The single solar panel we added to Campbell doesn’t have enough power to meet our needs when we are boondocking. So we added two more panels for a total of 300 watts of solar on the roof.
Campbell will always be with us when we are camping, whether we are Overlanding or RVing. So it is the best place to put our network infrastructure.
After the article about the generator we bought to use with Cocoon, our travel trailer, several people have asked: “How loud is it?” To give you some feel for the sound the generator makes, I made some rudimentary measurements with a sound pressure level meter.
We need to run Cocoon’s air conditioner on sweltering humid hot summer nights to get a restful night’s sleep. After a lot of research, we bought a generator that can power the Airxcel Mach-3+ when boondocking.
We had a choice between two air conditioner models for our Casita travel trailer. This article describes our analysis of how each of the units fits us. Spoiler alert, it depends; neither unit dominates the other for all needs and preferences.
Are you ready to step back in time? The Ponce Inlet Lighthouse, activated in 1887, is the tallest in Florida. The buildings that supported the operation are restored on the grounds, and there are many exhibits about its history.
Almost seventy acres of immaculately maintained botanical gardens on Lake Kanapaha. If you find yourself near Gainesville and enjoy gardens, you don’t want to miss these.
Do you enjoy wandering through perfectly manicured gardens and watching butterflies flittering from flower to flower? Or maybe you like strolling along the water’s edge and exploring paths through the historic Florida countryside?
We want to take the best care of Cocoon, our Casita travel trailer that we will pick up soon. This includes keeping the house battery fully charged and maintained while traveling. This article is about the first step, adding a DC power connection to the back of our tow vehicle to charge the battery.
You must see the boardwalk when you visit Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. It is a wonderful place for a peaceful stroll through the forest to see wildlife up close. Perfect for making photographs.
After seven salty winters and encounters with boulders, the OEM skid plates underneath Campbell were in sad shape. Not to mention the shenanigans during many oil changes and various wrenchings.
We added a solar panel on Campbell’s roof to charge the auxiliary batteries when parked in the sun. Now the refrigerator can run for a longer time between drives.
After Campbell’s running boards took serious damage on our run down the Mineral Creek Trail to Ouray, they needed replacing. For the replacement, we installed steel rock sliders so it won’t be a problem again.
Campbell needed some electrical tweaks and upgrades to the auxiliary power. We made four improvements to the electrical system.
We made a day trip to Merritt Island to scout for our photography trip next week. I grabbed the DC-ZS70 pocket camera on the way out the door.
Sometimes it is convenient to trade some cargo space for extra battery capacity. I repurposed the original starting battery that the group-31 upgrade replaced.
Back-country travelers are using Amateur Radio for wilderness communications because of the greater range. Many have a Citizen Band radio because it is ubiquitous even though the range is limited.
To charge our Casita travel trailer, Cocoon, we added a power connection to Campbell, our Toyota Land Cruiser. We also added a power distribution center in the cargo area to run additional gear.
We upgraded the starting battery in Campbell, our Toyota Land Cruiser. Even though we added an auxiliary battery to run our dry-camping needs, the main battery must handle a considerable load, especially with a winch.
We want to use our microwave when we are boondocking in Cocoon, our Casita travel trailer. We need an inverter for that but do not want to add a new load to our single 100-amp-hour house battery.
To juice up our power-hungry gear on excursions away from base camp, we added a second battery to Campbell, our Toyota Land Cruiser. The extra power will also be helpful while we are boondocking in Cocoon, our Casita travel trailer.
The Loretto Chapel is one of the most beautiful chapels I have visited. We stopped in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on our recent western adventure.
Campbell needs a trailer brake controller to pick up Cocoon, our Casita travel trailer from the factory. We chose to install the Redarc Pro Elite controller.
One fuel tank, two uses. When space is limited, having dual-use gear is critical. We need an external fuel tank for the generator at base camp and a spare fuel can for Campbell on excursions.
Do you like Manatees, historic homes, hiking, water sports, or camping? If you do then Blue Springs State Park in Orange City Florida is the place for you. It is also near Disney World.
The Gobi rack we ordered earlier this year was installed today. It increases the cargo space in Campbell so we can carry all of the safety and off-road gear we need.
During our recent western adventure, we decided that Campbell alone will never be adequate, for us, for extended adventures. To fix that, we are adding a travel trailer for our dwelling and using Campbell for what it does the best: exploration.
Here are some things we learned about Campbell and our needs on longer adventures. We started in Florida with stops in Tennessee, Illinois, Missouri, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, and Mississippi.
Do you struggle with carrying enough water in your off-road vehicle? Also, with keeping the weight low and near the center?
You should know the actual weight of your fully-loaded off-road vehicle. A big reason is to make sure you aren’t exceeding the maximum rating. You will also need the loaded weight before modifying the suspension and setting tire pressures.
Wouldn’t it be convenient if all of your Wifi devices could connect when you are off-grid? This tiny mobile router can do that and more.
Some necessary gear we carry is only used occasionally or even rarely. We put that part of our kit on the roof of Campbell to free up precious interior space. Weather-sealed bins ratchet strapped to the cargo rack hold the gear.
We need to cover Campbell’s windows for privacy sometimes when we sleep inside. Shades also help with security when we leave her alone. They protect from ultraviolet damage and help control the inside temperature by either reflecting or absorbing sunlight.
It is important to reduce tire pressure on unpaved roads and trails, even on well-maintained gravel roads, where you aren’t approaching highway speeds. It is safer and more comfortable over bumps. A pressure of 22 psi is conservative and improves the ride noticeably.
One thing we learned traveling in Campbell is we badly needed a way to organize the cargo area. Rifling through stacks of gear and containers was becoming cumbersome and tiring too. So we got some new furniture for Campbell’s rear.
We are trying out an Alpicool freezer-refrigerator for our Overlanding adventures. We run it from a 12V accessory outlet during the day, and at night we use a dedicated battery.
Do you need a weatherproof case to protect your large format view camera? I did and picked up two Apache cases at Harbor Freight.
It was time to see how well Campbell, our stock 2013 Toyota Land Cruiser, handles some more challenging backroads. So we planned a trip to follow the Tennessee section of the TransAmerica Trail (TAT).
For our second venture with Campbell, we went to the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival and Merritt Island. One use for our cruiser is a platform for making photographs while we travel. Merritt Island is an excellent place to test that before we make modifications.
For the first overnight with our new-to-us 2013 Land Cruiser, Campbell, we stayed at Bootleggers Campground in Jennings State Forest. We used it as a mule for our backpacking gear and a steel tent. We wanted to experience how capable it is to sleep and cook from the factory before planning modifications for Overlanding.
I updated the maps in our 2013 Land Cruiser from 2012 to 2018. The installation also updates the head unit software. The Navi is Gen7, so it also works for 2012 and 2014 Land Cruisers, among other models.
We are the proud new owners of a 2013 Toyota Land Cruiser. It is replacing the truck that we used for camping and towing.
I made this stew after returning from a hunt in Maine. Like all stews, it should be a mix of what you like and have on hand. My grandmother didn’t use measurements in her kitchen, and this doesn’t either.