New van, new adventures

ericvs

Active member
Change of life plans forced a change. The truck was excellent, but needed to mix it up a bit.

Had the black rig:
Moved to the white rig


Wanted it a bit stealthier look. White cargo van with crew windows works
Wanted 4x4 (or AWD, but the transit hadn't come out yet) and the factory 4x4 seemed like a good way to do it instead of doing a conversion. 2018 sprinter works
Got lazy and had someone build it for me (oh wait, same as the last one, oh well). AdventureVanColorado fit the bill, we worked out a layout plan and he got to work

Here are some interior shots. Turned out really well, feels very spacious even with 4 people in there.


Lots of storage & big fridge


Big lounge area




Lots of storage



Big garage for all the gear inside


Had the lady make some custom storage for the back doors
 
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ericvs

Active member
Anyway, enough of the van itself, lets get onto the adventures!
Here are some pictures taken last summer

Pickup day, somewhere south of Aspen:




Hood River trips in the summer:






It is all about the white vehicles down in the gorge!



Hwy 20 adventures:








and a bit of urban adventuring in Ballard (north of Seattle) visiting friends!


more to come!
 

ericvs

Active member
Covid Phase 1.5, social distancing adventure trip.

Took I-90 towards the Hood River area.

Found a really cool camp spot along the way, these rocks make the van look itty bitty, very cool. We saw them on the way in at night and they were even more
stunning in the day time.





Found a little spot off the beaten path in southern Washington near the Columbia river, very cool spot!









Kicked back and took it easy for the weekend. Good stuff, glad to be able to be out of the house!

 

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ericvs

Active member
Couple of adventures combined in this one. Since the phase 1 release I have been getting out and getting some goods camping. It has been fun!
Covid has also changed the way my work works, so I have been remote since Mar 5th and it has been magical.

This might be chronological or maybe not, doesn't really matter. Was hot and/or windy so I was happy.

Leavenworth: Post-biking chilling. Getting the garage more dialed in, which is nice (side note, damn this van is huge!)





On the way, working remote is pretty magical as well. The lady offered to drive, can't say no. Was sort of funny cause the road bumps would cause me to draw some funny shapes at times. I was able to adjust my technique and it worked out.




We had a fun, very small friends camp/bike session as well. The views and times were ok











Did some kiting as well. Made a stop in Roosevelt, Wa for a morning work session.







But had to head way west to chase the wind. Jones Beach in Oregon was the call for a couple days of working and kiting. Office views like this don't disappoint.



 

ericvs

Active member
So had a different type of 'adventure' this past weekend. The lady took a spill on her bike and required hospitilization (bummer. She is doing much better tho).
She got sent to Overlake Hospital in Bellevue and since they don't have any on site over-height parking, so I was relegated to the off site parking lot for a few days.

I found a cool path with shopping carts and old garbage cans, so that was exciting. I think these are relics from our first ancestors who came here many moons ago. Felt like I was walking into the past.




Also, discovered a piss jug from a different era. Magical :)



Plus some nature, I think this is an ancient tree stump, probably from the Mesolithic era, not sure



But overall, wasn't too bad of a view:





Was very happy to have the van for sure tho, was able to get some work done and get a real nights sleep.
 
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I really enjoy the build. How do you like having the bed in the front to back direction vs side to side? I really like the layout, as a tall person I plan on doing a similar style interior when we build one.
 

ericvs

Active member
I really enjoy the build. How do you like having the bed in the front to back direction vs side to side? I really like the layout, as a tall person I plan on doing a similar style interior when we build one.
I like the front to back bed for a couple reasons:
1) I didn't have to do the flaresides. those are neat, but they def make it look more like a camper van v a normal white van
2) I like how it makes my storage space under the bed larger. if I had a side to side bed, my storage area would be much shorter.

I do have the longer wheelbase van, so the front to back bed doesn't infringe on the living space at all. If I had a 144 van, I would probably have to re-consider this layout.
 

joefromsf

New member
Nice van. What awning is that? I'm use to seeing Fiamma F45S on most vans, but I don't see any supporting legs so figure that's a newer product by somebody.
 

ericvs

Active member
Nice van. What awning is that? I'm use to seeing Fiamma F45S on most vans, but I don't see any supporting legs so figure that's a newer product by somebody.
Thanks! It is the Fiamma F65 eagle. No support legs needed. I knew that I am lazy overall and I wouldn't use the awning if it took any extra steps to setup, so I opted for the higher end, freestanding one. It deploys in about 20 seconds and then you are all done. It has a wind sensor as well and will retract if needed.
 

mobydick 11

Active member
Nice Van ,I am wondering how many times you have actually needed the 4 wheel drive ? I have purchased a 170 dually and wondering how off road it can go . It is not a 4X4 though .
 

ericvs

Active member
Nice Van ,I am wondering how many times you have actually needed the 4 wheel drive ? I have purchased a 170 dually and wondering how off road it can go . It is not a 4X4 though .
I have not used it a ton so far, but the times I did use it, I was glad I had it. The one feature I use more often is the low range (which is also 4x4) when I am driving back down a forest service road and it allows me to not use the brakes as much. That has been really nice and it actually does a good job at holding the speed down for minimal brake usage.

I did use the 4x4 one time so far when we were looking for camping one night and needed it to get past one section where the road was partially washed out. I tried it in 2wd and couldn't make it, but was able to in 4x4. The major bummer with the 4x4 system is that you have to come to a stop to engage it. you don't have to lock hubs or anything, just come to a stop and push the dash button then proceed. not as fancy as I hoped from a mercedes, but it gets the job done.

on the other hand, I have a friend with a 144 2wd van and he lives in baja for 1/2 the year. he has taken his van out in to the sand to see if he can get stuck and he says he hasn't been able to get super stuck. just air down and have your shovel at the ready and I imagine you will have no issues
 

mobydick 11

Active member
I have not used it a ton so far, but the times I did use it, I was glad I had it. The one feature I use more often is the low range (which is also 4x4) when I am driving back down a forest service road and it allows me to not use the brakes as much. That has been really nice and it actually does a good job at holding the speed down for minimal brake usage.

I did use the 4x4 one time so far when we were looking for camping one night and needed it to get past one section where the road was partially washed out. I tried it in 2wd and couldn't make it, but was able to in 4x4. The major bummer with the 4x4 system is that you have to come to a stop to engage it. you don't have to lock hubs or anything, just come to a stop and push the dash button then proceed. not as fancy as I hoped from a mercedes, but it gets the job done.

on the other hand, I have a friend with a 144 2wd van and he lives in baja for 1/2 the year. he has taken his van out in to the sand to see if he can get stuck and he says he hasn't been able to get super stuck. just air down and have your shovel at the ready and I imagine you will have no issues
Thank you ,I guess I will put on a new set of KO2s and a front coil over kit. And explore the limits. I am thinking length and width will keep me out of most places i should not go .As far as shifting ,most if not all vehicles have to be stopped to go into or out of low range . My 2019 F250 does and it takes a bit for it to happen. Thanks again for the insight .
 

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ericvs

Active member
As far as shifting, most if not all vehicles have to be stopped to go into or out of low range . My 2019 F250 does and it takes a bit for it to happen. Thanks again for the insight .
Agreed with the low range part on most, but I meant you have to come to a stop to even put it in to 4x4 high. There is no shift on the fly option.

Good luck with your limit testing! send pics!
 
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