With this blog I wanted a place to showcase this vehicle and discuss where it came from, where it is now, and how it works. I'll be going into detail about the systems and how they compare/contrast to others I've owned.
A few shots of me actually using this house on wheels. Yes I do use it plenty.
We went up some back way and came out on the East side of the Rubicon trail. No, I'm not saying I got anywhere near the hard parts, but we found some challenges for an 11,000 lb camper with only 3x3.
Yes 3x3. We didn't know it at the time, but the guy who changed the gearing for me missed putting the shift fork on the front axle. Because of this I only had 3wd when the front lockers were engaged, or 2wd when 4wd was selected.
This one put a scare into me.
Blasting down dirt roads in the middle of the state of Nevada is always good.
I like this shot. We spent the night here. The blades turned all night and it was a pleasant sound not unlike a babbling brook.
Barbara liked it too. The wind turbines are really something up close. I guess this is the way to get a good perspective.
Hard to pass through Northwestern California with seeing the redwoods.
Lastly, a shot of Mt Hood. I spent a lot of time in this area last summer. Great recreation area.
Yep, I'm still working on this project. It's probably one of those never finished deals which works for me. This past summer I had time to do some of the minor upgrades I'd been thinking of.
The skylight over the bed had a big ugly bezel on it.
I guess it was done that way to have a rolling screen and sun cover. Neither of which worked properly. I called Bomar, the folks that made the the hatch and ordered an inside bezel and screen. It took a while to make it fit, but now it's so much cleaner.
Here is a shot of the screen which just clicks into place. Also please note the paper towel holder. A little strange on the bed side of the fridge, but the space being so small it works great. Oh yeah, got my flashlight installed too.
We do most of our eating in the rig. Not big on restaurants and we both like to cook. With all that cooking it's good to have spices handy. These are magnetic backed canisters that stick onto a piece of angle iron screwed to the fridge. I thought the magnets would be enough, but the first four wheeling trip showed that something else was needed. Now there is a velcro strip on the bottom of the angle and each of the canisters.
Remember the title of the post is "little things". Yep the soap dish is included. I never did replace the right side plywood and there has always been a water stain in this corner. For now it's just hidden by this black duct tape which will divert any water from sponges and soap.
I know this one doesn't look like much, but it's a big deal. This switch activates a solenoid which connects the front and rear batteries. I'm using it right now in fact to send power from the solar cells to keep the truck batteries topped off. It also comes in handy when rear power is very low and you want to start an appliance that uses a significant start load. I also have a switch on the dash that does the same thing. The idea there being that you could use the rear batteries for starting if the front ones died.
This one was another big deal. I had to get a new cook top. The old one was just used up. I think I'll do a separate post reviewing the cook top so won't get into detail here. Suffice it to say it's good to have a working stove again.
This picture shows the TV and new towel holder on the right. I know, not a big deal but so handy having the dish rag in a specific place. I also got the TV all worked out with a slim 3 terabyte hard drive attached to the back. More than 800 movies for the road.
Another dish towel hook left of the window. These are just stainless steel stick on hooks and they work well. Just clean the place of sticking very well with alcohol first.
I think I found this regulator at Harbor Freight. Just set the desired tire pressure. Plug the assembly onto the valve stem with a locking air chuck. Then change to another tire when the compressor stops. So much easier to inflate now.
I did this a little bit ago but like to keep the blog up to date on the changes. The truck came with 3.54 gearing which Bill changed to 3.73. When I picked up the truck it had 37 inch tires, and at 55mph (my preferred speed) the tach was only showing around 1400 rpm. Too low for cruising especially with a headwind or hilly terrain. After some research I decided to put in 4.56 gears.
Thankfully I didn't do the work. It involved the repair of one locker and the front wheel bearings were apparently very difficult to remove. The 4.56 gearing with 35" tires now gives me 1750rpm at 55 mph. Yes the rpm does get up there if I need to go 80, but it's so worth it on the bottom end. I can now crawl a lot slower in 4 low. The truck no longer downshifts on the highway either. Just set the cruise and go to sleep.
I finally found out what that middle gauge was for. When I drove away with the new gears the mechanic made sure I understood about breaking them in and not getting too hot. I was going to get a gun type thermometer to monitor the rear diff until I realized I already had a gauge that did it for me. This is a shot I took while randomly driving around AZ to get the gears broken in.
Soon after the install I left for the northern states for some summer exploring. When the axle started warming up some I'd just stop and let it cool down. In this shot I was trying to get somewhere before dark so got a bag of ice to help with the cooling process.
It didn't take long for the temps to stay down. Now I get excited when the gauge reads 160 which it only does on long extended road climbs. In this shot I was using creek water to cool everything down.
It's been a year and a half now since I did the gear change. I did get some high temps and had been smelling gear oil also. Turns out the fluid was low in the rear because for some crazy reason oil comes out of the air locker solenoid. It comes out at about a quart a year, but is still frustrating. I don't like smelling the oil from time to time or the fact that there may be a problem with the rear locker. Vent tube is clear and locker works fine. Any suggestions, answers, or discussion would be welcome on this issue.