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Old 07-12-2011, 03:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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The ultimate Towpig ?!?

as i posted elsewhere i`m in the process of downsizing.
when i started converting my Peterbilt "379" semi truck to a Toterhome i was still building dune buggies and planned to eventually tow 2 buggies in a large 5th/goose toyhauler.
however, things changed over the years.
now all my trailers are "bumper pull". i started to restore/re-build vintage trailers (the riveted aluminum kind) and i also build/rent dog agility equipment.
i`m also back into riding ATV`s.
i love the Pete... but its size and tow capacity is waaaay overkill for towing only light trailers ... so he will be for sale soon.

right now i tow my stuff with a E-150 (5.4, auto , tow package)



... the van is kinda adequate and my two large dogs love and need the space ... but i wish it was a diesel, a stickshift , a 1 ton and not so bland and boring .
so in the last couple weeks i was researching a lot of different Towpig ideas.
some of the ideas have been dropping a vintage cab onto a late model 1 ton chassis or re-powering a vintage Grumman stepvan with a Cummins/ NV.....

however, finding a good used Cummins/ manual trans frame is very difficult... and i dont like/want a V8 diesel (IMHO its just wrong ... for me a diesel has to be I-6 )

so after looking at prices and availability i`m back to where i originally started;

International DT 466 engine with a Roadranger manual.

years ago i had this combo in my IHC 4900 MDTruck and loved it



my beef with Medium Duty Trucks has always been the short cab , short gearing and the inadequate power on the highway.
however, the main problem is/was actually too much mass combined with poor aerodynamics.
i cured the short cab by adding a sleeper (being able to slide the seat back 3-4 extra inches made a huge difference in comfort)
but i always regretted that i did not shorten the rig and replaced or cut down the huge box (mine was extra tall and 102" wide)

now my new Towpig plan is to use a lighter duty (4700) IHC cab/chassis, shorten the WB and frame to the bare minimum i need and then build a very sleek and low profile body onto it.... kinda like a Van on steroid

i actually got the idea for the body when i stumbled over this pic of a vintage Dodge Ambulance ;



sorry, long post ... but what do you guys think ? ...

any suggestions, ideas welcome
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Old 07-12-2011, 04:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm a big fan of the crew cab 4700's. I'd say do it.
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Old 07-12-2011, 05:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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sent you a PM, IH 4700 FS soon.
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Old 07-12-2011, 05:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I;ve had a sketch penciled out of a truck that size-ish with a small box dropped down over the frame. Lowered to same height as under slung tool boxes would be.. Top only slightly taller than the cab ~12" maybe.. Overall it would look like a coke delivery truck.

The pass. side would have the RV door, and the ~30" area outside the frame (rail) would be the standing area. With a counter inset over the frame rails. Some steps up to bed/sleeping area over frame rails extending to driver side.. with that section being ~4'-5' tall. depending on overall height, still tall enough for a table sitting/couch area. Just not 6'+ like on the entry side.. Driver side lower section (outside frame rail) to be used for enclosed tanks, storage, service area etc..

BUILD IT !

Sadly I was craigs shopping for international trucks again.... Just dono what direction I'd like to go.... So I will watch you guys all build stuff first !!!
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Old 07-12-2011, 06:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I think its a great idea. I'm half way through my bus build, and have had several thoughts on scraping the bus body, and putting some old iron on it. My bus is a 3800 with the 466Dt and 7spd spicer. But I soon come to my senses, and remember I need a family hauler. I wish I had bought the second bus next to mine, with the same drivetrain. Oh, I paid $2200 for the bus. Maybe a couple years from now I will think of a roadranger swap.
Here's a link to my bus build. http://www.4x4syndicate.com/phpBB3/v...php?f=4&t=1915
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Old 07-12-2011, 07:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Sent this to you via pm.

But this and put one of your modified airstream bodies on the back. Modern drivetrain. It would be really sweet.





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Old 07-12-2011, 07:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm a big fan of the crew cab 4700's. I'd say do it.
yeah, the stock single cab is just too damn short (for a 6'3" guy like me) ... they are build as city delivery trucks and maximal loading area was more important then driving comfort
after i cut out the backwall it was a lot better ...




(found some old pics; thats my previous dog "Leon" ... darn he was a big boy )

notice how i set the seats back into the opening... but i actually hit my head a couple times on that #@&% header
a crewcab would be a huge plus ... but they are rare.

so this time my plan is to not only cut the rear wall, i `m thinking to also cut out the roof and mold the rear body into/over the IH cab.
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Old 07-12-2011, 07:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Sent this to you via pm.





Fucking awesome. Is that in VA somewhere or did you find it online? Want.
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Old 07-12-2011, 07:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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sent you a PM, IH 4700 FS soon.
thanks for the PM
sounds very interesting (very low miles ) but unfortunately its a little too early; i can not afford to start this project without selling the Peterbilt or a couple trailers first
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Old 07-12-2011, 07:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Fucking awesome. Is that in VA somewhere or did you find it online? Want.

I could tell you but I'd have to kill you.

Yes it's in VA. I travel for sales and I've driven by it literally maybe 500 times. Finally stopped and talked to the guy one day. It ran up to about 5 years ago.

Actually the guy says he has 2. I didn't see the second. Also has this.

GMC



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Old 07-12-2011, 08:06 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I;ve had a sketch penciled out of a truck that size-ish with a small box dropped down over the frame. Lowered to same height as under slung tool boxes would be.. Top only slightly taller than the cab ~12" maybe.. Overall it would look like a coke delivery truck.

The pass. side would have the RV door, and the ~30" area outside the frame (rail) would be the standing area. With a counter inset over the frame rails. Some steps up to bed/sleeping area over frame rails extending to driver side.. with that section being ~4'-5' tall. depending on overall height, still tall enough for a table sitting/couch area. Just not 6'+ like on the entry side.. Driver side lower section (outside frame rail) to be used for enclosed tanks, storage, service area etc..

BUILD IT !

Sadly I was craigs shopping for international trucks again.... Just dono what direction I'd like to go.... So I will watch you guys all build stuff first !!!
Mike
yeah... (i dont know how to say that correctly in English) but i noticed that your kinda "thinking" is very similar to my kinda "thinking"

my plan is to go with a flat floor from the IH cab back (very low profile over the IH frame).
i dont really need standup height ... slightly higher then the E-150 would be ok.
i have a good (cheap) line to new leather seats that mount direct onto a "van height" floor (and can be removed in seconds) ... i installed 4 into my E150 and absolutely love them...
so i would also plan for at least 4 of them in the new rig (with the driver seat converted to air-ride)
i`m thinking to go with doors on each side (behind rear passenger seat row) that have steps recessed into the floor ........
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Old 07-12-2011, 08:17 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I could tell you but I'd have to kill you.

Yes it's in VA. I travel for sales and I've driven by it literally maybe 500 times. Finally stopped and talked to the guy one day. It ran up to about 5 years ago.

Actually the guy says he has 2. I didn't see the second. Also has this.
Come off it. At least how much he wants and when we can expect a build/resto thread.
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Old 07-12-2011, 08:27 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Not sure where you are from originally, but your English is better than many Americans

What about going the other way with the truck and body - i.e. having a crew cab or Xtra Cab truck and then a 14-16 foot long garage/box on the back for buggy, bikes, ATVs, dog gear, whatever.

You could pull an Airstream, pop up trailer or something in between for an RV. If you only want to go somehwere for the day or dont need to sleep with the truck, then you just dont pull the RV behind.

I have debated if having the RV on the truck and pulling the toy/bike/ATV/buggy/etc is the way to go, then you can take the RV without the other stuff or do you keep a simple box truck that you can use for all kinds of stuff and then pull your choice of RV or TT behind if you need accomodations.

Always liked the lines on the 4700 Crew Cabs, esp with mechanical DT466 motor in them (has Bosch pump like Cummins ISB)
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Old 07-12-2011, 08:38 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Come off it. At least how much he wants and when we can expect a build/resto thread.
Not from me.

I've got too much going on. I've got 3 kids the oldest will be in college in 4 years. Then every 2 years after that. Plus my new mountain biking habit and the wheeling. There is a reason I'm building a low buch tow rig.

It's right in Roanoke. I didn't ask the price because I wasn't a buyer. I told him that I just wanted to check it out. Dude was really cool.
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:45 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Not from me.

I've got too much going on. I've got 3 kids the oldest will be in college in 4 years. Then every 2 years after that. Plus my new mountain biking habit and the wheeling. There is a reason I'm building a low buch tow rig.

It's right in Roanoke. I didn't ask the price because I wasn't a buyer. I told him that I just wanted to check it out. Dude was really cool.
darn, that COE wrecker is sweet

thanks again for the PM ... i would love to use a vintage body, but right now it would be just too much work
... using the IH frame with its cab and drivetrain already in place is a compromise, but it will speed things up a lot.
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Old 07-12-2011, 10:06 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Not sure where you are from originally, but your English is better than many Americans ....
thank you, i really appreciate that compliment
originally i`m from Switzerland. i was forced to learn German and French and never had the opportunity to learn correct English
i try my best to type correctly and i learn everyday a little bit more (spell check helps a lot )






.... actually my attitude has always been "This is America; speak English or get the fuck outa here "
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Old 07-12-2011, 11:01 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I think its a great idea. I'm half way through my bus build, and have had several thoughts on scraping the bus body, and putting some old iron on it. My bus is a 3800 with the 466Dt and 7spd spicer. But I soon come to my senses, and remember I need a family hauler. I wish I had bought the second bus next to mine, with the same drivetrain. Oh, I paid $2200 for the bus. Maybe a couple years from now I will think of a roadranger swap.
Here's a link to my bus build. http://www.4x4syndicate.com/phpBB3/v...php?f=4&t=1915
cool !!! ... it looks sharp in SWAT black

yes, lots of good priced schoolies out there but one thing i dont like about them is the sheer mass ... them BUF`s are build like frigging tanks
... i guess they have to meet roll over safety regulations and stuff to haul kids.
manuals are rare (the 5 speed is kinda ok if you like autos ...but the 4 speed sucks )
do you have the 7 speed manual (6+1 low gear RoadRanger)? ...that is a very nice trans
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Old 07-12-2011, 11:18 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Here ya go!
http://www.rvtravel.com/blog/weirdrv...f-but-not.html
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Old 07-13-2011, 04:42 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Thanks, yes it is the 6+1. I have yet to tow with it. But empty, it runs down the road great, an easy 65-70mph.
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Old 07-13-2011, 08:01 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Kinda far from you but 2 in PA

Flat bed for $13K: http://lancaster.craigslist.org/cto/2430300914.html


Service body for $10.5K: http://harrisburg.craigslist.org/cto/2450954313.html



One out in AZ: http://phoenix.craigslist.org/cph/cto/2440074564.html



Best way to search CL quick: http://www.themccumbers.com/States.htm
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:39 AM   #21 (permalink)
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lojim
thanks for the links
that service body is nice... thats roughly the max length and height i have in mind (or even a little shorter if possible)
my biggest problem is that i need at least 4 seats and some (or actually a lot of ) flat floorspace for the dogs so they have a place to sleep on our long trips to events.
even if i go with a crewcab i still have to knock out the rear wall.

first i was thinking to simply swap the E-150 for an extended body E-350...
but one thing i would also like to add is some sort of a "stand alone" AC (something like a Semi Truck APU or a small generator & minisplit AC ) to keep the dogs cool if we need to stop/park somewhere and to provide power for the trailer/toybox ... there is just no room under/in a Van to do that in a sleek way.

so i guess what i need is basically a EMS truck ...



... but with a smaller, lighter and sleeker integrated body
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Old 07-13-2011, 10:40 AM   #22 (permalink)
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What about going the other way with the truck and body - i.e. having a crew cab or Xtra Cab truck and then a 14-16 foot long garage/box on the back for buggy, bikes, ATVs, dog gear, whatever.

You could pull an Airstream, pop up trailer or something in between for an RV. If you only want to go somehwere for the day or dont need to sleep with the truck, then you just dont pull the RV behind.

I have debated if having the RV on the truck and pulling the toy/bike/ATV/buggy/etc is the way to go, then you can take the RV without the other stuff or do you keep a simple box truck that you can use for all kinds of stuff and then pull your choice of RV or TT behind if you need accomodations.

Always liked the lines on the 4700 Crew Cabs, esp with mechanical DT466 motor in them (has Bosch pump like Cummins ISB)
i`m still brainstorming this complete setup... but i agree; to set up the towrig as a "mini moho" has a lot of advantages.
i already plan on stuffing small fresh/gray tanks somewhere into the frame (min 20/10 gallon each) and squeeze a little hand sink in a corner.
there is always a need for water and a place to dump something (like cold caffee) when you travel
a crapper would also be cool... but then the box may just gets too big

btw
the trailers that i`m pulling are fairly lightweight ... but usually long
this is a similar trailer like the one i`m re-building right now;



its a 28 foot (31 foot overall) 1950 Spartanette ... kinda a "XXX Large" teardrop trailer
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Old 07-13-2011, 11:15 AM   #23 (permalink)
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What about an aero body for a cab chassis van?
http://www.unicell.com/bodies/srw.html
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Old 07-13-2011, 11:19 AM   #24 (permalink)
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If you can find a later model Kodiak/Topkick with a drivetrain that would work for you, you could swap on a van body and move the back wall up to where ever you wanted it. Or if you only really need 4 seats, use 4 bucket seats in a crewcab while leaving the floor open.

Pete
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Old 07-13-2011, 12:13 PM   #25 (permalink)
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thanks for all the ideas ...

one feature that i loved on the IH (and the Peterbilt) is the tilt hood...



...its sooo much nicer to work on them if you dont have to bend over the fenders
i guess my mind is very much set to use a IH cab

in theory a FL or Pete MDT would also work ...but i just dont like the FL`s ..and the Pete MDT`s are rare and usually on the expensive side
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