A lot of gearheads dream up vehicles that can do double duty, hauling toys while also being a kick-back space. It’s the idea behind many school bus builds like my own. But there is another, potentially easier way to get this done. How? Take an existing RV and chop off the back. It’s actually pretty brilliant!
I found this 1996 Ford F-53 Gulfstream Sun Sport during one of my skims of Cars & Bids and I’m actually surprised I don’t see builds like this more often. The seller of this intriguing vehicle purchased the motorhome about a year ago and performed the rear end delete himself.
The seller cut apart the RV, chopping off everything from from the rear of the kitchen all the way to the back bumper. He then filled the void with a 12-foot bed of 1/8th-inch diamond plate aluminum and heavy-duty supports. The result is that you could carry at least a 3,000-pound vehicle on the bed, the seller says. The finished RV’s exterior looks so polished one might think it was a factory build.
Unfortunately, the section of the RV that he cut out contained the master bedroom and the bathroom, so the remaining space has fewer sleeping arrangements and no toilet or shower.
That said, everything forward of the cut is there and works great. You get every normal RV amenity, like a generator, TV, kitchen, water tanks and even multiple air-conditioners.
This is exactly the kind of setup a lot of skoolie builders like myself are looking for: a basic on-the-road living space with some creature comforts and parking for a toy or two. Cutting the back off of an RV means you don’t have to worry about getting a bus registered as an RV or building out an interior. It’s there already, just cut out what you don’t want.
On the downside, RVs don’t tend to be very rugged. So water leaks and parts that frequently fail will almost certainly be a problem down the road. The abysmal quality of American RVs is part of what drew me toward a school bus build in the first place.
This particular project comes equipped with a 7.5-liter V8 that puts out 245 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. It’s traveled just 41,000 miles over two and a half decades, with the seller putting 1,000 miles on it himself.
Those power numbers are fine for this application, but expect solidly single digit fuel economy while hauling a vehicle. Still, for some, those potential downsides may beat having to create an interior for a retired school bus.
As for why this weird conversion was done: The seller says he did it because he thought it would be neat to build a cool RV to haul his side-by-side instead of towing it behind a SUV.
Check out this fun RV build on Cars & Bids. It has a few days to go and as of now has a surprisingly reasonable price!