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Old 02-07-2010, 12:05 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 5

I have been thinking about doing a conversion for several years now.

My wife likes to go out to events with us but she hates to camp so she will typically either just come for the day or find a local hotel to stay in, and quite frankley I have not objected to this because I can take a shower during the event and do not end up looking like some homeless person.

The events that we go to range from military re-enactments to offroad.

I had considered converting a Military 2 1/2 ton shop van into a camper but this truck has several drawbacks. The first one being you have to wear hearing protection to drive the truck. The second issue is the box is only 12 feet long. The third issue is that the truck really can not keep up with the slow trucks on the freeway. The fourth issue is that there is very little available frame space for black and gray holding tanks and storage.

The truck that I ended up with is a 1988 ford f900 all wheel drive three axle truck with a DT-466 and allison auto trans. This truck is an ex US Navy SeeBee truck and sports a 20' flatbed that has locks for a 20' container. The bed also has a ladder/staircase built int the rear of the bed.

My goal is to end up with living quarters that would included a master bedroom in the front of the bed with a queen size bed and pottable water tank under the bed. Behind the master bedroom would be a bathroom and shower. In the remaining portion of the truck we would construct the the kids room that woild include 2 to 4 bunks and be convertable to storage, I have looked at some toy hauler folding bunks. We would also like to include a refrigirator, microwave and sink. We have also thought about adding two heat/ac units and an exhaust fan in the bathroom.

I am considering three options for the bed.

The first option is to get a suplus 20' shelter (this is a military version of a 20' smooth walled container with a single rear door). An alternate is the civilian version with dual barn doors. The shelter would then be converted into living quarters. This option would keep the vehicle looking as it did when it was in the military even though we would probably never remove the enclosure.

The second option woild be to remove the existing bed and install a 20 foot van or reefer body. Based on what I can see the reefer body might be easier as it is already insulated and does not have a rollup door or translucant roof.

The third option would be to use the military canvas to cove the bed and build a confort pallet I really do think the wife would like this idea.

We are currentaly working on the truck. It is going to be serviced and all of the filters and fluids will be changed. We also need to replace a couple of tires and do a little body work and repaint the cab. In the future the truck will probably recieve new air ride seats and ac in the cab.

Now for my questions and what I need help with.

What are the pros and cons of the first two options listed above?

I need some help with the floorplan especially the bathroom.

What are some sources for the parts needed to perform this conversion.

I need information on the design and operation of rv water, sewage, electrical and propane systems.

How big do the tanks, water, grey and black need to be for 4 people for a week?

Thanks for your help.

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Old 02-11-2010, 09:21 AM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: St. Paul, MN
Posts: 1,819

Wow, that's quite a plan. More work than I could ever consider. I like the idea of plopping a box on that's all ready to build in the living quarters. Holding tanks I know a bit about. My truck conversion has 2 100 gallon fresh water tanks. That's enough to last a LONG time. It's got 75 gallon gray and 25 gallon black. That seems to work plenty fine for the two of us for a week on the road. Obviously we still have 100 gallons of fresh water left at our first needed dump. You are planning on putting a cut through from the cab into the living quarters, aren't you? Good luck with this project. I'm sure others will chime in.
'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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