Inuvik or bust by expedition Delica

4x4 trips to Mexico, to the ski hill, or to the local grocery store...

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Erebus
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Inuvik or bust by expedition Delica

Postby Erebus » Tue Jul 08, 2008 8:51 pm

Might as well start this thread. My SO and I will be leaving shortly on what is planned as a trip to Inuvik. For those who don't know where that is, follow the Mackenzie River north through the Yukon and North West Territories until it (almost) reaches the Arctic Ocean. That's where Inuvik is. 2200 kilometres from Calgary as the crow flies. But we will be taking the long way.

We will be starting by going to Vancouver to get a CVI special tuneup, and hopefully hit the Tomahawk deli meet on the 12th. Then north to Prince George and the Cassiar Highway to Watson Lake, Yukon. From there on to Whitehorse and Dawson, where we will start the Dempster Highway. From there is an easy (hahahaha) 734 km of gravel, shale, and mud to Inuvik, NWT. A similar trip to what Marsgal was planning.

A couple of photos of the preparations the Deli Erebus has gotten. Lets hope this Erebus fares better than Franklin's ship did :-D
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The factory foglights have been replaced by low-mounted Hellas. I didn't end up having time to mount a set of Hella driving lights where the old fog lights were, but we don't expect to drive much at night. Note the MitsuMaple on the rack.
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The underside has mesh (1/4") protecting the 3 rads. Didn't manage to figure out how to protect the oil cooler in the centre, will have to keep fingers crossed. When we are in Vanc, we hope to replace the centre mesh, or supplement it, with the infamous skid plate that Delicat and fishslapper are working on.

The roofrack (a custom job that I spent a ridiculous amount on) is very sturdy.
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So far, 3 surplus ammo cases are strapped down. They got a coat of silver paint to reflect the sun some, and if it wasn't for the red straps, they would blend in nicely. Yes, when I get home again, I'll U-bolt them on to avoid the straps. The three cases have extrication gear, tools, and spare parts. Two jerry can for spare fuel, and a milkcrate for w/w fluid, coolant, oil, fuel treatment, and Coleman fuel fills up the centre. Another ammo case and second spare tire will take up much of the rest of the space. Special thanks to Green1 for the use of his spare and ladder (also not yet mounted).

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On this side, mounted to the outside, is a high-lift jack, something I really really hope we won't need. Above it is a mount for a magnetic ham antenna. The problem with aluminium racks is that magnets don't stick to them!

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On the other side is mounted a spade, also hopefully to not be used. On the mounting arms of the rack above the sliding door, is a Shady Boy awning that folds out to 6'x10'.

Just discovered that there is a limit of 7 attachments, so this is continued in the next post.

Erebus
Last edited by Erebus on Tue Dec 09, 2008 4:46 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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asorensen
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Re: Inuvik or bust by expedition Delica

Postby asorensen » Tue Jul 08, 2008 9:08 pm

Sounds like a great trip.
When I was 20 I hitchhiked my way up to Whitehorse, then Alaska, then down to the Charlottes, finally took the ferry from Rupert home to the Island. I took about three months to do the trip stopping along the way to fish, camp, pick mushrooms (the legal kind for money). Some high lights which I would recommend if you haven't been that way before include Liard River hot-springs, the Rockies, Robert Service Campground in Whitehorse, The Chinese food in Whitehorse, fishing on the Charlottes, and finally Surplus Herbies in Williams Lake! I guess you will be traveling quite a bit further then I made it. I look forward to hearing how it goes.

Andy
Last edited by asorensen on Tue Jul 08, 2008 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Erebus
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Re: Inuvik or bust by expedition Delica

Postby Erebus » Tue Jul 08, 2008 9:12 pm

Thanks for the tips Andy. Certainly keep them in mind. We went to Haida Gwaii a couple of years ago, loved it. We pondered taking the ferry from Vanc to Prince Rupert on this trip, but budget suggested we drive. Maybe next time!!

To continue ...
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A shot of the rear. The trailer hitch runs full width for added protection, and the conspicuity tape make is more apparent. Since I spent so much for the rack, I added LED lights, amber and red up there. Now there is no excuse for someone to not see me. And with LED brake lights, they come on quicker, for further safety. Also, if driving on a dusty road there is a better chance that the high lights are still visible above the dust.

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Thanks to TardisDeli's original platform idea, with some modifications, a platform that also fold compact, replaces the 3rd row seats, provides the basis for the bed, and provides (hopefully) ample storage underneath.

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This is the view of the tailgate. While lying in bed, it is impossible to close it. So I added a strap -- not quite what I wanted -- so you can reach out and grab it to pull it down. Also visible is the round hole that gives access to the lock button. Beside it is a 3 way switch that controls the lights. Either gate controlled, just on, or simply off. So you can sleep with the hatch open with the lights off.

And that's where we're at. Probably, lots of forum members will see us in the Vancouver area for the few days we are there. Pretty distinctive, so you'll know it's us.

I will attempt to post during the trip, wherever we pause and have internet connection.

Bon voyage to ourselves!

Erebus
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Re: Inuvik or bust by expedition Delica

Postby konadog » Tue Jul 08, 2008 9:49 pm

Well, it looks like old Amundsen himself was guiding your preparations! (Come to think of it Gjoa or Fram would be good delica names... maybe the next one!). Enjoy that great north country adventure! May you see the ghost of Mackenzie on his epic and if such ill luck as took out Franklin, Erebus and Terror, may you have the fortitude and sharp thinking that got Shackelton and his lot home!! And don't forget that Stan Roger's cd! :M :-D
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Re: Inuvik or bust by expedition Delica

Postby FalcoColumbarius » Tue Jul 08, 2008 9:54 pm

Are those twenty litre jerry cans on the roof? I would be inclined to take more than that for this trip. Erebus, I look forward to meeting you at the Tomahawk on Saturday, 09:00hrs. Do you know how to get there? South of Marine Drive on Phillips, in North Vancouver. PM me if you need anything... smiles.

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Re: Inuvik or bust by expedition Delica

Postby asorensen » Tue Jul 08, 2008 9:56 pm

Hey sorry if I jumped the gun on your post. It looks like your van is very set up! I really like what you have done with the remote light switch on your rear hatch. I also wondered how I could close the door from the inside. I ended up getting Glen from CC autos to send me a roof handle it wasn't easy to mount solidly but I worked it out!


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If you look closely to the top left of the picture you will also notice a little rectangle that I have cut out of my tint to facilitate seeing the rear mirror.


Again Good luck on the trip and Bon Voyage from me!

Andy

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Re: Inuvik or bust by expedition Delica

Postby TardisDeli » Tue Jul 08, 2008 11:15 pm

Erebus & SO, Please come stay with us while in Vancouver. Cozy Guest room, parking in yard for the Deli, tools to finish off your pre-trip projects, and such very nice people. We will be at the Tomohawk, and the CVI Meet also. Sending pm with cell numbers. Christine & Jay of the TardisDeli.

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Re: Inuvik or bust by expedition Delica

Postby Erebus » Wed Jul 09, 2008 6:46 am

asorensen wrote:I also wondered how I could close the door from the inside. I ended up getting Glen from CC autos to send me a roof handle it wasn't easy to mount solidly but I worked it out!

I've also added a nice (Lee Valley Tools) handle in the bottom corner. Was going to add a second one where the strap is, but it wouldn't fit. So now I'll add it in the other corner. It is handy for closing the hatch when standing outside, the strap is handy when lying in bed. At least the Delica already has in interior release for the hatch, previous vehicles I've had to rig one up.
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Re: Inuvik or bust by expedition Delica

Postby zissou » Wed Jul 09, 2008 11:52 am

Sounds like a wonderful trip. My GF at the time and I did that trip in 1998 in my old Mazda 2wd pickup. We went up for solstice to see what it was like to never get dark. We had a great adventure!

It seems you are really well prepared. If I could add anything I would suggest making sure your tires are in good shape and bring two full size spares as well as a plug kit. I destroyed two tires on the Dempster and had to buy a used spare in Inuvik.

They say you can't travel the dempster without damage to your windshield. Mine got chipped. It's a good idea to have covers for your all your lights. And be prepared for dust! It will get all over everything in the truck. Bring a spare air filter.

I didn't find fuel to be a problem. Fill up when opportunity presents and you will be fine. Everywhere took interact.

Watch out for the bugs. Bring deet, and those silly looking bug jackets suddenly don't look so silly up there.

Good things to keep in mind.... Chilcotin Pale Ale.... stop for a pint at Eagle Plains, NWT. Most importantly - Braeburn Lodge cinnamon buns! These things are huge and claimed to be the world's best - I believe it. They are located between Whitehorse and Dawson City.

Have a great time!

Steve

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Re: Inuvik or bust by expedition Delica

Postby Erebus » Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:32 pm

FalcoColumbarius wrote:Are those twenty litre jerry cans on the roof? I would be inclined to take more than that for this trip. Erebus, I look forward to meeting you at the Tomahawk on Saturday, 09:00hrs. Do you know how to get there? South of Marine Drive on Phillips, in North Vancouver. PM me if you need anything... smiles.
Falco.

As we're staying at the TardisDeli motel, I'm guessing I'll be following them to the Tomahawk. But thanks for the address and offer anyway.

As for jerry cans, yes they are 20 L. They are empty right now. I figured on filling them up when we hit the Cassiar. I'm not sure how full they'll get, 20 kg up and down the ladder is a lot for a wimp like me. The Dempster is 750 km, so with a full tank plus jerry cans shouldn't be an issue, even if Eagle Plains (1/2 way) doesn't have diesel. I'll also have to see how much room is left once the spare is up there, but I'll keep the idea simmering in the back of my head. I will be following the advice in our guidebook (Milepost covers all major BC, Yukon, NWT and Alaska highways) -- fill up every chance you get.
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Re: Inuvik or bust by expedition Delica

Postby BCDelica » Wed Jul 09, 2008 2:00 pm

Life favors the prepared; and it's my superstition that if your not ready for it, it'll happen. The lights on the rack are a rocking idea, you look ready for a great adventure!

In 1990 when I drove the Dempster with my 84 Toyota van I needed to use both my spare and a can of tire seal. Wimpy passenger car tires on her. A bicycle bike pump was a fun way to air up a tire, if you had the time. Best memories from that trip were the people; once you broke the ice (no pun intended, was north for most of June) you found the most hospitable people anywhere in Canada. Got lucky with my window.

Looking forward to pictures!

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Re: Inuvik or bust by expedition Delica

Postby konadog » Wed Jul 09, 2008 7:28 pm

Hey Erebus, are you going to be passing through Iskut (Dease Lake) on your travels? If you do stop in and have a look-see at Fritz Handel's operation. I posted a plug for his little wood stoves a few month ago and am using your thread as an opportunity to shamelessly bring it up again :? Fritz told me his little stoves are VERY popular in Japan... mini-wood-burning-stove-2163.html :M :-D
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Re: Inuvik or bust by expedition Delica

Postby Erebus » Wed Jul 09, 2008 11:20 pm

konadog wrote:Hey Erebus, are you going to be passing through Iskut (Dease Lake) on your travels? If you do stop in and have a look-see at Fritz Handel's operation. I posted a plug for his little wood stoves a few month ago and am using your thread as an opportunity to shamelessly bring it up again :? Fritz told me his little stoves are VERY popular in Japan... mini-wood-burning-stove-2163.html :M :-D

Yes, the plan includes passing through Dease Lake. I remember your post about the stove, was very tempted then. If I'm passing right through, ya, I'll do my best to pick one up.
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Re: Inuvik or bust by expedition Delica

Postby coaxial » Thu Jul 10, 2008 12:53 am

this sounds like an amazing trip! take many photos and be sure to keep us all updated, I look forward to hearing about it.

I was on the fence but now I'll totally have to come by the tomahawk saturday to check our your expedition rig :)

did you leave room for hitchhikers in the back? how many?

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Erebus
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Re: Inuvik or bust by expedition Delica

Postby Erebus » Thu Jul 10, 2008 12:42 pm

Weeeeerrrreee off. We are leaving shortly. We'll overnight somewhere in the Revelstoke area, then have a leisurely drive to Vanc Friday. Figure late afternoon arrival.

On the road again ....
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