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Hello, Let me introduce myself... Paul is my name and I'm in San Jose. The "sfttailpaul" was given to me in 1999 by a friend that was into the "internet" that's why there's no number after it... Anyway, I figure it is about time I get on here. I sincerely hope to be able to give as much as I take, if not more. I have a 2000 GMC Savana 3500 Box Truck, you know, it is the Cab with a 14.5 ft. dry box on the chassis. The truck has <12K original on it! That's a long story in itself. I have tried many times to sell it but cannot let it go for the ridiculous offers I have gotten. "Cheaper to keep her". Everything is working fine. I no longer want it as the delivery truck that it is and want to remove and modify the dry box shortening it down to a 4 ft. sleeper and the balance will be an open flat bed, ready for towing a 5th wheel, etc. It has a 8,100# tow rating! My God there are 11 leaves to the springs! I will have to cut the chassis extensions that the secondary manufacturer (Grumman Olsen) installed and will have to cover the wood floor but it appears to me that little else will have to be done to accommodate the towing structure. I am beginning to think it would be easier to sell the box off and start over from scratch. Unfortunately, I do not want a traditional pick-up bed in the rear. I thought that the sleeper sides coming down for the back wall would then sweep horizontal and run all the way back to the rear at about 8" tall. Of course dual chrome exhaust stacks would be in order as well as a diamond plate bed and rear apron but alas, funds will dictate to a great extent. My biggest problems lie in lack of tools and a friendly neighbor's helping hand & back. I am pretty skilled by nature, I was a Carpenter all my life. Now disabled and retired, this project will surely keep me occupied for quite some time. This all started when I realized that I have to move from my present home/shop down to the Mojave Desert area and will need to live in a trailer for about a year while I get a house built and all that goes with establishing a home, from scratch (vacant land).
ANY ADVICE, ANY! ESPECIALLY FROM PEOPLE WHO HAVE DONE THE SAME THING, WILL BE MOST APPRECIATED! If you think I am nuts, I can handle it, if you have ANY IDEAS, let 'em rip. Thanks to all.

Some things I have been trying to find out about.
(1) Recommended dimensions for the location for the 5th wheel carrier. I see it mostly placed directly over the center of the rear axle, BUT I have also seen professional carriers place the front rail of the carrier over the axle and the rear rail pretty close to the tailgate. I assume that this is for better maneuverability (clearances). I am pretty sure that I cannot locate it at my present rear dimensions because the rear axle is about 6 ft. or more, from the end.
(2) Height that most 5th wheel hitch point is located. The cargo box is built on top of 4" tall wood spacer blocks and then the box itself has about another 3-4" of floor (joists and wood floor); this on top of the GMC chassis.
So you see my challenge? Hope to hear from you all soon! Thanks in advance, and oh yea, thanks for reading this diatribe!
Paul
 
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