I'm travelling this week and have a good amount of time to kill. So, I thought I'd list some of the mods I was planning on making to get some opinions. Not really a build thread, more like a collection of my thoughts
The small things I've done so far/have ready to go. Let me know if anyone would like any particular links:
1. Installed head unit and new front door speakers
2. Installed LED lights throughout (sourced a bunch from wal-mart for cheap - all work great so far)
3. Installed a shark bite style T-connection near the waterpump in the rear and attached a shower head. (Thanks for the help with this! - Camco has a great one with an on off switch that doesn't leak at all - $16 on Amazon)
4. Ordered a knockoff Bazooka sub/amp combo (8 inch Rockville). Installing in the space behind the driver seat and cabinet. This was the biggest one I could fit in that area. Very cheap, so I'm not sure how good it will be, but figured it was worth a shot. Will update once I get back from travel and install.
5. Have my solar setup all mapped out (thanks Boywonder). 2 100W Renogy panels with a Morningstar PWM remote and all the goodies. Started a thread on this and will update once installed.
Things I'd LIKE to do, but need some opinions:
1. Remove the running boards and replace with a couple of bully aluminum side steps. Does anyone know which model fits the best on a 2003 E250 - having a hard time finding any info online. Also, please let me know if anyone is interested in the running boards. They are in pretty good shape, small dents here and there, but overall nice.
2.Install external propane tank. There's no stove in the camper, and I don't ever intend on cooking inside. I'd really just like an external tank, maybe 3 gallons or so. I've read quite a few threads and obviously know the dangers of carrying even small tanks in the cab, so this is pretty high on my list. I saw a couple of reco's for the gowesty tank on a thread or two. Is this something I could bolt on myself? What else would be needed...once again, just looking for a tank that I can hook up a stove to outside of the vehicle. EDIT - this thread (http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...d-16545-3.html
) has been helpful, but seems like this might be a job for a pro - any suggestions on SD area installer?
Finally, the big one, and the one that I'm struggling with the most:
So here's the deal, as I've mentioned before, I'm an accountant (aka cheap) so every decision I make is very measured in regard to cost vs benefit. I've been reading through threads like crazy to try and determine what, if any, improvements I should make to the suspension. In summary, what I'd like is a van that can handle an average (or slightly below average) fire road. I'm thinking the worst terrain I'll encounter in the next year is some unmaintained roads in Baja.
I'd obviously love to do a 4wd conversion, but that's not currently in my budget. So the next option is a lift with locking rear diff. I've researched the lifts quite a bit and it seems Weldtech is at the top of the list. But, all in, that costs nearly $5k. Add a locking rear diff and we're getting up there (and I want to be careful to not overinvest in the van right off the bat). On top of that, I guess I'm not really sure how "worth it" a lift is. The aesthetics of a lift don't matter to me at all - the only thing I'm concerned with is capability. Guess I'm just looking for general opinions on the matter.
So to summarize, given what I'd like to use the vehicle for, and keeping costs in mind, what would you do:
1. Bigger tires with new wheels? Currently running 225/75/16 and from what I've read it seems like I could probably fit 245/75/16 without causing any issue. Anybody running that size stock?
2. Add a winch? This would be helpful, but requires a new bumper, which would impact suspension. Doesn't seem like a smart move for me at this point.
3. Still get a locking rear diff without a lift?
Sorry if that was a bit of a ramble, but as always, everyone's input is highly appreciated!