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Posted (edited)

Probably it's  just me but I would have to pull those tan rear door cards and paint them white to match the doors. They look so cheap. And it's an easy cheap fix.

Edited by Boomerweps

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On 6/2/2017 at 8:12 PM, Tiller said:

jrm222 - check his first page.. he talks about the batteries under the floor there.

Chong:  would it be possible to fix that remote start timing system to a temperature sensor as well?  I'd be interested in having that as a back up for my car when I have the dog with me.  We are extremely careful in monitoring our dogs in the vehicles when at training or searches, but it would be a nice back up system to have the car auto start with the AC on full during the summer.  Either once every hour on a timer or when the temp sensor hits 100F.

Tiller

It's funny you mention that. I have that exact same idea in mind!

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Can't help with the remote start. But the door cards are the same as the Passenger's and they come in a very reasonable looking black plastic .  Much better and more finished.

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8 hours ago, G B L said:

Can't help with the remote start. But the door cards are the same as the Passenger's and they come in a very reasonable looking black plastic .  Much better and more finished.

Do you have a link to those?

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Made some more progress last night. Got the new bed fully assembled.

The bed flips out and rests on 2x4s that are hung with hinges. I need to fit some braces to the floor to keep them from sliding around, but it should be quite sturdy.

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The next bit will be to figure out a good way to secure the bed itself to the floor in a way that makes it easy to install/remove.

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Great progress!

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Everything is more or less installed. I've fixed up the janky cracked blocks and have been test driving everything to work and back this week. So far so good.

It's been goddamn hot out this week (90+) so I've not been venturing outside unless completely necessary. I still want to add some more power points to the back side of the battery cabinet as well as wall off the cabinet on both ends to help sturdy it up a bit more. Almost ready to roll out on our first summer road trip in a couple weeks!

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I've enjoyed every effort you have made to share your build with us.  Thank you.  Continued good luck....:victory:

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Got the panel to mount the power points installed. Wiring it up today. I also bought an awning for the roof rack. Should be neat!

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Looks like it is coming together very nicely. 

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Did a bit of load testing yesterday. I have one more tray and an awning to get up on the roof before we leave. I don't think I'm going to roll with the wheel carriers. I've had wheels come off on the highway before, not fun. 5 bikes, no problem!34529515284_af1f46a99b_z.jpg.3e729e1ed140de6921b0d975c90c1fcb.jpg

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Very nice.  Where is this journey going?

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On 6/18/2017 at 7:16 AM, chong said:

Did a bit of load testing yesterday. I have one more tray and an awning to get up on the roof before we leave. I don't think I'm going to roll with the wheel carriers. I've had wheels come off on the highway before, not fun. 5 bikes, no problem!34529515284_af1f46a99b_z.jpg.3e729e1ed140de6921b0d975c90c1fcb.jpg

34529515894_0d72ec44c6_z.jpg.91a655645097832cb50d4e730275fe14.jpg

Wow, a twelve wheeler!:dance:

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15 hours ago, G B L said:

Very nice.  Where is this journey going?

Ann Arbor -> Traverse City -> Marquette -> Houghton -> Copper Harbor -> Ann Arbor

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Test fitting the awning. I need to make a quick run to the hardware store before I can leave it up there, but it should be pretty excellent.

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Nice awning setup.

Me, I keep things even simpler. Got a 10x10 EZ-UP with the screen room kit.

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Cool should be a lot of fun

 

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Got the awning locked down, added the 3rd bike carrier, and threw the mattress in the back and secured it down with a ratchet strap. Now we are just down to small stuff. Added a couple of hooks for hanging things like helmets:

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I'm also using those hooks to bungee my cooler in place ;)

We also got 2/3 curtains done last night. Need to make another run to the fabric store to make the 3rd.

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Dude, your van interior is nicer than the apartment that I had in college.

 

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On 7/21/2017 at 11:33 PM, Fifty150 said:

Dude, your van interior is nicer than the apartment that I had in college.

 

Tell my wife that so I don't have to come up with a solution for the walls and ceiling!

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Posted (edited)

First summer trip in the Van report! As mentioned, our route was as follows:

Ann Arbor -> Traverse City -> Marquette -> Houghton -> Copper Harbor -> Ann Arbor

The first night in the van was Marquette. Turns out, the Marquette Walmart is Boondock Central!
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As mentioned this was a bike trip. We carried 5 bikes:

2007 Giant TCX (Roof)

2012 Pivot Mach 4 (Roof)

2016 Surly Ice Cream Truck (Hitch)

2005 Santa Cruz VP Free (Hitch)

1986 Trek 400 (Inside)

We mostly rode mountain bikes. Starting July 3rd we rode laps on Benson Grade in Marquette. The Norquemanon Trail Network is an IMBA Bronze Level Ride Center. Some good gravity there if you are willing to work for it. Monday night, we drove to Houghton and stayed with a buddy. Tuesday we spent up in Copper Harbor, an IMBA Silver Level Ride Center. The route from Houghton to Copper Harbor has some photo op places. I can quite honestly say that this is the first time I've ever stopped at either of these locations. I used to live up there so I never bothered. This time, we made an exception.

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It snows a lot up here. The pavement disappears in November and doesn't re-appear until Mid-April. I've chased a lot of storms up here. This thermometer tracks just how much it snows year to year. As you can see, last year was just above average. 

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Breakfast in Copper Harbor:

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Lunch in Copper Harbor:

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Mrs. Chong getting ready to rip the Overflow trail:

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Apparently, the showers in Copper Harbor are only for bikes. Mrs. Chong was not pleased:

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All in all, it was a good trip. We didn't get any rain until after we were done riding/running on Saturday evening. We stayed Friday night at the Fort Wilkins State Park in Copper Harbor and Saturday night in the rest stop in Seney. We did 1573 miles round trip, averaged 23.2mpg, and never left the state!

Edited by chong

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Looks like a wonderful trip, thanks for the pics, I enjoyed them.  All the work you put into the TC was well worth it.  Hope you have many more!  :camera:

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Great job with your Connect! Enjoyed reading and looking at the pictures!

Thanks,

Tom

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@chong - great thread and custom build. Thanks for sharing. Fun to read about the many stages of your build and trip. You did a lot of hard work and it appears to have paid off. Job well done!

 

I've been to Banff, but in September, which was cold enough, as it ended up snowing in Jasper. You and your wife are a pair of hard core polar bears for doing this in the winter and living out of your van no less. Not sure if I should commend you or recommend a psych eval :drool:

 

Looking forward to reading about more mods and adventures. Keep up the good work.

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So we've now had our van for 1 year. We've put almost 37k miles on it. We're loving it!

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