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Old 06-20-2019, 10:51 AM   #661
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Fitz, thanks for your quick reply. I like the modularity of this setup and will continue on this path. 8ft 10in is indeed high! Mine is at 8 ft now, so I guess I’m looking at adding 8-10 more inches with the top.

I’m with you on the boat weights. I sold my 70+ lb Old Town canoe after thirty years of enjoyment because I just couldn’t haul it around anymore. There are so many lightweight alternatives these days and, as long as you don’t abuse them, they’re a real boon. I row an Adirondack Guideboat Dory that weighs in at less than 60 lbs due to Kevlar construction. I have plastic kayaks that weigh more! If I were getting another canoe, it would be one of the Kevlars from Wenonah or Swift. Lots of room, incredibly light. I have a single and tandem Advanced Frame inflatable for taking on road trips but the Kevlars are even lighter if you don’t mind having it on top.

Thanks again for the info. Happy Trails!
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Old 06-23-2019, 09:34 PM   #662
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Stock MB Jack

If you have read all of this (long) thread, you will recall that I carry both a HighLift Jack and the ARB Brushranger Air Jack, refer to Post #424 on page 43. Anyone who knows me knows that I believe that having options is a good thing.


Well, here's another option for you, one that has been hiding (from me) in plain sight!


Laura has been using the van a bit more by herself or with one of the daughters and I have been giving a lot of thought to her being able to change a flat tire by herself. Keep good tires on the van, hope for the best, plan for the worst, take what you get....


At any rate, I have been looking at the new ARB hydraulic jack that they are VERY proud of - think in the range of $1k - as an option that Laura could handle by herself if need be. I spoke with Mark at Van Compass about compatibility with the HighLift jacking points on their rocker guards and he told me to try the stock jack, that they tested it once on Rob's red van on 35's with their 2" lift and it got the job done.


Experiment on! Here are the results:


First, a look at the stock jack in its resting place under the passenger side footwell. Everyone with a Sprinter has been here, right?





Here is the jacking point built into the Van Compass Rocker Guards, one at each end. This is designed for a HighLift jack, but as you can see, the stock hydraulic jack fits here really well.





And here is a picture of the jack fully extended. Flint is fitted with the Van Compass 2" lift, the tire shown is a 265/70/17 BFG KO2. There is 4-1/4" of clearance between the tire and the ground, more than needed and more than you would use to change a tire, I showed it here at the maximum extent for clarity.





There was a nice solid feel to this on pavement, it would be something else to depend on this off in the dirt or mud somewhere. To expand the capability (and height) just a bit I modified the plastic base for the HighLift jack to provide a bit more stability on something other than a paved surface:






One thing in common that you will notice about the various jacking options I use is that none of them requires me to get under the van to place the jack. Let's just call that personal preference. If I am under a vehicle there are jack stands in place, easily done on pavement, a bit more difficult on anything other than pavement.


I believe this option is one Laura or one of the daughters will be able to handle by themselves, along with plenty of patience and a long-handled breaker bar. The Alabama Hills (gently rolling hard packed gravel) will be about as close to off road as they will see, hopefully they won't have to use any of the on-board options Flint carries. But if they do, they will (hopefully) be set up for success.
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Old 07-07-2019, 01:17 PM   #663
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Documentation

From Post #454 on page 46:
· It takes time to get used to a new van, don’t expect to take delivery and immediately know how to use everything. These vehicles are complicated! I put together a Flint User’s Guide for those times when I either forget or am not around, see the attached file for your reading pleasure/humor


Laura and daughter Mandy recently had Flint out and about for a week or so. As a result of one of their "experiences" I had to revise the cover of my User's Guide - I just thought I'd share! BTW, this has turned into an evergreen document that I continue to revise, especially as Laura uses the van more and more without me (her retired, me not).


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Old 07-14-2019, 09:32 PM   #664
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#vanlife

Working on the van and using the van is what I am interested in, #vanlife gets little to no attention from me.

That said, I can't resist posting this picture.

Me driving, (serious) boyfriend Brandon in the passenger seat, daughter Julie discovering how nice the back seat can be as we roll down the River Road in the Sacramento Delta!




Note the scar on the knee. SAR members tend to collect those....
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