Saturday, October 13, 2018

Welcome the newest member to Brady Adventures

Check out us running out to see if there's a new rig in our future!
We have been looking to add another toyota 4x4 to the garage. We looked at everything from 80 series land cruisers, to GX470s, to tacoma pickups. It takes time to find the good ones. When this 2004 tacoma popped online and we got some good pictures of the frame and under the hood we knew we had to check it out. It had every feature we were looking for, first gen, 5 speed, trd off-road with locker, and super clean with no rust. Welcome Sadie to the offraod Brady Adventures family!

Here is the full walkaround of our 2004 Toyota TRD Off-Road Tacoma Extended Cab 5-speed aka Project Sadie. We have had Sadie for a couple weeks now and she is in great shape. The projects we are planning for her are growing so expect her to evolve right along Bernie the 100 series.

Thanks for checking us out!



First things first the Tacoma needs Bluetooth!



First we had to pick the best option so in this video you see how and what we picked. The stereo for our Tacoma aka Project Sadie is in!

First mod for the Tacoma trd off-road, we desperately needed blue tooth and usb charging capability so by to the stock stereo and in goes a new pioneer we picked up for $100. It was a super easy install and sounds and works great! Here are links to the stereo and wiring harness we picked up. Pioneer FH-S700BS https://amzn.to/2Qv09u9 Toyota wiring harness https://amzn.to/2Rl129I Panel Tools https://amzn.to/2O3xUWF Best Blue Sea USB https://amzn.to/2xZcdwO Good Blue Sea USB https://amzn.to/2RoxuI7 We have had Sadie for a couple weeks now and she is in great shape. The projects we are planning for her are growing so expect her to evolve right along Bernie the 100 series. Thanks for checking us out!

Sunday, September 23, 2018

What will be our next Rig? How about the GX470?

The 100 series is coming along nicely and while it is just the right size for the family today I have a feeling we are going to need more space as the years go on.  I really like the idea of taking two rigs on our trips.  This means that both my wife and I get to drive.  We have the ability and fun of being able to recover each other when necessary and well it would just be cool to have two rigs.  I am in no hurry to get the next rig so we have just been causally watching the market.

So what are our current options"

100 series land cruiser:
We love the 100 series but my wife is not a fan of having two 100s.  Still an option but at the bottom of the list for now.

80 Series land cruiser:
Definitely on the list.  I would love to have an  80. I have looked at a few but unless I find something in pristine rust free condition I will not bite.  These are getting harder and harder to find so I think it's a long shot.

200 series land cruiser:
These are very high on the list.  I feel like the 200 is a little too big but the big thing here is price.  I like to get a deal and still have cash to build the rig.  These need to come down a bit before I'll pull the trigger.

4rd Gen 4runner
The V8 has the same drive train as the 100 so I like that but I am not a fan of the styling.  This one is pretty high on the list but we will see.

5th gen 4runner
Just like the 200 these are very high on the list.  Big thing here is price.  I like to get a deal and still have cash to build the rig.  These need to come down a bit before I'll pull the trigger.

2nd gen Tacoma or newer
I just bought a gen 1 tacoma to be my daily driver and ocasional day trip trail runner.  I love this little truck.  I could see us getting a newer tacoma for an overland rig since they are bigger and could be built out a little better.

Last but no least is the Lexus GX470:
This was number one on the list until now. I love how they look built.  Same drive train as the 100.  Not too big and very nice interior.  But in the end there was one concern, ... the giant back door.  I have seen and experienced how these can be a pain in the ass and also love our tailgate.  planbenterprise dropped me another great comment on his experience with his GX and well in a moment the GX went from fist to last.

Check out the comments and thanks again to planbenterprises for the great info!
planbenterprise
Dude.  I’ve owned a GX470 for over a year.  I have stories....

Brady Adventures 
Awesome, I would love to hear them! Our plan is to have two overland rigs and the pickup. The GX is still way high on the list. Honestly the only thing that kind of turns me off is the rear door because I love tailgates.

planbenterprise
You’re kidding me! Abso-freaking-lootly hilarious. That is the exact reason why my GX 470 sitting on the consignment lot right now. Sure it’s off road performance is amazing, it is the correct size to go on all the jeep trails without tearing your windows or your Sideview mirrors off. Sure it has all the luxurious creature comfort‘s and heavy duty drivetrain and suspension of a full-size 100 series. But when you get to where you’re going, and it’s raining or muddy or snowy, there’s no place to sit. You can’t even get the freaking groceries out of the back of the thing without leaning a foot over the rear bumper and messing up your trousers. Try going to Home Depot and picking up something that is 1 inch too long for the rear compartment, you cant just drive with the tailgate down and strap it in, you can’t even open the top part of the rear hatch and have something sticking out with a red flag. No. You’re stuck. You can’t take that thing home if it’s 1 inch longer than the rear compartment of your GX 470. You have to have a garage that is four feet longer than the length of the vehicles just open up the rear hatch so that you can get the groceries out of the back of it. And if the entrance to your house is on the other side of the open door you have to close the door with your foot so that you could walk past the door into your house. Then repeat the process all over again. Try dropping somebody off at the airport with those mother loving doors. You have to grab the large suitcase, put it to the left of the vehicle into on coming traffic, then reach over and close the door, so that you can then pick up the suitcase and put it on the curb, so that you can walk back and open up the door again and repeat this process every piece of luggage. In truth, I sit on the tailgate of my Land Cruiser more minutes and hours out of the year than I sit on my own freaking couch at home. If the GX 470 at a real tailgate like the Land Cruiser it would be as close to the perfect vehicle I could possibly imagine. (Diesel engine would be a fantasy worth drooling over). Without the tailgate it is such a tragic flaw I found myself cussing at the thing at least twice a day every day. Even frustrated the heck out of my wife. So I never modified it never put the tires, lift, rear bumper, or sliders on. I took that money, flew down to Arizona, and bought a 100 series with no rust. I’d gladly trade a tailgate for 10 miles to the gallon and having it be a bitch to park. Sad. That GX is a terrific drive. 190,000 miles and it doesn’t even leak.

Wow that's crazy, you laid out every fear I had and just helped my make up my mind that the GX is of the table! My buddy had a FJ years ago and I lover that thing too but we were tailgating one time and that giant door was a real pain in the ass. Considering how many times the tailgate was a spot for the family and I to sit and enjoy the scenery I can't imaging not having it. I still love the GX for all the reasons you mentioned it's too bad something so simple can be a deal breaker. I guess that means I need to save up for a 200 :-) Thanks for the detailed write up, if you don't mind I would like to add it to my blog. I use the word blog loosely as it is a pretty weak one right now but would like to turn it into something with unique points of view on overland topics just like this and your comments on the roof top tent!
planbenterprise
Brady Adventures Sure. Blog it. Happy (not really) to be the guinea pig. I guess my experience can serve as a warning to others. My next tidbit of advice is as follows. Stay away from the Lexus. All the little pieces and parts exclusive to Lexi are stupid expensive. You also don’t know which parts ARE Lexus/toyota cross compatible. The door lock gizmo I need is 400 bux. Can it get a 200 dollar Land Cruiser one? Will I waste my money trying? And the alarm system. All the features controlled by the remote are not user modifiable, have to pay a dealer 100 bux to make it stop beeping when I unlock it. Lexus keys? OMG. Most locksmiths won’t touch them. Dealership wants 300 bux for a replacement. And all that plastic cladding in the side? Moisture trap for rust and corrosion. Take the plastic off and your left with a hundred square holes to fill on the body, get it right or, you guessed it, moisture traps for rust. Starter go out? $1,000. Starter is located under the intake manifold. All 100 series are like that, I know, I’m just on a bitchy roll... You’re gunna hate me. I’m selling my GX470 already, I’m 80% sure I’m also going to give up on my 100 series and just get a 4 door Tacoma. Sad. I wish 80 series parts were not drying up like they are, THAT was the perfect Land Cruiser, it just needed more power, that’s all.

Roof Top Tents Cool or Pain in the Ass?

Currently my family and I use a ground tent for our adventures.  I have had my eye on roof top tents since the begining and love the idea.  I am love the hard shells that pop up quick but they are extremely expensive and can't accommodate the whole family.  Some of the soft tops are big enough for the family but pretty heavy and look like they are a pain in the ass to setup.  One of my YouTube subscribers and I exchanged a few comments and I thought it was a very unique and candid view of  roof top tents you don't hear all the time.

Thanks to planbenterprises for the great info!





Dude, don’t get a roof top tent. Had one in my LC, pain in the ass. Once it’s set up, you’re stuck. You can’t make camp then go anywhere. You have to stop travel earlier to get a slot at busy campgrounds. If you are ever going to be in one spot more than one day, it sucks. Mounting on a trailer is the way to go. Hell, I’d rather do a ground tent than deal with the RTT again. Especially if you are a short person with a tall roof. Trying to F with a cold zipper covered with dirt or dust or snow while standing on Your tippy toes sucks. Trailer. Trailer. Trailer. Or easy pop up ground tent. Your rig doesn’t look as cool, but way easier!,,,
Thanks man! I appreciate the advice. I thought about this a little since we currently ground camp and it's real nice just leaving the tent up while we explore. I really like the fiberglass pop ups but they are expensive and way to small for my crew. I would love to build a trailer one day too! Thanks again!
 
For everyone thinking about it. LC advice. Had a 80 series with 3 inch OME heavies as a lift. On 33” bfg’s KO2’s. Had a custom heavy duty luggage rack built for it, customized around a Tapui tent. Big one. Cool setup. It opened off the back end, over the tailgate, served as a small awning and protection, loved it. When I put up the little canvas room thing it kind of enclosed the back of the rig and I still had plenty room downstairs. Lots of compliments. Looked rad. Went everywhere. Nice to have during Grizzly and other bear sightings in the Tetons. Anyway, one time we are camped among the aspen trees north side of Humphreys, supposed to be a clear night. 1 AM starts to snow. Do you know how hard it is to put the rain fly up, at night, during a storm, below freezing, from the INSIDE of the tent, with your family sleeping below you? With NO access to the outside? Hell, even during the day in ideal conditions you have to climb all over the hood and roof of the rig like a monkey. Dangerous. And no, you can’t just leave it attached and fold the tent up with the fly on. Well I pulled it off, after giving up, getting dressed, going outside, using the ladder, yes I had to pack a ladder because of the RTT, and put the rain fly up. Took an hour. In the morning, 3 inches of snow in the tent. But the family was safe and dry.... this is where it gets interesting. We checked the weather on the FM radio, the worst part of the surprise storm was coming in a couple hours so we HAD to leave because nothing other than a snowmobile was going to be able to get us out pretty soon. It was going to be a challenge for my Tripple Locked 80 series to get home through the trail with 3 inches of snow..... more than that, not a chance. Knowing how hard it was going to be to pack that RTT up, knowing it was going to take me climbing all over a snow covered hood and roof of a truck to get it done, knowing we were out of cell range, knowing my wife wasn’t capable of navigating or driving the family home if I were to tumble....... I came this close (holds up fingers showing the length of a ticks dick) to just unbolting the RTT and dumping it in the forest. It took me two hours to fold up that canvas, knock the snow off, and still FAIL to zip it up. Drove home with a ratchet strap across the top of the unsecured tent. A ground tent, we’d of been out of there in 15 minutes tops. A trailer with a RTT mounted at chest level, 30 minutes tops. Oh, and try backing down a ladder in your PJ’s at 2 AM to take a leak.... then try doing it again an hour later because your kid has to go too...... RTTs are great for a trailer. Or a Subaru. One adult= I say sleep in the back of your rig. Two adults = RTT works great. Gotta be chest level, head level tops. Two adults and one child in the Tapui Autuna (second to largest one they made) was cramped. Way cramped. Full disclaimer. The Tapui product was great. Tough. Well built. No complaints about the product. But it’s application for my family? Pass. Seriously, make room for a pop up tent and a thick inflatable mattress.... save a grand (or two, or three, or four) and put that towards a small trailer. My 2 cents.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

DIY Overland Drawer Nylon Strap Handles

Just a quick vid on the nylon strap handles that I added to the drawers so I could get the wings open from the back of the vehicle. Coyote brown to match everything of course


Securing Overland Cargo on our DIY Drawers

After finishing up the Land Cruiser overland off-road drawer build we had to decide on a method to secure cargo on top of the drawer. We thought about using D-rings in the corners or three on each side and a row in the middle but we all know as your cargo load changes the set locations tend to not be ideal. We decided to use Steadymate L-track from US Cargo Control to give us maximum securing flexibility. There are three main types of L-track, standard, angled, and recessed mount. Standard is nice because it comes in several powder coated colors. It is also slightly narrower than the angled track making it ideal when you have tight space considerations. Recessed is nice because everything could be flush mounted to the drawers. I would have preferred the recessed mount but was worried about weakening the top of the drawers due to the required mounting depth and I was also concerned that if I wanted to move or change things in the future that would no longer be an option. Angled I chose angled since it seemed it would be easier to drag gear over. End Caps We also installed end caps to ensure no snagging on the ends of the track. D-Rings There are many styles of tie down accessories these are the ones we chose to to the rubberized coating and look. They hold a little less than the all metal options but hold way more than we will ever secure on the drawers.

Land Cruiser 100 Series DIY Off-Road 4x4 Drawer Build Final Walkaround

Here is our overland drawer playlist.  This was out first big project on the the land cruiser and it turned out great.  Below you will find details on the process we went through and links to most of the products we used.


Overland Drawers are a great way to get your gear organized and to be sure you can get to key items when you need to without having to unload you entire vehicle.  If you have every been camping and realized you needed a tool bag somewhere at the bottom of the pile it can be a real pain and before you know it the entire back of the vehicle is a mess.  The most experienced overlanders have a place for everything and everything is independently accessible.  We considered many alternatives like ARB outback solutions drawers but had some unique plans and ideas.  Ultimately a DIY build saved us about $1000 and was a lot of fun spending time with the family. Here is a look at the finished product. When this was filmed we had still not zeroed in on how we wanted to secure cargo so that is in the next video.


Some of the things we user on this project