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Old 03-24-2010, 08:00 PM   #406
mpanther
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy FL
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.
I used to do repair on conversion vans and most of them have some pretty bad wiring.
I would recommend doing your own conversion to a regular van instead of a conversion van. (not talking about van-rv's)
the V10 doesn't give you much for your needs compared to the extra fuel consumption.
imo.
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Old 03-25-2010, 01:51 AM   #407
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There's just a lot more going against diesel than I am willing to accept. While the pros are many the cons are there too. Even though diesel is more expensive than gas and diesel gets better mileage I won't be driving it enough to make it worth it compared to repair costs and the cost of maintenance and engine longevity. Sure if diesel was maybe a bit less expensive, or I had access to biodiesel, or diesel engine repairs were cheaper, or maintenance was less expensive I'd be willing to go diesel. It just doesn't seem worth it.

I am planing on going with a Ford Econoline. What should I look for in terms of an engine? I'm looking to balance power with fuel economy with the GVW of the vehicle so I am thinking possibly a E250 with a V6 or V8.
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Old 03-25-2010, 02:26 AM   #408
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Interesting thread. I've picked up a lot of good info. I started collecting quotes that I wanted to respond to, on a wide range of topics, but they got too difficult to manage without a multi-quote feature (and that would have made for one reeeeally long post).

In December of 2008, I decided to pack it all in and hit the road. I just wanted to load up my dogs and my dirt bikes and go. But I wanted to build something that would be capable of traveling to some really remote places. Regular motorhomes couldn't take me where I wanted to go. So I bought a military surplus 2.5-ton 6x6 truck (commonly referred to as 'deuce and a halfs') in January of '09, and I've spent the last year converting it into a monstrosity of a motorhome. The initial plan was to throw something together and take-off immediately (2-3 months). Down and dirty. But fifteen months later it's only about 80% done, and I've been working on it pretty close to full-time. It's just been difficult to restrain myself, because I know that any extra effort I put into it now is going to pay-off in the long-run. The initial build-cost has been... high. But once it's done, my month-to-month expenses should plummet to next-to-nothing.

One of the coolest things about these deuce and a half's is that they have multi-fuel engines, so they can run on just about anything flammable. Literally ANYTHING. Diesel, gasoline, kerosene, white gas, used motor oil/automatic transmission fluid/hydraulic oil, veggie-oil, bio-diesel, etc. I've put about 4,000 miles on Mah Deuce in the last year, and it averages about 8-11mpg, depending on the load. Not bad, considering it weighs 16,000lbs empty (I was usually pulling 20,000-22,000lbs), it's full-time six-wheel-drive, stands over 11ft tall, and rolls on 40" tall off-road tires. But when you look at the Miles-Per-Dollar) it's fantastic! I've got an onboard fuel-processing station, so I'll be able to filter wanter and debris out of just about anything I might want to run through my tanks.

My truck is designated an M109, which is just like a standard M35A2 deuce and a half, but it's got a 12ft box on the back of it instead of a regular bed. I've outfitted that with all of the appointments that you'd find in a regular motorhome, only a bit more rugged. Since this vehicle is designed to dry-camp for extended periods of time, I've put a lot of work into making everything as efficient as possible. That includes everything from use-of-space (floorplan, storage, etc.) to all of the systems (heat, water, fuel/s, etc.).

The toilet recirculates water, and separates solid/liquid waste. Grey water will be recycled and can be used to flush the toilet, pressure-wash bikes, etc. Black water (more like semi-solid waste) will be composted, so I'll never have to visit a dump station. Planning to collect rainwater off the roof. Water filtration is redundant several times over, and will even be able to process salt-water. Manual water-pumps back-up air-powered water-pumps, which back up electric water-pumps.

I've installed radiant heating throughout the floor of the box, as well as an industrial-quality air-conditioning system and HEPA/MERV-quality air-filtration. Multiple heat sources include two 200,000 BTU propane-fired tankless water heaters (one for fresh-water and one for a closed-loop radiant heat circuit running anti-freeze), two 30,000BTU diesel-fired water heaters (backups for the propane units), and a heat exchanger tied into the engine's coolant system. There are also several radiant forced-air heater exchangers onboard.

Solar-power isn't in the budget right now, but I'm going to have a huge bank of deep-cycle golf-cart batteries and a multitude of different ways to charge them. A 3000-Watt pure-sine inverter will manage the power input/output.

Space is at a premium when you're working with a 12ft box. But I've managed to make room for a pretty spacious kitchen, a queen-sized tempurpedic mattress (cut into sections to make a futon-style couch/bed), a comfortable office/workstation, a REALLY small shower/toilet, and a bunch of storage. Priorities and compromises.

I'm towing an enclosed trailer that I built out of a military trailer chassis and a 12ft uhaul box that I pulled off a truck I found on craigslist. That trailer is going to be stocked full of all my tools and toys, as well as more of just about everything that I'm carrying in the truck (fuel/s, water, batteries, generators, etc.). The idea is to divide the load between the two so that I can extend my range, or leave the trailer behind, where it will be able to function as a self-contained mini-camp.

I don't mean to geek-out too much on all the particular details. I'm really just trying to express what this vehicle is geared towards. I'm planning on living in this motorhome full-time for the next several years (at least 2-3). My long-term goal is to figure out where I want to settle down and build a house. More specifically, an off-grid cabin. I'm going to use Mah Deuce to power the cabin (water, heat, electricity), much like the docking stations that were discussed earlier in this thread. I just want to build an ewok-style tree-fort village in the forrest somewhere. Then I want to build another 'docking station' somewhere down in Baja.

But I can't afford to fuck-off too much. I'm only 31yrs old, and need to continue working. I'm a designer by trade, and I'm really lucky in that it doesn't really matter to anybody but me where I'm located. But these days, I'm pimping myself out and taking in all kinds of different work. The trailer full of tools I'll have with me should go a long ways towards making me employable just about anywhere I go.

If you're considering something like this (traveling by any means for an extended period of time), don't underestimate how much work it's going to be just getting ready to leave. Getting all of my affairs in order has been the most painful part of this process.

Early last year, I started organizing everything that I owned, and separating it all into three categories. 1) Stuff I was taking with me. 2) Stuff I was going to put into storage. 3) Stuff to get rid of. At first, I had so much stuff (contents of my house, my office, and my workshop), that I had to make lists to keep track of it all. Slowly, I got to the point where everything was sorted into different rooms in my house. Eventually, I got down to smaller and smaller piles of crap, and then I was left with only the things that I knew I wanted to keep. I started living out of pile number 1 (stuff I was taking with me), and if I wanted to use something in pile number 2 (stuff I was going to put into storage), I'd put that thing into pile number 1. This really helped me in the transition, to figure out what I needed and what I could leave behind. I lived like that for the better part of last year, and by the end of it I had it all sorted out.

Liberating. Boxes of long-forgotten crap sorted. Over-stuffed file cabinets reduced to a few manilla folders. Kitchen drawers emptied. Back to basic toiletries. Clothes reduced to the few things I actually wear. FUCK ALL THAT SHIT.

But even though I ended up getting rid of most of my stuff, there were some things that I knew I wanted/needed to hang onto. So I bought a 40ft shipping container and made arrangements to store it on a large ranch near the place where I was living. Great alternative to monthly storage.

I moved out of my house towards the end of last year and have been spread out at my parents' place since then, where I'm finishing-up this project that never seems to get any closer to being done...

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Old 03-25-2010, 02:30 AM   #409
EricD10563
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ywr969
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.
That would be great not trying to spend the money and if I can save thats even better. I certainly would love to have a surplus of cash than be short of cash. I can't get to far of the beaten path, with a 1000 lbs motorcycle you don't wont to go to far off the path. I will not be able to take advantage of some of the places that a Adventure/Dual Sport can go, but the adventure will be has much fun to me.

I've given some thought to staying on the road for longer than six months, when I read what some of the people here do it only encourages me. You can't find this stuff on the Harley sites.
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Old 03-25-2010, 08:41 AM   #410
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jesusgatos

I don't mean to geek-out too much on all the particular details.

In this case, geeking out on details is acceptable.
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:14 AM   #411
RiverRat
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Awesome rig jesusgatos!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cellar Yeti
I am planing on going with a Ford Econoline. What should I look for in terms of an engine? I'm looking to balance power with fuel economy with the GVW of the vehicle so I am thinking possibly a E250 with a V6 or V8.
The v6 imo is not only a dog but not durable. stay away. i don't think it is avaliable with a 250. the 4.6l v8 is still underpowered for a 250(but it is a good engine in a e150). go with the 5.4l but make sure it isn't one with the problem of spark plugs blowing out. still some of the newer models have had issues with fuel injectors staying open and creating a "no crank" issue.

The beauty of diesels is the ease of producing an insane amount of more power with a just a engine programmer. the extra hp/tq makes those long road trips fun! (but cuts into the "on the CHEAP factor)
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:24 AM   #412
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanF
In this case, geeking out on details is acceptable.
+1
That is awesome.
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Old 03-25-2010, 10:01 AM   #413
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Thumb

Quote:
Originally Posted by EricD10563
You can't find this stuff on the Harley sites.

somebody else suggested that you sell the HD instead of shipping it to the mainland, then buying a dual-sport when you arrive. i think that's a great strategy.
the big bikes (katoom 9-fiddy, r1200gs, etc) can haul a lot of junk, but if you can travel lightly with one of the smaller bikes (katoom 640/690, klr-6-fiddy, dr-6-fiddy, etc), you can go to more remote places.
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Old 03-25-2010, 10:21 AM   #414
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I know it's not "cool" but the xt225 serow is good on the cheap transportation. At nearly 20 years old registration and insurance are under $75 per year. It can haul plenty of gear. Being a small bike it can get you to the "on the CHEAP" free camp areas where you wont get hassled by the feds. Small enough to put on a receiver hitch (no trailer needed if using with an RV).

It's not fast but when living on the cheap speed isn't a concern.
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Old 03-25-2010, 11:38 AM   #415
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverRat
Awesome rig jesusgatos!

definitely; it is

I don't know much about light/medium commercial trucks (Lorries ?) in the US; here in europe quite afew guys have used army "shelters"(truck mounted sort a work containers, usually isolated) bolted on light/medium lorry frames.
I think those shelters are to big for a US-Full size pick up-truck, but they are great basic material.
Of course around here, there were some years where you could get russian shelters really cheap - guy I know had made a really nice rig on a short wheel base STEYR 4x4 he had bought from a power-line maintainace company. Rode the silk-route, Hindukush, Iran a, so.on.

Well - just wanted to introduce that "Shelter" stuff, maybe it gives someone an idea

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Old 03-25-2010, 11:57 AM   #416
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jesusgatos

More photos, more details please.
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Old 03-25-2010, 12:03 PM   #417
mpanther
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Ford 5.4l's

The 5.4l V-8 with the spark plug problem is the 3-valve version.

the plugs get stuck in the head along the insulator shield and can stay in it when pulled. Snap-on makes a special $100 tool to remove the stuck part.
you can avoid this when pulling the plugs by using back and forth a motion of less than 1/8 turns. (ei: break it loose 1/8 turn, tighten 3/32, loosen 1/8, tighten 3/32, do this for a Long time.)
Then when installing the New plugs, use the $20 nickel anti-seize on the shield before you put them in.
As far as I know, you only have to worry about plugs coming out if you re-use a plug that has been pulled before.

Or you can get a 5.4l V-8 with the 2-valve heads.

They do not have a problem with their spark plugs.
I do not think Ford used any 3-valve head 5.4l motors in the 3/4ton and up trucks and vans. but I could be wrong.

As to older Ford van motor options, any 5.0(302), 5.9(351), or 7.5(460), will work, but the 5.0 is a bit small for your needs.
A stock 4.6l actually puts out More power than the 5.0's did, and it is a bit small. but either would still work.

To summarize, in order of preference, you would prefer to find a Ford E-250 with a fuel injected 5.4l, 5.9l, or 7.5l.
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Old 03-25-2010, 12:15 PM   #418
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Cool2 econoline vans

we have a '97 4.6L e-150 with 229k miles on it. never opened the engine, still runs like a million bucks, still doesn't burn or leak oil. awesome vehicle, highly recommended.
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Old 03-25-2010, 04:18 PM   #419
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This looks interesting...didn't know this existed or could be done?
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Old 03-25-2010, 05:34 PM   #420
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This looks interesting...didn't know this existed or could be done?
That's the 'Rabbit/Golf/Jetta engine, pretty small for the van. I had a few they are s l o w.

May as well get a Jetta Diesel station wagon and sleep in that.
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