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theksmith last won the day on September 23

theksmith had the most liked content!

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About theksmith

  • Rank
    Expedition Expert

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  • Rig
    2016 JKUR
  • Location
    Phoenix, AZ

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  1. thanks! we were looking for an A/T tire for noise, handling, MPG, and mileage - but with a somewhat aggressive looking tread just for the coolness factor. we also wanted something that was "Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake Symbol" rated since B will likely be going to college further north next fall. it came down to these Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T's or the venerable BFG KO2. they both have 50k mile tread warranties, and are both going for around $400 in the 35x12.5R17 size most places. Amazon happened to have the Mickey Thompson's for $375 and B slightly preferred their look anyway, so we had Discount Tire price match. also, pro-tip, if you are getting the certificates (road-hazard insurance), have them also price-match those from discounttiredirect.com - for whatever reason the certs on the "direct" site are about a third less than the normal in-person store price.
  2. an interesting article arguing against the established wisdom of a "hung bear bag" for food storage at camp when in bear country (and suggested alternatives): https://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/hiking-and-backpacking/bear-bags-ineffective/
  3. check out this neat glowing kayak or paddleboard tour of an abandoned flooded limestone mine in the Red River Gorge area (near Rogers,KY): https://www.gorgeunderground.com/crystal-kayak-tour/
  4. i started to get a slight shimmy on certain bumps. while checking everything over, i noticed the Teraflex front lower control arms' rubber bushings (frame-side) are separating. i ordered replacements (Teraflex 4915161) already, and i'll also double check my toe hasn't gotten borked when i change those out. i was able to tighten the Teraflex adjustable preload lower ball joints a bit, which was surprising since i just did that before the Dusy-Ershim trip... though that trip was really rough on the whole rig! otherwise everything looked good, so hopefully those adjustments and the new bushings fix the shimmy.
  5. i'm 90% sure your t-case fill and drain plugs are M22-1.50 thread. if you have Amazon Prime, you could order the Fumoto version and return it easily if it's not right. or the "EZ" brand... or here's the ValvoMax one...
  6. the only downside i see to the Valvomax/Femco design is that if you were to need to go to a shop for an oil change instead of DIY (like traveling on a long trip), then you need to take the special hose adapter with you, else they will just have to unscrew the hole thing i guess. the Fumoto can work with a standard piece of tubing (i think 3/8") or even without a hose at all. as far as clearance, just FYI, Fumoto also has a newer lower-profile "SX" design that also allows you to rotate the output to whichever direction works best (at the time of install). https://www.fumotousa.com/SX.html
  7. i'm still very happy with my Fumoto and the company has been around a long time so i don't worry about their seals leaking or anything. i have one on my 3.6L engine, a custom installed one on the trans pan, and Brady has one on his 3.8L engine too - never any issues.
  8. a fairly quick project this morning to rewire the PowerPole port and cigarette lighter style outlet that i'd added to the center console so they are both powered by the house battery now.
  9. i finally had some time to run two large wires from the engine bay to the rear (2 AWG power wire). one feeds the DC-DC charger in the back from the alternator and the other will be power coming back from the house battery to my existing aftermarket fuse/relay box. i chose a spot on the driver side of the firewall to drill the big hole. this is the second one of these Daystar rubber firewall boots that i've used. i add some RTV on the metal edges to help it seal water-tight. i've been using this generic version of Techflex F6 split braided sleeving instead of split corrugated loom lately. 3/4" diameter worked well to cover the double 2-AWG cables. after hooking up these cables to the rear power panel, i could finally finish the other big connections and install the battery. i'll want to make some sort of cover for the panel i think. so far, in terms of loads, i've only re-wired my rear power ports and fridge to run off the new lithium house battery. i made this little breakout/switch box for the cargo area out of a plastic project enclosure, 12v locking socket, rocker switches, and a 3D printed dual Anderson PowerPole (PP45) port from eBay. the reason the fridge is on it's own switch is the Dometic only has a soft power button instead of a true mechanical switch, and so even when "off" it's electronic control panel draws a bit more current than i think it should to leave connected all the time. the second switch isn't used yet, but might be for a cell booster or other "at-camp" accessory one day. i still need to do some additional rewiring to have the rest of my accessories fed from the house battery. with all this done i could test out the 120V 17A BT Victron Charger and my new Victron 500A Smart Shunt that you might have noticed got added to the main house distribution panel in one of the above photos. the single Victron Bluetooth app showing both devices: here's the 120v shore-power charger's main screen: and the SmartShunt's main screen: in the screenshot above, only the fridge is connected to the house battery and so the current through the shunt is a negative number (i.e. power is being drawn). it was just cycling off, hence the very low amp draw. finally i was able to also crank up the rig and see the Renogy 50A DC-DC charger do it's thing. here's another screenshot from the SmartShunt's app, this time the Renogy charger is supplying more power to the battery than the fridge is drawing, hence the positive current number. i also took a brief run down a nearby wash to make sure the mounting platform and battery hold-down are going to be secure. i have a slight vibration/rattle, but i think just adding one more mounting point at the top of the distro panel will calm that down. you can just barely see the house battery hiding beside the fridge when looking from the rear: so all the core elements seem to work as intended! now i just need to do that additional accessory rewiring and i want to clean up some cables going to the starting battery's fuse panel too. then hopefully this project is complete. i'll get to fully test at least the fridge and my 12v oven running off the new system on the Rug Road trip i'm leading next month!
  10. link works for me. i saw this on a FB post recently too, still pending investigation on why they veered off the road. my guess is something sudden health related happened to the driver given his age - i.e. heart attack or stroke, etc. it is a sad story. we could all meet our demise at any time in more mundane ways, just a reminder to seize every day.
  11. we rented another camper and Freya did great towing the little 4,000 lb trailer up to Dog Town Lake for the 2022 Gala.
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