Showing posts from July, 2022

Water Pumping 101

 Last year, we installed rainwater collection gutters and tanks on the house. That was step one: capturing the water. But then the question arises of how to actually access and use the water. Some of our watering needs are downhill from the tanks, so gravity does the work. But other areas, like our front balcony, where my wife keeps a lot of plants, are a full 10ft higher than the water tank. There are a number of options available to us, including everything from just hauling the water via buckets, all the way up to sophisticated submersible electric pumps. In the end, we went old school, taking a cue from the type of hand pump we use at our cabin.  This pump was purchased online by my wife. I then built the wooden stand and plumbed it into the tank. Works great. Next up will be a similar setup on the backyard water tank. Living in the desert (in the middle of a drought), you can never have too much water storage....

Stowing a Recovery Shovel

An indispensable recovery tool every serious offroad vehicle should carry is a good shovel. I've only had to use a shovel once in an emergency off-road situation--but it was truly needed that time. Unfortunately, the shovel I had at the time was a tiny "fold-up" camp model that I kept in my truck's tool box. It was way too small for the job at hand, taking close to 30 minutes to dig us out of a sandy rut that should have taken, at most, 5 minutes with a properly sized tool. So... for the Gladiator, I decided it was time to carry a bigger implement for the (hopefully rare) times when I will need it. I chose a modest 36-inch model that we already had sitting unused in a shed. The bad news is that because of the constraints of the tool box size on the Gladiator, I can't keep it locked up inside. Instead, I have to keep the shovel in the truck's bed. The solution I settled on is to use a "quick fist" rubber tool mount that is screwed directly into the si

First Offroad Shake-Down Run in the Gladiator

 Took the Gladiator off-road for the first time this fourth of July weekend. Specifically, we drove up to our family cabin, which requires some pretty serious 4x4 capability (and, if I do say so myself, some driver skill). The route includes everything from mountainous 2-lane blacktop, to 65mph posted highway driving, to long washboard dirt roads, to deep sandy sections and wash-running, to steep & technical rock crawling and narrow single-track roads. 4x4 high, low, locked... you name it, it requires it. Very diverse and challenging..... and the truck handled it all with aplomb. On this inaugural run (literally, my first time ever driving a Jeep off-road), the things that stood out to me include: Nimble . Compared to the old monstrous F250 Crew Cab, this Gladiator feels like a sports car. It's much narrower and easier to maneuver in the tighter sections of the trail. Downright fun to drive. Sway-bar Disconnect.  Wow. The ride quality off-road once the sway-bar was disconnected

Portable Air Compressor

  I need a means of airing-up and down when off-road, plus fixing flats, etc.  I.e., I need an air compressor to carry with us in the truck at all times. So which one did I end up with? To answer that, we have to start with the requirements: Quality . Foremost, I wanted something high-quality that will last me my lifetime. Of course, price was a factor, but I’m also a big believer in the time-tested adage that when buying tools you can “cry once or multiple times”.   Portability . I wanted something portable. I will primarily take my Gladiator off-road and on trips, but occasionally will take the wife’s Jeep (when it shows up). In other words, I don't currently need something permanently mounted under the hood of the truck; rather, I want something I can move from vehicle to vehicle as required. Capacity . I may end up running larger tires in the future, so wanted something that could grow with me as my tires changes. It’s overkill a bit, but I decided I wanted something capable of