The conversion was done by Advanced 4x4 Systems (http://advanced4x4vans.com/
). I am pretty sure that the original tank is intact.
larrie and Ultrasport,
you guys are braver than I regarding running your tanks dry, but it does certainly give you an accurate usable fuel number. (Remembering of course that usable fuel may vary based on attitude, i.e. level ground, vs uphill/downhill/off-camber or a combination of all three.)
Maybe it would be worth it to run the machine to a sputter sometime. I'll consider it.
I have a plane with 2 main and 2 aux tanks and if I'm alone or with non-nervous passengers I prefer to run the aux tanks dry (to first sign of roughness, which is maybe 15 seconds before dry) before switching, only because the aux tanks are not authorized for use in takeoffs and landings and it's just not sane to keep 15 minutes of fuel in them. I prefer to know that I've emptied them out. I can then ensure how much fuel really went in when refueling. All that becomes part of the known fuel-use history and allows for better fuel management planning.
I'm trying to figure out if fuel-management is more or less critical off-roading vs flying. When flying, my personal minimum is a minimum of 1 hour of usable fuel in the tanks when I land. Period. (The law requires less - 30 minutes day VFR, 45 minutes night or IFR.) The plane's burn rates are very predictable and tunable for range as needed. The van, on the other hand, uses fuel very differently in different situations. Plus there is no certified usable-fuel amount, unlike the plane.
I want to always know how much fuel I have and how the machine drinks is going to drink it during my planned use, so I can figure out whether I really have enough fuel to execute my plan. I suppose in the end, though, a minimum of one hour of fuel onboard the van seems reasonable. Maybe I'd go a little less in the van because at least there's no off-airport landing possibility. To actually plan to have only two gallons on board the van at the next refueling seems like a nail-biter. That would only be 25 miles at highway speed or maybe 12 or 14 miles on rough terrain. I'm pretty sure I should always have more than that.
Maybe I'm just too obsessive about it.
But I don't figure I'm going to get very far pushing the van on foot.