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  • My new project

    Yep, I'm ready to get started with converting another rig. The Chinook is fine, but it was DH play toy...and I really need to be able to do bigger dogs. So, I've been looking for another unit to convert. I'd love to have had a Sprinter Shuttle, but , yeah, well dream on....
    But I did find a great 13 pass. Shuttle Van. No, not bus, just van size. It's gas, but that will be OK. A '94 Dodge Ram 3500. I actually found it 2 weeks ago, bought it and then gave it back, as it had a runability issue. but couldn't get it out of my mind, as it was so perfect. the dealer had it fixed...and I bought it for the same deal I had 2 weeks ago. (but it's had replaced...Mas air flow sensor, O2 sensor, heat sensor,theronstate, a full tune up (new plugs wires and dist.) 3 new fuel filters, all 8 injector filters replaced and finally a new fuel pump. Boy she runs like brand new second hand.

    It had a lot of nice options already, and should be easy to convert. Already has rubber floor, finished inside with the plastic pannel stuff we can get at Home Depot. Gel top is finished and all is insulated. Love the single door (Bus style) no hopping in through a side door that is too short for me and too tall of a step-up, heck I'd fall out and break my neck, just leave it to me. (Lots of seats to go on Craigs list)

    Here are some pics of Orca, named becasue for years she's been a Tour Shuttle for Orca Tours on Orcas Isl, here. We just got it home tonight, took almost 5 hours to come through Renton, Bellevue , Everett which should have been a 2 hour drive, and then we got just 10 miles from the valley and there was a huge 10 car pile up! We sat for almost 90minutes in 3 lanes of traffic...The weather was so bad! Snow almost an inch!, hail, rain, and then spots of brilliant sun! Give me a break , it's MAY! But through it all, Orca just sat and purred like a kitten.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Can't wait to see it when it's done Pam!
    ~*~*~Shawn, C.M.G.~*~*~
    Apparently common sense isn't all that common
    *~*~emipoo on egroomer*~*~*

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    • #3
      Sounds so exciting, what an undertaking! So what is going to happen to the little Chinook?


      sittingpretty

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      • #4
        What's next for the Chinook?

        Camping, fishing, play toy. The tub just pops out, the table just pops out, and reconnect the gas line to the stove, and secure the folding sheets of wood in the bench area for the fold out queen bed. About 45 minutes and she's back to a play toy for DH. But I'm keeping the window perf, never huts to advertize.

        Moving the batteries, inverter and charger is a little more involved, but my eldest son (the transplant kid) is a tech for doing that kind of stuff. When we get to that point he can supervise his brothers and we'll do a switch out. I still have the battery box where they fit side by side. the convert is looking like power on one side and water on the other. Trying to get the weight distributed between the axels and side to side.

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        • #5
          Congrats Pam, I bet it will be awesome as you have the special knack for converting
          "Whoever Said That Money Can't Buy Happiness Forgot About Puppies"
          Nancy

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          • #6
            Well, however said

            "taking out seats is easy" hasn't tried to do IT! Took all afternoon, and both of us, we got out all but the last bench across the back, and one bolt hanging up on of the duel seats, and the seat belt for on of the single seat...going to have to get out the hack-saw and go after that, the other may involve droping the gas tank. What a pain! One of us (heehee not me) had to be under the rig to hold the nut, while the other (me) used the ratchett to unbolt the seats from the inside.

            We decided to leave the first single seat on the pass. side as a co-pilot seat, never know when a second body will be needed. My battery box will have to sit above the wheel well, so no sense in taking out the seat since the bat box is just 2 inchs to long to fit where I had originally planned. Revisions come easy at this point.

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            • #7
              You GO!

              I am in awe of those that can do this themselves! I SO bad want to know how to do this. I came across a 96 Dodge "church van" w/ 200,000 miles on it for just $2800! (And it DOES run. . . ) My first thought was "I wonder how HARD that would be to transform into a mobile unit?" LOL! I have been tossing the idea of going mobile around for a while now but I just can't do the start up $$ without knowing for sure if it will take off in my area or not. So I'd rather spend a minimum amount of $ just to "see" what the market is like for it (NO mobile currently in this area) then have to shell out major $$ to have it potentially flop. I'd REALLY love to go the do-it-yourself route but wouldn't even know how to begin!

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              • #8
                WOW that sounds

                like a winner to me! Mine is the same, just 2 years older!

                I have a lot of the stuff to put in my conversion already. So my build-out is less. But still, it's going to cost 3 - 4K I suspect. I am paying to have 3 hols cut in the rig, that's costing $300, but done right, and it's not something that my guys really wanted to tackle. Holes for HW heater, water fill and cable cupboard.

                So far I'm just about $1K...but that includes the new HW tank, and a new floor, resin & fiberglass, wood for new tub, ordered the 50gal fresh tank at $170. I have a 30 gal for gray water, never had a problem empting the tank during the day if needs be. Next month if I'm lucky we might have her up and running, or it may be July.

                We've had RAIN and that really puts a damper on what can be done outside in the "work area". Finally had a break in the weather long enough today to get the first coat of resin over the glass in the tub. Finished just in time to get out of the rain , again!

                It's just not that hard to assemble a rig, even if you are using prebought items. A lot of the conversion companies use the like. Yes some make thier own, but some don't. We have a gal locally that basically did her's for almost nada, since she had most everything from her shop. It works, it's functional. Just depends on what you have to work with and how you want to present it.

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                • #9
                  I just bought me a concession stand trailer with all the plumbing already there, along with the water tank and the grey water tank. I am so excited, I can't wait to start putting it all together. My mobile business will be starting in September. My trailer also has the sliding windows where you make your order with a door that folds down over the both of them. The floor is made of wood so I will have to fix that so the wood won't get wet. Right now looking for a good generator with no luck!!! Which one would be he best one to use?

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                  • #10
                    I've heard a lof

                    of nice things about the Honda Gene's. I have a small one that the guys use in thier tiny c.ass C for sharpening. It runs every things they have, scissor machine, blade machine compressor, heater all at the same time. It's an old one (1987-ish) had to be cleaned and stuff because it had not been run in YEARS! Sat it the LeSharo as it's back up while my Mom drove it. And it's just a little gene.

                    I have an Inverter, so never thought to use the gene. But Bowwow has used the Honda gene's for years. She can tell you the good points, I suspect. I'm sure everyone has a fav.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tailstonailsgrooming View Post
                      I just bought me a concession stand trailer with all the plumbing already there, along with the water tank and the grey water tank. I am so excited, I can't wait to start putting it all together. My mobile business will be starting in September. My trailer also has the sliding windows where you make your order with a door that folds down over the both of them. The floor is made of wood so I will have to fix that so the wood won't get wet. Right now looking for a good generator with no luck!!! Which one would be he best one to use?

                      I just saw a hot dog step van I thought might be great for a mobile vehicle but was wondering what to do with all the equipment I don't need if I could find anyone to buy it and by the time I find someone to put in the tub, water tanks, clipper vac it will probably be just as expensive as an already put together used mobile.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Dog Daze View Post
                        I just saw a hot dog step van I thought might be great for a mobile vehicle but was wondering what to do with all the equipment I don't need if I could find anyone to buy it and by the time I find someone to put in the tub, water tanks, clipper vac it will probably be just as expensive as an already put together used mobile.
                        If you do it yourself it isn't that costly. We bought a camper van, stripped it all out plumbing & all. Kept what we needed & built the rest. We had to redo most of the plumbing anyway but kept the water tank & the gray water. Since hubby did it all with a little help from the 20yr old neighbor it only cost us a little over $5,000. We had most of all the big stuff like inverter, 4 batteries, charger etc. We bought 4 more batteries a 40" rv tub, new hotwater rv tank & hydralic tool table that we turned into a grooming table. Those were the big things. We found the van cheap, $500 because of title issue, water leaks inside the van & they thought it was having tranny problems. It wasn't a tranny problem just its very hard to get to the fluid fill to put tranny fluid in, it was nearly out of fluid. We will be replacing the tranny next yr, 3rd yr we will have had it. The title issue probably cost us around $200 - 300 & almost 6mos to get straightened out, that was annoying.

                        Shannon
                        The Soapy Puppy

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                        • #13
                          I don't know anyone handy I'd have to pay someone to convert for me which always seems to bring the cost back up to the price of a used already put together mobile.

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                          • #14
                            It's always a hard decision

                            wether to convert or purchase already made. In my case I have a handy hubby and 3 sons to add to the crew (this time). the weather isn't being cooprative, but we're slowly working on things. Paying to have things done can be cost prohibitive for sure.

                            Yes I'd love to have a new bells and whistles rig, but with my grooming career on the down hill slide to retirement, the cost of a new B&W rigs isn't productive. Purchasing one already made, was an option, but nothing out there suited what I wanted. Design flaws as it were. I want my tub and table together, I want my tools to the left of the table, with tub to the right. Not happening in most already made rigs. I want windows. Again, not happening in most rigs. So for me doing my own is better. Not for everyone, though.

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                            • #15
                              Yeah I really don't like the setup of the regular wagntails but that's all I could afford even used. I really like the stepvans and Elite style trucks.

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