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Sunday, May 27, 2018

Uncampering?



I've decided to strip the van of all the camping stuff I added to it. The bed and tables are out. Yesterday the house battery, 1000 watt inverter and charge controller were removed. The solar panel will come off when it stops raining. There's still a microwave to remove and plenty of miscellaneous gear.

The whole waste veggie tank and system will stay. That's a technology that's run its course for me. In the past, I've salvaged veggie components to use in the next veggie vehicle conversion. There won't be a next veggie vehicle. There's a couple of reasons for that. Waste veggie use to be readily available. Now it's harder to find free sources as there's a commercial bio-fuels market. The second reason is that diesel engines have become too complicated to easily convert over to waste veggie oil.

I had a good long run with waste veggie vehicles, two Mercedes cars, a Ford F-250 truck, and now this E-350 van. The van's 7.3 turbo diesel powerstroke engine has just enough electronic gizmos to be finicky. I had to be extra careful on the veggie I used and the temperature of the oil. A couple of rather expensive electric pumps burned out before I figured that out. Still, over the years, I've saved thousands of dollars on fuel.

The van will be sold on the cheap. I'm going to be very clear about its problems. It could be fixed up and registered again, but I don't have the time, money, or energy for that. Perhaps it would be a good source of parts. The tires alone will probably be worth what I'll ask for it.

My lovely wife and I have a camping trip planned for early July. Looks like we'll just throw a tent in the back of the car and call it good. No problems. My lovely wife never lost her love of tents. It's all good.

-Sixbears

10 comments:

  1. Sounds like you're clearing the way for a new sailboat?

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  2. My Astro van served me well for sleeping. Daughter has it now. Sleeping on the ground is too hard for this old body so I don't see camping in my future.

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    1. I met a couple from VT who traveling in an Astro and having a blast. The key to good tent camping is a comfortable bed. I like a quality air mattress.

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  3. When car camping even in a compact vehicle, you have the luxury of carrying a sizeable and spacious tent and collapsible camp cots. The trouble, invariably, is wet weather set up and tear down. That is why I find the minivan so convenient. A roller awning attached to the roof rack makes for reasonably quick covered outdoor space. Alternatively a classic teardrop trailer might be a useful and economic alternative. And has the advantage that you can leave it to save your campground spot if you want to do some local exploring with the car. And when not in use can be parked out back and ignored on your property.

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    1. I'm looking at all the options. Had a vehicle option fall through last night, so I'm back to the drawing board.

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    2. What specifically has condemned the ambulance? Frame rust?

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    3. Frame rust around the sway arm mount. (sound familiar?) Cab rust. Return diesel fuel line leaks. (over $300 just for parts) Oil pan starting to seep. To replace the pan I'm told the engine has to be removed. 18+ mechanic hours. Might be ways around those issues. Had I been staying local with the van, I might have tried to fix them on the cheap, but won't trust it 2000 miles from home.

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  4. Don't forget the reservations. I meant to ask what happened to the plywood boat the Goose ?

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    1. I took it apart. Turns out the 1/4 plywood was not outdoor rated as they claimed at the lumber yard. The glue failed and caused it to separate. The bottom bow and stern sections were of heavier plywood that held up. I'm thinking of slapping new sides on it and throwing it back in the water.

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