Greta Van Blau- '16 144 low roof 4x4 project.

Looks good! If you're running lots of gravel, look into some sort of guard for the front shock shafts - I've already blown one out... not so happy about it but hey, **** happens (and yes, I already had the Fox Rooster Guards on when it happened...).

Love the new hidden home! Lovely place you've got!


Build Planning
Thought this was really wife sent me a pic of your van when she was headed up to SB this weekend...and I immediately went 'hey that's ORH'. She was ~70 miles away and right behind you in our van.
She was pointing out CCV top and your spare tire carrier, wondering if the top was our soon to be new one.
I drive out to CO on Sun for my CCV install.
Ya, we saw her!! On 101 from the 405 interchange through Ventura when we got off to grab food. We leapfrogged a bit. :rad::rad:

Always funny when you are checking out a sprinter watching the driver check out your sprinter!!
In January of this year GRETA lost her fearless protector, California Duke, my best friend of 12 years, fearless guardian of my wife, kids and home, hiking partner, chaser of coyotes, catcher of bob-cats, subduer of raccoons. A dog who stood down a an early spring bear over his indignation at it rummaging through my backpack. Who slept at the foot of my daughters crip, sat quietly while the neighborhood kids pulled on his ears and tail, and rested his nose next to me on the bed when I was sick, sleeping in a sitting position.

Last weekend GRETA got a new travel companion, Vorberg Unsinkable Molly Brown. Molly, a champion line Standard Schnauzer, has some big paws to fill. I look forward to traveling with her and having her watch over my girls
Duke was a once in a lifetime dog, the one you get as a bachelor and devote all of your time to, and as a consequence becomes your tireless and completely devoted companion. Until you meet a girl..ha! which point he decides he has someone more important to protect and you become chopped liver. He used to quietly get up and follow my wife to the bathroom when we were camping and stand watch. The instincts of a good dog are amazing. I will certainly always miss him.

We are excited about Molly though. She should fit more squarely into the van, as she should be around 50lbs trimmer than Duke, and having a wire coat and hair shouldn't shed as much. If she is half as brave as Duke, no one will dare come between her and my girls and if her parents are any measure, she will be every bit the babysitter.

Cant wait to take her on her first big adventure and see how she travels. Dogs always add a twist of interest to any adventure!
Ski weekend, POW was unreal. Saw many vanners. Lots of cool sprinters and some absurd unstoppable looking econolines. GRETA chews through a couple feet of powder without flinching. Dont forget, ASR OFF!

Started teaching my 3 year old how to ski. Shes going to be a natural I think.

Snow is CRACK for dogs, I think Molly likes the snow more than the rest of us, if thats even possible....

Have to figure out how to keep the snow from sticking to her legs, will be a total disaster for winter camping. Im thinking some doggy leggings....


Finished building the cabinet bases and laminating them. Thermofoil doors are on order and I ordered a couple of butcher block work bench tops for the countertops. Got them for a great price from home depot for 15% of the price of ordering a butcherblock "countertop".

Sink will be mounted over the left most cabinet. Sink will drain into a 5 gal grey water carboy that I can easily disconnect and drain. Fresh water will be mounted under the van in the spare tire location. Porta poty slides out from bottom right. Wire rack drawers slide out and shelving is organized with plastic bins.

Outdoor shower box mounted to sink/water cabinet

Refrigerator has a generous air gap behind it and vents through the hole where the door hinge passes through.

While traveling the seat will be mounted to the center position. It has clothing bins underneath that can be moved to whatever position the bench is in. This is convenient because they can be brought inside and loaded with clothes and then brought out to the van. Bins have lids that open from both sides and hinge in the middle.

While camping the middle bench will be flipped around and slid all the way forward and a portion of the bed platform that will span the cabinets will double as a table top. Basically three people can sit at the table.

Received some of the curtains from Ripplewear (member name rt1rac on the forum). They are VERY nice. Super well constructed, perfect fit, and super easy to put up. She even made a little canvas storage bag for them. She can do different magnets for windows that have factory plastic trim (like I do on my passenger van) and larger curtains for CRL windows. I did the temptrol in gray. I cant wait to get the rest of my set. Well worth the money.

Doors and counter tops are next, then the platform bed conversion pieces, followed by custom cushions. Then the van goes to CCV for the top.

When it comes back the solar goes on, the fresh tank and sink get installed and hooked up.

Clean up items are flooring and two more batteries

And then......:rad::cheers::bounce::bounce:....adventure time

As budget allows the van will get wheels and tires, aluminess rear bumper with delux galley box, aluminess side steps or a set of power running boards, a front hitch receiver and a lightbar.
Can you tell me which bins you are using?

I bought them at The Container Store. Couldnt tell you which they are. I walked around with a tape measure and found best fit. I dont use them anymore. Any piece of luggage that will pass TSA carry-on will fit under the seats. Its a great solution as thats where I was keeping my clothes, so now they are even more contained and accessible.

Rejiggered my horn after the relay shorted while driving through some deep water. Nothing like trying to unplug an air horn while said air horn is blaring in your face. I also added a second lower tone compact air horn. Finally have a horn befitting a 4 Ton beast.

Potted the relay in silicone. Used tinned wire and connectors. Spayed battery terminal protector on all connections. Moved the fuse closer to the battery and out of the elements.

And a little vacation time for all the work

LOADED!! Looking forward to a couple of weeks of America's best tradition...the road trip!!

UTAHHHHHHH Relaxing time, followed by Wyoming relaxing time with my girls, Sister and favorite Nephew.

No real offroading on this trip unfortunately, not with the bikes hanging off the back, but plenty of dispersed camping and adventure in the forecast!!

Well we missed two of the largest earthquakes in So Cal in the last couple decades, but managed to have a lot of fun. Saw some great wilderness, participated in the human Zoo which is Yellowstone, saw a grip of bear( lots of black and a single brown), elk, bison, and deer, and averaged 17.8mpg over 2915 miles.



2016 4cyl High Roof 144
Yellowstone has been one of my favorite National Parks so far. If you haven't done-so already, get your kids started with a National Parks Passport. My 4 year old gets super excited to get each new stamp, and if we can manage to not lose it, it will be a fun record of our travels.


'06 158 2500 Passenger
+1 on the passport. My girl is all about the badges she gets for doing the junior ranger programs at each park. Lots of national monuments have the same program too.

Great photos, nice to see the European vans.
My Oldest (4 at the end of this month) has 3 national parks and 2 national monuments under her belt, well on her ranger vest anyway. Lots of fun, she loves collecting things and the badges are definitely unique and memory filled. Yellowstone was great, We will be going back in a few years when the kids can do more hiking as there is about 60 miles of trail that I really wanted to explore and didnt get to given their ages. We will probably go back in May next time, risk the cold and snow to avoid the crowds.

The Euro vans were cool, the Woelcke Autark from Germany was especially cool.
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Gearing up to do a remodel of sorts:

Moving the refrigerator to behind the drivers seat and adding a shallow "tray" to the top of the new cabinet for in transit food essentials.

In the current refrigerators place I am going to place a custom stainless fresh water tank. Tank has a sloped bottom to collect all the water at the supply line, a drain for evacuating the tank under the van, an air vent optimized to allow complete filling when the van is parked on an angle and a top fed fill port. It also will have a 4" deck plate (like on a boat) to allow clean out of the tank.

Flat pattern water jet cut from is $219 in 16GA 304SS, deck plate and bulkhead fittings come it at $38, and I need a new bottle of tri-mix to weld it all up ($48). Tank will hold 27 gallons and fit a rectangular cavity approximately 18" wide by 23" deep by 18" high. This leaves me a similarly wide by deep space of 12" in height for some more storage, although it will have some hoses running around in it.

Once I pull the existing water tank from the spare tire location, I will relocate the spare back under the van (another welding and bending project). This will allow me to ditch the aluminess bumper (for sale in a few weeks). I will be replacing it with and OWL Vans Sherpa and Box carrier. THe sherpa will haul bikes and skis's and the carrier will hold my 30" aluminess box and some other goodies.

I dont have a TIG welder and its been a while since I MIGged SS....cross your fingers I dont blow a bunch of holes in it:doh:

If all goes to plan I will end up with a custom stainless tank for the same price I paid for a ****ty plastic generic tank....
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