5 ton expando vs. extra long wheelbase cargo.

Droolguy

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Looking to build a Class A style offroad R.V. when I sell my house for full time living in.

Anyone know the functional difference in length between an expando and a xlong cargo 5 ton frame?

They are both listed as being on the xlong frame, but the cargo looks longer behind the rear wheels and is listed as being 4ft longer in the dimensions I can find.

Four extra foot of space is a lot if that's true and could allow for significant addition to the expando box or full custom box, whichever route is taken.
 

ramdough

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Looking to build a Class A style offroad R.V. when I sell my house for full time living in.

Anyone know the functional difference in length between an expando and a xlong cargo 5 ton frame?

They are both listed as being on the xlong frame, but the cargo looks longer behind the rear wheels and is listed as being 4ft longer in the dimensions I can find.

Four extra foot of space is a lot if that's true and could allow for significant addition to the expando box or full custom box, whichever route is taken.
What platform are you talking about? 900 series or FMTV?


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simp5782

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900 series. Specifically the CTA refresh just before they swapped to the FMTV. I don't like the FMTV C7 engines, and the NHC 250 is a bit of a slug.
The NHC250 can be repowered easier with a big cam swap that are a dime a dozen over the A2 trucks that can't be without lots more mods. A2s are just as gutless on a heavy platform as an nhc250 even intercooled and with max fuel from the mw pump. Took one outwest a few years ago and it was a long trip at times at 50,000lb. Compared to a 5 ton with a big cam that will run 55 up hill at 70k

The 934 chassis are 23in shorter than their cargo variants. 362in vs
385in. Both have the frame reinforcement. Marine Corp 927s with the iso beds have detroit lockers. The bed is also stronger than a normal cargo bed.
 

Floridianson

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Is there a reason you want X military truck to start with? The Exp. van box is heavy plus everything you carry in it has to be put back into the middle for transport. So you bathroom will have to be forward middle. The Exp. van on the 809 series has fiberglass insulation and when it get wet it stays wet. Myself buy a civi four wheel drive with better gears and good size motor then build / buy camper and put it on the frame rails. Wonder if there is already a nice civi 4x4 camper ready to go just buy gas and go camping / living in it at most camp grounds. Now lets say all states make it where you can only have off road tag for X military. Now you are stuck in one spot.
 
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Droolguy

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Is there a reason you want X military truck to start with? The Exp. van box is heavy plus everything you carry in it has to be put back into the middle for transport. So you bathroom will have to be forward middle. The Exp. van on the 809 series has fiberglass insulation and when it get wet it stays wet. Myself buy a civi four wheel drive with better gears and good size motor then build / buy camper and put it on the frame rails. Wonder if there is already a nice civi 4x4 camper ready to go just buy gas and go camping / living in it at most camp grounds. Now lets say all states make it where you can only have off road tag for X military. Now you are stuck in one spot.
First off, AFAIK, no state bans onroad use of surplus military trucks, and there is no precedent that I know of nor push to do it. Not even California bans them. They are road legal trucks no different than anything else on the road in their weight class.

Second, a commercial camper isn't going to hold up well to full time live in wear especially offroad or moved a lot, I know several people who have done it. Even peoples half-a-million dollar fifth wheels are built out of shitty materials most of the time, and rattle themselves to pieces if they see anything other than blacktop.

Third, there isn't a commercial camper made that is as rugged, cheap, easy to work on, with six wheel drive, and compatibility with up to 53" tires, nor any *without* significant electronics in the drivetrain.

Also, I am assuming you mean a R.V. whether Class A, B, or C. Not an actual camper because the comparison would be ridiculous otherwise based on square footage alone.

I am not above sinking tens of thousands of dollars into a custom box & cab either, the idea is probably to live in it for the next decade.

I simply don't know a better "go anywhere it'll fit" platform but if someone does, and it's not multiple times over more expensive, I am all ears and would welcome the advice.
 

Droolguy

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The NHC250 can be repowered easier with a big cam swap that are a dime a dozen over the A2 trucks that can't be without lots more mods. A2s are just as gutless on a heavy platform as an nhc250 even intercooled and with max fuel from the mw pump. Took one outwest a few years ago and it was a long trip at times at 50,000lb. Compared to a 5 ton with a big cam that will run 55 up hill at 70k

The 934 chassis are 23in shorter than their cargo variants. 362in vs
385in. Both have the frame reinforcement. Marine Corp 927s with the iso beds have detroit lockers. The bed is also stronger than a normal cargo bed.
That's the frame rails themselves and not the bumper caps included on the ends?

Also, suppose I could swap in a Big Cam Cummins, but I am trying to stay away from engine swaps out the gate as they easily add $10-20k when all is said and done. If I was going to swap, I think I would still go the direction of the CTA, as I can easily sell the CTA to make up a large portion of the swap costs. No one wants a NHC250.
 

simp5782

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That's the frame rails themselves and not the bumper caps included on the ends?

Also, suppose I could swap in a Big Cam Cummins, but I am trying to stay away from engine swaps out the gate as they easily add $10-20k when all is said and done. If I was going to swap, I think I would still go the direction of the CTA, as I can easily sell the CTA to make up a large portion of the swap costs. No one wants a NHC250.
Well you don't know much about engines then because a small cam NHC250 can be drilled and recon'd into a 400 Magnum is what cummins did with old small cam cores when the big cam was introduced so they weren't just scrap

I've done the big cam swap less than 4k that included a whole parts truck M915a1.

You need a A0/1 cab, as the A2 cab doesn't have a dog house. Front and rear engine frame mounts, A0/1 jackshaft. A0/1 Bellhousing, torque converter and front pump as they are different between the NHC250 and 6cta.

The trucks aren't as similar as you would think for drivetrain swaps.

Those specs are total length by the book. I know to put the 20ft cargo bed on a 934 it will be all the way against the cab and still hang off a foot over the bumperettes In the back.
 

Droolguy

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Well you don't know much about engines then because a small cam NHC250 can be drilled and recon'd into a 400 Magnum is what cummins did with old small cam cores when the big cam was introduced so they weren't just scrap

I've done the big cam swap less than 4k that included a whole parts truck M915a1.

You need a A0/1 cab, as the A2 cab doesn't have a dog house. Front and rear engine frame mounts, A0/1 jackshaft. A0/1 Bellhousing, torque converter and front pump as they are different between the NHC250 and 6cta.

The trucks aren't as similar as you would think for drivetrain swaps.

Those specs are total length by the book. I know to put the 20ft cargo bed on a 934 it will be all the way against the cab and still hang off a foot over the bumperettes In the back.
Nope, I don't know much about large diesel engines other than what I can read. I am assuming I would need to buy a big cam as what I had read on the NHC250 is that they are *not* easily convertible to big cam engines and most people recommended just buying a used one and refurbish because unless you had the tools, parts, and experience to do it yourself it would cost more than just buying the engine outright.

If that's not true then great, NHC250 trucks are cheaper than CTA's but I feel like you might be glossing over some stuff possibly.

As for the length, that's my problem, I am trying to find out if the actual length of the frame rails themselves, with nothing else factored in, are different. The TMs and online resources don't say anything about it.

Basically, if I tear both versions down to a chassis cab, will they be different or the same?

The lack of a doghouse in the A2 cabs does suck for maintenance. I was unaware of that.

EDIT: So I looked into the 915 since you said you used one as a parts truck, and I get it now, they literally come with the NTC-400. So it would just be swapping the engine over from one truck to the other. Although finding one for less than $4k might be a bit of a stretch.
 
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simp5782

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Nope, I don't know much about large diesel engines other than what I can read. I am assuming I would need to buy a big cam as what I had read on the NHC250 is that they are *not* easily convertible to big cam engines and most people recommended just buying a used one and refurbish because unless you had the tools, parts, and experience to do it yourself it would cost more than just buying the engine outright.

If that's not true then great, NHC250 trucks are cheaper than CTA's but I feel like you might be glossing over some stuff possibly.

As for the length, that's my problem, I am trying to find out if the actual length of the frame rails themselves, with nothing else factored in, are different. The TMs and online resources don't say anything about it.

Basically, if I tear both versions down to a chassis cab, will they be different or the same?

The lack of a doghouse in the A2 cabs does suck for maintenance. I was unaware of that.
Everything on an A2 sits about 10inches further forward than an nhc250 truck.

@profo has done a 927 build and he added 4ft of frame to the backend from another truck.


You just need that full length truck measurement minus what the length of a bumperette is.

Not really glossing over anything. I have done a big cam swap, 16spd cat swap which involves a whole lot more than a big cam swap and Noone had ever done it and hemtt transfer case swap all into a 923. I've done it all in my driveway with no help or welding equipment etc. It just depends on what you know you can do within your skill level.
 

Droolguy

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La Pine, OR
Everything on an A2 sits about 10inches further forward than an nhc250 truck.

@profo has done a 927 build and he added 4ft of frame to the backend from another truck.


You just need that full length truck measurement minus what the length of a bumperette is.

Not really glossing over anything. I have done a big cam swap, 16spd cat swap which involves a whole lot more than a big cam swap and Noone had ever done it and hemtt transfer case swap all into a 923. I've done it all in my driveway with no help or welding equipment etc. It just depends on what you know you can do within your skill level.
Yea I got that once I started digging into what you used for a parts vehicle, judging by the quote you probably read my response before I figured out what was in a 915.

I will give serious consideration to going this route, as I am no stranger to turning wrenches.

Any specific reason you didn't literally just swap the whole engine over from the 915? Seems like it would be easier than modding the 250 so the parts fit.

Also, thanks for mentioning the cab is 10" forward on CTA's that does help for measuring purposes.
 

Droolguy

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La Pine, OR
Everything on an A2 sits about 10inches further forward than an nhc250 truck.

@profo has done a 927 build and he added 4ft of frame to the backend from another truck.


You just need that full length truck measurement minus what the length of a bumperette is.

Not really glossing over anything. I have done a big cam swap, 16spd cat swap which involves a whole lot more than a big cam swap and Noone had ever done it and hemtt transfer case swap all into a 923. I've done it all in my driveway with no help or welding equipment etc. It just depends on what you know you can do within your skill level.
Also, thanks for the link to that project, it's almost exactly what I plan on doing, only difference is popouts (hopefully).
 

simp5782

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Yea I got that once I started digging into what you used for a parts vehicle, judging by the quote you probably read my response before I figured out what was in a 915.

I will give serious consideration to going this route, as I am no stranger to turning wrenches.

Any specific reason you didn't literally just swap the whole engine over from the 915? Seems like it would be easier than modding the 250 so the parts fit.

Also, thanks for mentioning the cab is 10" forward on CTA's that does help for measuring purposes.
I used the whole Big Cam 3 from the 915a1. My nhc250 was starting to have blowby after 250,000mi on it.

I had already put the CAT 16 speed behind the small cam. Big cams are generally SAE1 bellhousings. The 939s use SAE2. The CAT transmission was SAE1 which involves raising the cab and hood etc. There are build threads on everything under threads on my profile page.
 

TechnoWeenie

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The expansible van is kinda crap in its design.

Sides are blocked when folded, since the roof and floor are the sides when not expanded. So, everything permanent needs to be in the center.

If you're gonna set up for a couple weeks, it's great. Camping and setting it up and only staying a night or 2? You're gonna get sick of it, and quick.
 

chucky

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A slide out can only turn into free floor space once expanded so build the interior to where you can barely get your leg between the hard mounred fixtures for the minute chance you couldnt slide out at your destination but once slid out it gives the roomy feel to walk up to the counter or couch like being in a house . Now the big question can you build a frame stout enough to have a great big square hole in your walls that when you go off road is going to twist a lot easier than a studded wall . The campers you see in the camp grounds were never ment to get tweeked or twisted because they wouldnt last a hot minute theyre not made of anything the big bad ass slide outs built at the factory for bus chassis like prevost have to go in and add all this box tube stainless frame work down in the bays to reinforce the gapeing whole above them in the wall and they all have these big locking pins in all four corners of the main wall so once the slide is back the wall is back to structurally sound to go down the road ! The slide pins were so hi tech in the early 2000s that there were sqables between NASA and some slide out makers at the time of top secret design copies of the space shuttle release pins and how they had the same designs . But they were stupid stout and very very expensive so im not trying to rain on the idea of slide outs on off road trucks just saying you better build it like it was a bulldozer blade if you want it to last .
 

chucky

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A slide out can only turn into free floor space once expanded so build the interior to where you can barely get your leg between the hard mounred fixtures for the minute chance you couldnt slide out at your destination but once slid out it gives the roomy feel to walk up to the counter or couch like being in a house . Now the big question can you build a frame stout enough to have a great big square hole in your walls that when you go off road is going to twist a lot easier than a studded wall . The campers you see in the camp grounds were never ment to get tweeked or twisted because they wouldnt last a hot minute theyre not made of anything the big bad ass slide outs built at the factory for bus chassis like prevost have to go in and add all this box tube stainless frame work down in the bays to reinforce the gapeing whole above them in the wall and they all have these big locking pins in all four corners of the main wall so once the slide is back the wall is back to structurally sound to go down the road ! The slide pins were so hi tech in the early 2000s that there were sqables between NASA and some slide out makers at the time of top secret design copies of the space shuttle release pins and how they had the same designs . But they were stupid stout and very very expensive so im not trying to rain on the idea of slide outs on off road trucks just saying you better build it like it was a bulldozer blade if you want it to last .
IMG_1530.JPG
 

ramdough

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A slide out can only turn into free floor space once expanded so build the interior to where you can barely get your leg between the hard mounred fixtures for the minute chance you couldnt slide out at your destination but once slid out it gives the roomy feel to walk up to the counter or couch like being in a house . Now the big question can you build a frame stout enough to have a great big square hole in your walls that when you go off road is going to twist a lot easier than a studded wall . The campers you see in the camp grounds were never ment to get tweeked or twisted because they wouldnt last a hot minute theyre not made of anything the big bad ass slide outs built at the factory for bus chassis like prevost have to go in and add all this box tube stainless frame work down in the bays to reinforce the gapeing whole above them in the wall and they all have these big locking pins in all four corners of the main wall so once the slide is back the wall is back to structurally sound to go down the road ! The slide pins were so hi tech in the early 2000s that there were sqables between NASA and some slide out makers at the time of top secret design copies of the space shuttle release pins and how they had the same designs . But they were stupid stout and very very expensive so im not trying to rain on the idea of slide outs on off road trucks just saying you better build it like it was a bulldozer blade if you want it to last .
I wanted slide outs for a while, then decided an elevator bed was a much better off-road solution.

If I am really remote, I will probably spend more time outside anyway.


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chucky

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I wanted slide outs for a while, then decided an elevator bed was a much better off-road solution.

If I am really remote, I will probably spend more time outside anyway.


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Either way the slide outs were first brought into play for customers wanting to entertain more folks in their camper/ motorhome/bus not for them to stay just to come by and then leave you never gained more seating just more floor to step around people when slid out! The only reason i would want more open floor space is to play hot oil twister with the local collage cheer leaders and maybe jello wrestling in a small blow up rubber pool ! Im just letting yall know theres more to this off road camping than first appears think outside the box!
 
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