Federal Motorhome Company

America's finest hand crafted motorhomes since 1971.


This truck served as a flatbed farm truck until 1971, when
it was purchased for $125. I repowered it with a 1959
Pontiac 2-barrel 389, mated to a GMC truck 4-speed
transmission, driving a 2-speed rear end. I began building
the motor home body from the frame up. The picture at
right (1973) shows the shell and completed curved roof
structure.

John's Story

By 1975 the exterior shell was complete as you
see it today, including the windows, door, siding
and back porch railing, and we began using it as
a motor home.

In the snow at Willamette Pass, 1985.

In 2010, a Ford F550 disc brake system was adapted
to replace the original drum brake system. This
required a new Isuzu front axle, and custom caliper
mounts. The original rear axle was retired in favor
of a Spicer 150 rear axle housing modified to accept
the F550 caliper mounts. A Gear Vendor overdrive
was installed to compensate for the loss of the
2-speed rear axle. Custom wheel hubs were
fabricated to accept the original style Budd wheels
and the massive (15.5" x 1.5") ventilated F550 discs,
and to restore the correct track width.

By 2005, we had finally managed to wear out the old 389, so I replaced it with a fresh 455 Pontiac. Engine specifications are posted below. At the same time, the transmission was upgraded to a New Process 540 5-speed, utilizing a McLeod bell housing and clutch. I fabricated and installed the hydraulic motorcycle lift, and replaced the disintegrating original windshield frames with billet
aluminum frames.

In 1983 the exterior aluminum storage boxes were added for general storage and to accommodate a generator, an
inflatable boat, and an outboard motor. The interior was completed around the same time, incorporating a bathroom with toilet, shower, and lavatory, a forced air gas furnace, water heater and kitchen facilities, paneling, lighting, upholstery and cabinetry.

Using 900 pounds of 11" round stock and performing $7000
worth of machining, Keith of Dutchman Motor Sports created
four unique hubs to my design specifications, each weighing
approximately 60 pounds in final form.

At this point, all that remains of the original truck is the frame,
body sheet metal, dash and instruments (mostly original), some of
the suspension mounts and controls, steering wheel, and its
admirable soul.

All design, fabrication, assembly, carpentry and cabinet work, except as noted in the acknowledgements below, were performed by The Federal Motorhome Company, under the direction of CEO John M. Driscoll. My wife and partner, Valerie, accepted the responsibility for esthetic considerations, such as colors, fabric, and furniture. Her choices helped transform this vehicle into a home. The project has been a great journey over the past 42 years. We have traveled about 40,000 miles through 20 states and Canada and the time we have spent living and raising our family in it probably adds up to a year.

Carl Andersen        Dave Bue           Larry Finley

Paul Kepler            James King        James Swanson
Marvin Taylor                                    Joe Taylor

We would like to thank our friends
and these businesses for their support and assistance:


A. M. Deluxe Customs                                 Fender beads and body detail work
Jack Coble                                                     Interior varnish
Dutchman Motorsports                              Hubs and caliper mounts
Al Jones                                                         Original Maroon paint, 1983
Maslin Machine                                            Engine assembly
Major Murray                                               Performance tuning
Milwaukie Upholstery                                Couch upholstery
Tom Patana                                                   TIG welding
Performance Auto Body                            Paint restoration
Transmission Exchange                             Spec transmission
Jennifer Wilson                                           Upholstery and trim

Specifications

This vehicle averages 9.3 miles per gallon on that bilge-water, alcohol-adulterated swill they sell as gasoline these days. The drive train provides 8 useful forward ratios, and 60 MPH in top gear overdrive comes up at 2300 RPM.

1949 Federal 18M2 2-1/2 Ton Truck
1973 Pontiac 455
.030 overbore
Edelbrock aluminum heads
Edelbrock intake manifold
Edelbrock 650 carburetor
MSD HEI Ignition
Custom cam grind by Rock and Roll Engineering
Harland Sharp roller rocker arms
Pontiac RA cast iron headers
Flowmaster 70 stainless steel mufflers
Mac’s custom aluminum radiator
Mcleod bell housing and clutch
New Process 540 close ratio 5-speed transmission
Gear Vendors overdrive
Spicer 150 4.38 rear axle
Isuzu front axle
Ford F450 power steering
Ford F550 brake discs, calipers and booster
Firestone air bags and compressor
Custom wheel hubs by The Dutchman
Custom 6-hole Budd 22-1/2" wheels by Wheels Now


Federal Motorhomes is Portland’s
exclusive Federal Motorhome distributor.


Our motto:
“It’s On Back Order”


55-gallon stainless main fuel tank (regular fuel)
20-gallon reserve fuel tank (premium fuel)
10 gallon propane tank
40 gallon fresh water tank
50-gallon grey water tank
30-gallon black water tank
3 12 volt storage batteries
Storage accommodates:
14" Zodiac inflatable boat
40 HP Suzuki outboard motor
In-situ or portable generator
Vehicle dimensions:
11 feet tall 25 feet long (without motorcycle lift)
Weight approximately 15,000 pounds including:
Water, Fuel, Boat, Motorcycle, Groceries and Dogs