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Here is a presentation of my “Wheel house”. 😀
The space where I usually live is in the middle. There is a large sofa transforming in bed for the night. Uper bed is in three elements which fold during the day to let space above the sofa.
Cabinets, sink and fridge take place on driver side. The two front seats can swivel to open a convenient space. A table can be installed in front of the front seats or the sofa. The sink contains a basin, a cutting board and a draining rack, nice to save space. 😉
Front passenger seat with table and fridge
The back offers a lot of space to carry my stuff and my mountain bike. The bed plateform has hinges in front, so it can tilt up to easier access under where I carry cases and travel bags. At rear of floor, there is a large underfloor storage where I carry Tools, winch stuff, ski boots, etc.
Here are some information and detailed images from the outside:
At the front, the OEM bumper was replaced by an aluminum bumper with protection bars. I did it modified to be able to move the winch back if needed. It features two long-beam Xenon (HID) lights. I also changed the original grille to maximize cooling as the big 6-liter diesel engine is a little cramped in the van. Finally, above the windshield takes place a directional Xenon headlight controlled from the dashboard, handy to find a place to sleep when it’s already dark (I missed it on previous trips!).
The rear also gets an aluminum bumper incorporating two reverse lights, a storage compartment, spare wheel on which sits a Trasharoo Bag (bag to transport garbage, avoiding odor in the van) and a storage box where will take place in a small emergency generator, my custom grill . There is also the High Lift jack already presented. Top of the roof, wide flood LED light and rearview camera complete equipment.
On passenger side, there is water tank filler, a courtesy LED light similar than other side, air intake and exaust of diesel stove, and a sliding foldable step made of stainless steel.
Chris asked me if I would participate in a report of a journalist from a Californian offroad magazine about his business. Of course, I accepted because it was a great opportunity to test the capabilities of VivalaVida.
The bad weather has somewhat changed the program. while we were riding on Saturday, a heavy rain made us postpone our departure in the middle of the afternoon (it was still raining a downpour). Once there, the rain stopped around 18:30 with a beautiful rainbow, giving way to a cool but dry evening. Perfect for Spare Ribs with mustard and sugar cane around the campfire with some buddies! 😉
V4, Chris’s showroom vehicule with impressive rock crawling capabilities
Well, the day of the baptism arrived: it is time for me to introduce VivalaVida! Almost completed on Friday around 22:30, I have driven it this weekend on an offroad terrain during a photo shoot for an offroad magazine.
Here is my home for the next few years in principle! 😉
Have a great week start everyone!
… which will likely serve on some trails :
1) Hi Lift Jack with 48 inches capacity
2) the 12’000 lbs winch which I will be able to move form front (normal position) to rear if necessary.
The reassembly of the engine is still in progress, but it is not completely lost to achieve end tomorrow… 😉
While the replacement of the 4 injectors of right cylinders bench is in progress, the roof rack is ready to be welded. It will provide a framework on hinges allowing three solar panels to flip for a better performance in the countries at high latitudes and also a roller for easy loading of a canoe.
The day has come to leave Robert’s workshop to get to Chris’s one. It’s the opportunity to make a couple of images of VivaLaVida under the sun …
Mechanical work will start tomorrow: the diagnosis is clear: bad third injector. Since there are 10 hours of work to replace it – must get the engine down to access it! – I will replace 4 injectors of the right cylinder row, just to put all the chances on my side to not have to start again in a couple of months. The roof rack will also be made soon, as modified front bumper and various other small jobs to finish …
Have a nice week-end! 😉
In parallel with finishes of interior, the front bumper “special VivalaVida” is under construction : aluminum bumper to save weight, winch attached to front hitch making possible to move it to rear hitch and thus to winch from the back if needed… Not bad, isn’t it? 😉
Small update during this finishing period where it seems not to advance, as there are so many not spectacular things to do… The kitchen is ready now !
Microwave installed :
With that, I’ll have all I need to cook like a chef..! 😉
Last weekend was off but I worked on Saturday and Monday. As I had Robert’s camper for the weekend, I took the opportunity to take a short break Saturday night and Sunday in the beautiful Pisgah National Forest, discovering southern Blue Ridge Parkway and the Great Smoky Mountains. Her are some pictures to illustrate this region that owes its name to the permanent hazy atmosphere due to the high moisture generated by these huge and beautiful forests …
1. Stormy end of day…
3. Suny sunrise, Pisgah National Forest
4. Graveyards Lower Falls
5. “Forest Road” near Cataloochee (Great Smoky Mountains National Park)
6. Great Smoky Mountains before thunderstorm…