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Old 02-08-2017, 08:48 PM   #1
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Out with the Old in with the New, my wife drove up Boulder Alley after Knee Surgery

We drive and camp in a e350 RB conversion to 4x4 crawler with solar, engle frig, platform bed and swivel seats. Pop top camper.
Live in San Diego- so Aluminess visit was a snap and they dialed the rear and front bumpers, tire rack, double size galley box, roof rack! It's a beast, lockers, dana 60, atlas 2 transfer et al. We love it, it is so much fun in boulders, steep climbs and truly rough rutted terrain.
Alas, these two fifty year old climbers are shifting gears and in the cue for a 2017 MB EB 4x4 rig. It'll be bare bones couch/bed with added slab to get a 60" sleep zone, cabinets for frig, stove, storage. Couch pushed to the rear. Driver side for the cabinets, etc.. Maybe over head storage along the sides and in the rear. Window that operate all around and a ottoman.
We are more interested in comfortable sleep, awesome stereo, wi-fi, navigation and cb than too much cabinetry and a shower. We pee in a waste basket and don't even bat an eye. Got shovel and RV paper to cover the back end!
Oh well, we're here will check back in, and will probable make ourselves and ya'll laugh more than once... on purpose as well as by accident! m and M.
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Old 02-08-2017, 10:08 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum. Photos of your current rig will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-09-2017, 05:20 AM   #3
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Shut Eye Ridge Complex, Sierra Nevada Range, CA
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Old 02-09-2017, 10:07 AM   #4
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Welcome to the group, current rig looks awesome! Looking forward to seeing the new one when it's done.
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Old 02-09-2017, 12:03 PM   #5
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EmMay,

Do I see in your pics that you put a driver's side OEM running board on your passenger's side as well? If so I like that look! My wife would have a step, but I wouldn't have a lopsided looking van.(I like symmetry!) We currently have the Carr loops 2 on pass side and 1 on driver's side, but put a stool/cooler/box in front of the barn doors when at camp.
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Old 02-09-2017, 02:20 PM   #6
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Both sides have a step there, they needed a little trim to keep the tires from rubbing against them in a tight turn but they serve. In the long run, like all flat surfaces they end up having something set on them at some point during a trip whether it's a boot or a bottle!
The side entrance has a cargo box that stores supplies for the awning and cook zone, we hot glued a couple sections of marine carpet to the top and it'll double as seat and step up when it comes along.
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Old 02-10-2017, 12:06 AM   #7
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No one seems to have asked...what are you going to do with the current rig when the Benzo comes in?
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Old 02-10-2017, 05:44 AM   #8
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That's gonna be a tough one. The side yard has a pad it can post up on until a run that requires beast ability comes up; it'd be bitter sweet to set her free, but that may be her destiny.
At 72k she has new suspension, a local offroad racing outfit custom tuned fox shocks to her ride, ARBs dialed a new fuel pump in the 45 g tank, year old tires. And has a lot of tripping left,. We're on our way to Anza Borego Saturday to gather marble and andesite with a retired geology prof from SDSU Saturday. He makes rock collections for local elementary schools around here...
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Old 02-13-2017, 07:04 PM   #9
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Got our check cashed by SMBw and we're apparently in the cue for a van and build that'll start sometime around the end go the year and end... TBD....

Submitted a lot of ideas and some pictures to Brian, he's the dude that navigated us through the PH top that was added to our rig awhile back. Like him, and he's been steady on comms so far.

Since our new rig is an EB body with 4x4 and I'm feeling positive that the weight will require DRW. I'm off to study up on what we will need to know about chaining up when it's r1-r3 conditions on California roads: chains on all wheels! Dam, I better get a onesie overall to crawl around in ....

As climbers we've been studying and reading up on our Climbers Forums: SuperTopo, Mountain Project, etc.. We've been working through the steps too ween ourselves from the e350RB, 4x4 lockers ability and our considerations that 'so many' locales require beast mode to get to and climb; basically, it's not true that we'll be snake bitten if we transition to our new rig.

We even went though all of the Guide Books we have to research future sites and past trips to find exactly what we needed and if we could have done without. It'll be like losing a kiddo to growin' up we figure, change requires loss.

The ol' timer climber crew would start their answer with this lead, " You're gonna die...", then they chirp up about how they see the whole shebang unfolding, no matter what the topic, based on their wizened, hard earned wrinkles in how a life plays itself out. Climbing route wise, sweetheart wise, vehicle wise or the way to open a bottle of nearly frozen beer. They'll chime in... so far the consensus from the geezers has been: 'move on'.
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Old 02-23-2017, 07:35 PM   #10
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Mitch is an ol' SEAL, original late 60's model SEAL when there were still guys called UDT. He told LuLu, my sweetheart, of course you can drive this rig up Boulder Alley, let's review how to drive in 4low!

I wasn't there, I was hiking and rappelling down Cougar Creek's canyon, down from the headwaters on the reservation above Warner Springs and out into the Collins Valley of the Anza Borego desert.

But LuLu is sharp, and brave and pays attention. Mitch got the ARB lockers charged up and engaged, got the Atlas 2 in low 4, put the engine in low on the column and off she went following as he walked ahead and scouted the route.She had her knee wrapped in bandages and a cool ice pack to keep the swelling down. She was 72 hours outta major knee surgery.

She bumped and crawled, tilted and crept on up; and there are some massive boulders to navigate; she cracked up when she got to the top quarter: there waiting, were ten Jeep Ranglers, idling standing down, mouthes agape as along comes the e350, RB, 4 by slowly steadily eating up the hill. Magnum growl low and deep moving up. Every head turned, every jaw dropped as her smiling face came into focus. She told me the first dude called out, 'That's a chick driving that F-ing van!"

At first she she said they were looking pissed to have to wait for this rookie show going down, but as she passed the last rigs they were clapping and cheering her on...

She's a soft spoken, former collegiate swimming champion. Never brags, never proud never offers any info to you to think she's done some cool stuff: but I could see it in her eye when I finally got into camp and Mitch told the whole story...

There's been no turning back.
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