I always wanted a really basic sink and water system. No holes in the side of the van for a fill port, removable jugs for filling at filtered water stations, no tanks outside the van to freeze. I wanted an electric water pump. Combined with the fact that I decided I’d be OK boiling water rather than installing a complicated water heater system, I was able to put together a super cheap and functional setup for my van’s kitchen.

My van has come and gone, but I adventured for 50,000 miles over two years in it — which puts me in a great spot to reflect on what I wanted and what I changed over time.... Read the rest

There are only two reasons to change your own oil in the woods: money and the satisfaction of doing something yourself. That said, my van is a year old and has over 40,000 miles on it. Dealerships are slow and charge over $100 for a full-synthetic change. The Transits ship with a synthetic blend oil and are rated for 10,000 miles between changes. I changed over to a full-synthetic on my second change and haven’t looked back. Changing the oil as I do, with full-synthetic oil and a high-mileage oil filter can be done for half the price..... Read the rest

Image result for tpms light

TPMS is really cool, when it works properly. As much as the old geezer in me wants to say that it’s just as easy to bust out a gauge and check tire pressure manually, it’s not. My van does not have the “message center” in the instrument cluster. All I have is trip, odometer, and miles to empty.

After 6 tires, 2 flats, and 28 thousand miles in 7 months, I have learned my way around the Transit’s TPMS. I air down my tires on trails enough that this reset tool has paid for its <$15 price tag several times by now.... Read the rest