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I know nothing about working on diesels...

Neither do many people who work on them. That being said - I've never had to repair anything on my 1992 Dodge Cummins diesel or my Ford with the Navistar diesel. In fact, I've never had to fix anything on the engine on my little 1985 Isuzu PUP diesel either. Just runs and runs. I'm talking just the engines. Had to fix many other things and did the transmission in my Ford twice.

I've seen (or read) many people bragging up diesels on forums. Saying how great they are since there are no carburetors or spark plugs to worry about. That is true - but - with a diesel - much of the fuel system and ignition system is all crammed into one little package - the "injection pump." And the vast majority of mechanics and repair shops have no clue how to work on them. Just remove and send out to a "shop" when in question. Working on a diesel requires special tools and knowledge. I'm talking about old-school mechanically injected diesels. The newer common-rail diesels are even more esoteric. Just adjusting the timing on a diesel is damn near impossible without special tools like a diesel timing light or a luminosity probe.

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Yeah. Part of my hesitation of moving on to a newer vehicle in general. Just when I feel comfortable doing practically anything to my 20R...I jump ahead 2 decades in technology...electronics and various other complications. Oh well.

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I find a lot of comfort working on something like my 1978 Chinook. Engine is so simple as compared to what's out there today. But - when it comes to bigger trucks - unless they are high-tech and/or diesel - they are PIGs on fuel. Buy yourself a 1978 Chevy full-size truck with a 305 or 350 V8 and be lucky to get 10-11 MPG. When the first 379 cubic inch diesels came out in 1982 Chevy pickups - they were getting 20-22 MPG which was pretty amazing. Not super reliable though. For an older truck with a diesel (full size) there is nothing more reliable then a 5.9 , 12 valve, Cummins diesel. One problem though - it was never offered in anything light like a 1/2 ton truck. Only GM did that. Not Ford or Dodge. Not much out there for older full size trucks with decent fuel mileage. I just inherited my father-in-law's truck. A 1995 Ford F150 with 40K original miles on it. Standard cab, 4WD, and the smallest engine offered when it was new. A 300 cubic inch straight-six. I just drove it 400 miles on flat highways at 60-65 MPH. Got 16 MPG with it. I was really expecting it to do better. Seems an empty truck with overdrive like this - and a somewhat small engine - should of been capable of 20 MPG.

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Zach with you looking at Mercan Iron now, when you feel the mental cobwebs forming this winter. Take a few hot laps around Google with Tiny Houses.

Maybe you can avoid a yurt.

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Mercan Iron...It might take me some laps around google just to decode your post! :)

I love tiny houses. The yurt is just an idea, and more a way of saying "I'll put up an easy, cheaper, primitive structure to live in while I build a house, as I can afford it, rather than going into debt.

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Mercan Iron...It might take me some laps around google just to decode your post! :)

I love tiny houses. The yurt is just an idea, and more a way of saying "I'll put up an easy, cheaper, primitive structure to live in while I build a house, as I can afford it, rather than going into debt.

Problem with building your own house - at least in the places I've lived - is the property tax once you get done. That because it's new. Seems a lot more cost-effective to buy a run down foreclosed house - get the taxes lowered to rock bottom - and then slowly fix it up. Another big bonus to rehabbing an old house is much of what you do does not have to meet the newest code. Much gets grandfathered in. If you build new - everything does.

We just bought this little place from a Canadian couple. Not a real "house." 60 acres and they stuck a small camper on it. Then added some room and a real roof. I would not be allowed to do what they did. But since it is already done - it is legal and grandfathered in.

When you first look at this place - it's hard to believe it's a camper and not just a small cabin.

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All this talk and I nearly forgot about this thing sitting in the backyard. It's bigger than I need, would need to be gutted for me to be happy in it, and I'm going to just say that anything requiring two axles is too heavy for me to tow. But I bet I could get it for pretty cheap...

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A camper like that would bring big bucks where I live. No matter if Avion, Airstream etc. Curved aluminum campers seem to be sought after by many people. It's probably a 5000 lb. trailer and I would not want to pull it anywhere with a small truck.

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New show on HGTV " Fillping trailers with Zach"

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Hard sided popups....Tow-low, Hi-Lo, Travel Manor.

IMHO Get a large v-8 pickup and the Argosy. Us it as a practice build for your future hose... H*ll make it your tiny house. When it is time to do the deed as almost a permanent place get out a sawzall and splice on the top half of a VW micro bus for the loft.

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The hard sided pop up like the Hi-low are surprisingly heavy. A friend bought one for a trip to Alaska and they told her she could tow it with a v6 Astro van. Didn't work out too well and they ended up buying a V8 truck before the trip.

Linda S

I like the reality show idea. You'd be great Zach. Bet Oliver would supply you with a free trailer for the advertising

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The hard sided pop up like the Hi-low are surprisingly heavy. A friend bought one for a trip to Alaska and they told her she could tow it with a v6 Astro van. Didn't work out too well and they ended up buying a V8 truck before the trip.

Linda S

I like the reality show idea. You'd be great Zach. Bet Oliver would supply you with a free trailer for the advertising

Model SL is listed at 1600 lbs. and model SLX at 1800 lbs

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Maybe they weighed that little when that ad was printed but they got much heavier in later years. Here's some info on the tiniest one at only 15 feet and it weighs 2100 lbs unloaded.

http://www.roamingtimes.com/rvreports/3/hi-lo-towlite-15t-travel-trailer.aspx

The 17 footers which are more common and easier to find come in at over 3000 lbs

Linda S

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The hard sided pop up like the Hi-low are surprisingly heavy. A friend bought one for a trip to Alaska and they told her she could tow it with a v6 Astro van. Didn't work out too well and they ended up buying a V8 truck before the trip.Linda SI like the reality show idea. You'd be great Zach. Bet Oliver would supply you with a free trailer for the advertising

That's how it happens! You get offered good deals, and and figure you'd be dumb not to take advantage of it. Then before you know what happened, life as you knew it is over, you're a minor celebrity and a target for every idiot with nothing better to do than judge. Plus you start living your life as though you're being watched. Hard enough not to be self-concious in this world. Add to that the fact that you ARE being watched, and every decision you make, everything you do, you do with the thought in the back (or front) of your mind that people are watching and judging.

No thanks :)

I had a blog going while I was traveling. Just for friends, because I'm not on facebook and not very good at keeping in touch, so they could know what I was up to. Even with that, I found myself weighing what people would think, or what people might WANT me to do, when I made decisions.

I know we're just joking here but that's my take on that. I'll stay as far from any spotlight as possible, thank you very much.

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There is a British science fiction series called "Black Mirror" on Netflix... its pretty much exactly our future and disturbing. no facebook for me either.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We want the egg!!! we want the egg!! :alien:

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  • 4 weeks later...

It's simple, if you go more than you stay drive a motorhome. If you stay more than you go, live in a trailer. As a work camper we've done both. I prefer starting up and going rather than backing up, hooking up, pulling chocks, checking lights, etc,,etc and all while it's pouring down rain.

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  • 3 months later...

Well I figured I'd come back for the final installation of the series. 

 

Was looking VERY closely at Casitas and Scamps, and had pretty much decided on getting a 17' Casita, or if the right one came up close enough, a 16' Scamp. But then I started really looking close...Once I have a real home and just use a camper for camping, that's what I want. But for the next couple years, I'll be living in it for 6 months or so at a time. So the space in a Bigfoot started to seem really, really nice. And so there you go...

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Looks good.

You have a choice use the upper bunk as your bed, then you'll have a bed room, living room, kitchen dining room setup and no need to make the bed each night.

OR the upper bunk becomes mega storage. I've had an rv with this set up and used the bunk for storage. A couple of cardboard shoe storage foldups and I had pigeon holes for the kitchen stuff and dry food storage.

After your first rig this thing is going to seem huge, but don't worry soon it will be full:P.

 

 

 

 

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21 hours ago, Dolphinite said:

Zach,

That's some nice looking country you're in.   What's your nearest town?

John

 

 

You mean in the photo of just the truck? The nearest town is about 50 miles, I think and it's Lima, but 35 of that is dirt road and takes about an hour in a regular vehicle. Closer to two hours in a camper. Nearest true town with a grocery store is Dillon and it's 2 hours by fast car. I'm back out of there, though. Only a couple people in the whole valley stick around for the winter... 6,700ft at the valley bottom.  

 

 

Edited by MontanaChinook
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Thanks. 

 

Yeah I'll fill it up fast. But I've been working pretty hard on getting rid of things lately. I can actually fit everything I own in the back of my truck. The upper bunk is nice, but I'll probably never use it. Who knows. But yeah, not having to make the bed up every day would be cool. 

 

Now I have to learn all the systems...I never had a hot water heater, bathroom, water pump and all that before. 

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