Posts for category vehicle


Introduction

Posted Monday 19th Sep, 2011

Our choice of a new adventure vehicle came on the heals of a good experience with our Provan Tiger during our 19 month, 60,000 mile Americas Trip and in the face of a recent purchase (as it was then), and a happy experience with a used 2008 Earthroamer.

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The Choice

Posted Wednesday 21st Sep, 2011

The topic that got me started down the path of "another vehicle" was the question of maintenance and repairs. Our Tiger-Chevy Duramax was incredibly reliable in South America, BUT it was clear from conversations with Chevy dealers in various countries that repairs on the engine/transmission would have been very difficult. Those vehicles, the Duramax engine and Allison transmission are not used in any commonly available vehicles in those parts of the world.

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The U500

Posted Thursday 22nd Sep, 2011

For those like me that do not (or at least did not) know much about the Unimog U500 I am including some spec sheets and a general discussion of the vehicle. It is worth noting that I could not find a spec sheet for a 2003 vehicle so have resorted to a document published in 2009. This later model vehicle has a Euro 5 engine (and as such required BlueTech fluid and ULSD fuel) rather than Euro 3 engine in our vehicle which has no issue with high sulfur fuel.

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The Camper

Posted Friday 23rd Sep, 2011

We chose to have GXV build and mount a Safari version of their camper box. You can get the general dimensions and layout of this box from the drawings in the images below (just click the thumbnail to get a larger view).

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Visit to GXV

Posted Thursday 12th Apr, 2012

Pictures from a visit to the factory late in the construction phase.

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The Build

Posted Thursday 19th Apr, 2012

Some photos of the build in progress.

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It is finished

Posted Saturday 19th May, 2012

We took delivery of the completed vehicle the week beginning May 7th, 2012. I spent most of that week at the GXV premises learning about the vehicle, dreaming up new things for them to do and completing the usual paper work.

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The truck - First Impressions

Posted Saturday 4th Aug, 2012

The first thing one notices about a U500 is just how far off the ground the driver seat is. There is an initial feeling of being up there but it is not obvious until one gets onto the road that this truck is actually taller than the tractor of an 18-wheeler. From the U500 drivers seat one can see the roof of an 18-wheeler cab.

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The truck - Interesting features

Posted Sunday 5th Aug, 2012

The truck has some other interesting control features that are worth noting.

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Fixes and upgrades at GXV

Posted Saturday 22nd Sep, 2012

As promised in our Journal entry for 19th Sept 2012 (click this to see the entry) here is some detail of the actual fixes/upgrades accomplished at the GXV factory.

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U500 work program

Posted Friday 28th Sep, 2012

A brief run down on the work carried out during our visit with Rob Pickering in La Junta, CO during the week of Sept 24th 2012.

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Electrical, Part 1

Posted Thursday 1st Nov, 2012

This is the first of a series of posts related to the electric system in our GXV expedition vehicle. My aim in this series of articles/posts is to outline the original mission of the electrical system, analyze how well the originally supplied equipment meet that mission, describe what modifications and upgrades I have made and what lessons I have learned, and what problems (if any) are still outstanding.

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Electrical, Part 2

Posted Saturday 3rd Nov, 2012

In the first post in this series I outlined the mission for the electrical system of our GXV expedition vehicle and described the electrical system as originally delivered.

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Electrical, Part 3

Posted Saturday 3rd Nov, 2012

Two effects combine to render the truck alternator ineffective as a charge source for the camper battery pack.

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Electrical, Part 4

Posted Saturday 1st Dec, 2012

In the previous posts we looked at the capacity or rating of the various chargers and components in the camper‘s electrical system and concluded that possibly the system has too little charging capacity given the size of the battery pack.

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Electrical, Part 5

Posted Friday 1st Feb, 2013

I initially installed a single Battery-Battery Charger (B2B) in the camper in November 2012 but that original B2B failed within a week and was returned. I installed the replacement in mid December 2012 and used it for travel through the US South West and the Baja during December 2012 and January 2013. To date the replacement has continued to function without problems.

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Electrical, Part 6

Posted Saturday 2nd Feb, 2013

So given all that I (think I) have learned; how do I currently manage the camper battery pack.

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Electrical, Part 7

Posted Sunday 3rd Feb, 2013

After almost a years experience with the camper electrical systems I would have to say I am not very impressed with the system design.

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Electrical, Part 8

Posted Monday 4th Feb, 2013

I have agonized for sometime over what to do so that our GXV camper can make effective use of 230V/50Hz shore power. Specifically this question focused on replacing or supplementing the inadequate Mastervolt 12/35 charger that came as original equipment in the camper.

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Aneurysm, water fall and .... plumbing!

Posted Tuesday 5th Feb, 2013

According to wikipedia an aneurysm is a balloon like bulge in the wall of a blood vessel. Well today I learned that motorhomes (or more precisely Global Expedition Vehicles) can also suffer from aneurysms; and the bursting of one particular aneurysm turned our motorhome into a good imitation of a water fall. Specifically 50 gallons of water washed through the camper and flowed down the entrance steps in a beautiful, though frightening, cascade.

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Fuel Tank Take 3

Posted Wednesday 20th Feb, 2013

The astute reader will recall that in August 2012 during our visit to the GXV factory we had a 3rd fuel tank installed. Following the installation it quickly became apparent that filling the tank with fuel was a problem. Specifically the filler neck and hose were too small (in diameter) and had an insufficient slope. This problem manifested itself by fuel backing up in the filler neck and pouring over the ground.

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Response to the ExpeditionPortal thread about our problem

Posted Tuesday 21st May, 2013

About a week ago I discovered the thread on Expedition Portal that someone had started about the problems we had with our vehicle near Yakutsk. Since then I have followed the discussion with interest (using my iPhone) but because of lack of real internet connection have not been able to contribute. So this post will for the moment be my contribution. The reason for doing it this was is that I can prepare this post offline and send it to our website even if my connection is slow.

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Mike Vanpelt visits UB

Posted Tuesday 4th Jun, 2013

If you have been reading our journal (or regular posts) you know that on Tuesday 4th June Mike Van Pelt, the owner of Global Expedition Vehicles, arrived in Ulanbaatar to do some upgrades to the camper mounting system on our vehicle.

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Electrical, Part 9

Posted Wednesday 9th Jul, 2014

This is a maybe overdue update or exposition of our long term experience with the electrical system of our GXV truck.

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