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Putts
#11
(09-21-2017, 11:19 AM)Hepcat Wrote: GREAT THREAD!!!  Keep it up!  And I LOVE the photos!  Well done!

Thanks.  I've got photos, that's for sure. Didn't have anything for that last post, but I'll be sure to include more.
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#12
(09-21-2017, 11:19 AM)Putts Wrote: Ditto.  I saw someone mention your name here the other day, but wasn't sure if it's cool or not.

And thanks for your CVRL tip years ago. [Image: thumb.gif]

No worries...  I'm pretty easy to find anyway... it's tough to be anonymous in this world any more.

Which tip was that?  Hopefully it was useful. I don't think that there are many mistakes that you can make with a travel trailer, van, or motorhome that I haven't made already... and some of them twice 'cause I'm slow learner...

Rog
1995 Coachmen B19 rear dinette, E250 chassis, 351W & E4OD trans
2006 Born Free 32RQ on a Kodiak chassis, 8.1L V8 & Allison 5spd trans
2016 Jeep JKU 6spd stick
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#13
(09-21-2017, 11:25 AM)Hepcat Wrote: Which tip was that?  Hopefully it was useful.

Ha! I was talking to Queen, Rog, and you posted before I did.
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#14
So, why a step van?

Ask my riding buddy Paul about my motorcycle packing practices. He'll laugh and tell you it's like Jed Clampett but on two wheels.

[Image: 2014Cabin04-L.jpg]

It would simply be unacceptable to me to travel with less that two table and four chairs for my outdoor camp set up. Chain saw, shovel, rake, numerous 5 gallon buckets, construction tools, motorcycle, gasoline, firewood, spare parts....the list goes on and on. That stuff just won't fit in a van...even a Sprinter.

Now I could drag a trailer for all that crap, but I fully intend to be boondocking primarily in the back country. I'll be damned if I'm going to trap myself on a mountain forest service road without being able to pull a U-turn. A trailer elevates that risk a LOT!

It also rules out a class C motor home..they're just not going to take the beating on those roads continuously. I'll also mention I'm very rough on things. Don't know what it is, but if it's cheap, I'll break it. That again rules out most all pre-manufactured motor homes.

That leaves busses, box trucks, and step vans.

Busses are cool. Driving around in a schoolie would be a hoot...in principle. But there's a couple of serious drawbacks in my view. I really don't want much length behind the rear wheels. In addition to the Rockies and desert SW, I intend to travel in Central America. After spending a lot of time virtually roaming in Google street view, you realize there are lots of narrow street in the small towns...streets that may be very hard to navigate with eight feet of ass end swinging around behind the rear tires. 

Short busses are a possibility. (Hell, I belong on a short bus.) But I'm not a very good carpenter and all those curves are intimidating. I'm also very intent on retaining enough of a low key look to gain a modicum of stealth. Busses don't do that very easily.

So, box truck or step van?

Box trucks have good ground clearance, lots of space, and can be quite sturdy. On the other hand: they're taller, and clearance under trees in villages and Forest Service roads may be troublesome; there's no pass-through from the driver area to the cabin; but the deal killer for me is the one or two extra steps into the cabin. I'm not disabled, per se, but I'm old and worn out and that's only going to go in one direction. That one extra step would add up over time; going from the bed to the driver's seat indoors save a lot of up and down.

The ergonomics of movement in, out, and around a step van is stellar! Hell, that's what they were designed for. They're a foot or two less in height than a box truck, so better for getting under trees. But maybe most excellent of all, the view from the driver's seat of a step van is second only to a motor bike. Drive with the door open and it's almost better as you don't have to wear a helmet and protective gear. Also, the drivers seating position is amazingly comfortable; I can spread my legs wide and let the boys hang in the breeze. I love driving Putt!

On the down side, they're noisy....really, really loud. Noise canceling headphones to the rescue!

And then there's the maintenance costs of a big diesel. Did a major tune-up on Putt with all the fluids changed and zerks greased and it came to a cool $1300! Not to mention that my engine is the Navistar (International) VT365, which is basically the same engine as the Ford Powerstoke 6---an engine infamous for its ability to self-distruct. Well, the problems with that engine are, in large part, due to dumbass rednecks chipping them up and rolling coal like an idiot, but there are real problems with the engine. (Head bolts that stretch and cause blown head gaskets; failing EGRs; self destructing turbos.)  The plan there is to have the engine completely rebuilt and modified to rid it of these problems. A lot of web research tells me if you fix these engines up right they're actually a pretty fine mill. Unfortunately it's about $7-$10 thousand to do the work...fortunately I'll have a house sale to finance the work. 

Next up: Putt's capabilities.
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#15
I love your build! You know if we combined our construction powers for evil, we could take over the world!


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  • Hepcat (09-26-2017)
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#16
Well, a WalMart parking lot anyway.

[Image: wave.gif]
YARC : Drunk in the Mud/Keeper of the Dingy/Ears [Image: L3000.gif]/Potluck Contributions Restricted
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#17
I love the imagery!! "Common room" Beautiful. See all those tractor reviews gave you some skills mate!!

I have the same idea. Not one shared with my current wife so that will be third one down. Sitting in a box, view or no view waiting for the clock to stop ticking is right next door to hell. But that is really only half of it.

They say I retired young, I was lucky. 48 years on the chassis but close to 90 on the engine. It ain't the millage its the abuse. Now 52, this year, it is time to make some changes and get some good miles on the tires again. I will most certainly take you help on cans for editing and ones for watching movies.

Thanks for the content and sharing.
Beast Master,JunkyMonkey,Drinks with Wolves,Fup'd Duck,Sheriff Ricochet Cockroach 4B's 1 cluster,3 TFMS Tempory Weirdo Overlord replacement 
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#18
(09-24-2017, 08:20 AM)Putts Wrote: And then there's the maintenance costs of a big diesel. Did a major tune-up on Putt with all the fluids changed and zerks greased and it came to a cool $1300! Not to mention that my engine is the Navistar (International) VT365, which is basically the same engine as the Ford Powerstoke 6---an engine infamous for its ability to self-distruct. Well, the problems with that engine are, in large part, due to dumbass rednecks chipping them up and rolling coal like an idiot, but there are real problems with the engine. (Head bolts that stretch and cause blown head gaskets; failing EGRs; self destructing turbos.)  The plan there is to have the engine completely rebuilt and modified to rid it of these problems. A lot of web research tells me if you fix these engines up right they're actually a pretty fine mill. Unfortunately it's about $7-$10 thousand to do the work...fortunately I'll have a house sale to finance the work. 

Next up: Putt's capabilities.

You probably have heard of Bill Hewitt of Powerstroke.com. My buddy did an Expedition build and had wanted to use the 7.3 but the one he had was the 6. So even though it had nothing for millage he wanted it built. He went back and forth and ended up going to this guy way waaaayyy back in the day. I was in California, burning some sick leave and he asked me to come with. We drove the rig out across the country and I met the guy personally. Top shelf individual, he knows what his time and work is worth, but he doesn't blow smoke or talk bullshit. He actually a pretty nice guy too. My buddy cut the check and had friends pick him up and I was going to call a cab for the airport to fly, It was a trip and my buddies friend had kids to pick up. This guy drove me to the airport. The deal was already done and he had no reason to do me a solid other then being a nice guy.
Beast Master,JunkyMonkey,Drinks with Wolves,Fup'd Duck,Sheriff Ricochet Cockroach 4B's 1 cluster,3 TFMS Tempory Weirdo Overlord replacement 
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  • Putts (09-26-2017)
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#19
(09-26-2017, 04:01 AM)Scott7022 Wrote: You probably have heard of Bill Hewitt of Powerstroke.com.

That's EXACTLY who I want to do the work. After watching all of his videos on the 6.0 it's pretty obvious he know of which he speaks. Great to hear verification that he's a stand up dude. I just gotta convince him that it's worth the hassle to work on a step van...my hope is all it takes is the willingness to pay the price, and I'm willing to just say, "How much, Bill?" and open my wallet.
YARC : Drunk in the Mud/Keeper of the Dingy/Ears [Image: L3000.gif]/Potluck Contributions Restricted
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#20
Oh Geebus, I can see where this is going. If'n you think it's proper, would a mod please move this thread over to "Builds,Modifications and Restorations?" It's going to be that kind of thread here shortly.

Okay, Putt's capabilities: 

Roadworthyness

I already talked a bit about getting down a dirt road, but I'll expand a bit as it was one of the primary considerations.  

I like adventure motorcycling. I've already posted my KLR a few posts ago, so here's a shot of a previous bike Daisy (now owned by my buddy Paul) serving up some coffee under the Beartooth up in the Absarokas, MT. 

[Image: CRW_7095-L.jpg]

Which is to say that I'm used to going down a dirt road far past the end of the road. There aren't many four wheeled vehicles that would hump my butt as far as I'm used to going...and that bugs me. Those that could are financially out of reach, and, truth be told, traveling solo like that is business too risky for me in my 60s and 70s. Still, I want to go down a dirt road to find some remote beach in Costa Rica and such things. 
 
Paul and I talked quite a bit about it and ended up with our "last mile" theory. Let's say there's a hundred miles to the beach. The first 90 miles are pavement, any old class-A would do the trick if that was close enough...but it's not. Then there's 5 miles of nice dirt road; a class-C would lumber down that. But then you get to a relatively rough access road that would be unwise for any normal RV, and you'd need a van or truck for the next four miles. Then the last mile turns into two track and you start to need something like a lifted 4x4 to do it comfortably. The last 500 yards is a barely visible track turning into sand dunes you crest before reaching the beach. For that one you need a no-baloney overlander rig...and plenty of self rescue gear...or, a motorcycle. 

Putt is built on a Navistar 1652SC 19500lb GVWR truck chassis. It's a beefy chassis, but its Achilles heel is 7" clearance on the solid front axel; and 8" to the pumpkin in the rear. My goal is to get to the last mile with a vehicle that's got as much room as a small class-C, but with the dirt road agility of a 2WD pick-up truck. I think Putt probably fills the bill. I have already taken up a quite concerningly difficult mountain road and it did surprisingly well. 

This capability will be enhanced by having a Yamaha TW200 strapped to a custom rear bumper.

[Image: yamaha_8738_620x413.jpg]

I used to have one and they're a hoot to ride.  The fat tires virtually float in mud and sand. A Tee-Dub will merrily take me down the last mile, and Putt will be parked remotely enough to be fairly comfortable riding out of view for a few hours at a time. My dog Dart (I'll talk more about him later) is being backpack trained so he can come along for this leg of our journeys.

[Image: IMG_1770-L.jpg]

Awww, isn't he cute. 

Capability: Boondocking/Unsupported Time

I very much want to be able to go unsupported for the longest time possible. One month minimum; two months capable. 

First problem: Water.  I currently have a 60 gallon water tank.

[Image: IMG_1618-L.jpg]

I should mention I'll be building the rig in two phases: phase one is making it primitively livable so I can sell the house; phase two will be another two years or so spending house money to: add anothe 30 gallon water tank between the wheel wells; roof rack and more solar panels; more batteries (bank of four 6V Trojan GC2); bumper and motor bike; HAM radios; awning; motor rebuild; possibly some suspension upgrades; the list goes on and on.  I'll also be spending the time to tune up my skills and practices so that a remote month or two is something I can do capably. 

A black water tank would put a hard limit on remote time, so I've built a composting toilet.

[Image: IMG_1691-L.jpg]

That extend pooping time to virtually unlimited as I can always just dig a hole.

I've just managed to loose a bunch of writing so I'm going to push the button now.

I'll continue Putt's capabilities in my next post.
YARC : Drunk in the Mud/Keeper of the Dingy/Ears [Image: L3000.gif]/Potluck Contributions Restricted
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