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Old 08-14-2014, 04:30 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: meyersdale
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Default Newb pointers on selecting truck

Alright guys. I'm completely new to motor home building world, and to big trucks for that matter. I'm very mechanically inclined, I just lack Rig experience.

First off here is what I'm looking to do and maybe you can point me in the correct direction on truck/trailer/ building needs.

I'm into local truck pulling, and need something that can transport 2 pullers once i get my puller built (currently only pulling the girlfriends puller with my 3/4 truck) Once Mine is finished i will either have to make 2 trips, or build something that i can keep from paying a TON of $ for PA registration. So the total weight of each truck will never exceed 8,000lbs Hers is 6200, and mine would be either 8000, or 6200. Plus a few tools and the normal carry with you stuff. I don't need to take my entire tool box with me since this isn't a high end curcuit and i'm usually no more than 50 miles from home (so far thats the largest distance)

I have located a 1975 ford 8000 dump. If no one is familliar its a tandem axle dump bed truck. It has a 3208 cat (v636 i beleive) with a fuller roadranger 18sp trans. I can possibly pick this up for around 2-3k from the talking i have done to the seller, but I'm unsure on if this would work well for what i'm planning on doing? Thoughts, pics, suggestions and so on are very appreciated. I know the 3208 isn't a widely sought engine but i'm not expecting to run long highway distances, or set and land speed records. I'm just looking for somthing that would work, and that i can spend the night in and hit another pull the next day in the same area. Also what kind of MPG should i expect with that engine/trans combo? Also I'm not sure how long the bed is. I was thinking maybe i could extend the cab with the small camper and still have room for a flatbed for one truck to ride on?

About the only think i know is the overall length cannot exceed 60ft per Pa's regulations. Is there a SQ ft requirement to be retitle as a RV? And is there a link to the process required to retitle it? Do you just submit pics like that is needed to submit for classic or antique car tags?

Thanks for your time. And sorry for all of the questions. I'm just trying to figure out a econimical way to have my toys hauled by one truck and maybe do some camping without the trucks now and then or with them at the track.

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Old 08-16-2014, 09:16 AM   #2
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Location: St. Paul, MN
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Welcome to Truck! I commend you for looking for a strong vehicle to use for camping/towing. Have you searched around on They have a section for class 8 truck conversions under their rv area. Maybe you could find something done, or close to it, that would work for you. If you cannot be persuaded to find one all built, make sure to do a ton of research. Plan everything out. Then, double your cost estimate, and time estimate. That might put you close to what it'll cost you to build it.

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Old 08-17-2014, 09:15 AM   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: meyersdale
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Thanks. If i spent what i have seen all of them listed for between ebay, racingjunk, and craigslist I would have more in just the rig than i would both of the pulling trucks. The budget is very minimal. And I'm not worried at all if it doesnt look pleasing to the eye. I just want somthing that is functional. I had actually been thinking of just mounting my old 16ft camper to truck in place of the dump bed and blending it to the rear of the cab so its a walk through.

I found a post in another forum from 2010 that they must be inspected and sighed off on via a PA enhanced inspection station to verify that they have the needed requirements to show that they are now a RV. Anyway, I plan on stopping in at the local shop and talking to them with what they are going to be looking for before i decide if I want do to that, Or just Eat it and pay the higher registration and just turn the dump bed into a flat, and haul one and tow one. I just hate spending 800 a year for registration.
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Old 08-17-2014, 10:33 AM   #4
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Location: Tomball
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800 a year for registration !?! for an RV ?
Hell i don't pay that for full coverage insurance (120k replacement value).

My annual registration is barely 100 bucks.
Don R.
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Old 08-17-2014, 12:03 PM   #5
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No, sorry i should have been a little more clear on my other post. it was morning and i wasn't awake. What i was meaning is this.

To register the truck with a flat bed so that i can haul one truck on the flatbed, and the other on a trailer behind the big truck i would i'm guessing have to register around the 35klb class. . I was a little off, I was going of the 50k current gvw that the truck is registered for now not what i could retag it as since i wouldn't be hauling max load.

And the fee's for that in PA is as follows.
33,001 - 36,000 621.00
36,001 - 40,000 657.00

Now if i could build it into a motohome and retag it, i could find a bigger trailer and trailer them both, as i don't think its long enough to have a camper section and a flatbed behind it.
Now a "RV" is as follows.

8,000 or less 65.00
8,001 to 11,000 90.00
11,001 or more 116.00
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Old 09-10-2014, 10:15 AM   #6
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A fellow puller! Most around here (midwest) just buy an old moving van trailer and build a sleeping quarters in the nose of the trailer and pull with a semi. I keep kicking around different ideas (I have a wife and 4 kids that I would like to take with me sometimes). Interested to see what you end up going with. Good luck!

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