TJ Camping Experiment - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 104 Old 06-04-2010, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
tavic
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TJ Camping Experiment

No, I'm not broke or destitute...just really wanting to do this. Over the years I've always been curious about going on a Safari, basically living out of a vehicle and seeing the sights months on end...Why do I need to go to Africa or South America to do that? Why not here in the US?

Objectives:
- To see if it is economically feasible and comfortable for one man to live out of a TJ.
- To see how low I can get my cost living down (general cost of living)

Equipment:
- 2001 TJ (refer to profile for specs)
- One Male
- 6'8"
- 278 lbs
- Camp Stove
- Clothing
- Bedding
- Tent
- DC to AC Converter
- Android Phone (Samsung Moment)

Experiment Start Date: June 7, 2010

3 Month Goal:
- Installation of Rear Gate Rack
- Installation of Overhead Rack System
- Installation of Living Quarters

Potiential Rack Systems that do not include Basket:

KargoMaster Congo Cage (KargoMaster - Load Capacity And Safety)
Moving Load Rating: 500lbs
Stationary Load Rating: 1700lbs
Weight: (not advertised)

Smittybilt SRC (SRC Roof Racks - Smittybilt)
Moving Load Rating: 300lbs
Stationary Load Rating: (not advertised)
Weight: (not advertised)

Comment: I'm currently leaning towards the Congo Cage due to a couple reasons.
- Even though the Smittybilt looks cool and is recommended by Autohome, I can't get any answer from vendors regarding weight and stationary load capacity.
- Smittybilt systems attaches to body in the front and to the frame in the rear.
- Since I will be carrying something above me, height becomes an issue while offroading in wooded areas. So when I get around to modifying the suspension, plans at this time will involve a LCG build which includes a tummy tuck, 1" body lift and fender modifications. The 1" body lift will affect the Smittybilt rack system and I can't seem to get an answer if it can be easily modified.
- With anything that involves powder coated steel tubing, the most common issue is it rusting from the inside out due to not painting the inside. My cure for these issues is to pour a rust preventer in to the tubing, cap the ends and twirl until well coated on the inside. Add Drain hole(s)

Living Quarters under Consideration:

Manufacture: Autohome (Maggiolina Extreme roof top tents for expeditions and off-road)
Model: Magnolia Extreme

Note: Originally Designed for Pre-Runners in the Paris - Dakar Rally, Extra Layers of Fiberglass for added strength over standard models. Rack Included

Manufacturer: Wild Boar (WILD BOAR PRODUCTS: Bumper & Brushguard Systems for your Jeep Wrangler)
Model: 2 Man Version

Comments:
The Wild Boar Version is really sweet; itís practically a portable mansion including electrical outlets and a vast living area. However, I live in area that sees Softball Hail on occasion and I don't really want to caught sleeping in the middle of the night taking a Softball sized ball of ice to the groin'. I would feel a bit safer with the Autohome because of the Hardtop.

My other concern is the wintertime. I was advised by Wild Boar that the fabric can be customized to heavier material upon ordering. In my opinion, the heavier fabric may cause a problem during the summertime. Autohome's solution for cold weather (down to -25 Degrees) is a reflective bag you place over the Autohome.

Current Startup Cost: $165.00

12 X 40 Storage Area for Toys and Tools = $155.00 per Month
- Largest Items
- 1973 International Harvester Travelall 2WD
- 1986 Honda SuperMagna

Rental Mail Box = $10 (small)

Note: Rental Mail Boxes give you an actual street address. Some consumer companies out there require a street address for approval and yada, yada. Plus most mailbox rental places accept large packages.

Note: To help reduce camping cost I will be looking into camping memberships and state park memberships. I will have those costs posted as later on.

Sponsorship or equipment donations are welcome.
Please feel free to follow along and make suggestions.
Please Email me at [email protected]

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post #2 of 104 Old 06-04-2010, 04:46 PM
jdhallissey
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Sounds like a lot of fun. I want to do a trip like this too!
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post #3 of 104 Old 06-04-2010, 05:05 PM
Zoom By You
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I like the Motor-home unit better. When I was a kid I was going to do the same thing in a GMC 4X4 short wheelbase Van....




2001 TJ Sport Amber Fire, Dual Tops/Dual Doors, 4.0, Banks Ram-Air, Banks S.S. Monster exhaust, five speed, NV3550, A.A. SYE/Tom Woods, 4:56 D30/D35, Detroit Truetrac at both ends, Solid diff covers, 4.5 R.E. Super Flex W/3.5 springs, adjustable upper and lower control arms, adjustable front and rear R.E. track bars, TeraFlex shock relocation brackets, R.E. Mono tube shocks, R.E. front stabilizer, R.E. 3/4" front spacer, 33 X 12.5 TrXus STS, M/T Classic-locks, ShrockWorks Rock Rails, Hanson 52" front bumper, EPi9.0 Superwinch with wireless control, Olympic rear bumper, Olympic Mountaineer rack, Bushwacker 6" Pocket Flares, Optima yellow top, IPF headlights W/ Fatboys, upgraded relay/wiring harness, KC Slims, Bosch rear lights, Garmin c550 GPS, Garmin 76S GPS, Cobra CB 148GTL W/Astatic Mic, Pioneer Sound, 3A Racing fire extinguishers. Manhattan Rated....
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post #4 of 104 Old 06-04-2010, 09:30 PM
Karma
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HI,
I'm setting up my Jeep to accomplish the same thing. However, I have taken a different path. I don't use a roof top tent. An expedition build with a Wrangler as the basis is a challange.

Rather than spendng a whole bunch of words to describe what I have, PM me and maybe we can exchange photos once we have real email addresses.

There is no doubt that an expedition build is certainly different than the majority of Jeeps on this forum.

Sparky
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post #5 of 104 Old 06-05-2010, 05:28 AM
armyRN
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Tavic, you have to get at least a netbook with wireless access and keep a running blog/website of this trip. There are many of us that will be living vicariously your dream trip, and will want to follow your exploits. Also, if folks know in advance when you'll be in their area they might be willing to let you crash at their place or set up camp on their property.

One question though - and I'm sure you thought of it and ruled it out, but why not a little camping trailer instead of a roof-top tent (like the trailer example linked to below)? It seems like it would be in some ways more convenient to be able to pull a trailer instead of having to carry it above where it will lift your center of gravity. Plus you could always unhook if you were somewhere you wanted to stay for a little while. I looked at the magnolia extreme roof tent you linked to. It looks totally cool, but it isn't cheap. The trailer might more up-front, but seems like the convenience and safety would balance it out. Just wondering. Keep us posted!

Terrain Rated Jeep trailers and off road tent trailers by Tentrax
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post #6 of 104 Old 06-05-2010, 07:41 AM
Benderff
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Not much room, but I thought this was kinda cool, and cheaper.
Folding Camper Store Folding Camper Jeep Sleeper

Go with the Kongo cage for sure! I have seen both racks and the Kongo is by far much nicer!


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post #7 of 104 Old 06-05-2010, 08:09 AM
Faramir66103
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For one person, there's a lot of room in a TJ. You could put an inexpensive deck (tonneau) over the rear for secure storage of quite a bit of gear, especially if you are smart about it. I've got an expedition trailer that's slowly being built up with room for everything and a roof top tent, and I took it out with 4 people last summer. However, for one, I HIGHLY recommend HENNESSY HAMMOCKS.com: ultra-light line of jungle hammocks, ultra-comfortable camping hammock /chair/ tent combo. They are amazingly comfortable even for someone like me who can't sleep in a regular hammock. They are easy to set up and take down, and I've even used the roll cage in the Jeep as one of the supports. Don't think lightweight, or minimalist, think frugal with your systems, and I'll bet you be happier with how you spend your available cash.

FWIW,
Adam

P.S. I'm totally jealous. I'd love to have the freedom to do this right now. Enjoy!

'99 TJ Sport, 4.0 I6, 5 speed manual transmission, Hi Lift w/offroad kit, Viair 450C compressor, Garmin GPS, Skid Row Engine/Transmission, steering box & radiator skid plates, Kilby gas tank plate, AtoZ Fab full length rocker guards, Performance Accessories 1" Body Lift, OME 2.5" HD springs & shocks, JKS trackbars front & rear, BFG AT 33x12.5r15, EBC Yellow pads and Centric rotors
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post #8 of 104 Old 06-05-2010, 06:35 PM
xplodn
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Location: Phoenix, AZ
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This would be great to do!

A couple suggestions:
1. a trailer is probably the way to go, they fold away and give you LOCKABLE storage and space. Plus you can pull them just about anywhere.
2. Lets be honest, you are going to need to secure your junk up big time. With so many countries etc, you will most likely not be able to carry a boom-stick, so you will need to do it all right and lock it up. Check out a local build: Rear security - Virtual Jeep Club
3. I would try to connect with other swho have gone fully through with this is both, lots of us would have loved to but haven't. Figure out if you want Africa or South America and go from there.

Thats what I thought of off the top of my head. Best of luck and keep the updates coming!
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post #9 of 104 Old 06-05-2010, 06:41 PM
Hendrix
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Subscribed sounds fun.


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post #10 of 104 Old 06-05-2010, 07:10 PM
Noobicon
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Sounds cool, I'll be following this thread. As this is my back up plan if my life ever falls apart.
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post #11 of 104 Old 06-06-2010, 02:13 AM
billymac4511
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noobicon View Post
Sounds cool, I'll be following this thread. As this is my back up plan if my life ever falls apart.

Sooo ditto.

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post #12 of 104 Old 06-06-2010, 03:02 AM
TJamz
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Who would'nt want to do this? I know I sure do. Have you considered towing a small travel trailer(edit: as mentioned above)? Something like a teardrop, Boler or Scamp(I believe the "Outback" is the modern version of a boler=super light).
Tomorrows the big day! This happenning or what?

Last edited by TJamz; 06-06-2010 at 03:16 AM.
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post #13 of 104 Old 06-06-2010, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
tavic
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Its still looking to kick off as planned.
I definitly appreciate the suggestions, please keep them coming.
I do plan on putting up some type of blog keeping track of this "adventure". A notebook is in the plans for the future or maybe some type of a DC mod to an existing Desktop and the utilization of a touch screen monitor. For now Ill keep things simple such as utililizing the Android for communicating. The only advantage a netbook has at this time over an Android is the larger screen and keyboard, I have to say these Androids are unbelievable on what they can accomplish. Would you believe I have the entire Jeep 2002 FSM manual saved on this thing and I can easily scroll through it?

I have considered a trailer setup as well. As most of our projects do; they mutate through the build process. One future mod is to possibly retire the rack over time and pickup an "adventure trailer" and mount the rooftop camper to it. There are thousands of things out there that makes living like this more comfortable and rather easy. For example there's a device that you can plumb in to your vehicle's cooling system to heat up water for a hot shower if your staying in area that dosen't have shower facilities and there are tent manufacturers that manufacture portable shower stalls.

I definitely like idea of the hammock, because my poor old body doesnt get along with sleeping on the hard ground these days. Ill definitely look closer into that to get by on until the roof top is established. It'd be a cool guests quarters when I have company too,LOL.

The main goal at this time is to get my mundane life integrated in to this type of lifestyle, because its going to take a lot of extra work. Meals is one of them, refridgeration is pretty much non existant. I can cheat a bit by utillizing a refridgation system at work, but overall it going to be mainly visiting the store daily. Ill also need to be prepared for when winter comes. Some folks had mentioned that for the same price of a rooftop camper, I can pick up a used pop-up pull behind. However, heating it will be rather expensive, not to mention they're not really designed for the winter time from what I've seen and heard. My current winter plan is after establishing the rooftop living quaters, I will add on second battery (if my knowledge is correct, it will need to be a deep cycle) to power a small DC heater that will be equipped with a thermostat so that it doesn't cook me in the process and put a strain on the battery. Along with that a portable marine windmill will be added in to keep the battery up..if you don't already know, Oklahoma has alot of wind that can be utilized...just keeping it green the process.
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post #14 of 104 Old 06-06-2010, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
tavic
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Double Post

Last edited by tavic; 06-06-2010 at 11:16 AM. Reason: double post
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post #15 of 104 Old 06-06-2010, 11:11 AM
jtpaintball70
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This sounds like a blast. I'll be sure to keep checking this thread for updates

Nathan
KD5QHI

NREMT-I/85

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