Tuesday, September 18, 2007


yep i made a cafe press store just so i could get my own tshirts. feel free to order one up yourself.

Expedition Americas store


busy man...

So the blog has taken a back seat to a lot of the other things I've had going on...

One of the goals I had this summer was to get my handicap back down to where I think I should be. well i managed to do just that. 6.5 which I believe is my lowest ever (although 6.2 stands out in my head but that was back in 2004 and the memory is failing)

I attended my 36th, 37th, and 38th DMB concerts. 11 plus years of going to shows. the new songs are excellent and I'm sure the band will still be going strong when I get back. Ideally I'll be back at the Gorge Amphitheatre in Central Washington next Labor Day for the 9th consecutive year. Well ideally I'll be able to stretch the funding out and I'll still be wandering South America. The trip to the Gorge this year with Maddog was a good time. 36 holes of golf. (683 yard par 5 included) 3 amazing shows and perfect temps.

Speaking of concerts I picked up Neil Young tickets yesterday morning. 10th row center. A pretty good going away show if you ask me.

I've been spending a lot of time working on the truck. The inside of the truck. This weekend I hope to begin cleaning up some of the lingering mechanical bugs. the previous post was one I copied over from IH8MUD.com but I realize some readers won't have access there so I copied it over.

Yesterday I spent what felt like way too much money on mosquito protection. netting, spray for clothing, impregnated clothing, and repellent for my skin. Purchased my stove (jetboil) and a water filter (katadyn) and finished up the book shelf for the truck.

Since the last post I also helped Mule Expedition design my roof rack. It should be finished by Sept 30. will give me a month to run around with it and tent on the truck to start getting used to the way the truck drives.

oh and I ran 3 consecutive miles for the first time ever in my life. still can't believe i've stuck to the running. quite the shocker for a guy as lazy as me.

Monday, September 17, 2007

the evolution of ruby claire

Yep i'm copying the truck updates from another forum...

In addition to the dual battery I made 3 other changes last week to the truck. I replaced my indash dvd with a different system. yep I'm a dork but a solo trek requires good tunes and cool technology. Oh and I got the deck at distributor price.

I swapped out my rear upper control arms for some adjustable arms to minimize the vibration and save my ujoints. I took a 2300mile trip over the weekend the smoothness on the highway was noticable.

lastly I painted my fender flares with some simple spray on bedliner. i like it because it isn't as rough as the real stuff and it looks good. my flares were trashed from my poor driving skills and i like the contrast against the paint.

this weekend i'll be redoing my drawers after selling my old set. pics on monday. hopefully.

I spent the weekend working on new storage for my truck. i sold my old drawers to a local guy a few weeks ago. i took a bit of a different approach to this build and had a few goals in mind when i started building.

1- simple. my wood skills and tool availability is limited
2- deck height. make it level with the fridge so in a pinch i would have no problems sleeping in the truck
3- save weight (my truck will be rather heavy once loaded)
4- i wanted to have enough storage to have everything locked up, nothing out and visible

So with those goals in mind I decided it was okay to lose a bit of storage space in lieu of weight savings. Because a set of drawers 18 inches tall would have been extremely heavy i decided to build shells for containing lighter weight containers. i know i'll be gone for almost 10 months but i'm still only one guy. i shouldn't need that much space.

i started with the box to run parallel to my fridge. underneath i'll be able to place 3 small action packers, or one small and one medium sized depending on how parts and tools shake out. these will contain emergency materials for the most part, alternator, waterpump, start contacts, birfield etc. the rear most action packer will probably hold my 'kitchen.' stove, dishes, spices, utensiles etc. above this i built a 6in deep box that should be able to hold longer items as well as more readily access items, pry bar, ax, camp chair, tow strap, d rings etc.


The blank canvas...

the build...

in place...

i need to attach the gate latches but you can see the cover over the actionpacker area.

more to come.

so as part of my goal to save weight and stay organized the box behind my fronts seats will again be little more than a shell for holding containers. after researching at Outdoor Retailers Show here in SLC i settled on these bags.

two of them (and thus 6 individual pods) will fit inside the box. this will allow me to keep my stuff organized and not buried inside huge duffle bags and still remain very light. clothing, camera gear, laptop etc will go into these bags or on top of them. i don't have pics but should in the morning of the brackets i used to secure this box using the rear seat mounting bolts.

the stucture...

with the bags installed...

now in the truck...

view from the front...

all loaded up...

i need to finish up the trim around the edges, add some handles, and carpet the rear box. then find a way to attach the 2 together for stablity purposes. luckily i have some nice washboard and potted roads nearby so after final assembly i can load up and go rally a few hundred miles and see how they do.

any comments would be appreciated. i felt like i was reinventing the wheel when it came to strengthening the structures. i'm clueless. i have a bunch of steel 90s i am going to screw into the corners to add some rigidity. right now the whole thing feels very stout.

lastly i added a bookshelf for all the Lonely Planet guides and books i'll be taking for reading around the fire or while holed up from the rain and bugs...