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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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#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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#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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#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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#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.

 

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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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#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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#8165 Building Front Bumper

Posted by SKRUGS on 08 January 2017 - 09:26 PM

Getting closer.  :)

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#8053 How much do the factory steel rims weigh?

Posted by SKRUGS on 29 December 2016 - 03:24 PM

I replaced the rims on my '16 NVP 3500.
Went out to the garage and weighed a rim for you. 38.6 pounds.


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#5610 Laharview Farm Camper Build

Posted by laharview on 05 February 2016 - 06:36 PM

Was loading up all the camping appurtenances last weekend and realized a built-in table would be handy for the stove when we are at sites with no tables or want to cook under the awning.  Also to stage beverages.

 

Used 3/4" plywood and made slides under the bed platform.  Legs are from a Big Leaf Maple from the back 40 and slip into a hole used to slide out the table.  Not needed if the tables are out 2' or so.

 

Also installed LED bulbs in the factory interior lights.  Still need to add some under the cabinets but these made a huge difference.  Bulbs are from JDM ASTER (evil bay) and I bought the DE3175 with 6 LED's.  Fits nice without hitting the light fixture.

 

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#4466 Bully Dog GT engine tuner - review

Posted by ASD Dad on 11 August 2015 - 02:47 PM

So we are back from the trip and I have tried a few Bully Dog tunes and settings and I am ready for the initial review and data.

 

First off - I will just lay this out there right now.  If you want more power, especially off the line from a dead stop, dont bother reading any more and just BUY IT NOW!  Yes, it makes that huge of a difference.  It's not even remotely close between stock vs. the BD hooked up. 

 

Want some numbers, of course you do!  (side note, I live around a ton of farms and no man's land with a 60mph speed limit which is where I did all testing.  I can drive off the main road to many long and straight side roads with nothing in sight)

 

The Bully Dog has an array of testing built in you can do.  0-100kph, full performance tests, even a drag racing tree for timing if you like.  I did the standard "performance test" which does most everything in one swoop.

 

All runs were a 5 run average with 89 octane gas and settings shown.  Each run had about a 10 minute cool down as that is how long it takes to change the tune once you stop and change settings and flash the ECU.

 

Stock:

0-60 - 9.1 average (online shows 9.3 for a '15 SL V8 so BD seems fairly accurate)

1/4 Mile - 17.3 seconds (dead on to online)

 

BD tune - Regular, Throttle Restriction OFF, Performance Throttle setting, 2 degree timing advance (most popular Titan settings)

0-60 - 7.7 average!!

1/4 Mile - 16.0 second average

 

BD tune - Performance, Restriction Off, Performance throttle, 2* timing

0-60 - 7.6 average

1/4 Mile - 16 seconds

 

BD tune - Regular, Off, Stock throttle setting, 2*

0-60 - 7.7

1//4 - 16 sec

 

The biggest change between all of those is how the van "feels" when driving it.  The Performance throttle setting seems to dip into the throttle more aggressively, but it is not jumpy at all.  Stock throttle feels more linear.  The Performance Tune settings shifts harder and wants to hold the gear a bit longer.  You are supposed to run 89-93 octane on the Performance Tune.  You should also run good 87 at min if advancing the timing to avoid pinging.  From many Titan tests most guys saw no difference in actual performance on the track between tunes which shows in my tests as well.  It does feel different.  Oh - on the Performance Tune I can actually chirp the tires at launch with this big van.  There is an "Extreme" setting that I havent tried yet...  Most users say that is just for fun and not really meant for day to day driving.  

 

So there are the hard numbers, it knocks nearly 1.5 seconds off the 0-60 which is absurd if you have ever tuned cars or trucks in the past.  Normally that takes a lot of work and money.  I will fully admit 90% of that is the removal of the throttle restriction off the line but that still makes the BD worth it just for that removal!  For a big beast of a van the BD truly transforms it into something that shouldnt pull quite as hard as it does from a stop.  

 

As for towing my camper - that long grade where I dropped from 65 down to 55?  Not happening.  Easily maintained 65 the whole way up.  On the big 7% gorge section I actually accelerated up the other side passing a semi who was going about 50.  Is it effortless?  Not really, it is still dropping to 3rd on the big hills and spinning hard but it now actually moves vs. just making more noise.  I also noticed on smaller hills it will stay in 4th vs. dropping to 3rd and just sort of lug up the hill.  It isnt bogging but it feels like you're really dipping into the throttle.  

 

The BD has a full array of gauges from MPG (instant and average), timing, air flow, temps for everything, throttle position, etc...  It will also clear CEL's after telling you what they are for if you get one.  A lot buy the BD just for the gauge display and diagnostics.

 

MPG is supposed to increase slightly but I've only had it towing for the most part.  I do plan on monitoring it but I am not expecting much if anything.  I did get 9mpg on the way home which is the highest ever for me towing.  Going up I had the normal 8.5 or so.  

 

So there you have it.  Feel free to ask any questions and I will be sure to try and get an answer for you.  Installation is pretty painless, took about an hour routing the wires but you dont need to mount it, you can flash the ECU and then stick it in your glove box.  You lose all the great gauges though!


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#10210 Towing travel trailer NV 3500HD SL

Posted by andy_george on 12 September 2017 - 05:10 AM

Awesome info and advice, guys. Another reason that this forum is the only one I check regularly....

But part of me now wants to join rv.net and kick off my intro with a thread titled "Does our 2001 Honda CRV have the correct air freshener to safely tow our new triple-axle destination trailer?" :)
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#10150 Oil Reminder after just 1,100 miles

Posted by ASD Dad on 28 August 2017 - 08:41 AM

You can reset the light reminder on earlier models, I would assume you have to be able to do that as well on the 2017 in case you do your own oil changes or somebody besides Nissan does them.  Maybe it was set weird at the factory or dealership on delivery.  You can change the reminder interval mileage for oil change, filter and rotation with at least the 2015 models...  

 

I do not have a "oil monitor digital display".  Are you sure that is not one of the temp gauges?  I wasnt aware there was an oil life monitor.  We do have several temp gauges we can cycle through.  


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#10115 Total Eclipse of the Sun

Posted by Fatherof5 on 24 August 2017 - 08:38 AM

We drove 3hours and 45 min to a little town called st Claire mo.
Took 7 hours to get home ( traffic). Thankfully. I just finished my rear entertainment install over the weekend and we kept the kids reasonably occupied the whole time.
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#10103 Total Eclipse of the Sun

Posted by laharview on 22 August 2017 - 09:11 PM

Ended up going 20 miles north of Weiser to DNR camp. $3.00 a night. The CEO of Carl Zeiss Optics was camped next to us. Made the trip from Germany. Got to play with very cool stuff he brought. He is going to send me all his shots and video! Here are the solar flares.

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#10100 Total Eclipse of the Sun

Posted by Mark Rogers on 22 August 2017 - 04:42 PM

ASD Dad, you should consider contributing your pictures of totality to the Eclipse Megamovie project.  https://eclipsemega.movie/


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#10099 Total Eclipse of the Sun

Posted by ASD Dad on 22 August 2017 - 04:13 PM

Panorama of eclipse photos I shot.

 

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