No CDL Needed: 1991 International Motorhome

I’m not quite sure what compels you to build something like this, other than the local R/V dealer had nothing stock that suited your specific needs. This 1991 International is a truly custom motorhome that’s on the market due to its original creator passing away. Said to be a long-term project that took seven years to complete, it is basically the ultimate spectator vehicle for any number of motorsports events. Find it here on craigslist in Vermont for $60K, or go here if the ad disappears.

It’s hard to imagine letting something like go to waste after the previous owner passed away. It truly has every comfort of home on board with seemingly high-grade materials throughout. The seller says it’s titled and registered as a motorhome, so no CDL needed. The specs on this are impressive, many of which will likely only register as important to the most seasoned R/V and/or commercial big rig expert, but they include: “Engine 350 Cummins: Big cam 4 with jake break 3 stage. Trans: 13 speed, rears 444 ratio; Spring Ride Tires 22.5 low profile; height 13’4”; engine, rears and transmission rebuilt, all new.”

Inside has practically every luxury you can imagine, or at least everything you’d need for being on the road most of the year and can afford the fuel bills. From a king-sized bed (upstairs) to a full kitchen, shower and bathroom – not to mention the BBQ grill setup off the back of the rig – you’d be the most popular truck in the paddock at any NASCAR event of your choosing. There’s even an attached trailer designed to carry a golf cart and dune buggy. If it had room for an airboat, I’d be a potential buyer (half-kidding).

I’m sure with any one-off creation like this, there are going to be custom touches that could be improved. But really, if you’re the type who’d rather hit the open road than spend half the year in the snow and cold, this rig becomes an appealing alternative to a once-a-year vacation to some tropical island. Of course, if you’ve got the scratch to buy this at $60K, you can likely afford to do both. For our potential buyers: would you consider a rig like this or still trundle down to the local dealer to get something that costs twice as much with a warranty?

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Comments

  1. Tom Justice

    The mileage is listed at 500K and nothing about the age or miles on the motor. Other than that, if the motor is good, 60K seems like a pretty good deal for all you get.

    • Beaver

      It says that the Motor trans and rears have been rebuilt I am guessing that meand acomplete in frame on the Motor!

    • scottymac

      “…engine, rears and transmission rebuilt, all new.” Under the second picture.

    • Jerry G

      it is interesting that no pictures of the bathroom

      • Darla White

        Ran out of room in add for bathroom pictures

      • Darla White

        I can only put on picture at a time here

      • Darla White

        it’s good size the shower is the same you put in house

      • sluggo

        Well, Jerry G, I guess we know where YOUR mind is at! :)…

        Showed this rig to a friend, and we all agreed its AWESOME!
        But,…. No hot tub?

    • Darla White

      509,880 on odometer 108,000 on rebuild was done at 400,000

  2. Jay E.

    I don’t know how they can say no CDL is required. I’d be really surprised if the total GVW of the steering and drivers isnt over 26000lbs, regardless of the actual vehicle weight. It may depend on the state. The first time you skip a weigh station you would be lit up.

    Like 1
    • Dave

      Because it’s registered as an RV. Most, not all but most states don’t require a CDL even when it has air brakes.

    • Richard Gaskill

      Only commercial vehicles are subject to FMCSA regulations. Many semis are used by hobbyists to haul antique trucks and they are not commercial areas. One key is whether any use of the vehicle is written off as a business expense. Then it becomes a CMV. Race car haulers have been nailed because they displayed sponsor’s stickers.

    • Alan (Michigan) Member

      As Richard mentions, it is the titling which matters. So-called “Private Coach” or motorhome vehicles are not subject to drivers having a CDL. Some of the bigger class A units are basically interstate-style busses which have living quarters instead of rows of seats. And weight does not matter. Current high-line coaches can easily tip 40K pounds.

      There *are* some state legislatures and DOT’s which are looking at trying to change the testing or licensing requirements for some larger motor homes. It seems as though that is a tough hill to climb though, as it has been this way since the beginning of the home-on-wheels days decades ago.

      I just bought a vintage class A unit, with a GVWR of #22,000. Depending on what I tow behind it, commercial licensing for GCVWR would be necessary, *if* I were to use it for making money…..

      • Dennis M

        Many states require a higher level operators license based on weight. For example Illinois requires a “Class B” for anything with a GVWR over 26k and a “Class A” if over 26k and towing more than 10k. These are non-CDL but require a driving test at a commercial Secretary of State facility. My Class A says: “Class: All single and combination vehicles except cycles”

    • Darla White

      I am the owner of the international it is titled and registered as RV and states” not for hire” on the side. We have traveled over half the US and drove by every DOT. For the hell of it we pulled in at two differant stops NC and Tenn and was told keep moving we don’t need to stop.

      Like 1
      • Rube Goldberg Member

        Darla, cool rig. As a retired outlaw trucker there’s a rule of thumb, you NEVER volunteer going into a scale.

        Like 1
    • Jimbosidecar

      I have a somewhat similar motorhome. Built on a Kodiak platform with a Cat diesel. No CDL needed and I’ve passed many weigh stations without a problem. Sometime a sign will light up telling me to pull in but I pass them by and have never been pulled over for it. With the 2 tanks I can drive about 800 miles on a fill up. And that’s towing a trailer loaded with motorcycles. Mine came with a 4:30 rear end which I traded out for a 3:90. Still kinda high but I can cruise all day long at 65 mph

  3. Jason

    Those engines will run a million miles plus if maintained

  4. unclewill

    A used home built RV with half a million miles on it for $60k? Not a chance. Buy a better bus, buy a used Prevost.

    • Beaver

      As some one that has been in the transportation Business for about 58 years Prevost are the bottom of the list. They look great but are the cheep end of all big motor coaches Look at a MCI for the long run!!

    • Dallas

      Please show me a listing for a used Prevost for 60k.

      • Beaver

        Go to MCI sales or and Bus dealer and look for a 1991 Prevost ! Or even a newer one that you could remodel or one that has been done

      • unclewill

        Search keyword “Prevost” on RVTrader.com, sort price low to high…

    • Chuck

      Yea search for a Prevost if your buying one for 60k its one worn out old piece of crap. I’d take a 500k truck /rv over a Prevost any day!!

      • Darla White

        509,880 on Odometer 108,000 on rebuild was all rebuilt at 400,000

    • Dallas

      Per subsequent posts to mine in re to a $60k I have gone to RV Trader and found bus conversations for the amount asked for this unit. Not much inventory but yes, availabile. As my mother says “Never say never”

  5. Rube Goldberg Member

    This is the coolest unit to come through here ( of course an old trucker would say that) I love the stainless wing on top, those were very popular for owner/operators for a while, and they DO help. While I’ve never been a cabover man, drove several, and hated everyone, the IH 9670 was one of the most popular trucks. It took the place of the old 4070 Transtars, another great truck. To answer the CDL question, 4 states require a CDL, Wash.DC and Hawaii, if over 26,000 lbs and Indiana and Wisconsin ( way to go Wisconsin) if over 45 feet in length. My only problem with this setup is the 4:44 gears. That was the gear ratio to have when 55 was the limit, today, it’s more like in the low 3’s. This thing will be hollerin’ at 65, trust me, although, the BC Cummins, my motor of choice, can be held wide open all day ( and night) without a care. Many are still used as stationary motors. My last truck, a Pete 359 daycab, I was going to do this, put a small camper on the back, but decided, after 35 years in those tin cans, I didn’t want to do that whilst retired. If you think this is a lot of money, and it is, try pricing a new motorhome today. Thanks, Jeff, great find!

    Like 1
    • TriPowerVette

      @Rube Goldberg – Among my many life occupations, I was the EDP guy for a now-defunct trucking company; Highway Express (trucking) / Driver Dispatch (self explanatory). I still have the ball cap.

      Among other things, I wrote a small service / maintenance program, to make sure the trucks all got services on time.

      Your final truck, the Peterbuilt, was a fine truck indeed. Sounds like you had a pretty good career.

      • jackthemailman

        Thank you for NOT calling it a “trucker” cap. I’ve always called them “gimme” caps, as in “… and gimme one a’ them, too.”

      • Rube Goldberg Member

        Thanks Tri, 35 years and over 3 million accident/ticket free miles( a record I’m proud of). I did ok, never got rich, but I had a blast. This was the last truck, an ’85 Pete.

        Like 1
  6. Klharper

    These are actually fairly common, though most have been converted to a 4×2 in order to reduce weight, maintenance cost and increase fuel economy. The campers do not need the 6×4 setup either.
    They do make some economic sense also as a used vehicle with between 350 and 500k miles can be had for mid 20’s. Converting them to a camper will often cost 30 to 40k but you end up with a vehicle that can tow better than any pickup and will last another 500k.
    Mileage still sucks at around 5 to 7 mpg though.
    If you are a serious track hound it really works out pretty well.
    As far as CDL most are derated to a class7 which does not require a CDL but let me forewarn you it drives like a big truck. Read lousy brakes, no syncromesh in the gear box. Ect ECT.
    I have a CDL and it scares me the things that you can hop in and drive without any training.
    Finally in the industry the freightliner is nicknamed the freight shaker and it is the low cost option in the trucking industry. If I was doing this I would start with something like a Volvo 780. The initial price is a little higher but they ride so much better.

    • SAM61

      Thankyou for interjecting some common sense. Just because it says no CDL does not make it easy to drive.

      Nice build, I would rather have a GMC Eleganza or bus/coach.

    • Darla White

      The international motorhome gets 10 miles to the gal without the trailer and 8 with the trailer. We had 30 yrs of over the road driving in big rigs. We have a cabinet of first place tropheys from over 20 shows with her. She was a labor of love and is much more than just a motorhome.

    • Darla White

      509,880 on Odometer 108,000 on the rebuilt all was done at 400,000

  7. Curtis

    I think this is simply flat out cool! With a little cash in pocket it’d be fun to bargain for it face to face & a great cruiser for weekends at any circle track or drag strip.

  8. mark

    The initial question was why would someone build something like this? The answer may be that the person went to an RV dealer and was given the brush off because he may not have looked like he could afford an upper end model. Maybe he built this and took it back to the dealer to show them the error of their ways. Years ago I knew a very wealthy man who looked at a new Dodge Viper at a local dealership. They would nt let him test drive it as he was dressed in jeans and a t-shirt and was very plain spoken. He left drove a couple of hundred miles down the road and paid cash for one from another dealership. A day or so later he stopped by the first dealer just to show them what he bought.

    • Dave Mc

      That’s why when I go to any dealer I try to look like a homeless person. Gives me time to look around before being swarmed.

    • moosie Craig M. Bryda

      Same supposedly happened to Eddie Murphy when he first hooked up with Saturday Night Live. He was in the market for a new Corvette so he went to Malcom Konner Chevrolet on Paramus N . J. only to be ignored. Rumor has it he found another dealer willing to take his cash and returned to Konners honking his horn and giving the middle finger salute.

    • ICEMAN from Winnipeg

      1972. Boston Bruins centre Derek Sanderson signed with the new rebel league World Hockey Association Philadelphia Blazers. A huge multimillion dollar contract. Story goes that dressed in cowboy boots, jeans, and a jean jacket, and 1970s hippie long hair, he walked into a Philly Rolls Royce dealership. The snooty British sales rep told Derek he could not afford to look at the Silver Shadow on the showroom floor, let alone buy it. Mr Sanderson demands to see the dealer manager, and tells the manager he will buy the car, CASH, on the proviso that the snooty sales rep get zero commission. He went across the street to his bank, got a bank draft, and bought the car.

  9. Doug Edwards

    Stated it has spring ride. I don’t think I could take the pounding.

    • Darla White

      The truck actually rides like air ride not a lot of weight

  10. john m

    The question I have is whether the average person has the skills to drive something this big and to row all those gears?

    • David Leech

      Or pump their own fuel in Oregon

      • ICEMAN from Winnipeg

        There is no gas or diesel in Oregon. Everyone there takes public transit, which runs on rainbows and puppy dog farts.

      • geomechs geomechs Member

        My co-worker is from Medford. He says that they run on fairy dust and unicorn whiz….

  11. Nrg8

    I like it, but this is like the snowbirds with their class A pushers. Getting behind the wheel never driven anything bigger than a Buick, always overloaded, towing a toad to boot. Weights not balanced, tires that have lots of tread but 10+ y/o. You need training for this, I don’t care how big your old weiner is. That’s another thing, rv stores don’t care if you come with your scooter and O2 tank. Classed as a motorhome opens so many grey areas where bad stuff is gonna happen. Like no yearly proper inspections, checking pots, adjusting slacks. That is some scary stuff rolling on the highways. Oops sorry rant over. Nice rig for the right person.

    • Darla White

      Your right, it takes a trucker to understand a truck like this, that’s why I will be selective on who gets her.

  12. Jay B

    Saw this rig at the Truck Nationals in Carlisle PA one year, it was well built…

  13. Rube Goldberg Member

    Just to be clear, I highly doubt someone with no experience with these is even going to attempt to buy this. It can be very intimidating, especially a cabover ( terrible right side blind spot) Most modern motorhomes today are nothing more than big cars and drive as such. This is for that old trucker that had enough (like me) and can’t get it out of their system.( unlike me) I didn’t see the spring ride thing, but that’s pure silliness. Air ride is the standard of the industry now, and makes a world of difference, Like Klharper sez, there’s no reason to have a twin screw and one axle should be made a “tag axle”, (no guts). Saves weight and better mileage, from 5 mpg to maybe 7. Might want to make a note of that too. Sorry, that’s all a BC Cummins will get, loaded or empty.

    • Darla White

      It gets 10 without trailer and 8 with trailer

  14. Joe Haska

    Great comments and info. I really don’t know what’s up with this, of course one part of me just screams, how cool is this, I want it! Then you get realistic, I want a P-51 too, but I don’t have one for many of the same reasons, you might not want this. But, in the RV world that I have seen 60k is chump change, The good stuff is well into the 6 figures. I think there is someone who can fit into this seat, I just wish it was me.

    • geomechs geomechs Member

      I want a P51 too. Especially a Razorback. But I’ll have to settle for 1/72 scale….

  15. SSPBill

    I noticed something just like this a few towns over years back. I recall it was a single axle. It was being used to pull a 30 something foot off shore power boat. Not the best launch-retrieve vehicle but I’m sure it didn’t even know the boat was back there.

  16. Dave Mc

    You can get a brand new fifth wheel trailer for that or less in the off season.
    I’ll stick with that.

    • Hoos Member

      True, but then you have to add the price of a reliable tow vehicle. I love this thing. I learned to drive a trailer in an International cabover back in the eighties. My wife however, would not appreciate climbing up into this, not to mention lifting the dogs in and out.

      • Dave Mc

        What I like though is that the tow vehicle becomes the driver once you arrive.
        To each his own.

  17. Martin Sparkes

    Also an old trucker and I have some thoughts. The leaf spring suspension is a deal killer. I remember travelling even fully loaded with spring suspension and it makes you want to put your fist through the windshield after a while. It is this rythmic harsh crashing that travels straight up your spine. And since this thing would not be close to being grossed out it would be 10 times worse all the time, especially on a concrete highway.

    The motor is a good one but old school. You would fog out the campground completely in the morning when you pulled out. As in maybe never be allowed back. My bus has a 3208 cat which is bad enough, but these things are way worse, and we cringe when we fire ours up. Also, the old big cam era cummins were what they called high speed diesels. Not happy unless they were up over 2100 rpm. So you either you listen to it scream all day (which I kind of liked as a 20 year old) or perhaps he has a rto13 transmission with overdrive and dropped the revs a bit which would be fine on this unit as it wouldn’t weigh much.

    • Rube Goldberg Member

      I agree on the spring ride is torture, and fogging the neighbors, and that worthless boat anchor, the 3208, however, I believe you may be referring to Detroit Diesels being the “high speed” diesels where you had to “keep the needle against the pin”, as BC Cummins usually redline at 1900.

      • Martin Sparkes

        3208s are not actually worthless boat anchors in fact. Pretty good motors.
        And with the early Cummins you had to grab a gear at 1600 or higher or it would fall on its face. With the 3406 Cat of the day you could lug them down to 1200 and they would still pull, and cruising rpm was quite a bit lower. In the mid 90’s Cummins started copying Cat and built motors that developed torque lower down. Gear fast run slow was the mantra then and still is.

      • Rube Goldberg Member

        You’re right, ANY Cat is a good motor. The reason I said that, I drove a Louisville Ford tandem dump truck with a 3208 non-turbo with a 5×4 transmissions ( that’ll keep you busy) It was such a gutless unit, I think loaded, maybe 45 mph, tops. And you hit a tar crack, and you’d have to grab a lower gear. I’m sure the turbo would have helped, but I was getting paid by the hour, so I didn’t care how slow it was.
        And for the record, 1200 is a bit low for a Cat. Mack, now THOSE motors you could lug! Most Macks I drove only had 5 speeds.

    • scottymac

      How expensive to install lighter spring packs or pull some leaves out of the existing ones?

      • Rube Goldberg Member

        Actually, by looking at the unit, the rear tires are squatting a bit, so there is probably a fair amount of weight on this thing, it’s not like running around “bobtail” ( no trailer) It probably rides so-so. If you take leaves out, it compromises the total weight you can haul. I suppose you could do that with this, but you wouldn’t gain much. Air ride is so much easier, and practically maintenance free. Replacing leaf springs is no fun, I’ve done it.

    • mtshootist1

      Martin that description of the leaf springs makes my back hurt, used to run a cabover International with a Detroit Diesel hauling grain in double bottoms from Colby KS to KC on I-70 when it was all concrete about the time the 55 mph speed limit went into effect, every expansion joint in that trip, whomp, whomp, whomp, it was like being tortured.

  18. DB

    I like it but is it logical or practical for me? No. Would I want it? Yes.

  19. Solosolo KEN TILLY Member

    Please excuse my UK ignorance but, what is a CDL? I take it that it is a type of licence.

    • Mikessp

      Commercial Drivers License

    • Mark S.

      Yeah Ken, it’s a special heavy vehicle license.
      The concept of this thing seems real cool but, after already thrashing around in a 10 wheel dump truck for over 30 yrs., I think I would opt for something more modern w/ air ride and an automatic.

    • Beaver

      A cdl is a commercial drivers license. In the states over the road truck drivers must have one!

    • Klharper

      Commercial Drivers License

  20. Bobsmyuncle

    This is how I’m envisioning retirement.

    While I have my license most of my experience is with a straight truck and for the past 15 years it’s been city driving. I’m not a trucker I just drive trucks.

    This has been VERY informative thanks to the info from real truckers!

    Price seems awfully good compared to a new dually pickup and fifth wheel setup.

  21. Joe D.

    I agree 100% on the air ride, though roads have improved immensely about 20 years ago. I recall I-80 in PA and I-84 in NY being a bucking bronco ride, basically from state line to state line before they repaved it. I-40 in W. Memphis AR needed a foot of asphalt to smooth it out! I would still buy this if I had the fun money. Hell, I’d be happy living in it!

  22. Nrg8

    The cold start is a little sooty you say. I have been to some pretty buggy campgrounds. Like drop the awning, put up the add a room and look like you have hives on your exsposed skin. With that pipe down low you could do a lap around your bay and kill the mosquitos, the squirrels, the deers and probably anyone unfortunate to have slept in a tent. But the survivors would be happy or mutated. Yep. Rollin’ Coal.

  23. gto4ever

    Cool as the day is long!! Great find

  24. Wrong Way

    This is a awesome rig! Perfectly suited to live in year round! I have been looking at a lot of tiny house ads and this is cheaper than a custom built one on a trailer! Great price even if you may have to make a few repairs!

    • Darla White

      No repairs everything new

  25. Cmarv

    That is a cool unit , get a set of 3.42 center sections for about $1500 and get 7-8 MPG and be the baddest cabover motorhome on the highway . Or get a 3.42 air ride cut off for $3500 and welder up . Then get a divorce and live in it .

  26. PeterK

    I had a Kenworth T600 set up this way. I drove it almost 900k miles in 9 years. The biggest drawback to this unit that I see is the spring front suspension. This can be alleviated with an air bag add on suspension. The 13speed will take a lil getting used to, the 444 rears won’t give the best fuel economy but with 200+ gallons of fuel , you will have the option of picking where you’ll buy it. A rig like this falls into the gray area on being an RV. If it has running water (white, black, and gray tanks) you wont have an issue. If it doesn’t I’d go buy a BLuebird Wanderlodge bus instead. One other thing to keep in mind is the cost of ownership. Its not for the feint of heart.

    • Darla White

      It has 250 gals of water 40gal for gray 60gal for black

  27. David Miraglia

    I’d rather have a converted MC9 or MC12 than this monster.

  28. geomechs geomechs Member

    Well, here I am, at the end of the day, after all the good comments have been made. But I can’t look at a neat, retired truck and NOT comment. Like Rube says, a 2-storey is nasty to drive. I’ve only driven customers’ COE trucks and they were bad enough. However, some have them and are very happy with them. I think this is a great way to put an old workhorse back on the road where it will be appreciated. That old ‘Columbus Vibrator’ will take it for many miles and bring you back safe and sound. A real mosquito killer when it’s cold; just stay upwind. The 4.44 gears will allow you to get into high and not have to shift again for the rest of the trip. I drove a JJ-9500 GMC with a 318 Detroit/RTO and it absolutely NEEDED the 4.44 gears. Downhill with a tailwind helped. That truck is why my ears are bad today. This looks like a great way to enjoy the road, and tow the car trailer to the next show while you’re at it….

    • KSwheatfarmer

      Make mine a conventional

    • KSwheatfarmer

      Make mine a needle nose Pete with an 8v92 TA please

  29. sluggo

    I know a LOT of people who have downsized and or retired and live the RV lifestyle, the many posters have a good point this is NOT the rig for most people, but its super cool and a bargain compared to most on the road today.
    Check out the new Sprinter vans (Mercedes) converted into micro motor homes. Super cool but the prices will leave you breathless. This one would be the coolest RV in the campground.

    For one of the west coasts NICEST destinations, see:

    http://www.lagunadelsol.com/

    Those hot tubs and pools are calling my name. Live life simply.
    Like KOA campgrounds only cooler.

  30. tasker

    I THINK it is way cool and only wish Darla the best of luck in finding the next care taker. Sorry for your loss, you can tell this was a labor of love!

  31. Rube Goldberg Member

    Since we’re still talkin’ about this cool rig, one should really have “up stacks”. While these exhaust pipes look cool, you’re going to blow diesel fumes in peoples faces, especially with an old Cummins and that’s very irritating. You may get the #1 salute.

  32. Darla White

    They are set up to blow down to the ground, not side ways in people,s faces nope never got a salute always a thumbs up

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