What about a "DIY' Overland Vehiclel building round-table/workshop ?

B85

Adventurer
#1
First,I am no expert.But was thinking ,after going to the Overland/Expo for the last couple of years that I wish their was a class for people that are or have built vehicles and trailers. Some thing where experiences ,both +- could be shared.

I'm trying to get myself to build a "Dakar" looking big 4x4 camper. I have a love for building "THINGS" . And maybe its the planing and finding the best way to do it. Even with the net. is hard to find other builders.

My idea was to present my building plan ( to get the conversation started ) and then open it up to the table . This is where others can offer what they did and how. From small vehicle to big and trailers.

I would like to keep it a "DIY" program. I know that this can be hired out as long as you have a big budget. But I don't have unlimited funds. What I do have are some skills and can build.I guess what I'm saying is a get your hands dirty (maybe cut) kind of persons project.

I see and hand out with what needs to be concerted. What needs to be on hand. The list of tools and supply. Where to get training if you don't have a skill that will be needed. Where are you going to build it? And their is the "legal" thing, state laws,federal and others both for the vehicle and the build site.

I have been bit by the "Legal" thing. Everyone said it was ok right up to having it inspected. Then all bets were off. The state only saw a Semi truck with a 20' living quarts on the back. NOT a RV . Long story but I got it worked out.Had I know it would take 3 years I would not have built it.

Maybe Overland/Expo will not want it but it can't hurt to ask.

So, what do you think ? Would you go to this kind of class ?

Randy
 

B85

Adventurer
#2
This would be for the West get together.
Also this would be more USA based. But I'm sure it could aptly to other country's.
 
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#3
I think it would be interesting, and you could share some victories and cautionary tales, but trailer design is pretty personal (it gets increasingly personal as the scale goes up... look at the Kiravan!), so you might have a limited audience.
If you don't mind putting hours into presentation materials and are ok with the possibility that you may be presenting to a handful of people (albeit fairly interested ones!) than most overland event planners would be happy to have a presenter.
 

B85

Adventurer
#5
I understand about the trailer being a breed unto them self's. Just though their mite be some info to share ?Thanks Dustin.

I don't think my new project will be started by then. Its a M1078 to a 4x4 camper. But thought I could bring the Semi and use it as a show&tell ? Would only need a place to park it.I will call it a mobile class room ? LOL I have learned alot from this build.



She is a freeway flyer but alot is the same when its comes to the M1078.
 
#8
First,I am no expert.But was thinking ,after going to the Overland/Expo for the last couple of years that I wish their was a class for people that are or have built vehicles and trailers. Some thing where experiences ,both +- could be shared.

I'm trying to get myself to build a "Dakar" looking big 4x4 camper. I have a love for building "THINGS" . And maybe its the planing and finding the best way to do it. Even with the net. is hard to find other builders.

My idea was to present my building plan ( to get the conversation started ) and then open it up to the table . This is where others can offer what they did and how. From small vehicle to big and trailers.

I would like to keep it a "DIY" program. I know that this can be hired out as long as you have a big budget. But I don't have unlimited funds. What I do have are some skills and can build.I guess what I'm saying is a get your hands dirty (maybe cut) kind of persons project.

I see and hand out with what needs to be concerted. What needs to be on hand. The list of tools and supply. Where to get training if you don't have a skill that will be needed. Where are you going to build it? And their is the "legal" thing, state laws,federal and others both for the vehicle and the build site.

I have been bit by the "Legal" thing. Everyone said it was ok right up to having it inspected. Then all bets were off. The state only saw a Semi truck with a 20' living quarts on the back. NOT a RV . Long story but I got it worked out.Had I know it would take 3 years I would not have built it.

Maybe Overland/Expo will not want it but it can't hurt to ask.

So, what do you think ? Would you go to this kind of class ?

Randy
I'm all for it.

Sharing ones build is kind of a personal thing. Your airing out your laundry in public, so to speak. I've seen some builds that are first rate, but more often most are questionable in their design and execution. It takes tools and a skill set to pull it all together. Having a staging area to do the work makes a world of difference. It takes time and effort to drag out your tools, work the job and leave enough energy to clean up after yourself. Having the ability to lower a door on a shop and just walk away is just priceless. Weather plays a factor as well.

I've seen some great design and build efforts come of out of the The Tiny House movement.

My first word of advice on a large vehicle build would be to attempt to source vehicle insurance prior to purchase. Getting insurance on a commercial rated truck chassis can be problematic. You may or may not be able to get any and if you do, it may be more costly.

You can't get a RV re-certification based on intent, either it meets the RV check list or it doesn't. In my state RV re-certifications and inspections are done though the State Highway Patrol.

Once you start such an effort, its; Focus & Finish....Focus & Finish!
 
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B85

Adventurer
#9
Here is a link to the Semi/RV build.
http://www.truckconversion.net/forums/f103/i-get-do-over-7336/

Here is a link for RV insurance. Wasn't that hard but the underwriters take a hard look at what you have done.
www.blueskyrvinsurance.com

Now when it comes to the new build (When I find a M1078 at the right price?) will go the same way I went with the semi. Maybe easier because its a flat bed in send of a tractor ? Man the State hates 5th wheel's.

Also their is insurance for (X) Military vehicles ? May look into that also.

Also 62's right about having your duck's in a row first.

Randy
 
#10
You wouldn't think insurance would be a big issue, but not being able to get any really puts a dark cloud over the whole effort. Your kinda stuck, you can't really sell off the build to get out from under it. If your having trouble getting insurance, so will the buyer.

Make sure you read the fine print on commercial policies. Some place a radius limit on the distance you can travel from the address on the policy. It can be as little as 25 miles.

Make sure the insurance has the VIN correct on the policy. If the VIN is off my a single letter or number, the GVWR could be misinterpreted as being 28,000lbs instead of 14,000lbs. More often than not the error won't be in your favor. Email traffic is better than over the phone conversions as there is a record of all information that has been sent and received between both parties.

Individual agents are not always knowledgeable on what their company will or will not insure. So don't be surprised if one will write out a policy, you send in the check and then get a letter 4 months later from corporate saying the policy will not be renewed.

Someday, I'll share with everyone how and why I know all this.
 
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#11
Here is a link for RV insurance. Wasn't that hard but the underwriters take a hard look at what you have done.
www.blueskyrvinsurance.com
Are they concerned as to what you have done or how you have done it?

There are aspects on a build where it pays to have some tasks professionally done. Mounting and securing the living space to the vehicle's frame is an example. Having a paid receipt detailing the effort and it's cost works in your favor.

Which build would you insure, one was mounted by a local well known manufacturer of mobile event and concession trailers can you tell which one?

camper at walmart 001.jpg IMG_1045[1].jpg
 

B85

Adventurer
#13
As for a class,I don't know. Was hopping that their would be more input here.

I have taken 2 classes at the West Expo about building and their were Ok. I just felt their was more that could have been covered.

Your photos bring up the problem of engineering. That is where I come from and the building of things. But others will need some input from others if they want to do the building.

When it came to getting insurance . I found the underwriters were a big help. Also the State of Arizona has guide lines and I also used other States guides. But in the end its going to be your *** if you don't dot all the "I" and cross the "T's".

If I go to Expo West this year maybe I will just have a get-together at my rig in the camp area. People are so spread out in the camp field its hard to know who may want to get together ?
 
#14
.......others will need some input from others if they want to do the building.
Its often that people listen and believe only others who tell them what they want to hear. Its the comment or suggestion made by someone who doesn't tell them what they want to hear that is often cast aside.

What's hard is looking at the build as a whole and not as a set of discrete tasks. For example; you can let the interior design drive the placement of the windows and doors or you can let the window and door placement drive the interior design.

I sent you a PM.
 
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B85

Adventurer
#15
I have found it hard to talk with owners about their truck that were from one of the builders. They got in and drove away and were not a part of the "why" things were done the way were done. And that is ok and great, when you have a unlimited budget. For me its maybe the building and engineering work that is the most fun ? And it just gets better using it ! Along with being able to say "Oh ,I built it." Also the being able to do repairs(on the road).

I start with a list of wants. Then what are their weights. How much space do they take. What do they need to work. (12V,120AC,gas,water) Then its off to the races.

In a lot of builds I see things ( that are heavy) way up high and it makes me worry about the CG of the equipment. If you thing is offroad this well be a problem. But all know that. Their a lot of things to think about. Maybe a builder needs to build a mock up and live in it for a year ? LOL My semi/RV build has been going on for way to long. In fact this is the second floor plan. The first was taken out because it did not work like I thought it would.

Randy
 
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