We just picked up an '89 E-350 Airstream / Okanagan / B190

LiamO86

New member
Hey everyone,

In search of the ideal travel mobile for our small family (Myself, wife, 17 month old daughter and our dog), I was racking my brain trying to figure out if we wanted to do the trailer route, rooftop tent, canvas tent, etc. All have pros and cons. I have a 2005 DC Tundra that I have been able to get to some really great places but didn't really fit the bill for a family rig. Then I came across this 1989 Ford E-350 Airstream / Okanagan with 58k miles. I couldn't pass it up and I think it will do us well on the somewhat maintained Forest Service Roads and lightly used campgrounds. It's a thirsty 460, 3 speed automatic but overall runs great. Aside from taking care of some plumbing stuff and basic maintenance, we'll have her out on her maiden voyage this weekend. I was happy to find that all appliances work minus the leaky toilet and shower which isn't a deal breaker, I'll get around to replacing when I can. The main thing for us was warm and dry shelter and looks like we've found it for the time being.

Ideally, I would like to upgrade the suspension components to have a minor lift to keep the rear hitch rack from dragging and better overall load support. 4x4 is a dream that wouldn't come to fruition anytime soon, so I was thinking something like a rear locker or tru-trac might be a good alternative. Honestly, true overlanding in this beast is probably not going to happen, but being able to get through some slick forest access roads and minor snow if needed would put me at ease. Anyways, just wanted to check in and see what everybody else is up to in here. Look forward to exploring!



 

86scotty

Explorer
Hell yeah! You will love that 460 when you are loaded up and need to pull a grade!
So long as there's a gas station halfway up the hill.

Seriously, OP, neat van but you need to be ready for 8 mpg with a 460 in that thing. Plan your trips around fuel cost and stations. You almost have to. We took several long trips in our 460 SMB and fuel costs would be in the thousands for a 2-3 week trip. I think on our most ambitious trip, all the way from TN to west coast and back over 20 something days we spent $2500 in fuel alone. Ours got 10 mpg but was much more aerodynamic.
 

dwh

Tail-End Charlie
I've had 460s in trucks, vans..even my '69 Lincoln Continental. They have a rep for getting 10mpg empty, towing, uphill, downhill, headwind, tailwind. In my experience, it's pretty much true.

The only one that ever failed on me was at 245k miles when the end of the cam where the timing chain gear was bolted on just snapped off. Inherited that truck when my dad died. He'd run Rislone in it since new.

Mostly, I seem to recall replacing a bunch of mechanical fuel pumps. Enough that I got in the habit of carrying an electric and some fuel line as a backup.


Most B190s are silver. I like the blue on white better. Nice looking truck. I see it has the generator compartment under the couch. Nice option.

You might want to consider an upgrade to your power center's converter section...

http://www.bestconverter.com/Upgrade-Kits-for-MagnetekParallax_c_64.html
 

86scotty

Explorer
I've had 460s in trucks, vans..even my '69 Lincoln Continental. They have a rep for getting 10mpg empty, towing, uphill, downhill, headwind, tailwind. In my experience, it's pretty much true.
Ha! Some crafty guy said this a few years ago......

1995 Sportsmobile Quigley (4wd) E350, 7.5l 460 gas engine

10mpg

towing - 10
flying - 10
idling - 10
wheeling - 10
highway at 55 - 10
highway at 85 - 10
towing 10k lbs - 10
towing nothing - 10
city driving - 10
climbing - 10
coasting downhill - 10

:smiley_drive:
However, I've had a couple Class C motorhomes with a similar frontal area to Liam's new van above and it wasn't near 10. Like 6-8. Either way, good luck!
 

LiamO86

New member
Ha! Some crafty guy said this a few years ago......



However, I've had a couple Class C motorhomes with a similar frontal area to Liam's new van above and it wasn't near 10. Like 6-8. Either way, good luck!
I think you're correct. Honestly, the dual tanks don't read entirely correctly with the rear tank only reading 1/2 full when it's full, so I was extra cautious and stopped every 150 miles or so to top off on our maiden voyage this weekend just to be safe. We spent a few days in Southeast Idaho a few hours away from us and the van did great, aside from it being extra thirsty not the most nimble of vans, we had lots of fun. The main concern going into the van was having dry shelter and a form of heat, so we're ahead of the game so far.


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