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Gear and Equipment Review

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#21
Teds

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Teds,
I don't recommend GoalZero. 1) Too Pricey. 2) Accessories are Proprietary and Pricey. I bought a 30w PV, 30A regulator, 20ft extension cable for over $230. I was going to addon another PV panel to upgrade and no generics would matchup. I researched and bought a 100w PV, regulator, and cables for under $200. You could call them generic but my new solars are the same used in home/commerical applications.
If you really want a GoalZero, PM me and I'll make a good deal on my used one.


Goal Zero works great as a plug and play system with their products especially if you are using one of their battery systems. The battery has an integrated inverter with USB and 12v chargers for devices and their excellent LED lights. You pay for the convenience of an integrated system. They are also a good company that has donated many products to worthy causes and disasters around the world. I prefer to buy from companies that look beyond the bottom line and give back to the community.

If you are looking for solar panels to charge your existing battery, they have a solution, but they are more expensive per watt than cheap panels on eBay.

I may be interested in your GZ products if you are selling.
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#22
DHappel

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Oooh- jetboil for the win! Those things are awesome!

Don
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#23
Michal C

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Hi All,

These are my "tools" that I would recommend to anyone (let me know if you have any questions)

* ARB 50 fridge - yep I am a sucker but it is a simply great camping fridge and will survive lots of beating
* JetBoil for morning coffee (you can't beat a freshly brewed coffee)
* ArkPak - amazing new battery system (makes the need for second battery system obsolete as ArkPak can run ARB 50 fridge, lights, charge laptop/ipad/iphone etc etc and lasts 5-7 days without the need to recharge which you can do while driving)
* Partner Steel Stove - very very very durable stove
* NEMO Helio pressure shower - amazing idea (you pour water, ad a bit of hot water from your JetBoil and after 30 sec of pumping you get a hot shower!)
* OzTent - simply love the fact that it really takes less than 30 seconds to set it up. RV5 fits 4 people or 3 large cots very comfortably. Really well made tent.
* PowerFilm 60w foldable solar panel - really easy to use and will recharge your battery system while camping
* TrimbleOutdoors.com - fantastic GPS mapping software. For $20 a year you get unlimited access to the best maps out there (real maps scanned in a very high resolution). Also a great app for your iPad (works with iPad 1 which i use as my off road gps device)
* FrontRunner outfitters brown water footwell water tank (10.6 gallon) - universal storage for your brown water (very useful for longer trips)
* FrontRunner outfitters spare tire mount grill - very cool idea - good size grill fitting on your spare tire (easy to take out, clean and good size for larger groups)
* FrontRunner outfitters FlipPop Tent - great tent for 2 ppl (sets up in 10 seconds / folds also in the same time)
* FrontRunner outfitters stratchits - best ways of securing any load on your roof rack. Such a simple idea and you will never want to use regular tie downs etc.
* Therm-a-rest NeoAir Dream sleeping pad - never slept that well while camping...

I did buy GoalZero 350 and honestly I am quite disappointed with the battery life. It is really a great tool to recharge your phones/ipads/lapotop during a blackout but you can't run ARB fridge and other accessories off of it even for a weekend trip without the need to recharge.

Hope this helps.

Edited by Michal C, 07 April 2014 - 09:58 PM.

HAM KK6VIL / 2011 LR4 HSE - BFGs 265/65R18, LR3 wheels with 30mm spacers, terrafirma hidden winch mount with superwinch 9.5 SR, IIDTool, baja roof rack with ladder, TR rock sliders, TR gas tank and transfer case skid plates, rigid industries D2 driving lamps, OEM front A bar, Kaymar rear bumper (double swing), Long Range Automotive aux fuel tank, Green Oval lift and air suspension override etc. etc. etc.....


#24
El Solis

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Michal I would really love to see the OzTent sometime. It is in my radar but was worried about the size with cots. I should be at the MoM if you are going would you be will to bring it along?

Chris

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#25
Michal C

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Michal I would really love to see the OzTent sometime. It is in my radar but was worried about the size with cots. I should be at the MoM if you are going would you be will to bring it along?

Chris


Hi Chris,

I have two large size cots and they fit with no problems leaving enough room for the dog and a travel crib for our daughter. I like the OzTent because you can set it up in seconds (my record is 14 seconds). It takes longer to put it back (aprox 2-3 min) and then attach it to your roofrack etc. I would not go for anything smaller than RV4 with RV5 (my choice) being the largest. Due to the frame size etc. you are really not saving much weight/size by going with the smaller design and thus my recommendation is - GO BIG :) As for the quality of the tent... it is really worth the money. I envisage many many years of using this tent (i purchased it 1.5 yr ago and still looks like new). I don't have any attachments etc as it may be an overkill but it is up to you. I used the tent in both very warm climates (Mojave Road two weeks ago) and Shaver Lake and it works great for both (you can open large windows in the summer or have it all closed and warm in the winter).

I will try to come to the MoM but because I am doing the Death Valley trip I can't guarantee as may need to spend some time with my family :) I will let you know post Death Valley trip.

Best,

Michal

HAM KK6VIL / 2011 LR4 HSE - BFGs 265/65R18, LR3 wheels with 30mm spacers, terrafirma hidden winch mount with superwinch 9.5 SR, IIDTool, baja roof rack with ladder, TR rock sliders, TR gas tank and transfer case skid plates, rigid industries D2 driving lamps, OEM front A bar, Kaymar rear bumper (double swing), Long Range Automotive aux fuel tank, Green Oval lift and air suspension override etc. etc. etc.....


#26
DHappel

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After seeing Michal's OzTent at Shaver this year, it's very high on my list as well. I'm planning to shop them at Overland Expo as they are listed as a vendor there. Of course, I'm flying in so if I do buy something I'll have to see if there's anybody headed back to the bay with some spare room on-board who would like to demo a spiffy new tent for a few days....

Might also pick up a refer while I'm there if I see any screamin' deals.

Don
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#27
RedRover

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I will say I have the road shower (roadshower.com) and although it is pricey for a 5 gallon tank and a solar shower (about $300) it does work well for showers. It is pressurized which is really nice and it warms up all day unlike a solar shower bag which can't stay filled on the roof while driving. It will double as a jerry can but to maximize this I recommend changing some of the connectors for water and for shower. here are some pics of mine with the changes. overall I highly recommend it.


So... let me just say the road shower is amazing! And this is coming from a woman who camped out an entire week in Baja without the luxuries of home or hotel. While I think that that 5 gallons is enough for one person, it was a little less for two people because half way through Jared's shower, he ended up having to rinse in the ocean. (Sorry Babe) I have too much hair... :)

All in all, I was very pleased with the performance and usability, and while in the high $200 range, I don't think it's overpriced for the ingenuity and capabilities that it holds. I really think that someone will have a hard time reproducing a unit like this because the key is the pressurization. Without it, their wouldn't be enough pressure to get the water out of the tank through the hose.

Thank you, Chris, for the road shower introduction. It made for much more enjoyable, stink free, camping trip. Haha!

-Erin

Jared (KJ6MQI)
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#28
El Solis

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Happy to help. What I do to combat the size of the tank is to set up my solar shower bag which is also 5 gal and then refill the road shower for shower #2. You can't drive with the bag filled so only good for once you are at camp.

Chris KK6CQE

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1963 Jaguar MK2 3.8 litre


#29
davidp

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I'm in the market for a tent.. for my family (2 adults 2 kids (age 4)). I was quite interested in a RTT (tepui?) but now looking at this Oz tent .,, it's pretty cool too. I'm gonna get one in a few weeks in time for memorial day weekend., can anyone with experience with them (tepui RTT vs. OzTent) give me some advice? :)

thanx
david
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#30
ROVRMAN2

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I have neither brand. I do have a RTT (can't remember the brand) seems like everything is made in China. Very similar to Tepui. Weight of tent for family of 5 would be a problem mounting on the roof rack, tho great view from above, young children can fall and injure themselves if parents aren't watchful. Opening and closing tent on roof can be a pain without a step ladder (unless you're 6+ ft tall). There is a danger of falling and injury while opening or closing tent (re: injury that occurred at Annual 2 yrs ago). I re-mounted my tent onto my trailer to chest level for ease of zippering open or closing.
I viewed the OzTent video and it seemed easier to setup than a RTT. The weight is 1/3rd that of a 5 person RTT. Setting it up on the ground would need cots for comfort (only hardcores like to sleep on ground). Extra cots, means more stuff to carry. Oztent has the plus of standing height too. Another plus is no climbing down ladder for late night nature calls.
If Chinese copys using ripstop instead of canvas, probably the price would be right and lightweight too.
I would trade my RTT for an OzTent if I had the $$$. Of course, its harder for lions,tigers,bears to get to occupants in a RTT ;)
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AlCan,Dalton,Edgerton,Top of the World,Cassiar,Baja Sur Highways approved.

#31
davidp

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thanks for your reply.

seems like the big pro of RTT is the comfort and being "off the ground", which i think my wife will like. But, you can't use the car without "repacking" the tent.. So, I wonder, on average, how long does it take to repack a RTT? 5-10 mins?

Another concern i have is having weight on the top of the car.. does it really kill gas milage and handling?

Last concern i have is, how easy / hard is it to install the RTT on the roof rack and take it off the roof rack. A RTT will weight about 120lbs. My LR4 is my wife's daily driver so for every trip, we'll have to put it on and take it down. I assume I'll need a friend to help me. I'm 5'10 and my friends won't be taller than me.. is it relatively ok for 2 person to install it on the roof, or is it an ordeal? this last one really make the Oz tent more attractive to me.
David

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#32
Michal C

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thanks for your reply.

seems like the big pro of RTT is the comfort and being "off the ground", which i think my wife will like. But, you can't use the car without "repacking" the tent.. So, I wonder, on average, how long does it take to repack a RTT? 5-10 mins?

Another concern i have is having weight on the top of the car.. does it really kill gas milage and handling?

Last concern i have is, how easy / hard is it to install the RTT on the roof rack and take it off the roof rack. A RTT will weight about 120lbs. My LR4 is my wife's daily driver so for every trip, we'll have to put it on and take it down. I assume I'll need a friend to help me. I'm 5'10 and my friends won't be taller than me.. is it relatively ok for 2 person to install it on the roof, or is it an ordeal? this last one really make the Oz tent more attractive to me.



Hi - I am (obviously) a fan of the oztent. I bought it b/c I needed a fast one person set up tent (my wife is not much of a camper) that will fit a family of 4 plus a large dog (would be tight but defiantly doable). Also with an OZtent I still have the roofrack to store firewood, spare full size tire and 2 gas jerrys. That being said - RTT is easier to fold back as it takes 5-10 min to fold the oztent (itself taking 2 min) but then you need to attach it to your roof rack. RTT is also nice as you are off the ground but you can achieve the same by having cots and you can stand up in the oz tent. I guess it is up to you and what you think works best for you. Both systems have their advantages and disadvantages.

HAM KK6VIL / 2011 LR4 HSE - BFGs 265/65R18, LR3 wheels with 30mm spacers, terrafirma hidden winch mount with superwinch 9.5 SR, IIDTool, baja roof rack with ladder, TR rock sliders, TR gas tank and transfer case skid plates, rigid industries D2 driving lamps, OEM front A bar, Kaymar rear bumper (double swing), Long Range Automotive aux fuel tank, Green Oval lift and air suspension override etc. etc. etc.....


#33
Michal C

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Happy to help. What I do to combat the size of the tank is to set up my solar shower bag which is also 5 gal and then refill the road shower for shower #2. You can't drive with the bag filled so only good for once you are at camp.



Chris - how do you fill the roadshower while on the road? Do you basically need a separate water 5gallon jerry can and then getting on your roof and filling up the roadshower?

HAM KK6VIL / 2011 LR4 HSE - BFGs 265/65R18, LR3 wheels with 30mm spacers, terrafirma hidden winch mount with superwinch 9.5 SR, IIDTool, baja roof rack with ladder, TR rock sliders, TR gas tank and transfer case skid plates, rigid industries D2 driving lamps, OEM front A bar, Kaymar rear bumper (double swing), Long Range Automotive aux fuel tank, Green Oval lift and air suspension override etc. etc. etc.....


#34
ROVRMAN2

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RE: RTT vs OzTent
I would surmise it would take approximately the same duration to pack up a RTT vs pack up OzTent and tie it to a roof rack.
As for COG, < 60 lbs is better than 120+ lbs. For wind resistance probably greater with a RTT. When my RTT was mounted on my LR3 2005 I got about 1 mpg less (14.4 vs 15.5---whoopee), funny thing is that with my trailer I get that 14+ range. Climbing the Sierras or Syskiyous, I get 10+ with a trailer.
In other words I go with Michal's opinion, but not the price for now. :)





;)
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#35
davidp

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i think it's gonna take me a few weeks to make a decision.

like i said, my main concern is probably installing it and taking it off the roof rack.

after seeing this video.. it now doesn't seems so hard :P


just wondering, Michal C, where did u get your oztent? are there any deals out there.

looks like both options are about the same price..
David

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#36
El Solis

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Michal, yes I just carry extra jerry cans in the truck (I like the LCI "scepter" style which are $25.99 from the LCI website http://www.buylci.co...&fr=1&ps=0&av=0 no tax or shipping. Got 4 about year ago. Just haul one can on the roof if it isn't up there already and refill. nice to do as part of the night ritual or morning ritual before you hit the road.

Chris KK6CQE

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08 BMW 550i
2013 Discovery 4, Black Pack, NCLR sticker as only modification….for now
1963 Jaguar MK2 3.8 litre


#37
Michal C

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i think it's gonna take me a few weeks to make a decision.

like i said, my main concern is probably installing it and taking it off the roof rack.

after seeing this video.. it now doesn't seems so hard :P


just wondering, Michal C, where did u get your oztent? are there any deals out there.

looks like both options are about the same price..


HI - I bought from the US sole dealer directly (familytentcamping.com) but used their Ebay pricing (as it is a bit lower than on their webpage). Also, they do have floor samples etc and they sell them a bit cheaper. I just wanted the largest tent and at that time they didn't have a used model but maybe now they have it.

Good luck with your choices. Both are great!

Best,

Michal

HAM KK6VIL / 2011 LR4 HSE - BFGs 265/65R18, LR3 wheels with 30mm spacers, terrafirma hidden winch mount with superwinch 9.5 SR, IIDTool, baja roof rack with ladder, TR rock sliders, TR gas tank and transfer case skid plates, rigid industries D2 driving lamps, OEM front A bar, Kaymar rear bumper (double swing), Long Range Automotive aux fuel tank, Green Oval lift and air suspension override etc. etc. etc.....


#38
Michal C

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Michal, yes I just carry extra jerry cans in the truck (I like the LCI "scepter" style which are $25.99 from the LCI website http://www.buylci.co...&fr=1&ps=0&av=0 no tax or shipping. Got 4 about year ago. Just haul one can on the roof if it isn't up there already and refill. nice to do as part of the night ritual or morning ritual before you hit the road.


Chris - Thanks a lot. We need to compare our showers :) I like Nemo Helio but I am interested to see how your works. I have a "wife problem".... in order for her to ever go camping with me I need to provide a warm shower...... I can do it by using Helio (the water will be luke warm after day in the car and then I can add a gallon of hot water.) The whole system can hold 3 gallons. I am just looking around if there are better options out there.

HAM KK6VIL / 2011 LR4 HSE - BFGs 265/65R18, LR3 wheels with 30mm spacers, terrafirma hidden winch mount with superwinch 9.5 SR, IIDTool, baja roof rack with ladder, TR rock sliders, TR gas tank and transfer case skid plates, rigid industries D2 driving lamps, OEM front A bar, Kaymar rear bumper (double swing), Long Range Automotive aux fuel tank, Green Oval lift and air suspension override etc. etc. etc.....


#39
El Solis

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I will be at the MoM and can bring the tank fully loaded. I like that I have access to water all day on the trail for drinking, the dog, washing, etc and then a nice shower when I get there. Erin says she likes the pressure for washing her hair so that's a positive review right?

Chris KK6CQE

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#40
RedRover

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I will be at the MoM and can bring the tank fully loaded. I like that I have access to water all day on the trail for drinking, the dog, washing, etc and then a nice shower when I get there. Erin says she likes the pressure for washing her hair so that's a positive review right?


Yes, we can bring ours to the MoM also, I think Jared wanted to see your set up again to see if there are a few more modifications we can make for it. I think it was probably the best purchase we made by far for the Baja trip (ARB fridge is #2).

Michal, five gallons is definitely enough for one person, including someone with long hair like me. Stagger showers though, one person takes a shower on one day, fill up the tank again, and the next day the other person takes one. Remember that while there is pressure, it's not like your home shower of course, but is enough to get the soap out of hair and off your body. On our set up, it took two people because I'm too short to reach to the shower and the compressor, so Jared had to be the pressure washer. Haha, get it? :)

The water is still hot after a long day in the sun, after the sun sets it becomes warm, but for me that wasn't really a problem as the temperature doesn't really get that much cooler than a warm pool, and adding one pot of boiling water in the morning helps heat up the water that sits overnight.

I will say though, that I'm probably a little more adventurous that some women, so there is something to be said about that. I don't let things like showers or toilets (or lack there of) affect my travel plans. You only live once and there is a whole world to see!

I think that the road shower would be a good compromise with your wife. If she comes to the MoM meeting with you, I'd be happy to talk to her about my experience.

-Erin

Jared (KJ6MQI)
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2012 Range Rover HSE - Santorini Black

 





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