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Old 10-25-2016, 11:02 AM   #11
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I jealous of your tires!! However, the true admirers of HellBetty, her springs and FOx shocks totally get the long term $ goal and say something like- "new tires later huh?" after I comment on them

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Originally Posted by larrie View Post
....The solution we came up with is quite simple.
Hey nice idea for gadget mount! I keep ending up in places with zero cell service tho so it's back to old-school nav, map reading in advance. I'm also starting a collection of DeLorme state series of atlas and gazetteer books .
(Plus I like that word: gazetteer. I wonder if they make hats?)
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Old 10-25-2016, 06:06 PM   #12
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Hey nice idea for gadget mount! I keep ending up in places with zero cell service tho so it's back to old-school nav, map reading in advance. I'm also starting a collection of DeLorme state series of atlas and gazetteer books .
(Plus I like that word: gazetteer. I wonder if they make hats?)
My iPad is not connected to the cellular system but it does have a GPS in it. This allows me to keep track of my location while on the trail. There are several apps that allow you to cache maps for the area you are traveling in. My current favorites are Avenza PDF Maps and Hema Explorer. I also have the DeLorme maps they are for backup.
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Old 10-25-2016, 07:39 PM   #13
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AC Unit Removal and Vent Install

The Tardis was originally put together by 86Scotty for east coast use. When he had the Colorado Camper Van top installed he also a Fantastic Fan. After using it like this for a while he decided to install a rooftop air conditioner on the CCV pop top so that his family could survive camping during the hot and humid summer in the southeastern states. To install the AC unit he moved the Fantastic Fan forward so that he could use it when needed. We live in Oregon and do not have the same humidity levels so we decided to pull the AC unit off the roof.

The hardest part of the process was finding a place to park the van where there was enough overhead clearance to mount a pulley to pick the unit off the roof. As it turns out my brother in law has an 11 foot high catwalk to get to the upstairs of his barn. I was able to sling a pulley off the guard rail and back the van under the catwalk.

The lifting cable from the winch on the tractor ran through the pulley and then down to ratchet straps around the AC unit. The AC unit was secured to the roof by long clamping bolts that were accessed from inside the van and easily removed.

Removing the AC unit


Once everything was disconnected on the inside and the tension taken out of the ratchet straps the unit was ready to be lifted off the roof. The unit came right off the roof and and hung in space while the van was moved out of the way. The unit was then lowered onto a trailer and stored.

Now there was a hole in the van roof that needed to be covered. I had already ordered and received a Fantastic Vent to take the place of the AC unit. A vent was used because there was already a Fantastic Fan on the roof and we did not need two fans.

The installation of the vent was easy because the hole and wood backing was already there. Before the AC unit was removed I had already painted the vent housing black to match the fan. Installation was just a matter of cleaning the roof, setting the gasket and vent in position, screwing it down and caulking it in.

Existing hole in the roof


Completed installation


Vent on the the left, fan on the right.


The installation of the sixteen screws went smoothly because the original holes were still there from when the fan was mounted in the same location.

One side note, the winch I used, just like all vehicle winches, are not rated for overhead use. Be careful if you decide do lift something with your winch.
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Old 10-25-2016, 10:24 PM   #14
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Front Hitch Install

Front recovery points are very handy to have when you are stuck. To prepare for an upcoming trip I discussed building some custom recovery points that would work with the stock bumper with MGMetalworks. MG came up with an elegant solution that would be easy to install and not require major modifications to the bumper.

Just before they were ready to go into production MG pointed me to a new thread on the forum about front recovery points using a front hitch. Based on the answers in the thread we changed direction. I purchased a Curt Manufacturing model 33055 front hitch that is rated at 9,000 pounds.

Hitch installation


There are two hoops welded to the hitch that can be used as recovery points. In addition a receiver mount with shackle slide right into the hitch to provide a third point of recovery.

Recovery hoops


The hitch was reasonably easy to install. Just had to lift it place with a floor jack and then pass the bolts through the slot in the fame and out the holes in the bottom of the frame. Thin wires are provided with the hitch to help position the bolts. The only issue was that the carriage bolts heads would not fit into the access slot in the frame. This was solved by the bolt head spending some quality time with the bench grinder.

Bolt configuration
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Old 10-26-2016, 07:27 AM   #15
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That looks like a fun project removing that AC! I actually walked it up there on a ladder, backwards, and carefully set it in place. It was a tense moment but I had no other options. Rounded, slippery roofs are no fun to work on.

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Old 10-26-2016, 07:38 AM   #16
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[QUOTE=larrie;187483]My iPad is not connected to the cellular system but it does have a
GPS in it. This allows me to keep track of my location while on the trail. There are several apps that allow you to cache maps for the area you are traveling in. My current favorites are Avenza PDF Maps and Hema Explorer. I also have the DeLorme maps they are for backup.[/QUOTE
]

Ok great to know- I'm a babe in the woods when it comes to apps but I did hike regularly with some folks aa few years back and I think Scott liked the avenza maps, thanks for reminding me!!
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Old 10-26-2016, 07:46 AM   #17
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Lots of good problem solving and clear writing in this thread Larrie

I need to dedicate some time to sitting down and reading through entire threads. The two books I just finished were snoozers so I need to refresh my reading list anyhow
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Old 10-26-2016, 10:46 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 86Scotty View Post
That looks like a fun project removing that AC! I actually walked it up there on a ladder, backwards, and carefully set it in place. It was a tense moment but I had no other options. Rounded, slippery roofs are no fun to work on.

There was no way I was going to manhandle the unit off the roof. The thing weighs 90 pounds. Am amazed you could get up there without rigging it.
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Old 10-26-2016, 11:10 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larrie View Post
Just before they were ready to go into production MG pointed me to a new thread on the forum about front recovery points using a front hitch. Based on the answers in the thread we changed direction. I purchased a Curt Manufacturing model 33055 front hitch that is rated at 9,000 pounds.

There are two hoops welded to the hitch that can be used as recovery points. In addition a receiver mount with shackle slide right into the hitch to provide a third point of recovery.
I just came to the same conclusion myself, Larrie. Got a nice big package yesterday from Etrailer.com with a DrawTite 9000 lb front hitch, a Bulldog Winch receiver mount, a couple of heavy duty shackles, and tow strap. It won't be a winch, but maybe could get me or somebody else out of trouble.

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Old 10-30-2016, 10:56 PM   #20
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Air Compressor Installation

We were planning a weeklong trip to visit several hot springs in eastern Oregon. Many of the roads in that part of Oregon are unpaved gravel. Having driven lots of gravel roads in the past I knew they could be rutted, potholed, and washboardy. To smooth out the ride it was time to add an onboard air system to the Tardis so I could air down the tires.

I looked at several system and decided to keep it simple and install an ARB CKMA-12 compressor. The Tardis is the extended body style so there is lots of available space to install accessories behind the rear axel and between the frame rails like an air compressor.

Compressor mounting.


The compressor comes with its own mounting base plate that is pre drilled for mounting bolts. This is a fairly small plate and the installation required a longer one. A larger powder coated plate was found at a Wilco Farm Store that was originally designed for fence posts. A little drilling later and the plate was ready to be mounted to the compressor base plate. The entire assembly was then mounted to a piece of 11/16" slotted metal chanel that was installed between the frame rails using two existing holes in the frame.

Compressor mounting.


The compressor comes with a wiring harness that is designed to go into the engine compartment of a Land Cruiser or Jeep. The six wires need to be extended to make the harness work with he compressor in the rear of the vehicle and the switch in the dash. The two power wires were run along the passenger side frame rail to the starting battery. The four control wires were run into the driver side living area and extended up into the dash to the on-off switch.

The fresh air inlet was also run into the living space. This assures that the compressor clean air at the inlet.

Brass fittings were used to connect the rubber air hose to the compressor. The hose was then run to the back of the van and mounted to one of the trailer chain attachment holes in the rear step bumper.

Brass fittings at compressor.


Quick connect mounting point.


With air hose connected.


The dashboard faceplate was removed so the power switch could be installed. The faceplate is held in by a couple of bolts, clips and the head light switch. The escutcheon around the switch unscrews. The knob has a metal retainer piece that needs to be pulled up in order to remove the escutcheon. ARB installation manual gives the size of the power switch mounting hole. Using the dimensions a template was made and then a suitable place on the dashboard faceplate was found next to the 12 volt socket. A Dremel tool using a cutoff wheel was used to cut the rough opening. The opening was then fine tuned with a knife.

Harbor Freight had a sale on a 50 foot 3/8" rubber air hose that was cut into several lengths for the air intake line, the onboard air line, and a 25 foot length used to run from the air quick connect to the tires. The quick connects came from Home Depot.

A trip to the drug store yielded a cane tip that would fit on the female quick connect to keep the dust out of it.


One thing I learned is that the quick connects come in different flavors, industrial, automotive and combination. I started with the automotive flavor but then switched to combination so that the connections would with the rest of the air system in the shop.

The onboard air system worked great on the trip. The only thing I noticed was that quite a bit of condensation was developing inside the air line. This seemed to be slowing down the air up times on the last tire. The only way to solve this would be to install an air tank with an auto drain or a coalescing filter at the air outlet.
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