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Windsurfing vehicle, Mini Van ,SUV,Honda Element or box van
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farabi



Joined: 16 Jul 2002
Posts: 278
Location: boston, cape cod, etc

PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

when i researched those last time i heard that you need to buy two of them at once so that you can drive one when other is being fixed... %)

mlaronde wrote:
windward1 wrote:

A Chevy Astro and GMC Safari, I used to borrow slipped on wet roads on hills that made one wonder if they were going to make it up the incline.


obviously a 2WD model, certainly without the G80 Posi optional rear axle, and maybe with crappy tires.

Not trying to argue, but I gotta set the record straight, the Astro/Safari with full time 4WD does just fine in New England snowstorms, and has no problem driving on the beaches in Hatteras (within reason)....

as for the mileage, The way you drive, your tires, and your gear ratio make a substantial difference. For best hwy mileage, taller (75's), narrower tires with the highest pressure allowed work best. All the tires should be exactly worn the same(for AWD), with equal pressure, and proper wheel alignment goes without saying.

The "highest" axle ratio has the lowest number, and gives the best highway mileage. The most common ratios are 3.23, 3.42, 3.73(unfortunately, if you have the G80 posi, you almost certainly have a 3.73, if not 4.11..many of these are equipped for towing)

I can get 20mpg HWY running premium gas, driving like a granny. I have the 3.42 gears and 215/75 tires. otoh, if city mileage is more important, then there's really not much you can do.

aloha,
ML
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slynch



Joined: 15 Mar 1998
Posts: 73

PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 5:57 pm    Post subject: Fridge Reply with quote

Slightly off topic, but if you're going to spending time living out of your van, an essential accessory is a small refrigerator. (Gotta keep those post-session beers cold.)  If using an ordinary cooler, you will soon tire of waterlogged cheese and constant trips to the store for ice.  I have a Waeco that I am very happy with, but can only recommend it if you possess electrical skills to replace the electrical connector.  The connector that is supplied with the Waeco does not make a good electrical connection and should be replaced with a heavy duty bullet style connector.  Maybe they have improved since I bought mine.

They're expensive brand new, but check the factory reconditioned section at waecousa.com for deals -- I got mine for $245, but that was years ago.  You might also find one on ebay.  Another brand that other sailors use is Engel.  DO NOT get the commonly available thermoelectric variety that sell for less than $100.  If it heats as well as cools, it's the thermoelectric type.  They do not keep your beer cold and quickly drain your battery.  Complete junk.  The real fridges can freeze as well as cool.

You will need to replace your van's battery with a deep cycle type.  Altho the fridges plug into a cigarette lighter, installing dedicated wiring from the fridge to the battery helps, but is not essential.  You might also consider getting an emergency jumper battery in case the fridge drains your main battery if the engine hasn't been running for a while.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14633

PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

farabi wrote:
when i researched those last time i heard that you need to buy two of them at once so that you can drive one when other is being fixed.


Exactly why I crossed all German vehicles off my shopping lists years ago. I'd want to see some reliability statistics before I'd buy a Sprinter.

\m/
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speedysailor



Joined: 11 Sep 2007
Posts: 841

PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sweetboy, I drove cab in the city of Boston for 12 years before having an accident. You aren't going to be able to tell me what safe driving is.
carl wrote:
One thing that hasn't been addressed is driver comfort. The origional poster said he was driving across country several times. Obvious
ideal for most drivers would be a smooth riding luxury car, probably a wagon for our purpose. Minivans ride real good too, and drive almost like cars (I think they drive more like "car-based" SUVs, still comfortable but less road feel than most cars).
A full size van would be very tedious to me on any long drive. I couldn't
even keep it between the lanes on a test drive from the dealer! Parking is a joke. Most also have a rough ride and cheep seats, especially the cargo versions. They are also bad in cross wind. I would imagine the Sprinter would be a real bear in x-wind with that super high profile. It looks like a tip-over hazard too, although I can't find any tests to verify. Anyone with Sprinter experience with ride and handling?
I've crossed the plains, Rockies to Appalachian Mtns. on the hiway over twenty times. One summer I did it six. Believe me, it's never a comfortable drive. Usually, when driving myself I was "buzzed" as I was often when driving cab. I also became rather good at spotting the wild Marijuana that grew on the sides of Rt. 80 in Nebraska. I could reach the Pacific from Beantown in five days hitch-hiking. The best ride I had was in an R.V. that had a big picture window. The people who were driving the vehicle let me sit in front of the window. I rode with them from Grand Junk Yard to Las Vegas or Salt Lake as I remember.
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speedysailor



Joined: 11 Sep 2007
Posts: 841

PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mlaronde wrote:


as for the mileage, The way you drive, your tires, and your gear ratio make a substantial difference. For best hwy mileage, taller (75's), narrower tires with the highest pressure allowed work best. All the tires should be exactly worn the same(for AWD), with equal pressure, and proper wheel alignment goes without saying.

The "highest" axle ratio has the lowest number, and gives the best highway mileage. The most common ratios are 3.23, 3.42, 3.73(unfortunately, if you have the G80 posi, you almost certainly have a 3.73, if not 4.11..many of these are equipped for towing)

I can get 20mpg HWY running premium gas, driving like a granny.

aloha,
ML
The way you drive remains most important facing all driving challenges. Tires as stated rank second. It is recommended that you check your tire pressure before leaving your garage. How many people do that? I drove from Grand Junk Yard to Denver in a snow storm with bald tires and a rear wheel drive vehicle. Inflating your tires correctly, driving slowly and never stopping optimizes your hiway success. As to driving like a granny, if you mean actually driving according to the law, then I pity you and your attitude. In fact, grannies are just as prone to driving incorrectly and illegally as any other member of the population. Hiway mileage doesn't defy simple physics.
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pueno



Joined: 03 Mar 2007
Posts: 2768

PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

seedysailor wrote:
In fact, grannies are just as prone to driving incorrectly and illegally as any other member of the population.


And having the tailgates of their Buick Century Wagons crunched by trucks that were driving the speed limit, Mr. Speedy.

seedysailor wrote:
...doesn't defy simple physics.

What do you know about physics, Brucie? You're the one who couldn't convert knots to mph.
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human_catapult



Joined: 20 Nov 2007
Posts: 372

PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ever seen the ford flex concept? Looks like it might work...

Comes out in July...

http://humancatapult.blogspot.com/2007/12/ladies-and-gentlemen-new-potential.html

No telling how good the fuel economy will be, or whether it will be made for more than one year...
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pueno



Joined: 03 Mar 2007
Posts: 2768

PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

human_catapult wrote:
Ever seen the ford flex concept? Looks like it might work...


It's good looking and likely to be a practical vehicle. And it has optional AWD. But maybe give 'em several years to work out the inevitable Ford bugs...

It would probably attract more attention if it were a hybrid rather than a conventional V6 engine.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14633

PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All this talk about Granny and fuel mileage and comfort ... Doesn't anyone ENJOY driving any more? Yeah, I know, it's rough on the pocketbook as fines creep ever higher, but doesn't a vehicle's fun factor count any more? Does everyone live and sail in big cities or suburban sprawls where crowds take the fun out of driving, or has the whole next generation just rolled over and cried "Uncle"?

\m/
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rebeccagrosso



Joined: 22 Mar 2005
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've gotta agree with the astro/safari boys! Love mine! My AWD V6 gets same mileage (18-20) as my old 2wd so if you feel like hooking a left and heading for Baja it'll get you just about anywhere! Here's mine with 11 sails, room for 3 boards, boom, 4 masts, 13 bikinis, wetsuits, with room to spare! Of course, if you want to sleep in it, easy to build a single bed with foam and be creative with the space! Enjoy the ride!
- rebecca http://windorwithout.blogspot.com



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