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View Full Version : Winter Wonder report. 3K RPM 80 MPH


Jmolan
01-04-2016, 01:40 AM
A few impressions. 2016 144 4x4 Bend Oregon to Park City Utah for 10 days. Hauled 5 adults and two kids ages 3 and 6. I am Grandpa, Driver/Owner/Captain.

Rigged with KO 2's, Foam insulation with tweed over the thin panels. Custom built scissor bed for a third row of seating with 3 seat belts. Also a D2 heater installed under the passenger seat. Pictured is heater exhaust and rear tire. Work done by VanguysLLC Bend Ore.
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Scissor bed and second row seating. We can remove second row and fix the scissor bed to the drivers wall to open it up as an option. Has a safe inside.

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We were loaded to the top of the back seat in the large space in back. Nothing really heavy. Christmas gifts, food, Snowboards etc. Two sets of real chains just incase we ended up "Snow wheeling" (would be fun to try someday really) Plenty of windshield fluid, rated to -20. Keep one jug in the engine compartment and one in back. Plenty of blankets, headlamp LED's are best for installing chains or helping out alongside the road. (when I get the roof racket will have a shovel also) Flares and the new flashing LEDS are good for the back up kit also. My experience as an Alaska Fisherman, I know your comfortable warm world can changed in a hurry.

Driving to Utah was snow and blowing snow with closed sections of highway where we had to divert to a lower pass. We used 4x4 on and off the whole trip. Had no trouble engage or dis-engage while rolling along less than 10 MPH. I could not tell the difference sound wise if we were in 4x4 or not. I learned on this trip not to sweat taking it out of 4x4, it is the same all wheel drive system as 4matic cars. I waited until I would find an easy pull off and dis-engage.
A few things that worked really well and available to anyone. I used a Shell AP on my phone. I could always find good diesel. We ended up at -10 degrees with many days hovering at zero. Winterized diesel may have saved me. I have an extra factory battery installed in the engine compartment. On the below zero mornings I never detected any problem starting. One time (or two) the spar did not fire up on first try, the fuel line to it is so small I wonder if it was gelled a bit, but it always fired up. What nice piece of equipment, the thing just puts out! I have a digital controller set for 10 hours run time, so we fire it in the morning and left it on all day as we went out to play (like tourists) in the snow all day. I sat in -5 degree ski parking lot with my 3 year old granddaughter, who played on the seats in the long underwear. I would guess it was 70 degrees inside the truck with the Espar humming.


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I also use Sinclair and Chevron APS if I need to. They show location of stations with diesel, and Sinclair shows prices. I have driven Diesel Suburbans, Mercedes cars, VW TDI's all my life. I have some links about diesel quality if anyone is interested. I avoid The big truck stops myself. The Cetane rating is important, not all companies fuel are created equal.

Having the Espar is a game changer. I can go out in the morning from the vacation house and fire it up and hour before we load the kids and it is toasty! The tires worked excellent. In all the many miles I never once felt a slip or fishtail.

Driving home to day was much dryer. Drove 80 MPH in 2WD (legal limit in Idaho) and was impressed. 3,000 RPM and 16 MPG. Driving 62 in 4x4 on dry to snow blown (not packed) roads gave me about the same MPG. At 80 we were still holding regular conversation levels. No extra noise from the truck. Some of this is probably due to the scary foam insulation. The floor is stock, tough rubber of some kind, but no additional insulation.

It dawned on me how 5 adults and two well minded kids (most the time) with me driving 90% of the time, at 60 years old, I did not feel tired after a day in snowing blowing conditions. This truck is a real capable machine. I am just learning about it as we just turned over 3k miles today.

I rode in back on the scissor bed and was impressed with the visibility, no car sickness from anyone. Warm as we ran the espar all the time under 30 degrees outside. One morning at -10 we did have frosted up side windows. With 8 bodies expelling warm moist air, I need to get the espar to pick up outside dry air to dry it out. When we got in the sun and the temp rose to 5 degrees, the windows cleared.

Road salt in Utah and Idaho was new one on me. Oregon plows and uses Rock, pick your poison I guess. I love my truck!

That's my story, I am sticking to it....:-)
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gggplaya
01-04-2016, 02:14 AM
Nice, any estimate of how much fuel the espar uses with your amount of insulation??? Or perhaps, the duration the espar is burning and running between cycles?

Also, do those crew seats in the back recline at all??? They don't look like they do.

Jmolan
01-04-2016, 02:35 AM
Nice, any estimate of how much fuel the espar uses with your amount of insulation??? Or perhaps, the duration the espar is burning and running between cycles?

Also, do those crew seats in the back recline at all??? They don't look like they do.

I have been told 1 liter per 24 hours of running the Espar. Seemed to run on high or low in those cold temps, but never shut itself off. Black crew seats do not recline, red one (my wife choice on color) lays flat into a short bed (60") I heard no complaints from passengers in the either seat about lack of comfort.

michaeldorian
01-07-2016, 10:32 PM
I have some links about diesel quality if anyone is interested.

Yes please. A write up would be awesome!

kleinergti1
01-13-2016, 01:59 AM
Nice report. I just finished my d2 install and now with the factory d5 installed as well it will roast you right out of the van on the coldest of days in Iowa.