BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER.... A's, G's & E's


Thijs and Robin's USA adventure trip

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Tice84

Number of posts : 120
Location : Utrecht, The Netherlands
Registration date : 2015-10-10

Re: Thijs and Robin's USA adventure trip

Post by Tice84 on Thu Nov 12, 2015 1:13 pm

That's a good question. I've been thinking a lot about that, what would be the best option.

What I came to is that I want an early Ford, 61 to 67 is at this point al fine (I don't really know what differences/mods there are made in these years. Does somebody know where I can find it? Always a good/fun thing to know!)

I know how to drive a manual and automatic transmission, so both are good, but of what I have seen for sale most of it is manual. So that will do. I think it's fun to have a manual shifter.

As we are gonna use the van as a campervan, and when it has come to The Netherlands also as a hauler for my motorcycles and materials to build furniture and interiors from. I want to be able to take stuff up to about 3 meters, that's roughly 118 inches. I found a picture with Econoline dimensions, which tells me I need a Supervan if I want to be able to take these lenghts. So prefably it would be a Supervan.

Now the hardest part for me to decide is if I want a panel van or window van. But in the end I think a panel van would be nice. A window van is cool as camper, you can see all around, enjoy the view and all. But it also takes a lot of usable space. It also wouldn't be so practical back home when I want to take plywood sheets and that kind of stuff. So I think a panel van with windows in the rear and sidedoors will be my choice.

The van I am looking for doesn't have to be fully done, I like to work on cars and motorcycles, and to be able to make it my own thing. But it has to be in good shape technically, as we want to drive it all around for 3 months. I can do minor fix ups myself, but it's not my intention to become a 3 month long rolling garage, haha... I'm now thinking of a price around 3000 to 4000 dollars. Do you guys think that would be possible, to get a decent van for that price?

Ofcourse, this is all very dependable on what is for sale by the time we go to the States. Hopefully we will find a Econoline Supervan, but if not, an other Econoline of early Chevy or Dodge is also cool.

If someone on this forum is thinking of selling the van I just described, wait for me to sell it to me in May! Haha

Ow, and are the dimensions in this picture correct? I can draw in Vectorworks (some sort of Autocad), and I toke some measurements after I scaled the picture. Doesn't seem to be totaly accurate. Does somebody have drawings of the van that are correct? And maybe a top view of the van? Would be very welcome, as I want to draw up some plans on the interior Very Happy

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donivan65
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Re: Thijs and Robin's USA adventure trip

Post by donivan65 on Thu Nov 12, 2015 2:02 pm

Ok,,,,,so these vans come in 3 sizes,,,,,,90 and 108 inch wheelbases and whatever a Supervan is,,,,,my Chevy back door opening is 50" wide,,,,49" high,,,,,,,88" to the doghouse,,,,,,So people,,,,,,what are the measurements of the 108's, Fords and Dodges????









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Tice84

Number of posts : 120
Location : Utrecht, The Netherlands
Registration date : 2015-10-10

Re: Thijs and Robin's USA adventure trip

Post by Tice84 on Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:22 pm

Thanks for the info Don, and nice looking van!

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Tice84

Number of posts : 120
Location : Utrecht, The Netherlands
Registration date : 2015-10-10

Re: Thijs and Robin's USA adventure trip

Post by Tice84 on Mon Dec 14, 2015 1:04 pm

So we start to figure out where to go and what to see. My chef went to the states loads of times and is very enthousiastic about our travelplans. He invited Robin and me over to his house to tell about his experiences and travels, and also got us some travelguides and maps. This comes in quite handy.





He got us a sort of cartoonmap, which is nice because it shows the landscape, big cities and points of interessed. We spend an evening just crossing on thing we would like to see on a copy of the map. So much fun, and nice to see there would be a sort off natural route to travel along. So we also put a line in roughly set out the way.



A few days ago I thought it would be nice to put this all in google maps to see the actual route, and to see how many kilometers it would be (I'm not that good at miles yet Wink )
Google maps doesn't take more than 8 destinations in one route, so I had to make a few.

Part 1: Southern California and Southern Arizona
Part 2: California Coast, Las Vegas and Grand Canyon
Part 3: Northern Arizona and Rocky Mountains
Part 4: Back to the coast, Oregon and Washington state
Part 5: Seattle, Vancouver, Canada, Glacier and back to Seattle.

I put Maps on avoiding highways, seems to me these might be more interesting roads, more fun. But also more miles. But we have 3 months, so why bother haha.

Let me know if the road brings us past your house, we'll come and say hi and bring you Dutch sweets and cookies Wink Or cheese, ofcourse, haha! And ofcourse we want to see your van!
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Seth G
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Re: Thijs and Robin's USA adventure trip

Post by Seth G on Mon Dec 14, 2015 1:05 pm

They also made Supervans with windows only on one side, passenger side iirc. Not sure what they're called but a guy here in town has one.
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Seth G
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Re: Thijs and Robin's USA adventure trip

Post by Seth G on Mon Dec 14, 2015 1:06 pm

With the kind of trip you've got planned you're going to have to have a pretty descent one right off the bat. Very mechanically sound and already gone through.
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Tice84

Number of posts : 120
Location : Utrecht, The Netherlands
Registration date : 2015-10-10

Re: Thijs and Robin's USA adventure trip

Post by Tice84 on Mon Dec 14, 2015 1:12 pm

That's right Seth, the more our plans come along, the more I'm seeing the need for that. At least it needs to be running well, and we have to really take care of the car during the trip...
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donivan65
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Re: Thijs and Robin's USA adventure trip

Post by donivan65 on Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:47 pm

,,,,,,,so Thijs,,,,,,,just where exactly is this place called Californie?


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Seth G
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Re: Thijs and Robin's USA adventure trip

Post by Seth G on Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:06 pm

A good gear ratio and brakes to. Definitely not a 4:1 rear van, even 3.5:1 get's a little tenuous on the highway with a 3 speed.
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donivan65
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Re: Thijs and Robin's USA adventure trip

Post by donivan65 on Mon Dec 14, 2015 7:12 pm

So like around May 11th you will fly into Los Angeles? then what,,,,you rent a car to travel around or fly to different places? and look for a van,,,,,,,,and stay at a motel every night?,,,,there are people here that could store your van and see that it gets shipped in case you need it,,,,,,and if you dont have or anyone needs the EDIT Button to go back and change something, you can PM me and I could probably change it......



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Tice84

Number of posts : 120
Location : Utrecht, The Netherlands
Registration date : 2015-10-10

Re: Thijs and Robin's USA adventure trip

Post by Tice84 on Tue Dec 15, 2015 9:23 am

Thanks for the suggestion Seth, I've been looking in to it. Econolineid.com is a great help for me with this kind of tech info, by the way.

Now I know you are absolutly right about it, but it might be hard to find a nice van in decent shape, with the right axle ratio. Or are the 3.50 and 3.00 easy to find? Wouldn't it be easier to search for a 240 engine that has enough power, hoping (and checking) it doesn't have 4.57 ratio?

You guys probably know what combinations are most likely to find, do you? And another question, what is your guys "cruising-speed" on the highways? I used to drive my 1972 Volvo at 60/65 mph on highways. Is this doable at US highways, and with the vans, ofcourse?
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Tice84

Number of posts : 120
Location : Utrecht, The Netherlands
Registration date : 2015-10-10

Re: Thijs and Robin's USA adventure trip

Post by Tice84 on Tue Dec 15, 2015 9:35 am

That's right Don, we arrive on May 10th around 5pm, probably jetlagged Very Happy

I want to contact people who are selling a van I might want to buy about a month or so before we travel. Hopefully I can find a few options... Depending on where the van is we will fly and rent a car, or only rent a car. And stay a few nights at motels. Exactly as you say, really, haha.

I want to arrange all the shipping beforehand, I've found a company that is both in Seattle and in The Netherlands the might be helpfull. Gonna contact them after Christmas, figured they might be terribly busy at this time of the year.
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Abitibi
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Re: Thijs and Robin's USA adventure trip

Post by Abitibi on Tue Dec 15, 2015 9:55 am

Did you check with the two members from your area that just imported vans to see which company they used and how it worked out for them?
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Tice84

Number of posts : 120
Location : Utrecht, The Netherlands
Registration date : 2015-10-10

Re: Thijs and Robin's USA adventure trip

Post by Tice84 on Wed Dec 16, 2015 1:50 pm

Thanks for the reminder, contacted them yesterday and got a lot of info of them already!
Dennis, as a fellow Dutchman, can tell me quite something on what lies ahead when importing the van to the Netherlands. Funny to hear they where both in the race for your van!
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Tice84

Number of posts : 120
Location : Utrecht, The Netherlands
Registration date : 2015-10-10

Re: Thijs and Robin's USA adventure trip

Post by Tice84 on Sun Dec 27, 2015 12:17 pm

Hey guys, how was Christmas for you all? Here in the Netherlands it was the warmest since they started to meassure it. Not a very white christmas, but still had a good time with family and friends. And when Frank Sinatra sings christmas songs, it's just christmas Wink

I've taken up holidays these weeks, have had no real time of since June, so this is quite welcome. Started to do some work in the house that had to be done for some time, and started to get some more in the preperation for our trip.

Now I've come to a quite difficult part: getting an insurance for the van. As we are no US residents, this is different from how it normally works. When I google about it, no real good info comes up. There are companies that offer an non resident insurance, but not for vehicles older then 20 years. On some travel forums I found that Progressive might sell it, but there is nothing on their website. Also found that the AAA says Travel Guard might be able to sell it. So I'm going to get in contact with these companies first, see what they can do.

I've also been looking for Roadside Assistence. I've found multiple that seem ok, but I think I also have to check if they taken non resident. Another option is the company I have Roadside Assistence at in The Netherlands, Allianze, who are worldwide. Maybe they have an option to get me Roadside Assistence in the US.

Do you guys have any recommendations on car insurances? Any good companies that are specialised in classic cars? And how about Roadside Assistence? What are your experiences?
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uante

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Re: Thijs and Robin's USA adventure trip

Post by uante on Mon Dec 28, 2015 5:39 pm

I use Hagerty collector car insurance, not sure if they can help in your case but it's worth a call to find out.
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Tice84

Number of posts : 120
Location : Utrecht, The Netherlands
Registration date : 2015-10-10

Re: Thijs and Robin's USA adventure trip

Post by Tice84 on Tue Feb 16, 2016 1:05 pm

I think it is time for an update, since I've made some progress in the preparation for our trip.

First thing is the auto insurance. I found out it is not possible for me, without a zipcode in the USA, to get an insurance directly from the insurance company. I've tried many by email, and most of them replied it was not possible for them. I guess emailing is not the way to get something done. But putting bits and pieces of answers together, I found out it is better to get an independent agent, who can help me better and knows the way.

So for now, my plan is to search for a car first, and look for an insurance agent in the area where the car is. Althought there is one company, AIG Travel Guard, who might be able to do something. The AAA told me to get to them. I just send them a mail to see what they can do for me.

Another thing is that I found a Supervan I was interested in to buy. It was located in Arizona, very dry so no rust. But it was in need of a repairs that all together was quite much. RodStRace here on VV was a great help to me, he was able to look at the van for me. Also thanks to Uant and Donivan for advise! In the end, the van was sold before I made my decision. So the search continues!

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donivan65
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Re: Thijs and Robin's USA adventure trip

Post by donivan65 on Tue Feb 16, 2016 4:16 pm

Well you got a plan,,,,,,,,keep looking in our For Sale sections and if you see something you like, let us know and we will see if we can get someone to check it out for you,,,,,,,,
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Tice84

Number of posts : 120
Location : Utrecht, The Netherlands
Registration date : 2015-10-10

Re: Thijs and Robin's USA adventure trip

Post by Tice84 on Tue Feb 16, 2016 10:47 pm

For sure will, Don!
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edfields

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Re: Thijs and Robin's USA adventure trip

Post by edfields on Thu Mar 31, 2016 11:38 am

Thijs, I like the sound of your plan. Truly the American dream, right? Wink

As an Southern Arizona native, a couple thoughts for the first leg of your trip through the Southwest:

- If you're arriving in May/summer, temperatures will be in excess of 40C in the desert. Engine temp and cabin temp would be a big concern, and realistically a safety hazard, especially if you are unfamiliar with desert conditions... Heat exhaustion, dehydration, potential for break-down in remote areas. Worth some research and consideration for that time of the year.

- Driving through Mexico. You might get a lot of mixed opinion on this. Safety in the border area has improved in the last couple years, but be aware that you are crossing through remote areas that are common to drug and human trafficking. Chances are you would probably be fine, but your vehicle will stand out, and you will need to purchase separate insurance for your vehicle before you cross the border. But maybe I'm just paranoid from when I got arrested there 15 years ago Wink

- On a positive note, I'm glad you're driving through this area because it's absolutely beautiful, and particularly interesting if you haven't spent time in a desert. My wife is a Swede and all our European friends find the desert facisnating. Didn't realize how true that is until being gone for 10 years.


I'll be interested in your progress - good luck!!

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econopoor
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Re: Thijs and Robin's USA adventure trip

Post by econopoor on Fri Apr 01, 2016 6:29 am

Hi Tice, I use Grundy insurance but they are geared more towards the car collector. To do something like you are wanting you probably will only be able to get liability insurance. That will cover you legal responsibility here but it won't protect your investment. You may want to talk to your provider you have now and see if they can offer some coverage for it.

Duane
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samsvan

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Re: Thijs and Robin's USA adventure trip

Post by samsvan on Sat Apr 02, 2016 5:42 am

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Tice84

Number of posts : 120
Location : Utrecht, The Netherlands
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Re: Thijs and Robin's USA adventure trip

Post by Tice84 on Mon Apr 04, 2016 3:53 am

Thanks for messages guys. That's quite an uplifting story Sam, haha.

Ed, thanks for your advise. It is really the American dream for us Europeans!
We have been talking a lot about the possible risks the desert (and the rest of our trip) brings with it, my girlfriend Robin is very good at thinking up al possible dangers Laughing So all you name have come to our mind. We have also spoken to several friends who have been there, to hear about their experiences.

Yesterday we have put our trip plans to maps with average high temperatures (https://weather.com/maps/averages/normal-temperature) to have some sort of idea what kind of temperaturezones there are. Ofcourse these are averages, local situations can ofcourse be very different, but it is something... Also, we have found a van (YES!!), but we will come more from the east then we first expected. So we changed our plans, trying to avoid the most of the heat.

So coming in from the east about half of May, we will first visit Phoenix and surrounding, then go up to Death Valley and Las Vegas. Depending on our experience with the van around Phoenix, we might want to rent a car with airconditioning for a day or so to visit Death Valley, but we'll see about that. Keeping it an option. We try to have that part done before June and the higher temps that brings.

Then, after Las Vegas, we will go to the Grand Canyon and pick up our original planned route, going east from there, up to the Rockys, going west again from Salt Lake City to San Francisco. We plan to drive south over the highway to San Diego and then follow the coast heading north, all the way up to Oregon. And then, pick up the original plans again.

So, no Mexico for us. To hot for us, both temperature and temper, haha. I hear it is beautiful though, but probalby better to go some other time of the year and just fly in somewhere south...
I'm looking forward to see the south of Arizona, never seen desert like that, of what I hear it looks like. It is indeed fascinating.

And about the auto insurance; I have been checking my provider, but they are not able to give an auto insurance in the US. Of all the information I have gathered so far, I have found out best thing is to do is get to a local agent in the US, and ask them to help out. I think the insurance thing is the most complex part of all this. Most of the things we need to arrange are quite easy to get information on, but untill now, the auto insurance is the thing I can't really find good info on. So I hope a local agent can help me with that.
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vanny
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Re: Thijs and Robin's USA adventure trip

Post by vanny on Mon Apr 04, 2016 1:26 pm

So Tice, did you end up buying Tim's second Gen Ford or something else?

I hope you have a Fun Adventure in the U.S.A. ! Also, we'd love to see some pics of your adventure once it becomes a reality. I'm glad to hear that you've got a van hope you get the insurance figured out.

I've got a long time friend who is in the insurance business and I'll ask her if she has any suggestions for your situation.

Vanny


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edfields

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Re: Thijs and Robin's USA adventure trip

Post by edfields on Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:27 pm

Link or pics of the van you found? I happen to like vans!

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