Building an Adventure Van

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by Geek, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. Wadester

    Wadester Rides a dirty bike

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    More like this:
    [​IMG]
  2. ducnut

    ducnut Long timer

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  3. TooFast

    TooFast Long timer

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    And he just figured out FIAT = Fix It Again Tomorrow
  4. TooFast

    TooFast Long timer

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    When I look at this:
    [​IMG]

    I see this:
    [​IMG]

    Hate to say it, but isn't the shoe is better looking ?
  5. TooFast

    TooFast Long timer

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  6. mark883

    mark883 and the mysterians

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    Its pretty bad when you can see the ugly behind the curtain.

    I'm kinda afraid of anything called a Ram Promaster.
  7. cab591

    cab591 Been here awhile

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    Flagstaff, AZ
    Still working through your build thread (loving it so far, great work!). Just have one thing to say. I'm sure you've noticed by now, but be careful with the tall one! It catches wind like a sail.

    A coworker and I were driving a Sprinter 2500 (high top, long wheelbase) cross country. Full mobile office conversion in the back. The other guy was driving, and I was napping in the back. Middle of the night, in New Mexico, the van got caught by a 40 knot gust of wind. The van went up on two wheels, and when it came back down it started fishtailing. Went off the road, and rolled twice. :eek1

    Don't want to stretch the page ----> Sprinter carnage.

    Somehow neither of us were really injured. I had a couple scrapes and bruises from getting tossed around in the back, and sliced open my leg climbing out -- needed 2 stitches on my leg, and a few bandaids. The other guy just had a couple scrapes. Gotta give it to Mercedes, it's a pretty damn safe van! :lol3
  8. ducnut

    ducnut Long timer

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    Holy crap!!!!!!

    And, that was a really nice van.
  9. mark883

    mark883 and the mysterians

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    Dang. Bet that wasn't a fun ride.

    I kinda wondered if you could make a high top into a low top.

    Guess it can be done.
  10. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

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    I drive mine in 40+mph crosswinds regularly - we have a natural wind tunnel here in the Rockies referred to as "Rocky Flats" - which I happen to have a client on the other side of. When I have to cross Rocky Flats I refer to the steering wheel as the Tiller :rofl

    Did the old T1N's have the ASR (i.e. Adaptive ESp) stability system the NCV3s have?
    With my ASR on.. it is pretty difficult to flip the van unless you are beyond the laws of physics as the van senses the issue and saves you from yourself...

    check this video out: 1540lbs of water up near the ceiling and they swerve around...
    If you don't have 4 minutes.. start the video about 2:40

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/36Arm_nJnck" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    there are better videos demoing this that I've seen.. I just grabbed the first one I came across.

    :freaky
  11. ducnut

    ducnut Long timer

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    The JK Jeep Wranglers have that, too. Recently, I did some work on one and got to screwing around with it in a patchy snow/ice parking lot. That thing started braking, independently, on the various wheels to keep it from getting out of control. It's pretty cool to feel a vehicle doing its thing to keep the occupants safe.
  12. Pendragon5

    Pendragon5 Carress of Steel

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    My 2004 T1N has the ASR. I've driven in winds so bad it would downshift automatically to stay at highways speeds and yet it went down the road just fine. My old Dodge maxivan wouldn't do that! I talked to another Sprinter owner with the high roof and he agreed as he had the Ford maxi and experienced both in the Wyoming winds. I had to dodge a deer west of Gillette Wyoming late at night on I-90 in the wind some years back. I got so close I could see the van reflected in his eye :huh but, with antilock brakes, quick steering and a stable platform I managed to miss him. I hit one east of Raton NM a few years back at 35mph and was able to drive away. I'm considering a brush guard for the future but, I can't settle on the one I want. Anybody know of one they would recommend?
  13. TooFast

    TooFast Long timer

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  14. cab591

    cab591 Been here awhile

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    Made it to page 116, gotta stop for the night. Impressive build so far! :thumb

    As for my Sprinter adventure -- not sure if it had stability control or not. It was obviously one of the older gens. The accident happened in New Mexico, on I-10, between Deming and Las Cruces. Locals say they see large vans / semi trucks flipped all the time from strong winds.

    The fishtailing isn't what did it in, though. The fishtailing, plus the gust of wind, knocked it into the median. Wheels dipped in, and (trying to get it back on the road), my coworker oversteered, running us off on the other side of the road where there was a bit of an embankment. Coworker then tried steering the other way, aiming to get it back on the road. Too late. Front passenger side wheel dug in, and the van rolled down the embankment. Flipped over once completely, then landed on it's passenger side.

    Most of that's from what the police report said (looking at skid marks, and marks in the median). I've got a much more vague recollection of the accident. Woke up when we hit the median, and had a few out the front. Saw the edge of the road in the headlights, bushes past that, and thought to myself, "well, this is going to hurt..."

    No idea how I got out of there. The first responders / police couldn't figure it out, either. There was a limo partition between the front and rear, and it was laying on it's passenger side. Glass on the driver side was intact. Only way I could've gotten out is through the small partition, and out the windshield. When responders got on scene, my coworker and I were sitting down on the shoulder. :huh

    The van couldn't have done better, though. It maintained most of it's structural integrity (top edge was pushed in a bit from the initial roll), and really held itself together well. The interior was a wreck, but it was done by a 3rd party outfitter. The front driver's area looked almost stock! No collapsed pillars or anything. Believe it or not, the driver's door could actually be opened (though, required some hard pulling).

    Can't wait to catch up on the build, Geek! :clap



    EDIT: Finally caught up. Sounds like you're having too much fun in that thing! I wish I had the money / patience / OCD for something like this. :cry
  15. The Dude Himself

    The Dude Himself Hooked on Dirt!!

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    www.foamitgreen.com

    Mention Mike Wakefield when you order. Should be able to foam the whole thing with a $700 kit.
  16. jerdog53

    jerdog53 Crop Dusting Everywhere

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    Its been a good read Geek!<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    My wife and I have been coveting a Sprinter for a few years now, I don’t have the kind of patience or time that you do to build one myself over time or to plan and figure it all out so hats off to you! :clapWe will most like go the Outside Van route when the time comes but will have to make some modifications as none of their designs fit the bill exactly :deal<o:p></o:p>
  17. rebar

    rebar Been here awhile

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    Great Van!

    If you needed to pull a 10k# camper.. Which cargo van would you have chosen?
  18. Trust

    Trust I'll fix that

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  19. HellSickle

    HellSickle Scone Rider

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    Tough call. Not many deisel options. My V10 Ford does OK with a 9k # trailer, but more torque would be great.
  20. Otis the Sasquatch

    Otis the Sasquatch Long timer

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    Pardon my stepping in Geek, but...


    [​IMG]

    http://www.gmfleet.com/chevrolet/express-3500-cargo-van.html
    "SELECT OPTIONAL FEATURES....
    Duramax 6.6L V8 Turbo Diesel with 260 hp, 525 lb.-ft. torque and B20-Diesel compatibility"


    I drove a new 2013 4500 cutaway w/ box and the same engine/trans combo, but pushing a LOT more air, from Milwaukee to New Orleans. Total weight with the equipment in the back of about 12-13,000 lbs. Pulled strong, nice 6-speed auto, felt like it would handle a trailer also (which it will need to do on occasion) w/ no problem.

    I think a 3500 with that drivetrain would be a sweet toy hauler.