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Old 05-12-2013, 07:59 PM   #1
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1st trip in the new used rig



I have not arrived, I am leaving in this picture. It is hard to leave such a beautiful place. However Twin Lakes will be similar just further south. We plan to go yachting on upper lake and ride the bike around lower lake. Then go scout Virginia Lakes for free campgrounds along the creek. If it is clear one can summit the Sierras with only a two and half mile hike.



My rubix cube boat rack seems alright. I just moved the kayak forward and raised the roof. I have seen other Sportsmobiles with way more than my 40 lb. boat on top, but this is all I can lift. In fact one morning I was not quite up to this much weight. I would love to meet the animals that can lift the ones I have seen in pictures.

Check in was pretty straight forward. I chose Annett campground in Mono Village at upper Twin Lakes because there were so many fail safes. For 10 bucks more I could get full hook ups. There is a store for the things I forgot and if I burned dinner there is a restaurant. We were the only van in the entire campground so I guess this place is overkill.

Happily all systems worked well and da wife stomached it all well. The van has no propane or water. To cook I set up a Camp Chef oven and single burner stove working on disposable propane bottles. Most fully equipped class b vans don't have an oven. I like an oven. For water I used a Coleman hot water heater. The sink I made and ran the grey water into a 5 gallon jug. Worked like a charm. She thought this was normal and made no comment about my Jethro engineering.

Princess and the Pee:
I worked for months in the driveway to get out bugs before introducing the wife and dog to the van, but bringing them along was the acid test. The first thing I did was not level the van. She never said a word and figured out right away which way to lay. The fridge is electric so it didn't care. I leveled up the next night however because I noticed.

We walked by a huge trailer running a generator and I thought: "Really? For ten bucks more why not just get full hook ups?" And just then she said: "It is so nice a quiet up here." So my thought process went from utter disdain to "I gotta get me one of dem."

She was just as happy in the van as out. The whole water and cooking system can go on the picnic table, but she liked it inside next to the fridge, so great. I thought it might be too tight in the van.

If you are wondering how I get the boat off top here is a picture. It is very easy. The tie down it simple too. I just put eyebolts where the bolts are.



The next drive took us high up in the Sierras to a place called Virginia Lakes. The only guys up there this early are skiers. The lake was frozen over, but we had a very nice lunch.



My seat is a problem on long trips, but by using a lumbar pillow I am fine. The coil spring front end makes for a luxurious ride considering it is a 350 van. The A4OD or what ever is a nice transmission. It doesn't search for gears too much. I could set the cruise control and just relax up and down hills. Going up hill the gas gauge moved faster than the speedo, but overall it did 11 mpg which was better than I expected with the aerodynamics and hill climbing. I have the 460.
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:12 PM   #2
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1st trip in the new used rig

Sounds like a good shakedown cruse. Keeping the misses happy is important. Just got a PP just for hat reason. Yes an oven would be a welcome addition.
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:40 PM   #3
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Re: 1st trip in the new used rig

Very nice pics and cool rack! Glad you like your new van.

It's an e40D, BTW. Not that it matters, you were pretty close.

Does your driver's seat have any factory lumbar? My 02 model has a manual lumbar knob on the right side of the driver's seat and it really beats my previous van which didn't. Perhaps you could find a newer model driver's seat?

I like an oven too, but usually just use a propane stove on trips. Years ago, Coleman sold a little tin box oven you could sit over a propane stove. I camped with a friend once who used one to make biscuits and it worked great. I've been trying to find one ever since, but haven't looked really hard. It folds flat. It's pretty neat, cheap, and simple. And you can have biscuits while camping and a happier life.

The funny thing about your 460 powered van is that you could put about a 5000 lb. trailer behind it and MPG wouldn't change a bit. The 460s just get about 11 MPG, PERIOD!!!

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Old 05-13-2013, 02:57 AM   #4
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Re: 1st trip in the new used rig

Thanks for the comments. I just ran out there to look at the seat, but no joy. I don't have the lumbar adjustment.

The coleman hot water thing has the shower attachment and I have a porta potti, but she drew the line there. Interesting some prefer a PP. At least I know now we are good at any basic forest service type campground, but boondocking might be a bit much. Too bad in a way. With my grey water portable and porta potti I could stop at any rest area to dump instead of waiting and paying for a dump station. I like asphalt boondocking as well, but I can't seem to find a way to make that sound good. I think I will just wait for the right time. "Do you want to sleep on the in law's dusty couch with their yappy little dogs or out in the van?"

Mmmm. 5,000 lbs. more with no hit on the gas mileage. I will have to get busy. The last big block I had was a carburated one. 8 mpg up hill or downhill we would say. I will test if this is just as consistent. You can see I have yet to hang things off the back so there is room for 5,000 lbs of more toys.
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Old 05-13-2013, 06:31 AM   #5
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Re: 1st trip in the new used rig

Sounds like a good trip! And, pretty trick boat setup. I like the idea of pulling the one boat forward to pop the top. We have a front receiver hitch, too, so I'll keep that in mind.
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Old 05-13-2013, 08:33 PM   #6
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Re: 1st trip in the new used rig

Glad you all adapted well to the van. Looks like you had a great time. I really love that area and want to get up there more often. As warm as its been, I'm a bit surprised the lake was still frozen over. I know some weather passed through a few weeks ago and that normally the passes don't open until after Memorial Day but I was hoping Leavitt Lake would open soon. Maybe not!
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Old 05-13-2013, 08:55 PM   #7
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Re: 1st trip in the new used rig

What state are Twin Lakes in?
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Old 05-13-2013, 09:22 PM   #8
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Re: 1st trip in the new used rig

Quote:
Originally Posted by LenS
What state are Twin Lakes in?


East side of the Sierra Nevada Range
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:06 PM   #9
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Re: 1st trip in the new used rig

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb
normally the passes don't open until after Memorial Day but I was hoping Leavitt Lake would open soon. Maybe not!
120 was opened this weekend. I want to do Saddlebag lake. Rowing at 10,000 feet is a great way to blow the carbon out. The interweb shows the resort open in June but I only need the campground so I hope to go before then. I can't figure out if it is OK to go before they are open.
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:11 PM   #10
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Re: 1st trip in the new used rig

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb
hoping Leavitt Lake would open soon. Maybe not!
108 is open, but I have no idea about the road to the lake. Is the road two wheel drive?
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