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21 Years in a 1973 Dodge Van




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#21 MaryJane69

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Posted March 19 2008 - 01:57 AM

what a great pic. must be magical to look out of your home and see that.

take a pic of your van as well!!!
One thing I can tell you is you got to be free....

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#22 Barbuchon

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Posted March 20 2008 - 08:30 AM

yeah would love to see your setup man, sounds pretty interesting

#23 cozmo_g

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Posted March 20 2008 - 08:50 PM

You are living the dream, friend...I have taken note of your suggestions, as far as the type of vehicle...Only thing about a full size is the gas, but either way, it's cheper than rent, and like you said, being able to change the scenery anytime you feel like it...priceless. You are one of the few that really knows what the word FREEDOM really means.
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#24 TwoDogs

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Posted March 21 2008 - 07:16 PM

what a great pic. must be magical to look out of your home and see that.

take a pic of your van as well!!!

Here's a pic of me in front of my van. It's no longer camo, though, I painted it Smoky Emerald for the trip back East. I figured a camo van with AZ. plates would draw too much heat. As it was, I got stopped 4 times before I made it to the Atlantic Ocean.

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Here's one with the solar panel on the windshield. My homemade backpackable drywasher is in the foreground. This shot was taken just before going off to do some prospecting.

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I'll have to dig up some of the interior.
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#25 TwoDogs

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Posted March 21 2008 - 07:31 PM

You are living the dream, friend...I have taken note of your suggestions, as far as the type of vehicle...Only thing about a full size is the gas, but either way, it's cheper than rent, and like you said, being able to change the scenery anytime you feel like it...priceless. You are one of the few that really knows what the word FREEDOM really means.

The gas thing is a bit of a problem at times, but the extra room is worth the added expense. I'm carrying 3/4 of a ton of stuff with me at all times. (Usually, when I leave town, 176 pounds of water alone.) Having the ability to carry the weight and still drive bad roads is a blessing.

Speaking of blessings...I kept breaking leafsprings on the rear because of my load and one day I ran across a 1 ton van that someone had pulled the engine and tranny from and dumped in a wash way out in the boonies. I looked at that van for almost a year before I decided to pull rear end w/leafsprings and put it in my van. I have cracked, but not broken a leafspring since. I do have to carry two spares now, though, a 15" - 5 hole rim and tire for the front and a 16" - 8 hole rim and tire for the rear.
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#26 TwoDogs

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Posted March 21 2008 - 07:59 PM

Here is the van with the newer paint job.

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And the two spare tires.

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#27 TwoDogs

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Posted March 21 2008 - 11:20 PM

Here are my two traveling companions kicking back on the bed.Two-Spot loves hanging out right in front of the lower fan. The fan has a magnetic base I made from an old speaker magnet and sits on top of my Craftsman toolbox. The toolbox top is also my TV/dinner/end table. The upper fan came out of a computer and when the rear windows are open it pulls in cooler air. Between the two fans even in the dead of Summer the van stays pretty cool.

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I just built these frames to mount speakers back by my bed.

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These are the two left/rear speakers in my sound system. I have eight total, four in the front, and four in the back above the bed. Four of the eight are the 6X9 4-way Pioneers. The other four are two 6-1/2" 3-way Legacy, and two 6-1/2" 3-way JVC speakers.

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#28 TwoDogs

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Posted March 21 2008 - 11:44 PM

You should write a book. Maybe get a new van. :)

I too suffer from gold fever. May be heading up to BC and the Yukon later this year.


x

The book is in the process. (A slooooooooooooooooooooow process.) Only it begins in NYC in 1968. About St. Mark's Place and the carnival-like life there in those days.

Here's a bit of the gold that I've found over the years.

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#29 Zoomie

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Posted March 22 2008 - 03:30 PM

Nice setup. Especially the drywash. You're not doing anything while prospecting that a strong wind wouldn't do. Very cool.
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#30 TwoDogs

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Posted March 22 2008 - 06:04 PM

Nice setup. Especially the drywash. You're not doing anything while prospecting that a strong wind wouldn't do. Very cool.

Thanks dude.

A lot of people seem to confuse recreational prospecting with strip mining. It's unfortunate that some people with no knowledge of situations always think in black or white. It's REALLY hard to do any damage with a pick and shovel if you're after placer gold. You're almost always down in a wash, and if you are responsible, you fill any holes that you dig when you're done. If you aren't responsible and leave holes, Mother Nature will soon clean up your mess with a gully washer. We have a "Monsoon Season" here in AZ. and when it rains a lot of the times it's an inch or more an hour. Flash floods occur that wipe out any trace of Man's ever having been there. Here are pics of the same wash on two different days. (Please note that it's the same juniper tree in the upper left of each picture.) The people are standing right at the edge where you see the waterfall in the second pic:

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#31 Zoomie

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Posted March 22 2008 - 06:14 PM

Heh. The first pic looks like the "Bog 'n' Grog" I used to attend in my younger days.
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#32 TwoDogs

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Posted March 22 2008 - 06:26 PM

Heh. The first pic looks like the "Bog 'n' Grog" I used to attend in my younger days.

Probably pretty much the same thing you see here. We call them "Wash Crawlers." They frequently run that wash for about a mile and a half upstream. Surprisingly enough, they never leave beer cans or trash behind.

I stayed up on the hill above that wash for years. Long enough that my van is parked there in the shot of the area on GoogleEarth. The higher altitude shots are to give you an idea of my "property."

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#33 guy

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Posted March 23 2008 - 04:10 AM

this has to be one of the more interesting posts i've seen for a while

#34 Barbuchon

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Posted March 23 2008 - 11:59 AM

if not, the best.

#35 TwoDogs

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Posted March 23 2008 - 08:49 PM

this has to be one of the more interesting posts i've seen for a while


if not, the best.


Thanks guys. I'm just hoping to provide some info and highlight some of the neater aspects of being poor financially but rich in blessings. I don't think that I could live any other way now. I'm never bored and things are always changing. Usually for the better.

I did take a bunch of pics of the inside of the van today but don't have time to upload them and post. I had to change the van over to "Royal Carriage" mode 'cause my California Hippie Chicklet flies in tomorrow to spend the week in the boonies with me. That means moving stuff around and putting a front seat back on the passenger side of the van.

I'm only here on the weekends when I'm at the welding shop, so if I'm slow to respond, that's the reason.
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#36 AFierceInvalid

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Posted March 24 2008 - 01:36 AM

You are an inspiration to us all. I've been wanting to tramp for a while but haven't had the guts nor resources to do it.

"If you want to see God, kill desires. Desires are in the mind. When you have a desire for something, don't act on it and it will go away. If you desire to drink this cup of tea, don't, and the desire for it will fall away." - Neem Karoli Baba


#37 Olympic-Bullshitter

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Posted March 24 2008 - 05:39 AM

Under the waterfalls looks like a great spot.

#38 Barbuchon

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Posted March 24 2008 - 08:03 AM

I have made a lot of road trips, but not all year long. Would love too, but I would have to know about mechanics first, than I'll consider... Now there's the price of gaz that you gotta think about.

Right now my ride is a subaru legacy GT (wagon) wich is pretty decent for offroad and give plenty of space, not as much as a van would but is very less expensive on the gaz. without the backseats theres enought spaces for a bed and lots of gears. On the short therm it does the trick... but hey, it's not 21 years looool.

I've been more thinking about traveling on a semi-cross motorcycle (you know the one that you can road offroad and on the road)

#39 TwoDogs

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Posted March 29 2008 - 04:39 PM

Okay...here are some interior shots.

#1. Here is where the front seat once was. I built shelves that bolt to the floor utilizing the seat mounting holes. There's mostly automotive related parts and tools kept below and CDs in the boxes on the top shelf. Canned goods and such are in the cardboard box alongside the shelves. Dogfood and odds and ends in front.

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#2. Five 1 gallon water jugs sitting next to a red 6 gallon water jug (almost hidden from sight in this shot). My little DC black and white TV, two coolers that hold misc. items are sitting on a steel tubing framed table I built. The wooden table on the right sits on a three drawer toolbox and holds one blue, square, 5 gallon water jug. The top is hinged and that's my "junk drawer." The small, red, topless cooler in front of the wooden table holds more odds and ends. The cooler on the floor between the steel table and the wooden one actually holds food.

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#3. A shot from the bed. You can see that I've got a pretty narrow aisle and have to step over the center cooler each time I move from front to back and vice versa. in the left foreground is my "end/dinner/TV table" and is actually a 10 drawer Craftsman toolbox sitting on top of a tubular steel frame that I built. Angle iron securely holds the bottom corners of the toolbox and the frame extends for a foot beyond the front of the toolbox to keep it from tipping over if I hit the brakes hard. In front of the toolbox, a 5 gallon bucket holds my roll-up solar panel. I keep loaves of bread inside the solar panel to keep them safe and utilize that space when driving somewhere. Two fold up camp chairs share that space and the woven plastic dogfood bag is my trash can.

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#4. In this shot you can see 4 of my 8 stereo speakers and the rolled up army blanket that I can unroll on really cold nights so that between myself and the dogs' body heat, and the insulation behind the panelling, the van stays pretty comfortable.

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#40 TwoDogs

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Posted March 29 2008 - 04:48 PM

#5. Here's the bed. The front 1/3 of the bed top is hinged as I said earlier in this thread and the area beneath is filled to the brim with odds and ends. As you can well see...just about every inch of space is used but I'm still allowed some moving around room. Smaller than, but still WAAAAAAAAY more comfortable than a jail cell. It's small...but it's Home Sweet Home.

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The internet allows me to meet every butthead in the world that I won't get to meet in person.