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What Is A Peterbilt Unibilt Sleeper? (Explained For Newbies)

Most truckers spend their days and nights in a semi truck. Such experience is very tough for drivers, even when they are not working on the wheel.

Fortunately, most high-end brands like Peterbilt have introduced a sleeper cab, also known as Unibilt Sleeper.

A sleeper cab does not only make a driver and its passenger have comfortable rest. The cab may also have features like a shower, kitchen, toilet, and whatnot.

In this article, we will invade the life of the ever famous Peterbilt Unibilt sleeper. Read on to know if it’s worth the hype.

Here’s a Short Summary of what is a Peterbilt Unibilt Sleeper:

A Peterbilt Unibilt sleeper is a cab and sleeper combination joined together to make one solid structure. This setup allowed for a larger opening between the cab and sleeper, and therefore more driver-seated room space. The sleeper consists of a bed, wardrobe, and additional storage space.

What is a Peterbilt Unibilt Sleeper?

A Peterbilt Unibilt Sleeper is a built-in sleeper in a semi truck. Peterbilt introduced it in 1993 as an upgrade of its regular sleeping cab launched in the 1960s.

The Unibilt sleeper has an increased opening allowing drivers and passengers to room around and experience a better driving seat position. It features a larger sleeping area for truckers.

Overall, it’s like a tiny home on wheels that aims to provide truckers a comfortable space to rest and unwind after reaching the maximum number of working hours.

What Features do a Peterbilt Unibilt Sleeper have?

The first Unibilt sleepers and other semi-trucks are only equipped with a built-in sleeper.

However, the Peterbilt of today offers many other features like kitchen, bathroom, amenities, and extensive sleeping beds.

Kitchen

A Peterbilt sleeper has a kitchen where truckers can cook their food. Depending on the size and model, it may include various appliances like stove, refrigerator, and microwave. 

The latest models, such as the 579 model, come with a complete package. It has a table and chairs where a trucker can eat and some storage for kitchen utensils.

Bathroom

The bathroom is small in size but enough for one person to use. However, it is has a comfortable toilet and shower. For the shower, you can use the temperature your preference – may it be hot or cold water.

Amenities 

Since Unibilt sleeper is treated as a tiny home, it has few amenities to complete the “home” vibe. It has electricity, water, AC, cooking stove, flatscreen television, washer, and many others.

Sleeper Cab

The Peterbilt Unibilt sleepers are very spacious. It feels like home with its vast sleeping beds, storage area or wardrobe, and television.

Depending on the model and size of the vehicle, some sleeper cabs like the Peterbilt 579 have an office area where truckers can do their paperwork.

What are the Parts of a Peterbilt Unibilt Sleeper?

In general, a Unibilt sleeper is composed of a right-hand access door, bed, table, storage, and wet storage to store damp items. 

While newer Unibilt sleepers still have these components, a lot of features have been introduced.

Besides the regular parts of a sleeper cab, newer models come with a bathroom, kitchen, office, and small amenities. They are more luxurious and comfortable more than ever.

Do all Peterbilt Models have a Unibilt Sleeper?

Not all Peterbilt models have a Unibilt sleeper. Peterbilt was founded in 1939. At that time, the company only manufacture regular semi trucks without sleepers at all. 

You could only have a sleeper back then through personal customization. 

It was only after three decades when Pete started to manufacture sleeper cabs. But it has been at least six decades since its founding when Unibilt sleepers were offered to the public.

The first sleeper cabs of the brand are different from the sleepers it is selling today. Unibilt sleeper is an upgrade of the usual sleeper cab, and it is more comfortable, safer, and technologically advanced.

How does Peterbilt Unibilt Sleeper Compare to a Standard Pete Cab?

A standard Pete cab is like a day cab. As you may know, a day cab is a regular truck without a sleeping cab attached to the vehicle.

A standard cab has only one compartment where trucker can load their cargoes or maximize space.

On the other hand, a Peterbilt Unibilt sleeper has a sleeping cabin where truckers can rest. It has another compartment where you can load the cargoes.

To give you a clearer picture of how one is different from the other, here are more detailed comparisons: 

Features

Peterbilt Unibilt Sleeper has many interior features such as the sleeping area, bathroom, office area, and storage compartments. It also has essential amenities for long-haul truckers such as electricity, water, AC, and television.

The day cab, however, doesn’t have a sleeping cabin. It only features a compartment located in the truck’s engine area. 

Since the existence of the sleeper on trucks, day cabs or trucks without sleeping cabins are only used for short journeys.

Comfort

Nothing beats the comfort a unibilt sleeper offers to the drivers. It is a home away from home where truckers can safely rest when working at distant destinations.

While standard semi trucks nowadays have more improved seating and cushions, sleepers are no doubt added benefit.

With this type of truck, truckers who travel long distances are compelled to endure sleeping in the driver’s seat or at the motel. 

Cost

Standard Pete cabs are less costly than Unibilt Sleeper. After all, standard trucks don’t have extra compartments and added features. They only perform the job of a semi truck which is to deliver cargoes.

A Unibilt sleeper is sold to the market out of necessity. You pay for all the features you can’t see at a standard Pete cab. Simply put, you compensate the brand for the comfort you experience with the vehicle.

Performance

Because of the extra compartment and features, the Unibilt sleeper is a lot heavier than a standard cab. As such, it is more difficult to maneuver and may not be suitable for fuel economy.

Many truckers, especially operators, still prefer the standard Pete Cab because it’s easy to drive, less costly, and not high maintenance. Drivers will only think about the cargo they have to transport.

Since it is lighter than sleeper cabs, more cargoes can be transported, and it’s good for the business. After all, it’s the payload that makes a trucking business profitable.

However, if truckers have to travel in distances, a sleeper is more advantageous and safer.

Is it Worth it to Get a Peterbilt Unibilt Sleeper?

Unibilt sleepers may or may not be worth it to some truckers and operators. 

But for those truckers who have to be on the road for days, it’s worth it. For truckers who deliver cargoes in cities or states, a Unibilt sleeper is a lot helpful. 

Instead of staying at a hotel or motel, a driver can safely rest after long hours on the road. Operators or drivers can save a lot of operational costs with a Unibilt sleeper.

However, a regular truck is more beneficial for fuel savings, maintenance costs, and weight capacity.

The only downside is that it’s not ideal for long-distance road trips. It is more expensive for truckers to use a standard truck in this type of job.

What Sizes do Peterbilt Unibilt Sleepers Come in?

Unibilt sleeper cabs come in bigger sizes. A standard Pete cab is approximately 53 feet long, while a sleeper has a standard size of 20 inches long.

However, with Unibilt sleepers alone, the size would be around 40 to 84 inches long. In particular, Peterbilt Unibilt Sleepers come with 40”, 44”, 58”, 63” 72”, 80” and 84” sizes. 

These sizes are all available in Peterbilt 579, 567, and 389. They are known to be the brand’s biggest Unibilt sleepers or sleeping cabs.

Can you Convert a Standard Peterbilt Cab Into a Unibilt Sleeper?

You can convert a standard Peterbilt cab to a Unibilt sleeper if you are willing to spend more money.

To do this, you can have Peterbilt convert it for you, which is expensive. For a lesser cost, you can hire another day cab conversion company or have it DIY.

If you are okay with investing in a customized Unibilt sleeper, we suggest you go for the Peterbilt itself. 

After all, Peterbilt is more knowledgeable on their trucks and will most likely install features similar to the original Unibilt sleepers.

Moreover, you can also convert a Unibilt sleeper into a standard Pete cab. This is the biggest advantage of a Unibilt sleeper over other sleeper cabs.

Besides that, you can sell the sleeper cab at a high resale value.

How much does a Peterbilt Unibilt Sleeper Cost?

A brand new Peterbilt Unibilt sleeper with the latest model, say a 579 model, will cost around $200 000. 

In comparison, a used one with the same model manufactured from 2017 to 2020 may cost more or less $150,000. 

In most cases, the manufacturing date will affect the cost of the Pete Unibilt sleeper even if it has the same model. This is because every year, Peterbilt introduces new features; hence, the high price.

If the sleeper cab is the only thing that matters to you, you can go for older sleeper models like 389, 379, 567 models. 

They are less costly as their price is less than $150,000. The price will also vary if you will buy second-hand or used Unibilt sleepers.

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