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Old 06-20-2011, 11:32 AM  
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Eureka, Montana
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Road trip

We're leaving tomorrow for a trip to southern California, and we'll be gone a week and a half. We're heading west through Idaho, washington, and Oregon, down the coast, over to San Bernadino, then back up either on I-15 through Vegas and Salt Lake, or up 395 through Reno and Winnemucca and up 93.

We'll be driving our uhaul-conversion, a camper built into a 14-ft. uhaul truck. It's sturdier than a regular camper and it's built OUR way! Good insulation, too. we spent 2 1/2 months in it down by Lake Mead in Nevada this winter, and it stayed warmer in cool weather, and cooler when it was in the 80s!

At the price of gas we weren't going to drive the thing, but the people we're going to see offered to help with gas. They want to see the thing, and they figured since they're not coming up here, they'd like to help with our expenses to go down.

We'll have our laptop computers with us, so we'll be checking in, leeching off wifi at McDonalds and other places.

What's everyone else doing this summer?
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Old 06-20-2011, 11:57 AM  
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in a van... down by the river, Texas
Join Date: Apr 2011
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Pics! Lots of pics!

I LOVE road trips. When I drove to San Diego from Houston, it took foreverrrrr. And all the check points... geez. At least when they saw our military IDs, they let us through without much hassle.

I wanna see this conversion you've made as well. I used to work at an RV dealership (theyre all crap. don't waste your money. RV- Ruins Vacations)
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Old 06-20-2011, 03:17 PM  
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Eureka, Montana
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Check points? What kind of check points? I didn't know there were any! We drove to Las Vegas and back, from NW Montana earlier this year, and didn't go through any. Or did you cross into and out of Mexico? Just curious about what we might run in to.

I agree about regular RVs being crap. They always seem kinda flimsy to me. We had so much fun last year working on this uhaul truck. We got tinted slider windows off of ebay, and a nice camper door with a window in it from a salvage yard. We took off the back doors of the uhaul and built a wall with the RV door in the middle. We left the loading ramp on, instead of taking it off and building steps. It's pretty cool. Our grandkids love it!

Then marked and cut holes for the windows and put those in. We framed the inside of the uhaul with 2" by 2" and put in fiberglass insulation. We also wired outlets, then put paneling on it.

The part over the cab is 3' wide, so we built it out another foot and put a double mattress up there. Under that build-on we have a 1' deep storage area the whole width of the uhaul. There's a foot and a half of space at the foot of the mattress and we plan to build in a cabinet the width of the mattress (4').

In one back corner we built a small 'bathroom' and put a port-a-potty in it. We have a counter top and propane RV stove (3 burners and an oven) to build in and we're looking for a small double stainless steel RV sink. We're going to use part of the counter top when we cut it down and build a matching table.

We put linoleum and throw rugs on the floor. Much easier to clean. Sweep the floor and shake out the rugs. I never figured out why they put carpet in RVs!

We painted the outside kind of a chocolate brown with a white roof. We had to sand off the "uhaul" letters on the sides and back. They're decals, and if you don't sand them off you can still see the letters even when you repaint. It looks decent now, but could use some stripes or other finishing. Maybe stencil pine trees or deer or bears in a row like a stripe? Make it look rustic.

We still have some trim to do on the inside, like around the edges of the ceiling. Right now we have a shelf on each side with a framing board across the front to keep things from sliding off, and some of the rubbery non-skid shelf liner. Later we're going to build cabinets over the table and sink/stove counter.

I'll round up some pictures and post them.
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Old 06-20-2011, 03:39 PM  
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Eureka, Montana
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 81 | Kudos: +16
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Taken the first week of February, we're loaded and heading south for the rest of the winter. This is in our son's driveway. On the trailer is our motorcycle, with our mountain bikes on each side, and kayaks outside of those. The green thing at the back is a folding picnic table.
The back of the uhaul still needed to be painted but you can see the door.


This is in our driveway the week before we left. All that snow had us dreaming of palm trees, sand, and sunshine!


This picture kinda goes with the last one!


This was while we were working on the inside.


There we are, camped at Lake Mead in southern Nevada a couple weeks later. We can get this thing in where regular RVs can't go. It's got higher clearance, a good motor and transmission, and it's rugged and sturdy.

We live on a rough dirt road with steep hills, which is another reason we decided to build our own camper in an RV. It has what it takes to handle our road, and we built the inside with real wood, good and solid.

I don't have pictures of the inside, but I will take some today or tomorrow as we get ready and leave.
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Old 06-20-2011, 04:50 PM  
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Keizer, OR
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I'll PM you my email. If you need anything I'm just North of Salem in Keizer.
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Old 06-21-2011, 05:58 PM  
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Montreal, Quebec
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I'll be watching this thread and can't wait to see updates and more pictures.

Back in the 70's, one of my dreams was to buy a UPS type of truck and convert it into a camper and go ski bumming around NA in it. Sadly, that never happened, but it sort of explains why I like this thread.

Kudo's hermit!
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Old 06-21-2011, 06:31 PM  
mohel
 
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Keizer, OR
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Quote:
I never figured out why they put carpet in RVs!
Nostalgia aromatherapy. You get to relive all your past trips on any warm humid day.
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Old 06-21-2011, 06:34 PM  
mohel
 
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Keizer, OR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiponredTJ View Post
Back in the 70's, one of my dreams was to buy a UPS type of truck
Where do they go when they're worn out? I had similar thoughts about those light fiberglass bodies. You see rental trucks resold many places but I've never see a recycled UPS truck.
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Old 06-22-2011, 11:25 PM  
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Eureka, Montana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiponredTJ View Post
I'll be watching this thread and can't wait to see updates and more pictures.

Back in the 70's, one of my dreams was to buy a UPS type of truck and convert it into a camper and go ski bumming around NA in it. Sadly, that never happened, but it sort of explains why I like this thread.

Kudo's hermit!
Back in the '80s we converted a school bus. We insulated and paneled it, and we put oak hardwood flooring in. We divided the bathroom and put the shower on one side of the back emergency door and the commode and sink on the other side. We hit the road the road for 3 years, went 17,000 miles and through 35 states. Everyone had kept telling us to have our adventures while we were young. So we spent 6 months fixing up this bus (a '68 Ford F-700 motor in a 35-ft. 'Superior' style body), saved money from both our jobs, and took off. Then everyone told us we were irresponsible!

Finally we started having kids and had to settle down!

We took pictures of the inside of the uhaul before we took off yesterday. I'll get them uploaded soon. Too sleepy tonight. We've been on the road 16 1/2 hours and still have 2 more hours to where we want to stop for the night. We're east of Portland, Oregon using wifi at a McDonalds. The rig is handling good. Had a lot of headwind this evening driving along the Columbia River, but what a beautiful drive!
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