Halley - '17 WK2 Trailhawk Overland Build

2180miles

Endurance Adventuring
Had a great time in Ipswich, MA yesterday meeting up with a handful of guys from the Northeast forums here. It was great to talk to people about the overland community, North Maine Woods, rigs, equipment, and all the usual chit-chat when guys get together around cars and hobbies, haha.

Few photos...





MA Meet Up - 12/09/2017 by 2180miles


MA Meet Up - 12/09/2017 by 2180miles


MA Meet Up - 12/09/2017 by 2180miles


MA Meet Up - 12/09/2017 by 2180miles


MA Meet Up - 12/09/2017 by 2180miles


MA Meet Up - 12/09/2017 by 2180miles
 
Ryan-- I read through your recent trip up through Canada and was wondering if you could share details of the gear/stuff you brought (in the pelican cases). In particular, what did you use and what would you not bring next time?

We do a handful of road trip/car camping type trips each year and I feel like I'm getting better at this but it's always a challenge to bring enough, but only what you actually need. There's four of us and we take either a 2door LJ wrangler or an accord, so as you can imagine we have to pack light.

Also, how do you like the fridge? I've been eyeing either the Dometic or indelB in something around 28-30L. I think that's enough space.. I think. They're about the same exterior size as our old Coleman and about the biggest thing I can fit.
 

2180miles

Endurance Adventuring
Ryan-- I read through your recent trip up through Canada and was wondering if you could share details of the gear/stuff you brought (in the pelican cases). In particular, what did you use and what would you not bring next time?

We do a handful of road trip/car camping type trips each year and I feel like I'm getting better at this but it's always a challenge to bring enough, but only what you actually need. There's four of us and we take either a 2door LJ wrangler or an accord, so as you can imagine we have to pack light.

Also, how do you like the fridge? I've been eyeing either the Dometic or indelB in something around 28-30L. I think that's enough space.. I think. They're about the same exterior size as our old Coleman and about the biggest thing I can fit.

I've been trying to post a reply but it continues giving me errors.. I'm going to try and reformat my writing to see if that will work.
 

2180miles

Endurance Adventuring
Ryan-- I read through your recent trip up through Canada and was wondering if you could share details of the gear/stuff you brought (in the pelican cases). In particular, what did you use and what would you not bring next time?
Always happy to help. It's on my list to update the overland section of 2180miles.com with our gear for this trip. The gear pages of my hikes are some of the most heavily trafficked pages of the entire website.... people love to know!

Pelican #1 - 1610:

- Coleman 2-burner Stove
- Coleman Camp Fuel
- Kitchen Utensils (cooking & eating)
- 2x Plates & Bowls
- Lighters, with matches as back-up
- Box of nitrile gloves for food prep
- Lysol disinfectant wipes
- Large hand sanitizer bottle
- Bug spray, sun lotion
- 10x10 tarp


Pelican #2 - 1620:

- First Aid Kit
- REI Quarterdome-2 Tent
- 40-degree 2p Sleeping Bag
- Exped Synmat Duo - 2p Sleeping Pad
- Thermarest Neo-Air 1p Sleeping Pad
- ENO Doublenest 2p Hammock
- 10" Frying Pan
- 8" Cooking Pot


Pelican #3 - 1620:

- 2x Canon EOS 6D bodies
- Canon EOS T2i Rebel
- Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L
- Canon EF 50mm f/1.8
- Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L
- Canon EF 16-35mm f/4.0 L
- Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
- Rokinon 14mm f/2.8
- DJI Mavic Pro Drone
- Lowepro Flipside 300 bag
- Spare batteries, Pelican SD Card holder, Chargers, etc.
- Craftsman 200-piece Mechanic Toolkit
- 10,000lb Tree Saver - 10'
- 25,000 Tow Strap - 20'
- 3x Spare D-Rings
- 2x Baofeung UV-82 Radios


…that's off the top of my head 5 months after the trip, so there may have been a few other things. I did a gear check-list but I don't have it accessible on this computer currently. We had lengthy discussions while crossing the sometimes mind-numbing plains of Manitoba regarding future storage options. The Pelicans worked well at campsites to take out and put back mass amounts of gear at one time. Weight in each was between 30 and 60 pounds. They were strapped down to the custom rear deck that I built and recently documented on here.

We had a lot of space devoted to clothing. With it being a trip of many climates, and Dani being a Florida girl, we had lots of options for layers for Boston summers all the way through the possibility of snow in Banff/Jasper. The day on the Athabasca glacier was in the 40s with 20+mph winds, one night at a backcountry site we dropped into the very low 30s. Dani brought two bags of clothing, and I packed mine all into a my custom-built winter backpacking 60L bag. I am much more versed with layers and adjusting to multiple climates, so I had it a bit easier. We had 2x pairs of shoes each, trail runners for hiking and sneakers for around-town and more relaxed days. I do not believe in above-the-knee boots unless there's 4 inches of snow and more is on the way... obviously footwear doesn't apply to every adventure, so you can ignore this if it doesn't matter to you.

We never used the hammock. I really wanted to, but our time in Jasper was limited and our campsite in Banff was horrible. That, the Craftsman tool kit, and the first aid kit were basically the only things we did not utilize on the trip... the latter two I'm happy we missed out on using. My biggest complaint was our dry food storage. We used a big reusable shopping bag and piled things in. Products in boxes took up too much space, items that were crushable certainly got ground to dust, and the whole thing was just awkward. We found our groove after the first day or two on the QB-5 Backcountry Adventure through Ontario, and didn't do much reorganizing for the rest of the trip. I'd like to perfect food storage for trips in 2018, which may be easier if we can manage a roof-top tent. Clearing out an entire Pelican of gear would be great, and allow for a reassignment of space.

To answer your question about the fridge: It was the single greatest investment I made for this set-up in 2017. The ability to keep things cold is not only great for refreshment at the end (or middle) of a hot day, but also allowed us to carry foods I'd otherwise have ignored. Having to refill ice, drain melted water, etc. is all too much for me! We set the temperature to 29 degrees so that the stuff on the bottom would stay closer to frozen and the stuff on top was chilly... It performed flawlessly throughout, we never once had a voltage issue with the WK2, and I was thankful for it every time I opened the lid. For what it's worth, Dometic's USB charger on the back is a great little addition to campsite electronics recharging.

I get to be longwinded when I write, so please forgive me. Hopefully this is useful information at least to some extent. I'm happy to answer more questions, or revisit previous ones in more detail if you'd like. Below is probably the only photo I have of the interior during our expedition. (For some silly reason the forum throws a server error when I try and connect the image to this post...)

Best,

Ryan
 
Thanks Ryan that is helpful.

For our food packing we've been using a plastic tote that fits with a matching tote loosely packed with all the pots pans plates, silverware etc. We then put all the dry food in the two totes. Helps keep things from getting crushed, but on the longer trips it's invetable that we end up with a few grocery bags and loose stuff and a box of spilled cheerios, etc.

Did you have any trouble with power consumption overnight from the fridge? Does it have low voltage protection?... and does it work? (If you leave the fridge on until it trips the low voltage protection, can you still start just fine?) Did you bring along anything to supplement this like say a portable solar panel or jump pack?

And one more question--what size and model is the fridge? Did you think the space was sufficient... we're you saying to yourself, boy I'm glad we didn't get a smaller fridge!
 
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2180miles

Endurance Adventuring
And one more question--what size and model is the fridge? Did you think the space was sufficient... we're you saying to yourself, boy I'm glad we didn't get a smaller fridge!
Glad it was helpful. It sounds like we're on the same line as you with dry food storage, even down to the spilled cheerios... (quite literally, I spilled my cheerios in a dry-food duffle bag).

Power wise, we had zero issues. In prep for the trip I tested the set-up a few times and had no problem with the WK2 starting up. I have the low voltage protection set to "Med", or 11.4v, and have never once had a problem even in the months since the Canada Expedition ended. We did not carry any kind of supplemental power, be it a jump pack or solar panels. I've looked into the latter for the future, but as of yet there have been no issues.

Size wise, the WK2 has the Dometic CFX-35, purchased in July of this year if that's any help in narrowing a revision type. I have my own opinion as to size, but asked my girlfriend as well before responding to this and we agreed on the same point: For the two of us, it was absolutely fine. Early on in the trip - the QB-5 Backcountry portion - we carried frozen food for the overland club, but from then on we were just providing for ourselves. If there was a third person, I'd absolutely have wanted a larger unit. Of my friends with them, most have the 40 or 50L versions, but for the sake of space and our party size of 2, the 35 has been flawless for our needs. I'm happy we didn't get smaller, and I'm simultaneously okay without us having a larger one.

Best,

Ryan
 

2180miles

Endurance Adventuring
Great great build...

Do you know what gvwr is and what you actual wet, loaded weightt is?

D
Thanks for the compliment!

Curb weight: 4,869 lbs - per Jeep
GVWR: 6,500 lbs

I don't actually know what our loaded weight was for the Trans-Canada trip, but now that you mention it I'd be interested to know. I can account for 275 lbs between myself and Dani, 3x Pelicans around 40 lbs each, the Dometic CFX-35 loaded is probably around 35 lbs. The winch set-up is probably 70lbs, LED bar a negligible 5 lbs. Now you've got me wondering... I might have to take a trip to a scale with us loaded to find out. IMHO we should have plenty of wiggle room to go.
 
Thanks for the compliment!

Curb weight: 4,869 lbs - per Jeep
GVWR: 6,500 lbs

I don't actually know what our loaded weight was for the Trans-Canada trip, but now that you mention it I'd be interested to know. I can account for 275 lbs between myself and Dani, 3x Pelicans around 40 lbs each, the Dometic CFX-35 loaded is probably around 35 lbs. The winch set-up is probably 70lbs, LED bar a negligible 5 lbs. Now you've got me wondering... I might have to take a trip to a scale with us loaded to find out. IMHO we should have plenty of wiggle room to go.
It would be great to know weight over each axle, if you have a axle split scale available... truck stops typically have them...

Full of fuel, water, etc..

It's not like their is some magical line in the sand where the vehicle breaks if over gvwr... but it would be good info to know...

Fully loaded, How does it handle? Brake , steer? Handle rough fire roads? etc...
 

2180miles

Endurance Adventuring
It would be great to know weight over each axle, if you have a axle split scale available... truck stops typically have them...

Full of fuel, water, etc..

It's not like their is some magical line in the sand where the vehicle breaks if over gvwr... but it would be good info to know...

Fully loaded, How does it handle? Brake , steer? Handle rough fire roads? etc...

Just asked a buddy who runs big rigs locally, he told me of a free scale about a half hour outside of town. It won't be for a few months until I can get out there loaded, but I'll add it to the white board list of things to do in the garage, as it definitely would be good to know.

Re: handling... It was phenomenal. From the bumpy fire roads to crossing through rivers where bridges had washed out to flying (and I mean flying, 35-40+mph) through some sections of trail in Ontario's backcountry, to the miles of highway crossing Canada and the gravel roads in the National Parks, it was absolutely flawless. Braking was spot on, steering was a dream. I'm continually so incredibly impressed with this vehicle and its abilities off-road, especially when combined with its street manners. I'm a *German car guy so I have been fortunate enough to become accustomed to the way sport-tuned luxury sedans handle... steering on a dime that's relaxed in a parking lot but tightens down on the highway, suspension that makes highway off-ramps at double the speed limit feel like a roller coaster car on rails, etc. This WK2 is the perfect combination of a middle ground adventure-mobile while retaining the qualities of higher end vehicles that the "normal" SUV buyer for this caliber of transportation has come to expect.


*this is not meant to be pompous, just giving my background.
 

2180miles

Endurance Adventuring
And just to share, here's a quick end-of-year recap video I did of our adventures in the Trailhawk on the Trans-Canada Expedition...


 
Just asked a buddy who runs big rigs locally, he told me of a free scale about a half hour outside of town. It won't be for a few months until I can get out there loaded, but I'll add it to the white board list of things to do in the garage, as it definitely would be good to know.

Re: handling... It was phenomenal. From the bumpy fire roads to crossing through rivers where bridges had washed out to flying (and I mean flying, 35-40+mph) through some sections of trail in Ontario's backcountry, to the miles of highway crossing Canada and the gravel roads in the National Parks, it was absolutely flawless. Braking was spot on, steering was a dream. I'm continually so incredibly impressed with this vehicle and its abilities off-road, especially when combined with its street manners. I'm a *German car guy so I have been fortunate enough to become accustomed to the way sport-tuned luxury sedans handle... steering on a dime that's relaxed in a parking lot but tightens down on the highway, suspension that makes highway off-ramps at double the speed limit feel like a roller coaster car on rails, etc. This WK2 is the perfect combination of a middle ground adventure-mobile while retaining the qualities of higher end vehicles that the "normal" SUV buyer for this caliber of transportation has come to expect.


*this is not meant to be pompous, just giving my background.
We just purchased a 2018 JGC overland... for my wife... and I agree completely about how impressed I am with the vehicle... so impressed, I am considering getting a second one for me... my only complaint... is that the the rough roads tend to transfer low frequency rumble into the cabin... I hope jeep works on that... and since I am a musician and sound engineer, I tend to notice that stuff acutely, so others may not notice as much...

Looking forward to learn more about your rig... if you ever make your way down to Montana, outside of Yellowstone, we have a guest house with your name on it... thanks for sharing...
 

2180miles

Endurance Adventuring
We just purchased a 2018 JGC overland... for my wife... and I agree completely about how impressed I am with the vehicle... and since I am a musician and sound engineer, I tend to notice that stuff acutely, so others may not notice as much...

Looking forward to learn more about your rig... if you ever make your way down to Montana, outside of Yellowstone, we have a guest house with your name on it... thanks for sharing...
Congrats on the new purchase, and I'm definitely behind you getting one for yourself! I can't say I've experienced the same issues with low freq. rumbles - also ironic, I'm a touring production audio engineer (mainly corporate/concerts) so I've got the same sensitivity and awareness for all kinds of sounds. Definitely appreciate the invite and we'll absolutely take you up on it. I'm looking at heading west to Colorado's Rockies as a potential destination for next summer so I'll keep you up to speed if we head further north through Wyoming at all... thanks again.

Let me know if you end up with a WK2 of your own!