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Old 05-07-2021, 10:17 PM #61
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Tackled some small changes today. This accessory tray from Apex Overland showed up today. Wanted to clean up some of the wiring and a secure mounting spot for future additions. Shortened some of the excess wiring, and tucked it nicely under the panel. Now I want to get a battery terminal upgrade to clean up the wiring on the battery side.





Yes I need a car wash, but mounted the new roof lightbar yesterday. With it being a slimmer bar, it mounted a little high and left a gap between the wind deflector and the light bar. Looked funny to me, so I dropped the bar down a bit so it sit more flush, although the brackets on the edge do kind of sit higher than the bar unfortunately. Still looks better imo than the big gap.


Had my old bumper light bar laying around and figured I might as well add it back in. No more lights lol.


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Old 05-09-2021, 01:33 AM #62
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Today has been super busy. Got a late start but ran to get the materials needed to finish the extension to turn my drawer system into a sleeping platform. After a few designs and going back and fourth we settled on a rough plan and wanted to get the materials to at least be able to visualize it better. Well that turned into deciding just to build it and we knocked it out in a few hours and total cost was under $100.

Had Home Depot make the cuts for us, which saved a ton of time and work. Picked up some carpet to wrap it in, although we wish we had gotten black, but they did not have any. We didn't think it was too far off, but you will see later that it doesn't match. We are likely to end up dying it darker, but it really doesn't matter.


We got 3/4" ply, and the surface was already smooth, we just went around and sanded the edges from the cuts and the sharper corners.




The girls began putting the carpet onto the platform. We sprayed down some adhesive and then stapled it to the underside as best we could.


I began drilling some holes through the back of the drawer which would allow us to mount a lip for the platform to rest on. Didn't worry if they were even, putting enough to make sure it was solid was all that mattered.


I had them add some carpet to a small strip of wood which would become the lip for the platform to rest on. Not perfect, but it is completely hidden when the seats are up and covered with the platform.


With the lip on it gave us a starting point to measure and fit the support. With the seats squishing down with weight it made it difficult to calculate it perfectly without having it in there and experimenting.


Originally we were going to go a "T" shape support like many of the other DIY systems. But with our Dobinsons drawers being taller than other drawers, we felt it would be better off adding a little extra support. Our support "beams" are 9" tall, and with two people in and out moving around we didn't want to shortcut this part or have a wobbly bed. We were also concerned about getting in and out of the car through the side doors, and it tilting or breaking off on the corners. The lip is there so it doesn't move and was not originally planned to actually support the weight.


One drawback to having two hinged supports would be that it wouldn't fold flush or it would be too bulky. After putting the first support on, we mocked it up and realized it hardly took up more space and still folded down nicely.


I don't know if these were the best hinges for this application, but now that it is put together they are fine.


So with a gap with no support on the front most part of the platform it had a tendency to want to tip when weight was put on it. For a quick solution, we mounted a small straight bracket on the bottom side of the platform. This would slide under the corner of my dobinson drawer and prevent it from tipping forward. This is only temporary as we have decided to probably add two legs from the bottom of the platform to the floor of the rear seats. Having built the platform we can now get a better measurement of the leg height we need. We found a set of table legs that should get us close, and will be ordering those to hopefully finish this off. Ideally we are also going to figure out an anchor system to lock it down so it doesnt move too much when offroading. Although it is fold-able and removable we don't have to have it setup until we get to camp which is what we wanted.




Here is what it looks like from the back. As you can tell the colors don't match but hey function over form.


Side view


When not in use or when you want to remove it, it actually sits so perfect on top of the dobinson drawer. Folding up the rear seats prevents it from sliding around and everything can be loaded on top of it. No issues while offroading or it shifting! Then the support boards either can go on top and be held down or on the floor.


Part 2 for today in a follow up post.....
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Old 05-09-2021, 01:39 AM #63
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While I was at the store, I grabbed some spray paint for a few projects hopefully coming in the next week or so.


By the time we got back from the store, these were waiting for me! Finally a proper set of awning brackets for my Gobi rack. Luckily came across a used set to save some $$ and avoid the horrible lead times from Gobi. It was two weeks after placing the order that I eventually got a phone call to confirm my order, and who knows how long for them to ship after that. Timing on these couldn't have been better!


After talking to some friends about whether I should throw some rock lights on or not, I came across these bad boys. Mirror puddle lights/courtesy lights from Meso Customs! Extremely bright, and with the added harness kit they are able to be controlled manually! This would give me a clean, simple and easy alternative to other lights.


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Old 05-10-2021, 02:52 AM #64
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Another day another addition!

Started by tackling the Meso Customs puddle lights. These things look sweet!


Took a few minutes to get the mirrors apart. Sounds terrible when you are undoing it but easy to do.


Swapped the oem lights out for the Meso lights.


Mirrors took a few minutes, then it was onto the wiring kit with the switch. Easy plug and play, hardest part was just tucking the wire under the carpet.


Button added in. While I was in there I swapped some of the buttons around. Took the old wiring harness buttons in and filled them in with blanks. Moved the inverter button up top because it is hard to tell when its actually on from the lower spot. Bottom row will be for the lights.


Wrapped it up within 20 minutes or so, and moved onto the awning brackets. These are what I am swapping out them with. While it worked, it was not solid.


Only have a 6.5' awning, which only needs 2, but since I got a set of 3 might as well use them. Will also be nice since we use the awning room with it, can never have too much support!


Solo mounting it was a challenge. Feel like it needs to be adjusted and slid forward but that's for another day when I have a second pair of hands.


While I was doing that, my kinetic recovery rope got delivered! Now to find where to put it in the car.
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Old 05-10-2021, 08:34 PM #65
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Winding down the sleeping platform build. One issue we noticed while measuring and building is that the drivers side rear seat actually sits lower when there is weight on it. This caused the support to not sit level.


Lifting the seat, there is a raised portion of the carpet closest to the door. There is nothing actually under it which means it compresses when you push on it.


I placed a small piece of leftover wood right next to that hump.


I then stacked a bigger piece that fits perfectly over that hump. After some trial and error, it took 3 total pieces stacked to get it to sit level.


Three pieces screwed together.


Used the leftover carpet from the platform and wrapped it up so the wood would not damage the seats. When not in use it tucks away easily. Should hopefully be able to wrap up the final steps this week by adding the legs. Who knows, I may not even need this in the end.



In the afternoon, this showed up!



Decided to quickly spray them with a metallic silver and I am glad I did. Small change, and totally unnecessary but I dig it.



Hopefully will throw them on tomorrow!
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Old 05-11-2021, 05:32 PM #66
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Easy install, took about 5 minutes! Hardest part is getting your hand to the tire side of the bracket to thread the nut on if you have big hands. While I was there I cleaned the shock, had some dirt and dust built up on the shaft due to the dust cover slipping up. Ended up putting a ziptie on them to make sure they stay put.

Before


After
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Old 05-12-2021, 08:25 PM #67
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Another productive day today.

Started by stopping by a friends house to get my BMC cleaned up, pinch weld seams cleaned up, and then getting my sliders welded on.


Found these legs on Amazon which should complete my sleeping platform build. With the wood support in the middle, the corners closest to the doors did not have much support. Having the rear swing out, we usually use the side doors to get in and out and this would cause the platform to tip if too much weight was on the corner. After considering a few options, these seemed to be perfect. Didn't take up too much room, and are easily screwed on and off for storage! They also have adjustable bottoms and happened to be the perfect height with room to go up or down.


The mounts screwed into the bottom of the boards.


Legs screwed on outside of the vehicle.


Here is what it looks like inside the car.


From there I began to swap my old terminals to new SDHQ billet terminals!


Before. Yuck


After. Tucks away most of those ring terminals and easy 5 minute install. Oem cables fit perfectly, no need to do any modifications to the cables.


Lastly, had this arrive today! Some matte black vinyl which I am planning to make a windshield banner with one day.
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Old 05-18-2021, 09:36 PM #68
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Well this was the most impulsive thing I've bought lol. Had been wanting one for a while but couldn't justify the price or if it would be worth it. After hearing one of my trustworthy friends got one and said he is super happy with it I started looking into it a bit more. I mentioned it to my girl and she said she would go halfsies because she needed to use her phone sometimes for work. So with that being said we ordered it Saturday and it was here by Monday!

I followed Brenan's review found here: Link

Super helpful although I hate how the wire gets run just into the passenger door. Unfortunately there aren't many options with the cable only being so long, and other access points being used by lights. With us leaving out of town in two days I just wanted to get it put on for this trip. Ideally I would like to run it through the rear hatch, although the wire would not be long enough to reach under my driver seat and would require me to relocate that as well. I will do some thinking and seeing what I can come up with. I also really need to get one of those RAM mounts that allows you to fold it down. For now I wanted to keep it above the roofline but not excessively high because I need some clearance for my daily driving. With the folding mount I can add the extension in to hopefully get a little bit better signal and tuck it away when we are driving around home.







First impressions so far is that the quality is great, and everything is solid. We tested it just in my driveway and went from 3 bars to max bars. Seeing how I already had decent signal I couldn't see its full potential at work, but I did see positive results with what I had! We will be back on the road this weekend and should really get to put it to the test!
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Old 05-19-2021, 06:29 PM #69
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Finally got around to getting through some photos from our daytrip up to the peak! We couldn't have chosen a better day to go weather wise. Down at the base it was cloudy, and as we gained elevation we broke into the fog which made for some awesome photos.





Made it to the play area, and got to stretch the legs. This time with the extra clearance after redoing the BMC and pushing back the pinch welds. I am super stoked with how it feels now, and not having to worry about tearing up my tires on my body mount I can actually have a bit more fun with it.

Nothing too crazy here, just some small ruts to play around in. Hoping to plan a trip out to a more technical area soon.




Once we hit the peak we had broken through the clouds and were greeted with one of the coolest views. Absolutely solid blanket of white as far as you could see on all sides.


Stopped at the top to make some lunch and just soaked in the view.


By the time lunch was done, some of the clouds had opened up and we got some nicer views of the cities below.


The aftermath. Ended up spending yesterday getting to clean this mess up.
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Old 05-26-2021, 09:24 PM #70
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Just unpacked from an extended weekend trip up in the Eastern Sierra area!

Our original plan was to head straight to Mammoth lakes, but due to the chance of rain and snow we decided to wait it out and spend our first night in Alabama Hills. This place is busier and busier everytime we go. Especially arriving on a Saturday, spots were scare. Thankfully we could go places many others didn't try, and found this gem of a spot. We would be sleeping inside the rig this trip, as our RTT is still stuck in transit.


The views did not disappoint.


The next day we packed up and were off to Mammoth lakes! The views were amazing the entire way.


Finally made it our camp, just hunting around for spot.


Brought both cars this trip, and finally got settled at camp. It was chilly, with nights dropping down to the 30's with wind chill.


On our second day at camp, we were informed that due to the incoming winds, we would no longer be able to have a fire. It was at that point we started deciding if we wanted to stick it out for the rest of the trip in the cold. We decided to try sticking through it that night, and while it was chilly, it was manageable. The next morning, we checked the weather again, and were looking at 24mph winds coming. Yikes. So we made the call to head back towards home to enjoy our last night back where it started. We made the two hour trek back to Alabama Hills to spend our last night. A total change of temperature as it was about 90 degrees over there. Even for a Tuesday, it was still pretty busy here, we were shocked. In the end it worked out, as it made our drive back home day much shorter, as well as gave us some incredible sunset views last night. Took a ton of photos, now it is just a matter of getting through them all!


Came home to a few more projects, hopefully can get started first thing tomorrow on those!
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Old 05-27-2021, 11:28 PM #71
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The other day I was researching alternate ways to power our fridge as a backup to our Goal Zero. I came across THIS .

So I picked up the GM fuse.


Began to shave down the sides to fit.


Swapped it out for the other fuse.


Cold start, 0.7V gain from before putting it back into the ideal charging range per the battery.


Onto the next project. Got a ram mount for the WeBoost so I can have some overhead clearance and still have a tall antenna.


Lastly, picked this up. I want to run this to the rear like many others do, and have an always hot 12V unlike the inverter which requires the key. I have no idea what I am doing yet, still doing research.
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Old 05-30-2021, 06:01 PM #72
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Still winding down from our last trip. Got the time to take it to a buddy to get it properly cleaned. Think this may have been my 3rd wash in the last year with the car. This car cleaned up so nice, and I have never seen it this clean. Ended up getting my windshield ceramic coated as that's a big pet peeve of mine is having a dirty window, so that should help a bit. Eventually will take it back to get the whole car done.





While I was waiting for my car, I got a notification that I had another delivery! This was a total surprise as it arrived almost a month early! The first dual zone fridge Setpower is releasing! When we heard about it, we were super happy as we had just had some ice cream at camp on our last trip and were mentioning how nice it would to have some in the future haha. On top of that, the design is much more competitive to others on the market, and has so many nice new features and upgrades we appreciate. Hoping to break it in soon, as well as do some proper reviews about it. We have been working around the clock on redoing our blog, which we will compare all of their fridges and share other product reviews for everything we have. I will drop a link when it is live, hopefully that can help others with some future mods and purchases!


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