Box Truck Conversion

Started by kl3640, March 17, 2008, 03:32:16 AM

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benprobst

They would be, if you lived in the midwest or I lived in the south east. I do this stuff for a living, and have a FULLY equipped service truck, so too bad you dont live 'round here  :ass:. Hah, but seriously just take your time and have a game plan before you get started, if some of the guys that work for my Dad and I can do it, anyone can. Luan is seriously easy to work with and it only costs 10 bucks a 4X8 sheet, so its ok to mess up a few times. Feel free to ask any more specific questions once youre actually in to the project, you would be suprised at how simple some problem solving answers are.


Also just as a note, as long as the box truck is short enough, (should be, my big international with a 7 foot box is only 10 3/4 foot tall) the roof will have no problem holding a refrgeration unit, the height you must stay under is 13'-6"). The thing to do is get some sheet steel that has a bunch of diamond shape cut outs (kinda like a mini chain link fence - you will see it used for traction alot, kind of like the opposite of diamond plate with the diamonds stamped out rather than sticking out) and use that as a base, get a solid steel plate as your primary mount - drill and figure out how to arttach the cooling unit to it. After thats done get all of your cuts in place on the roof (for ducting entry). Weld the primary mount plate to the base weight distributing plate then attach that to the roof (riveted on if the roof is aluminum, if the roof is fiberglass, dont use pop rivets without and aluminum backing plate on the inside). Install your ducting, then use some Seal-gap to seal any and all joints. pop your new reefer on and enjoy the cool box. The base plate will only need to contact two roof bows (i.e.) have its weight over them) A single roof bow can handle me standing and walking in the middle of the trailer, and im giant. If you offset the reefer to either side the roof wont even know it is there.
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kl3640

#37
Quote from: benprobst on March 20, 2008, 11:52:26 PM
They would be, if you lived in the midwest or I lived in the south east. I do this stuff for a living, and have a FULLY equipped service truck, so too bad you dont live 'round here  :ass:. Hah, but seriously just take your time and have a game plan before you get started, if some of the guys that work for my Dad and I can do it, anyone can. Luan is seriously easy to work with and it only costs 10 bucks a 4X8 sheet, so its ok to mess up a few times. Feel free to ask any more specific questions once youre actually in to the project, you would be suprised at how simple some problem solving answers are.


Also just as a note, as long as the box truck is short enough, (should be, my big international with a 7 foot box is only 10 3/4 foot tall) the roof will have no problem holding a refrgeration unit, the height you must stay under is 13'-6"). The thing to do is get some sheet steel that has a bunch of diamond shape cut outs (kinda like a mini chain link fence - you will see it used for traction alot, kind of like the opposite of diamond plate with the diamonds stamped out rather than sticking out) and use that as a base, get a solid steel plate as your primary mount - drill and figure out how to arttach the cooling unit to it. After thats done get all of your cuts in place on the roof (for ducting entry). Weld the primary mount plate to the base weight distributing plate then attach that to the roof (riveted on if the roof is aluminum, if the roof is fiberglass, dont use pop rivets without and aluminum backing plate on the inside). Install your ducting, then use some Seal-gap to seal any and all joints. pop your new reefer on and enjoy the cool box. The base plate will only need to contact two roof bows (i.e.) have its weight over them) A single roof bow can handle me standing and walking in the middle of the trailer, and im giant. If you offset the reefer to either side the roof wont even know it is there.

What's next, the formula for building my own Saturn V?  Seriously, it sounds trivial to someone like you who has expertise, but I've not done too many vehicle mods (bikes notwithstanding) so it would be a considerable project for me :) (unless I had someone helping me who knows what he's doing)  I'm not saying that I couldn't do it or that I'm afraid to try, I'm just saying that paying an expert to do most of the rough work might be more time/cost effective.

Where in the Mid-West do you live?  I'm going to be travelling around this year with some friends for Solo Challenge, so maybe I could bring it by that way a week early or something, depending on how long a project like this would take?  How long would it take for a basic setup? (AC/Heat, floor/walls/ceiling? - I could certainly figure out the fold-down beds/table, etc, myself).  I'm also wondering now if a galley and kitchen, just small ones, might be worth the added cost.

What I'm envisioning in the long run is something like this:

http://keystone-hobbi.com/

Scroll through the pictures towards the right of the main page.

Where the floor is tiled, the walls and ceiling are finished (maybe with some lights in the corners between the roof and walls), a couple of fold-down beds and a fold-down table, an entertainment center, heat/AC, and possibly a small head (combined shower/toilet, like in many RV's/boats), and a small galley (sink, small counter, small surface area, microwave - no stove or cooktop - and fridge).  I'm really not sure about the galley and the head; what I may do is lay out the floorplan such that one space somewhere, likely a corner, is free so that I can retro-fit a head if I choose.  I plan to have a microwave somewhere, so I'll build the cabinet for that and located it in such a way in such a way that any plumbing that I add can be run to it so that I can add a small sink to it later if I choose.

BTW, a couple of ancillary questions:

1) Anyone know about how much painting an 18' box truck would cost, typically?  I just want it to be plain white (it's rental-truck yellow right now).

2) The truck that I'm considering has a 200# hydraulic lift gate.  It's the kind that stows away under the box, not the kind that flips up in front of the roll-up door to the box.  Does anyone know if I can still mount a hitch on this truck, if I choose, or would I have to get rid of the current lift to do so?

Thanks.

Woofentino Pugrossi

Paint job probably could cost $3000 and up. Thats a LOT of paint.

As for the hitch, take it to a place that does custom welding and see if they could make a hitch that would work with it. Without actually seeing the lift and truck, its hard to say.
Rob
CCS MW#14 EX, ASRA #141
CCSForums Cornerworking and Classifieds Mod

GSXR RACER MIKE

My experience with different flooring materials.

I have a checker board linolium floor in my V-nose trailer and aluminum diamond tread plate on both ramps, in my experience I will probably avoid both of those as flooring surfaces again. What I found is that when both of those surfaces are wet (water or oil) they are VERY slippery, I've had numerous times where I almost dropped a bike going up the ramps in the rain or even after going thru the grass if it was a little wet. The linolium may look nice when new, but the oils from tires will stain it, it's not all that durable to sharp objects, and I've also had the wheels from my roll around toolbox compress tracks in it and even deform the linolium if the toolbox is able to slide even a little during transport. The year the trailer was built I had a tie down strap slip that allowed my roll around toolboxes solid mount wheels to slide sideways around corners about 2 inches and it actually deformed and stretched the linolium and created 2 raised bubbles in it that were about an inch high and 3 inches long - I hadn't expected that to happen.

In my next trailer I will probably get the ramps, floor, steps, and the lower 1-2 feet of the walls in the cargo area sprayed with something like Line-X truck bed coating - tough yet still hopefully has some traction to it when wet (maybe even have them add extra grit / texture if possible to the mix).
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Racing exclusively with CCS since '96
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tzracer

My last trailer, I put some roll on bed liner on the ramp door. No problem with water.

I carpeted the floor of the trailer. I used some indoor/outdoor carpet from Home Depot. It was about the cheapest they had. Used waterproof double sided carpet tape. Lasted more than 10 years. Yes it did stain, but no holes and not slick when wet. Just vacuum to clean up.
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Woofentino Pugrossi

+1 to the line-x/rhinoliner for the floor.
Rob
CCS MW#14 EX, ASRA #141
CCSForums Cornerworking and Classifieds Mod

kl3640

First, regarding the hitch, here's a small picture of the truck that I'm considering:



I doubt that you'll be able to tell from the pic if a hitch can be mounted or not, but I figured that posting it here is worth a shot.

Second, on the subject of floor liners, I had done some research and was considering a product like the ones on these sites:

http://www.bltllc.com/blt_main.htm
http://www.rubbercal.com/

They actually offer some of them in rolls that are the same width as a box and can be trimmed to length.  So I was thinking about something like that, maybe even without glue as the tackiness, weight, things that are drilled through, etc, might make it stay in place just fine.

The spray-on bed-liner idea is a good one, I had considered that myself.  At first I thought that it would be really expensive because of the surface area, but when I had my pickup done (Line-X) I talked to the guy and most of the cost is really in labor, e.g., stripping the paint, cleaning it well, etc.  That should be fairly easily on a flat, rectangular surface.  I could be wrong though because it may require a lot of work to get the liner to adhere properly.  If not done right, it will peel up (albeit in one piece), which may be fine if it does because it's so heavy and shaped to the box that it wouldn't move around anyway.

Also, I know that things like Rhino Liner can be bought in a DIY format from PepBoys or wherever.  So I was thinking about doing that as well, maybe even going up the side walls an inch or two just for extra spill protection, assuming that the joint between the walls and floor is smooth enough to allow that.  Or if I'm going to do that then I might do it post-luaun, unless it can't be done, in which case I'd do it pre-luaun so as not to risk accidentally ruining any part of the walls.

Ducmarc

most lifts fold under the body so would be hard to ad a hitch you might be able to put  a hitch on a truck with a rail gate which is the one that covers the door. have a truck at my shop with a lift i'll look at it in the am. I own a truck shop here in central fla and run into box trucks for sale all the time .email me and let know what your looking for I did see one of the moving co's in orlando had there trucks repo'ed they are late model fords with 26 ft moving bodys on them.  marc

Ducmarc

i looked at the gates on the trucks we have at the shop  and there all differant looks like the rail gate  which slides straight up and down is the only one you could put a permanent hitch on but there quite expensive others you might be able to use a detachable hitch of some kind.

kl3640

Thanks Ducmarc, I will PM or email you.  FYI, I found that there are hitches that have removable or swing-out receivers, so that they can be out of the way of the lift when it is down, but usable when it is stowed.