You're almost there! The rig is looking fantastic now that it's fully loaded. Still the most amazing part to me, is that you can actually get 2 bikes to fit in that garage. It doesn't look half big enough until you see the interior shot.
I know it's been a long hard project, but I can't imagine the satisfaction that you must be starting to feel now...
To reference back to one of your earlier posts a few months ago: Yes, maybe in the end you could have just bought an Earthroamer for roughly the same size / spec, etc. But the value of having hand-built every system in that rig, knowing them inside and out, and knowing that "I built it" will be worth more than any time/money/complexity savings you could have ever had with an 'off the shelf' rig.
I've loved following your progress over the months, and wish you guys all the best on your (hopefully) imminent departure.
Hope that we catch up to you some day / some where in our rig.
Jay & Alice (+ Kurt + Maya!) - www.ontheroadlesstravelled.com
co-founders of www.themuskokafoundation.org - "Use what you know, to Do Good as you go!"
'97 - Landcruiser Diesel Prado - for excursions - Available for loan in Malaysia
'07 - Ford F-650 - The first EcoRoamer - www.ecoRoamer.com
'06 - Horizon AT - "rent" it FREE here.
My wife has continually stressed that point over the duration of this project. I've been so close to it that aspect has not been readily apparent to me until yesterday when I was making a 2nd pass through my tools to cut unessesary weight. I realized while sorting that I knew exact places where specific sockets/screwdrivers/pliers/etc. were required. So, yes, for the systems that I designed and built, troubleshooting and repair should be greatly facilitated. I probably won't be able to truly appreciate it until we've actually been out there like you.Originally Posted by jayshapiro
We sure hope the departure is imminent! You'll be able to locate me in our nearest psychiactric facility if it doesn't happen soon!Originally Posted by jayshapiro
Look forward to meeting you in person out there somewhere.
Now if I can just remember where I put that can of anti-gravity paint...
Congratulations on your accomplishments so far.
But don't be too hard on yourself.
I've built / outfitted 2 Fuso FG campers and considering you:
stretched the wheelbase ~20 inches
built a custom flexible sub frame
mounted a slide in camper with nothing to slide it into
found space for a diesel generator and 2 motorcycles
added custom springs, shocks and air seats
installed an amazing amount of plumbing, wiring and sophisticated electronics
and who knows what else that hasn't been done before,
I think you time line is just fine.
If there is anything I would change it would have been your estimate for how long it would take to do a project with so many unknows.
That, and as I mentioned before, I wouldn't have published a departure date.
Good luck and keep up the great work. And stay calm. You don't want to make a mistake now just because of a self imposed timeline.
Agreed. I left the original timeline estimate on the web site for comic relief. I think it's a great lesson for any other neophytes who follow in our footsteps about how challenging it is to estimate time for something this complex, this custom and this completely heretofore unknown.Originally Posted by FusoFG
Our motto on the project became, "everything takes a day." Even the simplist, little things, that I thought would take an hour, ended up taking about a day. Or more. And some things, such as the electrical systems box, cab, garage, etc., became quagmires that I never thought I'd escape from.
Psychologically it became very important to focus only on a few things at a time, which was a challenge due to the parallel design & procurement requirements. The overall project contained so many individual design decisions, research elements, procurement contacts, implementation challenges, problem solving processes and first-time experiences that I had to keep a narrow focus to keep it from becoming overwhelming.
So its pretty humorous for me to look back and remember my thinking "hey, it's a truck that we're going to put a camper on, how much work than this be?" The answer is: a lot. I've been on the build full time, as in 8-14+ hours a day since 15 September, 2006, with about 20 total days off in that span. There was a lot of design time in the preceeding months, but I have no way of estimating how much. Lots of man hours in this one.
Another huge agreed. Just after we started I received an email from a guy who'd circumnavigated with his wife in their sailboat. His biggest piece of advice, repeated several times, was to NEVER STATE A DEPARTURE DATE. In his experience, you get hounded into a premature departure by your friends and family if you state a date.Originally Posted by FusoFG
We experienced the same phenomenon. It is not intentional, in most cases, it's just a the most relevent conversation topic they can bring up. And they are naturally curious about progress, etc. A depature date is a solid rock they can hook onto and measure progress against, etc. I found that talking about any date, about any aspect of the project, just ended up putting unessesary stress on me. My attitude became "it's done when it's done."
That is an excellent insight. A few months ago Jon told me a story about all the car restorations he's seen where guys doing a frame off restoration would spend huge amounts of time and money in the early stages of the project making all the stuff nobody sees perfect and then when they were near the end, when the project was late and they were beaten down psychologically and physically, they'd slap a horrible paint job on it because "it's time to paint it and be done." So they'd end up with a perfect resto underneath, but the single most important element, the one everyone saw, was terrible.Originally Posted by FusoFG
I've thought of that story often in the last few months as I've repeatedly bounced off of my physical and mental exhaustion red line. I've tried to always choose to maintain our goal of quality and attention to detail rather than slap it together at the end just to get it over. And there have been more than a few times where that decision has been a real struggle.
Thanks Tom. Coming from you, with your track record of building two of these things, that is the highest praise we could ever receive.Originally Posted by FusoFG
Last edited by dhackney; 05-22-2007 at 04:22 PM.
you are ready for Africa my friend...Originally Posted by dhackney
seriously, this is actually good because it puts you in the right frame of mind even before you leave...it usually takes several weeks on the road to reach that point.
I checked on the www.michelintransport.com site about the 7.50R16 XZY. It is now 14 instead of 12 ply rated and supports 3300 lb at 7.0 bar (101.5 psi) single, 3190 dual.
That would probably be your best choice. I can tell you by personal experience it's probably the toughest most durable 32" tire available. Your "deltas" would be 8/15%. And it's tubeless.
[I believe these results to be erroneous. Please see my post here: http://www.expeditionportal.com/foru...&postcount=148 for more information.]
[edited 23 May, 2007 to correct data points and calcualted values]
After nine months of fretting about this, as most things that you turn into a big deal, this turned out to be nearly painless.
We used a local moving and storage scale and a local towing company for the tilt.
I took all the weights required to calculate our roll center using the spreadsheet located here:
I used the front track width for all of these calculations. If you use the rear track width you get better roll angles, but I'd rather stay conservative on these calculations.
The results are:
Chassis, storage boxes, 3 point frame (everything except the camper) % of total weight: 63% (based on a previously measured weight of the chassis w/o camper)
Camper % of total weight: 37%
Front axle % of total: 36%
Rear axle % of total: 64%
Left side % of total: 51%
Right side % of total: 49%
Left front % of total: 19%
Right front % of total: 17%
Left rear % of total: 33%
Right rear % of total: 30%
Center of gravity behind front axle: 98.14" / 249.28cm
Center of gravity from passenger outer tread: 36.19" / 91.92cm
Center of gravity height: 72.28" / 183.59cm
Maximum left roll angle: 26.2
Maximum right roll angle: 26.6
Maximum back roll angle: 37.7
Maximum front roll angle: 56.63
Lifting the front axle. We raised it 28.5" off the deck. When raised the centerline of the front axle was at 42.875" / 108.90cm.
Resulting CG/ roll centers with the three point frame at static level follow. I plan to re-weigh the rig with the 3 point frame jacked full over so we can find out what the actual left & right roll limits will be. Based on putting some estimates into the spreadsheet I think we could lose 2-3 degrees.
I was initially surprised at how high the CG was until I went back and looked at the %s. The camper is 37% of the total weight, so having much at all of its mass up high really pushes the CG up quickly.
Of course, all of this is based on trusting the spreadsheet that is generating the numbers...
Last edited by dhackney; 05-25-2007 at 03:04 PM.
So what were the weights? I showed you mine....