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stayalert 06-20-2017 12:32 PM

Rob and Allison's big AdVANture

Hi...My name is Rob and my wife's name is Allison....We recently flew to Montana and drove a 1997 Ford EB350 Quiggley Sportsmobile back home to Vermont......We bought it from a forum member (Thanks Taylor!) after reviewing a lot of pictures, asking tons of questions, and scratching our chins....

So far not too much drama after ~3 months & ~3,000 miles.....

We are pursuing a pipe dream of chasing snow in the western USA and British Columbia next season - and I am working towards a goal of setting the van up for that use....I need help/advice/counseling/heckling in order to accomplish this goal.
and want to basically baseline the entire van and get it ready for an epic trip.
The rig is a gasser V-10 with 214K miles. A replacement motor was installed a couple of years ago, The van was improved about a year ago with a good compliment of Agile off road suspension components. I replaced the Quig. control arms with updated round arms and have replaced the front sway bar bushings.

I am working my way slowly through the electrical systems and want to baseline and prep the van for our snow pursuit.

are there any threads or faq's on base lining this beast? In my opinion its in great shape but needs to be tweeked here and me out!!!

Rob & Allison
Norwich, VT

86Scotty 06-20-2017 02:12 PM

Rob, we're glad to help but tell us a little more about what you have and what you are aiming to do.


simplesez 06-20-2017 02:21 PM

in my experience the basics you need for a long snow trip are:

great tires, chains, built in heat, insulation on all windows, good water storage containers, a drying rack for clothes, boot dryers, a rocket box to keep your skis/boards in, lots of towels, muck boots, and adequate lighting.

Also have Quigley on speed dial so they can send you their custom parts when you break down in the middle of nowhere. (I know this from experience)

rallypanam 06-20-2017 03:28 PM

I would clean and service the Suburban..

They can get dirty and clog jets and won't fire..

stayalert 06-20-2017 08:16 PM

Good stuff so far - I'll provide more info. When i'm not typing on phone

stayalert 06-21-2017 07:51 AM

Suburban furnace currently works. i aim to remove it and clean it and do anything I can to lube/clean to get the most out of it regarding heat output and power consumption. have ordered new propane detector and CO detector (old CO detector was labelled 2001)

Working on ABS just now.....Recently - ABS light comes on a minute or so after start up.....prelim. investigations reveals a sensor at each front wheel and a sensor on the rear differential.....sensors and sensor wiring seems intact at sensors and at brake fluid reservoir (fluid at "Max") I need to get a closer look behind the front shock on the passenger side looks like there is some wiring there....Any tips on ABS?


1 grey water tank has a leak - looks to be easily repairable (but prone to debris exposure/damage) for Winter use should I just remove it and collect sink drain in pan/jug?

2 water tank/pump/propane hot water heater all work...Are these more trouble than they are worth for Winter use? ie should I drain water tank and use portable 5 gallon container?

3 Winter tires - I live on a dirt road with steep paved hills nearby. Ordinarily I'm a big fan of 4 studded snows but I think for this rig (high mileage trips East>West>North>etc - I think studs would be a poor choice....any recos on winter tires? Current size is 285/75R16

I'll gather up some photos and post soon....

86Scotty 06-21-2017 08:00 AM

1. I would attempt to repair it and use it, but even if gray water has a small leak it doesn't bother me at all. I think the hype about collecting and dumping all gray water is foolish since most of it is just sink/shower water, but in heavy bear country etc. I see the point in it. I would love it if mine was on a 'drip' while driving down the highway. :D

2. These are great conveniences, not more trouble than worth IMO at all. Flush the tank let a capful or two of bleach sit in the water, then flush again and you're good. If the tank is indoors it won't freeze unless you get into some seriously cold weather. Most SMBs have them inside and are trouble free.

3. BFG KO2's are supposedly amazing in snow and what a lot of people are running these days. I'm a fan and have them on one of my vehicles but not much snow here. I've also had great luck with Cooper AT/3 (ATP is the same) and Toyo Open Country AT.

Your swapping of the detectors was a good idea and something lots of folks never do.


stayalert 06-21-2017 08:17 AM

h20 tank is under one side of gaucho...(another project - current gaucho is great for folks up to about 5' tall....We want to sleep with PH top down on coldest nights so I removed a cabinet with three drawers and are chin scratching on how to elongate the downstairs sleeping accomodations..)

As for insulating windows...what do people do? I have few windows (2 rear, driver/passenger, side barn doors, and two small side windows) for everything but the windshield and driver/passenger windows I was thinking of fabric covered, tight fitting (but removable) 1" foam or something and bubble foil stuff for around the PH when its up....

rallypanam 06-21-2017 09:29 AM

Bubble foil stuff is popular on windows. I've never used it, but rarely camp in really cold temperatures.

Also agree with all 86Scotty's points.

Where's Ray? 1der does a couple month ski trip every year, he's the expert on all this!

As for bed, I'd make up a little padded platform between the cabinets and just stick your feet out there.. feet are small, you can share the small space with the wife. Oh, so you removed the cabinet on the driver's side? Then you can make the platform bigger, you're all set.

simplesez 06-21-2017 09:34 AM

On my van some of the water lines run under the van or are exposed to the outside air. That makes it so it can't be trusted in the winter. I drain it and use 5 gallon jugs.

2nd on the Suburban furnace clean out. I had mud dauber nests, a squeaking motor, and a burnt out control module that I had to deal with. Again repairing this stuff in the middle of winter is painful.

The penthouse top is so poorly insulated that we rarely pop the top in the winter. It just isn't worth the hassle to have the head room. You will not be sleeping up there in the winter anyway.

The windows just need a layer of reflectix on ALL of them. Stuff insulation in any air gaps you can find.

Find any holes to the outside and seal them. We have had a mouse come inside more than once. They want to be inside where it is warm and your van will have warmth and likely food (and they will chew it all)

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