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Old 08-10-2015, 11:40 AM   #91
Dia
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Re: Lola, The Petroleum Falcon

Once the brackets were in, it was time for the supports. Hat tip to LeadDoggy, who fabricated these!



Getting the supports in was easy, very plug and play. My cell phone kept falling out of my pocket, though, and I was worried about kneeling on it or having it fall out of the van. A warning for those who come after me - See that nice slot where the seatbelt used to be?

IT'S A TRAP!! There's no bottom on that thing, folks (which you likely knew), so it makes a piss poor cell phone cubby.



Now we come to the hard part. See, LeadDoggy very helpfully marked all of the pieces, and I took pictures of how they went together. I, however, neglected to note whether Left and Right were facing the front of the van or facing the rear. It took me three tries to get this all together right.

See how the top of that front crossbar isn't flush with the top of the support? Yeah. Lotta bass-ackwards goin' on. My bad. I had to take it all apart and do it over.

Oh, and that thing held together (sort of) with duct tape near the back? Tool box.

Attached Thumbnails
LolaBedSupports.jpg   NotACellPhoneHolder.jpg   FrameworkNot Complete.jpg  
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Old 08-10-2015, 11:48 AM   #92
Dia
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Re: Lola, The Petroleum Falcon

Here we are finally installed correctly. Left side.



And right side.



Curse words uttered: 4
Scraped knuckles: 3
Nails broken: 2
Favorite jeans torn: 1
First DIY Success: PRICELESS!
Attached Thumbnails
LeftSide.jpg   RightSide.jpg  
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Old 08-10-2015, 03:36 PM   #93
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Re: Lola, The Petroleum Falcon

Nice! ......so is the fire extinguisher in the cup holder?

I think a fire extinguisher was one of the first items I bought for my van....I had just read BajaSportsmobile's thread about having smoke coming out of a wall while in Baja.......
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Old 08-10-2015, 04:31 PM   #94
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Re: Lola, The Petroleum Falcon

Nice to see everything fit good!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dia
Once the brackets were in, it was time for the supports. Hat tip to LeadDoggy, who fabricated these!



Getting the supports in was easy, very plug and play. My cell phone kept falling out of my pocket, though, and I was worried about kneeling on it or having it fall out of the van. A warning for those who come after me - See that nice slot where the seatbelt used to be?

IT'S A TRAP!! There's no bottom on that thing, folks (which you likely knew), so it makes a piss poor cell phone cubby.



Now we come to the hard part. See, LeadDoggy very helpfully marked all of the pieces, and I took pictures of how they went together. I, however, neglected to note whether Left and Right were facing the front of the van or facing the rear. It took me three tries to get this all together right.

See how the top of that front crossbar isn't flush with the top of the support? Yeah. Lotta bass-ackwards goin' on. My bad. I had to take it all apart and do it over.

Oh, and that thing held together (sort of) with duct tape near the back? Tool box.
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Old 08-12-2015, 10:29 AM   #95
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Re: Lola, The Petroleum Falcon

The battery saga...

My hitch step arrived over the weekend, so I installed it. The reviews of that particular model said it set off some reverse sensors, but not others, so one had to try it to see. Got it in, fired up the van, and yep, it sets off my sensors but in a kind of intermittent way.

Then I noticed that it was trash day, and the garbage cans were out and possibly in the detection field, so I turned the van off, moved the cans and tried again. Still beeping.

Then I noticed that I'd left the packaging and a couple other things on the ground behind the van. So I turned the van off, moved the stuff and tried again. Still beeping, and still this wishy-washy intermittent beep almost like something was moving in the wind and only setting off the sensor in a certain position.

So I pulled a weed or two out of the drive. Nope. Still beeping. OK, time to give up. I packed up the hitch step to return it and ordered a different, smaller one where the reviews said it would fit between the sensors just fine.

That was Saturday. The new step arrived on Monday, the day I was supposed to get my plywood for the bed platform.

Lola: What's that? You're getting ready for a big trip and you need to go somewhere today? Sorry, not starting. *Lola winks*

Dia: Oh, so it's like that, is it?

Lola: Uh-huh. Pay up, sweetheart. I'll go easy on you; it's just the battery. This time.

No plywood sets all of my packing back by a day, and the Prius doesn't do plywood. In addition, the hubs was down with food poisoning (not my cooking!), so I waited until Tuesday to ask for a jump.

Dang, when I kill off a battery, I kill it DEAD. No dice on the jump. Just a big red eye in the indicator and a little chuckle from Lola. I can't complain, really. The car was built in Nov. of 2010 and lived in Texas for awhile, and 5 years is pretty good counting the Texas heat. Much better a couple of days *before* a big trip than somewhere out in the boonies in the middle.

So I headed to Costco in the Prius. It's 20 miles one way, but the Costco battery is a about half the cost of Sears, and again - plywood won't fit in the Prius, so now I have to go back and get the plywood on a different trip, plus I have to take them the old battery for my core deposit. Grumble!

Installed the new battery this morning and she started right up. I can't complain, really. Lola was built in Nov. of 2010 and lived in Texas for awhile, and 5 years is pretty good counting the Texas heat.

Anyhow, she's up and running, and we'll head back to Costco tomorrow early so they can rotate my tires while I handle the plywood issue.

Here are my hands afterwards. They looked a lot dirtier in person. Guess I've been blooded now, eh?

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Old 05-20-2016, 01:35 PM   #96
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Wow, long time, no post.

I had a great trip last summer, going from SoCal to Spokane, then hitting Yellowstone and the Tetons on the way back home. Lola was awesome.

I was solo stealth camping my first night out. The tiniest sound woke me. Was someone or something messing with the van? Was I about to get busted? Well, of course not, but it was pretty funny at the time.

Met up with Shenrie and chit-chatted for awhile before spending my 2nd night in a Cracker Barrel lot. You're probably thinking "Why Cracker Barrel, of all places?" For one, I was on a bit of a tight timeline getting to Spokane, so I didn't really have time to range too far afield. And for two, Cracker Barrel is kinda special. My grandma made green beans just like that. Ditto the fried catfish, the okra, etc. We don't have Cracker Barrel here in CA, so when I see one, I go.

Spent the next week in Spokane stealth camped - sort of - in a hotel parking lot. Friends of mine were there for a convention. They gave my lic. plate as theirs, so parking there was fine. Sleeping there probably wasn't. I got access to the friends' fridge & shower; I bought them lunch. Worked for everybody.

Word to the wise - getting food poisoning (not my cooking this time either!) while stealth camped in your van is no fun at all. Let's hear it for Ziploc bags!

By the end of the week, sleeping and living in the van felt perfectly normal and comfortable.

Yellowstone was awesome as ever. And the Tetons... well, that story needs a picture and I can't upload 'em just yet, so I'll have to wait to tell you about the Tetons.
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Old 05-20-2016, 05:06 PM   #97
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Can't wait Dia! Good to hear from you.

BTW, Cracker Barrel Sunrise Sampler breakfast is the best meal on the highway. It's a huge meal and I can eat it anytime, anywhere.
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Old 05-20-2016, 11:28 PM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dia View Post
Wow, long time, no post.

Spent the next week in Spokane stealth camped - sort of - in a hotel parking lot.

Word to the wise - getting food poisoning (not my cooking this time either!) while stealth camped in your van is no fun at all. Let's hear it for Ziploc bags!
I've spent many a night in hotel parking lots and never had a probem. I seriously doubt that many have night time patrols checking license plates. I usually park directly under a bright light so as to hide any light leaks from the inside of my van, and it just looks like were checked in.

As for food poisoning, once in a life time is more than enough, but twice? Not sure why you guys have such bad luck, but hopefully you never get it again...........
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Old 05-21-2016, 09:36 AM   #99
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Re: food poisoning - We both got it from eating out. I can't remember where hubby went, but mine was from a Taco Tuesday special in Spokane. Ugh!

Van update - when I posted last, I had the lower platform in, but jury rigged. I didn't have time to get it covered and install the piano hinges before my trip, so I tied everything in place with paracord. Looks totally half-a##ed but works just fine.

Several months later, I still haven't finished the project, but it's not due to laziness. See, once that thing is in, it's permanent. The way it is now, I can remove the rear bed, supports and all, in maybe 15 - 20 minutes. If I install the piano hinges and secure the bed to the supports, removing the bed will be a major undertaking.

Remember when we were looking and we had to back off of a van or two because of some instability signals in DH's job? Well, that finally blew up, so DH is job hunting. On top of that, our landlords want to move back into the place we rent, so we have to move. DH has an hourly gig that he *really* likes that may go permanent in another month or so, plus he's a programmer so there are plenty of jobs out there. The timing sucks, though because we can't move until we have the proper documentation of income to please either a mortgage underwriter or a rental agency.

So where was I going with that? Oh, yeah... I can't perma-install that rear bed until after the move because we'll probably need the van's cargo capacity. I guess the half-a##ery will have to hold for awhile longer.

New purchases that I really like:
  • A JetBoil. Faster than any other method of heating water and doesn't take up a burner on the camp stove. I have to have my coffee even if breakfast is cold leftovers, and the JetBoil is so much quicker and easier than dealing with a camp stove. And speaking of stoves...
  • An Iwatani single burner stove. Wow!! Also so much better than a camp stove. The flame can be more finely controlled, which is great on the low end as well as the high end. With two of these (I only have one), I might jettison my camp stove altogether.
  • A 14 watt folding solar panel. I'm a writer, so the van is a portable office for me. I have a solar kb, and the small panel is enough to keep my phone & tablet charged w/o running the engine.
  • A small solar lantern. Highly portable and perfect for reading paper books at night.
Eventually, we might want a fridge so we don't have to deal with coolers and ice, but for right now, the level of comfort and tech in our low-budget SMB is just about perfect for us.
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Old 05-21-2016, 10:46 AM   #100
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Coupla photos, with more in the next day or so. They're also in my gallery.

Do you see the squirrel face in the one below the lichen?

That bison calf spent some time trying to figure out the yellow line. Stared at it. Sniffed it. Bent down and gave it a big ol' lick before he moved on.
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LichenObsidian.jpg   OldFaithful.jpg   SquirrelFace.jpg   MistyMorning.jpg   BisonJam.jpg  

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