How to Convert a Motorhome Into a Toy Hauler

by John Cagney Nash
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rv image by Greg Pickens from Fotolia.com

A typical 38-foot A-Class motor home stripped from the rear wall to the back of the cab seats would provide approximately 30 feet of usable linear space, approaching eight feet in width and seven feet in height. This large and functional open space could be effectively divided between the "house" and "garage" sections of a toy hauler. Converting a motor home into a toy hauler is a challenging and ultimately rewarding project for a skilled handyman, requiring a great deal of forethought and planning.

Step 1

Ensure the project is begun with a fully functional motor home, because the cost of buying aftermarket equipment would swiftly make the project untenable. Test the roof air conditioner, furnace, refrigerator, cook stove, water pump, shower, toilet, windows, roof vents and generator. Ensure there are no leaks in the freshwater tank or the black and gray holding tanks. Preserve all fixtures and fittings for reuse.

Step 2

Design the rear garage door with the assistance of a competent engineer and fabricator. If axle height allows, plan a split "Dutch" door where the bottom section hinges down to form the loading ramp while the upper section hinges up; this would create shade at the open end. Install a heavy, welded metal frame around the entire opening, and weld this frame to the motor home chassis. Hinge the lower part of the door to the chassis to relieve strain on the floor, even if this entails extending the chassis from behind the rear axle all the way out to the back of the motor home. Always use marine-rated hardware for any exterior fittings.

Step 3

Consider reflooring the entire open space. Once the original appliances have been removed, the floor will be peppered with between 20 and 50 openings of various sizes, ranging from small holes through which propane and water lines ran, to large holes which served the toilet and the plenum ducts.

Line the garage area with fiberglass reinforced paneling, or FRP, available from most home improvement warehouses. If the original interior walls can be largely preserved, proprietary FRP glue will fix the panels securely in place. Install fluorescent lights, which use far less electricity than conventional bulbs, and build work benches over the wheel arches.

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