Eco-Roamer - F650 based Expedition Vehicle

762X39

Explorer
Good to hear you are going 24vdc for the "house power". As you noted,it really is better for many reasons but more importantly, now your truck is like all the real expo trucks from europe :)
 

Lynn

Expedition Leader
Admittadly I haven't done the research you did, but could you have installed the 24V alternator in place of the 12V, and regulated it to 12V for the cab/engine needs?
 

Byrdseye

Observer
Jay, I just wanted to thank you for all the information and inspiration you have provided for all of us! I just purchased a rig and hope to start on my own project very soon. (Now is a great time to find a deal!) It's a '07 Freightliner M2 Crew Cab Business class with the Mercedes 330 hp and factory 4x4 with a Meritor front drive axle and transfer case. (24k miles!)
Anyway, the previous owner had fitted the truck with the Accuride aluminum super singles using Bridgestone M844 tires in 425/65R22.5. The tires are 45" tall and about 17" wide with a 11,400 lb rating per tire. I have only tried them so far (unloaded truck at 17k lbs) in snow and soft sand and they have performed very well and are quiet on highway too. A more aggressive tread is available which would most likely have been my choice but I'll run these and see how they do. Hope this helps.
 

Lynn

Expedition Leader

skit

New member
What we need is a Spam powered car.

Mythbusters disproved the water powered car thing, but used summer sausages as rocket fuel.

Spam is kinda like summer sausage...

Maybe Spam-power has promise?
definitely lol
 

jayshapiro

Adventurer
Yee HAW!!

Hi there,

Thanks for taking the time to comment on our build, here's my responses:

Do you have provisions in place to be able bash out a window from the inside in case of emergency?
I suppose it could happen...


We're not planning on jumping any ponds, but in case it does happen we should be ok:

1 - The film is mounted only on the inside of the glass (not sandwiched in the middle like on a windshield), it is also not attached to the frame of the window (like on a bullet proof / armored vehicle) so kicking it OUT, should not be too difficult.

2 - There are six doors in the cab, and another 2 in the camper, we should have lots of ways to escape.

3 - The material actually cuts fairly easily with an xacto knife (if you are on the right side of the glass), so I suppose we could keep one handy in the glove box and if the above two points don't work, and we find ourselves sinking in a lake, then we could slice the film down the middle of the window before kicking it.

The whole idea of how the film works is by 'catching' the glass fragments when smashed into it. If you are smashing from the film side, away from the film, then I suspect life may not be so hard.



Another question...Have you done any rough calculations of your GVW?
We are looking like we're going to end up around 28,000 lbs fully loaded, though we'll have to see.

The F650 truck's GVWR was 26,000lbs, just below the requirements for a CDL. However, we then went and changed the front axle to a 14,000lb Meritor, and sleeved the frame rails with steel L-channels down the entire length.

While I don't have an exact figure of what the new GVWR should be, I have to rely on the experience of those who've done it. Ron Turner from Tulsa Truck says that he has built many F-650's for the oilfields, running over difficult terrain carrying cranes/fuel tanks coming in at well over 35,000lbs with no problems (...after converting the chassis the way he did ours)

Have you thought about adding a rear axle? Adding a rear driving axle should not be a big issue.
We did look at this fairly early on, and Avi from Unicat insisted that we would fail without one. He may still be right, in which case I will owe him a beer, but I don't think that's going to happen, here's why...

We considered a tag-axle just to bear some of the weight. This would reduce our PSI on the ground and help with floatation on sand, but would also add a lot of weight, and some length to the vehicle.

We thought about a 6x6, but that adds a lot of complexity to the vehicle and introduce a whole lot of new things that can go wrong with the truck, not to mention the substantial cost of adding the 3rd drive axle.

So, for the moment, we've decided to go this route. We may change it in the future if we're really wrong, but we'll have to wait and see.

I noticed that Casa Azul has only 2 axles / 4x4. Is that something you now regret?

Thanks for the comments,
Jay.
 

jayshapiro

Adventurer
Regulators! ...Mount up!

Admittadly I haven't done the research you did, but could you have installed the 24V alternator in place of the 12V, and regulated it to 12V for the cab/engine needs?
Hi Lynn,

Good thought... there's a few reasons why we didn't go this route / why it might not have worked so well.


1) Power = Current x voltage so,
the first alternator = 12v x 200A = 2400W
the second alternator = 24v x 200A = 4800W
TOTAL = 7,200 W

If you tried to produce that with one alternator it would require:
12v x 600A -or- 24v x 300A

Either way, that would be a massive alternator, that would need substantial cooling on it own (oil flow core), not to mention massive cables to carry that kind of current.

2) By having the two separate alternators, they are connected by the same belt on the engine, but that's really the only connection between the two systems. Trying to run two separate voltages off the same power source, (especially when one of them is mission critical, like running the truck) is asking for trouble.

3) By having two alternators, both Leece Neville, we build in a bit of redundancy. I have a small LN 12v alternator that came with the truck, which I will carry as a spare. I can change the regulator on it to swap out either of the other two in a pinch so I have something to limp along with.

Hope that helps, thanks for the question.

Cheers,
Jay.
 

jayshapiro

Adventurer
Spam powered trucks

What we need is a Spam powered car.

Mythbusters disproved the water powered car thing, but used summer sausages as rocket fuel.
I honestly don't even know how to reply to the whole HHO suggestion...

Personally, I quite like Mythbusters. I wouldn't call them 'great science' but they are at least good fun.

Just to present both sides of the argument (I can't believe I'm sticking up for blatant spammers) but, here's a YouTube video disproving the Mythbusters disproving the HHO...

----------------------

However, there is something we are looking at, that may be of more interest...

We have started conversations with the guys over at EV Power Systems. They have developed an interesting Electric Hybrid Drive system that can be retrofited onto a truck at the driveshaft, behind the engine/transmission.

They already have a working system for pick-up trucks, and are finishing development for a garbage-truck / courier-truck platform.

We have a substantial bank of batteries sitting in the camper, which are generally unused while the vehicle is in motion. This might be an interesting way to leverage the untapped potential energy in those batteries to run two electric helper motors to improve fuel efficiency. The batteries would be recharged by regenerative braking.

It's very early days, but something we're looking at...



They are an early stage tech start-up, and may appreciate being associated with the EcoRoamer project anyhow. We could serve as a great test bed, taking one of their systems around the world to show how it works in all conditions.

Stay tuned, I'll certainly post more details if we take it forward...

Cheers,
Jay.
 

jayshapiro

Adventurer
Tires & Wheels Update

Jay, I just wanted to thank you for all the information and inspiration you have provided for all of us!
Thank you so much for saying that. I'm really glad that our information is proving to be helpful to others, and that we're able to return some of the inspiration we've derived from the ExPo community!

I just purchased a rig and hope to start on my own project very soon. (Now is a great time to find a deal!) It's a '07 Freightliner M2 Crew Cab Business class with the Mercedes 330 hp and factory 4x4 with a Meritor front drive axle and transfer case. (24k miles!)
CONGRATULATIONS!!

That's a great chassis, and should run a million miles for you, they are built to run forever.

We looked at the M2's early on when we were still considering something like a Renegade or Pony Express type set-up.

I think the main reason we chose not to go down that road was the CAT engine, and the weight of the Freightliners. They are very, very nice BIG trucks though, and I'm sure you probably got a great deal on it.



Anyway, the previous owner had fitted the truck with the Accuride aluminum super singles using Bridgestone M844 tires in 425/65R22.5. The tires are 45" tall and about 17" wide with a 11,400 lb rating per tire.
Those are huge! Let me know how they go...

Some of you have been following along our wheel / tires saga for a while. Thanks to all of you who have made great suggestions, especially Charlie Aarons and his detailed calculations / shopping recommendations -- and Bob for introducing me (through Expo) to Bill O'hara at Hutchinson Wheels.

I've gotten to the point where I'm frankly frustrated with thinking about it anymore and so decided to just make a decision...

I realized a few factors:

1 - It seems that my Continental MPT81's may not be sufficient to hold my load as super singles. (they are rated at 3550kg/7826lbs per tire = 31,000lbs for four which is within 10% of my likely weight of 28,000lbs)

2 - I don't believe I can run the Conti's as duallies without substantial spacers in between to allow space to air them down without rubbing.

3 - The same size Michelin XZL is rated at 11,000+lbs per tire, but are incredibly hard to find.

4 - All 20" bolt together wheels I've found are not rated for the kind of weight we're talking about. Stronger single piece wheels are available, but then the only advantage I'm getting over my current 22.5" alcoa's is the theoretical additional availability of 20" tyres outside the USA.

5 - I'm going to spend at least the first several months of our trip testing the truck (and our kids) in North America and so I don't need a very Garang (malay word for fierce) tire setup for now.

6 - I'm spending a lot of money these days on the truck, and see this as another big expense that I'm not 100% sure of...


So, I've decided:

1 - swap my two current useless front tires for another pair of the Michelin XDE M/S tires that are on the rear of the truck. (rated for 36,000+lbs) -- The same btw, as used by Darren on his RUF Mitsu trucks.



2 - Bought two used Alcoa's for $150, mounting the old front tires on those for now as spares.

3 - Sell my (brand new, never used) 5 Continental MPT81's for as close to what I paid for them as I can. (offers welcome)

4 - Run the truck like that and see how it does. Potentially scrap the whole plan in a year and still go with XZL's on 20" s then, but the only thing I'm out then is the $150 I spent on the used Alcoa's and the 2 tires for the front for the next year.

That's it! I hope it all works, and I hope I won't have to think about these tires again... at least until I blow one!

Cheers,
Jay.
 

Chas Stricker

Adventurer
Howdy Jay,
What size are the MPT-81s and how much are you needing? I have a really light truck and they work well.
Thanks and great build,
Chas
 
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