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Old 05-26-2016, 05:06 PM   #11
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Well Rob, I prefer to think of it as more of a land cabin-cruiser.

Oh, and yes, it does have a name. It's called HERS.

I would've never bought something like this if it wasn't to appease the Missus.

But do I like cruising around in it? Oh yeah, it's pretty nice compared to a 1995 van.

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Old 06-20-2016, 11:06 AM   #12
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Many thanks to those of you who attempted to get together with us. Unfortunately I didn't wind up meeting any of you. Even though we bought a nice, low mileage MH I really didn't have time to go through it before hitting the road and we had a few problems which took up most of my time during the short times that we were in civilization or had cell service.

We covered about 6500 miles in 24 days and had an absolute blast. Our total outlay for lodging (or about 5 campground stays of all nights gone) was only $95. That's about 5 campground stays, plus about 5 nights with family and the rest we were boondocking somewhere far from humanity. It was sublime. We didn't stay in one RV park or have a hookup any night, which was kind of an unspoken goal of mine. Having a generator, AC and huge water and holding tanks greatly helped. We can do 24 hours of life (dishes, flushes, etc.) and about 5 showers on one water fillup. Also, at 25'6" we found it easy to get around most places we love, even off pavement, just not actual offroading. The rear end is simply too long to cover rough terrain.

OK, the good and the problems since this is still a 2005 Ford van:

It's a V10 with the 5-spd Torqshift (5r110), my first experience with this setup. The rig weighs in at 12k loaded, only about 1500lb. more than my last SMB loaded. Weird, yes. This drivetrain is amazing. It will accelerate up steep climbs instead of losing speed. The trans is almost always happy. It loves to rev and will go like stink. 70 mph on the highway with a headwind is not much of a problem unless you get a steep hill. Also, I averaged 9.5 mpg over the whole trip, getting as high as 10.2 and as low as around 8 in the steep Colorado rockies on slower terrain like gravel roads. This also included a fair amount of generator use, maybe 2 nights all night long to run the AC. Supposedly the genny drinks about .6 gal/hr. at half load.

The chassis performed like a champ except that my AFE intake self destructed just as we started for home, completely failsafing the motor and stranding us on the side of the road. I taped it back together and it got us to a place where I could JB weld the crap out of it enough to get home. I was very surprised that an intake problem causing MAF issues was enough to limp-mode and shutdown the V10 but it was. I'll be talking to AFE about their ill fitting option for the E450. The piping is just a few inches too long and stresses too much at the bends, a problem I shouldn't have for the price.

Otherwise our propane fridge is absolute shite and after about 5 days on the road it was requiring block ice in the bottom just to keep from ruining food. I researched and replaced a few parts with no improvement. It will be coming out and replaced with a Truckfridge and solar.

Otherwise, the only problem we had was a Winnebago issue. Instead of a smart relay or the like they use constant duty, heavy solenoids to charge the house batteries from the alternator. My charging/boost solenoid was likely dead long before I bought it so the batteries were toast. The dumb gauge on the wall still read good but they weren't. I wasn't able to find the right part to fix this until 2 weeks into our trip. In the meantime I had hotwired a straight wire from the front to rear batteries with a fuse as a switch but it was really a pain to fool with all the time and didn't give us nearly a full charge during our shorter drives.

Sorry for the long post on a vehicle which isn't even an SMB but I did learn alot about the new family hauler and I did wish I was in a simpler van at times.
I'll post some more of the good news and pics soon for those interested.
Still and SMB fan at heart.

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Old 06-20-2016, 03:38 PM   #13
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Very nice new rig. We have been thinking about selling our Sportsmobile and doing the same thing. The Sportsmobile isn't as comfortable to drive or sleep in when you get to be an old man like me. The problem is, there are still too many rough dirt roads to explore out here in the west that I would miss if I didn't have my lifted rig. What to do?

(Post script) Just read your second post about the problems with your motorhome. I don't like problems, especially when I am on a trip. I have had absolutely no problems with my SMB. And the low gas mileage sounds bad. I get 12 mph on my Sportsmobile and thought that was horrible. Maybe I should just stick with what I've got.
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Old 06-20-2016, 04:12 PM   #14
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No surprise on the intake problem ending in limp mode...if the MAF/MAP sensors don't output correct values the ECU will struggle keeping the engine happy.....

The neighbor's RV had a similar solenoid (looks like an old fashioned fender mounted solenoid) for battery separator.....we recently replaced it with a Blue Sea ACR. The RV sits in storage and the solar charges the house batteries, but the starting battery goes dead since they are not connected....
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Old 06-20-2016, 05:40 PM   #15
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Yeah Mac, there are trade offs, but my 95 460 SMB got about 10 always so I'm pretty tickled to have all this space for the same economy.

I'm tinkering with a way to lift it a few inches just so I can explore a bit more. The height (10'3") and width (7' not 8" like many motorhomes) didn't slow me down at all most of the places we went but the rear overhang knocks out anything but fire roads. Oh, and no drive through coffee.

Boywonder, yep, big silver solenoid. I would've replaced with a Blue Sea after I learned all about it but my easiest and cheapest option was an Echlin (NAPA) which I've read has lasted many Winnie owners 10 or more years so it's doubtful I'll bother with it. Solar coming anyway.

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Old 08-01-2016, 11:47 PM   #16
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I have the same model RV, just a few years newer. I put a 4" Action Van lift on it with some 32" tires. Also put on heavier duty front springs and stiffer shocks and it rides better than stock with plenty of ground clearance.
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Old 08-02-2016, 08:52 AM   #17
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Uh oh. There's goes Eric's next few paychecks.
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Old 08-02-2016, 10:14 AM   #18
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Oh, that looks nice!
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Old 08-02-2016, 01:51 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rallypanam View Post
Uh oh. There's goes Eric's next few paychecks.
Well I'll be damned. That's EXACTLY how I've envisioned mine coming together in the next couple years. That is AWESOME!!!! Thanks for sharing Kitesurfer, I'll be picking your brain a bit for sure.

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Old 08-02-2016, 08:28 PM   #20
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My wife and I are considering selling our SMB and getting something like this. Want to trade?
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