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Showing content with the highest reputation on 04/10/2023 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    Thanks to our tour guides for a beautiful and challenging run (long and rocky). I am not sure how "Tule Mesa" received that name, but "Boulder Mesa" or "Rock Garden Mesa" would be more appropriate. How rocky? Well, I Just ordered new control arm bushings and shocks!
  2. 2 points
    Sometime in the past month they put up signs banning camping in certain areas of Bull Dog Canyon. From the Bush entrance there is no camping for the first 2 miles. At the entrance there is a 'no camping for first 2 miles' sign.Basically almost all the way to the power lines where the trail drops into the wash. There are lots of 'no camping' signage in what was the typical camping spots. Also, camping is no longer allowed in the parking area. I talked to a couple of the rangers who were there on Saturday, my wife and I entered 10 on the Bush side. They said the Usary Pass entrance has no camping for the first mile, basically to the first 'obstacle' that I call 'rental car rock'. They also explained the 1 mile rule applied to the other entrances as well. So basically it impacts people who have larger RV's and trailers from being able to camp in the Bull Dog area because getting a larger RV/Trailer past the restricted areas will be troublesome. They must have cleared everyone out because there were no campers in any of the 'no camping' areas on 10. Bull Dog had become rather popular in the past couple of years for RV and 'longer time frame' camping. Technically there was a 14 day limit but I frequent the trail often enough to confirm that the limit was being ignored by some. Unfortunately the increased camping translated to increased trash, it was getting pretty bad and not uncommon to see a pile of crap left behind (plus the occasional home furnishing). I never camped in the area, although a buddy and i kicked the idea of rolling his RV out and hanging around for a night. Probably still plenty of places at lower Sycamore (which has turned into a dump). So I am a bit bummed but certainly won't miss the trash that was too often left behind.
  3. 2 points
    2 reasons for that, at least in my opinion. 1) More people are moving here all the time and they are looking for places to camp 2) Camping is more popular than ever. My nephew sells RV's in Yuma. He says that business is great, even in the summer, when places like Yuma usually slow down.
  4. 2 points
    Noticed lots of travel trailers in the area around Dugas last weekend. Used to be nobody out there. Getting more and more difficult to get away from people, even in the 'wide open spaces'.
  5. 2 points
    Same thing happened up here near Sedona. FR 525 was very popular for dispersed camping. Forest service shut down dispersed camping and opened several (I forget how many) First come- camping areas.
  6. 2 points
    What do you mean? These are much better than the ones I took! Nice job and thanks for leading the way. I had a great time.
  7. 1 point
    Nitto Recon, 37 11.5 17
  8. 1 point
    I've recently been gifted a SetPower RV45 powered fridge/freezer from my lovely wife for my various trips with you great folks. In the past, I built my first drawer and deck system for the rear of my Jeep JL that has worked out really well over the last few years. It wasn't perfect, but it certainly got the job done while keeping my tools and gear safe(r) from prying eyes and ne'er-do-wells. The add-on sleeping platform idea that I blatantly borrowed from @theksmith has worked out beautifully as well, since I hate sleeping on the ground any more. With the new fridge, I've been simply strapping it down into the rear of the Jeep on top of the deck and that's been just fine. However, I also have a soft top on the Jeep and no serious intention to move to a hard top (maybe some day - I keep talking about it). It's a bit of a PITA to pop open the top every time I want to access the fridge and grab a snack or a cold water. So - its time for a new building project! Project Goals: Access the fridge without the need to unbutton the top every time I want to grab a drink Full extension slides that will extend the fridge out far enough to clear the top and open the lid Retain a 1/2 width deck that blends into the contours of the trunk Tie downs on the top of the deck for additional gear boxes, Gerry cans, etc.... Robust drawer that will handle the weight of my trail tools and recovery gear Bedliner/sealant incase I get caught in the rain with the top off A rebuild of my sleeping platform Materials include: 1/2 birch plywood from Woodworkers Source (there are a thousand benefits from working with good quality plywood) Beadboard (used to cut as a template for mapping the Jeeps contours) 500lb lock in/lock out sliders Pocket screws Nails Wood glue Kilz primer paint Paint/bedliner Varathane Jet Black stain Tools used: Table saw Jig saw Router Circular saw Impact Driver Nail gun Clamps Kreg jig (pocket hole jig) Mouse sander Speed square Contour gauge The project started off by tearing out the old platform which was held it with only 6 bolts on the factory tie down points in the rear of the Jeep. I had a spare bit of plywood from my previous build that was already sized to 30" that fit into the rear perfectly for some "conceptualization": The angle of the photo isn't great - but using a straight edge I was able to determine that the fridge would just squeak by beneath the rear soft top tailgate bar. Once you add in the additional height of a slide system and something to actually support the fridge from beneath..... there's no way it was going to work. But mounting the fridge at an angle would! We'd still need to low profile fridge slide that just barely scrapped by the floor of the deck. @theksmith sent me over an awesome idea for a fridge support made of thin, but strong aluminum. He's been using a company called SendCutSend for various custom parts for a few years, and it was remarkably easy to design and build your own ideas without the need for any ultra-fancy CAD skills. If you can use a 2D design program like Adobe Illustrator - you can pretty much build anything with SendCutSend. They also have their own online design program. Kristoffer's idea was to build a wooden frame around the outside of the fridge that the slides would connect to - then support the fridge with the aluminum panel. I took the idea a little further and included cut-outs for the feet of the fridge, allowing it to sit as low as absolutely possible, and included some provisions for strapping the fridge down, front and rear without the need for any hardware. Here are a few shots of the "paper to reality" process: The bottom of the fridge - note the riser (bumps) and the rubber feet A paper template I put together based on the actual fridge dimensions. I prefer to work in metric (no, I'm not a commie!) since it's a lot more precise and much easer for my brain to do the math (I hate fractional measurements). Nailed it! Here's the 3D rendering from SendCutSend of my 2D design. I used Adobe Illustrator. It allows you to note cutouts and bends. I added in pre-drilled pilot holes around the perimeter of the panel to make installing a little easier. Note the cut-outs for the fridge straps and the feet. Here are the parts, fresh from SendCutSend. The total process was pretty simple and they do a great job of keeping you informed as to where in the process your parts are - from cutting to deburring to bending to shipping. I believe total turnaround time was 7 days for my parts. Once the parts were in, it was time to build! First up was a simple "box frame" build with pocket holes and screws. I use Kreg products for almost all of my woodworking projects, from tables to desks to Jeep storage systems. 😁 All of the pockethole screws are Kreg 1/2" stainless steel. Here's the frame, glued and screwed with the tray panel in for a quick test fit. I used the tray itself as a template to route out the holes for the tie down straps fore and aft. Used a countersink bit to help sink those #10 screws a little deeper into the tray Zinc-plated t-nuts and #10 screws are used liberally throughout this project. It makes for a stronger build and is super easy to disassemble and reassemble as you work through the project. I started off with 3/4" screws, but they proved to be a little too long. 1/2" was a little too short. 5/8" proved to be juuuuuuust right. Progress! Next up was to add on the slides. I measured and marked the centerline of the frame, and then bumped it up a few millimeters to allow for the frame/slide to sit as low as absolutely possible. Again, t-nuts make this process a snap and stress free. I'm using Ryadon B3600 500lbs HD drawer slides. They lock in, out and at the half-way mark. They are not "take apart", so that makes them a little tricky to install. You need to push the slides forwards and backwards to access the mounting holes on both the drawer-side and mount-side. They slam latch upon close, which is a nice touch.
  9. 1 point
    @SonoranWanderer @Michael Trapschuh @Gonzo-Ralph and myself made the trek from Carefee to Dugas via the Verde Rim. We were rewarded with magnificent views of stunning scenery accentuated by color from the wildflower bloom. The run went off without a hitch. The only hiccup was that access to the Verde River was blocked for whatever reason. I guess the government is afraid we would have drowned ourselves in the swollen river. Thanks again to everyone who made it out today! Here are some of my attempts at photos (I hate taking pictures by the way) lol!
  10. 1 point
  11. 1 point
    NEXT STEPS! Build the platform. Loaded up the fridge, slider, and my pre-cut base plate. As mentioned earlier, the fridge would need to be mounted at an angle to clear the soft top tailgate cross-bar (no idea what the technical term for it is). In terms of operation, the RV45 is good to operate at UP TO a 45 degree angle, which is pretty crazy. However, 45 degrees certainly isn't optimal for the system to cool properly. I emailed SetPower's tech support folks and asked if it would be detrimental to operate the fridge at a 5-10 degree angle - they came back very quickly and said that it would work just fine, but with a footnote that it would work at its best if flat. @theksmith noted that one is rarely "perfectly flat" when offroad - so that certainly helped in the decision-making process. 😅 Stacked up some scrap boards to find that magic number to allow it to happen. This was the slowest part of the build so far and I hem-hawed on it for about 2-3 days. Using a pair of straight edges, I'd adjust the angle and place the straight edge across the top of the fridge and along the bottom of the slider to see where it would impact along the deck lip and the cross-bar. For me, on 30" drawer slides, the magic number was 6.3 degrees with the fridge shoved all the way to the rear (front?) of the trunk area. The baseplate is bolted down to the factory tie-down points using factory hardware. I used a contour gauge to ensure the platform was cut to fit into the spot nice and flush all around, following the lines and angles of the "cutout" in the truck. Here's a look down along the "hump" in the tailgate the houses mostly empty space, but has the mechanics for the rear door lock, handle, etc... Some considerations had to be made for how far the hump intrudes into the trunk area. After a LOT of fussing around with it, it was time to get back to building. Here's a jump forward to the "left wall" and "center wall" built, glued, and screwed with copious amounts of pocket screws. At the rear of the compartment I added a "cross wall" to help support both supporting walls, in addition to serving as a rest for the rear of the slide (previously, I had measured the height of the rear of the slides once I was happy with the angle they needed to be mounted at). A 1/2" shim was used on the front as a "rest" for the front end of the slides. Combined, this helped ensure I stayed at 6.3 degrees and made it a lot easier to mark the mounting holes. All bolted up! Verifying the slide angle in the rear of the Jeep Load'er up! The full-extension 30" slides allow the fridge to come completely out of the Jeep for easy loading, access, and allows the lid to open without hitting the soft top. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! More to come!
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