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Off season motorhome/hauler build


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Here’s a update on my off season project...


We have about 10 full working days in on this so far. My expert big truck guy welder/fabricator works full time 6 days per week, and I average 4 days per week, but travelled for work a LOT over the holidays. For now it’s at his shop so I work on it when he’s available. When it’s back to my shop I will hit the interior/exterior work hard...


The back story is I started with a GM crew cab dually with the 454. Pulled a 28 foot tag trailer with my jet dragster in it. Averaged 6mpg @ 60 mph (good thing it could carry 140 gallons of gas). I purchased a International 1900 with the DT466 diesel (210hp). I fabricated a 18ft motorhome body for it that same year. IH was a bit underpowered and cramped in the drivers area, no AC or cruise. I found a Kenworth T600 in 2008 with the same wheelbase as the IH. Swapped the body on to the KW. Pulling the trailer the KW gets between 9 and 13 mpg at 65mph. The KW has a 435hp Detroit 12.7 Litre with 1750ft pounds of torque. Needless to say, the KW doesn’t even know the trailer is back there. With the crew cab on some windy days the tail wagged the dog, even with the dual rears and equalizer hitch.


I retired the jet dragster in 2012 when I built my jet truck (it’s hanging up in my shop getting dusty if anyone’s interest in going REALLY fast for a reasonable amount of $$). The jet truck only has a 135 inch wheelbase and is about 18ft long. Always liked the “all in one” haulers I’ve seen at the races. Living quarters in the front, garage/toy hauler in the back, but all of them didn’t have a big/long enough garage area. Being ambitious and not wanting to spend $300-500K on a new truck/hauler, I decided to build one using my KW mechanicals.


Removed/salvaged the original body-it was FRB and was delaminating so it was basically junk. Saved all the good mechanical stuff; PDP, heater, water heater, appliances, light fixtures, windows etc. filled up a 20 yard dumpster. 2 days to demo.


This is where we are at now...

Stretched the chassis 22 feet, moved the drive axle back 12 ft, added a tag axle (weight isn’t the issue, extra braking power even with the Jake brake is always good). All of the rear suspensions are air ride. Added 8 cross members and 3 additional driveshafts with carrier bearings. Converted the tag axle to Hub Pilot vs Stud Pilot; want all matching wheels (Hub/Stud Pilot wheels are not interchangeable).


The body that is going on the chassis is a Great Dane aluminum wall 36ft dry van with a 5500 pound capacity Maxon Lift Gate. We will make the lift gate platform when extended 14 feet (it will fold in the middle for transport and cover the rear roll up door). The jet truck only weighs 1550 pounds, but I want to be able to pick up a Jeep or whatever for personal travel and fun, when using for vacation time this thing gets parked, a bit unwieldy to take for bread and beer! Will hold my Edge, or 4 snowmobiles, a bunch of dirt bikes, 4 wheelers etc....will have full fairings and underbody storage. Will have HD trailer hitch for dragging what ever won’t fit inside (ski boat etc etc for great adventures!).


Living quarters will be about 16 1/2 feet long. More efficient use of the space will actually give more usable room than the other longer body. Will sleep 5 comfortably. One bunk will extend into the race car section, but with a 8 1/2 foot ceiling there is still plenty of room. The track 4 wheeler (tows the jet truck) and my toolbox will be under that bunk. Will have all LED lighting inside and out, have a 7.5 KW diesel genset for power. Will have 2 inches of insulation in the walls, probably 3 to 4 in the ceiling. Garage area will be the wood walls, no insulation. Separate doors for LQ and garage. Will have 90 gallons fresh water capacity, 35 gray/black each. It’s usually only 2 of us when we go racing and usually use less than 30 gallons fresh water for a weekend.


Pictures are of the old body on the KW chassis, chassis stretch, and the interior layout (in tape but accurate) showing appliances, bathroom, windows, couches and the walkthrough to the cab....pics to follow.


Body should be mounted in a few weeks...






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Wouldn’t say I’m above average! Lot more thinking than doing...and being willing make changes on the run when/if needed...I do have an expert heavy truck mechanic/fabricator assisting me with the frame /body mount/build. Once the body is mounted and we mod the lift gate (making a 14ft bi-fold gate) plus relocating the power pac for the gate, I will do all the interior work on my own at my shop. Installing the 7.5KW diesel genset, all the wiring, plumbing, heat and AC, appliance install, cutting in windows/doors and everything else...including exterior paint...

Target completion date is May 1st, but I’m going to assume the interior won’t be 100% complete by then. Has to be road worthy by Memorial Day as that’s my first race event but it’s local and a 1 day event.



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  • Baller

Reminded me of a couple projects. All you need is a little imagination and a lot of talent.


The first one I know nothing about other than seeing it on Youtube.



The second one is an amphibious vehicle built in a guys garage in my old hometown, out of an old milk tanker trailer.




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Quick update...getting there....hfmc079a9vdn.jpeg


All the belly box doors are cut in now, have a few more windows to add to the garage area and rear bunk. Plumbing is mostly done, heat, AC, water heater, stove and fridge installed. Jet fuel tank plumbed and hose reel works great. 7.5KW genset installed and works great, AC/DC wiring about 25% done. Still perfecting race car tie downs...still tons of “finish” work plus paint to do but close to fully functional. Still not sure of what color to paint or design. Drives great, running about 25psi in the tag and no issues with brake lock ups.

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