Back from a 6 weeks kitesurf & surf trip in South Portugal

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

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STL
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Back from a 6 weeks kitesurf & surf trip in South Portugal

Post by STL »

We are back from a 6 weeks trip in South Portugal in our self made camperized LWB 4wd L300 and the L300 proved to be very good!

Here are some pics of the inside. First pic is the rear of the van. Because we have a long wheel version, we have nearly 1m80 behind the rear passenger seat. This means that I could build a permanent bed. It is in a L shape so that we can use it during the day as a couch if it is too windy or too cold outside. Under the short side (left), there is a chimical WC under the mastress. and on the long side there are three separated spaces for clothes, food and in the back all the kitchen tools (right bottom corner in the pic). For sleeping at night, there two additional wooden planks that transform the L in a full bed using the second smaller mastress that one can see on the right side (we have also an additional plank with removable legs that is used as an outside table and as a bed for my 2 years old son -- it fits over the rear passenger bench):

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Beside the rear passenger bench, I have installed a 12V/220V/Gaz fridge (there is an inverter under the passenger seat) with a small sink for those places where you don't want to spoil anything (although we always use ecological soap). There are 2 jerricans under the sink so that we can put used water inside with a pipe from the sink + some additional space for stuff:

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Not in the pics, we made a collection of black curtains with magnets on top and fishing weights at the bottom that we can put everywhere, in particular in the back of the car when we sleep with the rear door open. I also use a metal cable with climbing rings at the ends so that although the rear door is say 20cm open, no one can open the boot quickly from the outside (Portugal is very safe but there are other places that may not be). We also made relfecting shades for all the windows to avoid to much heat inside (and by the way avoid that everybody can see inside when we park the van). This was a very good choice as it works very well to keep the van not too hot inside.

The 4x4 abilities of the L300 proved to be very helpful to find very nice camping places. Here is a sample of pics:

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We had a mix of all sort of roads with plenty of highway to drive from South of France to South Portugal (sometimes with 45° Celsius outside in South of Spain -- 41°C in Cordoba at 8pm for instance). We got stuck only once in a steep hill with deep sand (i was a bit lazy on lowering the tires pressure). All in all, the L300 was perfect for the trip but i'm wondering about some changes:

1. I was not considering making a lift but now after getting caught in the sand with the van sitting on the sand, I'm thinking about it (also because I think the shocks need to be replaced at some point). I don't want to change the size of my tires which are very good (215/80 R15 Hankook All terrain). My question however is: would I weaken the reliability of the van if I do this (2" lift)?

2. I want to add a second battery. In our Austrian van, it is placed outside underneath the van in a waterproof box. I plan to do the same. I'll try to take some pics when we are back in Austria.

3. I think the fuel autonomy is too low (we are thinking about Marocco for our next trip) and I think we will need an additional fuel tank.

4. Water is also a problem because for now, we had two big jerricans in the van and they take too much space. I was thinking about adding a water tank (40L) also underneath. Any idea about how to fits the two tanks welcome!

5. I bought a nice roof rack in England but the guy proved to be not very reliable and the legs are really crap so that i could not take it with us. This was a problem because with therefore lose a lot of space inside. I have now to find someone that can build some legs from scratch (like the original AIBA ones). We however had roof bars (see pics) but with the high roof it is a pain in the ass to access the surfboards and the roof box (also because without the roof rack I could not use the ladder and stay on the roof rack to access the surfboards and roof box more easily). To get the surfboards down, I had to stand with one foot on each roof bar which is not very confortable. I think I should build a complete aluminium box for the surfing and kitesurfing gear so that we don't have to straps everything all the time (I will need to learn how to work with aluminium though!)

STL
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Re: Back from a 6 weeks kitesurf & surf trip in South Portugal

Post by fexlboi »

Great set-up STL. I'm jealous about your long wheel base. Every inch counts.

If you go for a lift you also want more ground clearance below the axles. So you should go with slightly bigger tires. As long as you stay below 2" you shouldn't have any problems with reliability.

I'm really curious about your second battery set-up outside the van. Please post pictures once you have them.

What kind of mileage do you get with one fill-up?
Last edited by fexlboi on Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Back from a 6 weeks kitesurf & surf trip in South Portugal

Post by Dingus »

Love the camper setup of your Deli. The places you managed to camp look amazing. Thanks for sharing!
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Re: Back from a 6 weeks kitesurf & surf trip in South Portugal

Post by STL »

We made a last stop in South of France for the last days of summer (28-30° C, not too bad!). Here is the place:

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... and here is the bed set up for our boy:

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which is then used as a table with our chairs (which fit on the step in each side door):

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@fexlboi: I'm going to take some photos of our second battery set-up and post them. I also have to see if the same set-up can fit in our LWB van (which is really nice for camper van conversion -- especially with kids). As for the mileage, I think it is around 10-12l/100 km (i may have around 400-450 kms with one tank also I never really tried to empty the tank)

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Re: Back from a 6 weeks kitesurf & surf trip in South Portugal

Post by Jensen »

This is so rad, we went camping with our kids in August but we used tents which was a bit cold (staying at Glacier National Park, it has that name for a reason...) Anyway, I want to get in some fall/winter camping trips with the kids but I might make a removable bed setup just so we can sleep in the van. I saw how one board member made a plank that went over the drivers/passengers seats for the kids to sleep on. I have 2 boys (1 and 3) and a short wheelbase so I'm going to have to be a bit creative, but I think it'll work fine.
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Re: Back from a 6 weeks kitesurf & surf trip in South Portugal

Post by STL »

Jensen, you may find this solution inspiring (here is a link http://www.leader-loisirs.com/couchette ... p-576.html but there are others):

Image
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Re: Back from a 6 weeks kitesurf & surf trip in South Portugal

Post by STL »

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Re: Back from a 6 weeks kitesurf & surf trip in South Portugal

Post by FalcoColumbarius »

STL wrote:Jensen, you may find this solution inspiring (here is a link http://www.leader-loisirs.com/couchette ... p-576.html but there are others):

Image
Oh wow. You have a complete bulkhead between the cockpit and the cabin? Or is that a different vehicle?

Falco.
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Re: Back from a 6 weeks kitesurf & surf trip in South Portugal

Post by dfnder »

Water Tank?

I want to add another fuel tank to my 2 tank L300 for either WVO or diesel. The spot I have designated (oposite side of the rear tank on the other side of the drive axel) currently is occupied by the exhaust which I will change that to a side exhaust out the drivers side behind the door. A person on this board has already started the same project, I see no reason why your water tank could not be in the same area.

cheers and thanks for sharing!
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Re: Back from a 6 weeks kitesurf & surf trip in South Portugal

Post by Jensen »

Wow, I've got to go to Home Depot and Princess Auto, I suddenly have the urge to bodge! Some of those are brilliant (I especially like the bunk bed as my 1 year old bites, and my 3 year old hits. Putting them to bed on one mattress would look like if you duct taped a badger and a wolverine together.)
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Re: Back from a 6 weeks kitesurf & surf trip in South Portugal

Post by STL »

FalcoColumbarius wrote:
Oh wow. You have a complete bulkhead between the cockpit and the cabin? Or is that a different vehicle?

Falco.
That's not my car :-) ... it is from the ad on the website (our son sleeps on a self-made bed that lies over the rear seat -- see pictures above). We had a complete bulkhead between the cockpit and the cabin (behind the rear seat - double cabin set-up) but i have cut the upper part of it to check out for our son at night.

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Re: Back from a 6 weeks kitesurf & surf trip in South Portugal

Post by FalcoColumbarius »

Good call.
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Re: Back from a 6 weeks kitesurf & surf trip in South Portugal

Post by STL »

dfnder wrote:Water Tank?

I want to add another fuel tank to my 2 tank L300 for either WVO or diesel. The spot I have designated (oposite side of the rear tank on the other side of the drive axel) currently is occupied by the exhaust which I will change that to a side exhaust out the drivers side behind the door. A person on this board has already started the same project, I see no reason why your water tank could not be in the same area.

cheers and thanks for sharing!
I'm going to study this in details because I would like to add two tanks (if I can find someone who can help and that it is not too expensive): one for fuel and one for water. Then I will take two additional tanks for water and fuel for long trips.

STL
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Re: Back from a 6 weeks kitesurf & surf trip in South Portugal

Post by fexlboi »

STL wrote:
dfnder wrote:Water Tank?
I want to add another fuel tank to my 2 tank L300 for either WVO or diesel. The spot I have designated (oposite side of the rear tank on the other side of the drive axel) currently is occupied by the exhaust which I will change that to a side exhaust out the drivers side behind the door. A person on this board has already started the same project, I see no reason why your water tank could not be in the same area.
cheers and thanks for sharing!
I'm going to study this in details because I would like to add two tanks (if I can find someone who can help and that it is not too expensive): one for fuel and one for water. Then I will take two additional tanks for water and fuel for long trips.
STL
Are you planing to do any camping trips when it's cold? If so, be careful with a water tank outside the vehicle. Looked at this option too, but due our many winter camping trips I went away and get a tank inside.
You could also insulate it very well and install a little heater which kicks in at a certain low temperature...
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Re: Back from a 6 weeks kitesurf & surf trip in South Portugal

Post by STL »

fexlboi wrote: Are you planing to do any camping trips when it's cold? If so, be careful with a water tank outside the vehicle. Looked at this option too, but due our many winter camping trips I went away and get a tank inside.
I didn't think about this, good call. Not sure that we're going to use the van as a camper van in winter so much but at least i have to be sure that it is not a problem if we have water in the tank and pipes when it is freezing.

Thanks!

STL

PS: still thinking about posting photos of the outside battery but i have not the van with me right now (still on the road)
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