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Old 10-30-2010, 09:14 AM   #1
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Rehoboth Beach, DE to Moab, UT

Decided to make a road trip out west in my Ford E250 van. Along the way I want to experiment with solar power. I got a couple ridiculously huge SunTech 260 panels mounted on the roof (thanks to some cool people at Clean Energy USA). I've got plenty of power for devices, so I'm actually writing this from the road, on the laptop, connected to the Internet by way of my Droid X acting as a 3G Hotspot. The solar panels are keeping my storage batteries charged up during the day, so at night I've been able to watch movies to wind down. Trudging through the boring flat states right now heading to the mountains. Once things get more scenic I'll upload some photos.
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Old 10-30-2010, 10:22 AM   #2
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Re: Rehoboth Beach, DE to Moab, UT

Safe Journey
but most of all have FUN!
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Old 10-31-2010, 07:07 PM   #3
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Re: Rehoboth Beach, DE to Moab, UT




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Old 10-31-2010, 07:21 PM   #4
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Re: Rehoboth Beach, DE to Moab, UT

Except for the really big solar panels your van looks like Hal!
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Open the pod bay doors Hal.

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Old 10-31-2010, 07:47 PM   #5
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Re: Rehoboth Beach, DE to Moab, UT

Looks good!!! Have fun!
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Old 11-03-2010, 11:09 AM   #6
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Re: Rehoboth Beach, DE to Moab, UT




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Old 11-03-2010, 11:37 AM   #7
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Re: Rehoboth Beach, DE to Moab, UT

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4WheelDriveVan
Is that your kitestring for when you go flying the van?
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Old 11-03-2010, 07:06 PM   #8
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Re: Rehoboth Beach, DE to Moab, UT

The door kept blowing shut in the wind.
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Old 11-03-2010, 07:21 PM   #9
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Re: Rehoboth Beach, DE to Moab, UT





I don't have 4WD yet but on these trails it was not the limiting factor, it was my fear threshold that got to me. These roads are narrow as sin. Long Canyon Road Moab. I've done it in a Jeep but this was just too spooky for me in the Gargantuan SolaRolla. One wrong move and over the cliff I'd go.
I am however shocked at what you can do with just 2WD and high clearance.
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Old 11-14-2010, 02:59 PM   #10
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Re: Rehoboth Beach, DE to Moab, UT

Somewhere along the line I grew tired of posting photos during my vacation...

I threw together a short video that you can watch of the van on some of the trails around Moab:



My biggest realization during the trip was that the 4.2 engine was just not big enough for Colorado. While the van made it there and back I was often going 20 mph slower than the traffic around me.
The 4.2 is fine up to about 65mph and will do 80 mph if you force it to but engine whine increases and mpg decrease at speeds above 65 -70. The 4.2 does not like to climb uphill quickly. It will make it, just not very fast. In Delaware where our average speed limit is 55 this van works great. Out west where the advertised speed is 75MPH and everyone drives 80, it's just not big enough.

If I were going to spend all of my time around Moab, the 4.2 was actually more than enough for anything I could throw at it. Even with 4x2 I was blown away at what I was able to drive over with high clearance and oversized tires. My new plan may be to haul a jeep or motocross bike with me for the really tough stuff. My nerves gave out before the van did in a couple of cases where I just felt "too big" to navigate the obstacles in front of the van.
Turning around on narrow ledges with a van can certainly make your knuckles and hair turn prematurely white.

My new plan is to search ebay for a relatively low mileage 7.3
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