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In a panick after finally buying my RV to convert/go mobile!

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  • In a panick after finally buying my RV to convert/go mobile!

    OK. Is it just me, or, ... I"m in a panic over finally buying my rv to convert to mobile. I have looked awhile and anything decent goes fast here. So I bought a 23 footer, 1978 dodge tioga to convert. Clean inside. The plan is to gut exept the potty... and just redo all over with insulation, etc... but, on the way home, decided the old guy (they called him Homie), with 94K miles.. is a little stinky and in fact, you can smell the exhaust in the interior once you stop movin. Top this with, the heat dial doesnt work (this was not discovered till we got it home today) and, the a/c doesnt work (but the overhead does ... moderaly..probably need to get that replaced, will have to see)... and the gas guage is a gonner.. among other things. We take it up to the rv /engine place and, pay the 100 bucks for the luandry list tomrrow but.. is it just me or is it normal to field a little overwhelmed. The rig is so clean inside its almost a shame to gut it. I began to think maybe I should just resell and get a van with a topper instead! But, i wanted a potty... (sigh). I will need to get a gene... etc.. the 440 engine makes enough noise to cover any generator noise LOL. apparently, there
    is no power issue... in the old 440.

    I also need to get used to driving a 23 footer. Suppose thats no biggie. the kids want me to keep it as a camping rv too funny.... can't do that. I got an accident settlement and ..I'm putting it toward this. SCARY ... already spent a LOT on buying my quality supplies (clipper vac, kenchii's, bathing beauty, etc) and this... and counting on it being longer than we thought to convert. Was hoping a month but..not gonna happen b/c of budget. Probably more like 2 mos (sigh)...

    OR, I could just paint it white and "go" ..isntead of gutting and all..but I do have to gut some, to be able to fit tub, table etc so why not do it all right and make it look like a vet clinic LOL... ???? this exhaust issue has to be fixed though. we can't figure out if its seals letting it i nor what. But..cummins here in town will look it over - they do all kinds of rigs.

    Anyway !!! So maybe I'll have some conversion pics of it or maybe I'll change my mind and sell it! Is it just me? I am kinda type "a" LOl

  • #2
    To get started you only really need a bath tub and a 'table' to groom on. I bought a 2005 class C. I took out the couch and put in a full size tub that fit perfectly. I built up a platform to raise the tub and tied it in to the existing plumbing. I then took out the table and cut a board, attached legs on hinges and rested it over the bench seats. Secured that with bungie cords (out of sight and no drill holes). Covered it all with a piece of white paneling and trimmed it out. My beautiful bright hot pink dryer sits under the tub and all of my tools sit in a tool box under the 'table' on the seat where the cushions were. Everything is within arms reach. And the way I cut the 'table', I can get to both sides which makes it nice while grooming.

    RV dealers sell 12V florescent lights that can go where the original lights were. Also the carpeted area was already covered with a clear vinyl so water on the floor is not a problem.

    I have a couple of pictures if you'd like to see. www.carriagehousegrooming.com

    Good luck. It's not as hard as it seems.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks jedd!

      It is helpful to be able to see pics. THANKs! I was looking through the forum late late late..to try to find threads with conversion pics and ideas. But, the forum is so large it can be hard for me to find stuff at times. So thanks!

      I'm thinkig to start I'll have to just do that limited conversion maybe. First, the old rig goes up to the shop to find out if it needs engine repairs...there is an issue with a smell of old stinky exhaust coming into the whole cabin when you stop moving. So something is up. And, a few other issues -- fuel gauge, a/c heater on the dash are out.. etc.. its an old rig so, bound to be some things.

      Thinking of just painting over the old 1978 interior to make it white... etc..removing stove sink...using that space and across from there sits the table where, their current fresh water tank resides so thinking of using that. In the back there is the potty and, 2 bunk beds and fridge and storage so...dont need to touch it really... yes, need to get carpet out or... covered. Probably out LOL. Its old..old..old. The upper bunk above the cab dont really have plans..but do want somewhere for a microwave so..who knows.

      The whole logiists of space use can send one into a panic. But, limiting the conversion to use existing stuff is the idea to save money for sure. There is even a big area for the gene aleady plummed in with the power cord..but need to get inspected and find a gene.

      We do have HARSH winters here...so... this will be a concern if I dont gut it out and insulate by winter though... this thing has been to alaska... though...so..who knows LOL. She's still kickin all the way from 1978~ big old noisy dodge 440 engine ...way too loud LOL

      Comment


      • #4
        go for it

        i got a 76 22 footer and i rip all out but the bathroom one closet and one set of top cabinets, i put a tub where the sink used to be and set up my table on the area the dinner table used to be, i had to put new floor on the front my front ac still not work, took it to maaco to paint it all white and did graphics on my own my gen was good so it last almost two years before i replace it, but the ac is fine and the water heather is great, i used the same plumbing and the same electricity set up, and i love it, go to da groomer mobile pet spa on facebook and you can see some pictures of the outside, you wont regret the space but i do not reccommend keep it as an rv and for grooming, one or the other i suggest

        Comment


        • #5
          Sounds like you have a exhast leak at the header check te donuts and the Y pipe for any leaks they like to rust where the two pipes are welded together. Those are all up close to the engine behind the dog house which may also need a seal replaced. You'll learn all those silly names for parts of the vehicle lol.

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          • #6
            Save money for gas

            good luck though with your remodeling project

            I'm spoiled with a 6 cycle Explorer

            Comment


            • #7
              Dont panic!!!

              I have a chevy p-30 step van 1981 vintage, she looks like a old fedex truck.

              I went through the same thing there are still some issues with "bessy" but we keep working the bugs out.

              The exhaust leak is no problem it is like Doug said they tend to rust .

              I am now, 1yr later doing OK ,I still think I need more batteries and a more powerful inverter but oh well! here is a if you go to www.fromshaggytochic.com there is a link called how we did it, it has some pics too!

              DOUG I hate to hijack a thread but, do you know if a s-series compressor for the AC will fit onto my van? I have insulated as much as I can but we need a different ac other than a wall unit. you can PM me ,thanks

              Comment


              • #8
                Got any photos of your rig

                and about how much did it cost you to convert the step van to a mobile pet unit,my husband is thinking converting one for my second pet grooming unit . If you can post some inside photos,that would be helpful. I'm all the way in North New Jersey,so I'm not looking to steal your show,just trying to imagine what it would look like,also how long is the truck?, I would like to convert one that's about 12 to 14 feet long, hoping to do large dogs,because my trailer only can do dogs up to about 40 lbs.Thank you for your help.
                Lynne Oz-n-company

                Originally posted by maladee View Post
                I have a chevy p-30 step van 1981 vintage, she looks like a old fedex truck.

                I went through the same thing there are still some issues with "bessy" but we keep working the bugs out.

                The exhaust leak is no problem it is like Doug said they tend to rust .

                I am now, 1yr later doing OK ,I still think I need more batteries and a more powerful inverter but oh well! here is a if you go to www.fromshaggytochic.com there is a link called how we did it, it has some pics too!

                DOUG I hate to hijack a thread but, do you know if a s-series compressor for the AC will fit onto my van? I have insulated as much as I can but we need a different ac other than a wall unit. you can PM me ,thanks

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Doug View Post
                  Sounds like you have a exhast leak at the header check te donuts and the Y pipe for any leaks they like to rust where the two pipes are welded together. Those are all up close to the engine behind the dog house which may also need a seal replaced. You'll learn all those silly names for parts of the vehicle lol.
                  OMG LOL. silly names is right! wow! Well, I'm not a mechanic but, the old "homey" is at the mechanic now...waiting to get his "exam." I'll tell ya...the stink when driving behind is strong too - can't even run the fan lest the smell enter the car behind too (I was following while someone drove it up to the mechanic). And, then when it stops, the smell is inside. This time, smelled like something was really hot and burning like when a belt burns up. So, we will see. The one thing is, I dont think the gene compartment is gonna be large enough for a big gene like I need. So, I have to think about hooking up a portable on the back I suppose (which now makes the rig even longer than the 23 feet it is)... I'm a girl what can I say.

                  The cummins place says to me..we dont see many of the oldies in here. to be honest, most of em end up at the scrap yard. Well I tell ya what -- you sure see alot of em selling for 3,000 here in town and they go FAST. I'm actually considering just selling this one this weekend (yes, I think it'll sell that fast because for being 32 years old its CLEAN inside)..and going with a trailer instead. Dunno tho...will have to wait and see what the full diagnosis is and, the cost breakdown. Then I'll know if its worth it.

                  I kinda like the idea of the space in an RV but, I also like the idea in a trailer that I'm not gonna have engine problems in a trailer... the dude at the cummins shop kinda scared me. There are a LOT of old dodge 440's running around town though I'll tell ya that!

                  QUESTION for those who DID convert an RV -- so, with this rig for example the table covers the fresh water tank, and opposite that, you have the sink and stove (and this will run to the grey water tank). So if I want to use this space... will I have to moveand install the fresh water valve or..alternatively....find a way to run from the fresh area.. to the gray... i suppose that would be easiest... its the logistics of this type of conversion that are not easy... the guy helpin gme isnt exactly a handy man or carpenter LOl.

                  This is why starting with a trailer instead is starting to sound easier?! Lke a 6 x 10... by 6 plus high... but then again...I have to then buy the water tanks etc... so... am I reallys savin money there ... its like...do ya put the money into fixin an rv or do ya put the money into buildin up a trailer but I guess no matter how ya crack it you're puttin money up somewhere LOL

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Here is the link, to how we converted the van

                    http://mysite.verizon.net/res0vpto/s...uiltTheVan.pdf

                    We have some more pics if you need them. Feel free to pm me.I am glad to help desertdog.
                    Last edited by maladee; 05-04-10, 11:48 PM. Reason: I forgot to put to whom post was directed

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My first Home conversion RV

                      was a LeSharo. Built it just for me(I'm a lefty so arangments for most conversions are backward for me). Rhino lined inside, special tub, louver doors etc. When it died at 450K miles (it had been in the family since 900 miles) we did a quick turn around with the old Chinook RV that we had bought as a back up , but play toy too. It took just one long weekend to trun it into my groom rig. We built a tub to fit over the stove and using an existing sink as a well (with drain etc) for the BB. Then I used a pop in table over an existing bench seat. Under the bench seat was a compartment large enough for my batteries from the first rig. No Gene for me, I went Inverter, and love it. My bats in and I was good to go in 72 hours. Yes there are photos on my web site of the Chinook being converted.

                      I also have a bunch of photos from the original conversion of the LeSharo, if the'd be of any help.

                      My next project ...I'm getting ready to start my next project as we brough Orca home tonight. It's a 13 pass. shuttle van. All ready has insulation and the plastic panneling. Has nice big windows, I have a thing for windows (lol). Has a topper that is insulated and gel finished inside...just lots to work with already...yes I have some photos I'll put on my new thread.

                      I

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                      • #12
                        I forgot

                        To tell you how much it cost ,we spent $2300 for the van and about another $3000 ,on other "STUFF",the inverter system was about $1000 (we have a bare-bones system) "BESSY" is 19ft long and very wide she is a big boned gal. I was nervous at first but now it is easy to drive I am havening a hard time with parallel parking (LOL)

                        You may have a hard time putting the geny on the rear .You may wish to somehow enlarge the area for your generator ,

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Is it not more work...

                          to convert a bus - rather than an RV? I mean..b/c there is no gene compartment, (although with a hitch I suppose that can be put on the outside); there's no water, plumbing, etc.

                          BUt I know many ppl convert buses, I actually thought about it but then thought well, maybe it would be better having an actual bathroom although, I now have to plan to dump black water...which...not so sure how I'm gonna feel about that once snow starts flyin.

                          Hmmm. Well I suppose when startin out cheap and old, one can except stuff to happen! Azozi you're the second one who wrote you used a pop up over existing bench. I'm gonna need to consider this method.

                          It would be interesting if I could somehow manage to turn it "back" into an rv at some point... sell, and upgrade but not sure I can do that -- I mean... the "hair flies" even with clipper vac (on the way! whoo hoo!!! new toys!) Not so sure it would be easy to "reinstall a sink and stove either LOL And..they gotta go b/c that is where I have to put something. there is only so much room to put a table... and tub. I have standard poodles to groom so.. need to be a larger tub.

                          Still waiting to hear from the mechanic thoguh to get the prognosis on "homey". If "homey" stays.."homey " needs a new name.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            WOW.thank you

                            my husband will be glad to look all the information over and hopefully get started right away,with a little push from me . The bone is very cute and the graphics are nice.Thanks again Lynne


                            Originally posted by maladee View Post
                            To tell you how much it cost ,we spent $2300 for the van and about another $3000 ,on other "STUFF",the inverter system was about $1000 (we have a bare-bones system) "BESSY" is 19ft long and very wide she is a big boned gal. I was nervous at first but now it is easy to drive I am havening a hard time with parallel parking (LOL)

                            You may have a hard time putting the geny on the rear .You may wish to somehow enlarge the area for your generator ,

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'm back!

                              well "homey" is back in the front yard... and he's for sale! Yup... the mechanic said..3K worth of engine work. Sooo he's for sale and, I'm trailer shopping LOL!!! I've had enough of trying to find an RV.... (sigh)... its trailer time!

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