Volvo VNL670 conversion to CC hauler

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Volvo VNL670 conversion to CC hauler

Postby Randy & Nancy » Wed Dec 30, 2009 8:31 pm

With some pretty cold, windy and snowy weather and a broken leg (Nancy), not to mention Christmas....... progress on the conversion of the Volvo HDT to a "motorhome" and hauler for the CC from a commercial vehicle has been extremely slow.

In any event, a few things have been accomplished.

First and foremost the commercial 5th wheel hitch has been completely removed. This was a necessary part of getting the truck reclassified from a commercial vehicle to a private truck and ultimately a "motorhome". The reclassification by our DMV is necessary for non-commercial plates and my right to drive the vehicle without a CDL. So far the process in Virginia is moving along OK. Once i pay for and order an inspection to confirm that it has been converted I will be eligible for a NEW Vehicle Identification Number that does not begin with 4V4, which is a flag for a commercial vehicle.

The rust spots on the back of the frame are a result of my "cleaning". If we get a warmer, dryer day anytime soon they will be covered with POR-5 rust conversion primer. Eventually a "flat bed" will go over the frame rails. We are keeping the truck dual axle (for now). This will allow me to have the CC pin slightly forward of the back axle and still have room to carry the golf cart on the forward platform.

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I put an electric heater in the cab so I could get the environment warm enough to work inside. I have removed the OEM cabinet behind the driver seat. This is where the refrigerator and microwave will be installed.

I took the switches out of the center panel, moved them to empty slots in the panel to the right of the Driver Information Display and mounted a 7" reverse image LCD monitor in the empty space. The monitor has a dual input so I will be able to switch select either the camera on the back of the truck cab or the back of the camper. The image on the monitor in the photo below is where the RV 5th wheel hitch will be mounted. A second monitor will be placed on the upper passenger side for a camera at the 4 o'clock blind spot.

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The CB radio on the top of the dash will be removed and remounted elsewhere. I have not decided what to do with the empty space -- I just don't like the CB there!

The exterior electrical hook-up, home-brew automatic transfer switch, 1500 watt inverter, breaker box and WFCO 55 amp converter have been pre-wired and are sitting on my work bench. Hopefully they can be installed in the next week. Once this is complete I can call for the conversion inspection.

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I have been driving the truck as much as possible and have discovered "the sweet spot" for shifting each gear. In fact, I can shift most gears without touching the clutch!

You know, this thing is BIG

When you put it beside our "usual" full size GMC 3500 dually it looks like a giant staring down at an elf.

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We are still working on a name for the beast. King Kong, "Our BIG TOW" (or just BIG TOW), Goliath and Godzilla are some on the list for consideration right now. We are still soliciting suggestions.

More as progress may continue.........

Randy
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Re: Volvo VNL670 conversion to CC hauler

Postby greentow » Thu Dec 31, 2009 6:50 pm

Randy, DRIVE ON, man. Drive on. Can't wait to see what you'll have done when we gather in April. I guess my only "concern" is why your not dropping an axle on this beast. Wouldn't you still have plenty of length? I know that pin weight will not be a concern, in any way.
Anyway, DRIVE ON.

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Re: Volvo VNL670 conversion to CC hauler

Postby d2reid » Thu Dec 31, 2009 7:50 pm

Pretty cool, how about "Great White" for a name?

Dallas
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Re: Volvo VNL670 conversion to CC hauler

Postby Jack & Viv » Thu Dec 31, 2009 11:07 pm

How about Casper ?? Looking good Randy.. It won't even know that the CC is behind .. BTW , how many gallons of oil to do a oil change ?? As to the CB , the big boys hang the mike from overhead..

Jack
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Re: Volvo VNL670 conversion to CC hauler

Postby Ag& Mary Ann Caldwell » Fri Jan 01, 2010 8:43 am

Randy,

You might have started a new career in converting trucks. Are you pulling the hitch out of the 3500 and installing it on the Big White?

You mentioned taxes. I was able to get the taxes lowered on my Cedar Creek by declaring it as a second home. The change was worth the the trouble.

Ag
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Re: Volvo VNL670 conversion to CC hauler

Postby Randy & Nancy » Fri Jan 01, 2010 6:21 pm

Great White....... Hummmmmm.... not bad. It has a nice ring to it as well. I guess we will have to add that to the list of possibilities! Thanks, Dallas.

AG. I have no desire for a new career converting HDT's. Remember, just because it may appear that I know what I am doing doesn't necessarily mean I do! Nothing is being removed from the GMC dually. It will stay ready for service as is. The Volvo is getting a new (used) RV fifth wheel hitch.

Lee. As to why I am not singling out the axles right now..... it is a long story full of anguish. I have talked to and read comments from dozens of owners that have gone the single route. Surprisingly, a large percentage now say they wish they had not dropped an axle. The process is actually pretty complex and if not done right can result in bookoos of problems. I guess I will follow my late Dad's advice: "If it ain't broke, don't go trying to fix it!"

Jack. I think it is six gallons (24 quarts) -- but that is every 15,000 miles. I change oil in the dually every 4,000 miles and it takes six quarts so it works out about the same. BTW, the D12 has three oil filters!

Anyway, Mr. Weather Man says it is going to get really cold and windy for at least a week. So, rather than vegging out on the couch watching the Rose Bowl I decided to take advantage of a warm 42 degree day and install the basic electrical.

Murphy was here to help me and what should have been a 2 hour job turned into a 5 hour ordeal. I will not boor you with stories of all of the mishaps and lost pieces -- but I can tell you don't ever put something away so you won't loose it because you surely will forget where you put it!

In any event, the Great White has power! I managed to get the 30 amp twist lock input connector, ATS, breaker box, converter and inverter installed and working. Now I need to install the outlets around the coach. I can do that inside the cab/sleeper without concern for rain or cold.

The photos below show what today's efforts accomplished. The covers for the ATS and breaker box have not been installed. Everything is installed on the inside wall of the driver side storage cabinet. This is accessible from either the inside of the truck by lifting the lower bunk or the outside by opening a hatch.

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Randy, Nancy and Oscar.
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2004 Volvo VNL670 Custom Conversion. 12.1L, 465 HP, 1,625 foot pounds of torque.
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Re: Volvo VNL670 conversion to CC hauler

Postby Randy & Nancy » Sat Jan 02, 2010 10:48 am

Last night, after signing off from the posting above, I fielded the idea given by Dallas of naming the Volvo "The Great White". In reference, of course, to the Great White Shark from Jaws (I "think" that is what Dallas was implying???)

In any event, Nancy liked it!!

Now, any guy on this forum that has more than two minutes of married life experience knows that it is not a good idea to give a name to what outwardly appears to be a "man toy" without the approval of the DW. We all know that the need for females to interject their part of communal ownership is why we tolerate fancy flower print pillows tossed around our Lay-Z-Boy recliners and those little Glade smelly things in the potty room. (Do I need to hide behind the couch for saying that?)

So, now that Nancy has approved and seemingly selected the name for the Volvo, we can begin to call her (yes, the Volvo is a "her" -- another manly concession) "The Great White", or just "Great White" for short.

As for Dallas and his winning submission......you do win the prize.... and it is actually a very nice prize. But, the only restriction is that you MUST claim the prize in person at the Virginia CCRVOC rally in April. It cannot be mailed, shipped or carried over to another event.

Thank you, Dallas. We look forward to seeing you in Virginia this April!
Randy, Nancy and Oscar.
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Re: Volvo VNL670 conversion to CC hauler

Postby Ray and Linda » Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:15 am

Randy, you are the man and you have all the facts right...We hope that Nancy is doing better ...Have a great day...Ray & Linda
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Re: Volvo VNL670 conversion to CC hauler

Postby Randy & Nancy » Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:14 pm

Ray and Linda wrote:We hope that Nancy is doing better ,,,.Ray & Linda


Thank you. She is progressing well and gets around the house to do most things with her walker. The photo below is a recent x-ray. You can see the titanium rod inside the broken bone and the "nail" at the top. There are two screws at the knee (not shown) that come out Tuesday so the bone ends can come together.

It was one hell of a break!

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Re: Volvo VNL670 conversion to CC hauler

Postby KC Creekers » Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:47 am

Ouch ... that is something else, I'm referring to Nancy's break! Glad she's getting around better! Please tell her we'll be thinking about her on Tuesday!

"Great White" is a cool name! You can always refer to her as GW for short also ...

Linda
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Re: Volvo VNL670 conversion to CC hauler

Postby d2reid » Sun Jan 03, 2010 7:20 pm

You and Oscar take care of Nancy. There is nothing but pain emanating from the x-ray. Not to mention aches, long hours of frustration because you can't move right. and more pain. Day pain, afternoon pain, getting ready to go to bed pain, middle of the night pain, and itching. Our heart goes out to her.

Thank you for the honor of accepting the proposed naming. In fact, it usurps the name of my truck, formerly "Great White". You have to understand that vehicle naming has been a big deal in my family. Barbara is a great namer of vehicles. I grew up in a car dealership, never had the same car for more than a week until I left the nest, as it were. Never named a car until after I married. Since then each car has had it's own unique name, some good, some not so good.

Old Blue is the first named car that I can recall. It was on 89 Old Cutlass that we drove 245,000 miles. It was replaced by the Green Machine, a Camaro with a V6. We bought a Chevy van around the same time, but it never got named, just wasn't cool enough for a name. It got replaced by a Chevy Tahoe, Big Red. About the same time Barbara got her Yumbo Scooter, "Mini Red". What an inferior product that was. We were doing some better so we bought a Red Z28 Comaro, Little Red. We had Little Red, Big Red, and Mini Red for a couple of years. Then we needed another pickup up so traded Little Red in for "True Blue". A chevy 1/2 ton. We also upgraded boats about that time and Big Red couldn't quite handle the load so we got Giant Red, my first dually. Barbara ditched the Yumbo and bought a yellow Suziki 200 DR, "Mellow Yellow". I was riding a Kawasaki 1500 Vulcan we called "Brutus". Barbara didn't like doing 70+ on the interstates/turnpike so I traded Brutus in for a Yamaha 250, Little White. Now we ride our little bikes together. She doesn't have to put up with my driving. Just before we got the CC I upgraded Bid Red to Great White, my current Chevy Dually. We still haven't settled on a really good name for the Cedar Creek yet. We are still in awe of owning it. We will have to work harder on naming it I think. So currently we have: Mellow Yellow (Barbs Motorcycle), Little White (my motorcyle), a Chevy Impala that has the simple name, "The Car". Ok, it's not original or exciting, but neither is the car. I really miss True Blue.

Obviously your Great White is "greater" than my Great White, so I have renamed mine BW, (Big White). More in line with Big Red, my first dually, and also in recognition of the fact it is smaller than a Great White.

I believe this all qualifies as Personification. Putting human traights to inanimate objects. I think I got the term right, it's only been 35+ years since the subject has come up. In any event, by making our objects more personalized they become dearer to us, as a result we take better care of them. We tinker, fix, maintain, wash, wax, and enjoy.

In spite of all the fun that we have with our objects, I could easily do away with all of it to keep Barbara from having to deal with a fracture like that. It still hurts just thinking about it.

As for the prize, I would dearly love to come to Virginia to collect. Unfortunately I am still tethered to my 34.3 year carreer and need to complete 35 years to collect my pension. That won't happen until October, so April will find me behind my desk, toiling (is that a word?) away. So perhaps you can give it to someone more deserving, or depending on the nauture of it, hold it until I can catch up with you. Actually, the greatest prize I can imagine is a tour of your Great White, particularly after you get through tinkering with it.

Have fun!

Dallas
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Re: Volvo VNL670 conversion to CC hauler

Postby Whooboy » Sun Jan 03, 2010 8:10 pm

d2reid wrote:...I believe this all qualifies as Personification. Putting human traights to inanimate objects...

Dallas


...Or anthropomorphism. :mrgreen:
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Re: Volvo VNL670 conversion to CC hauler

Postby Randy & Nancy » Mon Jan 04, 2010 2:59 pm

d2reid wrote:I believe this all qualifies as Personification. Putting human traights to inanimate objects. I think I got the term right, it's only been 35+ years since the subject has come up. In any event, by making our objects more personalized they become dearer to us, as a result we take better care of them. We tinker, fix, maintain, wash, wax, and enjoy.


Yep.

Now I must tell one of my stories.

When I was in college I owned a 1960 VW Beetle we named Dammit!

The name was actually a natural. You see, with only 36 horse power every time we pulled out to pass a slower vehicle we would shout, "Come on, dammit, come on!"

As for the "prize" -- I will keep it safe for a later meeting. I'm sorry you will not be able to attend the April rally, but truly understand.

Randy
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2004 Volvo VNL670 Custom Conversion. 12.1L, 465 HP, 1,625 foot pounds of torque.
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Re: Volvo VNL670 conversion to CC hauler

Postby Randy & Nancy » Mon Jan 04, 2010 3:04 pm

whooboy wrote:
d2reid wrote:...I believe this all qualifies as Personification. Putting human traights to inanimate objects...

Dallas


...Or anthropomorphism. :mrgreen:


anthropotheism is the term I remember from Greek Mythology. In any event, all the same process. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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2004 Volvo VNL670 Custom Conversion. 12.1L, 465 HP, 1,625 foot pounds of torque.
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Re: Volvo VNL670 conversion to CC hauler

Postby Whooboy » Mon Jan 04, 2010 9:06 pm

Anthropotheism is ascribing human form and nature to gods, or the belief that gods are only deified human beings.
Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human characteristics to non-human creatures and beings, phenomena, material states and objects or abstract concepts.

...but, I digress. :mrgreen:
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