Yeah, 30 MPG would be nice -- 20 MPG is the best I can get -- and it likes the medium grade. Much more robust than the standard minivan...much better clearance. traveling alone, I take the bed out of the top so I can stand up with the top popped. More power than it really needs (say the old air-cooled VW bug and van driver).
Me and my 3 boys hit the road in it often. The rear-facing seat behind the front passenger seat has been removed for more floor space. Two boys sleep up top, me and another boy down below.
Had a visit from Jim Fitzgerald a week ago. We went out photographing for the day. So into the Eurovan went me with my 8x10, and Jim with his 8x10, 11x14 and 8x20 (each with a dedicated tripod). No space problems -- we could have easily fit in the 14x17 he is presently building, too!
Oil changes are a PITA
I must say that it was really easy working out of Vaughn's van. Yes I wish I would of had the 14x17 with me. So much to photograph right by the road. Especially on the road in Jedidiah Smith. I did not want to come back. As it was got back well after dark. Working out of my Tundra with three systems was okay but it was much easier in Vaughn's van.
Originally Posted by Vaughn
BTW, I just got back from Zion and I took the 8x10 and 8x20 on this trip. My 8x20 fits perfect in my MEI backpack that I use for my 11x14. It is an old pack and Vaughn has one and I love mine. I'm not a big guy and the pack for the 8x20, REI Mars 85 is too big for my torso so I tried the MEI pack and to my surprise it worked great. Hiked all over Zion with it.
I have looked into an alternative and might get a Chevy cargo van then drive down to Austin to Sportsmobile and have them put their pop-up roof on it in place of the factory roof. It pushes up and you can stand up in the van and there is a bed up there when it's up. The trade-off is of course the worst gas mileage on the planet. I have the "blueprints" done for the inside. Queen sized bed frame that is removable and about 2 feet off the floor so all gear could be stored under the bed. Air conditioner in one of the back doors that is permanently mounted in a spare cargo door and I could swap them out when not needed by just removing the pins. Or I could forget the whole van thing and just buy $30,000 worth of film? Decisions, decisions.....................TW
For $30,000, you can rent the type of vehicle you need when you need it for the next five to ten years, and still have lots of money left over for film!
Website for MEI Packs -- I have the Trekker II.
8x20 in a hard case modified to have some larger wheels.
John that looks very nice.
John.....Nice job with the case. It looks like you added an axle and wheels like I did to the Samsonite. Is that one of the Pelican monsta cases and if so, which number. Some details of the wheels with pics would be greatly appreciated as I am contemplating the large Pelican myself as one of the larger ones they make might hold the 12x20 and protect it much more than the Samsonite.............TW
The case is similar to a Pelican but it's from Calumet. (Their # WT6840)
It's slightly larger and cheaper than the Pelican version. I believe its Italian (HPRC)
Wheels are mounted on a threaded rod. A square aluminum extrusion bolted to the case holds the axle in place. Castellated nuts with spring clips keep the wheels in position. The wheels were from Lowes and the axle and threaded rod were from Ace hardware. I did make the plastic wheel spacers and bearings on a lathe.
When the wheels are removed the case fits into the trunk under the bed of my pick-up. That's a very handy but secure place to keep the whole mess.
Thank you John. That's all I needed to dive into the lab. If I make it and it gets great comments, I'll give you all the credit. If someone thinks it stinks, I'll tell 'em I made it! Appreciate the photos.....................TW
Looks great, John. How much does the whole thing weigh once you get rolling?
Originally Posted by John Jarosz
If I go that large, something like that -- with the ability to easily take off the wheels and lash the rest of it onto a pack frame (perhaps with a platform on the bottom like the elk hauling packs) -- would be nice for when the wheel can't get me there. Depends on how much weight the case adds, as there are lighter solutions. The protection would be nice.