Just read all 73 pages, a great yarn albeit a little exhausting at times with all the flaming.
I love to see someone have a dream like this and just do it, yes it's a huge machine and no it won't go everywhere, the same applied to my first build but it did what we wanted at the time and was really comfortable to live in.
This thread has certainly gone cold though, shame.
Yeah… I guess that's the way goes sometimes… I was looking at the eco-roamer webpage yesterday, and it said they were going to park the truck for 2011 and part of 2012 so it looks like it's been parked for at least two years now.
Especially the handling issue. 34,000 lbs on two axles is a heavy truck. This exceeds the frame for the F-650. It should be on an F-800 chassis. For a two axle commercial vehicle the max would be 32,000 lbs. As the GVW of the truck gets heavier the frame section increases. There is a dramatic difference in the frames between the F-650, F-800 and F-900.
The military switched there over the road trucks back to duals due to the handling issues.
There is always a danger of becoming a "gear-head". I'm in the business of selling various kinds of gear and doing custom work (which I will not mention here). Many people fall in love with their "project", thinking that this is the the goal, while the real goal is never realized. They throw tons of money at their project month after month, or even year after year. Then, when fully realized, they realize that it was the project that they loved, not their original goal.
If you're on the receiving end of this cycle, good for you, you're going to make a lot of sales. But if you're the one who's spending the money, then perhaps it would be a good thing to sit down, slow down, and seriously contemplate what you're doing and whether or not you're EVER going to actually USE the toys you've been spending so much money on to their actual potential.
I've fallen into this trap myself. More then once. Sometimes, it's just "upgrade-fever", where you feel the need to upgrade and get something "better", when what you have works just fine, actually gets used, and does the job. But you need to upgrade, so you sell whatever it is that you have and buy up. But now it's too nice to use...
I've read through the whole thread and was rather stunned at the whole "eco" assumptions being made. Definitely not eco, never was, never will be. There's not a shred of "eco" anywhere in this beast. But that's because the whole concept of eco-living while overlanding in a fossil-fueled machine is simply untrue. You can't embrace the automotive lifestyle as your home and transport and honestly claim you're "ecologically friendly". Nor is it correct to make a "comparison" of what you'd have done if you'd stayed home - or compare to anyone else. It is YOUR ecological footprint that you measure (the whole enchilada, from postage to fabrication) that either reveals you're "light" or your "heavy", and there is absolutely no doubt that the eco-roamer falls into the "beast" category on all measurements.
I stopped driving for 10+ years as my personal contribution to "eco" and although a bit hard at times, it was the fastest way to make as little contribution to my ecological footprint that I could find. I stayed home a great deal and built a homestead and grew food. Actual mileage driven by vehicles per year was about 800 total miles. But that was my decision and my own delusion (I'm not ecologically friendly because I understand what this term really means).
But building a monster truck, with endless levels of fabrication and technology falls into the same kind of "eco-delusion" as does most other ecological choices we are all encouraged to make. Most are patently false concepts and focus only on one tiny element as their measured metric, presenting a false report. You have to take the whole process into account before you can truly claim you're ecologically "friendly" - and frankly, I've never seen it.
Never saw the "eco-roamer" myself, but being interested (now) in retirement travel myself, I'm looking at various build projects (none which are "eco-friendly" and neither will mine be) and how others did it. I have purchased a 14' ambulance box for the base housing platform which I expect to highly modify (I anticipate stripping this down to the bare shell and starting over). That decision was reached after reading various building threads right here... and searching for a expedition vehicle turned up "not much" and "overpriced beyond belief" sticker shock. So I will build it myself if all goes well.
I have not selected a truck yet, but obviously, I will. Or maybe I'll domesticate some reindeer and they can drag it around for me while roasting marshmallows on the roof....
Some of the ideas I've seen here are pretty interesting. Maximum weight, capacity, ground clearance, tire sizes and so forth are all things that I'm now considering. But some of the things I've seen scream "too much" in what some have tried to do. It's a camping trip (sort of) after all... and since I like wild places and wild things and my own personal reasons are to actually be there and see them, then I don't need "everything" to make this possible. I only need some things, and as I age and become more decrepit and busted down, it's nice to have a few comforts while car-camping.
Anyway, interesting thread. Bookmarked along with several others for ideas and how others solved their design issues!
I think you should start a new thread in the Fireside Chat section, cut and paste what you just said into a new post, refer in that post to this thread, and then delete the post you just made in this thread.
The reason is I think that you're likely get a lot of response and discussion regarding what you just said - and that's a good thing - but it wouldn't be quite the polite thing to do to hijack Jay's thread with all that.