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Converting a Volvo VNL730


Jemstone

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Howdy All, I'm new to this forum so I'll introduce myself. My wife, Rodeane, and I have worked most of our lives in the Phoenix, Arizona area. After retirement we bought a used 5th wheel trailer and a Ford 350 and hit the road for six months, starting in May. Over time we upgraded. Our fifth wheel trailer is a 38' Lifestyle by Evergreen. We still leave near the first of May and return in November after the hot weather breaks.

 

We are currently selling our 2000 Freightliner FL60 and have bought a 2010 Volvo VNL730. Even though the 730 has a lower roof than the 780, ours has a faring that goes over 13'. It would be expensive to remove it and repaint the roof and our trailer is close to 13' so the faring stays. At this point the forward rear axel has been removed, the drive line has been altered, the truck bed has been framed and decked with diamond steel plate and large storage wells built where the tires used to be. A Mountain Master HDT/MDT hitch has been installed at the rear of the deck. I should point out that the conversion is being done by Mountain Master Trucks. The new rear body is being painted and we should have the truck back in about a week.

 

As soon as we have the Volvo we will pack and head north. This year we plan to spend much of our time in the Yukon, though we will visit Banff and Jasper Parks on the way up. We will also spend a day in Grand Prairie, as that is the last Costco heading north.

 

I will post a photo of the completed truck when I get it back. Of the three ways to convert a Volvo (short, medium and long) we went long, eliminating the front axel and building storage where it had been. I have similar bins in the Freightliner and they have been perfect for my heavier lapidary equipment and rocks, lots of rocks.

 

John

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Once you get the truck back and loaded I would carefully weigh it. I doubt you will have any issues since you are not carrying a car, but singling long "can" cause issues with the steer axle (overloading). You want to know what you have,so you can work with it. Just out of curiosity, what is your new wheel base?

 

Congrats on the truck - I'm sure you will find it a step up from the FL60. And welcome to the forum. You should consider stopping at the HDT Rally in the fall.

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I won't have the truck back till next week, so I don't yet know what the wheelbase is. The Lifestyle is our fourth 5th wheel. Our first two 5th wheels were Carriages. Our third was a serious mistake. The Lifestyle company, a division of Evergreen, was started by many of the former employees of the Carriage company. The trailer has a good quality aluminum frame, good quality components and care given during construction. It is insulated for four season use. The affiliation with Carriage is also seen in the Carriage Owners Club which now extends membership to Lifestyle owners. My wife and I spend six months in it and like it as well as our home.

John

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We've had three fifths over our RVing years and we ended up with Carriage after the middle rig was also a "mistake". In spite of it's age (it's a mature industry) RV industry is still immature that in it's midst it has many companies who are quite content to put out garbage praying on the newbies and the "trusting". I'm pretty careful customer and the first fifth we bought was of an outstanding quality (Kropf). 10 year of extensive travel in it, not a bit of a problem. I guess that experience has dulled my skeptical side and built too much trust factor, because the second rig we bought relatively quickly turned into garbage wagon on four wheels. Purchasing a Carriage restored my faith, but I will forever remain skeptical. Lots of liers and bunco artists in this industry.

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What Jemstone and phoenix2013 said ^^ - we have had good results buying originally higher end units used (because we are part-timers) - Bigfoot, Kustom Koach, Snow Bird, Carriage, (Gold Wing, Land Cruisers...) vs new stuff at the same price level as our used - they are better built, and seem generally to be better cared for by the original owners who could afford them new...

 

If you or someone you know needs a toilet no one else has sat on that bad, add a new one to your good used premium quality unit :D

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