Im new to the forum, my name is Robert, I found this forum when I was researching other semis pulling rv's in the google search engine. I found the thread from the member named VOLVO1026.
My father drives tractor for a living and suggested to me over a year ago when my 5'er outgrew my 99 C3500 by 3000+ pounds, to consider a retired tractor. After a year's research and looking through Trucks for Sale | Freightliner, Kenworth, Peterbilt, new Trucks and used trucks | Commercial Truck Trader
I ended up with a 1993 International 9400 Eagle with a 62" sleeper mid May of this year (2013).
It wasn't and still isn't to pretty but it is solid mechanically. It needs body and interior work but when purchased for less than $9000, it will do the job
As i mentioned in my prior thread, it has the Detroit 12.7L series 60 with the Eaton/Fuller 10-speed, everything works to include the three stage jake brake. Other than the cosmetic, the only down side is that it has 1,066,000 miles on it but then again, its doesn't leak and starts every time
It had a new clutch and a complete fluid and filter service just before I brought it home. It is a challenge to drive as I am still learning how to drive a un-synchronized manual transmission, my father showed me how to float the gears and have much better luck that way then the double clutching that is recommended by the CDL schools, for some odd reason I have yet to get it to double clutch...
I used it for my first camping trip in it's prior unaltered configuration, with both rear axles and stock hitch. Pulling my 2012 Montana Mountaineer 346LBQ that weighs in at 12840 pounds and 38 ft in length with four (4) slides. Prior to my trip to northern Michigan with it, I gutted the sleeper of its bunks and made interim benches over the side storage compartments and headed off. Kids (teenagers) love riding in it and I have to admit that the truck doesn't even know the camper is on the back, bout the only effect I get when pulling is that it makes the truck ride smoother than bobtail. I got 6.5 MPG at 70MPH and 8.5MPG at 55MPH so I guess its going to be a slow cruiser unless when I got it singled, will help with the mileage.
Got lots of stares at the campground, followed a million dollar Provost into the park, nobody looked at it twice, I came around the corner and everybody in ear shot stopped and stared while I drove by. I had a nice lot (40' x 60') so I had no issues on fitting in, regardless I had it "singled" to try and keep it within the same length of a typical long bed crew dually.
I was researching the net for parts (something to cover the rear wheels etc) and other owners to see how many people had done what I am doing when I found you all.
I pickup the truck next week, a trucking outfit in the town where I work, singled it for me, removed the original hitch and cut the frame for free, they keep the parts they removed for payment. They had to have a custom drive shaft made for it and when installed ill get to take her back home.
Long term, I plan to gut the inside and redo it along the lines of a customized van, remove the top roof fairing as its taller than the trailer and it hits everything in the smaller local campgrounds I like to go, removing it puts the top of the sleeper approximately 6" below the roof line of my 5'er. I plan to put in a rear door from a motor home in the sleeper and a more handicap friendly retracting star case like a r.v. would have off of the passenger side between the sleeper and the rear wheel for my folks who have arthritis issues (grandma has issues with the normal entry points) to enter and use the vehicle.
Then I plan to have the damage over the passenger side headlamp fixed and then Ill learn how to paint on its lower side fairings and when I get good enough ill shoot the whole truck (looking to try metallic white with clear coat).
I would like to build some sort of flat deck onto it with the afore-mentioned stair case but haven't come up with a plan of action on that yet, preferably a deck with some storage boxes where I can fit them in... I also plan to add larger, r.v. type windows on the driver side of the sleeper to see out more and allow for more air movement and one in the large escape door for the same purpose. The interior is shot, looks and smells of being lived in for twenty years but it will clean up nicely when its done (Lord willing).
Anyhow, here is my photo album of the truck, in its original condition, connected to the 5'er and its most recent look after being "singled", I had a lot of closeups as a friend who lives far away is giving me advice on how to fix a few of the body problems, so I took a number of close ups.
I am more excited knowing that there are others out there that have done this, I was starting to wonder how I was going to pull this all off now, I may have found a place to discuss and research options for going this route. I hope you all enjoy the images and short video of my first parking attempt (I was dodging a parked car out of frame on the right) thanks a head of time for putting up with my long post!
1993 International 9400 Slideshow by lpd4005 | Photobucket
mackinaw2013 pt2 - YouTube