Sunday, April 15, 2012

Our RV, Big O'

The first leg of our trip will be two weeks in our RV.  We named our RV, Big O’,  and it is one of a kind.  Rob and his brother spent three months converting an empty cargo configuration (empty except for a driver and passenger seat) 2008 Dodge Sprinter into a luxury custom RV.  Big O’ is equipped with a forty gallon fresh water tank, a four gallon propane tank and a solar panel on the roof that keeps the two house batteries charged.   The exterior is still plain white and looks like a standard issue cargo van (this was intentionally done for security purposes) but the inside is beautiful and brilliantly laid out.  

Big O' in San Ysidro, NM

The van was split into two separate rooms.  The main room is the bedroom, kitchen and living room. The sleeping area has a twin or queen size bed with custom overhead cupboards for bedding and clothes, there is also a closet.  My favorite little addition are the custom curtains that partition off the bed.  Perfect if you want a dark place to nap during the day.  The kitchen has custom cupboards, a two burner stove, refrigerator, sink, silverware drawer and plenty of storage for pantry goods and pots and pans.  The driver and passenger seats are custom upholstered and swivel to face the living area.  There is even a storage compartment for our port-a-potty.  

Queen Bed Configuration

The second room is accessed from the rear double doors and is the cargo area.  It takes up the last four feet at the back of the RV but is also utilizes the space under the bed.  This area was made specifically to accommodate our trials motorcycles.  The area has been completely sprayed with LineX (pick-up truck bed liner) to keep fuel and oil fumes out of the living area but also to make it waterproof for our shower.  The flash water heater and the batteries for the “house” system are stored it the cargo area.  We also stow our tools, shovel, folding chairs, barbecue, cleaning supplies, bike ramp, trials motorcycles, helmets and other riding gear back here.  For our trip to Tacoma we will leave our motorcycles and gear and fill the cargo area with winter clothing, baby necessities, bicycles and other supplies.  

Cargo Locker (empty)

We use the propane system for the flash water heater, stove, infrared heaters and the barbecue.  The flash water heater and stove have direct piping but the heaters and barbecue attach via quick-disconnect attachments (super brilliant).  There is a quick-disconnect in the main living area and one in the cargo compartment for the heaters.  The cargo heater is awesome when it’s not warm out and you are taking a shower.  The barbecue mounts to the side of the rig and it’s quick-disconnect is in the wheel well.  When we travel we cap that quick-disconnect to keep the dirt out.  

Cargo Locker (full)
The twelve volt electrical system powers the refrigerator, ventilation fans, and LED lights.  There are three rheostats (dim-able light switches) in the main room for special dim-able LED’s.  Two rheostats are mounted on the wall near the sliding side door, one for the lights overhead and one for the lights under the upper cupboards (great for food prep, mood lighting, or when you need some light but you don’t want to wake everyone in the rig).  The last rheostat is centered on the wall over the bed between two reading lights.  Each reading light has an individual power switch on it (so both lights don’t have to be on if one person wants to sleep).  There is a ventilation fan in the ceiling of each compartment.  They are both multi-speed.  The fan for the main living space is controlled by remote; it not only powers on and off but can controll various speeds and can switch directions to pull air in or suck air out.

Big O' camping in Las Vegas, NM.

Make: Dodge
Model: Sprinter 2500, 170”
Exterior Length: 22’ 10”
Exterior Height: 11’ 2” 
Exterior Width: 6’ 8” (without mirrors)
Engine Brand: Mercedes-Benz
Engine Total Power: 154 HP
Engine Model: OM 642 LA CID 182
Engine Type: Diesel V6, 3.0L
Transmission: Automatic 5-speed
Drivetrain: Rear Wheel Drive
Miles Per Gallon: 20 mpg

Big O' as part of a seven vehicle caravan touring the Cascades in WA.

Fresh Water Tank: 40 Gallons
Diesel Tank: 25 Gallons
Propane Tank: 4 Gallons
Holding Tank: 8 Gallons
Electrical Equipment
12v Electrical Circuit
Ventilation Fans (2)
LED Lighting
Propane Equipment
Two Burner Stove
Flash Water Heater
Infrared Heaters (2)
Piper modeling the bed in the twin configuration.

Barbecue (with permanent exterior mount)
Retractable Awning (with crank)
Solar Panel (permanent roof mount)
Shelf for Gage’s bed (for passenger seat)
Galley (I’m using boat lingo for practice :)
Refrigerator with mini Freeze Compartment
2 Burner Stove
Stainless Steel Sink
12” Ventilation Fan (multi-speed, remote operated)
Silverware Drawer
Paperstone Counter Tops & Flooring
Over Counter Cupboards (4)
In cupboard LED lighting
Below Cupboard LED Lighting
Below Counter Cupboards (3)
Drawers (2)
Pantry Storage
12v Outlets (3)
Storage Cubbies (3)
Breaker Panel


Swivel Chairs with armrest (2)
12v outlets (3)
Propane Quick-Disconnect
Infrared Heater
Aftermarket Window (with upholstered window cover)
Custom Insulated Window Shades
LED Lighting
Aftermarket Stereo Power Switch
Aftermarket Stereo (manual or remote operated)
Aftermarket Speakers
Carseat Mounts (D-rings and tensioning rod)

Salon with Gage's bed and window covers installed.

Custom Upholstery
Custom Curtains
Bed (convertible Twin or Queen)
4” Solar Powered Ventilation Fan
LED Reading Lights (2)
Over Bed Cupboards (6)
Head Storage Compartment
Hanging Locker (closet)
12v outlets (2)

Stateroom with Twin Bed Configuration & Gage at 6 months.

Me (April) in bed with the queen configuration.

Cargo Locker
12” Ventilation Fan (multi-speed)
House Batteries (2)
Flash Water Heater
Shower Head (low-flow)
Propane Quick-Disconnect
LED Lighting
Florescent Work Light
Soap/Shampoo Dispenser
Large Utility Shelf
Small Utility Shelf
Floor drains (3)

Cargo Locker (empty)

The current plan for the end of our adventure will be to leave the Mia Terra for the winter in a slip in Petersburg and fly to Seattle/Tacoma. We will leave Big O’ with family in Port Townsend, Washington and pick her up for our trip back to New Mexico.

Big O's first time on a beach, Summer 2010 (with Rob driving).

What we look like while driving... (Rob, Gage, and April)

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