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Rig Review: Hiking Death Valley - What worked and what didn't?

Rig Review is a new type of post that I'm going to try to write up after most trips, where I'll note any things that worked really well, or could have been better. The idea has always been to optimize the Tacoma build and setup over time, so there's nothing really new from that perspective.

I won't talk about everything I've got going on - just new equipment to the trip and/or any outliers that deserve a mention. At the very least, I figure that long-term, real-world reviews of the products I use are good for everyone!

February 18, 2019.

Hiking Death Valley was a different kind of trip - one with more time away from the truck, and less time driving. So the rig review this time has a little less to go on - but that doesn't make me any less passionate about the bits of kit that were working well!.

Exped MegaMat Duo 10 LXW (new)

TL;DR - if you ever feel like your RTT mattress leaves a little something to be desired, don't buy a foam topper to try to increase it's thickness. Get an Exped MegaMat Duo 10 LXW. You won't regret it even though it's pricey - this is the most comfortable sleeping experience I've ever had.

Rear Shock Relocation, ADS Suspension, and SPC Upper Control Arms

Not only functional, but they look good too!

TL;DR - the ADS setup is working great. We didn't do much dirt travel this time, but what little we did do was no problem at all. More to come in the future.

Seemingly solved from previous Rig Reviews

In all fairness to the rig, I didn't really do anything except maintenance since the last review, so it's my fault that there's nothing to list here. My apologies to the truck.

Unchanged / Still an issue from previous Rig Reviews

There are some things that have been featured in Rig Reviews that are - as yet - unchanged from when I originally reviewed them. Rather than highlight those things again, I'll simply link to them here.

  1. The Swing-Out Table - as expected, it was unusable on this trip.
  2. The Electrical System - continues to have the limitations of a single battery system.
  3. The Ham Radio Antenna - continues to have the shortcoming mentioned.
  4. The CVT Roof Top Tent
    1. Stargazer windows in the rain fly continued to be a significant issue, which I hope to address for the next trip.
    2. Rubber cover zipper was still tough to close; this is on me though - I need to clean and wax it.
  5. Stealth Custom Series (SCS) Stealth6 Wheels - mud wasn't that big of an issue this trip, but I still need a way to pull the wheels further inboard.
  6. Coleman Camp Stove/Grill - the wind screens fall down any time the grill is jostled just a little bit, and it sounds like the world is coming to an end.



  1. T o m
    T o m June 12, 2023

    Second on the Exped.

    I replaced the 2" foam disaster that ships with the Alucab tents after one night. The Duo xl fits perfectly and it almost as comfortable as my bed at home. It's warmer in cold weather and cooler in warm weather, or at least that's how it seems.

    • turbodb
      turbodb June 20, 2023

      How's the exped fit in the Alucab? I've considered getting something like a GFC (wedge-RTT) but they are all just a little too narrow to fit the Exped. And I'm not willing to give it up! ?

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