The Overland Challenge was a lot of fun! It was held in Uwharrie National Forest (between Raleigh, NC and Charlotte, NC). Portions of the event were also held in Big Creek and Grand Overland District. Outdoor events like this are a great way to minimize the risk of contracting COVID while having a great time.
Here are the rigs in our team. Amazing the Tacoma was almost bone stock! There was some carnage on the Tacoma, but it made it through.
There were a variety of events and lot of 4wheeling, often at a fast pace trying to achieve the objective. It is a great playground that we have to enjoy.
The time trials are where you do a 4wd course for time. So they are moderate speed events that can be hard on your vehicle. Even the mighty full-size Cherokee has some carnage after one of the time trials (tire destroyed and mystery transmission fluid leak). It was a pretty quick fix to change tires and double check the transmission and we were quickly headed to the next event.
There were lots of cool overlanding rigs and setups. Some amazing. Lots of cool off road trailers.
We also put the teardrop to good use. It makes events like this so much easier and comfy.
It was a great weekend. I was very happy with our team performance. We tied for second with the BFG team!
The teardrop trailer has been a work in process. We’ve wanted to add more capability and storage, but I didn’t want to have a big impact on ground clearance or break over angle. Moving water, propane and the spare tire to the trailer means more space in the tow rig (either or Wrangler TJ or 4Runner).
Another challenge is the 200 lb tongue weight limit on the Wrangler. Once we get everything loaded on the trailer, I can check the tongue weight. I had relocated the battery to the rear of the trailer and that will help off set some of the additional tongue weight that we are about to add.
Items for this round of upgrades:
- propane tank for use with the oven and especially the shower water heater (which can use a good bit of propane)
- 2 jerry cans for water or gasoline
- winch for the spare tire – wanted to tuck the spare tire between the structure so it didn’t have a big impact on the ground clearance and breakover angle
- go to a larger jack on the tongue so i could use a two wheel roller (this part didn’t turn out like I hoped)
First step was to trip check that the bumper on the tow vehicle wouldn’t hit the jerry cans at the minimum turning circle. That also required a Bojangle biscuit since I was already in the Bojangles parking lot. This was just before the virus hit.
Once we had the lower guide plate for the jack removed we could start verifying the layout of the can holder, tongue jack, propane tank and spare jack.
Next step is to fabricate simple brackets to attach the tank holder. Then the brackets were attached to the tank holder and squared up before welding the brackets to the trailer frame.
One of the challenges was attaching some sort of frame to the front rail of the trailer frame without getting the weld bead too close to the blue skin and causing heat damage to the skin finish.
We also found a structural weld that was not adequate and could have caused a failure on the trail. The tire winch mount is bolted along the top and welded along the bottom. The weld pattern also addressed the frame weld issue and fixed the weak spot with the bad weld.
It was a lot of work. It would not have happened without Maverick Metal Works
Once we have the trailer out and outfitted, we’ll take some pictures and show off the new gear.
We spent two awesome days on the trail. The first day was in Big Creek. Big Creek is tight and technical with lots of rocks and several great hill climbs. We made it up Winch Hill with no problems and lots of smiles from my wife and co pilot. We also finally made it up Perimeter Hill without having to winch. We had tried getting up this hill for 3 years before we made it up without winching. So that was a nice victory.
The second day was doing the D’s in Uwharrie. The D’s are Daniel, Dickie Bell and Dutch John.
We had three great days on the trail in Windrock and Royal Blue