This project moves on. We bought a off lease 2014 Sienna AWD Limited with 28,000 miles for about $30k. So far we have a one week long trip from Salt Lake to climb at Red Rocks outside Vegas. About 1,000 miles of driving and 6 nights slept in the van. The wife loves it so that is a big check.
We only had it a week or so before the trip so I didn't have time to do much of anything. So I just removed the 2nd row seats, folded the 3rd row into the floor, and laid out 4" bouldering pads with a 2" full size gel memory foam topper on them. Shoved our bags and stuff in the 2nd row space behind the driver's seat.
A few thoughts so far:
Limited Model: I have to say all the features of the Limited were impressive with blind spot monitoring, heated seats, rear camera, and dual sunroofs.
Driving: it hammered down the road and our 1000 mile trip and got around 20 mpg rolling at 70-85 mph for most of the miles.
Tires: the run flats are BS. It is winter in Utah so it just got new Blizzak DM-V2 tires put on 235/60R18 107S XL. This is an up size as our stock was 235/55R18. It raised the ground clearance about 0.5". At the moment I have a donut spare and an inflation kit.
Poptop: going Limited means I will not ever go poptop with this rig. GTRV wants LE models without sunroof. I can imagine sunroof would pose a challenge when cutting in roof.
Rear Sunroof: its big and lets in lots of light in when the shade is opened. I also can standup through it. Will I make coffee or cook on the roof at some point? Yes likely.
Pull down DVD player: One night we were out alone in a remote area without any friends camping with us so we watched a movie. It was kind of nice. The rig did shutdown after a little bit (?30 minutes) so I started the ignition for a bit.
Things to work on:
Bed: The sizing and space worked well for us. 48" at head with tapper to 42 at feet. I've got to build a proper bed platform and I'd like it to convert to a bench. That is next on the list. Post trip I've removed the 3rd row seats. Loads of space there! Still thinking a layout like this guys
. Just going to build something. Wood is cheap.
Ground Clearance: I still want more for sure. I'm looking at getting some custom coil springs made to lift it 1.5"-2". I've got a local shop which said they would swapout the springs.
2nd row windows and sunroof: I'd like to be able to open the rear sunroof from the back without touching the ignition. This seems tricky as I'm not electrical expert. If I can do the add a fuse trick to back power the fuse box circuit that work work but might be too space limited for that. If you have ideas I'd love to hear them.
Electrical: Charging cellphones was a struggle and I'll have to find a solution. At the moment putting in a plug and play lithium ion solution is the most attractive too me. Leader right now is the Bioenno Power M400
$489 10"x6"x10" with 400W from Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries. I've looked at Goal Zero Yeti 400 but they are Lead Acid and LiFePo seems to make more since. Others out there to look at? I'd love something more around 500 watts.
LED lights working on converting the interior lights to LED. It is nice the accessory lights work with the ignition off.
Couple pics from our first night in the van above I-15.