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Old 03-01-2014, 12:27 PM   #11
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Re: Suggestions on Gas or Diesel van w/built in generator

Quote:
Originally Posted by clayton47
I am leaning towards a hard top with bed up there, vs pop up. I plan on having very little space below for living. Fold down bed maybe a fridge/microwave, some custom cabinets. I will have a wall partitioned for hauling dirtbikes in the back. Or actually I will roll around with Mt bike and dirtbike, and other misc gear. Paddle board on top of rack and I should be dialed.

Anything to consider?

Thanks, Clayton


There are plenty of used EB cargo vans out there and you can still order new if that's what you're looking for. To pull out all the stuff in a passenger van would be a waste IMO. You'll have to decide on the side door type.
As far as the top, there is limited space up there on the Voyager's. The PH tops offer more space and ventilation. There are larger hard tops available but I'm not sure what SMB is offering now days but I still think they sell the Cruiser model.
I've seen some really basic builds designed for rear storage done by SMB. Depends on what you want. How many bikes are you planning to haul and are you looking for some kind of living quarters to get out of the weather?

If you plan for two people, it's gonna be tight especially if the bikes are in the back. I think sleeping quarters for two might pose a problem. If you go to SMB's site and look at the sprinter designs it will give you more of an idea of the space needed.
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Old 03-01-2014, 01:24 PM   #12
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Re: Suggestions on Gas or Diesel van w/built in generator

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......cut......

I also took my dad's 5.4L van with my Weekend Warrior once (snapped off a pinion gear tooth on my van) and it burned quite a bit more fuel towing that heavy (~11,000 lbs) compared to my van.

......cut......
Agree it can happen, but we should understand under what conditions and why.

In my opinion one data point doesn't paint a broad-enough picture unless it's put in right context based on well-documented and accepted theory. With limited data too many things could be different, like headwind, different terrain, etc...

I say this only because modern engine efficiencies between wide-open-throttle and optimum load isn't that much. If you noticed "quite a bit more fuel" consumption with your dad's 5.4 versus your 6.8 it was probably due to other factors not being equal. Perhaps your V10 could pull in overdrive and the 5.4 needed to pull in drive. That kind of difference could explain greater fuel consumption.

If everything else were equal (same gear, required HP, RPM, etc...), then the smaller V8 would likely be more efficient most of the time, and at worse slightly less efficient some of the time. I figure that if V10s can handle 30,000 pound trucks and RVs getting 6 to 8 MPG, then a 5.4 V8 should be more than enough for normal van use -- including occasional towing.
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Old 03-01-2014, 02:26 PM   #13
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Re: Suggestions on Gas or Diesel van w/built in generator

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Originally Posted by Chance
I say this only because modern engine efficiencies between wide-open-throttle and optimum load isn't that much. If you noticed "quite a bit more fuel" consumption with your dad's 5.4 versus your 6.8 it was probably due to other factors not being equal. Perhaps your V10 could pull in overdrive and the 5.4 needed to pull in drive. That kind of difference could explain greater fuel consumption.
Yeah, his van has 3.55 gears so that really puts even the 5.4L well below its power band. It needed 3rd to cruise, and 2nd for every hill. But... it could still hold 45 MPH on a 6.5% grade, which isn't too bad for a little 5.4L pulling a 41' toy hauler over 12' tall with a 6" lift. Since he never tows more than 7,000 pounds, the V8 works well for him. And not towing, it gets 17 MPG which is 5 more than I'm usually getting.
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Old 03-01-2014, 05:44 PM   #14
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Re: Suggestions on Gas or Diesel van w/built in generator

Makes perfect sense. If you are running 4.56 gears (going from memory), then a 5.4L with 3.55 gears and same size tires would have to work harder in drive than your van in overdrive. Approximately 12 to 13 percent harder as estimated by BMEP.

Due to taller gearing it's very possible your dad's van may have needed at times to shift from drive to 2nd while yours could hold Overdrive. Assuming both engines were stock -- and I know yours isn't.
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Old 03-03-2014, 03:01 AM   #15
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Re: Suggestions on Gas or Diesel van w/built in generator

Also, the added maintenance for diesels need to be added to operating costs as well.

I hear wildly different MPG claims from both gas and diesel folks. Some say they get 25mpg with their 7.3 IDI engines. Some say 10. V10 guys say I they are getting 10 or 20. It is hard to tell which to believe.

Personally, the V10 I had got about 14mpg in an unloaded Excursion. MPG might be pretty close on the van depending on mods that affect resistance.

I say go with the gas. The premium in buying and maintaining a diesel is usually not offset by the slightly improved fuel economy.
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Old 03-03-2014, 07:27 PM   #16
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Re: Suggestions on Gas or Diesel van w/built in generator

I had a 2008 E350 with the V8 and now have the 2005 with the V10. I prefer the V8. Maybe under heavy towing the V10 is better, but that's just a maybe. I also got both of them tuned/chipped using http://www.5startuning.com/ . Both engines run way better with the new tune(s). I have/had economy and performance tunes for both 87 and 91 octane. The economy tunes seem more powerful than stock and run much better. They get a bit better gas mileage too and ultimately will pay for themselves in fuel savings alone, not to mention reduced wear and tear from running more smoothly. I don't have much experience with the performance tunes due to their gas-guzzling nature but they are definitely a fair amount more peppy.

Summary: I wouldn't buy a diesel, and of the gas engines I'd prefer the V8 but wouldn't let a V10 stop me from buying a rig I otherwise like.
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Old 03-05-2014, 08:07 PM   #17
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Re: Suggestions on Gas or Diesel van w/built in generator

Well I swooped up a 2009 V8 5.4. I think I may do the economy tune eventually. I have chipped diesel trucks I have had. But never a gas. How much improvement did you get with your economy tune? I plan cruising with a moderate load. No towing regularly. I'm stoked to start going through this thing. I feel like I am part of a secret cult or something haha.
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Old 03-05-2014, 08:16 PM   #18
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Re: Suggestions on Gas or Diesel van w/built in generator

That's a pretty heavy thing to swoop up. You must be very strong.

Congratulations on your new purchase.

I got about 1-2 mpg improvement, plus performance and smoothness improvement simultaneously. Remember your 5-star tuning device will come with multiple tunes (I think it's 5), per your specification at no extra charge, so you might choose ones that will fit different operations. Now that I think about it, it might be possible to have one for off-road crawling, for instance, vs highway use. Or city vs highway. You get the idea. 1-2 mpg may not seem like much but it's 8 or 9%. At modern gas prices the thing pays for itself quicklyish.

Did the truck come with the secret decoder ring? If not, you will have to apply for that, and the fez, separately.
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Old 03-05-2014, 08:29 PM   #19
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Re: Suggestions on Gas or Diesel van w/built in generator

Hahahaha thanks! I will definitely get a chip down the road for it! Where I am at in Texas north of Houston, all I do is drive on the highway here. Bout to make a trip to Ca in mid May. Looking to take this thing on the road for my trip. I use to have a big ol motorhome race rig to use. But now I am full blown running a van to the moto races.
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