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Old 01-03-2023, 07:52 AM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2015
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Engine: 7.3 powerstroke & MBE906
Dory 2023 trip to quartzsite hamfest and palooza

Well at least we hope so.
Still prepping and finishing critical stuff.
Plan to leave state college,PA in the next couple of days.
Nothing is ready or tested. Don't sleep very well anymore because it feels like it is more then I can handle.

Still have to make ,finish ,install lithium batteries..finalize some stuff on the hitch.
Get different tires for the small bus..

So the crew consists of 2 adults or so it seems, two kids 10-16 , two dogs 13-1/2 and 2 and 4 chickens.

The chickens are riding in the small bus .we made a dedicated chicken run that slides out the emergency back door and sits under the bed.

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Old 01-03-2023, 07:56 AM   #2
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We are going 81 south to get in hopefully better weather.
Not sure if Dory can pull Elfie up the hills so we we might uncouple at some moments.
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Old 01-03-2023, 08:00 AM   #3
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Chassis: 1 ford 1998 e350 4x4 7.3 2 mercedes 2004
Engine: 7.3 powerstroke & MBE906
This is the setup , still have to experiment with the brake buddy b vantage select.

Yesterday I got stuck on the snow so I had a good time testing the winch.
Yes the tires were bold and I was on my way to my shop to install two new tires..
Good excersize for on the road. Changed 19.5" tires by hand. Definitely some art to that.
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Old 01-03-2023, 10:07 AM   #4
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maybe i'll see ya!

im going to make the trip this year. probably leaving Colorado on the 18th and heading to q
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Old 01-03-2023, 12:54 PM   #5
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That would be fun,. I have also work related stuff on the west coast. We pulled the kids out of school. The schools were in general supportive , hope that stays that way.
Our current goal is to leave Sunday 8 Jan.
Johan
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Old 01-07-2023, 11:41 PM   #6
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Drop in if you can.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeblack5 View Post
Well at least we hope so.
Still prepping and finishing critical stuff.
Plan to leave state college,PA in the next couple of days.
Nothing is ready or tested. Don't sleep very well anymore because it feels like it is more then I can handle.

Still have to make ,finish ,install lithium batteries..finalize some stuff on the hitch.
Get different tires for the small bus..

So the crew consists of 2 adults or so it seems, two kids 10-16 , two dogs 13-1/2 and 2 and 4 chickens.

The chickens are riding in the small bus .we made a dedicated chicken run that slides out the emergency back door and sits under the bed.
Stop by Freedom Field Deming, New Mexico on your way or from Arizona. Love to meet skoolie folk. We had planned to make the RTR and skooliepalooza, but blew our wad on another bus. And don't have the traveling funds.

That goes for all of ya. Anytime you are headed through New Mexico on I 10. Give us a holler. Skoolie folk are always welcome at Freedom Field.
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Old 01-08-2023, 10:14 PM   #7
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Good luck on your trip. Stop by if you have a chance.
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Old 01-09-2023, 10:10 PM   #8
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Engine: 7.3 powerstroke & MBE906
Thanks Rock n Ruth an Ronnie , still no lift off. Next possibility is high noon tomorrow.
Weather is not cooperating. I had installed but not connected the batterie heaters.
Then some more drama with tires.
Complete pre trip chaos and time is ticking.

Sorry Ronnie , would have been nice to you all. A little tight on time so we will hope another time. 81 south.. have to get out of the freezing weather.

Rock and Ruth , we will make a fair attempt to stop in.

Johan
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Old 01-10-2023, 10:17 PM   #9
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Engine: 7.3 powerstroke & MBE906
High noon,6 pm .. at the last moment I found a bolt embedded in the small bus ( Elfie) tire. When I fiddled with it , it started leaking air..this is a 245/70r19.5.
Good exercise with the tire irons.

Yesterday my friend Ellis pushed the spare Dory tire on the roof.
Today at the last moment I found the cover back and filled the tire with a spare airbag, low bottle jack, spare water hoses and a wheel nut torque multiplier.

Then drain the house water system to prevent frost damage and off we went 6 pm.

Just had to leave,even if it was only 40 miles, just the feeling of being on the road.
So now at the wally just east of Bedford,pa.
McD dinner, and settling in for the night. Tomorrow some re- arranging and then see if we can get south enough to be outside the frost line.

Johan
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Old 01-11-2023, 07:37 AM   #10
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yes!!! I 100% agree on the whole "gotta take off!!".. thats me. even though I dont camp, and stay in hotels.. more than once ive embarked on a journey just to drive to the next city and stop.;.. just for that reason,., "ive left home!"...


I cant count how many times ive had my bags packed and even vehicle loaded.. but never left because i "wasnt ready".. but once I leave.. unless ive forgotten something really Huge.. i wont go back... ill make the journey happen..





I didnt realize you ran 19.5's on elfie.. that makes for a much beefier tire.. you can get some nice meats on 19.5's..



love your style.. get south first then go west.. not sure which roiutes you are taking but i can say that at least a couple years ago.. I-10 going through alabama and parts of mississipi was absolutely terribly bumpy... maybe they have fixed it by now..
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Old 01-11-2023, 08:15 PM   #11
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Engine: 7.3 powerstroke & MBE906
Hi Chris, yes that is how it is.. the things you forget are corrected with the credit card.
Oh well. I forgot my thermometer that I wanted to use to measure between the lifephosphate batteries. It was freezing last night. We had a slow start.. between getting used to be on the road, the general chaos we left in, the chicken routine that needs to be developed. Problem with the batteries..

I wanted to run load range G tires on Elfie because it is swr and I am around 11k lbs...so overweight.. not worried about chassis or bearings but like to have a decent amount extra on the tires.. then it would be nice if they would be same as on Dory so that we would have to spares. Last, i like the way 19.5 looks on elfie.

Hanging on a test area along 81 just north of Stanton.
Smita drove Elfie with chickens and me Dory with kids and dogs... Did not get a bracket done for the brake buddy so we had to drive separately.. see if I can correct that tomorrow morning... Then we can see if Dory has the HP to pull Elfie.. haha... Another adventure..
The heat and blinkers failed on Elfie so Smita had a miserable time.

The lithium batteries were and are not balanced, so we made quite a bit of stops to measure the cell voltages. With the previous lead batteries I had set the alternator voltage on 14.1volt to get them to charge faster. Would have been ok with properly top balanced lithium but for now I wanted to give me a bit more leeway and reduced the voltage to 13.7 volt.

We needed to rearrange one of the bicycles that in our rush to leave ended up to inside Dory,. Stopped at a tractor supply to get Bungie cords.. then still a curtain rail was not mounted so a pile of curtains was on our couch.. well that got done today.


Not sure how far south we need to go to get into 60+ weather..20 or I 10.

Some images of today
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Old 01-11-2023, 08:34 PM   #12
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60+ right now probably I20.. we are in a pretty warm pattern for the next week or 2 .. cooling down some but not so far south..



light snow and colder temps expected friday in ohio (hoping to get my bus fixed tomorrow while its still 50+)
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Old 01-11-2023, 10:39 PM   #13
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We had so many issues prior to our cross country trip in September that I almost cancelled out at the 11th hour. Bus wasn't ready. Had an air loss somewhere. Shop told me it would be ok and to just go. Along the way on the first day and 8th hour, the driver mirror flopped over in the wind. Pulled over in the rain and tightened an Allen set screw. Oil leaks from rear engine. Level is fine, keep pushing on. Made it to Santa Rosa NM to find the inverter crapped out and no power to fully stocked fridge. Tried to fire up main generator. No start. Ok, I have a new Harbor freight inverter generator. Pull that out of the box, oil it up, gas it and it barely runs. Dies off. Fought with that piece of **** for an hour. Opened windows while parked at a truck stop and tried to sleep in the hot muggy air with reefer engines running all night. Continued the next day after making some breakfast with now semi cool food to use it up. Made it to Springfield MO to a Cracker Barrel for the night. Front tire is going flat. Called service company. tatted up kid does a **** job and patches front tire. Make an appointment for the next day to replace two *new* steer tires with two *new* steer tires (Michelin changed model) and moved old *new* previous steer tires to tag axle at a credit card cost of $2300. jeep battery was dead and after charging it, jeep went into limp mode. (Hybrid 4xe that I since traded for a V6 rubicon non hybrid) Rest of trip despite no power and no refrigerator or climate control went pretty well. Weather cooperated for the most part. At the end of the day, we talk about this trip and would have done it all over again. It was fun and memorable at the same time! I fixed all issues since then except doing a 30kw Lithium 48v server battery setup and inverter. the 13k is a tough pill to swallow especially now that business is coming to a halt.

Bottom line is you just gotta go do it. You will be making memories that you can't put a price to.
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Old 01-12-2023, 01:03 AM   #14
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Engine: 7.3 powerstroke & MBE906
Thanks Chris, nice rig Simon, you are living the fancy lane. We did 3-1/2 month cross country 4 years ago. then the worst that happened was our1986 diesel jeep Cherokee broke loose from the towbar coming back from hunter mountain road in DV...rest similar story.

And just why did I wrote this now in the middle of the night.... Our 13-1/2yr gsd had some diarrhea in the walk path. The floor has floor heating and 3/4 sheet on top.
Easy to clean.... Smita is so tired from driving that she did not wake up. That is good, she needs the rest..
To bad I forgot to make a picture.

Good night,
J
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Old 01-12-2023, 04:53 PM   #15
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Join Date: Dec 2015
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Year: 98
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Chassis: 1 ford 1998 e350 4x4 7.3 2 mercedes 2004
Engine: 7.3 powerstroke & MBE906
Today was a slow day, we started a chicken routine having them outside in the grass..then I fixed the non operational heater fan.. burnt contact on the blower relay..cleaning and a spare relay did the trick.. the flashers were a bit harder.. I had replaced the original flasher with a Audi on, pin compatible it seemed. Did not work either so then wiring, hazard switch etc.. turned out the flasher after all , the Audi fits but has different use for the blades.. I was able to fix the original one.

After that I found my air hose back and checked the tires. I was relieved that they were not far off.

We drove 75 miles just above Roanoke because our oldest had a live internet Spanish presentation. We thought it better to be stable for that in case the Verizon mifi would drop out against the mountains. On the road another skoolie in blue and white curtains passed us.

This second rest area was a barrier block away from I81, so horrible. Around 3 we decide to move to Roanoke Wally before we would get caught in the rain.
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Old 01-15-2023, 08:26 AM   #16
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Join Date: Dec 2015
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Chassis: 1 ford 1998 e350 4x4 7.3 2 mercedes 2004
Engine: 7.3 powerstroke & MBE906
A quick update,. Dory pulls elfie prettie good.. in 6th gear 1700 rpm 55mph.. computer limited.

Drove partially in the night to arrive in meridian ,MS.
Last time we visited a nice industrial steam museum here but unfortunately it is temporary closed.

Now at a Wally Lowe's parking lot to give the chickens some time, refuel, resupply.

Would like to get some good used Michelin 265/70r19.5 xde2+ for under elfies rear axle.. not a very common size.

We are driving i20 if anybody knows something in there local area then please let us know.
Will stay in meridian for a couple of hours to get some sleep.
Dallas is next.
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Old 01-15-2023, 08:53 AM   #17
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Join Date: May 2009
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nice!!! that big bus soinds like a beast.. fortunately you are staying in pretty flat areas.. that steam museum seems to have been closed forever... i tried to visit it a year or 2 agi and was temp closed.. meridian wasnt on my high list of towns to visit.. Dallas is more my speed we have a several MONTHS job coming up there beginning in the next few weeks.. DFW traffic SUCKS!! BTW weekend is best.. but i usually try to go through there at night... Houston (I-10) isnt any better .. another place I try to hit at night...
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Old 01-15-2023, 08:55 AM   #18
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those 265 tires are TOUGH to come by.. before i did the trans swap on my redbyrd I wanted some of those to increase my tire height for lower RPMs with the 545... when every tire shop had to order them i figured I didnt want them... simply because I wanted tires i could replace easily in about any town should I pop one..



they do have a much nicer load rating than the 225 or 245's and the yare made in a decently aggressive tread if you plan to take elfie out 4 wheeling
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Old 01-15-2023, 11:00 AM   #19
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Engine: 7.3 powerstroke & MBE906
Morning Chris, yes, that is why I put 265 on Dory, to get 1 more clearance. Luckily they fit under Elfie with minimal modification.

Chickens on their first outing
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Old 01-16-2023, 02:57 PM   #20
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packing up and leaving tomorrow. tomorrow night we're supposed to get another 10" of snow. i want to be south of sante fe by then.
palooza thursday night if all goes to plan.
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