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Rig Review: What worked and what didn't - winter 2021?

March 8, 2021.

Over the course of the winter, the truck has performed well. Four (!) trips down to the desert to stay warm have put a bunch of miles on the odometer and resulted in only a few little tweaks to the set up. But any tweak is worth understanding, so let's check them out. This rig review covers:

Whew, at ~2500 miles each, it's only the beginning of March and I've put 10,000 miles on the truck so far this year. I hope I can keep this up through the remainder of 2021!

My Headlights are Too Dim (fully resolved)

LED headlights on the left; upgraded halogens on the right. Both color and light output are improved!

TL;DR - I ditched the LEDs for high wattage halogens and couldn't be happier. Works great in all conditions.

Front ADS Coilover Spherical Bearings (Stainless Steel update)

TL;DR - I'm trying something new. I've installed stainless steel spherical bearings this time, hopefully to prolong their life.

My Ham/APRS Setup is Changed (ongoing)

TL;DR - I'm back to the old antenna, and I'm not longer using APRSDroid.

The Zipper on the CVT Tent is Shit (ongoing)

TL;DR - For the last several trips, I've had to lubricate the zipper on the @Cascadia Vehicle Tents tarp *every* time I close it up. That sucks.

Seemingly solved from previous Rig Reviews

  1. My Headlights are Too Dim

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
  3. Relentless Skid Plate Attachment
  4. The Drawer in the In-Cab Battery Cabinet Rattles



Check out older Rig Reviews





  1. Mark Bohne
    Mark Bohne April 15, 2021

    Im sure someone has mentioned using a candle on zipper---or if stuck--bar of soap?

    • turbodb
      turbodb April 15, 2021

      I've heard it mentioned a few times. Question (i.e. I'd love more than one answer if other folks read this as well) - how do bee's wax or soap do as far as attracting dust/dirt? I've hesitated to put anything (except water) on the zippers for fear of it being a short term solution, with longer term consequences.

    • Mark Bohne
      Mark Bohne April 15, 2021

      the only "dry"lube is silicone spray. it does leave a very thin dry film. would work in easy problem--then if problem persists- candle wax would provide long lasting thicker film. hard wax is rated dustproof by the national candle wax association. lol

  2. Brandon
    Brandon April 15, 2021

    Ditto on candle wax or bar soap on $#@$ zippers. I have to confess that my sinister side wants those CVT zippers to stay stuck or not close and you get the sweet GFC. 🙂

  3. Mark Bohne
    Mark Bohne April 15, 2021

    where would i find sperical bearings on a tacoma?

    • turbodb
      turbodb April 15, 2021

      You won't find any of those on a stock Tacoma. The only ones I have are on my (aftermarket) suspension. Really, on any Tacoma (of any generation) you're only likely to find spherical bearings on shocks (and only then on the higher end King, ADS, Fox, Icon variants).

      Stock, Tacoma's come with shocks that contain rubber bushings. Those are less maintenance prone, but don't offer quite the same performance, and when they wear out (30K miles or so), you have to replace the entire shock vs. just the bearing.

      The closest thing to spherical bearings on a stock Tacoma are the upper and lower ball joints.

  4. Samuel Wagenseller
    Samuel Wagenseller April 16, 2021

    Some of my motorcycle adventure gear, endless dust, was suffering from zipper problems. I ride the crayon and the candle then I found Zipper-Ease the two sticks I bought on Amazon for less than $10. Will take many years to consume, works well and doesn’t attract dust!

    • turbodb
      turbodb April 16, 2021

      Awesome, this sounds worth trying; thanks! ?

  5. Michael Vermette
    Michael Vermette April 16, 2021

    As a veteran of Burning Man, I have learned a lot of hard lessons about zippers and dust 🙂 Candle wax, bee's wax, etc will help the zipper initially but will gum it up horribly shortly thereafter because it collects dust and grit. Silicone spray is nice but hard to control and can stain the material surrounding the zipper. The best solution I've found over time is to use the silicone liquid used to lube bicycle chains. I saturate a cotton ball and run it over the length of the zipper a few times. Easy slide, no stain, and it's easy to carry in your gear box.

    • turbodb
      turbodb April 16, 2021

      Thanks Michael, this is exactly what I was worried about. Decisions decisions!

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