The new adventure-mobile is a 2002 Ford Econoline E-350 Super Duty with a 7.3L diesel engine. That won’t mean much unless you are a car-geek, but in this post we aim to explain to everyone not only why we bought a van, but THIS van. Here we go, the top 12 reasons…
- It’s 14 years old = it’s cheap!
- It has less than 68,000 miles and was owned by an oil company for its entire life. Surely they changed the oil, right? Except for a little rust on the roof where they probably had a rack, it looks much, much newer.
- The 7.3L engine is legendary for dependability. Lots of people put several hundred thousand miles on the engine and it’s still running strong. With proper maintenance, we aim to get this one to last just as long.
- Because it’s in Ford’s Super Duty line, it has a few extra-strength bits and pieces. This doesn’t include the door latches which broke on the rear door, but we fixed that with $1.99 in parts from Home Depot.
- It tows 10,000 lbs. and has a heavy duty hitch and brake controller already installed.
- We have been tracking gas mileage and so far the best calculated mileage when at fill up was 19.9 MPG. Not bad for such a beast.
- Modifications can be done to turn it into a 4×4 vehicle. This would make it the nearly ideal go-anywhere adventure mobile!
- A fiberglass shell or pop camper top can be added to the roof, making for a higher cabin height and/or a sleeping area.
- We can haul canoes, kayaks, bicycles and/or a cargo box on the roof, even with the topper mentioned above.
- Relatively simple modifications can be done to the engine for it to burn waste vegetable oil. Yes, it can run on stuff you pour down the drain! This is definitely in our plans down the road.
- The interior can be modified however we want. The cargo area is 10’ long and 50” wide between the wheel wells, so we can sleep back there with all of our gear inside, no problem. Right now, it’s bare metal and we plan to use nothing but found, recycled, and reclaimed pieces and parts for our build.
- Plenty of room for dogs, when driving and while parked. Since we made sunscreens in the windows, it’s quite comfortable inside the van in cooler weather so dogs can hang out and guard our stuff while people go grocery shopping, do short hikes where dogs aren’t allowed, etc.
As you can see, this vehicle fits our life and lifestyle very well. We can change or upgrade things in the future as we get extra funds. Or not. It’s great just as it is. Even if we had kept either of our old vehicles, it wouldn’t have fit into our future as perfectly as this van. Imagine, one day this van might be a veggie-powered, off-road capable, reliable vehicle, that gets good veggie-mileage with plenty of room for everyone to be safe and comfortable. One day. One thing at a time. For now, we are just enjoying the new flexibility and freedom it allows us.
Mark, Georgia, Junebug and Biscuit