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.
I HATE DUST IN MY LUNGS
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 🙂 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 🙂
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.
19 May…an inmate on ADV Rider turned me on to this….Crossing Newfoundland by SXS…man 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.
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.
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.