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Talk me out of it guys


Broncohauler

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The DW and I are thinking about a change with a little help from the CA dmv.

I'm talking with a builder here in CA about stretching are frame and building us a 26 ft motorhome conversion body making the truck 38 to 40 ft over all. Then we'll pull a stacker trailer with my early bronco and the wife's long travel rhino.

I know the smart thing would be to sell are truck as is and buy one already built. But we really love this truck.

I drove it as a company truck for a lot of the 1.5 million miles on it And I know it's full history.

We have been looking for one already built but I'm very stubborn and want only a peterbilt and I'm not ready to spend more than I did for my house. And haven't seen one clean enough for what we can afford.

I'll post a picture later of are current set up for those that haven't seen it before.

 

I don't think selling are bed or current trailer will be a problem. The trailer is highly desirable for the desert crowd.

 

The reason we're thinking about the change is of course the CA dmv.

But we also are tired of the amount of time it takes to load and unload are current set up.

I would like to be able to stay in the RV parks when taking are boat to the river.

I respect all your opinions thanks guys

Charlie and Tammy

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Go for it....If this is what you want to do it seems very smart to use a " chassis" that is known to you and is " bug free". Is the builder confident he can build it and get the DMV to buy in. You know about the guy that tried this last year here in our beautiful state and was denied a "RV" registration...

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Go for it....If this is what you want to do it seems very smart to use a " chassis" that is known to you and is " bug free". Is the builder confident he can build it and get the DMV to buy in. You know about the guy that tried this last year here in our beautiful state and was denied a "RV" registration...

To be honest anything is a gamble in California with registration these days if I have to I'll take it out of state.

 

The other gamble is the builder has made a lot of trailers for racers and Hollywood movie studios but this is only his second motorhome to my knowledge.

his first he built for a friend of mine which came out beautiful on a historical Kenworth chassis eight years ago.

He's very Easy to work with the only one I can find in California. And the price I think we can work out to hopefully be fair for both of us.

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Hopefully the registrations not a problem. Sales tax could definitely be interesting. But my registration already is going to go from $90 as an RV to the neighborhood of $1000 commercially. So I can't see it being any more than $1000 going back to an RV.

 

As for the stacker 25 foot overall is all I good legally be able to do. Thought would be to load the rhino backwards up in the nose on top of some cabinets and possibly run the bronco hood up underneath it.

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To be honest anything is a gamble in California with registration these days if I have to I'll take it out of state.

 

The other gamble is the builder has made a lot of trailers for racers and Hollywood movie studios but this is only his second motorhome to my knowledge.

his first he built for a friend of mine which came out beautiful on a historical Kenworth chassis eight years ago.

He's very Easy to work with the only one I can find in California. And the price I think we can work out to hopefully be fair for both of us.

 

Bronc,

 

Gamble is the word.....

 

I sometimes think the HDT - RV suffers from no real formal national organization......

 

The "Real" motorhome folks seem to not have the run-around with the CA DMV that a few one-only-HDT owners have.......

 

It seems to me that big5er said it best a few months ago when he had a low Dr. Pepper blood level......."when the "folks" bring up the VIN# on the computer and it says........TRUCK.......they will just look at you and say........."it's a TRUCK......NOT a motorhome!"

 

Now maybe I might get you tazered or pistol-whipped with this suggestion..........maybe you might need to purchase a motorhome-VIN#.......

 

Once in a while when we would get a couple acres of various aircraft parts we would cobble them together and then go out to the aircraft bone-yard and buy a data-plate and log-book from a derelict and .....bingo......we had a legal aircraft........

 

I have a buddy with a 1919 Chevy pickup hotrod and the only "original" parts are the windshield frame and the data-plate and the DMV inspected it and bingo he had a current registration.........

 

If it does not work out...........several of us might be able to float a bail-bond for you.........

 

Drive on.......(Housecar or ......bust)

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I'm hearing a lot positive which is a help as we try to make up are mind.

But guys your my friends don't be afraid to tel me I'm crazy.

 

Bronc,

 

Of course you are Crazy.........heck we are all Crazy..........Anyone with a HDT is Crazy.......with a truck it helps a lot to be Crazy........so what ? ?

 

Drive on..........(Crazy beats......Mad)

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Dollytrolley, I've also been down the Vin #'trail . We did it a lot with off-road Buggys to get them street legal.

But there's no way on this. it's a different time and world. The saying around here has always been if it looks like a duck It's a duck.

I have not decided on builder for sure yet but let's say I use Ultra Haulers who I have talked to.

The new title like my friends would say as I recall ( Make peterbilt) ( body type Ultra Hauler) so I should be ok. The real pain is my registration is due in February and I'm still fighting 5 months latter with the DMV.

There's a good chance I will have to go commercial and then try to switch back to RV and that will fly all kinds of red flags.

The registration I'll get worked out.

The big decision is due I pull apart a complete HDT hauler that works great to make it into something else or do I sell this truck and buy another that I'm gambling on to be sound and reliable to build something different??

Not sure what mines worth as is? But I can get another real cheep in CALIFORNIA

Thanks Charlie

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Personally I'd be really concerned about weight & balance. You're going to have to pick your wheelbase rather early in the overall process, long before you know the final weights and distribution. That stacker trailer is probably going to end up around 10k overall and 1500 pin, so you'd have to pick a wheelbase where the drive tires are far enough forward to carry the entire weight of the new body and don't overload the steer axle when running without the trailer, yet far enough back that you don't end up with a teeter-totter type scenario where the 1500 pin weight translates into +3000 on the drives and -1500 on the steers. +2000 on the drives and -500 on the steers is probably a lot safer, but that'd require that your [(rear axles centerline) - (hitch)] distance be no greater than 1/3 of your wheelbase distance.

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Weight is a big big concern.

I'm having trouble with my Photobucket so can't post a current picture. But I'm starting out with a 3 axle tractor with a unibuilt sleeper. I would like to keep the sleeper in order to keep the air ride on the cab (. The air ride is on the back of the sleeper ) most conversations they solid mount the cab.

I won't put a pass thru into the new coach because of the lay out I would like.

The bedroom would be in the front with a large water tank under the bed at least 200 ga.

The bathroom and shower next with the kitchen in the middle. The very back I would put a table with 2 not recliners but smaller chairs. A couch sleeper on the rear side wall.

Large windows on the back wall and rear side walls.

We lake camp a lot and this would allow us to back into a spot with the rear of the coach hanging out over the lake giving us an awesome view. In the desert I could unhook the trailer and also have a great view From the back of the couch while sitting in the chairs.

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Weight is a big big concern.

I'm having trouble with my Photobucket so can't post a current picture. But I'm starting out with a 3 axle tractor with a unibuilt sleeper. I would like to keep the sleeper in order to keep the air ride on the cab (. The air ride is on the back of the sleeper ) most conversations they solid mount the cab.

I won't put a pass thru into the new coach because of the lay out I would like.

The bedroom would be in the front with a large water tank under the bed at least 200 ga.

The bathroom and shower next with the kitchen in the middle. The very back I would put a table with 2 not recliners but smaller chairs. A couch sleeper on the rear side wall.

Large windows on the back wall and rear side walls.

We lake camp a lot and this would allow us to back into a spot with the rear of the coach hanging out over the lake giving us an awesome view. In the desert I could unhook the trailer and also have a great view From the back of the couch while sitting in the chairs.

Sounds like my truck conversion layout precisely. We wouldn't have it any other way. We have air ride cab with a "step-through". Go for it! Here is the link to my conversion:

http://www.ustruckin.blogspot.com/

 

GaryD

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Personally I'd be really concerned about weight & balance. You're going to have to pick your wheelbase rather early in the overall process, long before you know the final weights and distribution. That stacker trailer is probably going to end up around 10k overall and 1500 pin, so you'd have to pick a wheelbase where the drive tires are far enough forward to carry the entire weight of the new body and don't overload the steer axle when running without the trailer, yet far enough back that you don't end up with a teeter-totter type scenario where the 1500 pin weight translates into +3000 on the drives and -1500 on the steers. +2000 on the drives and -500 on the steers is probably a lot safer, but that'd require that your [(rear axles centerline) - (hitch)] distance be no greater than 1/3 of your wheelbase distance.

 

Weight is a big big concern.

I'm having trouble with my Photobucket so can't post a current picture. But I'm starting out with a 3 axle tractor with a unibuilt sleeper. I would like to keep the sleeper in order to keep the air ride on the cab (. The air ride is on the back of the sleeper ) most conversations they solid mount the cab.

I won't put a pass thru into the new coach because of the lay out I would like.

The bedroom would be in the front with a large water tank under the bed at least 200 ga.

The bathroom and shower next with the kitchen in the middle. The very back I would put a table with 2 not recliners but smaller chairs. A couch sleeper on the rear side wall.

Large windows on the back wall and rear side walls.

We lake camp a lot and this would allow us to back into a spot with the rear of the coach hanging out over the lake giving us an awesome view. In the desert I could unhook the trailer and also have a great view From the back of the couch while sitting in the chairs.

 

Guys

 

Indeed Weight & Balance may be a concern but.....it should not be a problem......

 

The best way to mitigate a potential-Weight & Balance problem is to run a few Weight & Balance calculation "What-Ifs" .......BEFORE starting the "project".

 

In my "past life" of commercial and other aircraft operations I would need to calculate many weight & balance solutions several times per day.

 

In the "stone ages" us "birdboys" used a pencil & paper......then IF you were a "BIG Dog" you bought a ........Slide-Rule (With a belt holster)......and then.........Texas Instruments came out with those electronic calculators with the itty-bitty red numbers......(and at first the FAA did not trust the TI calcs so we had to do hand calcs as well) only the "RICH-BIG-Dogs" had the T I Calculators ..........NOW.......we have auto-calc-Weight & Balance-Live-Data spreadsheets and so now even sober-pilots can get the Weight & Balance right in less than a minute AND then hit a button and send it to who-ever in a flash........

 

I am a geezer and retired and fairly lazy so..........I cobbled together a HDT auto-calc-Weight & Balance-spreadsheet that works fairly well and it is silly-simple to do "what-if" axle and cargo calcs in a heartbeat.

 

The real advantage to the spreadsheet is that you can easily configure your Baseline-RC-Configuration so that you can optimize the disposable-cargo compartments for optimal payload capacity. By shifting around many Baseline-Components (Battery banks, Generator, Water tanks, Propane, etc) in the original lay out you will be able to provide optimal Balance BEFORE you start your project and the you will NOT have any unpleasant Weight & Balance AND Axle-loading problems AFTER your project is completed.

 

In aircraft operations often "out-of-balance" is far more deadly that "over-weight" operations and IF a pilot does not pay attention he may find himself with a "well-below-gross-Weight" aircraft that will become uncontrollable as more and more fuel (Weight) is burned-off and the aircraft becomes more and more out-of-balance........bad juju....

 

Our "HDT-adventures" involve traveling around the the West where the DW likes to trail-ride Dolly-the-paint-horse.......When you RV with a 950 lb "pet" that "NEEDS"......330 gallons of water, 1,500 lbs of feed AND 750 lbs of "Essential-tack" you for sure have a head-start on a Weight problem and very likely will become a "potential-balance" problem as well.........

 

I tend our "Pet-induced-Weight & Balance-potential" by shifting the cargo mass in such a way to keep good balance and as such we are able to keep axle / tire loading well within limits..........

 

My goal is never to have any tire or axle exceed 85% of limits.......

 

Mark Shelly composed a HDT auto-configuration-Weight & Balance spreadsheet that is intended to provide guidance for single or tandem axle configuration as well as bed and hitch configuration and it appears to have good merit. My spreadsheet tends to take Marks spreadsheet to the next level of potential detail in that you can add or subtract and change locations of any component or cargo mass with just a few keystrokes and then instantly see the overall results......

 

If you would like to "test-drive" the spreadsheet feel free to email and I could email back the spreadsheet.....email me at mmcdan3189@aol.com

 

Drive on..........(Balance helps keep the ........weight under control)

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In the last Millennium a Beech 18 took off from Campbell River airport on Vancouver Island with some fishermen and their crates of caught salmon. Crates weren't secured, slid back on take off. Moving C of G too far aft. The plane did a power on stall and augured in killing everyone.

 

I was careful when singling the truck. It was singled long by mistake so it was singled mid by Herrin. With car and generator wt on 12k axle is 10370 lbs so that is close to 85%.

 

I still cringe and say bad words when coming off or going onto a bridge ramp when the front end sounds and feels like it just dropped off. Maybe it's just Canadian roads, probably not an issue in the US.

 

 

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Oops sorry you were asking people to talk you out of it.... :o ok... here goes...

 

It can't be done.

 

"They" won't let you register it.

 

A movie set housecar is affected by gravity different than a HDT forum one ... (ok I made that up...)

 

Blue cabs aren't allowed...

 

If you put a fly fishing sticker on it you might be "deemed" to be commercial...

 

umm... running out of ideas here...

 

Oh I know the sky will fall...

 

:D:D

 

Ok Bronc.......

 

IF all else fails........just tie a rubber chicken mirror .....remember it's CA..........in CA weird is the solution to almost any problem.......

 

Drive on.......( Don't .........Chicken-out)

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The only crazy thing I can think of is the 200 gallons of water you plan to carry on the truck. You must be planning on washing the Bronco off at the end of the days rides with that much water. We have two water tanks, one at 20 gallons and another at 110 gallons in our trailer and we can usually use just the 20 gallon tank for a weekend if we conserve water when we shower. Don't forget your black water and grey water tanks.

 

You will want to do the weight calculations based full and empty water tanks to make sure you do not overload or lighten your front axle too much.

 

I would think if you are leaving it tandem, you should not have a problem with rear axle weight, but might need to up the front axle weight. Maybe check with Nuke-E to see what his truck axle weights are.

 

The other items you may want to consider, if you are planning to put a bunch of money into the conversion is to the necessary refresh upgrades for the motor, trans, clutch, axles to refresh them it needed or at least reserve the money to do them. Hate to put all that money into the conversion and then due to age the engine needs rebuilding at another $10-15k you hadn't budgeted on.

 

Dave

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