Rvgolfer's Blog

Looking at life through an oversized steering wheel

Growlin’ at Golf

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I went and done it: bought a tow vehicle. Since I own a 31′ Prowler already, I wanted something that would handle it easily. Not a pickup, although I looked at a lot of them. Instead, I chose a big 2000 Ford E350 7.3 liter diesel. Yep, a cargo van.
It had all the racks pulled, so there is a hole or two in the floor. It is the extended version, about 18" longer than regular. I've only run one tank of fuel through it so far, but it seems to get about 15mpg in town. I had to learn that diesel pumps usually have two size nozzles; mine takes the smaller, while the bigger are reserved for semis that pump to fill 150 gallon tanks.
Of course, it roars. I’ve nicknamed it Growler for now.
Am I going to make a conversion van out of it? I haven’t decided. My first investment for the interior, though, was a futon mattress from Ikea that folds down.
I paid a fairly inexpensive price on the Ford, but spent $425 for two alternators four days after I paid for it. Yep, two. The one on the bottom of the engine was cracked like an eggshell. It also has two batteries to deal with. It was an “as is” purchase, but the dealer soaked up part of the cost on the installation. If I’d gone to a Ford dealer, it would have run $570 for one.
There are no side windows except for the driver and passenger. I’m considering having some sliding screened types put in to allow a little extra light, not to mention ventilation.
It also has a problem with the dome light coming on when the driver’s side is open. I’ve bought a Sears multimeter, and will try to track the problem down.
Now, I’m waiting for the chance to take it on a long trip–with my golf clubs. I’ve been planning how to build a rack that will hold four sets at one time. That would also mean I’ll have to install a bench seat so I can carry passengers.
Why buy a van?

  • If I want to leave a trailer parked and go on a short golf jaunt, I can sleep in the van.
  • I could get a battery jumpstarter that has an inverter, and use that on occasion for a microwave.
  • I don’t like fifth wheels, so didn’t need that capability.
  • I wanted a diesel, to pull a trailer.
  • Storing things is a lot more secure in a van.
  • Keep posted. My time in the full-time work force is drawing to a close. Maybe this time next month I’ll be on the road, looking for a few nice courses.

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    Written by rvgolfer

    October 4, 2009 at 8:45 pm

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