Just another Jeep


I'm afraid a windfall like that would only multiply the number of jeeps to keep running! But then if it's big enough, a full time mechanic can be hired to assist.



Snowy driveway shot.
IMG_0357 by Tim, on Flickr

Yay, snow. Got out in it a little with the TJ, even though my tires aren't the best. Pirelli's are good for speed, but their all terrain's leave a lot to be desired. But the price was right (free).
20231125_175122 by Tim, on Flickr

Next set will have some decent tread... in the meantime...

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving.
IMG_0355 by Tim, on Flickr

Kinda stoked about a trip coming up in a couple weeks... There will be pix. Hopefully the XJ will be the pig getting me there. This weekend will determine that when I dig into the odd driveline noise I've been chasing. Ah, the joy of Jeeps.


Getting ready for the upcoming trip is not very glamorous, it's all boring maintenance. However, in the middle of it all I was able to score a bit of an upgrade for the TJ. Found a set of new in box 2.5" lift springs for a mere $50. Fits in the budget and it'll help me get rid of the pucks that came on the jeep when I bought it. Searching for a decent deal on arms, steering and track bars. Shocks are already ordered.

Twitchy's new spring by Tim, on Flickr


The vast majority of my trips have been either solo, or with a very small group of friends. This past weekend I tried something new. Weird, huh? I was convinced to join up with some folks in the Ozarks for a Budget Overland listener Campout.
The group met up just outside of Independence Ks and camped. I didn't get off work until late so I was the last to arrive. I showed up, we chatted and crashed.
The next day
Breaking camp after first night.
Posing by Tim, on Flickr

We headed out and since we were in the area I wanted to stop at Picher Oklahoma, one of the biggest ecological disaster sites in the US.
Picher Oklahoma by Tim, on Flickr

We toured around briefly looking at the devastation this poor town has endured. Between the poison in the groundwater to the tornado that destroyed half the existing buildings, it's become clear that no one should live here.

In stark contract to the dismal gray and polluted surroundings, one of the few remaining buildings was brightly decorated for Christmas.
Picher Oklahoma by Tim, on Flickr

It was heart breaking to see the neighborhood empty, burned and decaying with giant piles of waste from the lead mines below, that caused so much polution
Picher Oklahoma by Tim, on Flickr

Melanie, one in our group, shared stories of her childhood of visiting Picher prior to the town being shut down. Her good childhood memories were stark contrast to what we were seeing. If you're unfamiliar with Picher and mess surrounding it, do some google searching or check out YT vids on the topic.

Leaving the mess behind we moved on toward our destination in the Ozarks. The weather didn't improve much, but the views sure did. Especially as we started getting in the hills and away from the southeastern edge of the Great Plains.
Misty hills by Tim, on Flickr

The turnout for the meet up was smaller than what I was expecting, but that's not a bad thing. Those who showed up didn't allow the cool and damp weather to affect their mood. My little mall crawler was among the milder of the group. She stayed safe at the camp when we took a brief trail ride the next day.
Camp by Tim, on Flickr

Although I think it would have done just fine, it's not the toy... that's why I have the XJ. This one did just fine... (not mine)
SPLASH by Tim, on Flickr

Stopped and checked out the Narrows (pronounced "Nars")
the narrows by Tim, on Flickr

The rest of the weekend was full of hanging out, taking pictures, talking, eating and having a bit too much whisky. It was a memorable trip full of meeting some really cool and interesting people with neat stories and experiences. If you're interested be sure to check out the Budget Overland, BATS Off-Road and Friends, and Lady Overland Radio. They put on a great event in a very beautiful location.

The ride back was a bit rushed. We got a late start, mainly because I was slow. Had to stop to address a small problem with the trailer, and even to do some site seeing at Thorncrown Chapel.
Thorncrown Chapel by Tim, on Flickr

More pix in the album.


Update on the XJ...
The rebuilt t-case needs to be rebuilt again. Seems the oil pump wasn't the only item in the rebuild kit that had poor quality. The front output shaft is shot. In addition, the original front axle has developed some issues. So the plan now is to rebuild the extra front axle and regear in the process. In the meantime, it'll be running a bluetooth front axle and be stuck on small trips around town, while the TJ takes over adventure duties...
The TJ... Just as things get cold, the radiator decides to start spitting. I'll be replacing that and the shocks this coming weekend.

In the meantime... enjoy this fun little snow pic from the past weekend's "storm"...
obligatory snowy jeep pic by Tim, on Flickr


I was called crazy for camping this past weekend. A group of friends and I headed south in search of warmer weather but failed miserably, thank God for diesel heaters and wool blankets. We headed from Kansas south to the Wichita Mountains near Lawton Ok, the drive was uneventful and lacked challenge. In fact we hit some of the smoothest dirt roads I've ever experienced.
Honestly this was an indication of how the trip went.
Indicative of how I felt about heading off to explore by Tim, on Flickr

There were plenty of abandoned places to check out along the way.
Abandoned and alone. by Tim, on Flickr

Even came across a large flock of migrating Sandhills Cranes
Sandhills Cranes by Tim, on Flickr

The park itself was gorgeous, albiet monochromatic.
IMG_0730 by Tim, on Flickr

Every once in a while we would catch a glimpse of bison, deer, or elk in the distance. Most of the animals we encountered were longhorn cattle.
Longhorn by Tim, on Flickr

A nice warm breakfast on Saturday helped warm us up from the frigid 12 degrees. Having lived up to tradition of always forgetting something important, i left my coffee making tools at home and had to improvise a bit to enjoy a hot drink.
improvised pour over coffee maker by Tim, on Flickr
it worked like a charm, but left things a bit chewy.

The jeep performed well with no issues, the trip was a great one, it gave me a deep appreciation for a hot shower and central heat.
Parallel forest by Tim, on Flickr

If you happen to be in the area, be sure to check it out. I'm going to head down there again once things start to green up a bit. I'd love to see the park with all the oak trees full.


Did a bit of a comm update on both rigs... Finally got some "real" antennas. Funny thing, the first one I got was intended to go on to the TJ, a bull bar style GMRS antenna and it was HUGE! Way disproportionate to the rest of the rig, so it ended up getting installed onto the XJ.

Carrying a big stick. by Tim, on Flickr

The one on the TJ is much more reasonable in size. ( sorry, no pic) it's not much larger than the stock radio antenna. Both are 6db gain, which works well in the areas I typically explore.

After a recent trip to the Ozark National Forest, i started having issues with the trailer. Seems a decade of dragging a small trailer over rough roads and occasional off road with load duty in between trips takes a toll. I made it home and started ordering parts. and finally got the 3500# axle installed. Brakes can be added in the future if needed. Test drag was glorious. It hadn't behaved well for quite some time and it was great pulling it without the attitude.

Upgrades by Tim, on Flickr


For the last year I've been social... weird huh? That might be a stretch, but I've been attending a Rigs and Coffee event sponsored by Go Treads and Xtrusion overland, both are great business based out of Wichita.
This past weekend we held our 1 year anniversary and had a great turn out. My little Wrangler was outclassed by quite a few very nicely built rigs. Some classic steel and new fangled rides were there as well.
Ineos Grenadier... this was a cool rig, but way out of my budget.
IMG_1018 by Tim, on Flickr

Some sweet looking Toys...
IMG_1021 by Tim, on Flickr

IMG_1025 by Tim, on Flickr

Plenty of newer Broncos

IMG_1026 by Tim, on Flickr

But I'm a Jeep guy...
IMG_1028 by Tim, on Flickr

IMG_1027 by Tim, on Flickr

IMG_1015 by Tim, on Flickr

This Ford was one of sweetest rides at the show... complete with shag carpet on the walls.
IMG_1016 by Tim, on Flickr

The Blazer/trailer combo was pretty sweet too!
IMG_1013 by Tim, on Flickr

It was a lot of fun hanging out and chatting with folks... You can even see my dirty little TJ hiding in the end
IMG_1022 by Tim, on Flickr

Back to your regularly scheduled content... Have an amazing day!


For a few years, I've been using a Camp Chef Sherpa kitchen that I picked up for cheap. It's lightweight and easy enough to lug around, even when it's loaded. There were a few things I didn't like about it, so when the opportunity for upgrade came along at a good price, I jumped. I've been eyeballing the premade drawer systems on amazon but have been unwilling to part with the nearly $400 asking price. So when one came along for $150, it was time. I was even able to negotiated the price a bit lower because of the "long" drive it took to get there.
It's not perfect... although it was unused. I don't like the mounting setup, and will be fine tuning that over time.

Now to go test it!
New kitchen by Tim, on Flickr

As an added bonus ,a friend bought the Sherpa the next day. He ended up with a kitchen, and I don't have to store it anymore. Yay!


I'm getting to a point where I have more parts to install, more projects to tackle and not enough time to do them. Thank goodness spring is here, days are longer and weather is a bit more agreeable for working on projects after a long days work. Good thing too, because I just added to my Jeep related to-do list. But then sometimes good deals can't be passed up. I just picked up a hard top for the TJ. I've been watching for a good deal on one since I got the jeep. Deals come and go, and often go to someone a little quicker on the keyboard. I won out on this one. I needs to be sanded, painted and the rear glass needs replaced. But for $60 it was too good to pass up.

Fuel for the long drive home...
Hard top by Tim, on Flickr

At one point someone started prepping it for repaint. There's a small patch that's been sanded smooth. It might be a repair, if so they did a good job. But I don't think it is. Regardless... the price was right. I'll break out the orbital and knock down the rest of the texture, prime and repaint.

Hard top by Tim, on Flickr


If you're going to sand out all of the texture, how about a body color match, like the newer models!


Not a bad suggestion. But a couple things..
I'm not that good of a painter, and this is a DIY project
Also, I'm not a huge fan of the color match look. Too carlike.

Took a trip out west over the weekend. Hopefully it'll be my last long trip with the soft top. The wind was horrendous. But we got to enjoy parts of Western Kansas I hadn't seen, and even got to use 4x4 a bit as we toured the Cimarron National Grassland. The TJ performed very well.



Some pix from the last trip.
The 2 jeeps, the trailer on the ZJ is just starting being built.
St. Jacobs Well by Tim, on Flickr

Trail through the Big Basin area.
The Big Basin by Tim, on Flickr

Herd of Bison. I was quite disappointed at the lack of wildlife on this trip.
Bison at the Big Basin by Tim, on Flickr

At the Point of Rocks on the Santa Fe Trail in Cimarron National Grassland
Galen's jeep at the Point of Rocks by Tim, on Flickr

Jeeps in the sunset
20240322_203140 by Tim, on Flickr

Taking our time going home, we stopped for some great burgers at my favorite road side spot in Dighton Ks.
parking lot is full of cool. by Tim, on Flickr


Good customer service goes a long way! I got my Smittybilt Overland XL RTT used in 2020 for only $800. At that time it was only a year old and had been camped in only a handful of times. I have used it on a pretty regular basis. It's been through storms, strong winds, snow and scorching heat, and stored outside the majority of the time. Needless to say it's starting to show it's age. Most of that is shown in the condition of the cover.

Old Roof Top Tent cover by Tim, on Flickr

Old Roof Top Tent cover by Tim, on Flickr

I've applied UV protectant on it annually, so the material is still pliable and without cracks, but the seams are literally busting apart and the straps are fraying badly.

I poked around a bit looking for a replacement cover, to no avail, and finally reached out to Smittybilt directly with a simple question. "Where can I find a replacement cover. I expected a link to a site where one could be purchased. I was shocked when their answer came... "What's your shipping info?"

They shipped me one free of charge!!! The package arrived yesterday and I was very pleased to discover that not only they had sent me a new cover, they included all straps and the hook and loop strip that runs around the base of the tent where the cover attaches!

Needless to say, I'm thoroughly impressed. It seems the world hasn't forgotten what good customer service is.

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