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#9746 Here is the final product! Charley camper van is done!!

Posted by mahu on 15 July 2017 - 01:54 AM

7 months of work over the course of 13 months in 2016 and 2017. Did the finishing touches today. Now it's time to clean the condo and then off to Alaska.

 

Here a small sample. For a full build thread visit this imgur album: 
imgur.com/a/r9foW

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#1243 Disable your DRL's

Posted by Tatunka on 03 November 2013 - 10:36 AM

I posted this earlier in Maintence section before we had this section.

 

I personaly hate the DRL's on my van, if you do too it's very easy to turn them off.  Under the hood, locate the fuse panels on the passenger side, open the one closest to the firewall (main fuse panel) and pull out the tray of fuses (there are tabs on either side and lift it up and out), locate the DRL fuse (F3, DTRL RELAY PWR), pull it out and no more DRL's and no warning lights on the dash.

 


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#6872 What have you done to your NV van lately?

Posted by Chris Dempsey on 26 July 2016 - 06:18 AM

I wanted to control my Fan-tastic fan from the dash, and while I was at it, replaced the blank, dummy switches. One will be for an eventual seat warmer, the other for unruly passengers.

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#11101 Shocked by amount that tow unsafe

Posted by ASD Dad on 12 February 2018 - 05:12 PM

So I have been a member of the FB NV page for a while now and to be honest I am shocked how many people tow campers that have Zero clue about towing, safety, etc.  

 

Many people on there brag about towing 70+ mph with 8000# DRY campers.  These same people have 5+ kids along with husband/wife driving in the NV.  I can say with 99.9% certainty that they have never been to any type of scale and they are absolutely overweight for the van's specs.  I will also say that with the vast majority they are most likely on the cheap OEM camper tires that love to blow up at normal speeds let alone 20% over rated capacity like these families.  

 

One insisted they were safe with their 6 kids, 34' dual slide bunkhouse that I think was over 8000 pounds empty from the factory and said they didnt see the point in towing 55 mph so they regularly went 70-75 and got 6 mpg so they wanted a bigger gas tank.  "We can tow 8900 pounds so we are fine".  Idiots.

 

Seriously?!?  I wonder if they would be so arrogant at 75 mph when their tire blows up into 100 pieces and either mangles their trailer or worse causes them to wreck.  I've experienced tires blowing up and I have seen the damage they can cause on other campers.  I had a TPMS system that alerted me so we got off lucky.  Many are not.  I bet I pass at least one camper per trip that is sidelined with a blown tire when we take our long trips.

 

I'm not going to be one that says you need a dually to tow a decent sized camper but learn the limits and ask yourself if going over is worth the danger to your family.  All those idiots with giant families are pushing their luck hard.  The tow rating on our vans does NOT include a half dozen kids and all the stuff to go along with a family that size!  

 

<rant off>


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#10605 Need 4WD Conversion Advice

Posted by peter_fazio on 07 November 2017 - 01:53 PM

Coloraaadho,

 

  Well, I think I will give you the opposite take on the 4WD NV.  I have a 2013 NV3500 passenger with the Quigley 4WD conversion.  I spent the first 3 years with my van having RWD.  I found that I got stuck in lots of places where it was just slippery (ie wet muddy grass, dirt inclines, etc).  I typically would be towing a trailer full of dirtbikes.  The stock tires (Firestone Transforce) were almost useless in anything even remotely loose or slippery.  I upgraded to BFG All Terrain KO2 tires.  They were a huge improvement in traction, but I still had lots of difficulties especially in wet muddy fields ( like you would find at dirtbike events in the Northeast).  The so-called active traction control on the rear axle helps, but is very limited in its ability to transfer drive torque to the other (non-slipping) wheel.  I would contend IF you could equip the NV rear axle with a proper locking differential then it would be much more capable in low traction situations.  So, about a year ago I had my NVP converted by Quigley.  BTW, they do an outstanding job, it really looks like a factory setup.  Since, I have been converted to 4WD, essentially all my traction issues have gone away.  I now can tow my trailers up slippery hills and go where I need to go w/o having to resort to chains or other temporary traction aids.  Personally, I love it.  I have been driving full size vans for 40 years and have always put up with the marginal traction that comes with the standard RWD setup in vans.  I now feel like I can take my NVP offroad w/o being concerned about getting stuck.  Now as to the lift, my NVP does not have a lift.  It is still the stock height after the 4WD conversion.  Quigley will convert the NV with or w/o a lift.  As to the low range in the transfer case, the Quigley conversion does have a 2 speed transfer case.  The shift lever is blocked from engaging 4WD low range.  I have personally removed the blocking bracket and manually shifted the transfer case into low range.  Yes, the Quigley transfer case does have low range, but you will have to modify the shifter linkage to be able to engage low range from inside the cab.  All in all, I am happy with my 4WD conversion, I feel, that it makes my van much more capable while off pavement.

 

                                                                            Pete Fazio


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#10581 Need 4WD Conversion Advice

Posted by mahu on 06 November 2017 - 04:19 AM

Lets work through this one by one. :-)

 

He says rear wheel vehicles have a bad rap and now a days they come with stabilization blah blah that keeps them from swerving around in the back.

He is right. Properly driven rear wheel drive cars/vans can be just as stable and in certain situations even more than front wheel vehicles. the NVs have stability control which works well. Once you have some weight in the back it'll be planted very solidly!

 

And that big, treaded tires are more important than 4WD.

Sorry to say, but he is VERY right. It's all in the tires! And not that "all season" crap, but dedicated well-reviewed winter tires.

Look at this comparison 

 

He also says the 4WD isn’t worth it unless you’re going to do a lift and the lift will make the van unstable and unsafe on the highway. Is that true? (We would want the lift for deep snow and rock in Colorado.)

Especially if are getting the high roof model the lift would significantly shift the center of gravity. Whenever I see (and the times I have ridden in friend's lifted Sprinters) I am so glad we don't have a lifted van. They look/feel like they are seconds from tipping over. 

 

I think the 4WD will help significantly with driving through bad weather and snow on the highway and over passes, making it significantly safer (he says no).

He is right yet again. The only significant advantage of 4WD is driving up steep slopes on or off pavement in mud or snow. 4WD does not enhance your stability on wet, icy, or snowy roads. Stability comes from the tires and your driving skills. Stopping distance and control in corners has nothing to do with 4WD. We have driven our NV for two years living at 6500 feet in Tahoe with plenty of snow. No problems. 

 

I also think we need the 4WD for washboard dirt roads, scree, deep snow, and camping in national forests.

Mostly no. In deep snow 4WD might make a difference if you are on a steeper slope but things like good snow tires are far more important. 

In terms of where you can get on a RWD NV just look on instagram, e.g. @vanlifetravelogue. That guy pretty much takes his NV wherever he wants!

 

We plan on using the van on rocky, sometimes steep, dirt roads in the Rocky Mountains and camping off the grid in places like in Moab. We don’t want to “go 4-wheeling” for the sake of “4-wheeling” but we want to be able to get to remote places.

There may be a select few places you would be able to take a 4WD NV that you cannot take a RWD, but then again the question is do you want to push your NV that close to its capabilities and getting stranded in the middle of nowhere? From my experience 4WD often gives a false sense of capability and more often than not gets people deeper into trouble than they would have otherwise gone with a 2WD.

 

 

Besides backcountry stuff, we also plan on using the van for long distance highway traveling across the states, going from Colorado to Key West to Maine.

It looks like you'll be putting lots of miles on it so think of reduced gas mileage, increased maintenance costs, increased instability due to lift, for all those thousands of miles on the freeway. It adds up quickly and those costs need to be factored into the price of the conversion!

 

And then on top of it, there is one more pretty big problem…..Quigley doesn’t do a low 4WD conversion, only a 4-high. We can’t go with another vehicle (Ram, Sprinter, Ford) because we are both over 6 feet tall and need all the leg room that the Nissan van provides on the passenger side.  We know we can go with Advanced 4WD Systems for a conversion and get a low gear but then I’m worried about it going “limp” and I haven’t read good things about Advanced’s workmanship. Whereas I’ve read great things about Quigley’s attention to detail, professionalism, reputation, etc.

I can't speak to this, but have read good things about Advanced here in the forum.

 

So, as all things in life it's about the balance of things. Yes, there may be a handful of situations you will have to turn around where you could have otherwise traveled on with a 4WD. But are those few occasions worth the conversion costs, higher operating costs, and reduced stability? In my opinion they are not and it's not even close. 90% of your concerns can be addressed with proper tires, gear and driving. Sorry to say, but I think your husband may win this round...


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#10089 Total Eclipse of the Sun

Posted by ASD Dad on 21 August 2017 - 02:49 PM

A couple shots from my backyard.  

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#9835 NVP 3500 SL (V8) travel trailer towing

Posted by ASD Dad on 24 July 2017 - 05:21 PM

Nice camper you are looking at!  We love bunkhouse campers and we had a Salem Sport SP295 prior to our Toyhauler we tow now.  The TH is more or less a bunkhouse with how it is setup for us.  

 

Those weights are fine for the NVP.  My TH is around 7500-ish pounds when we are loaded for a big trip and the NV pulls it well even in the mountains of NC and TN.  Do I wish it had more power?  Always!  Does it maintain speed on the inclines?  It does, but it does it in 3rd gear with the RPM's wound up which is normal for a newer gas motor like ours.  It may sound alarming but there really is not much harm being done at all.  The other nice things about the NV is the monster sized transmission and oil cooler sitting right behind the grill.  Even in 100* heat nothing gets too hot when towing.  

 

Towing through streets is just fine, if you are not used to towing something that long just make very wide right turns and make some practice runs on empty streets.  Be Very aware of the tail end of the camper swinging wide.  The axles are near mid point to keep tongue weight down but that means you have 10 plus feet of camper hanging out the back pivoting when making tight turns like in gas stations or through a campground.  You can clip things with it when you think you had plenty of room.  I did it with our first long camper even after towing it over a year...  Not fun!  

 

My biggest caution for you is to make sure you get a GOOD WD hitch.  Not the cheap ones they toss in for free with the purchase of the camper.  Those are usually the EZ or Curt round bar hitches with a single friction bar.  At that length they require two friction bars, one per side.  Do they work?  Yes!  Are they a pain?  Yes!  You have two bars to hook up then you have two friction plates to hook up every time.  They are also LOUD when turning at slow speeds (to be fair, so are other higher end models like an Equalizer).  With all the newer hitches out there you would be better served by upgrading a little.  Check out review sites or places like RV.net for suggestions.  Everybody has a favorite.  I happen to prefer a Blue-Ox Swaypro for my setup.  Easy, clean and quiet and it just works well.  Downside is that it is very heavy with a huge one piece head that is around 70 pounds to carry around.  There are lots of new hitches out there though.

 

Second caution - do Not trust the dealer to setup any WDH correctly.  They want you in and out fast.  They will go by some generic setting that will get you close and call it a day.  When you do pick a hitch, read up on it and then read up on proper WDH installation so you can either check it at home if you have the tools are watch over them to make sure it is right before leaving the dealer.  You would be surprised how one extra link on the bar chains or a small angle change on the head will affect the actual weight and handling.  

 

Lastly - Check your trailer tires religiously.  Most likely they will be cheap generic tires and they are well known to literally blow up going down the highway.  We just witnessed one blow up 3 days ago on a fifth wheel.  We were next to him on the highway and it sounded like a shotgun went off.  Looked over and his tire was in shreds.  I've had it happen twice in many years of towing and it is not fun!!  The only fix is to swap out the cheap tires for better ones.  I did that immediately on my TH, I only had 50 miles on my brand new dealer tires and I swapped them out.  It is not worth the headaches and risk.  If you keep the originals on there, keep them inflated to max cold, keep them covered from the elements and do not go over 65 mph on the highway.  Period.  Some owners get several years out of OEM tires.  Others get several weeks.  It is a roulette spin to see if it happens.

 

Sorry for the novel...  We love camping as a family and have been going for many years even before kids.  I started in tents, got married and we had a pop-up, had kids and moved up in camper size as we had more kids (and dogs).  You'll be fine and the NV will be fine, just take your time and read up.


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#5430 Black out window openings

Posted by Rickf191 on 30 December 2015 - 05:18 PM

I had to do something to the appearance. I wanted to break up all the solid silver. So I vinyl wrapped the window spots with 3m 1080 gloss black. It's a work truck in disguise. Let me know what you guy's think. 

 

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#5213 Likes Leaders!

Posted by KMG on 19 November 2015 - 01:49 PM

I just noticed I'm six likes away from making the leader board!  And on a totally separate topic I wanted to take the time to say that:

1.  radin2son

2.  Chris_CommercialManager

3.  ASD Dad

4.  andy_george

5.  Tatunka

6.  axulsuv

are really great guys!

 

Can you guess which member is adjusting to the free time retirement brings?

 


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#5209 Indel B 12v fridge/freezer

Posted by wollip on 18 November 2015 - 09:44 PM

I'm giving up on ice chests. My $400 one keeps ice 10% better
than my $40 one from Walmart.
I don't make this change without giving it much thought. My plan
was always to keep things simple and an ice chest fits that criteria.
But I think the recently discussed Ctek dc to dc charging system
will make dc refrigeration feasible without complications.
So the first thing installed is an Indel B 12v fridge/freezer.

Space is always at a premium so we decided that the center console
could go away and the Indel B take that spot. Why this brand over
any of the others out there? Because the 50 liter version is a near
exact replacement for the center console. And because the light and
dark grays make it look like a factory option.
I bought the optional mounting plate - for $75 there was no need
for me to try to build something.
All this kit is available from equipt1.com - I think they are the only US
distributers.
So far I have only used it with the cig plug in the dash. But I am in the
process of wiring it up permanently.
After a couple of months of use I have to say I really like it. Does
everything I wanted and is very, very low maintenance. Just wipe it out
between uses and remember to keep the lid propped open a little
if you aren't going to use it for an extended period.
It has the wife's seal of approval for looks and functionality.

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#4743 Laharview Farm Camper Build

Posted by laharview on 13 September 2015 - 09:00 PM

This morning I installed a solid window in the slider made by CR Lawrence.  I bought it on-line at Sears and found there price $80 lower than anywhere else.

 

It was an 8 hour job.  The first 7-3/4 hours I spent over thinking how to cut the hole (die grinder, plasma cutter, ?), 10 minutes to make the cut , and 5 minutes to install the window.

 

I ended up using a good pair of offset tin snips.  I rough cut the hole to within 1/2" and then went around for the finish.  The cut is made right to the second layer of sheet metal.  Had to trim the door handle plastic a bit.  My Son assisted holding the window in.  This was a simple installation and I will now order the window for right behind the drivers door.  Going to get the one that opens.

 

Attached File  Slider Window (1).jpg   28.89KB   4 downloads

Attached File  Slider Window (2).jpg   34.03KB   4 downloads

Attached File  Slider Window (3).jpg   42.03KB   4 downloads

Attached File  Slider Window (4).jpg   62.02KB   5 downloads

Attached File  Slider Window (5).jpg   53.04KB   4 downloads


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#10943 We have one - and it's early days . . .

Posted by ASD Dad on 12 January 2018 - 09:44 AM

Welcome to the site!  

 

Be sure your seat covers allow for the seat airbag to deploy.  Last thing you want in an accident is your airbag to not go off correctly!  Most NV seat covers that are made for our vans have a slit or special pocket designed just for the airbag.


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#10092 Total Eclipse of the Sun

Posted by ASD Dad on 21 August 2017 - 03:56 PM

Traffic here is backed up for over 40 miles on the main highways getting out of town.  It is even worse south of us.  Live news shots make it look like a parking lot as far as they can see.  I have to run out later and I am not looking forward to it!  

 

Added a few more shots.  All these were shot handheld with a simple Canon SX50 HS Superzoom at max zoom (1200 equivalent focal length!).  For the sun photos I held cheap $1 eclipse glasses over the center of the lens.  Crude but it worked!  I have two older Sony DSLR's but I dont have the filters needed for those lenses so took a chance with my wife's camera and am super happy how they turned out.

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#12031 About to purchase - 2017 vs. 2018?

Posted by radin2son on 09 October 2018 - 07:57 PM

NV 3500s only come with a V8 regardless of trim level. If this is what you are considering, the SV will have a V8.

It appears most on this site have NVP 3500s. If NVP 2500s are still available, the 2500 gives you a choice of V6 or V8. In 2015, while getting an oil change in Colorado Springs, the dealer had a V6 NVP available for rental. A salesman said he used it to take his large family to a reunion. He felt the V6 was underpowered.
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#11602 Bought another Nissan

Posted by laharview on 26 June 2018 - 04:39 PM

Liked my 2500 High Top so much we went back to find a AWD smaller than our aging Denali.
Got a Nissan Murano Platinum. It has butt heaters and coolers!

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#11080 new nissannv owner ..how do i tow. please help

Posted by Mark Rogers on 09 February 2018 - 12:29 PM

The tow hitch you're talking about is likely the hitch ball.  I've heard this thing called a tow hitch or trailer hitch most of my life, but recently learned that the hitch is actually the bar on the front of the trailer that connects to the ball.

 

The hitch receiver is a black bar under the bumper that has a two inch square hole where the ball mount is inserted.  And the ball mount is a short bar with the ball mounted on it.

 

I'm pretty sure all of the V8 NVs come with a hitch receiver installed at the factory.  It should include an electrical connection to the left of the square hole where you can plug in your trailer.  This connection is essential for the trailer lights, and possibly the brakes (depending on whether the trailer has electric brakes or not).  Depending on the connector on your trailer, you might need to buy an adapter to make it work with the connector on the van.

 

If your van has an electrical connector for a trailer (and I believe yours does), the wiring for the lights should be ready to use.  But some extra work is needed if your trailer has electric brakes.  In that case, you'll need to install a brake controller.  This is a device that connects under the dashboard and tells the trailer's brakes how and when to operate.  There's usually a wiring harness tucked under the dashboard near the brake pedal for this, but it sounds like yours might have been left in the glove box.  It should look like a bundle of wires with a connector only on one end.  That connector fits a matching connector under the dashboard.  The brake controller will come with a similar wiring harness with a connector that fits the controller.  The idea is that you're supposed to use those two harnesses to build a cable that connects the van to the controller.  If you're not comfortable with doing electrical work, see if you can buy a pre-made cable that's designed to connect a Nissan NV to your model of controller.  If you do decide to do it yourself, please do quality work (i.e. no cheap crimp connectors or other things that might fail) because this is a very important piece of safety equipment.  For the same reason, don't buy a cheap brake controller.

 

The NV also has the option to mount a hitch ball in the middle of the step on the back bumper.  While cheap, this option should generally be avoided for two reasons.  1) The bumper can only handle trailers up to 2000 pounds.  2) The bumper is the wrong height for most trailers.

 

There's a lot to learn about towing, and I've pretty much exhausted my knowledge on the subject.  So, I'm going to defer to the experts on the site for the fine details.  In the meantime, please read Nissan's towing guide (https://owners.nissa...owing-guide.pdf) as well as the towing section in your owner's manual.  There's a lot of good information there.


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#10986 Aux. batteries and inverter, AC outlet, rail, passenger seat tray and back of...

Posted by Randucci on 21 January 2018 - 11:13 PM

 I have been keeping busy after I retired doing some mods to my NV. Not trying to make it a camper, but just a few thing to make it easier on overnight fishing trips and everyday use. Here is what I added:

 

 I changed the stock battery to a Optima and added one Optima Aux. battery next to it in the engine bay. I added two Optima Aux. deep cycle batteries (for a total of three Aux. batteries) inside. I added a 2000 watt inverter that runs off of them.

 

 I added a 120v. at the base of the passenger seat that has a cord that runs outside to a connector so I don't have to run an extension cord thru the door opening when I want to connect to the gas generator. 

 

 I put a factory tray/drawer under the passenger seat. The part numbers are the same as the one under the driver's seat, pretty easy to add.

 

 I also made a aluminum rail for the floor just on the inside of the side door, because I didn't like it when things would fall down onto the step and falling out when the door was opened. I used the tie down locations to bolt it to.

 

 The canvas storage is handy as it will store long items in the lower two padded areas like rifles (the bottom one is detachable). It is easily removed with a couple buckles. It is made by Mud River. 

 

 Let me know what you think.

.

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#10795 Fingers crossed they fit. Lol

Posted by Lakehouse on 09 December 2017 - 09:38 PM

Pics

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#10698 Luverne Grip Step review - With Photos

Posted by ASD Dad on 20 November 2017 - 04:41 PM

I have a 2015 NVP 3500 SL.  I have 3 kids that are 10 yrs old and under and they can actually get in and out of my van just fine.  The issue is my parents and in-laws.  They are in their 70's and we have been carrying a small folding step stool for them to get in and out easier.  I have been avoiding running boards as I didnt want to lose too much ground clearance and I honestly didnt like many of the options we have.  Well my wife has wanted me to get a set for a while since my in-laws live next door and we see them constantly.  My van is used for all the family outings so I finally broke down and ordered a set.

 

I bought these - http://www.luvernetr... Running Boards

 

I got them from Amazon after searching the model numbers.  They will not just come up without the numbers on Amazon.  Many sites sell them but the best price I found was Amazon and they have Prime shipping and great return policy.  They were under $400 shipped.

 

They arrived well packed in two boxes.  One had the actual running boards and the other is the bracket and mounting hardware.  Since they are aluminum steps the long package was quite light.  The brackets are powder coated steel.  

 

So - first step - Throw Out the directions!  No seriously.  Do it.  Do it now and thank me later.  I would only use the directions to sort of get a general idea of how they mount and how the brackets work.  The rest of the steps and measurements were utter garbage.  You can quickly tell after you start laying things out how bad the directions really are.  

 

The big issue?  Well the directions and parts are new.  When they changed I am not sure but if you look at all the online directions (even at Luvernes site) they are different with different part numbers.  The actual parts list has different part numbers!  The original directions were dated from 2012.  The new parts and directions are dated 2017.  At some point they added three twisted steel braces to keep the steps from flexing.  The original directions and photos dont show them.  The 2017 parts list and directions do show them.  

 

Extra bracing is good, right?  They would be good if they remotely lined up correctly!  (remember the throw out the directions part?).  If you go off their measurements they work on the drivers side, one works on the passenger and the other is a foot off.  Not even close.  The issue here is the welded bolt/bar T-bolt they made that slides into the oval holes in our frame.  Well at one measurement there is no hole!  

 

Next issue - those welded bolts dont fit in the holes...  I had to grind off the corners to make them fit correctly.  

 

Next big issue - those nice new braces do Not line up correctly.  They were so far off I thought it I had the wrong parts.  Nope.  They all matched the parts list with the correct NV on it.  Back to the work bench to modify those to fit.  They are still not perfect but they are mounted and work.  

 

Next issue - since you have to drill all the holes (3 per bracket - one bolt through the pinch weld and two lag bolts into the body) and no factory pinch weld is straight it was fun to get everything leveled up.  First time I clamped things to the weld I was 1" off from end to end!  You dont have much wiggle room due to the pinch weld being narrow.  (On my past trucks the bars bolted to factory mounting points or existing bolts/studs, it was very easy to line up).

 

So after I figured all that out to begin with I got a plan going and got everything mounted and level within 1/8" end to end.  The biggest issue was those new support braces being so comically off in alignment.  Those braces DO work well so I wanted them but they were a giant pain.  I would have called Luverne but it was the weekend and they were closed.  I need these boards for Thanksgiving so just made it work on my own.

 

After all that, am I happy?  Overall I honestly think I am happy with how they turned out even all that mess.  I am not sure I would buy them again but there was nothing else I liked off the shelf.  The actual steps and brackets are well made.  They are very grippy which I wanted.  They dont flex much even under my father-in-laws weight (he was a football linebacker in college - big guy!).  They do flex a little but nothing concerning.  The steps will never rust but the brackets and hardware may rust eventually.  I did lose ground clearance of course but that would happen with most running boards other than retractables or something like a modified N-Fab that was tucked up against the body.

 

I may go back and weld in some other braces since I like how they work.  I can just weld them to the frame vs. making a T bolt.  I would have welded in the wonky Luverne pieces but I have to use a friends welder and I didnt want to drive over there and bug him to borrow it.  

 

I will post photos of them mounted up.  I had to go back and realign the drivers side today so didnt take photos yet.

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