Sunday, December 13, 2015

Wish Lust: off-road vehicles

I was heading home from work, and I went past this vehicle, parked in the parking lot entrance of an apartment block, and I was so impressed that I wanted to snap a few pictures and tell you what I thought about it. There has been so much done to the set-up that I couldn't even tell what the original rig under it was, but it has a fully enclosed tool and storage locker suite, with four lockable cupboards, two of which were vented, possibly to house pig-dogs or some such. Big off-road tires, with two spares on the back, as well as dual front and back dynema cable-winches, and a heavy-duty jack .
An awning canopy which looks like it might be a full tent version  was fitted to the roof, as well as a roof-rack full of camping and bedding gear like bed-rolls. Packs set to the back of the spare tires give even more storage, though probably not for anything too valuable. Might even be solar shower reservoirs. Extra LED lights, running-boards, a snorkel, a big cow-pusher and a heavy duty suspension upgrade finish off what looks to be a very impressive off-road and off-grid setup. It made me envious!
My own little Toyota Rav4 AWD is rather soccer-mom in comparison. Given that I don't do much off-roading, other than getting to and from some pretty family-friendly camping sites and the occasional trip to the snow, I don't really have much regular excuse for a more workhorse set up, other than in the interests of preparedness. Family utility won out when I got this vehicle. That said, I do keep a variety of useful and important kit stowed away in its Millennium Falcon like storage bays: 
First Aid kits, my in-the-car Bug-Out-Bag, a pretty comprehensive tool-bag, rain-gear, Hi-Vis gear, oil, fishing rods, jumper-leads, a hatchet, some really neat collapsible fishing poles and a tackle box, as well as my trusty Stetson all live stowed away ready for any emergency that comes up. I also have a Hercules Off-road Recovery kit,  which isn't pictured. I also have two removable roof-racks, which strap on to the top, through the door-frames, and give me instant top-side storage when I have even more to load. 
These originally came to let me haul my AquaYak tandem kayak, but have been invaluable camping and both salvage and shopping. Given the size of our family, I often ponder that I would have been better served with a people mover, but the Rav4 has served me well. The boot by itself is spacious and lets us haul a whole lot more than you might expect. It would be awesome to one day have a decent rough-riding, off-road, Mad Max worthy vehicle, and I know one of my friends recently got an ex-Army Land Rover Defender  which will make an excellent bush-basher, so I know its possible.

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