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haywoodphotomaccom 07-22-2012 08:31 AM

Re: Van Build about to start....

Just returned from our first real trip in the van and thought I would share some of the details about the van. The trip report is listed under Sierra's 2012 if your are interested in that.

7 days up in the Sierra's and half was off road and camping outside of a campground. Even though we have more of transformer setup inside everything seemed to work and hold together great. We did have bungee cords on everything to prevent things from moving (more like flying) around in some areas.

The shower is the only thing that did not work as planned but will with some small fixes. We are now happy with the placement of everything in the van and we are ready to tear everything out and complete the interior floors, walls and ceilings.

We weighed the van in Kramer Junction and it came in at 9350 lbs with full fuel, water etc. I have always had concerns with weight and have them even more now that we have more to install. There really is nothing I would do different with the build to change that. As my office/daily driver I need the things that are installed so far.

I know we are very top heavy but I was still surprised how the van would be thrown back and forth while driving over seemingly small rocks or bumps in the dirt. Half the dirt roads we had to drive 1-3 mph. That got a little old after 30 minutes or so. I had the sway bars connected and wanted to try the same roads with them disconnected but I could not get the rear off. We were running 30psi front and back on the dirt. Any comments if that would have helped?

The van was really feeling it's weight on some of the hills in the area. Not looking to be Mario Andretti but would like to pick up a little performance. Been reading some of the threads on that here for the V10. Anything working for others here?

While driving up to Whitney Portal at the end of the trip it felt like the transmission was slipping a little? No expert here but it was very hot out and that grade is long. Checked fluids when I got to the top and all seemed good. There was an enormous amount of heat coming from the entire van once we reached the top but all the dash gauges read within range. Any comments/ideas?

The low range on the van is unbelievable. I was surprised again how well we could crawl up an down the steepest hills with control in 4 lo first gear. Never slipped or felt out of control because of traction. Never engaged the front locker the whole trip.

The solar/battery system worked great. I am a heavy user of electricity with charging batteries, computers, phones etc. The Lifeline 4D was fully charged each day around 12-1 pm from a full nights use. At one point the meter showed 500 watts of charging. The highest I had seen to date. If I remember correct it showed 36amps along with that 500 watts. I would still like to install one more battery but we will see with the weight issues.

carringb 07-22-2012 08:41 AM

Re: Van Build about to start....
Ford power, just improve the breathing, and add a tuner.

4x4s can't have the full Banks Powerpack, but a cat-back system will free things up. The Banks muffler sounds good. Many of the other brands make the V10 sound like a ricer. I also recommend the AFE Stage2 intake. I was surprised how much torque it added. I was only expecting some high-RPM gains but that was not the case.

5-Star does the best programming for the V10s.

Finally.... don't be afraid to let it rev. When I'm haling heavy, I'll let it spin to 5,000 RPM and I'll hold that for 10-15 minutes at a time (my loaded weight is more than double yours is). Even then, it runs cool and steady. It sounds pretty raspy stock at high RPMs, but once you free up the breathing I think it sounds great.

Nomadcat 07-22-2012 10:36 AM

Re: Van Build about to start....
After I had Deaver add an extra leaf to my packs in the back, two years ago, my sway seemed greatly lessened. I'm running a Quadvan, as well, but the RB and no high top, so I'm sure that changes things.

Gnarvan 07-22-2012 12:27 PM

Re: Van Build about to start....

Have you added any extra cooling capacity to your transmission? With the weight you're draggin up the hills you might consider it if you haven't already.

86Scotty 07-22-2012 03:41 PM

Re: Van Build about to start....
You said your van got pretty hot climbing up to Whitney Portal. I just did this as well a month or so ago. My van is a 2002 5.4 but was so heavily loaded for that trip, it was probably similar to your 4x4 as you have it now. I installed a ScanguageII shortly before the trip and used the Xguage feature to get a digital transmission temp reading (which many here have done). You can also get coolant temp on a Scanguage without doing anything special, it's one of the default readings, shown as water temp, same thing.
Anyway, it's a steep climb and it was about 95deg at bottom for me, and my transmission got up to about 200deg. For comparison, earlier the same day I hit 230deg (and the roof, :a1: ) coming out of the west side of Death Valley up to 395.
Having an accurate digital reading of trans and coolant temp gave me a lot of confidence dragging up the steep climbs like Whitney Portal. If you don't have one already, it's worth the $150.

haywoodphotomaccom 07-29-2012 05:25 PM

Re: Van Build about to start....
Looking at a BullyDog system too that claims to give you tunes and monitor info at the same time. Checking with them tomorrow for info on the tune numbers.

Messing around with the shower arrangements last night. Was not able to get it to work reliably while on my trip to the Sierra's couple weeks ago. It should have been a reality show segment. Went to take the first shower while my friends were across the way getting the BBQ going. Heated up some hot water on the stove (No perm heat yet, work in progress on that) poured it into the Big Kahuna shower pump and jumped in. I turn the pump on and got just barely wet enough to get shampoo in my hair and soap on the face.

PUMP stops working!!

Wipe my eyes off enough to disassemble the shower head as there was an air bubble or something stopping it. Get it going but the shower head was mounted to the wall behind where it is now. Had to stand so close the the wall I could hardly get wet or wash off. After soaping up I tried to pull the shower head off the wall and over the ring to get it over my head. The hose was so tight along the wall that after pulling it an inch the entire shower ring and curtain fell to the floor around me!

Here I am soaped up with no where to hang the shower handle or turn off the water and the curtain is on the floor.

Needless to say there were no more showers in it for the trip.

Had a few beers last night and worked on a way to get the shower handle over head. Dug out a Magic Arm from my photo box and it works perfect. A little overkill for the job but it worked great.

Also glad we made the shower pan big enough to have the toilet in it as there was a little issue that was caught in the pan and drained into the grey tank and cleaned up easily.

Good times....

carringb 07-29-2012 06:57 PM

Re: Van Build about to start....

Also glad we made the shower pan big enough to have the toilet in it as there was a little issue that was caught in the pan
Was this a toilet toilet issue, or a beer-induced user issue?

haywoodphotomaccom 07-29-2012 10:12 PM

Re: Van Build about to start....
Toilet issue.....urinal container overflowed but the pan caught it all and was easy to wash into the gray tank.

haywoodphotomaccom 07-30-2012 08:12 AM

Re: Van Build about to start....
Deaver Springs on order.....looking forward to the install. 3-4 weeks I am told. Driving up to have them do the install.

dudewithvan 12-16-2012 09:06 PM

Re: New to me QuadVan interior build out about to start.

Originally Posted by haywoodphotomaccom
Had an Aluminess ladder put on today. Have a whole list of parts that are being added but on hold for a few days to review the list. Stopped out to visit with Peter and Katherine of Adventuretrek while they were having their roof rack test fitted. Wanted to chat with them about their build with RV Interiors. Aluminess had the ladder in stock so they installed it while there. Very happy with it.

Also had a brief discussion with Dave, Kenny and Tim at Aluminess. All great to work with and it was nice to hear suggestions from Dave on how to save a little money on some things I could do myself.

Had a great meeting with Jeff at RV interiors yesterday. Working on a final wants/needs list this weekend to start the process. Great meeting with Peter and Katherine to share ideas. They are the vehicle next inline so it will be great to see their build progress.

Those wheels look nice too. Can you tell me the brand and model? Thanks

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