People often ask me about all sorts of stuff regarding the RV…here’s a list of things that I’ve found to be pretty much ESSENTIAL to our way of life and happiness while on the road.
FYI, all of these links are to Amazon, where I purchased everything. I earn a small commission if you use my links and order either these products or anything else from Amazon within 2 days or so after clicking through my links. Plus, Amazon just has really good deals on stuff and I spent MANY MANY HOURS scouring/researching for these products that I use. So if you buy using these links, you’ll be helping us out with gas money! Thanks!
* 200 watts of solar (and EVERYTHING you need to get started) for under $300 – Renogy 200 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit
* I used to have a PWM controller but I got this more efficient MPPT one a couple months back – EPEVER MPPT 30A Solar Charge Controller
* I added two additional 6v batteries to my system; I can’t imagine life without the additional power – VMAX V6-225 6 Volt 225Ah
* 1500 watt pure sine inverter for turning DC into AC power while off grid – GoWISE Power PS1005 Pure SINE Wave Inverter 1500W Cont/3000W Peak
* A smaller 600 watt pure since inverter for the bedroom hardwired into the 12 volt system – GoWISE Power PS1001 Pure SINE Wave Inverter
* I used to have a fancy ammeter until it died…so now I have this, and it’s WAY better! – DC 12V Car Digital Voltmeter
* I replaced ALL my light fixtures with LED – MICTUNING 12V LED RV Ceiling Double Dome Light Fixture
* Inexpensive yet good vent fans – Hengs Industiries Heng’s 90046-CR Vortex II Fan
* 100 feet of black and red 8 AWG wire for misc wiring – 100 ft 8 AWG Wire
* I drive a LOT at night, so good LED headlights – OPT7 FluxBeam X V2 H1 LED Headlight Bulbs
* In fact, I even have a cheap 52″ lightbar that is AMAZING. I can’t stop fast, so I need to see far! Especially when I’m in the middle of nowhere – Nilight 52Inch 300W Spot Flood Combo LED
* Having lots of USB ports to charge various things is super handy. I hardwired this into the bedroom 12 volt system – 50W/10A 6-Ports USB Car Charger Adapter
* I pulled out the old TVs and put in inexpensive smart LED tv’s that use FAR less power – 43″ Samsung LED TV and a 24 inch in the bedroom.
* We listen to a LOT of music and watch movies…good sound is a must have and we do not regret buying this one bit – Samsung HW-Q60R Harman Kardon 5.1 Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer
* We only have 33 gallons of fresh water, we gotta make every drop count – Oxygenics Fury Hand Held Sprayer
* Because of our small fresh water tank, I carry two of these in the trailer as well…it’s enough water to get us through in a pinch! – Reliance Products Desert Patrol 3 Gallon Rigid Water Container
* Pressure accumulator so my water pump cycles less and uses less power and lives longer – SHURFLO Black 182-200 Accumulator Tank
* When parked in neighborhoods or anything, wifi can be hard…this gives me the ability to connect to wifi much further away and have my own network onboard – ALFA Network WiFi CampPro 2 Universal WiFi
* I SWEAR these are the best trailer tires, even rated for 81mph! – Carlisle Radial Trail HD Trailer Tire
* Super sweet folding rocking chair. Seriously – GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker Portable Folding Rocking Chair
* My dash cam runs 24/7 and gives me MUCH peace of mind – Transcend DrivePro 230 Dash Camera
* I’ve had to change tires in the dark and this is a great cheap worklight. Rechargable too! – STANLEY Rechargeable 1200 Lumen Lith-Ion LED Spotlight
* If you have the room to carry one, I’ve found this to be one of the best things; I buy gas at a cheap station and fill up later with it. – DuraMax Flo n’ Go 14-Gallon Rolling Gas Can
That about sums up the things I’ve found to be the most important! Thanks for reading and I hope these links help!
Here’s my wishlist of things that I really want for future upgrades as well: 4theriders Amazon Wish List
[day 7 of] flooding the facespace with pictures that pertain to motorpickles.
my first track event i EVER shot was 2006…maybe april or something? but in 2006, i shot round 1 of AFM at the buttonwillows. that was the first time i met barb…i was scared of barb for a long time after that. like, YEARS even. but barb is another story better told over a good book and a glass of wine. :P
before that event, i’d seen lots of bike crashes. i mean, i’d already been riding for many years…so i’d seen my fair share of dudes sending it for reasons unknown to me in my rear view a ton of times…but i’d never actually CAPTURED a crash in photos. well lemme tell ya something; it’s exhilarating that first time. and the second. and the 53rd. and the 347th. it isnt’ until around the 612th time that you’ve watched someone cartwheel their shit into oblivion that you start thinking “wut. the. fuck. bro. you could have made it.”
[day 3 of] ten days of posting motorsports shenanigans goes to the Behind the Scenes.
it’s pretty safe to say that 99% of the people out there see the net result of what i do…and very seldom to they ever see HOW i do what i do to get those results that make me the big bucks (*giggles* i WISH). most of the time, i’m solo out wherever, so there’s very little evidence of all my cockamamy antics to begin with.
what i do isn’t as easy-peezee as most people seem to think it is… “yeah, just click a button, sure!” realistically, it’s actually hard work. i mean, i’m not carrying around a jackhammer or digging trenches or anything, but i am hiking 6-10 miles a day in all the weathers, with almost never shelter or reprieve from whatever mother nature decides to throw at me on any given day.
[day 2 of] ten freggin days posting motorsport related garbage. per usual, i’m bending the rules to make it fit what i think it should have been in the first place… and day 2 gets dedicated to my honey bunny, bribri.
i’ve ridden upwards of 600,000+ miles in my day…i’ve had so many ups and a few pretty hard downs in motorcycling. shit can get real pretty fuckin quick on two wheels. and if you get caught out, even for a SECOND, your life can change forever. in 2008, i had a pretty bad crash that was 100% my own fault…in fact, for those of you that have known me for a long time know my “com3” alias… and maybe you even remember back when i used to host the “com3 death rides”… it was on one such death ride that i ended up being life flighted off the mountain (mosquito ridge road again!). it was then that i decided i wasn’t fit to ride motorbikes on public roads any more… and for just over 7 years, i did not. i mean, i kinda cheated a few times in 2010 and did maybe 500-600 miles on the street, but aside from that, i was all dirt and all track.
i returned to the street in 2015 on my sweet ass FJ09 that’s i’ve playfully dubbed “The Mighty FJ” (even though it’s fragile as fuck). i did a buncha miles 2 up with my then girlfriend, kinsy, knowing that more than just my own life was on the line… “keep those wheels on the ground, joe!”
Yesterday, as we were heading south on hwy 93 down eastern Nevada, the RV began to surge and stall. It threw a check engine light at me. Brianna retreived the OBDII reader for me while mid motion and I checked it out. It was the same code I got a month ago: P0191; Fuel Rail Pressure Sensor A Circuit Range / Performance. Fuel pressure was all over the map…as high as 70psi and as low as 11psi.
40 miles from ANYWHERE I felt the first hiccup. 10 miles away, I was quietly wishing to just make it to the small town of Ely, NV. 4 miles away, I was already thinking about how I was going to have to unload my bike and ride the rest of the way into town to get parts. We were so low on fuel already as well, that I wouldn’t be able to run the generator in case it were too hot… I was pretty stressed out. It’s very rare that I feel so stressed. I’m also pretty stoic about it, so when Bribri reads this after I’m done writing, she might even be surprised.
We left Flagstaff, Arizona yesterday evening from the Overland Expo that we were covering. We made it to within about 20 miles of the Highway 9 west turn off. It snowed overnight on us pretty good, with a decent buildup of snow on the RV. By noon, nearly all of it had melted off, but it was still cold. By about 1pm, the rains came back and it was dreary. I ALMOST decided not to ride and instead just take the RV into Zion. It would have meant an extra 40 miles worth of fuel (at 8 miles per gallon, 40 miles is nearly $20 in fuel…I think about these things). Finally, I told Bribri, “WE’RE GOING ON AN ADVENTURE! PUT SOMETHING WARM ON!”
This is the kinda garbage we had to deal with. ;) (link to map of this spot)
We rode in. The temps were in the low 40s, and it was raining and sleeting on and off…but me-oh-my, was it beautiful! We did catch some lucky breaks in the weather throughout the day though.
We have an annual national park pass. We try and use it as often as we can. I think we’re at 6 different parks now, but that’s another story.
We made it! I wasn’t sure if we would have time with all the dentist appts and the likes and stuff…but the dentist got us in a day early, and I went FULL crackhead and smashed out 600 miles in one night to get us into New Mexico. Yesss! *Napolean Dynamite fist pump*
We drove up Highway 15 just past Pinos Altos in the RV and stayed the night in the woods.
Check out that sweet articulation!
Today, we unloaded the bike and rode up Highway 15 all the way to the end and visited the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Park. For those of you not in the know, btw, it’s pronounced “Hee-lah”. People will be snarky at you if you get it wrong. ;) Anyhow, Bribri and I have an annual national parks pass, so we just strolled on in. If you don’t have a pass, it’s $15 per person 16 or older.
Also today…and kind of as an aside…I created a Patreon page. It’ll have the same content on it as I post on my blog…but it will also have EXTRAS that won’t be on my blog. ;) If you want to check it out, here’s the link: https://www.patreon.com/4theriders
The road in through Pinos Altos is quite nice!
At the end of February, Rawhyde Adventures—A BMW GS training facility located in Castaic, CA—hosted a grand opening of their newest facility in California City, CA called Zakar. Brianna and I were fortunate enough to be able to attend the 2019 Adventure Days event. I’ve been to Rawhyde Adventures a bunch of times covering the GS Trophy qualifiers over the years. I love the facility there and even more importantly, I love the people there. Rawhyde attracts people from all over the country and even the world.
It’s the kinda place where you go and hear non-stop stories from people who have ridden all the places you’d ever dreamed of going and riding; Patagonia, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Colombia, Mongolia, etc etc etc…It never ends! And I never grow tired of it. I aspire to do these things and the wealth of experience and knowledge is pretty much priceless.
Stacked connex boxes makes me happy for some reason. The main dining tent is in the middle.
It’s not your typical Starbucks meetup of GS riders either. Most of the attendees to the Zakar grand opening rode their bikes to the facility loaded up with tents and sleeping bags. When I arrived in my fancy RV with my fancy trailer with my [not so] fancy bike nestled inside, it was snowing pretty fierce. It was COLD. I waited in line for registration behind a spattering of Sportsmobiles, RV’s, and GS’s loaded to the gills.
Like, brrr, Shaggy.
I feel like I’m a bit of a different breed when it comes to riding. Sure, all of us snowflakes want to feel different or unique or special in some way…but in my case, I think I truly am different. It’s a very rare thing for me to come across a motorcyclist like myself. I don’t just like to ride motorbikes. I don’t fire up my bike on occassion to make a run down to Jamba Juice or Starbucks to go shoot the shit with my friends. I don’t commute on my motorcycle to work to try and cut my commute times. I don’t load up everything on my bike on the occassional weekend to go smash out 15 states in 24 hours.
I LIVE to ride. I ride to live. It’s literally my life. And by “literally”, I don’t mean figuratively.
It sounds so god damned cliche, I know. And I’m sorry for sounding so freggin cliche! I’m not sure how else to put it. During lunch, David M—a multiple YCRS graduate—talked about all the cool things he’s done in life and how there have been diminishing returns on it all….everything except for motorcycles. He said that he feels as though over his 6 or so years of riding, the experience has gotten even better. He enjoys it more now than he ever has. I completely understood his words. I’ve been riding on the pavement for close to 20 years now, and I relate down to my very soul. My only reply to his words were that “if I’m not riding, I’m not happy.” Anything else would have just been more sappy drivvel. There have been a few times in the last two decades where I didn’t own a motorcycle. Short periods of time….but…dark times. Very dark times. So I decided to look for a memorial gift, a special helmet, an Award Winning Motorbike Helmets Brand – Caberg, perfect present, useful and special, perfect reminder of being on 2 wheels.
But back to my point…hehe…
The other day, I did a group ride. It’s very seldom that I ever ride in groups, let alone with even one other rider. I can’t even count how many times in the past I’ve done group rides and watched people cartwheel into oblivion in my rear view mirrors or right in front of me. People are so ego driven in our sport that it’s comically sad. Or it’s sadly comical…I guess it all depends on the amount of injuries said rider sustained in said crash. I can look back and laugh at 90% of them. Some, I don’t even talk about except to a few of my close, trusted people. I’m sure most of us can share in those sentiments…afterall, motorcycles are dangerous. Many people ask me where a get my suit…I recommended Moto Central, here is the ink https://www.motocentral.co.uk/.
Our spot for the night on Angeles Crest Highway
Brianna and I stayed just up above Lake Castaic last night with the thoughts of getting up early to go for a ride up towards Neenach, CA to see if we could catch some super bloom action. Our original plan was to have done it last week, but after a sudden emergency—and costly—trip to the dentist on Tuesday, everything got pushed way back.
I woke up excited at 8:15am. I knew we weren’t going to the epitome of the super bloom, but I knew that we’d be able to catch some pretty sweet poppies, for sure. We were out the door by 10am. by 10:00:38am, we were already doing wheelies and hitting some sweet twisties. We took Hughes Rd up towards the Lake Elizabeth split and went north towards hwy 138. We rode west on 138 for a few miles before turning north again, and beginning our adventure.
We were so close, we could almost taste them.