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Old 03-02-2014, 08:08 PM   #1
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Semi truck conversion?

I have some questions regarding this and this seems like a good place to ask questions. Before I turn 18 I plan on buying a used semi and converting it to a rv.. Want to take a 23 ft pup semi trailer and turn it into a toy hauler / rv. Was wondering if it will be possible to register it as an rv even though it's also going to be a toy hauler? What are the liscne requirements for mass regular don't this? I looked and can't find anything. I plan on going across the country riding trails and stuff with friends with dirtbikes and stuff. Thank for the help
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Old 03-02-2014, 08:42 PM   #2
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You will need a cdl and air brake endorsement in most states. Check with your dmv about registering it for non commercial use. IMHO, it might be more than you should be taking on without training and more driving experience
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Old 03-02-2014, 08:53 PM   #3
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You probably won't need a CDL. CDL is for profit driving.
What state are you in?
The trailer being a toy hauler is not an issue. It will be registered as a trailer or RV, depending on state.
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Old 03-02-2014, 09:05 PM   #4
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You probably won't need a CDL. CDL is for profit driving.
What state are you in?
The trailer being a toy hauler is not an issue. It will be registered as a trailer or RV, depending on state.
In In Massachusetts. I really like the idea of a semi truck but I want to take like a 28ft pup semi trailer and turn it into a toy hauler. Not sure if that's possible
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Old 03-02-2014, 09:08 PM   #5
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Seems like the pup trailer will get pretty top heavy when converting to RV/toyhauler. Your semi truck idea seems valid but IMHO you should get the trailer height lower.
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Old 03-02-2014, 09:22 PM   #6
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You probably won't need a CDL. CDL is for profit driving.
What state are you in?
The trailer being a toy hauler is not an issue. It will be registered as a trailer or RV, depending on state.
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Originally Posted by KIX View Post
Seems like the pup trailer will get pretty top heavy when converting to RV/toyhauler. Your semi truck idea seems valid but IMHO you should get the trailer height lower.
In going to be towing it with the semi not making it like a box truck if that's what you thought

It does seem a little high. How could I lower it. I'm really on a tight budget that's why I can't buy a regualr toy hauler. That's why I thought I take a trailer and make a custom one
This pic I got off goggle. Is about like the size trailer I wanna do
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Old 03-02-2014, 09:26 PM   #7
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From this site for MA:

MA Codes are very vague. No exemption from a CDL for an RV was found.

Driver's license manual states that a Class D license is valid up to 26,000 lb registered weight. We confirmed by phone that the Class D license is valid for all RV's.
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Old 03-02-2014, 09:41 PM   #8
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In going to be towing it with the semi not making it like a box truck if that's what you thought I understnad what you are planning.

It does seem a little high. How could I lower it. I'm really on a tight budget that's why I can't buy a regualr toy hauler. That's why I thought I take a trailer and make a custom one
This pic I got off goggle. Is about like the size trailer I wanna do
The ways I can think of to lower it may not fit in your budget. You could replace the rear axle with smaller wheels/tires if you know the weight you will need the tires to carry and smaller would work. doing that may necessitate rebuilding the tow connection so height of truck/trailer match. Probably al lot less money would be to carefully plan weight distribution. Keep heavy items low in the trailer.
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Old 03-02-2014, 10:03 PM   #9
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Your PUP trailer will most likely be 13' 6" tall. Yes, kind of tall if your reason for it's use is for adult toys (Sand-rails, Jeeps, ATV's...) My brother has a toy hauler 5er measuring 13' 5" tall where he has to watch bridge heights on more rural roads getting to riding areas, especially in the Mid-west and Eastern part of the country. Besides bridges, tree limbs are more of a issue by evidence of roof damage on his 5er.

With that said, If your up to the challenge, I don't see why you couldn't cut down the PUP by a foot or two. For the last 25-30 years I have used tow motors to unload freight out of these trailers. Most have riveted or bolted rafters attached to the side wall metal studs. The roof material will be either metal or fiberglass. I would support the roof from the inside with 2 - 3 platforms, drill out the rivets where the roof rafters attach in the corners. Cut down the side wall to the desired height and then figure out a way to reattach the roof to the side walls. Depending on what type of rear door (barn / roll) will complicate the process. Barn doors I think would be easier to cut down and replace the hardware and latches. Doing it yourself will be just a bunch of self labor and time.

I bet you can pick these PUP's up cheap. What toy's are you looking to play with?
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Old 03-03-2014, 05:22 AM   #10
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Your PUP trailer will most likely be 13' 6" tall. Yes, kind of tall if your reason for it's use is for adult toys (Sand-rails, Jeeps, ATV's...) My brother has a toy hauler 5er measuring 13' 5" tall where he has to watch bridge heights on more rural roads getting to riding areas, especially in the Mid-west and Eastern part of the country. Besides bridges, tree limbs are more of a issue by evidence of roof damage on his 5er.

With that said, If your up to the challenge, I don't see why you couldn't cut down the PUP by a foot or two. For the last 25-30 years I have used tow motors to unload freight out of these trailers. Most have riveted or bolted rafters attached to the side wall metal studs. The roof material will be either metal or fiberglass. I would support the roof from the inside with 2 - 3 platforms, drill out the rivets where the roof rafters attach in the corners. Cut down the side wall to the desired height and then figure out a way to reattach the roof to the side walls. Depending on what type of rear door (barn / roll) will complicate the process. Barn doors I think would be easier to cut down and replace the hardware and latches. Doing it yourself will be just a bunch of self labor and time.

I bet you can pick these PUP's up cheap. What toy's are you looking to play with?
Yes the pups are very cheap if you look for them.. I'd really like to make a wall halfway threw and have one half to haul all of my / friends dirtbikes and quads and the other half a living quarters so I can register it as an rv. If I have to get a class a cdl I have to wait till I'm 21 which I don't want to do. I wouldn't mind geting a class a or b non cdl but I'm not sure if there's an age restriction on that
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:06 PM   #11
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From this site for MA:

MA Codes are very vague. No exemption from a CDL for an RV was found.

Driver's license manual states that a Class D license is valid up to 26,000 lb registered weight. We confirmed by phone that the Class D license is valid for all RV's.
I've searched all day today and get mixed answers for mass. Can I take a single axle day cab truck. And custom build the pup trailer so it qualifies as an rv and register the truck trailer as an rv? I haven't found any helping info
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:18 PM   #12
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Maybe go to racingjunk.com do a search for toyhauler and get some ideas. Might be better than a pup and all the work to convert to a place to live and having a class 8 tractor to pull. Maybe even a toy hauler trailer with living quarters in ?
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:23 PM   #13
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Maybe go to racingjunk.com do a search for toyhauler and get some ideas. Might be better than a pup and all the work to convert to a place to live and having a class 8 tractor to pull. Maybe even a toy hauler trailer with living quarters in ?
I want to take a 23ft semi trailer make the front half the living quarters then the rest will be garage/ you storage with liftgate it really wouldn't be that hard to build the inside of the trailer just time consuming
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:33 PM   #14
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Sounds like a great project. A lot of fun to build and should be very functional for your purposes.

Can't see how this could be tippy. If you tried to double-deck cars inside then height might be a factor, but having the weight that close to the trailer axle should be fine.

Enjoy yourself and watch out for those low bridges.
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