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Junior (Off-road Trailer)


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AAONMS

Newbie


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Sad to reach the end of this thread.
I’m new to the Site and have certainly enjoyed reading this and learned more than a few things too.
My 2¢: As several others have mentioned, water purification has many advantages.
I’m not a fan of the chemical methods, do I do keep a few tablets just in case.
My personal favorite Sawyer brand filters.
Their smallest model weighs something like 2 ounces and can filter 100,000 gallons.  There are larger/faster ones are available.
Also, their sunscreen is awesome.
https://sawyer.com/products/

grogie

I Like to Camp


Posts: 352
Threads: 37
Joined: Feb 2013
Reputation: 5

^Thanks for the link above, and your comments. I'm glad you've enjoyed the thread. Smile

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So I returned from the Overland Expo East Monday evening, which we took the trailer to. I would have preferred to take backroads to and from the Expo as the area we drove through is beautiful, but I had to take the interstate the entire way to make it a one day drive as I had a lot going on with work around the expo and I could only carve out four days (Friday to Monday). 

As I’ve said over and over, my Jeep drives great and tows the trailer no problem at 70+ mph, but dang, it’s heavy on the gas the entire way in order to keep from getting run over as traffic was mostly heavy. Just west of Asheville, the interstate is very twisty through about a 30 mile canyon, and my wife was driving at the point and she was cruising in the left lane around semi-trucks that were a foot or two away! Goes to show the importance of a trailer that the vehicle can safely tow so that you can get to your destination alive...

It was fun experience, and the expo was held on the Biltmore estate. My wife and I took two hours to walk around the Biltmore, however we didn’t have time to do an inside tour so we’ll have to do that later. We also were able to each drive Land Rovers on a trail, as they have a Land Rover driving school on the grounds.

The classes and courses that we signed up for where awesome! They specifically had classes for women only that were very informative for my wife. One lady specifically worked with my wife on four-wheel drive and trail spotting (they took our Jeep for a ride for about an hour). The experience the instructors had with repairs, equipment, and “overland” travel was very informative and gave us a lot to think about. Me and another guy learned to put a tire back on a wheel with hand tools, and used a compressor to reseat the beed. Cool!

In another discussion, we heard from a US couple that bought a used Land Cruiser in Australia, had it customized with a popup tent and slide out kitchen, and then flew in and spent a month driving 600 miles through the bush. The Cruiser is currently stored there and they plan to go back for more trips, including Africa, and then to import the vehicle into the US when it reaches 25 years old in a few years.

Most attendees left on Sunday afternoon, but the Expo provided a meal Sunday night, which the people that remained were the organizers and those that travel full-time around the US and/or the world. That was a great time for one on one conversations as we got a lot of insight and advice. I also talked with the guy that builds the XP Camper, who use to be a restaurant owner and went out on his own to build what he wanted for travel. Another couple six years ago sold everything and have since traveled by sport bike to 49 countries.

As far as trailers, wow there were a lot of trailer builders there! Some were small, some were large, and all very well thought out. About the large trailers, they're truly an off-road basecamp, and even one version included room on the back for possibly an ATV the size of a Polaris Ranger to fit on, and it still had a lot of storage, slide out kitchen, and a large RTT on top. I also saw some very cool off-road designed teardrop trailers. 

I also saw a lot of cool ideas about storage. One guy is designing basically aluminum framed boxes for the back of Jeeps with slides. I’ve got to get a slide out for my cooler that I keep in the back of my Jeep. Also, we had an opportunity to look at different freezer/fridges. May have to consider one!

As far as the weather, fortunately Asheville is on the western tip of North Carolina so we only had some light rain on Friday, and wind otherwise from Matthew.

A few pictures:

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This was Sunday evening when 90% of everyone had left. The two nights before, everyone was packed in side by side in this large field. It was tight, but okay for a few nights as we weren’t there to hang out at our trailers/ tents. So Sunday night was great as I had the Camp Fire in a Can going and enjoyed sleeping on the Biltmore estates.

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You can read more about the Expos here: http://www.overlandexpo.com

I have to say long term, I really like the truck campers, such as the four wheel drive camper brand. I think eventually I may end up with one. At that point I’d remove the RTT from my trailer and mount bike racks on top of it, and the trailer would remain the camping supply box that it is. But for now, it fits my uses behind my Jeep. And today I need to finish cleaning it up as tomorrow it’s going back into storage for the winter.
2006 Jeep TJ Sport - Build
2013 Off-Road Trailer - Build

grogie

I Like to Camp


Posts: 352
Threads: 37
Joined: Feb 2013
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P.S. Here is a link to the couple that bought the Land Cruiser in Australia. Johnathan here, I also took a class he taught on advanced tire repair.

http://www.exploringoverland.com/explore-australia
2006 Jeep TJ Sport - Build
2013 Off-Road Trailer - Build

Scott

Super Moderator


Posts: 5,573
Threads: 154
Joined: Jul 2012
Reputation: 29

Thanks for the trip report, sounds like it was a great time
Scott Chaney - Owner of Compact Camping Concepts
Home of the DIY Explorer Box and Dinoot trailers, also Tent Topped camping

grogie

I Like to Camp


Posts: 352
Threads: 37
Joined: Feb 2013
Reputation: 5

Well, I'm still towing the trailer around! It has not been as much as I’d like, as work and other commitments seem to get in the way of a good Jeep trip. For 2018, I did more trips that were either by plane, with a new 4Runner, or I just didn’t camp out to where I needed the trailer with my Jeep. However, the trailer did make it up to lower Michigan again, being closer to home.

I also towed the trailer in early November 2018 to Overland Expo East, where the fields turned to mud, mud, and more mud, thanks to it raining most of the opening day, followed by freezing cold weather. Fortunately I had my Campfire in a Can and an extra propane tank. Interesting enough, even though temperatures hit a low of 23 degrees, the temperature inside the Tepui roof top tent remained above freezing. I had one of the best camping spots next to a creek thanks to being a short Jeep and a short trailer.

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Before Expo East, I did get the trailer back to Sun Fire Off-road (who built it) for bearing service, and it’s in good shape. I also replaced the Tepui cover, as they’ve released a black version that just looks better.

I’m currently getting ready for a 4,000 mile trip to Arizona and then into southern Utah. I’m first going to be touring the back trails of Arizona with a group, followed by attending Expo West. So I’ve been busy repacking the trailer. I’ve been told before the Expo that I need carry extra fuel (as the Jeep is not light on it), so the trailer is going to be carrying an extra nine gallons.

I have also upgraded the XO jack to a new black version. I'll admit that it was purely for cosmetics, however I was pleasantly surprised to see that the spring that kept the wheel in place (when the jack is in the up position) had been redesigned to just a simple "nipple". With my previous XO jack, I immediately ruined the spring, and no replacement parts from Australia were available. (sigh)

The black version looks great on my black trailer. I forgot how heavy this jack is... I could say it's overkill being that my trailer is only around 1100#s loaded, however, it's also perfect for it! I have actually dragged the trailer around in the dirt and it makes it easy to do so, and I have no worries about it breaking like the very basic one that I first had on the trailer. This level of a jack can take abuse!

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I set it up just like the previous one. It just barely fits on my trailer's small tongue.

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So this shows the new "nipple" design. This is a huge improvement as this solution actually works perfect. The wheel can be put in multiple positions (I have it straight up). Nice improvement Ark!

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So the trailer is ready to go to Arizona, and still has some mud on the tires from the previous (mud, mud, and more mud) Expo East.

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2006 Jeep TJ Sport - Build
2013 Off-Road Trailer - Build

Scott

Super Moderator


Posts: 5,573
Threads: 154
Joined: Jul 2012
Reputation: 29

Sorry to hear you're not abler to get out as much as you like, some is better than none ...
Scott Chaney - Owner of Compact Camping Concepts
Home of the DIY Explorer Box and Dinoot trailers, also Tent Topped camping

grogie

I Like to Camp


Posts: 352
Threads: 37
Joined: Feb 2013
Reputation: 5

As I mentioned, I will be carrying extra fuel for this upcoming trip. I have three, three-gallon Rotopax. I went ahead and drilled an attachment to the front left side of the trailer to carry one Rotopax on the outside. The other two will ride in the trailer. My plan will be to fill them up at the last gas station before hitting the dirt, and then start drumping them into my Jeep as the Jeep sucks gas.

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Or, I also have their black storage box that I'll otherwise keep on the outside. Which it is an odd size box with the hole in the center, and frankly I'm not sure what to put in it? Gloves? Granola bars?!

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2006 Jeep TJ Sport - Build
2013 Off-Road Trailer - Build

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