Bottom Line
High Performance Diesels
Retirement on the road

Since the first article on converting your Class 8 truck to an RV hauler for retirement, we have had an overwhelming demand for more information. The following should give those interested a few more ideas as to what can be done.

Don Carson is 73 years young and, along with his son Steve, owns Bear Cat, Inc. of Klamath Falls, OR, (a 48-truck fleet that hauls hot oil to be used in the production of asphalt). In 1991, Don decided that he wanted a Kenworth motor home. He had an old 1965 KW Tank Truck that occupied a special place in his heart. In addition, Don owned a 1989 Prowler Regal 29-foot travel trailer with a six-foot slide-out. He met with his friend Bob Sloan in Portland, OR, and discussed the possibilities of mating the two units together, with optimism (Anything is possible!) as their guide.

To start, they stretched the Kenworth chassis to a wheelbase of 274 inches, making the overall length of the KW motor home 38' 6". He plans to haul a Ford Explorer behind the motor home. The total length of the two units is now 55' 6", which makes Don's rig legal in all 50 states.

The KW was repowered with a BC II 350 Cummins engine, then reworked to 450 horsepower with the aid of Diesel Injection of Pittsburgh, PA, components. The KW motor home is also equipped with a Jacobs engine brake, an RTO 12.5.13-speed Fuller transmission, Ross power steering, an FF 931 front axle, an R 170 Timkin rear end with 3.70 gear ratio, Peterbilt Air Trac rear suspension, and 11.25 X 24.75 Michelin X2A tires.

They stretched the chassis to a wheelbase of 274 inches, making the overall length 38' 6"

With dual 150-gallon fuel tanks, the front axle weight is 10,360 lbs. The rear axle weight of the motor home is 14,960 lbs., making the total weight of the motor home 25,320 lbs. With the Ford Explorer in tow, the weight increases to 29,680 lbs. The freshwater tank holds 130 gallons, the propane tank holds 83 gallons; electricity is provided by a 4,000-watt Onan propane generator and solar panels on the roof.

Don loves trucks and trucking and still hauls hot asphalt at the age of 73.

If you would like our booklet on high performance Cummins diesels, give Aimee a call at 724-274-4080. The booklet is also available at Our e-mail addresses are, and

The above column is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the opinion or beliefs of Land Line Magazine or Cummins Engine Co.