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Old 12-21-2013, 05:02 PM   #43
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Some pictures of the truck with the new aluminum truck camper on top.

We're getting close to our departure date hopefully.

We'll keep a blog of our trip at www.vango.be


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Old 12-22-2013, 07:43 AM   #44
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Looks real nice, you're hooking the AS also, right? That needs a pic too.

What about the fuel question, the ULSD? Is ULSD available on your route? I threw the question into Google for Mexico, interesting comments came up but what has your research found out?
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Old 12-22-2013, 09:07 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GCinSC2 View Post
Looks real nice, you're hooking the AS also, right? That needs a pic too.

What about the fuel question, the ULSD? Is ULSD available on your route? I threw the question into Google for Mexico, interesting comments came up but what has your research found out?
That would be nice, a truck camper with an AS behind it
The AS is for sale sadly enough since we didn't want to damage it by taking this trip (in consignment at RV Land in Kyle, Texas).

ULSD? It doesn't look like it's widely available in central America at all.
Ultra-low-sulfur diesel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This 2008 Dodge we bought is our first diesel, so I don't know if using 'none-ULSD' could create a problem? Based on what I found so far, using none-ULSD might actually increase our fuel economy
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:07 AM   #46
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ULSD and driving in Mexico - Car Talk

Cut from one of the answers in the Cartalk thread from Oct 2011

"Most of Mexico Should have changed over to ULSD some time ago... That is not to say that all fueling locations have switched.

To answer your question you should know why we use the ULSD. The ULSD was formulated to reduce particulate emissions from the exhaust as required by the EPA. In addition to the ULSD, diesel vehicles were also equipped with a Diesel Exhaust Filter (DPF).

This filter captured the black soot normally spewing from the tailpipes of pre 2008 diesel vehicles. Take a look sometime at the tailpipe of your new diesel, you will see it is clean as a whistle, no black soot coating. Right now you are saying get to the point already... I am sure you have seen your instrument cluster indicate exhaust cleaning. Just like an air filter, the Exhaust filter will become clogged over time, roughly every 100-300 miles (Sometimes more). Replacement of a filter every 300 miles would never be acceptible, so instead of having to replace the filter, the vehicle will perform the Exhaust regeneration procedure.... It is simply period where the Exhaust is superheated above 600 to 1200 degrees, to oxidize (Burn) the particulate matter away in the DPF. (Basically a rolling selfcleaning oven)

When the particulates are burned away they will always leave an unburnable ash left over (Granted in a much more reduced volume) As the regerations accumulate over time, so does the amount of unburnable ash left within the DPF... Obviously there will come a time when the DPF becomes so loaded with ash that the exhaust becomes a excessive restriction and will need to be purged or replaced....The expected life span for a DPF is 100K-150K miles (Approx)...

So you asked what would happen if you used LSD as opposed to the ULSD??? Very simply, the particulate output would increase drastically (Very drastically) This increase would cause the DPF to load up very rapidly.... End result, much more frequent exhaust cleanings/regenerations... More regens equals more ash, more ash means the life of the DPF will be reduced.. Keep in mind that the selfcleaning regeneration heat is a byproduct of using diesel fuel... The more exhaust cleanings are performed, the more diesel fuel is used, fuel economy will drop as a result. Theses truck will handle such cases for a short time, so if you get a tank or two of LSD, the truck will survive, just do not make a ongoing habit of it.

Exhaust regenerations will have an adverse affect on the diesel engine oil... Every regeneration will result in a small amount of diesel fuel getting into the engine oil... Continous regenerations could easy overload the engine oil and result in poor lubrication and eventual engine damage. Do not panic, new trucks do have an oil life monitor that takes into account the number of regenerations and will display to you when it is time to change the oil... The older trucks did not, and had many cases where the oil was fuel saturated combined with the fact that the customers were always late for their oil changes equaled some truck down time. When the truck tells you to change the oil..... Change it...Real simple

What is more critical for these trucks is keeping the water and rust out of the fuel system.If the water in fuel light illuminates, pull over and drain the water separator. If you see a shady looking fueling station that looks like it it rarely visited, keep on moving. A fueling location used by tractor trailers prefered, with the continued heavy truck traffic, the fuel in the storage tanks is being circulated (Less chance for it to grow micro-organisms)"

I think you should look at your owners manual and investigate a lot more that the single snip that I copied. My '97 and '05 will run on #2, LSD or ULSD because they don't have some of the emission systems.

Bob4X4 posted:
"Yes it has a tipm,but the bigger issue will be not having ulsd available and the long term effects it will have on the dpf.4x4 low range for extended time will also be a concern with the regen system"

I think more research is in order IMHO.
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:18 PM   #47
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Thanks for the detailed explanation!

Further research shows that many (most?) countries in Central America have ULSD available; especially in or near the bigger cities. We have a range of about 500 miles with our 34 gallon fuel tank so we're going to try and fill up when we can. Plus, we'll be carrying an extra container of 5 or 6 gallons with us, for emergencies.
Central America is not that big of a place ... Fingers crossed that we won't run into any diesel issues.

I'm also going to see the local Dodge dealer tomorrow morning to talk about the subject and potential issues of running non ULSD. Maybe he'll recommend to take out some emissions stuff before heading south, let's see.

The truck *should* be ready to go on the trip. We had it checked out by a diesel mechanic who checked the belts, brakes, fluids ... and we went to a shop to change the engine oil and differential oil.
We had Michelin road tires on the truck when we bought it so we installed 6 new BFG AT's for the rougher roads.
We're also carrying an extra air and fuel filter with us, just in case we can't find it 'down south'.
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Old 12-23-2013, 06:06 AM   #48
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OK, now you're at least aware and did some research. Don't neglect taking extra oil filters in addition to the air and fuel filters.

And the explanation was just a copy and paste from a quick search. And BOB4X4 also raised this question for you a while back.

Safe travels.

Gary
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Old 12-23-2013, 06:54 AM   #49
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That is the best truck camper available as far as I am concerned. The all aluminum construction is great. Jim
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Old 12-23-2013, 08:22 AM   #50
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In my travels in Baja I have not seen much in the way of Ulsd. I have not spent any time in mainland Mexico since the 70's.
I work on the 6.7's everyday. The most common issues are the emission failures As I stated earlier slow off roading will give you issues with the dpf even with Ulsd. At the very least you should bring a good quality scanner with you. Most dtc's will not allow the regen process to work.
You might want to join the expo forums to get a bit more info on travel in s.a.
Good luck and enjoy your adventure
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Old 12-23-2013, 01:39 PM   #51
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Sounds like a great trip. We did a similar drive from San Francisco to Panama in an SUV with a roof top tent starting in November of 2010 (Adventures of Dave and Ann: Our Drive SF to Panama) before we came home, procreated and started traveling in an Airstream. That being said, we just bought a 3/4 ton tow vehicle partially because of the ability to carry a truck camper for Baja or more Mexico trips.

You might be interested in checking out the blogs of a few of our friends who are currently doing that trip in similar rigs:

Carpe Viam - Carpe Viam
Song of the Road - Song of the Road | Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road, Healthy, free, the world before me... --Walt Whitman

And a couple others who have finished their trips:

PanAm Notes - PanAm Notes
95 Degrees South - http://www.95deg.com/

Have a great time!

Dave
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