Yeah I've read on the toothed micro balloon application for quicker fairing, glad to hear the micro slurry worked well for you since that is where I was leaning. I assume you did a straight epoxy coat over the faired balloons prior to the paint? Did you use the interlux primer for the brightside system as well?
GONE[2003 Dodge 1500 quad cab 4x4 5.7L Hemi auto w/ ride rite air springs and 1999(2000?) Hawk]
2007 Dodge 2500 quad cab 4x4 5.7L Hemi auto soon to have: SLOWLY progressing Home built foam core fiberglass skin pop-up camper
I've got extra 14ga red and black SXL wire, $18 for 100' coil shipped if interested PM me.
I also used good old bondo for very small imperfections that I didn't want to mix a batch of fairing for, or if I needed it to harden quickly.
Hah I just saw this on TLC, that's awesome!
A friend sent me the following link http://www.examiner.com/article/the-...dition-vehicle
I was amazed to see Shachagra recognized as an "expedition vehicle." I have always thought she was a great family expedition vehicle, but with only 8 of 10 tires live, and no form of 3 point body attachment, I didn't think most would see her in that light. Possibly the author doesn't know what she lacks, or just needed something to fill a list, but after thinking about it, I feel self-sufficiency is just as important as the ability to rock crawl, maybe more so. If we conserved water we could easily go 1800 miles and 45+ days with no contact with or assistance from anyone. We spent many weeks parked on pristine, isolated beaches in Southern Turkey walking into villages just to meet people and get the luxury of fresh produce.
What do you guys think- What makes an "expedition vehicle" I have been impressed with the knowledge of the regulars on this forum and would love your feedback.
I may be converting a 4X4 E350 van with a friend and I think we can improve on what I've seen available. I drove a 1971 Chevy van converted by my dad throughout college and look forward to giving it a try myself.
He counted your rig because: huge water tank, huge battery bank and so on. Expedition vehicle? Why not? Yes. Not for deserts, but suitable for gravel/dirt roads.
Evil Uncle Stu * K
... .--. .-. .-.. .. ...- . ...
In need of some R&R.
2004 Taco Dbl Cab, Custom Rack, Camburg 2.5 Coilvers, Deaver 8-pack rear springs, Bilstein 5100's, 265/75R16 BFG AT, Demello frame reinforcements, GPS, CB, ipod, Line-X, Limo tint sides and rear, ExPo Decal.
M.M.U.C. Certified (0001) ExPo Truck
Congratulations on a fantastic life choice and especially on the irreplaceable and invaluable experience you have provided for your children.
Your build is both amazing and extraordinary, in the truest sense of the words.
Thank you for sharing the build and your experiences with the community.
RE: your truck in South America
In general, South America is comparable to Turkey in terms of development. Countries such as Chile and Argentina are "done" while some highland areas of Peru and countries such as Bolivia are still being developed. The major cities offer everything you'd expect to find in Tampa or Istanbul. The rural areas can be fully mechanized, such as a field in Germany, or still manually farmed, like some places close to Iran or Armenia. The interesting sites and places have all had tourists coming there for many, many years (sometimes centuries), so there is tourist infrastructure around the major attractions. At the same time, there are vast areas with little to no infrastructure of any kind.
You've got plenty of capacities for where you are going. Keep your tanks topped off in Patagonia. Make sure you've got all new or nearly new tires before you enter Patagonia along with two new, mounted spares. Your tire size is common on commercial trucks, so you won't have any trouble buying tires in cities and major market towns. Make certain that you have the equipment and knowledge to change multiple tires while all alone in a very remote region. In the dark. In the rain. In gale-force winds.
I haven't seen (or I missed it) any mention of an air compressor. You will want to deflate some for the days/weeks-long stretches of washboard in Patagonia. (They were beginning to pave Ruta 40 while we were there, so this may be less of an issue now. Check here: http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/ and here: http://advrider.com/ for the latest status.
You will need to modify your drivetrain to run on non-ULSD. Since this is a commercial truck that you can order from the factory for overseas use, your manufacturer or dealer may be able to help you on this if you certify you are taking the truck out of the country. More info here: http://www.expeditionportal.com/foru...Fuel-Challenge
You'll be fine in Patagonia. You'll be fine on the market town roads, where, as you've noted, the trucks go. You will face some limits on a few inter-village roads, where the chicken buses go, because you are taller, heavier and your track is wider than the chicken buses. You will face some challenges in some areas with bridges, again due to weight and track width. (The smallest roads and their bridges are optimized for a HiLux; the chicken bus roads are optimized for the chicken buses, which are built on medium duty truck chassis such as a Fuso FE; the market town roads are optimized for medium duty straight trucks; the inter-city roads are optimized for semis and large trucks such as yours.)
There are few to no ring roads or bypass routes around small and medium cities and essentially none around market towns. The route goes through the market town, almost always right down into the plaza, and out the other side. Consequently, you will be fine in any market town that has a through route to the next market town, but may face challenges if the market town is the end of the truck supply chain and only chicken bus roads radiate onward.
You will not find clearly labeled bypass routes for low bridges, narrow streets, etc. You are very much on your own for routing. The people in small villages and rural areas generally only know the routes the chicken bus runs, so the best you can expect from them is directions to your destination via the chicken bus route, which may be much longer than optimum routing and very indirect in nature.
There is no regional standard for vehicle height, nor any national standards, that I am aware of (although I'd be surprised if Chile didn't have one). We were 12 feet high. It would be a good idea to make a 14 foot high section of 1" PVC that you could assemble to check obstruction heights. You will probably find wires strung across streets in market towns and villages that may be issues. I made a label for the inside of our windshield showing our width and height so we always had something to reference against if there was a height or width restriction on a bridge, etc. It was Steph's job to monitor that, and I'd regularly quiz her in the early weeks of our journey. You'd think those dimensions would be burned into your brain, but in the heat of the moment, it really helps to have them staring back at you.
You will discover that the interesting places in the world are connected by market town roads. You will also find that it makes zero sense to risk your home on an unknown route, tiny two-track or crumbling shelf road. Simply park your truck and rent a local HiLux or burro to explore or get out to the ruins.
It would be a very good idea for you to install a Euro truck tow bar and a pintle. Where you will be going with your truck there is always another truck coming along and that is the only way they will be able to pull you out.
The road quality will vary from euro-quality freeways to way, way beyond anything you were on in Eastern Turkey (we've been in both places, so I don't say that lightly).
You will use the scooter a lot, mostly for running into the nearest village to buy pan.
You will never find a tomato that tastes like they do in Turkey and the Middle East. However, you will find dozens to scores to hundreds of different types of potatoes.
Your travel in South America will be gated by the wet season in the Amazon basin and winter in Patagonia. Plan for those carefully.
If you are like us, you will spend a lot of time between 12,000 and 16,000 feet (very interesting people and fauna up there). You may experience some drivetrain anomalies at those altitudes, so check with the factory on high altitude utilization prior to departure.
It took us longer to build our truck than planned, so we did not go through Central America. If you are shipping direct, your best shipping routes will probably be Houston to Cartegena or Jacksonville to a high volume port in Brazil or Argentina. More info on shipping here: http://www.hackneys.com/travel/index-presentations.htm
Comprehensive vehicle insurance is available through AIG. If you know anybody in the UK, you can obtain coverage from Lloyds by using their address. We did not use K&R insurance in South America. Unless you plan extensive solo exploration of the rural areas of Columbia or known-to-be-bad-areas-to-avoid elsewhere, I don't think you'd need it. You will need some inoculations and medevac insurance is a very good idea.
There are more than 1,500 waypoints for South America here: http://www.hackneys.com/travel/index-gpssawaypoints.htm You will probably fit in any waypoint that is coded DH or SS.
Don't hesitate to email me for further questions.
Chicken bus road bridge. Note how this bridge is constructed; its main supports are matched to the track width of our Fuso, which is a very common bus chassis in that part of the world (pure serendipity, we didn't plan this). Track width will be important on chicken bus roads and other places that are optimized for local vehicles, e.g. salt flats (we know people with big trucks who broke through in both examples).
Why it's worth going:
2008-02-28-1D Mark III-IMG_1938-crop.jpg
Last edited by dhackney; 06-06-2012 at 01:55 PM.
Most of the people who are out exploring the world in a vehicle are using a 2wd van or small European 2wd RV.
Your truck (and Jay & Alice's Ecoroamer and the various giant Euro Unicats/Mogs/Etc.) is at one end of the spectrum.
The people we met in a 2CV in the middle of nowhere in Patagonia are at the other end of the four wheel spectrum.
Our bike, fully loaded for unsupported travel in a developing economy, is at one end of the powered two wheeled spectrum.
The guys we met on scooters are at the other end of the powered two wheel spectrum.
The couple traveling by tractor and wagon are somewhere on the eight wheel spectrum.
The guy and his hand truck in the middle of nowhere in Patagonia is on his own spectrum.
An expedition vehicle is simply what gets you there. Back is optional.
It's not about the bike. It's not about the truck. It's not about the stuff. It's about the experiences.
Last edited by dhackney; 06-06-2012 at 02:07 PM.