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Old 12-04-2020, 01:19 AM   #43
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Oregon occasionally, Baja often
Posts: 628
Go! For! It!

We full-time live-aboard, and boondock exclusively.
2003, we built our concept of an ExpeditionVehicle on a 1997 Ford CF8000 commercial truck.
Our truck came as a 4x6, but that capacity exceeded our need so we dropped an axle (one of the rears, we are fast learners...).

Our interior is three paces across by seven paces long.
Our rear-entry has a porch and porch-roof.
Inside the commercial box, I installed massive insulation with tiny 3x1 dual-pane windows.
Our conversion took less than a week, then we hit the road from Oregon with the vague goal of 'south'.

Our rig has a Cummins 8.3 mechanical 250/800 with zero-zero-zero computers.
Our transmission is an Allison 3060 push-button automatic.
Plugging-along in the slow-lane at 52mph, we rarely get better than 14mpg.
Stand-still people rank on us for that horridly-awful fuel-mileage, but we rarely travel more than a hundred miles a month.
And besides... how many mpg does a 3/2 split-ranch get?

We snagged this truck from Anderson Brothers truck dismantler in Eugene Oregon.
At the time, it was worth more in parts than as a running vehicle.

It is continually evolving.
Our last improvement was four additional AGM 105Ah batteries to supplement the original four.
The improvement prior was a 140-gallon saddle-tank to supplement the original 50-gallon tank.

I also constructed a toy-hauler on a commercial trailer chassis.
A couple-three weeks ago, our 7x16 toy-hauler got a gooseneck hitch to replace the fifth-wheel pin-box.
We immediately noticed greater articulation on our favorite remote gravel tracks.
After removing the fifth-wheel plate, I fabricated an expanded-steel filler to extend the porch.
And I mounted an additional 120-gallon diesel fuel-tank on the toy-hauler, giving us a range of approximately Anchorage-to-Acapulco.

2003, our first trip was twenty-four months twenty-four thousand miles around south America.

We grabbed this rig because of its factory locking rear-axle.
On our remote trips, we see 4x4 and 6x6 ExpeditionVehicles converted from military trucks.
They rarely leave established roads... if they stick the thing, they need to call the military to drag them out.

I suggest you verify the engine type.
Some 3116 engines had wonky injection pumps, and low power for slow stop-n-go city deliveries.
Some 3126 engines had computer 'adventures'.
Let us know your progress!
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Old 12-04-2020, 04:19 AM   #44
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 2
I don't recommend R&B Automotive.

Originally Posted by jackreno View Post
I have been thinking of downsizing my 33 foot Bounder in 6 months or so but just came across this.

Help me decide should I go to Cali and buy this now before its gone or should I pass, doing the conversion would not be a big deal for me but I know nothing about diesels, it does have a automatic and 4x4.

What would the MPG be on this anyone have a clue..
R&B has been a very shady car sales. They used to buy salvaged titled vehicles and fixing the title so the salvaged title part doesn't show up. If that truck has a fresh paint it was probably a real mess when they got it. Looks like a an old SoCal Edison rig. Buyer beware!
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Old 12-04-2020, 07:02 AM   #45
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Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 679
It sounds like a real exciting project that will cost a lot of money, take and enormous amount of time, not be used a lot when finished and you'll lose a lot of money when you sell it.

If the this is more about having something exciting to do and you have money to waste then you should go for it

If this is to create a off road rig that you won't use much, then this is a very bad idea.

fun project
could be a project you'd be very proud off

will cost a lot - could buy something suitable cheaper
will take a lot of time
small market for this, will take a long time to sell, you'll lose a lot of money
if you lose interest in the project, a partially completed rig will be near impossible to sell
Its an older chassis and by the time you get through it will be much older

Life is short. I would rather enjoy something than work on it. I would buy something that I could resell. enjoy it for a while then resell it and move to something else.

my thoughts
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Old 12-04-2020, 07:34 AM   #46
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Location: MN
Posts: 2,664
Originally Posted by swduns View Post
I would rather enjoy something than work on it.
It's funny how different people can be. Myself, I suspect that on the day I finish all of the planned remodeling and repair and alterations I have in mind, I'll become bored with my rig and start to look for something new (to me) that needs some attention.

We all spend so much effort trying to find fun hobbies - but if you own an older RV, you have a complete and all-encompassing hobby already!

1993 Rockwood 28' Class C - Ford E-350 7.5L
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Old 12-04-2020, 07:50 AM   #47
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Elk Grove CA
Posts: 1,590
You should post your question on Irv2's sister site, It focuses on Sportsmobiles (a brand name van conversion), DIY van conversions, DIY ambulance and truck conversions, 4wd, etc. I'm sure you'll get some helpful responses.
2002 Itasca Suncruiser 35U
Workhorse Chassis
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Old 12-04-2020, 11:14 PM   #48
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Winnebago Owners Club
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 78
Also consider something like this:
2020 Dynamax Isata 5 30fw 4X4

At first, 149k sounds expensive, but the project you were looking at will get close to this cost realm quite quickly.

With a newer rig you do get 4x4 and also a lot of the time-proven accessories and systems you need to make life on the road happen well.
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Old 12-04-2020, 11:16 PM   #49
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Posts: 78
Also, it looks pretty good

Although investing in more "expedition looking" wheels and tires could give it more of the feel of a true expedition rig.
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Old 12-05-2020, 05:44 PM   #50
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Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 136
If you are going to go off road with it then yes, otherwise no, for the amount you spend + the re-outfitting and time, you can get an awesome DP fully outfitted.

I actually wish they would rethink some MH's to allow more ground clearance. One thing I do like about the DP option is the reduced rear overhang, less turning risk in tight places and less chance of bumper bumping in rough ground or exiting some gas stations.
Capt Retired R.C.A.F. Fleetwood Bounder,
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