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Old 03-22-2010, 09:59 PM   #391
victor441
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cellar Yeti
One problem is I live in California. And registration/licensing/tax fees here are crazy high. I'd use another state but I plan on using my sisters address while I am floating.

One way around emissions is to get a diesel rig. I also plan on getting something older and under 10k so I hope that helps with the taxes and registration fees. If anyone has any info on small old RV registration in California I'd love to hear it.

I must seek out this jkam for advice...
don't count on the diesel angle, just spoke to a guy this weekend w/ a Dodge Sprinter (5 cyl. Mercedes diesel) and he said he has to get it smogged which really surprised me, also thought they were exempt...maybe some diesel vehicles are?? . If you can use an address in the right rural California Co. there is no semiannual inspection though, only when a vehicle is bought or sold...
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Old 03-23-2010, 12:08 AM   #392
Cellar Yeti
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Quote:
Originally Posted by victor441
don't count on the diesel angle, just spoke to a guy this weekend w/ a Dodge Sprinter (5 cyl. Mercedes diesel) and he said he has to get it smogged which really surprised me, also thought they were exempt...maybe some diesel vehicles are?? . If you can use an address in the right rural California Co. there is no semiannual inspection though, only when a vehicle is bought or sold...
I wonder what counties need smog testing. Either way, I'll probably just register it in Nevada with a mail forwarding service.

Been doing some research the past few days. I decided I am going with a diesel. A few sources said diesel engines were more expensive to maintain. But the information I gleaned from the internet stated otherwise. Every 3k miles the oil needs to be changed as well as the oil filter. Which might cost more if you paid someone. But changing the oil and filter seem very straight forward, as did the glow plug.

I'm willing to learn to do those for the better gas mileage and longer engine life (300-500k vs 200-250k) Especially since my rig might end up being kind of heavy.

I'm going with a full high top cargo van, diesel. Standard interior headroom is about 4.5 feet. Going to try and get a full high top (Extra 24") for a total of 6.5" of headroom. I want between 6-6.5. Trying to find a 4WD van, but it's hard.

Already doing some research on having a 2nd and 3rd hitch receiver added so can mount a box on the bumper. I want it to sit flush with the bottom of the bumper and come up in an L shape to sit on top of the bumper. Bolt it down and set the hinge a few inches from the back of the van. Then bolt/weld a bike mount on top of the boxes lid with a folding single rail ramp to roll a bike up and onto the box.

The back doors will be temporarily sealed so if I really need access to rip something out or replace it I can just pull the weather stripping out and crack it open.

I want to spend about 1-5k on a van. And another 5k or so on the conversion with a 1-2k buffer.

Right now I am researching costs and planning to start with the bare minimum. Prepping the inside of the van, insulating, paneling, and running electrical and plumbing. Already know I am going to use 1" pine furring screwed to the rib with stainless sheet metal screws. Insulate between the ribs and stuff insulation into the holes. Then I'm going to run electrical through the walls and plumbing through the floors and panel the walls with Baltic birch. Use the same stuff to make the cabinets and crap. Electrical is probably going to be a 50 amp single block breaker. When I eventually install solar panels I'll do 250-300 watts with a pure sine inverter and a 1000-1500 watt charge controller. Better to have more than I need than too little. I also want to wire a shunt switch to the alternator so the alternator can help charge my battery banks while I am driving. Going to use LED lighting all around. I'm thinking of 4-6 6v 200 ampere 6 volt golf cart batteries wired in series. I read it's better this way.

One water pump with replaceable components, maybe adjustable. Probably 5+ GPM to push water through a reverse osmosis filter. And a secondary large sediment filter pump to pull water from streams and ponds into a pre carbon filter into the semi-freshwater tank. I think I am going to go 25/25 for fresh and gray water. No black water. I'll be investing in an Incinolet incarcerating toiler. Kinda pricey at 1.5-2k but worth it I think.

Still lots of stuff to research and price. But it should be fun.
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Old 03-23-2010, 01:40 AM   #393
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cellar Yeti
I wonder what counties need smog testing. Either way, I'll probably just register it in Nevada with a mail forwarding service.

Been doing some research the past few days. I decided I am going with a diesel. A few sources said diesel engines were more expensive to maintain. But the information I gleaned from the internet stated otherwise. Every 3k miles the oil needs to be changed as well as the oil filter. Which might cost more if you paid someone. But changing the oil and filter seem very straight forward, as did the glow plug.

I'm willing to learn to do those for the better gas mileage and longer engine life (300-500k vs 200-250k) Especially since my rig might end up being kind of heavy.

I'm going with a full high top cargo van, diesel. Standard interior headroom is about 4.5 feet. Going to try and get a full high top (Extra 24") for a total of 6.5" of headroom. I want between 6-6.5. Trying to find a 4WD van, but it's hard.

Already doing some research on having a 2nd and 3rd hitch receiver added so can mount a box on the bumper. I want it to sit flush with the bottom of the bumper and come up in an L shape to sit on top of the bumper. Bolt it down and set the hinge a few inches from the back of the van. Then bolt/weld a bike mount on top of the boxes lid with a folding single rail ramp to roll a bike up and onto the box.

The back doors will be temporarily sealed so if I really need access to rip something out or replace it I can just pull the weather stripping out and crack it open.

I want to spend about 1-5k on a van. And another 5k or so on the conversion with a 1-2k buffer.

Right now I am researching costs and planning to start with the bare minimum. Prepping the inside of the van, insulating, paneling, and running electrical and plumbing. Already know I am going to use 1" pine furring screwed to the rib with stainless sheet metal screws. Insulate between the ribs and stuff insulation into the holes. Then I'm going to run electrical through the walls and plumbing through the floors and panel the walls with Baltic birch. Use the same stuff to make the cabinets and crap. Electrical is probably going to be a 50 amp single block breaker. When I eventually install solar panels I'll do 250-300 watts with a pure sine inverter and a 1000-1500 watt charge controller. Better to have more than I need than too little. I also want to wire a shunt switch to the alternator so the alternator can help charge my battery banks while I am driving. Going to use LED lighting all around. I'm thinking of 4-6 6v 200 ampere 6 volt golf cart batteries wired in series. I read it's better this way.

One water pump with replaceable components, maybe adjustable. Probably 5+ GPM to push water through a reverse osmosis filter. And a secondary large sediment filter pump to pull water from streams and ponds into a pre carbon filter into the semi-freshwater tank. I think I am going to go 25/25 for fresh and gray water. No black water. I'll be investing in an Incinolet incarcerating toiler. Kinda pricey at 1.5-2k but worth it I think.

Still lots of stuff to research and price. But it should be fun.
go for broke on the insulation.Are you saying you will have only an inch?will keep you warm or cool,you know it gets darn hot inside a car/van in the sun.I reckon thin ply sheets will make better lining
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Old 03-23-2010, 02:52 PM   #394
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My Dad had a Gas station in diesel Country (= rural Austria); changing oil every 3.000 ml ? and filter, too ? WTF - on an inner city delivery van may be - you drive it sedate on the highway, you can easily do double and change the filter every second time only.
plus, if you change the oil often, use a cheap brew in summer, but take care what you choose in winter ( if you have a winter)- cold starts do wear the engine.

have fun


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Old 03-23-2010, 06:59 PM   #395
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While I've never owned one I believe a more realistic concern with diesel is water in the fuel.

Making sure you have a good fuel filter and replace it often is more important than oil changes.
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Old 03-23-2010, 09:52 PM   #396
Cellar Yeti
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Thanks for that tip guys. I'll do some more in depth research and calling around about that stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by advNZer?
go for broke on the insulation.Are you saying you will have only an inch?will keep you warm or cool,you know it gets darn hot inside a car/van in the sun.I reckon thin ply sheets will make better lining
The depth of the ribs is a about 3". I plan to use about 2" of recycled blue jean insulation and another inch of foam insulation panel with a radiant barrier. I'll then use stainless drywall screws to secure some 1" pine furring to the ribs and for the walling I'll use 1/2"-3/4" Baltic Burch. This will give me an R-Value of roughly 16.

I've read a lot of van conversions where the owner has done this exact same thing and the van stays very comfortable in the summer and winter.
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Old 03-24-2010, 08:48 AM   #397
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cellar Yeti
I'm willing to learn to do those for the better gas mileage and longer engine life (300-500k vs 200-250k) Especially since my rig might end up being kind of heavy.
the longer engine life only comes into play if you plan to circumnavigate the globe 10 times (250k miles).
as far as fuel mileage goes, the difference only matters all that much if, again, you plan to circumnavigate the globe.
now for some diesel "cons" to consider:
  • it's harder to find diesel fuel than gasoline in many areas. don't believe me? go to baja.
  • it's harder to find parts & mechanics for a diesel engine in many areas
  • how can you tell if a diesel engine has thrown a rod? they always rattle like they've thrown a rod
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cellar Yeti
I'm going with a full high top cargo van, diesel. Standard interior headroom is about 4.5 feet. Going to try and get a full high top (Extra 24") for a total of 6.5" of headroom. I want between 6-6.5. Trying to find a 4WD van, but it's hard.
the lousy economy has driven down the price of most things, including RVs. you might very well find a great RV for a smokin' price that has everything you need, saving you a lot of work & $$$$. have you searched craigslist yet?
just a suggestion.
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Old 03-24-2010, 09:28 AM   #398
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Heres a high top 4x4 diesel van on craigslist for 3k

http://losangeles.craigslist.org/sgv...648917484.html

Also if you're not dead set on 4wd you could always make it a pre-runner type van, 2wd plus a locker could get you pretty much anywhere you would want to take a big van.
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Old 03-24-2010, 11:37 AM   #399
Cellar Yeti
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy FL
Heres a high top 4x4 diesel van on craigslist for 3k

http://losangeles.craigslist.org/sgv...648917484.html

Also if you're not dead set on 4wd you could always make it a pre-runner type van, 2wd plus a locker could get you pretty much anywhere you would want to take a big van.
Could you explain that to me?

I think I am going with gasoline. I've done some calling around and it seems the cons far outweigh the cons and conveniences. Especially for the driving I'll be doing, gasoline is just more economical considering the price of diesel and the amount of driving I will be doing. Plus the maintenance cost.
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Old 03-24-2010, 12:42 PM   #400
mpanther
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cellar Yeti
Could you explain that to me?

I think I am going with gasoline. I've done some calling around and it seems the cons far outweigh the cons and conveniences. Especially for the driving I'll be doing, gasoline is just more economical considering the price of diesel and the amount of driving I will be doing. Plus the maintenance cost.
Gas has some real advantages.

but as to the cost of diesel fuel. it is only about $0.20 a gal more average than regular and they get Much better mileage per gallon, in same/same applications.
My dodge with a built 360 gas got 6 mpg pulling my 18000lbs 5th wheel.
If it had a diesel in the truck it would have gotten 8mpg. doesn't sound like much, but it really is.
Not as much benefit if you aren't running heave though.

But say your van would get 12 mpg on gas and 15 as a diesel. that would quickly offset the extra cost of fuel and maintenance. but maybe not the extra purchase cost.

My dad runs Rotella T 5w-40 synthetic ($20 at walmart) in his F550 diesel. he does oil lab testing to decide when to change the oil. and regularly gets over 10,000 miles between changes.
also, most diesels just need oil and oil, fuel, air filter changes to stay in good running order. but a gas needs also spark plus, wires, cap & rotor.

don't shy away from a diesel that meets your needs if you get a good price.
But getting a gas won't be a problem either. they are just different.




To the OP and the thread.
while I find this as a related "mostly" on topic sub discussion.
what do you all think?
does it belong here or ?
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Old 03-24-2010, 01:50 PM   #401
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I’m about to pack all of my things into storage, sell or throw out what I don’t need and ship my bike to the Mainland. My plan is to camp a lot of the time and would like to keep my budget at $100 dollars a day, including things like insurance, maintenance, etc. I plan to be on the road six or more months and hope to see from Vancouver to Texas - Nova Scotia to Key Wet.

I’m retired at the moment, lucky enough to have a pension and some health insurance. I’m hoping $100 dollars (give or take some) a day is realistic. If I find a place that I really like plan on staying awhile, I have no time obligations. Also thinking of getting rid of the Harley and buying a BMW GS so I can see more of the less traveled.

Cool thread, wish I was doing it now, hope to start my adventure soon.
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Old 03-24-2010, 01:57 PM   #402
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricD10563
Iím hoping $100 dollars (give or take some) a day is realistic.
that sounds like quite a lot to me, unless you're staying in motels.
if you're (free) camping & just tooling around on your motorcycle, you should be able to need a lot less per day.
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Old 03-24-2010, 03:41 PM   #403
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricD10563
I’m about to pack all of my things into storage, sell or throw out what I don’t need and ship my bike to the Mainland. My plan is to camp a lot of the time and would like to keep my budget at $100 dollars a day, including things like insurance, maintenance, etc. I plan to be on the road six or more months and hope to see from Vancouver to Texas - Nova Scotia to Key Wet.

I’m retired at the moment, lucky enough to have a pension and some health insurance. I’m hoping $100 dollars (give or take some) a day is realistic. If I find a place that I really like plan on staying awhile, I have no time obligations. Also thinking of getting rid of the Harley and buying a BMW GS so I can see more of the less traveled.

Cool thread, wish I was doing it now, hope to start my adventure soon.
Could make more money on the bike selling it in Hawaii instead of the mainland.

A GS650/800, KTM 640-990 , or similar sure would open up your routing options.

Best of luck on setting it all up.
and when you hit Las Vegas, I got a beer for you.
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Old 03-24-2010, 07:12 PM   #404
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Eric

Quote:
Originally Posted by EricD10563
Iím about to pack all of my things into storage, sell or throw out what I donít need and ship my bike to the Mainland. My plan is to camp a lot of the time and would like to keep my budget at $100 dollars a day, including things like insurance, maintenance, etc. I plan to be on the road six or more months and hope to see from Vancouver to Texas - Nova Scotia to Key Wet.

Iím retired at the moment, lucky enough to have a pension and some health insurance. Iím hoping $100 dollars (give or take some) a day is realistic. If I find a place that I really like plan on staying awhile, I have no time obligations. Also thinking of getting rid of the Harley and buying a BMW GS so I can see more of the less traveled.

Cool thread, wish I was doing it now, hope to start my adventure soon.
Great Idea, I rode a Harley for nearly a decade and found to be so restricted as far as where I could travel. Having converted to the dual sport or at least dirt road type bikes its like a new world has opened up. I found a statistic that stated that only 35% of roads in Canada are paved and only about 65% are paved in the US. When my Harley riding buddies start talking "the freedom of the road" type drivel I remind them of how few of our roads they are willing travel...

Note: this is not a Harley bash...

Have a grand adventure....

Steve
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Old 03-24-2010, 07:48 PM   #405
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A prerunner van would be a 2wd van that has been lifted so that it has additional ground clearance and suspension travel. Check out this website
http://www.thundersgarage.com/how2geta4x4van.html it goes into more detail.


I would also check out the expedition portal forums at http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/index.php they have a subforum for offroad camper vans and such, lots of info and ideas.

And then of course there is sportsmobile they make turn-key adventure camper vans that cost $$$$$, but their website has diagrams of all the floor plans that the have.

I would try to find a used ford e series cargo or conversion van and outfit it from there. They can be found pretty cheap with either a v8 or v10. The front suspension is the I beam style that is pretty much bullet proof and easy to lift and retain a decent amount of travel.
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