Nothing like a bit of peer pressure to kick a chronic procrastinator into action!
SORRY GUYS! I have been very delinquent in my ExPo duties over the past few months. I know that there are a lot of you out there that have invested a lot of time into following our build, and want to know what’s happening. I can’t believe this thread has over 100,000 views! THANK YOU!
For the past 4 months we’ve really been focusing almost entirely on just getting The Muskoka Foundation really off the ground. (Did you know you can get a FREE Horizon Adventure Trailer through volunteering on your next Overland Trip?)
If you’re interested in learning about what we’re doing, and why every Overland / Expedition trip think about it, please watch our overland travelers’ slide show:
…OK, sorry – Momentarily distracted there. What you really want to know is: “What about the truck!?”
Well, when I last posted we were madly getting the truck ready to go to BurningMan in the Nevada Desert for a shakedown trip. We worked until midnight the night before the trip, but we (almost) got it done, and and headed out on the 2,500 mile trek to the desert.
(that’s my 4yr old Kurt on his Desert Tricycle!)
We wound up hosting 8 people for 7 days, with no access to water, electricity, etc.
MOSTLY, everything worked, and we had a fantastic time.
The interior stayed cool and was a nice refuge for the two kids to hide away in when it got too hot / dusty outside, although the beautiful cabinetry that we had just spent 3 weeks installing did not come out too well!
Luckily, it all eventually came clean…
As a shakedown trip, it was a fantastic success, and highlighted several of the (small) flaws, that I knew had to be in the design given my relative newness to this game. (mostly plumbing, which was the last system to be installed)
We build great little triangular grey water tanks above the wheel wells:
However, when we installed them, we did not vent them. So within a couple of days the pressure built up in the tanks and the sinks / shower wouldn’t drain. I drilled in some interim vents into the tanks, some very smelly air came hissing out, and then everything was fine.
Similarly, the fresh water fill valve…
(that’s: TAP/LAKE water IN on the left, FILTERED water OUT on the right)
…Fills the pre-filter tanks on the back deck, and then they in turn push water up to the kitchen and the forward tank:
(that’s the fwd tank, ignore the missing camper behind it!)
…BUT, the T-junction in front of the pump was installed too low, so it just sucks air from the front tank and I had to manually pump it back to the rear tanks. Not a big deal, but also not a permanent fixture.
All in though, I think the bathroom (and plumbing) worked out very nice!
That’s the composting toilet, and the countertop is a recycled piece of redwood from a barn in California. (ignore the missing window and doors in this pic!)
The truck is now in San Francisco. We are flying out there next Sunday to drive it through AZ, NM, TX, AL & FLA before heading back up to Michigan for the final touches. If you are along that path and interested in exchanging a hot coffee for a free tour, we’d be happy to meet you!
I’ll be sure to take lot’s of interior pics this time, to post here so you can see what a (clean) interior looks like. We love it!
Ever since we hit the road, and EarthRoamer’s bankruptcy, we have been getting A LOT of inquiries about building EcoRoamers for people. We are upholding our earlier promises on ExPo:
1 – The final plans will be posted for free on our website, for anyone to use.
2 – We will sell finished EcoRoamers, on a non-profit basis, with any proceeds being donated to our charity development programs through The Muskoka Foundation.
We’re also working on two smaller versions of similar designs. One for standard 4×4 pickups, and one based on a 4×4 Sprinter chassis. – Stay tuned!
Anyhow, thanks again for all the interest and great questions / suggestions over the past TWO YEARS! This project is what it is today because of the ExPo community, there’s no way I could have done it without your input on so many parts. THANK YOU!