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Seriously getting ready for an Expedition..

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..I finally found a folding spatula which I will test out on this weeks trip..:D

..It's little and all plastic so it's light weight and since it folds it isn't such a pita to deal with when packing it...

..The first thing I notice missing is the little bend on most spatula's but I'm hoping it will work well with the 8" skillet I have now grown accustomed to..

..This 8" skillet is non-stick without a folding handle but I prefer it over my 10" with folding handle as it takes up less room, heats up quicker on any stove, and is a little bit lighter..:biggthump


..I also picked up a new pepper grinder and from my previous experience found out all pepper and salt grinders are not the same...

..Be sure to ask if the one you are buying has a "Snap On" lid and if not can you open it there in the store..Last one I purchased looked bomb proof but the stupid cap barely sat on the top of the grinder which means the cap spent more time off than on..

..Not only does a snap on cap keep the contents in the container, it also keeps the contents from going stale and keeps it fresh longer...;)


By using extra tent poles and Sunbrella fabric, we made an awning that attaches to the truck.

It attaches to either side or the rear of the roof rack, depending on where you want the shade. It is 7 feet wide and 10 feet long, so provides a decent amount of shade. It rolls up fairly small, too.

The best part is it sets up in about 2 minutes.


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Had to . . .

After waiting weeks for a local 4 Wheel Parts sponsored 4x4 show where I was "assured" I'd get the absolute best pricing on an ARB fridge, I found one on line for $40 less without sales tax. . .

When I talked to the ARB guy, his comments: "Well, obviously we don't like other distributors under-cutting our lowest "special" price, it de-values the product. . ." My response: "Not to me, it doesn't. . ."

Anyway, a few lame "inside the garage" kind of photos . . . heading out soon for a Utah trip that will culminate in Moab for the Explorer Run, so it'll get plenty of use in the next three weeks.

On the deck of the drawer system:
ARB Fridge Shut.jpg

Temporary bungee tie-down, just wanted to check fit; will use ratchet straps. Secured in this manner the hatch glass when shut has about 1" of room between the lid and glass.

With shelf out, able to open lid all the way for access:
ARB Fridge Open.jpg

Only problem is that I need to hop up on the bumper to grab stuff out of the bottom of the unit. . . Damn stumpy-ass legs. . .

'91 Sport

..You two guys Scott, Paul, and Brian1 also..:eek:..Keep the good stuff coming..:salute:

..All I have to offer is that the folding spatula from my previous post worked out awesome..well...too awesome...

..It takes up such little space that it now falls to the bottom of my kitchen box and I can't find it so, it is now packed within the Cadac grill case...

..:scratch:..Did I mention a fellow member here, (after searching for a year or more), found a killer deal on a Cadac Safari Grill and should be receiving it tomorrow?..:shifty_ey

Temporary bungee tie-down, just wanted to check fit; will use ratchet straps. Secured in this manner the hatch glass when shut has about 1" of room between the lid and glass.

Paul, just an observation. I know how much body flex my Explorer is capable of on the trail, and how even a well-strapped item can shift during a hard day's run. Just 1" clearance for that fridge would make me a little nervous about the glass.

Just 1" clearance for that fridge would make me a little nervous about the glass.

Yes, more room would obviously be better, but I ended up with the smallest fridge (height and length), in order to fit the available space. . .

Feel pretty confident as it sits now, but am bringing down a section of pipe insulation (cylindrical styrafoam) that I'll wedge between the lid and glass if I end up with excessive slop in the ratchet tie-downs.

'91 Sport


..For this years annual Moab trip I decided to take the Ranger..:D

..One of the first thoughts that went thru my head was now that I took and built-in the fridge to the Explorer, I surely didn't want to try and unbolt it to take on this trip with the Ranger..

..With some help I lucked into scoring another fridge for pretty cheap..:biggthump

..It's a Waaco CDF40 12V Refrigerator..



..It lived on my front set of the Ranger for this trip..


..It worked out OK for the trip and works great for putting in/out of the Ranger in a moments notice..Just need to strap it in..

How to know what temperature your fridge is at

...In a previous post for one of my other fridges I had bought a remote temperature gauge which reads the fridge temp and ambient temp for about $35...

..I learned a inexpensive trick from RV'ers that I thought I would share as I know a lot of Expedition trips would work out a little better if you can gauge the temperature in your fridge to the contents you have in it..It sucks to have frozen eggs and thawed meat..

...So, instead of going thru one of the fridge retailers to find a wireless remote temp gauge I headed over to Wally World and asked them where their indoor/outdoor thermometers were..

..I found the section and they had a bunch to choose from..


..I wanted cheap and reliable so shown in the upper center of that picture for under $10 I found the wireless remote I needed and it survived it's beating in Moab so it's a keeper..


..It's a little bruised and it would be less battered if I actually mounted it in the truck..:rolleyes:

...For those into Overlanding and those who want to check out what Overlanding is all about, here is an episode of an online show...This is pretty much what it's like as if you were participating yourself..;)

..This online show is going into it's second season..Enjoy..:popcorn:

..shifty_ey ..You didn't here it here but this next season they will be traveling thru the Yukon..(Alaska)

..Just got back from the Offroad Expo and I saw a few new goodies that caught my eye and I did purchase a new item to test out..

..When I get some free time I have a few items in this thread I would like to update on how they have worked out over time.

..If anyone else has any items already in this thread they would like to update, please do so as it benefits us all when we are looking to purchase new items..:biggthump

..If anyone else has any items already in this thread they would like to update, please do so as it benefits us all when we are looking to purchase new items..:biggthump

From my awning post HERE I upgraded to a heavier silver tarp and used it for a few trips. The cheap awning worked OK but the setup and takedown time was long and the poles never really found a good home in my cargo storage system.

I purchasd an ARB 2000 awning and made up some mounting brackets for my stock roof cross bars. This awning is really nice! It sets up and takes down fast. It holds up to the wind well and it doesn't sag because there are poles or supports on all 4 sides. It does include some rope and stakes for windy conditions.



That's sweet, does it have any kind of side sun shade addition for it?

No but ARB does make an enclosed mosquito net for it. It wouldn't be too hard to block off a side with a small tarp and those ball bungee cords. Alternatively, Ironman 4x4 makes a room enclosure for their awning that might work with the ARB awning.

..For those interested in taking extended trips either domestic or abroad and often wonder how one would finance a trip like this, this made hold some answers for you..

..I often get asked how I can afford to take a week to 2 week trip and at the same time I wonder how those who travel around the world with their vehicle can finance their trip..

..I stumbled across this article online today which will give you some basic idea's on how to do this..

..This is a copy of the story but please click the link and read it with all it's pictures to get a better idea of what the writer had intended for you and you can also like it over there..Let them know you read it here too..;)

Financing Extended Overland Trips: How Do They Do it?

It’s a topic that pops up on the Expedition Portal forums with almost clockwork regularity. As if on cue every few months, a thread is opened with the question: How do people finance their extended overland travels? The answers when given seem to raise more questions and it would appear no reply fully satisfies the query. How do people finance their travel lifestyles? With assistance from a few overlanders, I have compiled a list of ways in which various travelers have made their prolonged journeys possible.

The Saver

Many people are almost devastated to learn that most prolonged journeys are funded by simply saving up before departure. I realize that’s not very romantic, nor does it sound very fun. The fact remains, if you want to hit the road for months on end, your best bet is to buckle down, fill your piggy bank, and when the time is right, hit the road.

In an interview with one particular motorcycle rider currently completing a full circumnavigation of the world, he said he spent the better part of four years saving up for his big trip. During that time he lived in a basement apartment, cut coupons, ate on the cheap, and made countless sacrifices to raise the $30,000 he budgeted for his two-year motorcycle journey. Another couple, also on their way around the globe, said nearly the same thing. They went so far as to move in with relatives for a year to shave living expenses and said they directed nearly 80% of their annual earnings towards their travel fund. They said their period of extreme saving, and it did sound extreme, was a perfect primer for life on the road where judicious spending is a critical skill.

The Sponsor Hunter

If there is a path few travelers should brave, this would be it. The biggest misconception in travel is that sponsorship is a substitute for earning a trip. If you aspire to fund a trip through sponsorships, you might reconsider as it represents the worst financial value of all time. To adequately provide a return on sponsorship investments, you have to work far harder than you would if you just got a second job flipping burgers on the weekend. Another telling aspect of sponsor-funded travels is that few sponsors and sponsorees ever sign up for a second go. It sounds great to have someone just hand you a fat check and a big sticker for the side of your rig, but that's simply not the reality of sponsored travel. There's an old adage in the sponsorship world: If you have to ask for sponsorship, you're probably not worthy of it. That's a harsh cliche, but true all the same.

The Tycoon and the Windfall

In the late 90s when I was traveling around Europe for the summer, I stepped out of my austere hotel and parked in front of the neighboring luxury hotel was a bright yellow 4x4 Mercedes convertible. Around the corner was a train of Unimog support vehicles. This was all part of Jim Rogers’ trip around the world. Who is Jim Rogers? He is a Wall Street tycoon with pockets deep enough to finance his lofty travel ambitions. As my grandfather told me, being rich is great work if you can get it.

I like to call it temporarily wealthy. The windfall has funded many trips, although most of these travelers are rather hushed about it. A college friend of mine was gifted a large sum of money from a relative with the stipulation it could only be used for travel, and travel he did. Others have sold businesses, had investments pay off, or inherited enough cash to hit the road for a while.

The Pay Later

This traveler is effectively the inverted saver. I admit, I’ve used credit in my younger years to fund some extended travels and in a large dossier where I file my bad ideas, this ranks right up there with the worst ever. If you think saving for a trip before departure is tough, try paying for it long after the fun is over. A year after putting a $200 hotel on my Visa, I wished I had slept in a box on the sidewalk. I’ve heard of travelers amassing tens of thousands of dollars in travel debt. That sounds like a great way to ensure your big trip is your last.

The Seasonal Traveler

This is effectively a riff on the saver plan. School teachers, seasonal workers, and other professionals with long breaks from work are ideally suited for extended travels. Knowing when the next paycheck will arrive is a comforting logistic to lean on when a block of travel comes to an end. Adventure cyclist Joe Cruz has traveled around the globe when not working in New York City as a professor of philosophy. I worked as a seasonal professional in the guiding industry for many years and would often use the off season as a means of satisfying my wanderlust.

Gene and Neda sold everything and hit the open road. Their blog is a fascinating read:

The Sell All

I’ve tried this method as well, and while it works if you have the inventory of possessions to liquidate, re-entry into society at trip’s end can be brutal. Pulling into hometown empty handed and tired is sometimes a welcomed new beginning, or a harsh return to reality. After years on the road, my wife and I flung open the door on a small storage unit and she said, “This is the junk we opted to keep?” If you’re going to sell it all to finance a trip, have a well defined plan for the return to normal life. The worst way to end your trip of a lifetime is to come full stop with your pockets turned inside out.

On the road for ten years, Coen and Karin-Marijke of Landcruising Adventure have a beautiful website they maintain from the road.

The Traveling Professional

It’s not the easiest gig, but getting paid to travel sure sounds dreamy, doesn’t it? There are a handful of prime examples, and some don’t necessarily pay all of their travel bills from outside sources, but those travelers with a few marketable skills can turn a day’s adventure into cold hard cash. The most common way to get paid is through editorials and images published online or in print. Make no mistake, for every individual managing to turn their travels into a paycheck, there are countless dozens offering content for free. It’s also fair to point out that not everyone with a love of travel has the gift of gab, or the ability to take a good photo. Lastly, selling your material just once is quite an achievement. Doing it frequently enough to keep up with travel expenses is a monumental challenge.

In a recent interview with Coen Wubbles of Landcruising Adventure, he delved into the world of travel-writing and what it takes to work from the road. It’s a job much like any other. The Wescotts of the long-running Turtle Expedition also outlined the challenges of working from the road in a recent issue of Overland Journal. Every traveling professional I’ve spoken to is quick to point out the challenges involved. Brad Van Orden of Drive Nacho Drive has commented that servicing a blog and writing a book from the road is not always easy and consumes a good portion of a day’s travel time. Even individuals like Allan Karl who wrote his book well after his travels were completed, had to spend extra time during his trip to photograph and record the experiences as they unfolded. To make money off of your travels, you have to record them, and do it well.

The Sour Graper

If you take a lap or two around the discussion of trip financing, you will inevitably get feedback from the Sour Grape traveler, or rather non-traveler. This person’s only contribution to the conversation is to say with face in full frown, “I wish I was lucky enough to get to go on a long trip.” To his credit, anyone able to slip away for weeks or months on end is truly fortunate beyond words, but good luck can be squandered or misspent. The best way to chain yourself to your front door is to rack up a small hill, not even a mountain, of debt. Mortgages, car payments, and credit card obligations, all of these things foil more travel plans than anything else. Some say it is familial commitments that keep them homebound, and in many cases that is true, but even large families with tiny kids find a way to travel for months or years on end. It is the home-bound financial tethers that are the most binding.

As you can see, there’s no magic formula for trip financing. The most successful travelers employ a mix of funding options. They save, work from the road, have probably sold off a lot of excess stuff, and maybe even lured in a sponsor or two. Regardless of how the funds are gathered and spent, all would agree, it’s well worth the effort.

For those of you with extended travels in your past, how did you fund them?

..and for those of you who thought I had lost my mind...

...I will not be selling my Cadac grill..;)

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...I recently went on a night trail ride with CRAWL magazine where we had a drawing and I wound up with a swag bag.

..In this swag bag was a new magazine called "Outdoorx4" and I think it will be a hit...It's like Overland Journal but I found the content to be easier to read and seems to be written more from people Stateside than abroad while still covering the States and around the Globe and the pictures are awesome..

..I contacted the Editor to get some more info for those who may be interested..:biggthump

Thanks for the kind words. Anyone can visit our website at to read articles, view a 32-page preview of each of our issues, and to purchase a subscription and decals! Subs are only $25 and you'll get six issues of both print and digital. Enjoy!

..I will be keeping this issue in my X for those who want to check it out and I wanted to note that the pages don't feel like a regular magazine. They seem to be made out of a water resistant material..:dunno: