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Old 01-19-2016, 09:13 AM   #181
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The van looks good with the 33"s, but I agree you need a little lift!

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Old 01-19-2016, 11:30 PM   #182
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I really have enjoyed this thread. I just recently scored a 2009 AWD express van...Im thinking about both and input on the way the van handles would be helpful. Thank you.
Hey many thanks for the van/thread kudos!
AND thank you also for sharing the pix of your 09 AWD.
Best wishes on your build and adventures!

On the handling kit...I think i'm going to add that this spring. I'm going to contact my local shop-mechanic that installed the lift (that really is closer to 3" as an FYI...he was able to get a few extra turns out of the adjustment.) It rides really well as is, but I think the rear anti-sway bar will help with our high top in winds/side gusts from big rigs on the highway.

I'd have to check the tire size calculator, I think our 10ply 265/70/r17's at 60psi are close to 32" tall and we have some room left in there.

YMMV,
Thom
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Old 01-20-2016, 08:38 AM   #183
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Thanks for your input! Yeah, I think I will just add the sway bar and shocks at the same time as the two inch lift then.
I live in Oregon too, maybe our vans will cross paths sometime!
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Old 01-20-2016, 09:22 AM   #184
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Thanks for your input!..
I live in Oregon too, maybe our vans will cross paths sometime!
_Crossing paths_ would be cool. One of our fav places in Oregon to camp is the area just east of Sweet Home near Green Peter Lake. . . the 11 mile stretch of free-to-camp BLM land on the Santiam River.
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Old 01-20-2016, 12:05 PM   #185
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Bought this '04 Explorer Van in June. Since, I put a Traxda 2" lift(I swapped the 1" block for a 2". Made a huge difference.) New shocks, put Monroe 58606 Sensa-Trac Load Adjusting Shock Absorber on the rear. And Toyo AT Open Country 32" tires. In all it lifted the van 4". Next step is to black out the grill, bumpers, and ladder. Then add roof rack.
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Old 01-20-2016, 08:27 PM   #186
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Nice looking rig Adam.
Sounds like a nice base camp for family adventures : )

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Old 03-22-2016, 08:33 PM   #187
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Thumbs up back from Van Specialties with Aluminess bumpers : )

Cari and I had a nice round trip to Van Specialties and back home to the coast with the Aluminess bumpers we had installed. Everything worked out as planed and once the weather cooperates i'll get some pictures of the rig beyond the one I have here before the clouds sent down showers.



As mentioned we had them install front bumper with the 2" upgrade on tubes, and then matched with rear bumper plus the galley box on curb/camp side and open jerry can box on street side.

We weighed the rig on the way to VS and then upon return (both times with full tanks). It appears there is a difference of ~80 pounds more than stock which I think is a doable trade for the amount of functionality we will gain.

: ) Thom

As a side note; I will be putting up the original bumpers with the professional Rhino Lining treatment on the metal surfaces in the for-sale area.
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Old 03-23-2016, 07:32 AM   #188
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Very nice Accrete!

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Old 03-27-2016, 01:02 PM   #189
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Very nice Accrete!
Many thanks Scotty and all who have visited and shared your insights.

Below is a collage I put together today during a break in the rain. Once we have the galley box set up i'll get some detailed shots of that too.



: ) Thom
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Old 04-07-2016, 06:45 PM   #190
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Cool Poliglow Sunglasses required!

When we began dreaming of converting a van into a camper, the options were basically; 1) Sprinter with a high-top, or 2) Chevy/Ford and add a fiberglass high-top. Since we also wanted AWD if possible, we went with the Chevy AWD cargo van and had Van Specialties install the 24″ Fiberine fiberglass top. This gave us ~510 headroom after headlining/insulation/lighting was installed. The inside of the rig after 5 years of camping/daily use has faired well and looks new. The fiberglass top? Not so much. Even with washings and an occasional wax it was showing its age.

Last year during a fiberglass RV gathering we met a fellow traveler that swore by a product called Poliglow. It was not a polisher or wax, rather a chemical coating that would typically last about a year and then a simple reapply to bring back the shine. And shine it does. Following the easy instructions took our dull white fiberglass roof back to looking-as-new.



The prep is really the only hard work, and I faired well without any aches after an afternoon of scrubbing the oxidation off (using their Poli OX product) and then took about 2 hours the following day to actually apply the Poli Glow product. And as you can see from this un-retouched photo there is serious shine going on!

We got the complete kit with the Poli Prep, Glow, mitt, and scrubber and then added the OX to the order as we knew the surface was oxidized. Looking around at pricing you may find that ordering direct from PG will yield favorable prices.

I highly recommend this product to any whishing to breathe new life into old fiberglass. There are also several good videos online showing the simple application process for those in research mode.



: ) Thom
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