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Draining your bank account and small penis compensation.

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Rides all the bikes!
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So a combination of "commitment issues" and Covid, my van has been slow moving. Took forever to get the registration paperwork sorted, got that now. Now I am trying to get insurance.

Unfortunately as it looks like an ambulance, and I am not doing a full strip down conversion of the interior, insurance might be a hassle. What have you guys done?
 

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Out spokin'
In cog? Neato!
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Discussion Starter · #165 ·
So a combination of "commitment issues" and Covid, my van has been slow moving. Took forever to get the registration paperwork sorted, got that now. Now I am trying to get insurance.

Unfortunately as it looks like an ambulance, and I am not doing a full strip down conversion of the interior, insurance might be a hassle. What have you guys done?
As soon as COVID hit my intentions to buy a new Ford Transit long & high to convert got put on the back burner. Gonna stick with the ol’ Roadtrek for a while longer.
=sParty
 

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A lot of people without a permanent residence will register their motorhome in South Dakota. My understanding is this is quite easy and makes insurance and plate issues really simple.

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The layoff I was expecting hasn't materialized (yet), so I started working on the ambulance. Just little bits here and there since my time is so limited. But I put it to use last weekend. The girl and I took it to east San Diego county for a trail running race (which I won since the fast guys are bad at navigation). Then went off to sleep at a WalMart since the park where I planned to ride the next day wouldn't let us camp out for the night.

Heading to Joshua Tree tonight after my ride for some rock climbing tomorrow.

Still needs hours (thousands?) of work, but it works!
 

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^^^^ Got ny photos?
Few, nothing great.

I did a loop heading to Sedona over new years weekend.

Drove to the Amboy crater (volcanic crater) and ran around the rim at midnight to ring in the new year. Woke up the next morning to do it again in daylight. We were the only people in the lot, though there were two other vans parked down the street.

Drove to Kingman to ride the bike for a couple hours into the night. I thought it was just be a quick stop, but now I want to go back and explore those trails more! The GF somehow managed to pull a muscle riding the bike, and now running is no longer an option.

Hit the road and found some national forest land to sleep on. Woke up the next morning and the van wouldn't start! I don't have solar set up so all I have are my starting batteries. Trying not to kill them, I did some troubleshooting with caution. A good Samaritan saw me and stopped by (by coincidence he just moved to the area and used to live near me). He helped with giving a start and diagnosis, he is/was a mechanic at a dealer and basically agreed with my belief: engine is too cold and the glow plugs aren't working (it was in the 20's that night. Thanked him for his help, and decided to wait it out until it warmed up more. The girl made some breakfast, and tried again. Nope. So we went for a bike ride on the fire roads for a couple hours. Tried again, nope. Another good samaritan who is more local stopped by, this area is popular for locals to get firewood. He helped for a while, but still no go. At this point it was getting into the evening, and I feared if it wasn't going to start now, then I am SOL. So I called for a tow. While on hold, I hit the key one last time...and she fired right up!

Drove straight to Flagstaff and bought a generator. I brought one with me, but I made the mistake of not testing it beforehand and it wouldn't start either (also under rated for the crankcase heater). Decided to call out sick in a day instead of going home as planned since we lost a day, and risked it.

Drove to Sedona and found a place to sleep on forest land...I think. Kinda vague if it was legal there, but no one said anything, so legal enough. Tried to start it up, and nope! Pulled out the new generator and tried to start it, nope! Going through the manual and troubleshooting, it looks like it comes with just enough oil to test run it (I guess), but not enough to run without adding more. It ran the night before when I tested it, and there was oil on the dipstick, but wouldn't start until I added more and hit the oil level switch. An hour on the generator while making breakfast was enough to get the engine up to starting temps and we moved to a trailhead. Did some riding there on double black (the girl is new) and she did a little hike. Then we moved it again and rode together for a few hours. Packed up after dark (I did some bonus night riding solo)

Drove to a little west of Phoenix to ride a place I found, but had to get creative about parking. Ended up parking behind an 18 wheeler parked on the side of the road trying to blend in a little. Used the generator to warm the engine again while eating, then went to the trailhead. I guess I found the not so good trails, but we rode and enjoyed it anyway. Left fairly early to try and get back home before too late. Got almost to the California border, and just past the last offramp for a few miles, when something just didn't feel right. Damn, rear flat tire. Went to change it out only to find that the tire iron is wrong, someone stole the correct sized one and put in the wrong one! I checked the spare, checked the jack, checked for a wrench, but didn't CONFIRM the wrench would fit the lugs. I had a socket set (actually, about 100 pounds of tools), but I didn't have a socket that would fit. Call roadside assistance again. Driver rolled up in a Prius and electric impact. About an hour of lost time (no big deal really) and back on the road. Stopped at a truck stop to properly inflate the spare (and check the rest) and went home.

1000 miles, two break downs, 2 hours of running, 8ish hours of riding (just a guess), lots of experiences, and a worklist of things to fix.

Looking forward to more!

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Dang! Helluva story, lol. The tool kit in my van is pretty extensive. Never been stranded but broken down once or twice. I ripped the exhaust completely off in Bella Coola once. That was a fun one but proceeded to drive some 12k more on the roadside fix.

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Wow, what a story Sidewalk.

I have been stranded a few times in some remote areas. A dead battery in the backcountry and a 5 hour, 4X4 road drive to the closest paved road and 2 hours to the closest service. Yep, it was indeed a dead battery confirmed by 2 hours of troubleshooting everything else that would prevent power to starter. Long story short, I found a garage that would deliver a new battery in 8 hours to the tune of $1,060. Sh!t Happens.
 

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I do like being self reliant, and can be bad about asking for help at times.

BUT

That all comes to a total stop when it comes to my horse. I have absolutely no ego when it comes to taking care of him. And since I do intend on towing my horse to the trails on occasion, regardless of vehicle, I bought roadside assistance that actually caters to equestrians. So worst case scenario I could have gotten a tow to a shop and paid for repairs. But I planned on the idea of "what if" I have to drop several thousand on a trans. So while it would hurt, it is something I am prepared to confront :LOL:
 

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Not sure if that has been mentioned but TV's Tom Green has been vaning around to remote locations and making some high quality videos. Would love to do this and ride in remote locations.
 

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March of 2020 we moved from CO to ID. I had completely built out a Promaster a few years back, but it was 2WD and that wasn't gonna cut it for ~5 months of the year at the new place. So I sold that van and spent ~a month looking for whatever was going to replace it.

Right around May 1st I took a bus to Bend, signed a bunch of papers, and then drove this 2020 AWD Transit home.

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And then spent the next 6 months working on it every night, right up until the snow flew in earnest and I couldn't anymore.

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I got a fair bit done, but there are still a few weeks worth of work left to do once the snow and ice are gone and I can work outside again.
 

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^Nice. Strongly considering upgrading to that but lower roof with a pop-up. Probably a few years out yet for me though.

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Few, nothing great.

I did a loop heading to Sedona over new years weekend.

Drove to the Amboy crater (volcanic crater) and ran around the rim at midnight to ring in the new year. Woke up the next morning to do it again in daylight. We were the only people in the lot, though there were two other vans parked down the street.

Drove to Kingman to ride the bike for a couple hours into the night. I thought it was just be a quick stop, but now I want to go back and explore those trails more! The GF somehow managed to pull a muscle riding the bike, and now running is no longer an option.

Hit the road and found some national forest land to sleep on. Woke up the next morning and the van wouldn't start! I don't have solar set up so all I have are my starting batteries. Trying not to kill them, I did some troubleshooting with caution. A good Samaritan saw me and stopped by (by coincidence he just moved to the area and used to live near me). He helped with giving a start and diagnosis, he is/was a mechanic at a dealer and basically agreed with my belief: engine is too cold and the glow plugs aren't working (it was in the 20's that night. Thanked him for his help, and decided to wait it out until it warmed up more. The girl made some breakfast, and tried again. Nope. So we went for a bike ride on the fire roads for a couple hours. Tried again, nope. Another good samaritan who is more local stopped by, this area is popular for locals to get firewood. He helped for a while, but still no go. At this point it was getting into the evening, and I feared if it wasn't going to start now, then I am SOL. So I called for a tow. While on hold, I hit the key one last time...and she fired right up!

Drove straight to Flagstaff and bought a generator. I brought one with me, but I made the mistake of not testing it beforehand and it wouldn't start either (also under rated for the crankcase heater). Decided to call out sick in a day instead of going home as planned since we lost a day, and risked it.

Drove to Sedona and found a place to sleep on forest land...I think. Kinda vague if it was legal there, but no one said anything, so legal enough. Tried to start it up, and nope! Pulled out the new generator and tried to start it, nope! Going through the manual and troubleshooting, it looks like it comes with just enough oil to test run it (I guess), but not enough to run without adding more. It ran the night before when I tested it, and there was oil on the dipstick, but wouldn't start until I added more and hit the oil level switch. An hour on the generator while making breakfast was enough to get the engine up to starting temps and we moved to a trailhead. Did some riding there on double black (the girl is new) and she did a little hike. Then we moved it again and rode together for a few hours. Packed up after dark (I did some bonus night riding solo)

Drove to a little west of Phoenix to ride a place I found, but had to get creative about parking. Ended up parking behind an 18 wheeler parked on the side of the road trying to blend in a little. Used the generator to warm the engine again while eating, then went to the trailhead. I guess I found the not so good trails, but we rode and enjoyed it anyway. Left fairly early to try and get back home before too late. Got almost to the California border, and just past the last offramp for a few miles, when something just didn't feel right. Damn, rear flat tire. Went to change it out only to find that the tire iron is wrong, someone stole the correct sized one and put in the wrong one! I checked the spare, checked the jack, checked for a wrench, but didn't CONFIRM the wrench would fit the lugs. I had a socket set (actually, about 100 pounds of tools), but I didn't have a socket that would fit. Call roadside assistance again. Driver rolled up in a Prius and electric impact. About an hour of lost time (no big deal really) and back on the road. Stopped at a truck stop to properly inflate the spare (and check the rest) and went home.

1000 miles, two break downs, 2 hours of running, 8ish hours of riding (just a guess), lots of experiences, and a worklist of things to fix.

Looking forward to more!

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View attachment 1911726 View attachment 1911727
Ha haa! Seriously? That's friggin' awesome!
 

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^Nice. Strongly considering upgrading to that but lower roof with a pop-up. Probably a few years out yet for me though.
Nice. I like being able to walk around without hitting my head, even when just stepping in for a moment. That said, the HR's are just too tall for my sense of aesthetics.

To each their/our own.

I spent the better part of a day stuffing wool into crevices, and spraying glue on the floor and wall insets to which I then stuck reflectix-backed foam. It all works, but in hindsight I wish that I would have just gone with Thinsulate in walls and ceiling from the start. More about that in a later post.

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My van came with a basic floor insert, which I pulled out and used as a template to cut these plywood pieces to fit. Expanding foam used to 'stick' it to the floor, and fill in any small gaps.

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For better offroad performance you can put a small lift, better shocks and springs, and bigger tires on those too. Beats a Sprinter IMO. Which engine did you get?

 
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