I wanted to take a moment and address some things going on at Line 4 these days.
First and foremost, I know that content has dipped and the podcast has completely vanished for now. Here is the short answer, I have once again deployed and am trying to manage both my military duties as well as L4EC’s daily operations. I want to thank everyone for their patience and understanding!
Podcast. I really miss my weekly talks with people around the Overland and Outdoor communities and look forward to starting back up in 2020 with fresh episodes. In the mean time we are attempting to sort out the logistics and time zone issues for recording overseas.
Upcoming Trips? We’re still actively planning our Texas trip with On the Move Archery and will be executing this in the spring! We had a slot open up and will be looking for one of our fan’s to join us if possible. Spaces are limited due to planned activities on private land.
Taco update. We have a growing stack of parts and will be looking to work again with NBD Motorsports for some installs later this month. Rear suspension upgrades are on order and the Allpro Offroad bumper and skid plates are in Virginia waiting to go on the truck. Future plans for seats have been put on hold due to cost, but we will be upgrading our navigation capability in the truck to an data enabled iPad for ease of use and attempting to learn Gaia as we transition away from Hema maps.
Again, I want to thank everyone who supports this company and your continued patience as I continue to learn to balance L4EC and the Navy!
Continuing on with the series of most useful gear from the New England Expedition, this installment will specifically cover modifications for the truck. For fairness sake, this will exclude the GFC and other systems installed inside the camper. Those will be covered in a future article about camping gear.
Top 3 Tacoma Modifications;
CBI Fabrication Bolt on Rock Sliders.This is a vital piece of armor for any rig with a wheelbase longer than a 2 door Jeep! Most my overland trips are solo and not having a spotter can be risky around some of the rock obstacles found on Class 4 roads in New England. The powder coating not withstanding, these held up great and can be an important insurance policy.
Nitto Ridge Grappler Tires. These were a last minute addition from NBD Motorsports in Virginia Beach their hybrid performance between Mud Terrain and an All Terrain, and beefy sidewalls were critical for the harsh conditions in southern New Hampshire. The thick sidewalls protected against sidewall punctures and I only got stuck once, which was solved rapidly with Maxtrax. Noise is minimal and fuel milage was about .5mpg less than before.
Icon 2.5 Extended travel Coil-overs. Not a new modification, but the ride quality and improved wheel travel has made off-road performance and driver comfort a dream. Something to remember is suspension is really one of the areas that you get what you pay for, and these are worth it. Icon does a pretty good Black Friday sale, so I would wait for that.
**Bonus Item** Baja Designs Amber Fog lights. More light is never a bad thing, but light bars and highways don’t really mix. I like these fog lights for two reasons. First, they are a plug and play install. Secondly the amber doesn’t reflect off snow and dust nearly as much, resulting in less eye strain for the driver.
This will be a new series of articles covering After Action Review (AAR) points from my 10 day trip in New England. I will break this down by category, but for today it will be the five most useful or most used items for the trip. Future articles will go into truck mods, apps, camping gear and clothing.
WeBoost Reach! This cell booster has consistently performed well since I installed it in Montana this summer and has allowed greater flexibility in route changes on the fly as well as uploading content during remote trail portions. It is so good in fact that when you finally loose service you have to remind yourself that it’s part of overland travel and not to get frustrated. Well worth the investment!
Jungalas by Esee Knives. This is a very robust knife that has replaced my axe, and machete. While moderately intimidating and possibly illegal in certain areas, This is a very handy tool, with plenty of cutting power that I like to keep in the cab of my truck on the trail!
Cell Phone. Navigation, camera, communications, and entertainment. Need I say more?
Nitto Ridge Grapplers. This was a last minute upgrade and a critical one. With hybrid performance between Mud Terrain and an All Terrain, the beefy sidewalls were critical for protecting against rocks and tree stumps. I only got stuck once, which was solved rapidly with Maxtrax, and most of the credit I will give these new tires. Noise is minimal and fuel milage was about .5mpg less than before.
CBI bolt on rock sliders. Save my truck. Without a spotter certain trail sections would have resulted in body damage.
Honorable mention. I only needed the snorkel once, but the water was over the head lights and possibly would have been a deal breaker for the day.
Phil from on the move Archery joins CJ from Italy to discuss Tacoma builds, both his goals and lessons learned by Cj. Officially the longest podcast to date, but very detailed discussions about the battles of building trucks in Europe as well as maximizing Midsize trucks.
On this episode, first time guest Johnny Gengler and I discuss the Montana trip as well as some general overlanding knowledge. Johnny is a Marine stationed in Virginia who previously served with me in North Dakota.
This week the Founder and CEO of DMOS Collective joins us on the show! We will be discussing shovels, being prepared and some fun misadventures! We’re excited to hear about the upcoming Delta shovel launch and what went into the development of this ground breaking, pun intended, product!