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Wow, Wow, Wow! You have some serious talent! I read through the entire thread! Absolutely amazing! As stupid as it sounds, my favorite part was the rear hotchkiss axle mod. I hate that ugly thing dangling under there! Makes the van look cheap. I would seriously be interested in having that done to my van. How many beers would it take?! LOL
Is it holding up well after all that time?
Thanks for sharing your build. I know it takes time and effort to post and narrate everything.
 

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Discussion Starter #125
Thanks! I’ve got almost 50,000 miles on the axle modification. Seems to be holding up fine, I haven’t noticed anything adverse as far as tire wear or driving stability.


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Awesome! Would you consider modding these? I would be happy to source/send you a rear axle to be modded and I would swap mine. My wife and I are road warriors and the drive from AZ to Idaho would be fun. That is one state I haven't been to. That rear bar is the only real thing I hate about this van. I guess I could hang some kind of rubber mat behind it to somewhat hide it. Like a large mud flap of sorts.
Either way, your fabrication skills are just stellar!
 

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Discussion Starter #127
Awesome! Would you consider modding these? I would be happy to source/send you a rear axle to be modded and I would swap mine. My wife and I are road warriors and the drive from AZ to Idaho would be fun. That is one state I haven't been to. That rear bar is the only real thing I hate about this van. I guess I could hang some kind of rubber mat behind it to somewhat hide it. Like a large mud flap of sorts.
Either way, your fabrication skills are just stellar!
Thanks for the compliment! Sourcing an axle and then modifying would be ideal because it could be powder coated. But it would be a big job to swap everything over. I just did the mod while it was in the van. PM me and we can talk more.


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I can find an axle and my dealer would install it after modding it which would save me time. They do me alot of favors since I do them alot of electrical work!
 

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Discussion Starter #130
Worked on Dads van today. Reinforced the trailer hitch to the frame to prevent flex when hauling a trailer and did the axle modification. He was so excited about how it turned out.



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Discussion Starter #132
Not much shade under awning.....guess not a noonier

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Some times it’s tough to get the the sun, view, van, and awning to all line up for the perfect shot ;)

The interior is nice and shady ;)


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Try pointing the van to the WEST. I have a compass.
 

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I love my Jetboils for desert 4WD camping and use the Java kit there for coffee (or the aeropress) however I discourage any of my friends from using them inside due to their tall and somewhat unstable bases (even with the plastic legs). I appreciate your innovation but since I have gotten a butane stovetop I do not carry the Jetboil in the van. Butane is cheaper, the stove more stable, more suited to any pot, and better to control the heat BUT not as fast to boil a container of water. The Jetboil is about as fast as you can get! At first I thought the Butane stove a bit Asian-cheap but time has convinced me.
DoorSideGalley.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #137
For some crazy reason, I actually have 3 stoves in the van. I have the Jetboil for water, the Jetboil HalfGen for countertop cooking that I made to hook on the side of the counter, and a Colman Fold and Go for BBQ outside cooking. Crazy.



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Well I guess I do too?? Who would have thought it. Colman fold ’n Go grill for the picnic table, the butane Asia cooktop, and my ancient Svea just in case I decide to do an overnight hike.
 
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