Homemade RV...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by glocknut, Sep 13, 2009.

  1. glocknut

    glocknut New Member

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    Found this website. They have builder plans and some pics here and there.
    The frames are much lighter than i thought they would have to be. It dawned on me when i looked underneath one at the RV show... they are indeed pretty lightly framed.

    They have plans for $60 or thereabout. I think its a doable project. I could rent a storage unit to build the frame in. The storage unit i was renting allows some kids to store their musical instruments and allows them to practice every thursday and provides their power. The owner of the storage place is a fairly nice guy. He will go out of his way to help a guy. He even offered to rent me some land to put an RV on or a mobile building.

    I think i could frame it in a large storage unit... a 10x20... or maybe a 10x25.
    Might be a bigger project than i think but i think its very possible.

    I was thinking i would skip the nat gas powered water heater and fridge. And i would skip the water tank and sewer tank and plumb it like a mobile home allmost. Direct water and direct drain...

    Slide outs. If i build them so they attached/deattached externally. That way the pop out would be flush with the floor and not a raised platform as they are in real RVs. The frame would need to be a bit sturdier to support it.

    I'm also thinking about that spray foam insulation...

    This RVs primary design is not to go down the road on vacations, but rather for a single guy like myself to live in for a couple of years. First at an RV park that found that is very affordable! I'd be there for a while until i find the right piece of land and then i would move it to the land while i build. It would never go down the road as a vacation type RV...

    Here is the website for the plans.
    http://www.glen-l.com/campers/glenlrv.html


    And here is a youtube video of a guy who actually built a 5th wheel from scratch.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJQmwusgU5M

    Opinions Anyone?

    mike
    gn
  2. Kieran McCaig

    Kieran McCaig New Member

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    Find a old school bus and use that frame as a base
  3. dianalv

    dianalv New Member

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  4. glocknut

    glocknut New Member

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    That would certainly be solid...but it might cost more modifying it that it would be worth? Especially if it had to be stripe of its body...

    Yeah, i seen those. Way to small but a neat idea anyways. :)

    I am thinking on the order of a 23' to 25' bumper pull type. I have seen these RVs underneath. There is practically nothing to them. The toy haulders might be a bit beefier but still overpriced considering how cheaply they are built.

    mike
    gn
  5. Kieran McCaig

    Kieran McCaig New Member

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    What are you going to pull it with Honda driver.
  6. Millwright

    Millwright Active Member

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    Lessee.....You're proposing to build a one-off sort of RV lacking all the basic amenities/neccessities. It also has to withstand wind loads, gusts, torsion and vibration associated with road travel for some period of time. It also has to be square and true and water tight. Next it has to mate up with a trailer frame - or are you gonna build that too ? If so, it has to meet DOT regs, tow straight and not swerve or wobble at highway speeds......And you're going to do this with what sorts of materials ? At what costs ?

    Have any experience at this sort of thing ? What about low-voltage DC ? Household AC ? Plumbing ? Metalworking, welding, etc ?

    With all sorts of RVs from popups to motor homes going begging your gonna 'roll your own' ? >MW
  7. Marlin T

    Marlin T Active Member

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    Mike you have to check out what my neighbor is doing.

    He has an older Kenworth that he is going to drop one axel, stretch the frame and attach one of those long fifthwheels to, or maybe he is going to drop his RV body onto it.

    The biggest selling point with the combination of the cummins bigbore and the 13 speed is the GREAT mileage that he is going to get.

    I bet he won’t even feel his sprint car trailer after it is attached. He he he.

    I wish I could post pictures, but that is still out of the question for the moment.
  8. cycloneman

    cycloneman Active Member

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    Hay Mike

    When you finally get your trailer done you need to do this. Take and cut a square in the celing and mount a 30 cal rifle up there on a swivel base.

    :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D
  9. oldogy

    oldogy New Member

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    Please look at cost analysis of building something vs purchasing a solid older unit.
    Keep in mind that some parks will not allow a unit that does not carry the seal of approval from the national RV organizations. I've heard of this happening with a couple school bus conversions. I forget what it is called exactly but it is the inch or so diameter sticker you see near the doors of most RVs. Many years ago when motor homes were in their infancy, I converted a Boyerton bodied one ton van into a motor home. Since then I've enjoyed several different commercially built units.
    oldogy
  10. glocknut

    glocknut New Member

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    I will either buy a older used pickup or i will hire someone to move it. Its only going to be two places in its life. For a time it will be at an RV park that is very afordable...and then it will set on some land i will buy and i will stay in it while i build a house. Then its only role will be as a temp guest room or light storage. Or i might just sell it....

    Still haven't fixed your USB problem yet? TAKE IT TO BEST BUY..... :rolleyes:

    Yeah, right... :D:rolleyes:

    I sense just a touch of sarcasm in that...
    I said i was going to skip the "gas powered" water heater and fridge...not that i was going to go without a water heater and fridge. I will use all AC Electric equipment. I said i will skip the reserve water tank and sewer tank as well. No big loss there because the RV park has water and sewer for each stall. Its a dual RV park/small mobile home park. There are residents that are 20 year RV residents that are single older guys just like me.

    Yes, just to be liscensed it will probably have to pass muster...and i wouldn't doubt they will make me jump thru higher hoops than the real RV manfacturers have to jump thru.

    Lisensing may not even be an issue since i could allways hire a liscensed RV dealer to haul it. They can haul "salvage" RVs without plates...

    YOU...did not watch the video in one of the links i provided. It is built right on top of the frame. In fact the floor is layed and the cabinets and shower are installed before the walls go up. The walls on a traditional RV are very thin boards. That will be upgraded....

    I will be working from purchased RV plans. A few modifications will be added. I will price the frame before i begin...as well as researching the legal aspects of liscensing it...or not liscensing it at all if i have the RV towed by a liscensed dealer. I will check with the tag agency as well as the park owners rules preferences before i proceed. etc etc etc

    I have build several Cabins and other buildings. Low voltage DC might be a good idea but not necessary. The RV stall has electric. I have experience with household wiring, plumbing as well as exterior metal coverings. The exterior will be more complex than a metal shed. I have a brain... i will think it thru...and i will get it right. Period.
    I will examine other RVs before i proceed. I will price out the parts as well as i can BEFORE i jump in and "get er done" :D


    Popups? In wintertime?? Please...

    I have searched and searched some more for a "viable" used RV. To get a viable RV i would have to spend $12 grand AT LEAST to get one that seems to be liveable. In reality its closer to $17 grand for a nice one...locally.
    I have seen many many used RVs under $10 grand that stink to high heaven of mustyness...and i suspect even mold. I got one salesguy to admit that they had a leak on one that they had tried to cover up....
    AND if you remember my post about the RV that they couldn't even get a salvage title for.... NO...i will pass on that BS!!!!!

    Here is the thing... I can get a stall for $130 a month without power and $300 with power provided. I'm forking out $800 a month for apartment rent right now. I have also looked at cheaper apartments. They will not work because of either smell or mold problems or dust problems. I've gotten into the habit of demanding to see the furnace. Most of the cheaper ones are FILTHY with dirt and mold growth from water condensing from the ac that is not drained and just sits there and aids mold growth. Other apartments are in bad neighborhoods. Pull up and there are people loitering arround with nothing better to do than stare down other people.... No Thanks!!!
    I'm getting old and tired enough that i just don't know what i will do to someone that trys to do me wrong.... That's why i won't go back to living in Tulsa anymore. I have a nice car. I want to keep it that way. I have no more tolerance for smart#$$ kids either.

    This park i have found is way out of town and has older residents that are long term residents that are old enough to understand the concept of respect for others. Its in a small town too. I love smaller towns...

    So to answer your question... HECK YES i'm gonna roll my own! ;)

    One other thing... i have lived in less than a small RV before. I lived in NW Arkansas in a 12x16 bedroom with no plumbing for 10+ years. Even during wintertime i would walk to the treeline for my bathroom activities...20 degrees with a wind and all... I am a rugged kind of person...

    mike
    gn
  11. glocknut

    glocknut New Member

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    Yes. I will check with the park management before i even purchase the RV diagrams....

    Cost analysis... yes indeed. There is a good chance that i could wind up buying something that has a mold problem. Then i need to hire a lawyer to fight to get my money back. I could be completely out of all my money and have a piece of junk that i cannot live in.... Talk about cost analysis....
    And water damage can be concealed. Its just like used cars... there are alot of sellers that will LIE THEIR BUTTS OFF to get that cash for their piece of GARBAGE....

    Now as to the park owners... yes, there are many KOA type campgrounds that will not allow an RV that is older than 5 years....and nothing with even the slightest damage either. My dads cousin had a brand new RV that had a damaged awning. They were refused...
    But this park is different. There are many old RVs there. Older Airstreams and all kinds of antiquated type RVs. She said they were not allowing anything older than a 1985 model...allthough i saw many there that looked like they were from the 60s or 70s. They were intact and no trashy but they were old. I think she can be convinced to accept it. I will check first. I am confident that mine will look like a professionally build unit. I will not cut corners. Another thing too... they have a self built Mobile Home there.... so i am fairly confident that i can do it.

    Oh...and another thing. I have that friend that will rent me the spot behind his storage unit business for $250 a month if i want to. Yeah, i'm covered.

    One more thing i want to say about this. I'm an American. Americas are builders... we invent... we adapt... we overcome. To the Bold goes the prize.
    I can build my RV with spray in foam insulation. I can build it better than those cheap junky RVs that the mass producers build. Hillbillies CAN and DO survive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

    mike
    gn
  12. flannelman

    flannelman New Member

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    I'd go for the spray in foam for sure. It is really the best thing out there for what you want to do. Cellulose is great stuff but I don't think it would work well and there may be a weight problem with it. If you get some good plans and take your time I don't see why you couldn't build your own and come out with a good product that is custom made to your needs. You may have a hard time selling it later but you may also find someone who wants to do the same thing you are too. I like the old Ford truck they have on that plan site too!
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2009
  13. ponycar17

    ponycar17 Active Member

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    Just consider the resale value... If you can't rid yourself of the RV in a few years it could become a sunk cost that is unrecoverable on your finances. Consider building it like a road-worthy RV. At least then, you stand a better chance at selling time.
  14. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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    frealomg good idea. im wondering what people would think if i took my midsized car, and cut a hole over the backseat and mounted a 30 cal to the roof, if i ever get a de milled 30 ima do it, that'd be freaking awesome, the looks
  15. flannelman

    flannelman New Member

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    I just spent an hour or so looking at that site and I must say those sure look like nice campers. The people who bought plans and built their own did a great job! Several of them look as good as factory built units. Ya got me thinking bout building one now.
  16. glocknut

    glocknut New Member

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    Resale is not a concern. It will be used long enough that it will save me so much on rent that in the end i could literally give it away and I'd still be ahead of the game. My rent is $800 right now. Its a new building and is healthy. The next closest thing is $600 and its not as healthy...musty and dusty. The furnace room looked bad. The next down is $500 and thats in a bad neighborhood...bad furnace room and very smelly. There are Mobiles for rent for $550 a month. Dusty, musty, and very expensive to heat or cool. I think its like this.... i will wind up "paying" one way or another. Paying with bad air or my car getting vandalized or what have not...
    The only real alternative that i consider viable is this homemade RV idea. With a homemade RV i can control mold issues. The only way i can be sure with a used RV is to take some of the siding off to look inside the walls to see if water damage has occured... asking a seller if i could check it would not very realistic.

    One thing i like about building it myself is i can have the floorplan that "I" want....not whatever someone else thought would be a good idea. I don't have to have a dinette which i think is a waste of space. I can put a bigger shower unit in. I "might" even be able to rig up an electrostatic filter on the AC which is something that no current RV manufacturer offers...
    I will use that spray in insulation and i can insulate the floor better than any of the current offernings by manufacturers. I'm actually excited about building it. I need to be mindfull about weight and other things.

    mike
    gn
  17. Marlin T

    Marlin T Active Member

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    So Mike what are you waiting for? Are you looking for a trailer yet or do you already have one? Thought about tricking out an old bus with a camo paint job? J

    You know how to frame up a building, same thing here brother! It might even be easier considering there is no sheet rock to deal with. Staple those panels on and go man go.
    Can you build it at the spot you have in mind?

    I kind of like the bus situation. You can park it for however long you want and take it with you while you are on vacation.
  18. glocknut

    glocknut New Member

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    I will rent a storage unit to keep the frame dry while i am working on it. For a little more i am sure the storage unit owner will throw in the power for tools. He's a good guy...

    mike
    gn
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