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Slippery
Slippery PowerDork
5/31/23 7:29 a.m.

Have a good trip! 

Slippery
Slippery PowerDork
6/1/23 5:25 p.m.

Any updates on the truck and its condition? All good for the trip?

jfryjfry
jfryjfry SuperDork
6/1/23 6:57 p.m.
APEowner said:
Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter) said:

Good evening everyone! Tonight was the last night before the trip, so final packing is now complete, to include plenty of clothes and the film and DSLR cameras for all the touristy stuff in the first week. I also am shipping a cordless impact and impact driver, with the intention to buy a tool set onsite as shipping would've been prohibitively expensive. I also have some parts ordered off RockAuto and those are set to arrive Thursday, so even during the regular vacation part of the trip I can do a bit of final prep work. Very excited to finally lay eyes on the truck I bought just over a month ago.

 

No real update other than the request to send the best possible vibes my way in hopes that the truck is as advertised. And also a quick question. My girlfriend and I will be sleeping in the cap for 3 nights on the return, and she brought up a concern that she wants to be able to lock the cap from the inside. The mechanism is I'm sure similar to basically all pickup cap hatch glasses in that there's a T-handle that operates a garage door style linkage setup. My initial thought was to just drill a hole in either the center section and put a pin through that, or on the rods that go out and put a pin on the outside for simplicity, but is there another option I didn't think of from those who have done similar?

 

Thanks everyone, and I look forward to being able to upload some pictures that I've actually taken once I'm there!

This should be a fun trip!  I suspect the easiest way to lock the cap from the inside is to clamp a pair of vicegrips on the rod.

If you're packing a TFI module you'll also need a thin wall socket to install it.   Cheap sockets with thicker walls don't fit in the counterbore.

 

And it's an odd size too I believe.  7/32 or something like that

Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter)
Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter) Reader
6/3/23 2:23 a.m.

Well we're here in Washington and the truck is doing well! We started out yesterday going to North Cascades in the rental Polestar 2 which is an absolutely blast to drive. 

After quite a packed day of driving, sight-seeing, and getting engaged! we headed back and started doing preliminary shopping for the extra stuff needed for the truck. No pictures of the engagement of course but plenty of everything else haha

 Today was mostly a truck prep day so we took it around a bit, got errands run all around the area and spent the afternoon mending various things. 4 blown out speakers all replaced, loops added to be able to lock the hatch and tail gate while camping, a center armrest and cup holders DIY'd from a small cooler, and a bench seat cover that was entirely too small and already broke. Plus at Costco they had a seemingly great deal of a 100W solar panel with controller for $80 so that was added to the roof as well. Finished the install just as the sun was going down so we'll see if it works tomorrow.

I'm so used to my old 70s Toyota so something this big is taking a lot of getting used to but it's honestly great! Except for fuel economy which is as brutal as advertised. If the gauge is to be trusted we went from 1/4 to 1/8 tank in 25 miles of driving, 20 of which were on the highway, which would equate to about 10.5mpg. Ouch. It'll be a long and expensive trip back to NJ but I'm excited for it!

ShawneeCreek
ShawneeCreek HalfDork
6/3/23 7:32 a.m.

Congrats on the engagement and the old truck. It's going to be a memorable trip for a lot of reasons. Nice!

Slippery
Slippery PowerDork
6/3/23 8:07 a.m.

Congratulations on the engagement!!

thatsnowinnebago
thatsnowinnebago UberDork
6/5/23 4:23 p.m.

Congrats on the engagement!

The sunset motif on the rear camper is *chef's kiss*

Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter)
Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter) Reader
6/6/23 3:13 a.m.

Thanks all! Tomorrow it's officially game time. We returned the Polestar (I'm going to miss being able to accelerate), and in doing so were able to determine the truck speedo is 5 mph conservative. Not like we're about to get nabbed for speeding but it will at least make me feel better about the even more abysmal mpg numbers I'll be calculating being wrong. The truck is running well though and we have the basic packed setup locked away now.

Tomorrow we start here in Tukwila and drive to a KOA in Butte, MT. We'll take highway 2 to do so based on the advice of a GRMer who says it's particularly scenic and worth the extra hour or so. I'm likely not going to be able to sleep tonight but I'll be trying to in order to get up early to go. Wish us luck! Hopefully tomorrow I'll be updating from Butte. 

Slippery
Slippery PowerDork
6/6/23 7:15 a.m.

Have a great trip! 

There is some climbing on 2 as you get close to Leavenworth, but I am sure any route you take will have that as well. 

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy UltraDork
6/6/23 7:52 a.m.

Cool truck and cool trip!  I'm in to watch.

birdmayne
birdmayne HalfDork
6/6/23 9:03 a.m.

The bakery in Sultan has phenomenal donuts.

The Bigfoot coffee stand just outside of Index has really good coffee, plus exceptional views of the mountains.

There's a fudge shop on the east side of the pass, maybe 20 minutes from the summit. They have a ton of jams and marinades and candy. 

Plenty of food options in the Wenatchee valley or Cashmere.

Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter)
Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter) Reader
6/7/23 12:30 a.m.

And we have arrived!

we started out going East on Highway 2 based on Birdmayne's suggestion. Thank you for that because that was some of the most stunning scenery I've ever witnessed!

The truck is certainly no speed demon, especially at a mile of elevation, but it's able to maintain speed on a flat in 5th so it by no means NEEDS more, as much as a turbo would be a great addition I'm sure.

We stopped for brunch at Smitty's in Wenatchee, sorry we could link up Bird! But after some waffles we were on our way once again. The truck is averaging better economy than anticipated, albeit barely. It seems to get about 12.5mpg after adjusting for the speedo being about 10% conservative thanks to the 33s. 

I can't get over how folks living around here just get to see mountains when they just want to go get gas.

The only issue the truck had the entire 12 hours of moving time was after filling up there was slight vapor lock so it took a couple tries to start and then a bit of throttle to get going again. After it was idling well again it ran flawlessly once again. 

Quite a bit of driving mostly straight on I-90 later and seeing more incredible sights we had gone through Washington, through Idaho, and into Montana.

Once we got to the KOA we could get to work finally trying setting up the sleeping area for the first time. This pic was before we were all done, but it's amazing just how quickly 8' of bed disappears .

And only 13ish hours later our day is done! Tomorrow is Yellowstone so not much driving and tons of sightseeing that we're excited for. Still knocking on wood that the truck continues acting nicely, but so far it seems if you feed it oil as it leaks out and gas as it absolutely guzzles it it just keeps going.

birdmayne
birdmayne HalfDork
6/7/23 1:18 a.m.

Excellent! Glad the detour was worth it for you.

 

Slippery
Slippery PowerDork
6/13/23 7:33 p.m.

Any updates?? 

I am leaving for Seattle as I type!

Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter)
Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter) Reader
6/14/23 2:31 p.m.

I forgot to update here! Yes we are home after some extremely wonderful albeit long days.

After Butte we went on to Yellowstone and saw some frankly incredible sights. The truck was running well, but definitely was wheezing getting over some hills at 9000' of elevation.

From Yellowstone we quickly hit Grand Teton which may have been the best view of the entire drive home.

After that, we tried our hand at Dispersed camping for the first time. Found a forest service road near Mt Rushmore and were definitely happy to have a truck with ground clearance and 4WD because it was rough. Also learned that the slightly noisy front u-joint gets VERY noisy when in low range so that's going to need replacing sooner rather than later. We had a rude awakening to some cows mad that we were parked on their breakfast grass.

From there we hit Wind Cave and Badlands National Parks and found South Dakota Highway 2. A major highway, that's somehow half dirt road. Definitely a far cry from New Jersey, but what an amazing sight to see again. We visited the Wagon Wheel bar just outside Badlands and got some much needed food for the day.

We finished that day late but in a hotel in Sioux Falls, SD. From there we were all done with the sightseeing and started putting miles down. After swapping to 15W-40 diesel oil the leak slowed, but the oil pan gasket definitely needs to be replaced as it is bulging in multiple spots. 

Outside Chicago I saw two more sights that were bitterseet. An awesome old Mazda 626, but also the return of rust. Tragically, we were getting closer to home. One more night in a hotel in South Bend, IN before the final stretch.

And in a way that I'm grateful for, the last few days were over quickly and in as boring a way as they could be. We were home! Never mind the trash cans knocked over by a bear that I hadn't noticed when I pulled in the driveway.

All in all the trip came out to 3287 miles. We burned just over 250 gallons of gas, and I completed a life-long dream of a proper fly and drive across the whole country. We visited 7 National Parks, got engaged, and made memories that will last a lifetime. Not to mention got a truck that seems like it may outlast me.

Unfortunately my E46 told me about some work it needs immediately in new suspension and tires, so I won't be able to put my attention to the truck for a bit as it immediately is going into daily duty until I can recover some money from the trip and fix the E46. At this point this may just be a maintenance log until I have some more time and money, but I have to say this truck really is fantastic and if anyone on here hasn't done as stupid a trip as this, please do it if you have the ability.

Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter)
Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter) Reader
6/14/23 2:35 p.m.

In reply to Slippery :

Have a great trip! What are you taking home?

Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter)
Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter) Reader
8/15/23 7:08 a.m.

So far the past 2 months the truck has been extremely reliable. I used it as a daily when my e46 was down, then traded said e46 for a 2000 Corolla as a commuter (I got cash on top, so not the craziest idea) and that became the daily, letting the truck rest a bit.  I also finally got around to getting the rolls of film I shot on our vacation developed so I have some more pictures of the truck incoming.

 

These happen just in time too as we are going camping, this time with the pup, at the end of the month for my fiance's birthday. Going to Watkins Glen, the park not the track, for a couple nights. Of course because I can't leave well enough alone and I love stressing myself out with deadlines unnecessarily, my goal is to have a sleeping platform built before the trip. The hitch is that I want to also have some power outlets, and I have a couple extra nice features I want to incorporate. The second hitch is I sprained my hand last week and am still in a brace half time so despite having 2 weeks I will likely only be able to do work during 1 to 1.5.

 

Regardless, pictures of the build to follow as I make it. Finishing up the plans and cut list tonight to try to make some use of my brain while my hand is still useless.

Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter)
Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter) Reader
8/15/23 7:59 a.m.

Most of the trip was shot on B&W. I only had a color roll while I was out in Washington. Great scenery, mediocre photographer. Regardless, some highlights:

This was at Diablo Lake Vista Point. Gorgeous place, so much so that this is where I popped the question!

 

After some more Washington we started the trip back. Our first stop was a KOA, but then we visited Yellowstone.

 

Right after Yellowstone we went across the street to Grand Teton.

 

I can't stress enough that this trip literally just kept taking my breath away. Every time I thought things couldn't be prettier they got prettier. Until the endless corn fields. But before that we saw the Badlands.

 

 

Definitely the trip of a lifetime and one I'm happy to have so much evidence of to look back on.

buzzboy
buzzboy SuperDork
8/15/23 3:44 p.m.

Love this so much. Amazing trip and amazing truck!

Slippery
Slippery PowerDork
8/15/23 4:08 p.m.
Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to Slippery :

Have a great trip! What are you taking home?

Just saw this!! Thanks, made it home after 7k miles !! I picked up an old BMW X3 to use on the trip and that will eventually become the car my oldest kid will get.  

Your pictures look amazing! Reminds me I need to update my thread, I took 8k pictures surprise

thatsnowinnebago
thatsnowinnebago UberDork
8/15/23 4:08 p.m.

I put an auxiliary fuse box in my 95 and ran power from it to outlets in the bed and the light in the camper shell. Some photos are in my thread here. There's no photos but I routed the cables in their sheath inside the driver's side frame rail to keep them protected. The blue sea stuff I used was very nice. I could probably dig up the Amazon links I used for parts and materials if you'd like. 

Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter)
Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter) Reader
8/16/23 7:06 a.m.
Slippery said:
Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to Slippery :

Have a great trip! What are you taking home?

Just saw this!! Thanks, made it home after 7k miles !! I picked up an old BMW X3 to use on the trip and that will eventually become the car my oldest kid will get.  

Your pictures look amazing! Reminds me I need to update my thread, I took 8k pictures surprise

That sounds like you had a great trip! I looked at X5s and X3s as they could be had with the third pedal that would make them fun.

Thanks for the comment on pictures! I'm normally the one taking a few thousand on the DSLR but on this one using the film camera was just more fun. Each shot had to count so I ended up only taking ones I thought I would be happy with. Of course there's no checking that they worked out, but getting to wait and then see the developed prints gives a second mini-vacation looking through them all!

Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter)
Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter) Reader
8/16/23 7:09 a.m.
thatsnowinnebago said:

I put an auxiliary fuse box in my 95 and ran power from it to outlets in the bed and the light in the camper shell. Some photos are in my thread here. There's no photos but I routed the cables in their sheath inside the driver's side frame rail to keep them protected. The blue sea stuff I used was very nice. I could probably dig up the Amazon links I used for parts and materials if you'd like. 

Thank you! I'll have to take a look at the thread again, I remember seeing it here a while back. Right now my biggest issue is that according to my Solidworks my design of this platform is gonna be HEAVY (~700 lb), and between that, the dog and 2 people, and the general heft of the truck from the lift and tires and cap I'm gonna be something like 100-150 pounds off GVWR unless I start cutting some stuff out. And that's not including camping gear or anything on the roof. That's the plan after work today

thatsnowinnebago
thatsnowinnebago UberDork
8/16/23 4:03 p.m.

In reply to Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter) :

Sounds you aren't going with the classic plywood-and-2x4s sleeping platform idea then. 

Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter)
Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter) Reader
8/17/23 7:16 a.m.

I am, and I think Solidworks is just plain wrong. I am actually going basically all plywood for structure and 2x4s where needed for support. My cut list tells me I can in a perfectly optimized world get by with a 4'x4' sheet of 1/2" plywood and 1.5 4'x8' sheets of 3/4" which is south of 200lb once cut to size. Thank goodness. While I know the frame can handle it as Ford apparently used the same frame for every non dually f series and therefore I have the same frame as a vehicle with a 10,000lb GVWR, I don't particularly want to put more than 6000 lb attached to a 300I6 and a Mazda M5OD. Should hopefully be picking up wood today during lunch and starting tonight!

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