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Rig Review - What Worked and What Didn't in Colorado?

October 12, 2020.

There's no doubt about it, the truck worked pretty well on the Clear, Colorful, Colorado trip for the entirety of the two weeks. Heck, it even got me there and back on the highway - two 20+ hour drives straight, with a bunch of dirt thrown in-between.

So, without further ado, let's do a quick rundown of what worked well, and what could have been better.

Oil spray in engine bay (resolved)

TL;DR - seems to have resolved itself. The fluid was power steering fluid, I believe.

The Drawer in the In-Cab Battery Cabinet Rattles

TL;DR - I need to find a way to secure the drawer a little more securely in the cabinet to stop it from rattling.

All Kinds of Problems with the CB Antenna

TL;DR - The CB antenna basically pooped its pants. I've replaced it.

Ham Radio Antenna Getting Caught on Branches (resolved)

TL;DR - I got a new, shorter antenna. And it's great. Should have done this a long time ago.

My Headlights are Too Dim

TL;DR - My forward facing lights suck - I need brighter headlights, at least.

Sticky Roof Top Tent Cover Zipper

TL;DR - The tent is still great, but I've got some qualms with the tarp/cover - part of it is coming unstitched, and the zipper sucks whenever it gets dusty.

ADS 2.5" Coilovers with Remote Reservoirs Need Limit Straps

TL;DR - I need limit straps to prevent the shocks from over-extending, which can lead to shock tower failure.

Coleman Camp Stove/Grill (improvement)

TL;DR - after modifying the propane neck to use a flexible tube, I like the stove even more.

Seemingly solved from previous Rig Reviews

  1. The Ham Radio Antenna
  2. Oil Spray in the Engine Bay - solved itself. I hope.

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. Oil Leaking from Transfer Case
  2. The Windshield Has Seen Better Days


Check out older Rig Reviews


  1. John
    John December 16, 2020

    Two things...the radio antenna problem is real for fixed mount applications and I didn't realize that when I bought magnetic mount antenna for my VHF and GMRS radios I was doing myself a huge favor. Now, when the terrain gets wonky and they tip over, I just mag mount them to the back of the cab until the trail clears. They're not in an ideal position for use but they still work and aren't getting bent over to the point of breaking.

    Second observation...well designed LED lamps from Baja Designs or the equivalent put out prodigious amounts of light in a small form factor with less load than a traditional bulb and make themselves worthy of their price point. With halogen headlights having a lifespan of <1000 hours, you should do yourself a huge favor and drop $30 on a new pair. If it's the housings going yellow or opaque, Rock Auto is your friend. Replacements are crazy cheap.

    This would be good in print. 😉

    • turbodb
      turbodb December 17, 2020

      Thanks John. I hear what you’re saying about the magnetic mounts, but I am a fan of the NMO mounts, since they’ve proven themselves over time in my set ups. A ham set up is measured by its ability to receive, and the antenna is the biggest part of that. The diamond antenna that I use gets amazing reception, and it is a fold down antenna, so it’s really just a laziness that results in it ever getting hit on the trail. That laziness would come back to bite me with the magnetic mount as well, which could get pulled off of the truck. I’m also not a huge fan of having the wire for the magnetic mount dangling out the window - just doesn’t seem “finished” given how often I’m on the trail!

      The short whip antenna I got is going to be great, and has also seem to work well on future trips. I don’t think I will run it all the time, but I will definitely be running everyone trips where I will be in trees.

      As for the headlights, I’m definitely aware of what Baja Designs and Diode Dynamics have on offer. Both seem to be great products and I’d especially likes set of the SS3 Max spots and SS3 selective yellow fogs. The biggest issue for me is price, since I’ve already had a set of lights that were mounted to my bumper destroyed by hitting a deer.

      However, I have some ideas in store for the headlight situation, and I’ll be posting more about that soon! ?

      Lastly, I’m out on the trail right now, but I will shoot you an email when I return regarding how this would look in print. ?

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