After much pondering, weighing the pros and cons and trying to talk to myself out of it I finally gave in and bought myself an ARB awning. Up until now I've been brining my EZ up when I could but it's heavy, requires getting it up and down from the roof rack, tying and untying it and when I have the roof top cargo bag there's no room left to spare and so I've been using the rear hatch as the shelter on those trips. While I've watched others on the same trips deploy their awnings in 2 minutes and then enjoy their lunch under its shade on the side of the trail. I always said to myself 'baah, pansies! I don't need no stinking awning' lol but ultimately the rig is an expedition rig and it should have modern expedition things that make life easier and trips more enjoyable. Yes I'm now a pansy
So far it's met my expectations and I think it's something I'll enjoy on the trips.
Of course not everything's all rosey...on my drive home today my bimmer threw on its battery light. I thought, hmm bad alternator? then I thought some more and realized the battery in it is almost 6 years old already. So while I wasn't looking forward to spending more money on cars and motorcycles this month I started devising a plan in my head- hmm I'll just swap the unknown-condition battery from the Pathy into the bimmer and get a new, bigger battery for the Pathy. When life gives you lemons...
Of course not all good plans in life materialize; I got home, checked things out and sure enough it turned out to be the alternator The good thing about the BMW alternators is that they have a replaceable voltage regulator/brushes. So I took it apart and sure enough the brushes are used up. Hopefully that's about all it'll need...not looking to spend $400 on the alternator. It's also due for the smog check this month.
And when I removed the air-vent cover that keeps the alternator cool by drawing fresh air, this was what was hiding in there...yuck!