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Old 11-16-2004, 12:50 PM   #1
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Well the last major details where finalized yesterday.

The biggest was the floor plan. The final drawing came over on Saturday and to fit everything in that we wanted, we had to go to a 29' box. I really wanted to stay in that 36' overall length range, but there was just no way. So keeping a eye on wheel base we will still have almost a 4' shorter wheel base than the previous conversion. Couple that with the 55 degree wheel cut on the M2 and I think the turning radius and maneuverability will still be substantially better than my last Show Hauler which had a 336" wheel base.

So here is the final floor plan:




Exterior cab and box integration is probably the most important item on my list. I have been scouring the net for M2 pictures and came across this Optima M2 motorhome. In one word AWESOME! I think they did a incredible job making this rig look like it was meant to be a motorhome. It still has a tough truck look to it (insert Tim The Tool Man grunt here), but refined enough to be a classy looking motorhome. To me the best looking conversions are the ones that look like they never where just a truck. All to many times I see owners trying to marry up truck cabs to boxes that just don't look like they should be put together. Many of the condo truck units don't meet with the top of the box roof and over cab bunks that are only 12" high are really crazy looking. Anyway, that is just my opinion I like to see balance in all aspects of the exterior, from wheels, fenders, overhangs, bottom of rig sight line, ect... It just all has to look in proportion. This rig definitely shows that.




We tweaked a few exterior items to my order and we should look very close to this one.

So now we get to sit and wait. The truck is not due to roll off the assembly line until the end of January, so the next updates probably won't come until then.

Bill
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Old 11-16-2004, 12:50 PM   #2
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Well the last major details where finalized yesterday.

The biggest was the floor plan. The final drawing came over on Saturday and to fit everything in that we wanted, we had to go to a 29' box. I really wanted to stay in that 36' overall length range, but there was just no way. So keeping a eye on wheel base we will still have almost a 4' shorter wheel base than the previous conversion. Couple that with the 55 degree wheel cut on the M2 and I think the turning radius and maneuverability will still be substantially better than my last Show Hauler which had a 336" wheel base.

So here is the final floor plan:




Exterior cab and box integration is probably the most important item on my list. I have been scouring the net for M2 pictures and came across this Optima M2 motorhome. In one word AWESOME! I think they did a incredible job making this rig look like it was meant to be a motorhome. It still has a tough truck look to it (insert Tim The Tool Man grunt here), but refined enough to be a classy looking motorhome. To me the best looking conversions are the ones that look like they never where just a truck. All to many times I see owners trying to marry up truck cabs to boxes that just don't look like they should be put together. Many of the condo truck units don't meet with the top of the box roof and over cab bunks that are only 12" high are really crazy looking. Anyway, that is just my opinion I like to see balance in all aspects of the exterior, from wheels, fenders, overhangs, bottom of rig sight line, ect... It just all has to look in proportion. This rig definitely shows that.




We tweaked a few exterior items to my order and we should look very close to this one.

So now we get to sit and wait. The truck is not due to roll off the assembly line until the end of January, so the next updates probably won't come until then.

Bill
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Old 11-16-2004, 03:00 PM   #3
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Bill,
Could you order electric remote bay locks? Are they at least slam-shut locks?

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Old 11-16-2004, 04:12 PM   #4
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No auto bay locks.

Show Hauler bins only have a center latch and are slam shut bins. Loved them on the old rig.

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Old 11-17-2004, 08:52 AM   #5
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As you would say, AWESOME!!
Actually, your rig will look better, IMHO, than the one you show cause yours will have a super slide and the bedroom slide on the same side and therefore have more of that "motorhome" look sitting in a campground, than what that Optima shows.
I can't tell on that floorplan what those markings that extend out past the patio awning stand for. Also what size awning will you have?

Like you said, I think you will be fine with the 29' box.
Now the wait!!!
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Old 11-17-2004, 09:32 AM   #6
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Mike those markings are the dimensions and placement of the 3 waste tanks, (2) 47 gallon grey & (1) 47 black.

We are going with a 20' A&E WeatherPro awning. Got to play with that at the factory and that thing is cool. Seems like they got most of the bugs worked out on it. Love the way the arms are up and out of the way.

Is it April yet!!

Bill
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Old 11-17-2004, 10:20 AM   #7
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You'll certainly like that 20' awning over the one you had before. It will give US more room when the ole rains come!!
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Old 02-09-2005, 10:42 AM   #8
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End of January has come, and gone.

Any news on the new rig?
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Old 02-09-2005, 11:02 AM   #9
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The M2 truck chassis is due in next Wednesday. This has been the longest 3 months of my life! And we still have 2 months until the conversion will be complete!

Freightliner is very very back ordered on the M2. Leadtimes are now running about 12 plus weeks. For me I ran into the holdays when the leadtime was down around 8 weeks.

D&K Truck Sales along with Becks Marine (which is the dealer we used for this conversion) will do a thorough check of the truck to insure all is there that should be there. Then it is off to Quadra MFG'ing for there new GIANT FOOT levelers. They put some huge feet on there new truck & bus levelers to keep them from sinking under the wieght.

As soon as I get any word or picutres I will for surely post them.

Just one more week

Here is a nice shot of M2 Motorhome



Bill
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Old 02-19-2005, 03:15 PM   #10
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Bill,

Take a few minutes and tell us how & why you decided on this type of RV compared to a Diesel Pusher or even a Class A. What are the benifits and cost difference? Is the resale better then the others, it sounds like the back log on the chassis represents a pretty good demand or are they same chassis used some where else?

I've looked at this type of coach, but just couldn't make up out mine. We have a number of preimer converters just down the road in Elkhart, it seems their lots are always busy.

Tomcat F15
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Old 02-19-2005, 06:23 PM   #11
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Hi Rich

On my second trip to Florida in my class A gasser, I got fed up with getting blown around the road by passing trucks and moderate cross winds. It wore me out and I did not feel all that safe. I also was not to impressed with the interior construction and materials used. I had draws that where falling apart on a 2 year old RV. Now you have to understand that my Class A was considered a entry level so I new there was better quality out there, but I was not willing to endure another small step towards happiness, by going to say a entry level pusher. I am also kind of a extreme person, push the limit of things and don't settle for mediocrady. So I tend to look for solutions that are outside of the box.

I originally started to look and bus conversions as a possibility, but after about 6 months worth of research decided that unless I was willing to depart with big money $200,000 plus I was not going to be happy with a bus.

And then one fateful day in Niagara Falls I saw my first truck conversion and after a quick look inside I was hooked on the idea. But I still needed to do research and spent over a year looking and what makes up a truck conversion. Test drove one (luckily in some windy conditions) and finally locked onto a company that really builds a incredible conversion which is Show Hauler.

My last Show Hauler was absolutely the most incredible vehicle I have ever driven. My very firs trip was to Florida where we hit torrential rain that had vehicles flying off the road and I never felt more confident in a vehicle in my life. Later on in that trip we where running in winds gusting to 30 plus mph and again the thing was solid as a rock. I actually had a guy pull up in a Country Coach at a rest area to ask how I was able to pass him and I had to laugh to myself, because the last stop we made was 6 hours earlier and I did not realize it was that windy. You may ask how are you running 6 hours without a pit stop or at least fuel. Well the air chairs are the key to less potty breaks, no jarring does wonders. Also my last rig had 300 gallons of fuels which was awesome on long trips.

But the real benefits come in the structure that Show Hauler uses in its frame; 1x2, 2x2, & 2x3 inch tubular steel in the floors, walls and ceiling all 16" oc. Like they say you need something to hold up the solid real wood Amish crafted cabinetry that hangs on the walls. There are so many more benefits and I will detail many of those as the conversion process gets under way next week.

There are a few draw backs such as the loss of some living space taken up by the cab, some engine noise, and only limited pass through storage (due to the drive shaft)

But for me a truck conversion is the only way to go. And if your asking yourself why I sold the last one; well the wheel base was 28' which is way to long to maneuver in Ohio & Pa campgrounds and the manual 10 speed transmission got old real quick.

So on to a new adventurer in building a conversion.

Bill
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