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New Member Hello From Texas


medicmike
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Hello Folks!

Been lurking for a while and decided I should sign up and say hello.

I am looking at retirement within the next decade or so and have decided that I would like an HDT and 5th toy hauler to full-time for a while on the west coast (friends, family and especially grandkids are in the Northwest). First thought was an MDT but the deeper I researched an HDT seems to be more practical. 

Current plan is to pick up an HDT within the next few years, do the RV conversion, find a 5er and have a couple years to shake them down and work out the bugs before retirement. I am sure I will have a lot of questions and hope you all go easy on the new guy ;)

My son is a diesel mechanic and a good fabricator (I have a bit of experience there but he is better than I am), he has gotten excited about the prospect of the project and has volunteered to help with the conversion. That would however, require me to have the rig in Oregon to do the work so I would be travelling there on my vacations to work on the rig, bit of a logistical nightmare there but I am sure something can be worked out. 

Does this sound like a hair-brained scheme to the hive mind here?

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Welcome to thinking about going to the Dark Side! 

I don't think there are any worse hair brain schemes in this group! Just look at all the different configurations that people come up for their HDTs and campers.

 The one item that you may want to watch is insurance on your HDT, some companies may want to insure the RV too and if you do not have it at the same time or close to the same time, you might have an issue with insurance. 

We bought our HDT about 8 years before I retired, we already had a trailer we pulled with a dually, so it gave us time to get it and a trailer we wanted for retirement. We did not go full time but more like long time 2-3 months out, then back home for stuff like Drs appointments and restocking. 

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Welcome to the group. 

Each of us has their opinions on what will work but the only real test is for you to do it and see if it's working for you. There will be moments when you will say to yourself "what have I done" and maybe "why didn't I do this sooner" and maybe a few "Oh crap" moments. 

Best of luck in your venture. The more you post the more responses you will get. 

 

Rod

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Thanks guys. I have been researching all I can on the net, looked at countless rigs and am formulating a plan for what I would like. Good call on the insurance Star Dreamer. I will research that out more as the time gets closer to buy a rig (I am figuring a couple years, plan to save up and pay cash). Storage and a place to work on it will be an issue as I am currently an apartment dweller (thanks to a recent divorce) so will have to rent storage or keep it out of state with family.

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28 minutes ago, rickeieio said:

Welcome.  Saving to pay cash is, in my opinion, a good move.  When the financial cycle turns and prices come back to reality, or lower, you might find a rig already done.  Keep an eye open and be ready to pull the trigger.

That's the plan! My assets took a huge hit in the divorce but I have been able to start socking away about $1k/mo and selling off some of my collectibles and other stuff, all the proceeds from that are going direct to savings. 

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Welcome Mike! Have you attended an HDT Rally (are you even aware that there IS such a thing)?  The ECR (East Coast Rally) is been held in Crossville, TN sometime between mid-April ~ early May. The WCR (West Coast Rally is been held in Cauldwell, ID in early June. The National HDT Rally is held in Hutchinson, KS in mid ~ October. ALL feature VERY informative seminars about getting started in the HDT lifestyle as well as entertainment and fellowship and other RV related topics. At some rallies, owners looking to downsize (or leave RVing altogether) look to sell their rigs. If you could swing the time to attend an HDT Rally, you WILL be rewarded with a wealth of knowledge! Again, WELCOME!

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58 minutes ago, jkoenig24 said:

Welcome Mike! Have you attended an HDT Rally (are you even aware that there IS such a thing)?  The ECR (East Coast Rally) is been held in Crossville, TN sometime between mid-April ~ early May. The WCR (West Coast Rally is been held in Cauldwell, ID in early June. The National HDT Rally is held in Hutchinson, KS in mid ~ October. ALL feature VERY informative seminars about getting started in the HDT lifestyle as well as entertainment and fellowship and other RV related topics. At some rallies, owners looking to downsize (or leave RVing altogether) look to sell their rigs. If you could swing the time to attend an HDT Rally, you WILL be rewarded with a wealth of knowledge! Again, WELCOME!

I have yet to make a rally but hope to be able to make one next year (that is if I can get vacation when one is going). I have watched videos and read the threads here on them and I think attendance for me would be very beneficial! 

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Howdy Mike,

Welcome.  I would strongly suggest attending one of the rallies, sometimes there are finished rigs for sale sometimes not but the main reason to go is to look at all the many different ways others have gone about doing what your thinking about doing.

Saving up to be able to JUMP on a deal when it comes down the road is a very wise thing to do.  Unless you do all or most of the conversion yourself it's often times cheaper to buy a turn key setup if you find one that fulfills your needs.  THINK long and hard about what YOU want from the truck and trailer, THINK about if you want to carry something behind the sleeper, Smart Car, Jeep, etc. when buying a toy hauler in my opinion you can't have too large of a garage but you sure can have too little and regret it later when the new toy doesn't fit in the old trailer.

As with everything things change new folks come into this lifestyle older folks such as myself will in time hand the keys to someone else, that's when you can usually pick up the best deals, buy a well thought out, proven setup for a reasonable price ready to fill with fuel and go down the road.  The only disadvantage I can see with your plan, buying-building now but planing to use the setup years down the road, is that we never know what curve life is going to throw at us.  My advise, BUY, BUILD, USE as soon and as much as you can while your younger, there's always time to get old andretire.

Dave

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22 hours ago, medicmike said:

Current plan is to pick up an HDT within the next few years, do the RV conversion, find a 5er and have a couple years to shake them down and work out the bugs before retirement. I am sure I will have a lot of questions and hope you all go easy on the new guy ;)

My son is a diesel mechanic and a good fabricator (I have a bit of experience there but he is better than I am), he has gotten excited about the prospect of the project and has volunteered to help with the conversion. That would however, require me to have the rig in Oregon to do the work so I would be travelling there on my vacations to work on the rig, bit of a logistical nightmare there but I am sure something can be worked out. 

Does this sound like a hair-brained scheme to the hive mind here?

Welcome to the group!  Formulating a plan ahead of time, while you are looking for just the right model, sounds like a great plan. ( I didn’t do that.  Ours has worked out pretty well in spite of that fact).  Some guys do very well with duct tape and cardboard, some use the latest CAD.
You will be fine.

A rally, especially the National in Hutchinson, can make you aware of some questions that you need to ask.  Often you can get the answer to anything you can think of from these folks.

Somewhere I have seen a list of past presentations at the various rallies.  This is the only list I could find, and it seems incomplete.  Maybe someone knows where a more complete list is.  I didn’t open any documents, I just glanced at the titles.

http://www.hdtrally.com/Presentations.htm

Good Luck and welcome again.

 

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Welcome Texas you landed with a group of folks having many years of HDT experience.  Next week I head to the Hutch KS Rally maybe I can share some of the materials with you.  My truck was converted by myself over the past 4 years while I have enjoyed the work it is tough and mine is set up as a bumper pull Volvo 670 see link below in signature.  In the future we do want a 5er so will have to decide to cut down the frame rails or sell truck most likely already converted to singled.  Keep asking others questions and write down the pro's and con's of what you plan.  Texas has some good bed building shops as does KS.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Cotreker! I am absorbing as much as I can. Years ago I did military vehicle collecting and restoration. Had an M35 deuce and a half that I converted a GI communication shelter to a military themed camper. Was a fun project and I am certainly looking forward to getting stuck in to an HDT conversion. I have been reading every scrap of material I can find and spending hours combing ads for trucks, found a couple I would have jumped on but going to have to build the savings a bit more. 

 

And nice job on the Volvo BTW!

 

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Edited by medicmike
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