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Old 08-19-2014, 11:09 AM   #31
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Re: Hi-top vs PH

Quote:
Originally Posted by ANZAC

We're going to need the story on the shipping container....
We're planning to make a run at the Pan Am so getting across the Darien Gap then back to the states has us planning to container ship the van. We were out front of Ujoint this past Friday with Chris measuring one of his vans and ours to see if we could install the 6 inch kit. Unfortunately we'll stay with 4 inches and 33s. Mandi is seriously disappointed, no joke, she wants the 35s more than I do.

If we get the opportunity to ship it elsewhere before returning home we'll be prepared. With a higher vehicle we could use Roll on Roll Off to transport it but we feel more comfortable planning for a container so that's the route we're going with.

-John
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Old 08-19-2014, 11:22 AM   #32
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Re: Hi-top vs PH

from wikipedia "The gap has been crossed by adventurers on bicycle, motorbike, all-terrain vehicle, and foot, dealing with jungle, swamp, insects, and other hazards."

c'mon, have a go!
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Old 08-19-2014, 11:30 AM   #33
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Re: Hi-top vs PH

Sounds like you're volunteering to be part of the convoy. Works for us. Nothing like a couple other 10,000 pound vans to help get a 10,000 pound van unstuck while blazing a proper trail through the jungle. I can hear the arguments now over who gets to drive the tank.

I found a group that is forming to make a run into the gap either this year or next, archeological in nature. I excitedly shared that with Mandi and she drew the line. Doesn't happen often but, when it does, I listen. Now, how to make it "her" idea...

-John
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Old 08-19-2014, 11:52 AM   #34
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Re: Hi-top vs PH

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnandMandi
Quote:
Originally Posted by ANZAC

We're going to need the story on the shipping container....
We're planning to make a run at the Pan Am so getting across the Darien Gap then back to the states has us planning to container ship the van. We were out front of Ujoint this past Friday with Chris measuring one of his vans and ours to see if we could install the 6 inch kit. Unfortunately we'll stay with 4 inches and 33s. Mandi is seriously disappointed, no joke, she wants the 35s more than I do.

If we get the opportunity to ship it elsewhere before returning home we'll be prepared. With a higher vehicle we could use Roll on Roll Off to transport it but we feel more comfortable planning for a container so that's the route we're going with.

-John
FYI, there are also roll on and roll off car transporters that go from Colon, Panama to points south. Usually much cheaper than putting it in a container.
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Old 08-19-2014, 12:06 PM   #35
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Re: Hi-top vs PH

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Originally Posted by rallypanam

FYI, there are also roll on and roll off car transporters that go from Colon, Panama to points south. Usually much cheaper than putting it in a container.
Thanks. We're following a few overlanders that just shipped the gap and this year splitting a container seemed to work out to be the cheapest. I think the shippers are catching on to the bigger, posher RORO rigs and have adjusted accordingly. I do think one of them did ship from Colon. They also used a shipping agent on the Panama side and still came in under other quotes. Who knows what it'll be when we get there.

-John
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Old 08-19-2014, 02:07 PM   #36
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Re: Hi-top vs PH

Before I got my SMB, I had a truly stealth road-tripping rig (station wagon), and of course could park just about anywhere along the way. I did worry a bit when I got the SMB (2WD, penthouse) as it was obviously a camper van, but I found very little difference in parking/"camping" ability as long as I had the top down. Yeah, it was fairly obviously a van camper, but still just basically looked parked (when I wanted it to - not when truly camping, but when stopping at a rest area, side street, etc.). Then a buddy came along and we had to pop the top every night to sleep (we wanted separate beds), it changed that a bit. I think it's because in a lot of cases, "the authorities" don't mind ignoring you as long as you are not causing a problem -- but if the top is popped, they "can't" ignore you and have to do the rules, etc. The tent part says "camping" to them. It was only a problem in certain situations, and certainly depends on travel style, but it was something that changed with the top popped.

On the other hand, I found virtually no difference from my stealth car days as long as the top was down. That pleasantly surprised me.
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Old 08-19-2014, 03:25 PM   #37
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Re: Hi-top vs PH

I had a real obvious case of pop-top discrimination a few years back when I had my VW Westy. Parked overnight at a local state games lands trailhead here in PA for the Appalachian Trail (several mile dirt road to get into the dirt parking lot at top of mountain). Had my top up and was sleeping up top. I was woken up in the middle of the night by a game lands ranger who told me "no camping" and that I had to move on. My friend was sleeping in his Ford cargo van in the same parking lot (not a campervan), and was totally ignored by the ranger and slept on in peace.
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Old 08-19-2014, 03:37 PM   #38
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Re: Hi-top vs PH

I just watched a neat YouTube video of a couple-plus-two-young-kids who bought a 1980's VW Westfalia for a summer trip in the W/NW US. It was longish but I found it quite enjoyable. The woman makes videos (mostly tiny house related) and so it was nicely done; the man is from Spain so had some interesting perspectives (partly because he is not from the US, partly just his own personality obviously).

They mostly boondocked but it looked like they really didn't know the ins and outs of how to find good spots, so many times they ended up being rousted by a ranger or other. In a memorable quote they are discussing it and the man says (partly tongue in cheek): "Rangers... the enemy of the pop top." This cracked me up (especially as an SMB pop-top owner).

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Old 08-19-2014, 06:17 PM   #39
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Re: Hi-top vs PH

On the off-topic of fitting in a shipping container... Have you considered deflating your tires to drop down the 3" difference in height between 6" lift + 35"s vs 4" lift +33"s? I've done that many times to get a lifted 4x4 into my garage.
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Old 08-19-2014, 08:11 PM   #40
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Re: Hi-top vs PH

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Originally Posted by TheLetterJ
On the off-topic of fitting in a shipping container... Have you considered deflating your tires to drop down the 3" difference in height between 6" lift + 35"s vs 4" lift +33"s? I've done that many times to get a lifted 4x4 into my garage.
We have and I also looked into a way to easily remove the solar panel. With how it sits now, Quigley and no solar panel, it's 91 inches so we have 10 inches before having to air down. We're not sure how much higher the Ujoint kit will make it but the on site van with a softer 6 inch lift, read lower height, on 35s was pushing 96 with a regular roof. 101 is the tallest opening height so adding penthouse and panel passes that number with ease, not adding any height from the standard kit. Right now we're sticking with 4 inches and after our trip we may upgrade to 6 as most of the components are the same between the two.

-John
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