LMTV as an RV in California

Steel Soldiers is supported by:

tacosauce

Member
35
24
8
Location
socal
Thanks for all who gave input and suggestions! It sounds like registering one of these as an RV is doable in the Golden State.
I think I've found a 1079, but it's on the other side of the country.
Crazy idea, but I'm seriously considering flying out to see it and driving it back. Thinking of taking a southern route. Any must-do stops along the way for LMTVs?
I've been trying to educate myself by reading as much as possible about the vehicle, preparedness, and long trips on this forum and on the 'webs.
Of course I am a bit overwhelmed, but able to slowly sort through it.
 

Blairg

Member
49
2
8
Location
California
While I am up for adventures buying an lmtv from an auction and then drive it across country might be a little more "adventure" then its worth. Personally I would wait for a truck to come along closer to the west coast and save a lot of hassle. Mine came from New Mexico and I had it shipped to SLO . Between old tires, loose bolts, bad drive-lines and old air components messing around close to home to sort it out sounds much better than the side of the highway.
Blair
 

tacosauce

Member
35
24
8
Location
socal
While I am up for adventures buying an lmtv from an auction and then drive it across country might be a little more "adventure" then its worth. Personally I would wait for a truck to come along closer to the west coast and save a lot of hassle. Mine came from New Mexico and I had it shipped to SLO . Between old tires, loose bolts, bad drive-lines and old air components messing around close to home to sort it out sounds much better than the side of the highway.
Blair
I agree with you! This one's privately owned.
 

tacosauce

Member
35
24
8
Location
socal
Agree with BlairG. Could be a very expensive trip if the truck has not had a lot of updates.
It hasn't had a lot of updates. Which ones would you recommend?
From what I gather, the priority items to check are:
Tires for cracks and bulging
Driveshafts for condition, hinge test,
Fluids for condition (color, consistency, metal, water, odor)
Belts for cracking,
Hoses for soft spots, hard spots, oil soaked, bulging Hose clamps for tension and integrity
Fan to clutch interface for deterioration
Governor oil line for leaking (this one has me worried)
Compressor gear bolt (need to loosen the front cover to get in and check)
General function of electrics
CTIS

I know it needs a couple tires, leaking cab airbag, air over hydraulic rebuild.

I read through the thread by Recce01. He seemed to have it under control. Any tips beyond his ordeal?

I was also wondering if we have an LMTV members map. Thinking of trying to meet a few like minded folks along the way.
 

Reworked LMTV

Active member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
730
77
28
Location
TN
Honestly, there are a ton of things that will stop you in your tracks. Tires are a definite. New tires in front are a must. Doubt they will bulge before they shred. Find out what the date codes are on them. Plan on driving slow.

I will add some things: Carry an extra turn signal. When mine died, I had no headlights. I carry a spare now. These things are old and delicate and hard to source on the fly. New windshield wiper blades and Rain-X in case wiper motor dies. Carry extra relays, both 24 and 12 volt. CTIS control won't stop you. Just unplug the control. Source universal cooling system parts before you go. I am working on this system now. Extra antifreeze. Extra water pump (though you could get one in a pinch from CAT). IR thermometer to check moving parts a few miles down the road. I would care a case of beer for the SS member who rescues you lol Actually, carry 3 cases of beer and you won't need anything else :ROFLMAO:
 

98G

Former SSG
Steel Soldiers Supporter
4,401
74
48
Location
AZ/KS/MO/OK, varies by the day...
Agree with BlairG. Could be a very expensive trip if the truck has not had a lot of updates.
Depends on your tolerance for risk, and what you consider fun. I've done it a bunch with the 939series platform . I enjoy it.

You do have to figure distance into the cost of a vehicle. Closer vehicles are worth more. Have to compare cost-as-in-your-driveway. $1/mile factor for distance to value exchange is somewhat optimistic.

I'm not really on board with the idea that a private sale truck is less risk than an auction truck. Sure, an auction truck has been neglected . This is an certainty. But a private sale truck may or may not have been neglected and may have also been subject to inexpert tampering. The auction trucks are typically not subjected to inexpert tampering.
 

coachgeo

Well-known member
2,755
47
48
Location
North of Cincy OH
.....

I'm not really on board with the idea that a private sale truck is less risk than an auction truck. Sure, an auction truck has been neglected . This is an certainty. But a private sale truck may or may not have been neglected and may have also been subject to inexpert tampering. The auction trucks are typically not subjected to inexpert tampering.
good points... but with a private you can (with wisdom/experience) sorta pick out better what is bull and what is/was actually repaired/updated. and the experience of person who did the work. Not much... but this is a tid bit better information to make decision on compared to auction where it is... guess work on what was done and why..... and why did they stop mid job and decide instead to put on the auction list instead of fixing it.
 

tacosauce

Member
35
24
8
Location
socal
Honestly, there are a ton of things that will stop you in your tracks. Tires are a definite. New tires in front are a must. Doubt they will bulge before they shred. Find out what the date codes are on them. Plan on driving slow.

I will add some things: Carry an extra turn signal. When mine died, I had no headlights. I carry a spare now. These things are old and delicate and hard to source on the fly. New windshield wiper blades and Rain-X in case wiper motor dies. Carry extra relays, both 24 and 12 volt. CTIS control won't stop you. Just unplug the control. Source universal cooling system parts before you go. I am working on this system now. Extra antifreeze. Extra water pump (though you could get one in a pinch from CAT). IR thermometer to check moving parts a few miles down the road. I would care a case of beer for the SS member who rescues you lol Actually, carry 3 cases of beer and you won't need anything else :ROFLMAO:
Don't know why I didn't think of beer, but these things have a large load capacity which could be alot. I'm sure I'll need a few at the end of the day.
Speaking of SS members, I think it would be awesome to plan meetups the whole way back. That would make for a great trip!

I was thinking of taking it to a diesel mechanic before getting underway. The other option is inspect it myself, replace the obvious, and cross fingers and toes.
 

tacosauce

Member
35
24
8
Location
socal
Depends on your tolerance for risk, and what you consider fun. I've done it a bunch with the 939series platform . I enjoy it.

You do have to figure distance into the cost of a vehicle. Closer vehicles are worth more. Have to compare cost-as-in-your-driveway. $1/mile factor for distance to value exchange is somewhat optimistic.

I'm not really on board with the idea that a private sale truck is less risk than an auction truck. Sure, an auction truck has been neglected . This is an certainty. But a private sale truck may or may not have been neglected and may have also been subject to inexpert tampering. The auction trucks are typically not subjected to inexpert tampering.
Well, my tolerance for risk has yet to be established. With all the stuff I read about these things breaking down, I figure it is a certainty. I would like to be able to minimize it as much as possible though. A lot of unknowns for me, and I welcome any assistance.
I am planning on taking my college son with me so we can share the adventure together.
 

98G

Former SSG
Steel Soldiers Supporter
4,401
74
48
Location
AZ/KS/MO/OK, varies by the day...
Well, my tolerance for risk has yet to be established. With all the stuff I read about these things breaking down, I figure it is a certainty. I would like to be able to minimize it as much as possible though. A lot of unknowns for me, and I welcome any assistance.
I am planning on taking my college son with me so we can share the adventure together.

Learning the unknowns are what make it interesting and entertaining for me.

I've posted the details of many of my trips. I presume you've read them... Never once have I had to have a vehicle towed by a wrecker service. I've yelled for help a few times when my number of blown tires exceeded my number of carried spares.

The thing about reading about breakdowns is that there is a selection process in place. People who break down post about it, and people who dont break down dont post as much.

My off the cuff statistical analysis says you have a better than 90% chance of no major problems on any given 2500mile trip for any randomly selected operational vehicle without a known problem before the start. I used to regularly drive auction trucks from Ft Riley KS to Tucson AZ.... a couple of years ago I flew to Chicago, picked up an M923 and drove it to Albuquerque NM. Uneventfully.

The thing is, there's always the possibility of catastrophic failure and a $1000 wrecker bill followed by shipping costs for a 20,000lb vehicle and a ticket home. But it isnt the way to bet. Not with a sample size of one.

A word on tires - every blowout I've had (except one) has been on a tire that passed visual inspection.

While my experiences aren't specific to the LMTV platform, I suspect that general reliability is close enough that it's the same game....
 

Reworked LMTV

Active member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
730
77
28
Location
TN
Don't worry about the air of hydraulic pump. It is a piece of crap anyway. Just make sure the manual pump works.

I don't think you need a diesel mechanic as much as a heavy truck mechanic. Someone who can look at the the air brake system.
 

Reworked LMTV

Active member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
730
77
28
Location
TN
What year is the truck?
I carry these on truck:
Mytee Products SAE J844 Air Brake Tubing 1/4" x 100' Black Trailer Nylon Line Hose DOT Approved
Mytee Products SAE J844 Air Brake Tubing 3/8" x 100' Black Trailer Nylon Line Hose DOT Approved
Mytee Products SAE J844 Air Brake Tubing 1/2" x 100' Black Trailer Nylon Line Hose DOT Approved
Carry ferrules for each size tubing. These rolIs are small. Was leaving the other night for a run and heard air leaking. Fixed the line in 5 minutes.

Nah, there's no problem. Just keep driving... :LOL: 20191117_182936 (1).JPG
Picture worth a thousand...

These trucks have so much torque, often you won't even feel something like this.

You can see the difference LED headlights make in this picture too.
 
Last edited:
Top
AdBlock Detected

We get it, advertisements are annoying!

Sure, ad-blocking software does a great job at blocking ads, but it also blocks useful features of our website like our supporting vendors. Their ads help keep Steel Soldiers going. Please consider disabling your ad blockers for the site. Thanks!

I've Disabled AdBlock
No Thanks