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  1. #1
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    My Roadtrip Vehicles

    Since finding mtbr.com I have always been entertained by the “car & biker” forum. Today I hope to entertain by sharing my car and bike experiences.

    I am particularly interested in how people road trip with their bikes and gear. Getting to the local trails is not very exciting to me from a car & biker perspective: hitch mounted rack with the car, lay it down in the bed with the truck.

    In the next three posts I will share three different vehicles I have used for road trips.

  2. #2
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    Cargo Van Rental

    This was the original road trip vehicle for my buddy and I. The trip was to watch a couple stages of the Tour de Georgia and then road bike in Georgia and the Asheville area (I had not yet been infected by the offroad bug).

    We rented a cargo van from Enterprise for the trip. With a 20% off coupon purchase from eBay the van rental was about $240 for the week. The coupon was just a couple dollars on eBay and saved us something like $60.

    We picked up the van the night before leaving on our trip and spent several hours installing a bunk in the back. A queen size mattress set on the bunk and storage for plastic storage bins was beneath. Supports for the bunk extended rearward of the mattress and we built mounts for our bikes. More storage was available beneath the bikes. There was still enough room leftover at the very rear of the cargo area for duffel bags or more storage bins.

    The bunk structure was not attached to the van, 2x4 cross pieces were positioned just forward and rearward of the wheel wheels to prevent motion. The van had a rubber mat in the cargo area, so I’m not sure the bunk would slid anyhow.

    We took all our food with us. It was kept in the storage bins under the bunk. An upright cooler fit between the front seats for cold stuff and made a nice arm rest. Additional storage bins under the bunk held bike gear and cooking gear.

    At night we crawled into the back to sleep with our bikes, gear, and us secure from the weather and people. We slept in truck stops, a grocery store parking lot, and campgrounds during the trip. On days we rode we stayed in a campground so we could use the shower. On days we were driving we stayed at truck stops or rest areas. If we rode in the morning and early afternoon we could take a shower at the campground where we stayed the night before, then not need to stay in the campground that night.

    Some notable points on the cargo van:
    - Ear plugs are good idea if sleeping in a cargo van while it’s raining or if parked in a truck stop near a noisy interstate highway.
    - If you drive the cargo van to the office before leaving on your trip make sure your coworkers do not put a “Just Married” sign on the bumper.
    - To help with ventilation at night I made a ¼” plywood piece that could be rolled up in the driver side window. A 12V PC fan was installed in the plywood blowing out. At night we clamped it in the window and let the fan run all night. No nasty, stuffy van to wake up to. Minimal current draw, no need to worry about draining the battery.
    - A battery powered lantern hung from ceiling of the van with a piece of coat hanger wire bent into an s-shape really lights up the white inside of the van at night.
    - Cut cardboard pieces to fit the back windows and bring magnets to hold them in place. Use these at night to block out light from parking lot lights. Also to block light, bring a sheet to hang behind the front seats at night. We held it in place with office supply binder clips. They were clipped to the edge of the headliner that stops just rearward of the front seats.
    - The rule for two dudes sleeping on a mattress in the back of a cargo van is: sleeping bags, zippered sides facing away from each other. :-)
    - We also had a popup canopy under the bunk. This is nice to have when it’s really sunny or rainy. We set it up at the back of the van while in campgrounds.
    - Save the pieces used to make the bunk for the next trip!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My Roadtrip Vehicles-van-0.jpg  

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    My Roadtrip Vehicles-van3.jpg  

    My Roadtrip Vehicles-van4.jpg  


  3. #3
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    Capped Truck

    After two Georgia trips in the cargo van we decided to go to Boone. Being that we were not chasing the Tour de Georgia, there was less of a need to be able to sleep in the vehicle. On the trip to Boone we would be base camping at a campground. So, we decided to take my truck.

    Four or five months prior to the trip I began thinking about at truck cap for my Dodge Dakota. I figured it would be better for our trip as I really like having the bikes secure within the vehicle. Not wanting to spend the money for a brand new cap I began searching Craigslist. What are the odds of finding the right size, the right color, and the right price for a truck cap? Lo and behold I found the exact right cap for sale by guy a little over an hours south of my home. He had a hunter green Dakota just like mine and was asking $150 for the cap. The cap was in very good shape and he took $125 for it.

    About a month before the trip I began work on a shelf and bike rack for the truck bed. The goal was to store all our gear, two bikes, and a chest cooler in the bed of the truck. The Dakota’s bed is 6’-6” long and about 40” wide between the wheel wells. I made a bunch of sketches and brainstormed quite a bit to come up with a straight forward way to transport everything.

    In the end I came up with a shelf unit along the left side of the truck bed and a platform to hold the bikes on the front, right side of the bed. I built the shelf unit out of OSB because that’s what I had around. Plywood would have been nicer.

    The left side of the shelf unit has a cutout to sit over the wheel well. I attached cleats to this piece and the right side piece for a lower and upper shelf. A wooden cleat was bolted to the left bed rail and the left side of the shelf set in place and screwed to the cleat. I roughly set the right side of the shelf in place, it dropped in between grooves in the bed liner. The width between the shelf sides was an inch or so wider than the plastic storage bins the shelves would carry. I cut shelves to width, set them on the side cleats, and screwed them in place. I cut holes in the right side shelf support to save weight and allow access from the side.

    Three storage bins fit on the middle shelf. Camp stove, sleeping bags, and smaller bins fit on the top shelf. The tent was pushed all way towards the front of the truck on the bottom shelf, it fit between the wheel well and shelf side. A popup canopy fit at the rearward end of the bottom shelf. Self inflating sleeping pads fit rearward of the wheel well, next to the canopy.

    A plastic folding table stood upright and was ratchet strapped to the right hand side of the right shelf support. Between the table and the right shelf support were two sleeping cots. A 2x4 on the bed of the truck ran front to back to section off the tables and cots. There was a space rearward of the table and cots for a bike pump.

    Less than half the width of the truck bed remained for the bikes. I cut a piece of ¾ plywood to fit between the right wheel well and the 2x4 previously mentioned. After some trial and error I figured out how to fit our road bikes on this piece of plywood. (Once again this was a road cycling trip as I had not yet come over to the dirt side.)

    The front wheels were removed and the bikes held in place with fork locks. The wheels were held in place with some homemade wheel mounts. To slide this piece of plywood in and out of the truck the seats had to be removed, so there was also a mount to hold the seats on the plywood. Once slid into the truck the plywood bike platform was secured with an angle bracket, bolt, and wing nut. The bolt protruded from the 2x4 divider.

    The bikes were snug but did not touch each other or the truck. I have to say this may be more difficult with the wider bars of a mountain bike, but I figure there’s some way to make it work.

    With the bike platform in place there was a perfect space remaining to the rear for a chest cooler. We kept our duffel bags of clothes in the extended cab of the truck.

    We pretty much maxed out the available space in the truck. If anything additional of significant size would need to be carried, I would add a receiver hitch mounted platform. I would rearrange as necessary to make sure the items on the platform were not too tall to prevent the tailgate from opening.


    Some notable points on the truck:
    - No rental cost, still paying for fuel and putting miles on my own vehicle.
    - I’m always freaked out about losing keys on a trip so I made a spare and used a plastic cable tie to secure it to the frame under the truck, just in case.
    - Once again, a canopy is nice to have if you get stuck with a rainy day. Otherwise it’s not too fun being stuck in the truck or in the tent at a campsite.
    - Having a tailgate lock or truck cap lock would be nice. The guy who sold me the cap didn’t have a key for the locking handle. After the trip I found I could buy new handles, with keys for $16 each. As it was we rigged a cable lock around the handles and through the bumper when we left the truck behind while riding.
    - I should have attached a hook to the end of a 4’ dowel to use when retrieving storage bins from the front most portion of the middle shelf. As it was, we had to crawl in or try to use a golf umbrella to coax out storage bins. I guess we could have tried to back the truck up fast and slam the brakes on… now why didn’t we think of that at the time?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My Roadtrip Vehicles-truck1.jpg  

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    My Roadtrip Vehicles-truck4.jpg  


  4. #4
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    Jeep GC Rental

    Finally, by the time of this trip I had seen the light… a mountain biking excursion! Well, this was actually a business trip but I included a weekend at Bent Creek and Dupont State Forest in North Carolina.
    My rental vehicle was a Jeep Grand Cherokee and I was flying solo on this trip. No need for a mattress bunk or fancy shelf system. I had my mountain bike, bike gear, and a week’s worth of work clothes.

    There was not much challenge to fit everything into the Jeep. I laid the rear seats down and threw in the mountain bike on its side with front wheel removed. My bike gear was in a plastic storage bin placed in the cargo area. I had a duffel bag of clothes in the passenger foot area and laptop back pack in the front seat (these items could easily have fit in the back). In the area directly behind the front seat and directly behind the passenger seat, the foot area for rear seat occupants, I had a sleeping bag on one side and a self inflating sleeping pad on the other.

    Perhaps the most interesting part of the trip was my camping plan. I was down south Thursday and Friday for work. Saturday morning I checked out of my hotel and drove north to Bent Creek SP. After riding all day, several trails more than once, I checked into the Lake Powhatan campground. At my campsite I repositioned my bike, moved nearly all gear to the front seats, and laid out my sleeping pad and bag in the back. With the bike tucked up against the side of the vehicle, there was plenty of width to sleep. I’m 6’-0” tall and there was just enough length to sleep.

    Some notable points on the Jeep:
    - Though it was just me on this trip, I can see it possible for two to roadtrip with the Grand Cherokee. I think two bikes and some gear would fit in the back, but I think a roof top carrier would be needed for some additional capacity. Or, maybe a hitch mounted carrier. If I had a Jeep it would be fun to figure it out!
    - Don’t forget a pillow. I guess this goes for whatever vehicle you are using to road trip. On this trip I forgot my pillow and remembered how much I dislike sleeping on wadded up clothes.
    - Also not specific to the Jeep, but I learned my HR department will reimburse a campground fee as a lodging expense. Ha.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My Roadtrip Vehicles-jeep1.jpg  

    My Roadtrip Vehicles-jeep2.jpg  

    My Roadtrip Vehicles-jeep3.jpg  


  5. #5
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    A couple times I've had my camera and seen other people's vehicles while they were presumably on road trips. These images are attached.

    How about you?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My Roadtrip Vehicles-wrangler.jpg  

    My Roadtrip Vehicles-sprinter.jpg  


  6. #6
    Rohloff
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    Nice thread. I'm always geeking on the Car & Biker forum. I like checking out peoples bike haulers, especially as it pertains to road trips and camping.

    I've hauled, road tripped and camped out my Chevy Tahoe, Toyota Highlander and F-150 Crewcab. I've had everything inside at times. I've used roof top cargo carriers, hitch cargo racks, and hitch bike racks. I even bought a travel trailer and have hauled that around a bit.

    Ultimately, the best setup is something with good gas mileage and lots of room so everything can be stowed safely inside. The best thing I've seen is the Dodge/Mercedes Sprinter van. I'd love to get one and have it mildly, but professionally customized by Sportsmobile. The problem is, since Dodge lost their contract, they're hard to find and expensive.

  7. #7
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    Sweet! I always love seeing people's road trip setups!

  8. #8
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    Cool thread. I really expected to see a VW camper van.

    I think the best road trip vehicle has many definitions depending on the variables.

    For my input, I had a Dodge Magnum that made a excellent road trip vehicle.

    Pulling a popup with a couple buddies


    Running solo with bikes and boat.



    Or just the long solo trip with the bike and tent in the car. Up to 24mpg like this.



    Sold the Magnum in Dec after the wife and i bought a larger camper. I have missed it ever since, but hopefully tomorrow I am picking up a new to me Trailblazer SS.

  9. #9
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    Nice setup 9Guy. Here is my camper rack I built





    works great!
    Grit, spit, and a whole lot of duct tape!

  10. #10
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    Nice setup guys. Two popup campers... what do you think about them? I've seen a few for sale but never looked into them. Do they have storage while being towed? I mean can you load them up with gear and supplies and then close them for towing?

    I like having my bikes inside the vehicle while driving and for security when parked. I can imagine four bikes in the bed of the truck, locked within the truck cap, and a popup camper in tow. But like I asked above, can you load the popup with gear and supplies?



    9Guy9, the Magnum looks sweet! I've always liked the looks of the Magnum but now I have a new appreciation of its utility.

  11. #11
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    Yes, a typical popup has a ton of inside storage, even when packed up. My family of 6 takes it on 2 week vacations, and all of our clothes, bedding, food, coolers, grill, etc are stored inside.

    Some higher-end models with refrigerators, bathrooms, etc, may have a bit less usable storage. Some have a storage container on the front that is accessible even when packed. Much of it depends on the size camper. Ours is a 10-ft box, sleeps 6, but is as bare bones as you get. No sink, fridge, stove, etc. I removed all that for more storage, and because camping stoves and coolers work way better anyway.
    Grit, spit, and a whole lot of duct tape!

  12. #12
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    Of course the ultimate road-tripper was the 12 bike trailer that 9 of us from the midwest took on a trip out to Moab/Fuita area. Under the tarp is all of our gear. We piled into 2 vehicles and alternated the trailer between them.



    Grit, spit, and a whole lot of duct tape!

  13. #13
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    My Roadtrip Vehicle

    I like this thread. I’ve road tripped in everything from VW campers to a Prius. I like the truck now for trips with a simple topper and no real improvements in the back. I do have a popup but normally use that for family outings.






  14. #14
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    truck hood ornament big enough?

  15. #15
    Just Empty Every Pocket
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    Just got back from Yosemite yesterday, brought the bike, but spent all the time hiking. Got into backpacking before MTBing, so the camping gear is pretty minimal. 1 man tent, sleeping bag, mummy sleeping pad, pillow, extra clothes packed in a 40L backpack. Haven't done much backpacking lately, so I've been thinking about buying some car camping gear. Bigger tent, inflatable mattress, table, propane stove, EZ-up, etc. would definitely be a nice change.

    Bike mounted to the rear floorboard with a Delta fork mount with locking skewer with the frame, rear wheel, front wheel and lockable plastic bin locked to the back seat.

    I eventually want to build something like that shelf in the Dodge Dakota along with lockable storage. Being doorless/topless with the gear out the open keeps me paranoid.


  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by TRAUMAhead View Post
    ... Got into backpacking before MTBing, so the camping gear is pretty minimal. 1 man tent, sleeping bag, mummy sleeping pad, pillow, extra clothes packed in a 40L backpack. Haven't done much backpacking lately, so I've been thinking about buying some car camping gear. Bigger tent, inflatable mattress, table, propane stove, EZ-up, etc. would definitely be a nice change.
    Sounds like our story as well. My wife and I were all geared up for lightweight backpacking. We did several multiday trips in the White Mountains and Adirondacks. Then we got into rock climbing and car camping. Now it's mountain biking and car camping.

    I still often use my lightweight Mountain Hardware sleeping bag. It's nice that it compresses down to the size of a cantalope, saving space in the vehicle. We bought a much larger Coleman tent that you can actually stand up inside, compared to our 5lb North Face Roadrunner tent. Plush Thermarest self inflating sleeping pads instead of Ridgerest foam pads. Last year we bought cots as well. We bring real pillows instead of jamming clothes into a stuff sack. A coleman propane camping stove instead of MSR pocket rocket stove. We borrowed and then later bought a popup canopy. We have a 6' plastic folding table too. LEDs lanterns in addition to head lamps.

    It was actually fun, if not liberating, to gear up for car camping and not counting ounces and cubic inches like we had done as backpackers. We get to use toothbrushes with handles again!

  17. #17
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    Here's mine...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My Roadtrip Vehicles-img_1492.jpg  

    My Roadtrip Vehicles-img_1493.jpg  


  18. #18
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    I had no idea there was such a thing for a Honda Element.... sweet! I had to Google and here's what I found:

    http://www.ursaminorvehicles.com/camper.htm

  19. #19
    Just Empty Every Pocket
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomasbien View Post
    It was actually fun, if not liberating, to gear up for car camping and not counting ounces and cubic inches like we had done as backpackers. We get to use toothbrushes with handles again!

  20. #20
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    I once had a Toyota Sienna

    That i could take the seats out of for camping and such. I loved it for camping and roadtrips but as a DD it was a drag. id buy another one just for that purpose if i had space to store a second vehicle

  21. #21
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    Road trippin' with the Black Max...



    All our camping gear, bike gear, moto, 2 mtn bikes and 2 road bikes.

    Averages around 17mpg though. The new sized down version of the road trip mobile is much tighter space wise but it gets 40+mpg.

    Try to be good.

  22. #22
    Just Empty Every Pocket
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    Quote Originally Posted by whybotherme View Post
    All our camping gear, bike gear, moto, 2 mtn bikes and 2 road bikes.

    Averages around 17mpg though. The new sized down version of the road trip mobile is much tighter space wise but it gets 40+mpg.
    I get around 18-19mpg without any gear. I think without the doors/top might add a couple mpg.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by TRAUMAhead View Post
    I get around 18-19mpg without any gear. I think without the doors/top might add a couple mpg.
    yeah... the truck gets 18-19mpg when not loaded to the max. (6.0L that switches to 4cyl when not working hard)

    when it is loaded as shown (you would be amazed at how much stuff we fit in that thing) for a big road/camping/riding trip it drops our mpg some. the exception to that rule is if i find a good draft vehicle. i averaged 19mpg from Temecula, CA to Flagstaff, AZ once using big rigs for draft. the silliness of hyper-miling with a 6.0L V8 is mind blowing!
    Try to be good.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by iSlowpoke View Post
    Here's mine...
    I've been wanting one of those since I got my Element last year, but the price is prohibitive and the wife factor is low.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by whybotherme View Post
    yeah... the truck gets 18-19mpg when not loaded to the max. (6.0L that switches to 4cyl when not working hard)

    when it is loaded as shown (you would be amazed at how much stuff we fit in that thing) for a big road/camping/riding trip it drops our mpg some. the exception to that rule is if i find a good draft vehicle. i averaged 19mpg from Temecula, CA to Flagstaff, AZ once using big rigs for draft. the silliness of hyper-miling with a 6.0L V8 is mind blowing!
    At least you have torque/power. I probably have as much torque as a minivan, oh wait, I do.

  26. #26
    More Torque
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    Awesome setup, guys. Thanks for sharing.

    -D

  27. #27
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    My typical setup for going camping and mountain biking is with my tent trailer and Thule Ridgeline hitch mount rack with a double hitch receiver:




  28. #28
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    The post above with the rental van caught my eye. We did something similar on a few extended road trips some years back. We rented a 15-passenger van, built a simple bed platfrom from a 4x8 sheet of plywood mounted on plastic milk crates. We pulled out two of the rows of seats and left the front row of passenger seats. This gave us a bed, storage underneath for other camping gear, room for two bikes and a Burley double trailer inside the van. Our (at that time) 5-month old rode and slept in her car seat on the passenger bench seat. At night we put up black plastic sheets over the windows with velcro. We used the mattress from our hide-a-bed couch to sleep on. This worked great and we did a month-long road trip in the Southwestern US using this setup. Once we returned from that trip, we began looking for a camper to buy. I'll post a shot of the vehicle we now onw seperately.
    free-flowing meat waves of possibility...

  29. #29
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    our camper

    After renting and camping in vans, we went looking for one to buy. This is what we have had and have used since buying new in 2001. As of this year I will have spent about 400 nights in this rig. It's made by GTRV, http://www.gtrv.com in Richmond, BC. They are similar to the better known Sportsmobile.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My Roadtrip Vehicles-gtrv2.jpg  

    free-flowing meat waves of possibility...

  30. #30
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    This thread totally reaks of awesomeness....

  31. #31
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    Now, that's a great idea!

    Quote Originally Posted by thomasbien View Post
    This was the original road trip vehicle.... !
    It never occurred to me to rent a cargo van and do a temporary retrofit. Brilliant!

    I was starting to think of buying a beater minivan off craigslist for $2000 or less... drive it around for a month or two and sell it for close to what I paid. At that point, the depreciation is all depreciated out, so the loss rate is super low at that end of the curve.

    I think I like this plan better.

    The wife and I did a minor trip to a beach house a few weeks ago with our two kids in the wife's Audi A4 Avant. It was tough to get it all packed in. I need a roof box, if not a few other things for the next trip. Okay, we only drove like 60 miles each way to the beach house, then did day trips from there, so there wasn't a ton of driving involved. Also, we didn't need to bring camping gear. But... we managed to do the whole trip on one tank of gas.

    So, we packed two adult bikes, kid bikes, trailer and a weeks worth of clothes and stuff for a family of 4. This car surprisingly not spacious for a wagon.

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/cepH0cGusQfO92N6R9mNME1Ab6_K2cXlxUA0YqRJ1x8?feat=e mbedwebsite"><img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-ZFljqarlwpI/TgErKqzOPdI/AAAAAAAAVPs/BphLlzSrAP8/s800/IMG_0686.JPG" height="600" width="800" /></a>
    Last edited by pimpbot; 07-12-2011 at 05:59 PM.

  32. #32
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    totally guilty of creeping the car and biker forum, it's what made me join lol. nice rigs and stories

  33. #33
    Rohloff
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    Quote Originally Posted by nanochef View Post
    totally guilty of creeping the car and biker forum, it's what made me join lol. nice rigs and stories
    Me too. I'm getting tired of micro-analizing bikes and their parts.

    It's all about the next road trip!

  34. #34
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    Here's Clifford. He's our trusty, camping rig. He hauls the bikes, firewood, shower and pulls the popup.




    Our trip to Curt Gowdy last year....




    There's just so much room. It's very addictive to camp with. You can just keep putting stuff in and it never fills up. For 2011 the shower has moved to the rear rack. I bought some old Rockymounts at the swap meet last year and expanded the front rack to five bikes. I always get questions about the shower. So here's the short list of answers. No it doesn't get very hot. Yes there's a good amount of pressure since it's so high. This one holds around 15 gallons and when full is around 124 pounds.

    The newest road tripper is my Mazda5. Much much better on gas then Clifford. We do have to be a little more selective on what we bring however.



    I can fit Three people, three bikes and everyone's gear for a couple days inside. Now that I have the rack on top. It'll free up a bunch of space.

  35. #35
    ballbuster
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    Cool!

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeroack View Post
    Here's Clifford. ...
    Is that a homebrew shower on top? I saw somebody was selling a roof rack mounted shower system... basically a black tube with bungs on the end to fill with water, attach your shower spray hose and schrader valve to pressurize it with a tire pump. They wanted like $200 for the system.

    I thought heck, I can do that myself for $20 in black PVC tube, and parts. I could make the ends with screw on connectors for easy cleaning.

    Let it bake in the sun while I'm off riding, come back to a nice warm shower.

    Maybe the key to getting it hotter is to use longer lengths of smaller diameter tubing. I dunno... you said it doesn't get too hot, but do you wish it was warmer, or are you saying it doesn't get 'too hot'?

    Yeah, I like the Mazda5, too. I might strongly consider one for my next car. I rented one a couple years back for a job I had to do in Monterey, CA. Of course, I had to pack the bike and gear. I lugged 400 pounds of radio tools, parts and equipment, did the job during the day and rode Fort Ord at night. I love my job sometimes. I wonder if they are going to come out with an AWD Mazda5? I also like it's one of the last wagon/minivan kinda cars you can get with a stick in this country.
    Last edited by pimpbot; 07-15-2011 at 09:49 AM.

  36. #36
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    x2 on the shower. I also was thinking about making my own but was wondering if the commerical one had some kind of "special sauce" that makes it work?

  37. #37
    Rohloff
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    Quote Originally Posted by racerwad View Post
    x2 on the shower. I also was thinking about making my own but was wondering if the commerical one had some kind of "special sauce" that makes it work?
    I think the "special sauce" is black plastic and gravity. Just google "solar shower". You'll mostly find black plastic containers meant to be hung in trees ... or on top of cars ... with tubes running down to shower spigots.

  38. #38
    ballbuster
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    I would imagine...

    Quote Originally Posted by racerwad View Post
    x2 on the shower. I also was thinking about making my own but was wondering if the commerical one had some kind of "special sauce" that makes it work?
    If you're going to use gravity feed, with PVC pipe, you'll need some way to let air into the tube so it can let water out. Maybe a T at one end with a threaded cap that can be removed, or something.

    The commercial one I saw was pressurized with a tire pump.

    I was going to do something similar. I'd also imagine I would need some sort of safety blowoff so it can't be over pressurized, and crack the pipe or ends or something. Also, would be nice to be able to release the pressure when you're done with it, and going to store it.

    I use one of those gardener's plant sprayers with a big hand pump down the middle at work. Those have the sprayer hoses, pump, blowoff valve all set up. I could probably rob a bunch of parts from one of those pretty easily.

    This kinda thing:


  39. #39
    Digital Toast
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    I just open the fill side so a vacume dosent form. The little black showers weren't enough for six people. It is big, it is heavy.

    Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk

  40. #40
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    2007 FJ Cruiser...good for road trips...



    2006 Chrysler 300C SRT8...not so good for road trips...



    But it's sure fun to drive!

  41. #41
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    Love this thread. I am searching for ideas on converting a cargo van into a camper to haul the family and bikes around. A V.W bus is too small for the conversion I have in mind plus I like to drive the speed limit.
    I was thinking getting something that originally seats 20 (like a small school bus or something) Remove all the back seats but still have enough seats for 8 (that way two familys can travel together) make two bunk beds with room for bikes and gear. One thing is clear, its gotta be diesel. Normal gas costs a fourtune here in Europe.

  42. #42
    You down with entropy?
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    just completed a road trip from Michigan out to Colorado and back.
    Used my 2011 Fiesta and a 1up rack for the bikes. It was just 2 of us so in the end tight but not bad. My wife was joking that me packing the car was like tetris.
    we had all our bike and camping gear for a week all inside. The ride home with 4 cases of beer made it a bit tighter. All in all a good choice.

    Our other car is a Scion Xb (the original style). we have car camped and road tripped all over with that. There really is a lot of room inside. The usual practice recently for long trips is stuff the bikes inside for the long hauls, so save on the mileage of having the bikes on the roof. The once around where we are going take the bike out and have them on the roof, Heck even for the Fruita to Moab part of the trip the bikes were on top.

    One thing that was just brought to my attention is a VW vanagon syncro. I saw one labeled powered by Subaru and I started looking. I think one of those with a TDI would be a great road trip vehicle for us.

    My other wish is for a small Diesel pickup (ranger or S10 size) and a small airstream. For the truck they do not exist in the states really, though other parts of the globe have them.

  43. #43
    ballbuster
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    They had Diesel Westys

    Quote Originally Posted by esilvassy View Post
    just completed a road trip from Michigan out to Colorado and back.
    Used my 2011 Fiesta and a 1up rack for the bikes. It was just 2 of us so in the end tight but not bad. My wife was joking that me packing the car was like tetris.
    we had all our bike and camping gear for a week all inside. The ride home with 4 cases of beer made it a bit tighter. All in all a good choice.

    Our other car is a Scion Xb (the original style). we have car camped and road tripped all over with that. There really is a lot of room inside. The usual practice recently for long trips is stuff the bikes inside for the long hauls, so save on the mileage of having the bikes on the roof. The once around where we are going take the bike out and have them on the roof, Heck even for the Fruita to Moab part of the trip the bikes were on top.

    One thing that was just brought to my attention is a VW vanagon syncro. I saw one labeled powered by Subaru and I started looking. I think one of those with a TDI would be a great road trip vehicle for us.

    My other wish is for a small Diesel pickup (ranger or S10 size) and a small airstream. For the truck they do not exist in the states really, though other parts of the globe have them.
    They had Diesel powered Vanagons and Westys at one point. You think the gas ones were underpowred, Yikes!! .... Some were NA Diesels, some were TDi. Turbodiesel was better, naturally... but both were crazy underpowered. Got decent mileage, tho.. IIRC like 27 or 29 mpg on the freeway.

    The hot tip has been to upgrade the lame stock gas engine with a Subaru engine, since it is pretty much the same layout. Some have even upgraded them with the Golf 2.slo gas engines, or even the 1.8 turbo engines. There is a guy who did the 1.8t engine in a Syncro Westy. He says it's about double the power, plus it actually gets better gas mileage.

    I've even seen some Subaru SVX flat 6 enignes, and VW VR6 engines in Westys.

    http://www.vanaru.com/conv1.htm

    I mean, how sweet would this be?

    <iframe width="425" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/cZjfV9S5kcQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    Downside is, the Vanagon was a pretty old design. The body largely was unchanged since it was released in 1980, and even a lot of that was borrowed from the Type2 second generation VW bus. Not terribly safe in an accident, no airbags, no ABS, no ESP.

    One one hand, it does a really good job pulling itself around off-raod, and light rock crawling, OTOH, it's pretty aged.

    Heh... get the South African syncro with the snorkle kit, and you can take it across the river!

    <iframe width="425" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/4WbcXSG5tgI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    Try that in a GMC Yukon!

    Yeah, I would totally build one myself if I had a barn to work and store it in, and time and money to do it. Something magical about these things. Too bad they stopped bringing Transporters into this country. The new ones are pretty sweet, but not nearly as off-road worthy as the rear engine Syncros.
    Last edited by pimpbot; 07-29-2011 at 05:33 PM.

  44. #44
    You down with entropy?
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot View Post
    They had Diesel powered Vanagons and Westys at one point. You think the gas ones were underpowred, Yikes!! .... Some were NA Diesels, some were TDi. Turbodiesel was better, naturally... but both were crazy underpowered. Got decent mileage, tho.. IIRC like 27 or 29 mpg on the freeway.

    The hot tip has been to upgrade the lame stock gas engine with a Subaru engine, since it is pretty much the same layout. Some have even upgraded them with the Golf 2.slo gas engines, or even the 1.8 turbo engines. There is a guy who did the 1.8t engine in a Syncro Westy. He says it's about double the power, plus it actually gets better gas mileage.

    I've even seen some Subaru SVX flat 6 enignes, and VW VR6 engines in Westys.

    .
    I was more thinking a modern TDi engine, but in my looking I have found 4 and 6 cylinder subaru engine mods. I really am usure what the current TDi specs are HP-wise. But in all my reading the wasserboxer was underpowered.

    something like:
    http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifie...php?id=1107412
    it already has a 5 cylinder South african engine, so in theory would be a candidate for a TDi or the awesome idea if the 1.8t (something to mentally chew on there)

    this is all pipe dream for me really as I also do not have a pole barn or the time/money to mod one up. but I will be keeping my eyes open now that I have been made aware of the possibilities. All thanks to someone parked in a lot in Breckenridge, with the Vanagon Syncro powered by Subaru label.

  45. #45
    ballbuster
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    Quote Originally Posted by esilvassy View Post
    I was more thinking a modern TDi engine, but in my looking I have found 4 and 6 cylinder subaru engine mods. I really am usure what the current TDi specs are HP-wise. But in all my reading the wasserboxer was underpowered.

    something like:
    http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifie...php?id=1107412
    it already has a 5 cylinder South african engine, so in theory would be a candidate for a TDi or the awesome idea if the 1.8t (something to mentally chew on there)

    this is all pipe dream for me really as I also do not have a pole barn or the time/money to mod one up. but I will be keeping my eyes open now that I have been made aware of the possibilities. All thanks to someone parked in a lot in Breckenridge, with the Vanagon Syncro powered by Subaru label.
    I think the Vanagons got the 48hp NA and the 70hp TDI diesels, similar to the mid 80's Jettas and Golfs.

    The 2004-ish TDIs are 103hp, IIRC. They don't have huge hp numbers, but they make a lot of torque, and feel like a lot more.


    Also, I don't know what the smog laws are like where you are, but here in California, its a total PITA to upgrade engines. You basically need the entire wiring harness, catalytic converters, etc... all model year correct for the engine, right down to the dash warning lights and engine electronics. Then, you have to get a smog referee to inspect it.

    Same would go for the Subaru conversion, but at least there are kits to get a lot of the issues worked out for you.

  46. #46
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    here's our camping setup

    I've built that trailer this summer, we pull it with an old honda CRV, i did not test it with my toyota echo yet.
    Fits all of our camping gear.
    first pics was during construction...other pics are of the finish product.

    we tested it twice so far and love it! it's way easier to look for stuff in the trailer than when its all jammed pack in the car!

    next test , a 1 week Vermont mtb/roadtrip at the end of august.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My Roadtrip Vehicles-trailer.jpg  

    My Roadtrip Vehicles-rem.jpg  

    My Roadtrip Vehicles-rem2.jpg  

    My Roadtrip Vehicles-rem3.jpg  


  47. #47
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    Hey tartosuc, your trailer looks great! I've been thinking about something similar to pull behind the car. How does it tow? I have always thought a small trailer like this, lightweight and with small diameter tires, would be bouncy to tow with a small vehicle.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomasbien View Post
    Hey tartosuc, your trailer looks great! I've been thinking about something similar to pull behind the car. How does it tow? I have always thought a small trailer like this, lightweight and with small diameter tires, would be bouncy to tow with a small vehicle.
    thanks for the kind comment

    the trailer tow's very well, when its empty it jumps a lttle at slow speed other wise its very stable... I think stability has to do with the pole lenght between the trailer and the car, the longer the better...

    For me my vehicule rides better with the trailer loaded with all the gear, rather than having all the gear inside the vehicule.

    I,Ve built the trailer out of an older trailer bought cheap on craigslist, total cost without bike tracks was around 800$ license plate included.

    I know in the US you can get cheap trailer kit from harbor freight...a good base to build on.

    If i would do it all again i would go with bigger wheels ...I did not get any troubles yet , but i hear some horror stories about overheating hubs and blown tires with thoses 8'' wheels..that said they are just stories, My father had a tent trailer with 8'' wheels all of his life with no problems watsoever.

  49. #49
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    The Harbor Freight trailers you mention are exactly what I had in mind. They have a 40.5" x 48" trailer with 8" tires for $200 or upgrade to the one with 12" tires for $260.

    http://www.harborfreight.com/automot...res-90153.html

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomasbien View Post
    The Harbor Freight trailers you mention are exactly what I had in mind. They have a 40.5" x 48" trailer with 8" tires for $200 or upgrade to the one with 12" tires for $260.

    http://www.harborfreight.com/automot...res-90153.html

    definitaly go for the 12'' wheel, just for peace of mind.
    yeah thees kits are perfect for that application..unfortunately arbir freigh is not shipping to canada, otherwise i would have bought one of them..

  51. #51
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    Awesome thread. We drive to Florida from NY a lot. 5 people, bikes, luggage... No camping gear. We have a Chevy Suburban with a 4 bike T2. My smallest son's bike gets disassembled and placed in back with the luggage. We recently got a Thule roof box off Craigslist for 100 bucks. Kinda old lookin on top of my new truck, but it frees up tons of interior space. I'll post a pic after I learn how.
    I like turtles

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