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Old 04-29-2014, 05:58 PM   #1
New Member
Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 1
Red face Newbie in TX - Wants AS to be 90% biz, 10% fun

Hello AirForum!

I am a newbie looking to house my business in an AS. Or more accurately, create a mobile part of my business that can travel to locations across Texas or just park it in a town in Texas. The facts are this:
  • My business is graphic design so I will have several pieces of equipment (two printers and a guillotine cutter) and material that will increase the weight by approximately 500-600 lbs. (paper ain't feathers!).
  • I entertain at most four customers at a time.
  • The truck I have to tow with is 2013 EcoBoost 3.5V6 F150 Supercrew.
  • Because of my clientele and business aesthetic, I want to have a very minimal interior, like you see with some AS hair salon businesses. I want clean, simple, well lit, lots of personal space. I will need a 5' table with four chairs; I want to make the couch area a work area; I want to keep the original bathroom layout; I want a kitchenette; and other than that, I just want to keep the space very open.
  • I would like the AS to double duty 8-10 times per year on weekends for travel with my husband and two dogs, where we will meet up with other friends. There is a chance I need to sleep four people, not two.
  • I have an idea for a floorplan and millwork that does double-duty, but before going on the "big" forums with those concepts and testing viablity, I'd love help to get started! here are my newbie Qs!
  • I am thinking that a late 60s Overlander 26-27' is the smallest I can feasibly go, mostly with regards to having more than two people feeling comfortable in the AS at a time. I think ideally, an early to mid 70s 31' Sovereign is really the sweet spot for me. With some very clever carpentry, I can have two couch areas that are "desks" when it's work time and "beds" when it's play time. A 31' AS also gives me room to have a 3-4' work closet where the printing equipment can hide during play time. Plus, that equipment is too heavy to move in an out like a table or chairs are.
  • Q: Does the 26' - 31' range sound right for a 90% business / 10% fun AS?
  • Q: Will my F150 tow a 31' that is mostly gutted, save for a kitchenette, bath and 500-600 lbs of equipment? Let's add another 500lbs. for furniture and cargo for good measure. Truck cargo will contain 300. lbs of humans, 160. lbs of dogs, 100lbs. food & miscellany, and maximum 198lbs. of gas (6.2lb x ~32 gallons). No camper, tonneau cover or lock box in the bed. We will likely always camp at a location with water and power.
  • Q: If the F150 will tow the 31', what special considerations should I account for like anti-sway hitches or any special stablization thingamaboppers I have yet to learn about? Do I need different tires?
  • Q: Am I better off trading up to a F250?

  • When I put my printing equipment in the AS, it seems like I should not only place it over the wheel well/axle in the rear-ish, but also balance the weight by putting the fresh, grey and black water tanks on the opposite side.
  • Q: Is this how you'd distribute weight, or what do I need to know before I really work on my floorplan?
  • Q: Do tanks generally go above the frame, or nestled somewhere subfloor in the frame?
  • Q: Generally speaking, what are my major weight distribution issues?

  • Most 60s-70s ASs seems to either be refurbed and pretty or sitting in a yard on blocks. I feel capable figuring out how to tow/trailer it to my restorer of choice, but what major questions do I need to ask if I want to actually tow this puppy later on in life?
  • Q: What precisely am I watching out for? Rust? Sag? Axle? Tires? Shocks? Brakes? What's the order of magnitude on these?
  • Q: What are the right questions to ask when it comes to overall running gear compentency?
  • Q: What should send me running the opposite direction from a potential purchase?

  • I am a very handy person, so I feel confident working directly with a body shop, restorer, carpenter, sheet metal, electrician, glass tradesman, etc. This is not something I want to just deliver to a restorer with drawings and say "Bye! Call me when it's done!" As I understand it, my priorities should be:
  • ** A secure and covered work area **
  • 1. Running Gear
  • 2. Exterior Lighting
  • 3. Seals, Heat & AC
  • 4. Frame, bumper and tongue
  • 5. Flooring and route plumbing
  • 6. Belly Pan
  • 7. Interior Walls and route electrical, gas and remaining plumbing
  • 8. Finishes, hardware and millwork
  • 9. Upholstery
  • 10. Polish and go!
  • Q: Are there any electrical, gas or plumbing consideration to keep in mind if I really want to demo out the AS and just have minimal cabinetry/closet, apart from the "work closet"? I notice some ASs, when demo'ed out, have an pop-out type wall arch near the front that appears to be a hub of some sort. Is that what I see? Do I need to keep a closet or panel area for the water heater or other things I'm not thinking of, outside of what I do in the bathroom? Do I need a battery somewhere in the interior?
  • Q: Where in the AS do I want to mount the thermostat, gauges, switches? What all do I need to monitor?
  • Q: Why doesn't the Belly Pan get done as part of seals, before flooring?
  • Q: Do I need to try and keep the same outputs and inputs or will moving those for the electrical or tanks create a major headache down the road? I've never actually RV'd before, so here I have no idea!

So those are my starting questions! I welcome any and all feedback, and feel free to just say "See here: {LINK ON AIRFORUMS.COM}". I have tried to spend time persuing the boards before throwing it all out, but I'm sure there are threads I have missed that answer a good chunk of these Qs.

Thank you!
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