View Full Version : Project Excursion RV
06-18-2006, 05:00 PM
For those of you that don't know I am going to be making a cross-crountry trip in August to shoot the Yotatech '06 DvD (see sig for more info). Instead of getting hotel rooms everywhere I go I am going to be converting my Excursion into a "mini"-RV. I know this isn't totally toyota related but boxes like this are quite common in the 4x4 world and I wanted to get everyone's feedback on the project so far. I want to build a two stage box that half will stay in the vehicle at all times and the other half will only go in when a bed or extra divided storage space is needed. The rear section will have to be able to fit behind the 3rd row since it will be in all the time but it works out pretty well. Here is what I have so far measured out in illustrator... I have all the pieces that are labeled with the correct sizes so I think I'm about ready to start ordering everything. :welder: The dark area is going to be mattress sitting on top of the box. The "air" thing is a compressor if I decide I'm going to need air-ride. I put it in its own compartment because I have the space and there I can insulate it for sound purposes. Plus, I don't foresee me using it a whole heck of a lot so inside mounting seems to be ok for my application. Please let me know if anyone disagrees with this.
Just so you get an idea of what everything looks like...
3 Drawer Container- The way I have it setup now you won't be able to pull the bottom drawer out, but you will still be able to access it by removing the middle drawer. So less important stuff will have to be put in the bottom drawers, but I don't think I'll have a huge shortage of space so it shouldn't be a big problem.
Fridge - Igloo Koolmate 56 Dual
I have a couple questions...
About inverters, what would the benefit of having one 1kw inverter be versus two 500watters? Would the two 500s draw more than the single 1k? I'm asking this because I was told that xantrex makes good inverters and while looking around I found a 1kw for $160ish and a 500w for $45. Both look burly for their power rating and got to thinking. The main use for the inverter will be to charge camera equipment which doesn't take THAT much juice. The only thing that would warrant the use of the 1k would be that I'm considering integrating my Apple G5 Computer and though I have yet to find actual draw of my exact computer I read that the top PC chips were requiring at most 180 watts at full load. I figure with 500 for charging the cameras/power the laptop and 500watts for the G5 I would only have to power up the second inverter when the desktop was running. This would save power for the most part as I would only need the 1 500w correct? The more I think about it, the less I would consider the Dual 500w setup but I was wondering what you guys thought. I don't know that much about inverters and just got to thinking... ;)
Also, I was wondering if anyone had any experience with RAM laptop mounts? I know they make one for the tacoma but it isn't the same style as the mount for my truck. From what I have heard they have a good product and it seems pretty darn sturdy to me. Anyone have any first hand experience with them? It sure would be nice to have the laptop secured up front where I could still use it for music, maps etc etc...
06-18-2006, 05:14 PM
I made some changes to the design, some slight, some a bit more involved. For those that don't know the way the rear doors open its a 3 part system. The glass lifts up and there are two barn doors that open to either side. To get a better idea, here is a picture with the glass and one barn door open.
I was talking to my buddy that runs an audio shop and he did a no expenses spared Excursion a couple years back and I remember he mounted the subwoofer in the rear doors. After asking him about it he told me the rear doors are fiberglas and are perfect for using them as a sub enclosure. You have to dynomat the crap out of it, but aside from that it worked out great. I like the idea of mounting the sub there much better than down on the horizontal box. With the sub firing straight up I would lose quite a bit of output seeing as I'm 7857982784983ft from the sub, I want all the bump I can get ;) Anyway, that was the big move. I now will be mounting the air tanks where the sub enclosure used to be. I already have the tanks sitting around from the project I was going to put into my 4Runner but never got around to it. Next I rearranged the electronics box to allow for more room and access to a CD changer. I already have sirius satillite radio but sometimes its just better to have your own. Its not toooo high on the priority list, but I at least want the option to add it later. I also moved the shelves up against the fridge for better support and resistance from sliding.
I am working on a wireless network/audio play setup using an airport express. This would make photo exchange a breeze and also allow me to play all the music on my laptop (and G5 if I incorporate it) through the truck's stereo. It would be more for transferring files, but the audio part is just kinda neat ;) I also want to make some sort of "shore power" (I was raised on boats) system where I could plug in an extension cord to an outdoor socket mounted under the rear of the truck that would power 2-3 sockets inside the vehicle so when at a campground that offers AC power I could plug it in and not drain the batteries or have to run the motor when at camp.
06-18-2006, 06:13 PM
first of all, Great Legs!
second: You may want to consider mounting the air tank(s) under the truck on the frame. On my F350 there is lots of room between the outside of the frame rail and the door sills, I assume that the Excursion is similar. The tanks need to be bled occasionally to remove any water that builds up, mounting below the truck makes draining the tank(s) much easier and a lot less messy. Another suggestion: could you mount the amp and other small items under a seat to free up more storage space?
Please keep us posted on your progress, and post pics of the modified interior when you get a chance.
06-18-2006, 07:15 PM
First off... I work out... :suning: :xxrotflma ;)
Thanks for the heads up, I was originally going to mount them down there but when the space freed up by putting the subwoofer in the rear door I figured I could put them in there. That does make more sense to put them down under the truck. What would be the best way to connect the two? am I going to have to drill a hole in my floor and put in a grommet or is there a better way? About the electronics... I will primarily be using my truck in "seat up" position with the forward box removed. I want the electronics to be totally out of sight (except for a few wall sockets) and out of the way for ease of conversion from RV to normal mode. I'm not too worried about having enough storage space at this point. For this trip I won't be spending too much time totally detached from society so I won't need tons of food storage. The only thing I question is all my camera equipment and between the big Pelican case that will go in front of the bed and the 4 storage bins that will hold all the cameras etc, then the bins that are right there will be able to hold all the mounting hardware, cables etc...
06-18-2006, 07:33 PM
I would suggest using one larger tank for simplicity (unless you already have the 2 tanks). I would also suggest mounting the compressor outside the vehicle passenger compartment, this would elliminate the need to drill thru the floor. In other words keep all of the air system outside. Depending on the size of your compressor, you could look into mounting it underhood (best solution if there is room) or beside the air tanks on the frame rail in a box (unless you intend deep water crossings). One method that is popular for Superduties is to remove one battery and mount the compressor in its place, then replace the remaining battery with 2 optimas (they can be made to fit side by side in place of one oem battery). If you haven't already checked this site out, I highly recommend it for lots of info on your excursion:
I would suggest something a bit heavier duty unless this is for very light items such as clothing. You sure dont want camera gear or anything heavy or breakable in that!
06-19-2006, 01:28 AM
I have so much storage right now I have no idea what is going to be going into those bins. Probably misc stuff like extra bugee cords, spices, odds and ends food stuff etc. I'll be sure and keep all the heavy stuff as close to the floor as possible. I'm actually kind-of hoping I will be able to cram something like a 2x4 or something in-between the shelves and the mattress to further stabilize them.
Taking Mark's suggestion to keep the air system on the exterior I came up with a new setup that has for more usable storage and will allow me to keep the inverter/amp cool while at camp. The "control panel" will house the battery switch and on/off switch for the inverter and "shore power".
The "Camera Charging Station" will be a compartment for me to keep all the camera's power cables along with a power strip so they will all be in one place and I won't have to go fumbling for chargers whenever I need to plug in a camera. Unfortuniately for me each camera has a different style battery (despite all being sony :rolleyes: ) so they will all need to be plugged in at the same time. In the compartment I will have both a "shore power" plug and a "inverter power" plug with a power strip so all three cameras will be able to be plugged in at the same time on either power source. I will just leave a small U shaped pass-through in the door for the cables to come through to the top so the cameras can be sitting on top of the door while charging.
06-19-2006, 11:54 PM
first of all, Great Legs!
second: You may want to consider mounting the air tank(s) under the truck on the frame. Cheers
AGREE 110% on both!!!!
the Excursion is an extended 4 door bronco i believe? if so i would strongly recomend a york oba coversion, there is room under hood for compressor, and room under truck for tank. i installed this set up in my bronco and have had nothing but positive results. i would suggest this for a few reasons...1-noise...no compressor or tank inside of truck, 2-safety...no compressor or tank in truck, 3-performance/reliability...a york 210 will out perform just about any electric compressor on the market with the exception of the Oasis, which uses a york 210 with an electric motor, there is 100% duty cycle, and proven reliability. just my $.02, best of luck.:victory:
06-20-2006, 03:34 AM
Great stuff. This will be a very enjoyable project to follow, given the "scenery" you have in your images.:p
Glad to see you focusing on organization, which is fortunately quite easy in the big excursion.
06-22-2006, 04:12 AM
AGREE 110% on both!!!!
the Excursion is an extended 4 door bronco i believe?
Well, not really... its really a "short" wheelbase F250 with a box/interior in the back. Mine has the 7.3L PowerStroke so there is SOME room, but I'll post up on some Ford forums asking about mounting a York compressor on the 7.3L and see if I can dig up anything. I really like the idea of a york compressor due to being able to run air-tools with enough storage and a "high-idle" setting on the ecu which is easy... I also like the idea of a york compressor due to price. There are quite a few A/C compressors that serve as a cheap york compressors. I think I am going to wait for the air setup and do it right later down the road when I have more time to dedicate to finding exactly what I want. Thank you for helping me come to this conclusion!!
I think the HD Bilstein shocks and anti-swaybar will be able to keep everything in check enough for this trip. If I had a 4wd it would probably be another because I hear people complaining about the Ex's handling but I take 130 turns in 8mi on my drive to work and the Ex doesn't put up too much fuss as it is with TOTALLY worn out shocks. I hear great things about the anti-swaybar and radius rods so we shal see...
Not to hijack my own thread or anything but since you guys like Excursion "scenery" here is one more...
06-27-2006, 02:42 PM
the Excursion is an extended 4 door bronco i believe? :
yeah, mistaken...i was thinking of the Centurion. LOL with your project!...:victory:
06-28-2006, 02:30 AM
So maybe it's me but I clicked on the site and found 0 info on where you are going. I.E. states, events dates etc. I am planning a run to Idaho and leaving Fl on 8/2 if you are departing about that time maybe we can caravan for a bit? Probably atleast to St Louis or even Denver.
06-30-2006, 02:37 PM
sorry about that... nobody has mentioned that yet because they all are on yotatech and have known for a while what the schedule is going to be. Thanks for lookin out! ;) Right now I'm planning on leaving the 28th or the 29th of july and heading to New Orleans and will spend a couple days there due to my buddy having crazy connections in the Ferrari Club of New Orleans ;) Then I have a friend from college that was diagnosed with cancer a year ago in Houston so I was going to head there on the 31st or the 1st and then staying there until the 3rd. After that I don't know if its faster to go through El Paso, or Oklahoma City but I'd get to either one of those places for a night then my shooting dates are:
Albuquerque, NM- Aug 4th-6th
Flagstaff, AZ - Aug 10th-13th
SoCal, California - August 18th-20th
Auburn, WA - Aug 25nd-27th
Bozeman, MT - Aug 28th-30th
Glenwood Springs, CO - Aug 31st - Sept 5th (CO4RJ '06)
Kansas City, MO - Sept 5th-8th
It would be great to have you along! I don't know how fast you drive but I'm not going to be in a huge hurry due to the way the Ex is geared it has to stay in boost to keep it over 70 I'll probably be sticking aournd 70-75.
07-10-2006, 05:05 AM
I have a big week coming up this week, a friend of mine who is an electrical engineer from Atlanta is coming up for the week to get away and while he is here we are going to knock out the box/electrical stuff so there will be plenty of stuff going on this week. I got all the storage piece I'm going to be using today and started laying everything out in the truck to get an idea of where and how everything is going to fit. So far so good! :luxhello: After looking at everything I think I have decided to go ahead and remove the rear (2nd row) of seats since they won't be able to be un-folded with the box in place anyway. This adds even MORE room and I'm starting to run out of ideas on stuff to put places ;) ha, riiiight.... :rolleyes: All my camera equipment arrives tomorrow so I will be glad to have the extra space.
I got the SUV tent the other day and had a chance to test fit it before heading out of town for the weekend but only got preliminary thoughts. So far it looks perfect for my application. It might not be the most sturdy tent on the market but all I will need it for is a pace to escape the rain/bugs. It will also be nice when changing, working on the computer, cooking, sleeping (ventilation mostly) etc. Setup isn't too bad. Took me about 25min to put the main tent up by myself for the first time w/o directions. Its setup just like pretty much every tent these days so I'm happy with it so far. I'll hopefully get to test it out this weekend and give a full write-up with my thoughts etc.
07-11-2006, 12:32 AM
Let us know if you ever get any water leaks with that tent , I want to get one for my blazer , but worry .
isn't there a chance of water leaking around the edges where it seals against the truck body ? What happens if you are parked on a hill , and water runs along the roof top and into the tent ?
or is the seal really tight?
07-11-2006, 05:10 AM
Well, there are several places to tighten the tent to the truck's body. There is also a foam piece plus a flap that covers the length of the "seal" around the body. I will let you know of I get any leaks. That said, it also will depend on how your hatch is designed. They way my hatch is designed, it shouldn't leak either way. Its suppose to be raining for a week soon so I'll see what I can do. ;) I'm building the box this week also so first things first, but I do want some water testing with the tent as well. :beer:
07-14-2006, 06:49 AM
So my buddy Mark and I have been busy on the box. There have been a few updates to the design for several reasons. The biggest change is that we found a way to better use the space behind the 2nd row of seats and now the entire system fits behind the 2nd row of seats. This will make the box setup much more useful when going on camping trips down the road where I will be needing more people moving space than just two seats. We could have taken the 2nd row out as originally planned but after we discovered this new arrangement we decided that it would be ridiculous for my needs. Not only this trip, but any other I might take in the future. Needless to say, we canned the 3rd box and stuck to the current two with the new design. Right now I have room for 6 of the "under bed" style bins, a full size suit case, two sets of shelves, two golf cart batteries, inverter, camping stove, Pelican 160 for all my video equipment and last but not least the single mattress with enough room to sleep. This will all fit in the back with full use of the 2nd row of seats! :victory: We still need to carpet everything and get the electronics in tomorrow but here are some preliminary pictures. I didn't snap any after we built the shelf system to lift the two sets of shelves up but I'll get some tomorrow after we get some carpet down and tidy things up a bit. I am extremely happy with the way this came together. I had one thing after another magically fit perfectly and I am very excited we got everything in behind the 2nd row. I now have plenty of room for a cooler, water storage etc on top of the 2nd row when folded down. Anyway, off to bed... big day tomorrow!:xxrotflma I will hopefully have all the electronics in and wired with the carpet down so I can get the truck mods taken care of over the weekend: gauges, sway-bar, trans cooler, pre-wire the Light Forces, hard install the CB and last but not least... hardwire the ValentineOne. Its going to be a long weekend... :coffee:
3rd Row Mode:
07-14-2006, 10:52 AM
looking good..have not seen a real matress in vehicle before. moving ahead nice. lol :exclaim:
07-16-2006, 07:38 PM
If I could make a suggestion- curtains. It sucks to get woken up by the sun after a long night but probably the best reason is stealth camping. With decent curtains (especially coupled with tinted windows) you can camp darn near anywhere without attracting too much attention. For best results, hang a blanket or another curtain behind the driver's seats so folks can see that there's no one in the front and they tend to ignore it- I do this in my VW a good bit.
07-17-2006, 12:59 AM
I'm liking the progress we made this week as well!
That is a great idea. There are two grab handles that are positioned right behind the front seats on the ceiling that will work perfectly. I really want to get the truck re-tinted before heading out because the tint they used in the front sucks and needs to be replaced anyway.
I first need to thank Mark (zman2day) for all of his help and expertise! I would not have been able to do this without him and his trusty tools. He used part of his vacation to come up to NC and help me out and I can't express enough how much he has done to make this project a success! :clapsmile
As far as progress goes all of the box construction is complete. The stove, inverter, outlets, batteries and storage are all in and ready to go. I'm still waiting on my _____'n battery switch which was suppose to be here this past Wednesday . :campfire: Besides that all that is left is the carpeting and the rear portion is complete. As far as the drivers section the only modifications I will be doing will be the laptop/cell/CB mount which should be here this week.
Picture Gallery:Click Here (http://homepage.mac.com/turboale/PhotoAlbum57.html)
07-29-2006, 02:15 PM
Yesterday I got almost everything finished up! I got the lightbar and lights from Outback Off Road Gear on and those 240 Blitz's are BRIGHT! I'm still figuring out the best way to aim them but Primarily spotted seems to be best so far.
I also got the dual battery setup 12voltguy.com in and running. So far so good! I didn't like the mounting plate he supplied so we just flush mounted the switch and LED into the dash next to my chip's "flip switch". The batteries that I used are Interstate 6v golf cart batteries put in series for 12v. I will let everyone know how they hold up, but the guy I ordered them for has two electric boats and a golf cart and he uses the same batteries in all of them and it is what he recommended. I have yet to fully cycle them so I'll just have to see how long they last powering the 1200w inverter. For more info on the deepcycle batteries interstate offers Click Here (http://www.interstatebatteries.com/www_2001/content/products/product_golfcar.asp?js=1&mscssid=0GWP5BJF3V8S8HEF14WQBGSJF7K55HXB) . I ended up with two U2200s, is that major overkill? Like I said, I don't know much about batteries and was blindly accepting his advice (family friend, boss etc etc)
any word when the DVD will be done ?
02-03-2007, 02:33 AM
Any reports about the trip????
02-04-2007, 05:05 PM
I read on another board Allen, that he's finished the trip but backed up with second semester demands.
Sounds like he'll have something put together soon.
02-04-2007, 07:23 PM
Thanks KC, I'll watch for updates.
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