Gear for tripper vehicle?

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I’m messing with the outfitting on a new travelling truck, starting with transferring or replacing the equipment I carry in every vehicle.

Tool kit, jumper cables, towing cable and chain, flares, small fire extinguisher, spare rack parts, 12V air compressors (two, high-pressure tire and high volume floatation bag), Fix-a-flat, spare rope and webbing, carabineers and S-hooks, duct tape, radiator tape. Red flag. Last-resort spare clothes.

For long trips, an on-board water supply. 5 gallons in a carboy isn’t excessive on desert trips

Coat hanger.

The coat hanger probably gets used at least once a year for lock outs; not mine, if I’m locked out I’m not getting to my own coat hanger. But I am skilled at popping other people’s locks, or at least handing them a coat hanger and a pair of needle nose pliers and saying “It’s your car, have at it”.

The coat hanger gets used (and replaced) once a year. What gets used most often, at least on non-solo trips, is something from the mesh bag that contains a spare PFD and throw bag, miscellaneous rope and webbing straps and a couple of chunks of minicel and foam pipe insulation.

It’s been a while since I set up a traveling truck and I’m looking forward to outfitting the new one.

Anyone have suggestions for other essential vehicle gear?
 
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Feb 14, 2013
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Spare boonie hat. Spare sunglasses.

Seems like those are the two things most often forgotten or lost.
 
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I like to carry tire chains, wire, pliers, gloves and those spring things to take up the slack all in a five gallon barrel. Chains can help with mud as well as snow and ice. Small shovel and good axe.
The few times I've got a new truck, I've checked out the jack and made sure I understand how the spare tire comes out and turn the spare so I can easily air it up while it's in place. By and large the jack works but it's not much; I have a much better one that I place in the new truck along with the one that came with it. I have two, about a foot square 3/4 plywood boards to act as "footprints" for the jack if the ground is mushy. I've nailed and glued cleats to hold the bottom of the jack in place. I find the places where the jack is supposed to lift on the frame to be sure that my jack will work on that particular truck.
Quality come-a-long made in America. About fifteen feet of chain.
Sometimes the only smart move is to just wait; to that end I have a couple paperbacks by Dickens that I've always been going to read but never have.
Three or four MRE's
And then of course all my camping kit.

Best Wishes, Rob
 
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Log chain - 20 feet, 15 foot come - a - long, blanket, bug spray, extra motor oil and filter, extra radiator fluid, jumper cables, extra head light bulbs.

Bob.
 
G

Guest

Guest
Spare boonie hat. Spare sunglasses.

Seems like those are the two things most often forgotten or lost.

I’ve been snowblind twice and have real vision problems in bright sunlight. I always have sunglasses; a pair and spare in the vehicle, a pair and spare in the tripping kit. I wouldn’t have thought of the spare boonie. Thanks.

Gloves… Small shovel… a foot square 3/4 plywood boards to act as "footprints" for the jack if the ground is mushy.

Excellent suggestions. I would have overlooked the gloves; I usually have a pair of leather work gloves in the vehicle kit but forgot to move them over. Small shovel and plywood jack platform are going in.

I looked at the “Oversand Vehicle Equipment Requirements” for beach travel (not that I’d ever choose to drive on the beach) to see if I had forgotten anything else:
Shovel at least 18” long with a blade at least 6” square - Check
Vehicle jack - Check
Jack support at least 12” x 12” - Check
Tire gauge - Check
Tow rope, strap, chain or cable at least 10’ long with a minimum pulling strength of 6,000 lbs – Check

It is coming together. Next step is to build a removable box/shelf along one side of the truck bed for protected paddle storage (and push pole/hiking staff, tarp poles, shot gun and other long linear stuff.
 
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You know Mike, by the time a person gets all the stuff for any emergency it'll be like the "Ditch Kit"; too bloody big to carry. Maybe if I win the Lotto I could hire a bunch of guys and a semi full of the rescue gear to follow me around!

I wonder if this is one of those Cosmic Rules of the Universe: If you don't bring it you'll need it; if you bring it you'll never need it.

Groaning under self inflicted burdens,
Rob
 
G

Guest

Guest
You know Mike, by the time a person gets all the stuff for any emergency it'll be like the "Ditch Kit"; too bloody big to carry.
I wonder if this is one of those Cosmic Rules of the Universe: If you don't bring it you'll need it; if you bring it you'll never need it.

Groaning under self inflicted burdens,
Rob

I’ve outfitted two trucks in the past for long-distance travel and living accommodations; an ’84 Toyota long bed and a 94 Toyota Xtracab. Both were similarly outfitted with a 5 gallon water supply, winch, deep cycle marine battery running interior cap lights, custom shelving and overhead storage bins for paddles, stuff bags and long guns. And a built-in ice chest (drained in situ through the bed via a tube and petcock – a good way to freak out a gas station attendants back in the day….remember gas station attendants?)

All that outfitting was convenient and, in the case of the winch and 5 gallon gerrycan of gas, needed at times. But that extensive outfitting added a lot of weight, and much of it was permanently installed. I’m putting the new truck outfitting on an outfitting diet.

No winch; I used it perhaps a dozen times on either truck in the course of 20+ years. I carry a towing cable and chain in any case. I’d add a come-along if mine hadn’t disappeared. I’ll just have to wait for a Good Samaritan with 4wd to come along. There are other desperation methods; I’ve resorted to jacking the truck up and pushing it off, moving it sideways a couple of inches at a time. (Good call on the extra jack and platforms)

No 5 gallon gerrycan of gas bolted to the side. Although it kept me on the road many times – there were not as many 24-hour gas stations back in the 80’s - it was a fireball waiting to happen in an accident.

No deep cycle marine battery. I have an LED reading lantern now instead.

No to permanently installed canoe racks. I had overbuilt DIY racks on the ’84 and beefy construction-style racks on the ‘94, both were heavy and not especially aerodynamic. Leer now uses Thule Tracker II’s – my favorite rack attachment system, and I have a set I can repurpose.

Showing my age, no to the permanently installed CB radio and antenna. Although I do have a handheld CB that might find a place in the kit.

Yes to an easily accessible and drainable ice chest. I discovered that the Polar Bear 48 fits nicely snugged inside the hard shell Igloo Marine and I’ll want to bring both, one for truck use, one for the boat. The doubled cooler would be handy in desert environments when ice goes fast.

Yes to the 5-gallon water supply. Water quality varies, and sometimes potable doesn’t mean palatable. Panther Junction in Big Bend has tasty water, while the water in Rio Grande Village 20 miles away is awful. And I probably put 50 gallons of water into (other folk’s) overheated radiators through the years.

Yes to custom storage. I’m calculating the design and dimensions for a removable paddle and long gear (push pole, hiking staff, tarp poles, etc) storage bin. A box along the driver’s side of the bed would allow for gear storage atop and protected paddle/etc storage underneath. I had full length shelving built into both sides on the other trucks, but shelving gets heavy, and I’d like to retain the driving visibility through the right side cap window and keep everything there stored below window level in any case.

Yes to full curtains on all of the cap windows. Obscuring the view of gear in the back when off tripping or otherwise away from the truck is worthwhile. I know my preferred KISS method for attaching the curtains from previous trucks, and I can probably find someone with sewing machine skills. Paisley, or a nice floral print?

Back to work on the removable paddle storage bin. After that I can’t go much further until I have the cap installed.
 

Glenn MacGrady

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For my dedicated canoe van (AKA the Magic Bus), I scientifically break down what I always carry into two categories.

1. Non-canoe/camping, vehicle-specific gear is simple:

- AAA card with extended service range
- cell phone
- PLB

2. Canoe/camping gear and clothing is also simple:

- all of it
 
G

Guest

Guest
For my dedicated canoe van (AKA the Magic Bus), I scientifically break down what I always carry into two categories.

1. Non-canoe/camping, vehicle-specific gear is simple:

- AAA card with extended service range
- cell phone
- PLB

2. Canoe/camping gear and clothing is also simple:

- all of it

I’ve got a AAA card with extended towing, and have used it a few times for looong tows. I hate to admit it, but I now have a cell phone. No PLB. Canoe and camping gear I bring in excess anyway. Much of the “emergency” stuff is used to generate good karma, pulling over to help other folks.

The van is a wonderfully comfortable vehicle to drive on family trips or X-country with three or four boats, but the mileage necessitates cost sharing to be advantageous.

Isn’t the safest way to travel but, from a 40 year history of cross-country travel in a two driver, eat up the non-miles scenario, I’d rather have an outfitted truck bed as shift-sleeping quarters, separated from driver’s area. Blast the radio, sing along and crank down all the windows without disturbing the sleep of the next shift driver.

The other problem I’ve encountered with van camping is having to wipe down the windows from interior condensation on cold mornings. Ventilation in the van is an issue I haven’t overcome; I’ve never figured out how to screen the windows or doors to get some air moving.

So yes to screen windows on the cap. The sliding side windows on the cap are factory screened. I could screen the front sliding window, but there isn’t much ventilation in the tiny gap between the cap and cab.

I’d like to screen the more voluminous cap door and tailgate. I’ve seen a (JC Whitney?) netting and bungee arrangement for minivan doors, but minivans have other doors accessible, and that arrangement would seem a PITA to put on and take off as the only entrance on a truck. I’d likely wind up trapping a bedroom insectarium.

I might be able to figure a way to screen just the cap door, maybe with the screen & frame hinged off the cap roof, so the “screen door” swung inwards and secured to the cap roof when driving or otherwise not in use. That would be simple to deploy and still provide quick entry and egress, and I could rig the outward swinging cap door held horizontal as a short dew awning.

That is a much more complicated design effort. Back to figuring out why my math doesn’t work for a simple paddle storage box doesn’t add up.
 

Glenn MacGrady

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You're going to make guest drivers sleep in a coffin-like truck bed?

My 1997 Magic Bus van conversion (with middle seats removed) has an oriental rug on the floor, a rear couch that folds down into a Henry VIII double bed, high thread count sheets and pillow cases, multiple LED lighting effects, shades on all side and back windows, a religious shrine, two screened windows, four windows that slant/pop open, a draw drape to screen off the front seats from the living quarters and prying eyes, and an ice chest, water jugs, and kitchen box chocked with Mountain House, Cheez-Its and Raisinettes -- all easily accessible from the front seats.

Who do you think Cheryl Tiegs will want to ride with: your greasy rescue tools or my Henry VIII plushness?

Yes, the cost of gas is a big, big, big issue for a V-8 van and is the reason I haven't gone further than the Dacks in about three years. However, since I have given up smoking, drinking, eating and sex . . . maybe I'll have enough loose change to fuel the Magic Bus and buy my prostate meds. (Now THOSE I can't forget.)
 
G

Guest

Guest
You're going to make guest drivers sleep in a coffin-like truck bed?

Glenn, I did a long crosscountry trip in a friend’s truck with a tonneau cover. All of the gear was in the back, and when it rained the cover was closed.

A mid-rise cap will be like a penthouse suite in comparison.

I’ll let you know what Cheryl decides.
 
G

Guest

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Paddle bin construction

Paddle bin construction

Back to figuring out why my math doesn’t work for a simple paddle storage box

I figured it out – the walls of the truck bed are slightly angled. Now it all makes sense.

I had almost enough scrap shelving board to construct the design I had in mind, and enough scrap indoor-outdoor carpet to cover the box inside and out.

I needed one more six foot 1x10. Home from the lumber yard it all goes together as designed. Anchored with tie downs fore and aft, but still easily removable. Sturdy enough to support a 5-gallon water carboy at the tailgate end. Plenty of room inside for paddles. Plenty of room atop the box to secure other gear.

And the price was right.

http://s1285.photobucket.com/user/CooperMcCrea/slideshow/paddling Truck Outfitting
 
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