Page 12

1 April….installed a beautiful set of 3 inch Dragonfire harnesses today. Easy install and the set even came with a seat belt bypass connector. I may not drive like a bat out of hell but I’ll surely be a bit safer strapped in with these. About $110 each.

After I took the photo I realized I hadn’t taken off the stock passenger seat belt yet.

3 April….Today I installed a nice mirror from Chupacabra Racing. The Honda mirror I took off was a POS, cost too much, too small, and was cheaply made (again what was I thinking). Nice and big for a good view. I mounted it high so it isn’t in my line of sight while looking around a corner.

Also got the fire extinguisher mounted with a cool bracket.


When I was attending the King of The Hammers off road races in February I noticed many of the racers were using the Rugged Radios fresh air system to help with their breathing when they were racing in all the dust. After some research I felt the Rugged Radio system was very good quality. I’m surely not going to be racing but when following others along the trail the dust, for me, is a problem in regards to my health. I don’t mind the buggy getting dirty, that comes with having fun with it, but as I age I want to keep myself as healthy as possible.

I installed the Rugged Radios MAC 3.2 system. You can mount the air pumper in any position. I mounted it upside down between the seats to give the outlet hose a clean run up, over, and around the seats and somewhat out of the dust flow. I’ll be mounting the air volumn/power switch controller somewhere near the dash. Super easy mounting and yes, there’s plenty of room for my elbows. The passenger hose is not connected to the second outlet in the photos. The pre-filter and main filter are dry media and washable.

I also received two of the new Klim Fresh Air helmets. Beautifully made. One for me and one for any passenger who rides along and wants to use the system. The helmets also come with a zipper attached cloth curtain that attaches around the bottom of the hemet to further keep any dust out. About $200 each.

8 April….well that didn’t work worth a toot. Took the buggy for a small spin and discovered where I had the air pump mounted was not that good. The plastic panel I mounted it to is just too flimsy. I moved the pump up behind the passenger seat and through bolted it to the bulkhead…all good now. Also got the control unit mounted next to the shift gate. It’s easy to reach and my right leg don’t come close to hitting it.

11 April…Things are going along…no family unit has any problems with illness…that’s good. I’ve had no problems with social distancing….I’m very comfortable being by myself…planning on heading west the first of next month…with the exception of showering at truck stops, I can travel all the way across the country to my favorite areas from Florida and never come in contact with another human….I’m all self contained, get fuel with a credit card at the pumps, and don’t have to sleep in motels…easy.

I never thought the day would come but it has…my enthusiasm for motorbikes is waining a bit these days…the buggy and what I can do with it is occupying most of my planning….I still take my Rally out several times a month but long trips are a thing of the past….just can’t get excited about traveling on a bike right now….sucks a little as there’s not been a day that I’ve not ridden my bikes in 50 years….oh well with age comes a cage they say haha.

I talked to friends from all over the country and the world the past few weeks…all are doing well…I hope to stop by for a visit soon….nice to have folks to break up the travels with good conversation.

I’ve been taking a lot of time to plot out new places I want to see this summer. Google Earth is a great tool to find gravel roads to explore. My friend Scott, the owner of 3 Step Hideaway in Utah, has hundreds of miles of back country roads plotted out. I plan on seeing much more of Utah and Colorado from the seat of the buggy. Last summer I did a bit of exploring up in the Abajo Mountains in the Canyonlands area…absolutely beautiful….with the new suspension and mods to the buggy I’m super excited about seeing more. If you’ve never been to Utah you need to go before you croak… it’s almost like Heaven.

Sometime in the future my thoughts are to move to Utah…a tiny house off the grid is my liking…lots of nice land for sale out there….I’m not interested in buying anything right now…don’t want to be burdened with anything. Hopefully I can find a farmer or rancher to sell me 10 square feet of land ๐Ÿ™‚ After learning to travel and live completely off the grid in the van, a tiny house with solar will not be a problem at all. I like the Graceland buildings….beautifully made and I’d have no issues finishing the interior….solar, an Espar Diesel heater like the one in the van would handle the heating in the winter (would use about 10 cents of diesel fuel a month), a 3000 gallon water tank set in the ground ( most folks have to have water delivered), and a Natures Head composting toilet would be all I need. Only other thing to think about is finding a good doctor and dentist in the area for future issues.

Hope everyone is doing well…TTYL.

12 April 2020….Did a little test today with my shower set up…with the water continuously flowing at nice volume, the shower will run for about 6 minutes drawing water from a 5 gallon container until it’s empty. That should be plenty of water for two showers…nice. The temp of the water with the heat set at minimum is 105 degrees. I should get about 10,000 showers from a standard propane bottle ๐Ÿ™‚

15 April….Got an email asking about my tire repair/service kit that travels with me in the buggy. The air pump is by Viair and super nice…ARB tire plugging set (I’ve already plugged one of my Tensor tires about 2000 miles ago, it’s still perfect), Craftsman torque wrench, adaptor for the lug nuts, hatchet for trimming my nails, and multi size lug wrench. Only thing not in the photo is a small scissor jack.

There are many deer, coyotes, cows, and other things that run out in front of me when I’m exploring in the mountains. To save myself from being too injured when one of those animals decides to violate the right of way and join me in the cab, I installed a Honda Intrusion Bar. Very nice (it’s Honda), fits perfect, adds some stiffness to the roll cage, and will protect me pretty well.

The place where the upper cage is bolted to the frame is a bit more reinforced with the intrusion bar clamping around the joint.

If you look close you can see I replaced the original air hose with a MUCH better one from PCI Racing.

19 May…an inmate on ADV Rider turned me on to this….Crossing Newfoundland by SXSman that looks like fun….we will see!

20 April…T-Minus 10 days till I head west…getting the van ready. Changed the fuel filter this morning…easy…just take your time as there are things you can break or drop inside the motor. Cost for the filter from the Mercedes dealer is $200…same unit from Amazon $125…nice. Fuel filter changed every 20,000 miles…oil and filter every 10,000.

Release the two plugs, one hose clamp, and the whole airbox comes off in one piece.

New filter

The filter is mounted in the center of the motor…super easy to get to….take off the two fuel hoses, unplug two plugs, remove the water separator outlet hose, slip the old filter up and out, then slide the new one in…easy. Mercedes charges $495 to do this. I change the fuel filter every 20,000 miles….oil every 10,000 miles.

Arrow points to the fuel filter.

Oil change in the morning. I use Shell Rotella T-6 full synthetic…wonderful stuff. The van uses 13 quarts!

21 April….needed a place to hold my rain gear…. the pouch from PRP did the trick.

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13 thoughts on “Page 12

  1. I need that dust filter just to survive the pollen when I’m mowing my yard. Welcome to NC in the Spring!


  2. My sister lives in Loa, Ut. right near all the parks. It is a very small town with only 500 population. Absolutely beautiful… you should check it out!


  3. Howdy
    The buggy is really tricked out nicely.
    Glad to hear all is well with you.
    Weโ€™re hanging out and working on all the little projects I have been putting off.
    Hilary says hi.
    Iโ€™m still planning on a bike ride mid To late September out to the west coast. Hope our paths cross after this craziness ends.
    Take care


  4. Tim, looking forward to seeing you at KOH again next year. I am still planning to go to Alaska, if they let me cross the border in May some time. I had planned to leave home around May 15, so will see how things work out. Enjoying seeing you do upgrades to your Honda.


  5. Hey Rich, good to hear from you. Alaska is one of my favorite places…I’ll get back there soon but not this year. If you’re planning on attending Dust2Dawson let me know. I still have a reservation at the Bunkhouse and you’re welcome to have it…let me know. I learned a lot at KOH…got me really excited about off road racing. It’s on my calendar for next year along with the Mint 400 and all the other Best In The Desert Series races


  6. Tim, after wheeling the buggy in Utah and Johnson Valley a few weeks ago, I have bought a set of ORI struts. Should have them installed this week and head out to the Hammers to test them out. I probably told you I was not happy with how the buggy rode and the guys you met pretty much all have them.


    1. Nice! I sure had fun going for rides in your buggy. I never would have thought it would go over the rocks on the Hammer trials the way it did.

      My little Talon rode like a dump truck no matter the preload adjustment with the stock springs. After the Shock Therapy springs were installed the suspension works awesome. Very compliant. Can’t wait to get back out west and really start to enjoy the thing.

      I’m gonna be headed west in about two weeks…maybe we can get together somewhere?


  7. Tim, I will follow your adventures and see what the timing brings. If I can’t cross the border at a reasonable time, I am sure I will ride in the US and certainly Utah.


  8. Unless the TX Governor finds some common sense soon, be prepared to be turned back at the LA border checkpoint, or at least convince the DPS officers that you won’t stop in TX and contaminate anyone. TX has 23K cases of the virus, but he’s still afraid of importing the virus from FL (30K cases) or LA (26K cases) or WA (13K cases). You can stay in a motel, but you can’t camp in the open by yourself because all the campgrounds are closed. Logic and consistency seem to be hard to find in these panicked times. I was frustrated because he closed the border 1 day before I was to ride through the Hill Country (but closed the campgrounds after I would have returned).

    Here is hoping when you leave, the roads are open and clear, the weather fair and the sun always behind you.


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