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Old 07-19-2021, 10:06 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2021
Posts: 10
street queen to baja adventure fun

so as my "hello" quick intro said, i am very new to the "van" adventure travel fun.* I will ask alot of questions*and may go off in a direction with the build that's????????

I originally was looking for a crew cab 4x4 diesel to just put a camper on it and to tow my offroad prerunner truck to places on the west coast/baja. *

but that was getting hard to find one that was not beat to sh!t or worth anything.

i told my daughter that when she graduates college, I will take her on a nice vacation. *so we had a cruise scheduled last year for the mediterranean. *but because of corona... it got cancelled along with her not being able to participate in any type of gad. ceremony. *

We rescheduled our cruise for this year. *it got canceled. *

This is where a friend at work and a "HB loca" baja surf rat told me how he travels in baja. *We always traded his surf stories *with my baja racing and adventure storys (i "used" to surf in baja and a semi pro skateboard back in the days). *I told my daughter that I will start looking for a van and we will do a cross country trip together.

one day, looking for a truck, I started looking for a van. *but i wanted one that could still tow my prerunner. *my van friends told me good luck that most are very used up.

i have never purchased anything from ebay but i found this 2005 diesel van that was at a used car place not far. *
i took my girlfriend and daughter with me to see it but we all liked it so i bought it.

2005 ford E350, 6.0 100% stock. *never towed anything. *130k miles $17k. *was owned by a handicap male that could not drive so his wife drove him in it. *all *the service was at a dealership not too far from me.
so, that is how it all starts.

i broke out a calendar*and my daughter and i found a 3 week opening that we both did not have much to move around so we can take off.

This gave me about a month to get this van ready.* at the same time my GF lost a cousin, her sister, and then a few days later her mom.* cousin and sister due to corona, mom from broken heart???

i had a full plate of my work, prep a van, plan a rout, and being support for my GF.

spent too much time watching videos on youtube on how/what people did building there van and i had to just get to work on it.

1st was to remove and sell the wheelchair lift.

I made a bed,
*mounted a table,*
installed the front seats swivel spinners,
*made some homemade*screens.
*ordered a jackery power box, some 12v fans and solar string lights,
*a bucket toilet/pisser.*
*some dog supplies,
a quick trip to AAA for ideas/maps.
cut the front and rear fenders, installed some new falkens wildpeak tires.
change oil
changed fuel filter
change air filter
bought a new stereo because the old head unit did not have blue tooth or a extra input. did not have time to install it or the cameras so we used some JBL blue tooth speakers.
then we hit the road.*

planed a trip over 6500 miles.

main points of interest coming from soca. roswell, aliens
texas BBQ
new orleans, history, food, music
gulf coast... why
Nashville*and Memphis, you know why
mark twain's national forest
south dakota, mount rushmore
badlands national park
yellowstone national park
zion national park
reno nevada
Yosemite national park
mammoth lakes

We wanted to stay off the interstate as much as possible*so we traveled*the smaller roads, smaller towns, spent time and*money there.

our 1st major point of interest was roswell.* have to see some aliens. and they got us. our 1st problems happen.
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Old 07-19-2021, 10:13 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2021
Posts: 10
what i liked about this van was:
it is a standard length so it fits good in my driveway.
it has a 16" raised top and with the floor of the van cut and lowered, i get 6' out of it so i can stand up.
oh, and a diesel so i can tow my prerunner up the tough hills from soca to the high desert and around in baja.

on our trip, we averaged 16mpg
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Old 07-20-2021, 09:08 AM   #3
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Location: Southern New Mexico
Posts: 9,769
You're copilot in the passenger seat looks ready to roll.

SMB-less as of 02/04/2012. Our savings account is richer, but our adventures are poorer.
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Old 07-20-2021, 09:09 AM   #4
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Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: FL and VA
Posts: 1,383
Yep, and nice when a plan comes together.
2008 GMC 3500 Quigley Weldtec 4x4 Savana SMB
2006 BMW HP2 Enduro-Sold
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Old 07-24-2021, 12:28 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Reynoldsburg, Ohio
Posts: 3,345
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Originally Posted by BroncoHauler View Post
You're copilot in the passenger seat looks ready to roll.
And real ADAS or dash cam at that, has more invested in safe arrivals than electronic gadgets.
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Old 07-25-2021, 09:39 AM   #6
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Join Date: Jul 2021
Posts: 10
thanks all. yep, that little guy kept my daughter feeling safe. he is a "quarantine" dog for my daughter while i kept working.

so in roswell is where the aliens got us. while trying to keep up with our schedule to get into new orleans within 2 more days, the engine would not rev past 1500 and ran like poopy. we were on the main street parked at a alien museum.

diesels are all new to me and i was in such a hury to build and pack and plan a rout for this trip, i only had time to grab a few small tool bags from my prerunner tuck.

so i hit the phone. after about 2 hours on the phone with a lot of no's, i finally got a service writer at the loca ford dealer to make room for me.

it was only about 3 blocks from me so i just hit the flasher and went for it. and in normal fashion, as soon as i was turning the corner to park at the dealership, it starts to run great.

but i still had them check it all out because i had a lot of miles to run and i am far from anything i know.

they figured it was the fuel pump. so they did not have one on site. but it would be next day and we would be back on the road. so we grabbed a few things and hit a loca hotel.

next day and almost 1K later we were back up running. now we are 2 days behind. had to call ahead for our room in new orleans (i was advise not to sleep in the van there) and bump our room out 2 days.

texas BBQ was next
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