Eco-Roamer - F650 based Expedition Vehicle

Christian P.

Expedition Leader
Staff member
Jay,

great to hear from you again! Don't forget to stop by when you are in San Francisco! You can even park your EcoRoamer in my neighborhood!
 

jayshapiro

Adventurer
carseats and children car seats

...Early in the thread, you mentioned searching for seat swivels for the front seats. Did you ever find what you were looking for? If so, what's the model and where did you get it? Thanks!!
Tom,

When we bought the F-650 it had a horrible vinyl bench in the rear. We knew we wanted 4 captains chairs, with desks and swivels, so that we could use the cab as an additional 'room' in the truck.

What we did was to move the two factory front captains chairs to the second row, for the kids - and added Isofix anchor points to handle their carseats.



Then, we bought a pair of "excaliber" seats from Superior Seats Inc. You can custom order them in any color combination you want, plus with all sorts of goodies. We went for the straight factory grey colour, with the bum heaters and cooling fans, along with lumbar support and one arm-rest each.



All four of those were mounted on swivel pedestals, that you can also order from Superior.

Finally, Nick and his crew at Alton Co. made us some fantastic custom jump seats that fold down for the third row, and fold-out study desks for the kids in the second row.



All in all, I would say that the design and materials have worked out really well. The only flaw with the plan is that the cab gets VERY cold at night when camping in anything below 60'F outside. The camper is well insulated, and there is a good barrier between them, but (tonight for example, it is 20'F outside) you wouldn't want to sit in there without the dash heater running...

Cheers,
Jay.

PS - Somewhat related... I cannot compliment enough the [ame="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001IYGSGW?ie=UTF8&tag=ontheroadless-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B001IYGSGW"]RECARO Signo Car Seats[/ame] we bought for the two kids, or the incredible level of service we got from [ame="http://www.elitecarseats.com"]EliteCarSeats.com[/ame]



[ame="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001IYGSGW?ie=UTF8&tag=ontheroadless-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B001IYGSGW"] Recaro Signo G2 Car Seat[/ame]


We spent a LOT of time looking at the different car seats out there, and having lived in a few countries with our two kids, we've also had the chance to try out more car seats than I would care to have. What I can tell you is that for 4x4 off-roading with kids, these Recaro seats are the best I've ever seen. They have a lot of padded head protection, so the kids don't get flopped all over the place.

We felt bad spending so much on "recaros" for the little guys, but the fact is, we spend a lot of hours in them, they sleep in them often, and the more comfortable they are, the happier we are...

Lastly, the service at EliteCarSeats.com really was that good. I do most of my shopping online these days, but those guys really stood out amongst the crowd and deserve more business...

OK, now I'm done.
 

TomH

Adventurer
Jay,

Thanks so much for the information on the seats. Two follow up questions if you don't mind:

I see that Superior lists a floor adapter for pickups. Were you able to use that adapter or did you have to bore new holes in the floor?

When we do a build on an F350 or F450 crew cab, we will eliminate the rear seats. We'd like to go with the same seats you have, but in addition to being able to swivel, we'd like for the passenger side seat to be able to slide back, recline, have a built in pop-up foot rest and a built in seat belt. That way, my wife will be able to slide back, recline, have her feet up, and nap comfortably while on the highway, yet still have the seatbelt properly positioned diagonally from her right shoulder to left hip. I see that Superior has the built in seatbelt in other models and I think I saw a pop-up foot rest on another. I will contact them to see whether all of these elements can be custom fabricated into the Excalibur. My question for you is this: are your seats on slide tracks such that they can slide forward and back? I saw a Sportsmobile once in which the seats could both slide AND swivel and am wondering whether this will be possible in the Ford truck.

We live in a big log house in a semi-rural area just outside Sacramento. If you are ever headed through, p.m. me and stop by for a home cooked meal, place to park for the night, etc. Thanks very much for taking your time to answer my questions. I appreciate it very much.

Tom
 

jayshapiro

Adventurer
I can't believe it!

200,000+ Views!

I really can't believe all the interest and support the Expedition Community have shown for our little truck. Thank you all so much!

Jay.

PS - As an interesting statistic: it took 26 months and 254 posts for this thread to break the first 100,000 - and just 11 months and 140 posts to break the second.
 

jayshapiro

Adventurer
Were you able to use that adapter or did you have to bore new holes in the floor?
We converted the cab to a "flat floor" by cutting out all the unnecessary humps that the F250-F550 require. So we had to back new bolt holes anyhow.

...are your seats on slide tracks such that they can slide forward and back? I saw a Sportsmobile once in which the seats could both slide AND swivel and am wondering whether this will be possible in the Ford truck.
Our seats slide, recline and swivel - but the seat belts are mounted on the B-Pillar, and so only work when the seats are forward facing.

We live in a big log house in a semi-rural area just outside Sacramento. If you are ever headed through, p.m. me and stop by for a home cooked meal, place to park for the night, etc.
Thank you for your offer. We will definitely take you up on it!

Thanks also to "Jim" at the Cross-Zee horse ranch in Canmore, Alberta. Jim saw us in town yesterday, contacted us through the EcoRoamer website and invited us into his home (ranch) to play with his kids and have a coffee. We had a great time, thanks Jim!

Cheers,
Jay.
 

jayshapiro

Adventurer
I came upon you guys on the fork from the Hurley into Bralorne. I got quite the fright in that close knit trail when I turned the corner and saw your rig. I was a Jeep on 33's with the cedar strip canoe on top. Would of loved to seen your vehicle for more then the couple of seconds of us making room to pass. Safe travels!
Dools,
I remember you!

a) because we were scared too - it was very narrow there and we didn't think we'd see anyone else.

b) I told Alice that you have a gorgeous canoe and I was worried it was getting all scratched up in the brush.

If anyone else on the Portal is ever driving up through British Columbia (Canada for you geographically challenged), "The Hurley" road was one of the best detours we took on this entire trip so far. You should drive it!

I wrote a full blog post about it, with driving directions HERE. and will add in the GPS waypoints at some point.

I also have a slideshow of key landmarks and views from The Hurley HERE.

...yet another example of complete strangers sharing with us amazing trails.

Cheers!
Jay.
 

jayshapiro

Adventurer
Missus who?

Just want to remind you all that you have a welcome mat out in Mississippi at our home in Clinton and at the Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC).
Thank you sir. Very kind of you. We will let you know if we're ever down that way again.

Cheers & Thanks,
Jay.
 

jayshapiro

Adventurer
What's in your wallet?

Great buildup but I cant even imagine a $ number big enough to pay for it. What did it run to build?
Probably the number one question we get asked, though I'm really not sure why!?

My standard answer is: "Two years of my life" - but, if you really want to know, the exact answer (roughly) is all in our spreadsheets on the EcoRoamer website, HERE.

Remember, that as Doug Hackney wisely says: "this was like the first pancake on Sunday morning." -- so if we (or you) did it again, substantial costs could be saved by eliminating all the mistakes and R&D we "invested in".

Now you know.

Cheers,
Jay.
 

digitaldelay

Explorer
Canmore

Hey Jay:

I popped into Canmore for breakfast this morning after a short backpacking trip in the area. Imagine my surprise when I spotted the Eco-Roamer parked down from the cafe! I hope you are enjoying Alberta, unfortunately looks like winter is finally coming this week :(

Safe Travels!

Jason
 

tinbasher

Observer
i think i saw this beast leaving nelson b.c today around 1:00 pm. at first i said to my boss "what the hell is that?" then i remembered this build up. it looked and sounded sweet!!
 

tebro27

New member
Good evening Shapiro family. Saw this wonder of patience and engineering parked at the Cheveron off of the McCallum Rd. exit in Abbotsford. It is BIG the pics. don't do it justice. By the time I was able to get turned around and get back to the Chevron you had continued in your journey.
I applaud you in doing what many of us are only are able to talk about, or make excuses for not following what interests us

Continue to live the dream and safe travels
Jason
 

Victorian

Explorer
Hope you are enjoying your stay in Victoria! A friend just told me that she saw you today :Wow1:

Cheers,
Andreas
 
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