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Old 11-20-2016, 01:34 PM   #1
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Introducing Apache Cheef - 2001 V10 4x4 Hi-Top

Hi all!

I've been lurking the forums for a while, quite a while, and am proud to say I'm finally a member of the family! After reading this forum and seeing these babies on the road I've come to realize I'm not your "typical" SMB owner so I'd like to take a moment to tell you my story... hopefully you enjoy it and I make some friends along the way!

I've lusted over SMB's since I was a child - I've always been a bit of a 'petrolhead,' reading Car & Track and Road & Driver since I was allowed to digest "non-educational" material. Motorycles, cars and bicycles are my greatest fascinations, and the concept of having a powerful 4x4 vehicle with ample storage space, towing capacity and livable space and is appealing to me.
My dream rig would be a 4x4 Sprinter PH with a (comparatively) semi bare bones interior buildout that could be used to go one multi-week expeditions or haul tons of gear and a few friends on a weekend trip. But I can't afford that right now given my age (mid-20's) and career position... so I settled for a 2001 SMB E-350 V10 4x4 fixed high-roof cargo van! I'm really pleased with it my only hesitation is the V10 engine, but I wouldn't have been able to afford the diesel, which I prefer, and it wasnsuch an amazing deal I couldn't pass it up.

I plan to move forward with a DIY build that would serve me for a (min.) 9-12 month tour of North America. I plan to take some time off, grab my dog, bike(s), skis/board, kayak, climbing and backpacking gear and the few other essentials I need to live. I been toying with the build options for a while now and all I've done so far is purchased a swivel base seat for the passenger chair (thanks Ray - 1der!!!) and sourced some LVT "wood" flooring.

There's probably another section to talk about my build plans so I'll leave it at that. I hope to be traveling by Spring of 2017 and look forward to being part of this community along the way!

Some photos from a trip to the Lost Coast:
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2001 E350 Creeper Cargo V10 4x4 Voyager Top
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Old 11-20-2016, 03:01 PM   #2
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Congrats on the purchase.

Quadvan? I ask because of the sliding door.


Herb
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Old 11-20-2016, 05:29 PM   #3
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Welcome. Nice van.

I'm curious what your hesitations were/are about the V10?

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Old 11-20-2016, 05:55 PM   #4
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Don't be afraid of the V10, I'd trade you for my 5.4 in a heartbeat. You will grow to love the extra power it offers.
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Old 11-20-2016, 07:31 PM   #5
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Welcome and congrats on the new Van, no turning back now… you're hooked.
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Old 11-20-2016, 09:59 PM   #6
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Hesitation for the V10 is due to the fuel consumption (CA fuel prices) and my understanding is that the diesel is a more reliable rig overall. But I am thankful for the extra power when going up decent grades!

I also read that the V8 doesn't receive CONSIDERABLY better mpg given the trade off in power so I'm not unhappy at all... the V10 just makes me laugh nervously

A little more info on the van and to answer some questions:

It's a Quiqley conversion, done prior to the SMB build: high-top with side + f/r storage, full insulation, house battery, (2) lights, vent/fan combo, curtains and a carpeted (bed) platform in the back that continues to behind the driver seat with storage below.

Thanks for the warm welcome - I have been addicted and it's only going to get better!
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Old 11-25-2016, 10:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApacheCheef View Post
my understanding is that the diesel is a more reliable rig overall.
Diesel vs Gas is a subject that has been debated extensively, it's a little like discussing religion or politics around here. I will say that your V10 should be very reliable with just a few common issues like the occasional loss of a coil or fuel pump. The cost to maintain, repair and service a gas motor is generally much less than with a diesel. Would I like to have the huge amounts of power, torque and better mileage of a diesel? Sure, but the lack of availability and increased cost of a diesel made it a simple choice when I found my 5.4, So, enjoy your V10, it should serve you well for many years.
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Old 11-25-2016, 02:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arctictraveller View Post
Diesel vs Gas is a subject that has been debated extensively, it's a little like discussing religion or politics around here. I will say that your V10 should be very reliable with just a few common issues like the occasional loss of a coil or fuel pump. The cost to maintain, repair and service a gas motor is generally much less than with a diesel. Would I like to have the huge amounts of power, torque and better mileage of a diesel? Sure, but the lack of availability and increased cost of a diesel made it a simple choice when I found my 5.4, So, enjoy your V10, it should serve you well for many years.
Thanks, acrtictraveller, that puts my mind at ease. I jumped at the opportunity to own an SMB without doing an extensive amount of research on the engine (which I would have preferred) so I appreciate the input on the common maintenance items.. I have quite a bit of research yet to do in terms of these engines.
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Old 11-25-2016, 04:10 PM   #9
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Nice rig. Seems like the perfect platform to start on. Are you in SF Bay Area?
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