:21 PM   #39
Senior Member
 
bushpilot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Tomball
Posts: 1,414
Default

while i too like those "bus" luggage compartment swing UP doors, they will NOT work if you have a slide out above them - you have to go to a side hinge, top hinge or roll-up door then.
__________________
Don R.
'04 Haulmark (M42386) 42', 2 slide, 10kw - Pictures
'04 F350 CrewCab Longbed 4x4, 50g aux tank & gear vendors dbl over
bushpilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2011, 11:33 PM   #40
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Camano Island, WA
Posts: 163
Default

Dick, I agree with you, the whole purpose for me to have a conversion is to stand out somewhat (ok a whole bunch) from the crowd. Figure nothing like a pete or kw with that great big hood and all trimmed out with chrome, stacks, air cleaners and lots of lights. figure people will love me or hate me..lol...loud bikes, loud trucks..

Dave
__________________

Dragonslayer140 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
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


Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:58 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×