Java's F450 'Rough Road' RV

Time for the new awning, this one is a Thule, found on my favorite buying place, CL. Its 1.5' longer, and extends out 2' more than the old one. Makes a huge difference!



Old one off. Its light without all the guts in it....





Of course the mounts are in different locations..... So patch up the old holes with some stainless hardware and some sealant. Don't mind the scratches.... Was not real careful when cutting the vinyl off.





New one on. Its maximizing the space, hangs over the window frame in the front and its just inside the rear wall.





Lots more shade!





Next up, rock lights, parking in the dark in rocky camp spots is interesting.... I have bottomed out and scraped the fuel tank a couple times, lights should be handy as its starting to be roll into unknown camps late at night season!
 
One more weekend down. Weather was gorgeous, feels like spring!




Skied all night again.


And realistically probably our last real ski day for this year. Its been a good one! I forgot the tracker for two days and I think one skin also, so we hit 30 days this year and almost 400k vertical.


And what happens when you get a new vinyl cutter and are bored and want to try something big? :)


Bring on Spring!
 
More little projects getting wrapped up!

This has been a wire poking out of the wall for two years.... Finally its an outlet!




And caulked the floor in, have been meaning to do this forever....And should have before winter.... But its (almost) done now!


And cut some trims, and threw some finish on them.


 
Rock lights! Super handy for trying to find parking spot among boulders, especially with a long wheel base. I really liked the "puddle" lights I had under the box by the steps, so I figured I would add more! But the marker lights I used before would not work well there (under the running boards) so I got some more little waterproof cheap LED's and went to town. Sooooo much tedious wiring on your back!

I wanted these switched on from the cab, so I used the smallest upfitter switch, and wired them into that circuit. However I wanted to use the previously installed "puddle" lights also, but not have everything turn on when those where on, so I backfed that circuit with a diode between them. Perfect, cab switch turns everything on, the switch in the back only turns on the ones by the steps.

Cheap LED's


Unceremoniously glued in place.


And wala, UFO status. The other side looks the same, minus the one behind the rear wheel.... Ran out of wire! There is miles of it under there.


Next up was trim install. A little glue, some micropin nails, boom. Wish I could get the screen mold in S3S1E, but whatever, its done. Could not get it in the oak easily. Covers the caulk joint and clean up the bottom edge nicely.



And since I was feeling ambitious..... The lip on this shelf has been a scrap of 3/4 ply for ever.... Now its a proper nice piece of maple.

 
New awnings is Good! Fit and finish seems better than the old one. And its much larger.




But..... I need a bigger solar controller. Mine maxes out far too easily in the summer sun. 15A charging rate. Anyone want a nearly new Victron 75|15? It would be good for a 200W system. 220w is its max useable, it throttles back after that.



Good weekend none the less.

 
The wheels have rubbed on the back of the fender wells at certain turn angles. Bushwacker cut out flares remove about 2.5" of fender right there. After install I am not super sold on them, I may try to wrap them back to the grey color, but we will see. May just need to get dirty :D



Remove fender liner and OE over fenders and mark out cut.





Ruin perfectly good fender.





Beat back into fender ish shape (it all gets covered, dont worry!)





Hose liberally with black spray paint in your choice of brand flavor.





Test fit flare, find it needs massaging, massage, then drill a bunch more holes in an already ruined fender.



Now reinstall the fender liner per the Bushwacker instructions, "reinstall" They fail to mention that it wont fit since we just moved the back of the arch back 3", so bolt the front bits in place, since they fit then get out the leather gloves and plubming torch. Melt fender liner until you can convince it to get longer and kinda fit again.....



Now install the flare.







Much wider.







Now like I said, not sure I am sold, maybe its the black, or the size, but it makes the wheels look smaller (larger opening?) and the wheels are pretty tucked inside the fender now. (I like flush....) But being wider they may keep my mirrors cleaner which could be nice.



Stopped to pull neighbor out of the ditch.... And continued with projects.



Ran Air lines for the front bags into the cab, flex sheathing used, and fuel tubing slipped over where it passes thru sheetmetal.







Big ass relay added in the compressor power line. Plan is to use running lights to trigger it, yeah a little ghetto, but I have ZERo desire to run a ignition switched line front to back now. I always drive with lights on, so compressor should have power any time engine is running.




Re did all the plumbing on the compressor, no wonder it leaked down over night, factory fittings were all pretty loose. Removed the regulator, added a T for the outlet to the bag controls.





And all ran out the floor, including a new drain fitting!





Need to run the feed to the cab, and hook the bags to the controls, and get the interior back together.... Tonight....
 
Bags are plumbed..... But one of the switches itself is leaking, thru the body..... Grrrr it appears it's thru the fill side at least, so it should just empty the compressor.... Fingers crossed.


Ghetto fabulous drain valve. But easy to dump compressor often is a good thing!



Also got my new radio installed. Kinda pissed..... GPS wont lock with it under the A pillar. They updated the GPS chipset in the newer model..... I bought cheap and used.... grrrr. Hope I can get it to work.

Radio body tucked away.


Head unit where it cant see the sky apparently.....
 
Well letting the radio think all day while I was at work seemed to get a lock. Not a great lock, but hopefully it works. That may be a PAINFULLY slow GPS chipset.


But I now have a dual band, dual transmit/receive radio, which lets me just run APRS on B band and talk as needed on A band. A does digital also, have not even played with that in the slightest. I think this location will work, just on a magnetic phone mount.


This also happened. Upgraded to a much larger solar controller, 50A max charge current now. Will support a second large panel if I want to go that route. And while I was down there, I realized I can keep the old smaller one for my little portable panel. I already have it wired up for a connection in the drivers side tool box. Redundant systems, and can park in the shade and still make a little power if I want.


And the front bags held pressure, which is good, that means the switch is leaking from the feed side only!
 
Set up Camp Friday night, holy S was it windy! Sustained 20-30 and gusts to 55.


Walked the whole cliff line, it was really fun actually.


It was windy enough we moved to this little "divot" to try to get out of it.


Bigger solar controller worked well. More amps!


Did my first real trad lead, it was fun, did a 5.8 I had climbed before, still a bit nerve wracking.


Did this one too, but didnt take any pics....


APRS worked on the way there, 15 mins or so to get a GPS lock.... but then it worked. Not so much on the way home 2.5 hrs to get a lock and it kept dropping. Will need to revist.
 
Set up Camp Friday night, holy S was it windy! Sustained 20-30 and gusts to 55.


Walked the whole cliff line, it was really fun actually.


It was windy enough we moved to this little "divot" to try to get out of it.


Bigger solar controller worked well. More amps!


Did my first real trad lead, it was fun, did a 5.8 I had climbed before, still a bit nerve wracking.


Did this one too, but didnt take any pics....


APRS worked on the way there, 15 mins or so to get a GPS lock.... but then it worked. Not so much on the way home 2.5 hrs to get a lock and it kept dropping. Will need to revist.

Wind was crazy this weekend! We had our spring class up in Colockum 30-35 mph sustained and gust to 55! Wind and sun burned, below freezing at night.
 
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