Friday, April 22, 2011

Powder Coating our Trailer in Army Green

We received our trailer back from the painters today. They used three steps sandblasting, zinc etched, and then powder coated it in Olive Drab. They did a great job at painting every little nook and cranny of the trailer. Hopefully this will ensure a long service life. We got straight to work taping off the fenders and spraying bed liner under them. We then used spray adhesive to line the contact surfaces with rubber from a bicycle inner tube. We did this to minimize rattles and try to keep sand and dirt from rubbing away the newly painter surfaces. Next we will reassemble all the parts.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Who's camping chair is better?

Well Jonathan and I are in disagreement about who's camping chair is better. I think at the end of this article you will understand how I (Andrea) am right. (this never happens)
First I will tell you about Jonathan's chair (the left chair in the pic). He picked up his chair, the Pico Arm Chair made by GCI Outdoor, at our local Costco for $53. The best parts of the chair for him is the steel frame, it's carrying case, it's compact size when folded, the breathable fabric, the seat back storage compartments, and it's flat bottom and flat back that create a directors style seat which Jon claims to be good for his back. He tried to convince me that every member of our family needed this chair. But I disagreed for very specific reasons. The biggest reason was, HELLO, no cup holder. Yup that is right nowhere to put your beer except on the ground were, with two children a dog and of course dirt you are not likely to get it back in the same condition. Some more down sides are how hard it is to fold up, and there are no arm rests just 2 steel bars wrapped in a minimal amount of fabric. Also when we took it for a test run on the grass in our front yard the legs were unstable and the chair teetered on the uneven ground. So now on to my chair.
At Canadian Tire today I picked up a beautiful Coleman Oversized Quad Chair with Cooler for $39. This bad boy has all the bells and wistles and still packes up to a reasonably small size. The best parts for me is the cup holders (yup two of them), the stability of the chair even on uneven ground, the hammock style seat and back make for a comfortable ride, comfortable arm rests, it folds up easily and fairly compact, and it is reasonably light. So needled to say Jonathan thinks my chair is to saggy to be comfortable.
Jonathan and I are still in disagreement, we both think our chairs rock. So that is what we left it at today. I am confident thought that I will be sharing my second cup holder with him, even though he swears he does not need one. This does work out good for me in the end though as I am guaranteed he will sit next to me around the campfire. : )

Friday, March 25, 2011

Expedition Trailer Build

 The trailer is at the fabricators now and work is coming along swimmingly. We are now proud owners of a tailgate, trailer lid, fenders, mounting plates for our taillights and a counter with Expedition Family laser cut onto it.
 Nice tight tailgate clearance. Now to figure out the sealing.

Counter with laser cut.

  Lid tacked together.
 Tail light mounts with fenders and lid.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Trailer Preperation and Building

We received our m101cdn from a local DND surplus supplier in Kelowna, BC. it was very convenient for us, only around 10 minutes from our home. Upon taking delivery of the triler it looked to be in near prestine condition, which is quite rare. On a cold January afternoon when our children had gone down for naps, Andrea and I went out to tackle the necessary trailer preparation to get it modification ready.
we first removed the tiedown points -- all 14 of them, then the fenders as we would be replacing them with much more robust items.

I noticed that the automotive seam sealer was allowing water to penetrate behind it and just sit their, this was starting some rust and would leave us with a less then desirable situation down the road when the rust would inevitably return unless completely removed and sealed the affected area. it actually took several days of attacking the whole area with a wire brush on a drill and a gasket scraper. The end result should be that with proper maintenance we wont have rust appearing for many years in the future.

We arranged to drop the trailer off at the fabricators on Feb26th 2011 to have the following engineered, built and installed.

Sealed lid with three cross bars, Aluminum counter with Expedition Family laser cut into it, Wider and stronger fenders, A nose box to house all the electrical, Extended trailer leg to match the new height, A tailgate and a 2" receiver on the rear (recovery point, stabilizer mounting, bike rack) pictured are the plans.

Once finished the fabrication stage all parts will be removed sent to the painters for sandblasting and powder coating. We are still debating the need to have the inside of the box bed lined.

I sourced a really nice sealed Phillips brand trailer wiring harness from Cerka trailer in Ontario, I think that with the types of muddy and rocky terrain we will be using this trailer in it will be a necessity to install electric trailer brakes, so i also ordered a Prodigy 2, 3axis brake controller for the Frontier as well as the necessary 7pin connection kit to control the whole system.

Things are really starting to come together now, summer is a few short months away and we are really excited to share our adventures with you.

Jonathan Gleadle

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Do campers shit in the woods?

Is it worth getting a portable camping toilet? I am not fond of handling solid waist or looking for a spot to shit in the woods and stumbling over my husbands last "thinking" spot. So I am looking for a portable toilet option that requires little to no cleaning. I found  this web page that outlined different portable toilet types and there pros and cons. I found out that there are three different types; bucket toilets, folding toilets, and portable flush toilets. I immediately omitted the flush toilet from the list because as the mother, guess who would be cleaning it. The bucket toilet seams big and unstable for our toddler son. So I am left with folding toilets. My genius idea is to use biodegradable bags with the toilet. After each use we will place them in a hole we dig in the earth. When we leave camp we will fill the hole back in and presto I don't have to do any toilet cleaning.

I am thinking something like this TravelJohn.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Gathering Goodies, Eezi Awn, National Luna from Equipt1.

I am putting together an order of a few of the major component necessary for a successful expedition. the Canadian dollar is doing good, and i found a freight company 2 hours away in Washington willing to hold my 300lb freight order for me. In the end I will save on shipping and customs charges, on small orders not a big deal but when you are talking something this big and expensive it just makes fiscal sense. Paul May from Equipt has been wonderful to deal with, answering my questions very fast and providing great representation for the quality products he distributes.

National Luna is a South African based company that has been building 12v off-road solutions for almost 30 years, National Luna refrigerators are designed for extreme environments where ambient temperatures can be above 43 degrees Celsius and battery power is scarce. Originally designed to meet World Health Organization specifications for transporting medicines in harsh African conditions, National Luna fridges are now the preferred choice for safari operators, caterers, mining companies, camper manufacturers and serious 4x4 enthusiasts. It is this mixture of performance and power use that has led us to choose the 95l stainless steel double door refrigerator.

Eezi Awn is another South African based company that has been involved in expeditions for close to 30 years. They supply what is arguably the highest quality roof top tents on the market. Their tents are made of 380g wax impregnated rip-stop cotton canvas, this is the most durable canvas used in RTT construction today, only Eezi Awn uses it. Canvas, the tent material used for many decades is the obvious choice when you want highly durable material that is waterproof, yet breathable. One thing that is very important to our family is a comfortable living space, the Eezi Awn 2200 Family sized tent seemed the best solution to fit this need. The 2200 has a internal divider and two ladders, this will let us put the kids down in one side and not disturb them later in the night when we come to bed. Measuring at 2440mm by 2200mm by 1300mm fully opened this is the best option for our family, at this time.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Pictures of our Truck and Trailer Expedition Setup So Far.

 The trailer is a M11CDN2 surplussed Canadian DND trailer. We were lucky enough to find it in mint condition. We will do a future post on the plans we have for it.
 Looking good!
Looking real good!
We love our hitch!! The Pintle Hitch allows for a lot of articulation.