Step up double. I had way too much speed, but thats better then not enough.
Huckin the road gap on Tres
I just wanted to write a post about all the modifications and improvements I have done to our Eurovan. I have had a few people ask me about some so here is a list of some of what I have done.
LED Light Conversion
The factory Florescent lights use 16 watts of electricity each. I cut out the ballast and installed LED light boards that use less then 1 watt each. I installed 3 LED boards in each light fixture. I kept the connectors the LED boards came with so I can run 1, 2 or 3 LED boards. The LEDs are very bright and crystal bright. I now runt he light above the sink with 2 LED boards and the light above the back seat with 1 LED board.
Suspension Leveling, Lift, and Shocks
One big issue with the Eurovan campers is that all camper equipment sink, stove, water, fridge, cabinets are all on the drivers side of the van. This is a lot of weight all on one side of the van making the van sag to the drivers side. Eurovan Campers are also very heavy at 6,000 pounds making the vans suspension sag significantly over a Eurovan that doesn't have the camping equipment. I added two 1/2" suspension spacers above the rear drivers side spring and one 1/2" spacer above the rear passenger spring. This added 2" of lift to the rear drivers side and 1" to the rear passenger side. I then tightened the front torsion bars to lift up the front suspension up so its 3/4" lower then the rear. I also installed new Bilstein HD shocks during this process. I took measurements before and after the process. The measurements were taken from behind front wheel wells and in-front of rear rear wells at the body pinch seam.
LF= 9 5/8" RF=10 1/4"
LR=11 1/2" RR=12 3/4"
LF=12 1/2" RF=12 1/2"
LR=13 1/8" RR=13 1/2"
Picture on the Left is before the lift, picture on the right is after the lift.
The heating duct in the Eurovans is poorly designed. The metal box that splits the main tube into dual tubes is for sure pointless. They could have ran a single tube the entire length. The first thing I did was flip the box that splits the ducts from a single to dual. The single tube used to make a tight bend down towards the floor into this box. By flipping it upside down I shortened this hose by over 4" and the hose is a lot straighter now. The next thing I did was use silicone(high temp type used on car engines) to seal the duct adapters where the duct tubes fit on. This will keep any warm air from leaking out.
Extra Refrigerator Insulation
All refrigerators are more efficient with more insulation. I added Rattle Trap FatMat to the back wall of the van and then a layer of fiberglass insulation. I then added 1/2" silver backed poly foam to all sides of the refrigerator. I stopped by a fireplace store and picked up fireproof fiberglass insulation used for installing fire places. I used this to add insulation to the chimney of the refrigerator. My hope is to keep the heat from the chimney inside the chimney and the heat from sun against the side of the van out.
Sound Deadening and Insulated the tailgate and side wall
I added Rattle Trap FatMat sound deadening to the tailgate and to the passenger side panel. I then added fiberglass insulation and Great Stuff expanding foam inside the wall pillars and small spaces.
Rewired Stereo, added on/off switch and Extra Power outlets
By default the Stereo is wired into the factory wiring harness which runs off the starter battery in the engine compartment. I ran a new wire from the camper/deep cycle battery side of the battery isolator that is mounted on the firewall. I then added a switch and wired it into the on wire for the stereos turn on wire so we can listen to music without the key in the ignition. To prevent the car from beeping as if you have the key in the ignition I added a diode on the factory stereo power on wire. The diode prevents power from running back down the factory on wire and sending electricity to all other circuits on that wire. The stereo now can be turned on with the ignition or the new on/off switch.
Eurovan Campers already come with extra power outlets. One above the refrigerator, and one in the back by the tailgate. Both of which run off the deep cycle camper battery. The factory dash power outlet runs off the Eurovan starter battery and does not seam to work that well. It seamed as if it wasn't the standard depth. I wanted a couple more power outlets on the dash that ran off the camper battery. The same wire I ran for the stereo I used to wire in two new power outlets. I then added Dual USB Mini Car Charger Adapter. This will allow me to remove the USB adapters to charge a laptop or cell phone battery. You can purchase the power outlets on ebay. Click Here
To add more storage we purchased a Yakima Skybox 16. One issue with adding a roof top storage box is the weight. To counteract this I upgraded the factory roof struts to 150lb struts. This gives us an extra 100lbs of load capacity on the roof. We only plan to use the storage box for lightweight items spare bike tires, sleeping bags, tent, camp chairs, backpacks.
Below is a calendar of a rough idea of our travels this summer. If we will be in your area be sure to contact us and we can get together for a hike or ride.
Its official, I quit my job today! Yeap you read that correctly May 3rd is my last day at work. For those that don't already know, on May 6th Sarah and I will be hitting the road. We will be traveling Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, and Colorado living out of our VW van. Sarah's goal is to run as many marathons as she can. We are planning our route around marathons she can run on the weekends. During the week we will be hiking and exploring the back roads. I am bringing 3 of my mountain bikes along to shred as many trails as I can. Yesterday I purchased a season pass to Mammoth Mountain Mountain Bike Park and plan to have Sarah drop me off in Mammoth for an entire month. One of my main goals for this trip is to expand Trail WIKI and add as many trails to the website as possible. We purchased a 1995 VW Eurovan back in December and I have been fixing it up and getting it ready to be our home for the next 6 months. We hope to end our trip in Boulder Colorado where we plan to stay for a few years.
Saturday Practice Run
Sunday Race Run
My Saturday Cat3 Win
Sunday race run and crash
Medics helping me after my crash
The way the lower half of my Sunday race was supposed to go
Trail Side Cam
Dirt Jumps Swopped out the DH bike for my Dirt Jumper to play around a little.
Wood Ramp Jumps
The story behind this picture:
Today March 10th, 2013 is the first time I have ever seen this picture. Sarah happened to run a marathon with a woman and was telling her about a trip we did to Africa to run a marathon and climbing Kilimanjaro. The woman said that her brother was over there same year and also ran the marathon and climbed Kilimanjaro. She said his name was Brian. We remembered who he was. Later at one of Sarah's races we saw the same woman and she said Brian was running the same race as well. I later saw him and got his name and friend him on FB. Today March 10th 2013 3 years and 5 days after this picture was taken Brian uploaded the picture to Facebook and tagged me in it! Picture was taken March 05, 2010.