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53' Toyhauler Build

maveric

F N G
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NW Colorado
Since photobucket went to shit and everyone is moving here, thought I would move the build over here. Have a bunch of pics to sort through as I go.

53' Wabash dry van semi trailer
21' living quarters in the front, 32' garage
Hauls 2 smaller rigs.

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Trailer when I brought it home. It is a retired Schneider trailer. Spring ride, sliding suspension. Metal roof, double doors.
 
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maveric

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The basic idea was to have enough room in the front to comfortably house 3 for a week or longer, and be able to haul the wife's and my rigs. Since my old trailer was a 30' deck, and occasionally the vehicle combo would hang over the end of the trailer, I decided that 32' should be enough.

As for the LQ, the wifes requirements were that it needed to look homey, and not industrial, and that it had a full kitchen (oven and counter space ranking at the top).
My requirements were a real bed and a shower.

Outline.jpg
 

Benny

Broke Bastard
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North Idaho
Do you plan on using long ass ramps? Or maybe a ramp door?


That thing is huge. Awesome, but huge. I want.
 

maveric

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Started with water shield on the floor under the area where the LQ would be.
image_1928.jpg


Opted to build a 1' subfloor since the walls were 9'. This also allowed me to add another layer of insulation to the floor, and ability to run electrical and piping.
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The windows were installed where I hoped would be where they needed to go. After insulating and sheeting the floor, began building the framework for the walls. Opted to build them out of 2x2's, and filled the gap with 2" foam board insulation.
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Built the bedroom area in the front, and repurposed the bed frame from a 5th wheel camper we bought for parts.
image_1937.jpg
 
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maveric

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Installed the windows where I hoped they would work best. Since certain things had to be done in a certain order, it made some things a challenge. The floor and ceiling are insulated with batting, and the walls with foam board. Tried to run as much of the wiring above the ceiling, and outside / in the walls before sheeting them.
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Started laying out the kitchen. The stove, oven, fridge, sinks, and furnace are all from the 5th wheel camper.
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Installed prefabbed cabinets. Even with the raised height of the floor, they are still tall.
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Since we are a family of 3, needed to create a sleeping area for my son. With the small foot print of the LQ, we opted to build a loft off the back of the LQ, above the garage area. Since the area above the front vehicle was wasted space anyways.
The stairs along the wall gave access, and created a closet space and a location for the 12v fuse block.
 

maveric

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On the seperation wall between the LQ and garage, installed the on demand water heater and the 110v electrical box. Behind the water heater is the access for the water lines coming from below to the bathroom and kitchen.

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image_2026.jpg
 

maveric

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The loft needed to span the width of the trailer so it could have support legs to the floor, but not in the way of the vehicles.
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Started with a 1" square tube frame with removable supports so it could be built in the garage, and then installed in the trailer.
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It is a little cramped inside, but works great as a sleeping area. It is wide enough that 2 kids can sleep in there side by side.
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maveric

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The access into the loft is 4" wide.
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12 v fuses / power distribution box is located under the bottom step.
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maveric

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The lower storage area is 8' wide, and 20' long.
Added structural support to the lower rails to build off of. Installed a rubber isolator between the steel angle and the aluminum rail.
26b.jpg

The box is 1" square tube with steel sheeting. Built partitions into it to seperate tool / parts storage, water / power areas.
26c.jpg

26d.jpg

In the front compartment are 2 45 gal fresh water tanks, 70 gal gray, and 70 gal black tanks.
26e.jpg

In the rear compartment is tool and camping stuff storage. Also houses 3 BBQ propane tanks, and my spare forklift tank for the buggy.
26f.jpg
 

maveric

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Windows installed and sealed up. With the kitchen appliances in place, had to vent the fridge.
29a.jpg

Installed the exterior door. This leads into the garage, then another door into the LQ. I didn't want mud being tracked into the camper, and the door into the garage is nice when everyone hangs out there at camp.
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maveric

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Before finalizing the layout for the storage area, I laid out the tanks and propane to see how they would fit.
33a.jpg

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After welding the framework up in the garage, had to lift it into place and bolt it on.
36a.jpg

37a.jpg
 

maveric

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Built side hinged doors for 4 compartments on both sides. Front is water/power, middle is spare tires for truck/trailer, spare vehicle parts, coolers, and rear is tools, generators, propane, and camping stuff. It fills up fast.
38a.jpg

Since the bottom of the door is 4' off the ground, needed to build some type of stairs. These are a little narrow, and I would like to build something else, but they have worked very well. The biggest issue is that they have to be removable. So size and weight come into play.
39a.jpg

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maveric

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There are 2 seperate power systems on board. The 110v shore power includes numerous outlets throughout the LQ, and 2 in the garage. It also powers the converter/charger, which charges the 4-6volt batteries. The 12v system has USB outlets throughout the LQ and 1 in the garage. The lights, stereo, and water pump are all 12v. There is a solar panel on the roof that helps keep things charged.
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maveric

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Fridge / freezer installed. Started prepping for paint. Since the walls and ceiling are all 1/2" OSB, the wife decided that textured wall paper would cover the joints. Opted for bead board from the chair rail down.
45a.jpg

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47b.jpg
 

maveric

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View from the garage.
48a.jpg

49a.jpg

Loft clearance above wifes rig.
50a.jpg

Side door placement with rigs inside.
51a.jpg

Ramps are used to load. A little un-nerving the first time on them.
52a.jpg
 

maveric

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Installed anchors in the floor at the front and mid way point of the garage.
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Welded D-rings to the rear floor at the back of the garage.
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Took it on a trip with the bikes, so made some removable ramps and tiedown points to anchor them in place.
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maveric

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This is how the interior sits now. Paint and back splash are done. Still need to finish trim work, and flooring. As with any project, it is never done, and even though I haven't finished the final touches, we have used it for the last 4 years. Using the garage, the LQ, and the truck sleeper, the unit will sleep 12 comfortably. 6 can boondock in it for a week without needing to run the generator, since the solar keeps things charged. (Much longer than a week, and would need to run the generator to top things off). The 90 gal fresh water will last 3 people a week, but with additional people, we have to top the tanks with a portable water tank and pump (stored underneath).
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maveric

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nOOB question:
Do you need a CDL to operate/drive the rig?

Not in Colorado. The truck is registered as a Recreational Truck, and the trailer title has been converted to a RV (same designation as a toy hauler). The stipulation on the truck (at least here) is that it is not used in ANY commercial application. I can't loan the truck out, and I can't haul for money. I have been told to not even stop at the scales. The couple times I have stopped (not with the camper), I have been pulled in for no DOT numbers, but after showing my registrations, they tell me to have a good day. Haven't stopped at a scale or port in 5+ years.
Took it on a 3500 mile vacation to Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and Utah and never had an issue.
 

gt1guy

Don't touch me there
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Never realized those trailers were so tall. How wide is it between the original walls?
 

CDA 455 II

ANFAQUE2
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Not in Colorado. The truck is registered as a Recreational Truck, and the trailer title has been converted to a RV (same designation as a toy hauler). The stipulation on the truck (at least here) is that it is not used in ANY commercial application. I can't loan the truck out, and I can't haul for money. I have been told to not even stop at the scales.

The couple times I have stopped (not with the camper), I have been pulled in for no DOT numbers, but after showing my registrations, they tell me to have a good day.

Haven't stopped at a scale or port in 5+ years.
Took it on a 3500 mile vacation to Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and Utah and never had an issue.
Is that why the 'NOT FOR HIRE' sign is put on rigs like yours?

So law enforcement doesn't pull you over?
 

maveric

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Is that why the 'NOT FOR HIRE' sign is put on rigs like yours?

So law enforcement doesn't pull you over?

The "Not for Hire" sign is not required, but it is something most hope will keep them from getting stopped. For example, a Pepsi truck is private, and not for hire, but still commercial.
The reason I have it on the trailer is in hopes that it helps keep me from getting pulled over. Especially since mine resembles a commercial truck/trailer running down the road.
If I do get stopped, I have a nice, organized 3 ring binder with all my registrations, insurance cards, and Colorado documents showing that as an RV, I am exempt from CDL requirements. Haven't needed it yet.....luckily.
 

CDA 455 II

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The "Not for Hire" sign is not required, but it is something most hope will keep them from getting stopped. For example, a Pepsi truck is private, and not for hire, but still commercial.
The reason I have it on the trailer is in hopes that it helps keep me from getting pulled over. Especially since mine resembles a commercial truck/trailer running down the road.
If I do get stopped, I have a nice, organized 3 ring binder with all my registrations, insurance cards, and Colorado documents showing that as an RV, I am exempt from CDL requirements. Haven't needed it yet.....luckily.
Veeeeeery interesting.


When you're using it; where do you park it?

RV parks have pull-throughs long enough?
 

maveric

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Mostly, we boondock, so park it where ever. I do take it off road a little, nothing serious do to ground clearance and no lockers in the truck. On the 3500 mile trip, we stayed in wide spots on the side of the road, truck stops, a friends front yard, and a bunch of camp grounds. Just have to do your research before making reservations. I spend a lot of time on Google Earth when planning trips. We are 72' long, so some CG's don't have anything big enough. A lot of the newer ones are making pull through's for pusher motorhomes with trailers, which aren't much shorter than we are. We have had a couple places where we couldn't drive into the spot because the trailer axles are so far back, but were able to back into them. Usually when we get to the CG, it is like the circus showed up...people start congregating to watch us park it, and usually have a line of people wanting to see inside. Its kinda cool sometimes.

Open lots are the easiest.
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