Get big-bunked

| December 12, 2008

The Legacy II is available in six sizes.

Think a big bunk’s only for a high-end team plugged into an expensive-freight niche? Think again. Whether you’re looking just beyond factory lengths of up to 80 inches or have a more elaborate dream in mind, each one of northern Indiana’s custom sleeper shops can do just about anything. Start saving on expenses, and you could be within range of big-bunking your rig in no time.

Investment in such a unit can be a money-saver itself. Having a functional shower, toilet, kitchen and auxiliary HVAC system with generator can nix truck-stop idling as well as those trips to the truck-stop showers or lunch counters. A return-on-investment example at ARI’s website even shows a net gain when resale value and tax savings are taken into account.
Following are examples of what you can get at various price points from four of the leading custom-sleeper makers.

American Roads Model A96M by Indiana Custom Trucks

LENGTH: 96 inches

WEIGHT: 3,000 pounds

LAYOUT: Front shower/rear bunk

SHOWER/TOILET: 35-inch with cassette toilet

WATER SYSTEM: Hot water, overall 40-gallon capacity

BUNK/DINETTE: Gaucho bed with fold-down table, rear

KITCHENETTE: Passenger-side with sink


GENERATOR: Not included in price


STORAGE: Cabinets, toolbox

WINDOWS: One 24-by-16 inch, two 15-by-15 inch, double pane

APPLIANCES: TV antenna and shelf, 4.2 cubic-foot fridge (Tundra T42), microwave, Magnum 2000-Watt inverter

CONTACT: website, (800) 800-3244

This big bunk by Indiana Custom Trucks of La Grange, Ind., features a front shower/kitchenette and rear fold-out bed and breakfast area. Including a generator and roof air conditioner would add up to $10,000.

Owner-operator Jason Beggs of Gun Barrel, Texas, who’s leased to enclosed car hauler DeMoise Trucking, upgraded his Kenworth W900L’s standard 70-inch sleeper with this American Roads model in ICT’s Sundowner series in November. In his view, it’s less a luxury than a necessity.

“It made sense financially,” he says. “In this business – we pick up individual cars, we go places where there are no truck stops – we can’t afford to go out of route.”

The 96-inch bunk is the smallest size “where there’s room for a sit-down table and a shower,” says Mike Baxley, ICT general manager. The American Roads low-weight, low-cost model is perfect for “first-time buyers, fleets and smaller independent operators,” Baxley says. “We have even sold some that ended up in the drilling industry, where they are used as an operator’s cab for a drilling rig.”

Beggs says the size allows him to park anywhere, cut his engine’s idling to a bare minimum and not have to “hunt for a shower.” All that convenience saves him in operating costs.

ICT is known for higher-end sleepers. Last year, Overdrive featured a 230-inch ICT sleeper commissioned by Wisconsin team drivers Craig and Lisa Ringelstetter for their munitions hauling operation, and ICT engineering has been featured on CMT’s “Trick My Truck.”


Pro Quarters Model RWD by Double Eagle custom truck sleepers

LENGTH: 120 inches

WEIGHT: 3,250 pounds

LAYOUT: Rear shower/rear entry

SHOWER/TOILET: 40-inch rear shower with cassette toilet

WATER SYSTEM: Hot water, overall 45-gallon capacity

BUNK/DINETTE: Fold-out bed and breakfast, driver’s side rear

KITCHENETTE: Passenger-side, 48-inch counter with sink

AC/HEAT: Roof AC/heat combo

GENERATOR: Double Eagle Gen-Pac, 5 to 8 kw


STORAGE: Front wardrobe, four 20-by-8-inch drawers under kitchenette counter and lower and upper cabinets, toolbox

WINDOWS: 24-by-12-inch window passenger and driver’s side, roof vent

APPLIANCES: 15-inch LCD mounted TV with omnidirectional antenna, 6.8-cubic-foot fridge/freezer (Nova-Kool RFU8000), microwave shelf, digital alarm clock, frame mount steps with deck plate for rear entry

CONTACT: website, (260) 768-4121

With a padded-vinyl interior, roof AC, and three-cylinder Gen-Pac generator, this 120-inch, manufactured by Double Eagle Industries, has every feature of a typical shorter model, only with a little more breathing room and a larger bed size for husband-wife teams, or just more storage and accessories.

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