Show Notes for Podcast #141
All the Overlandy Things We Don’t Need: A Gear Confessional
For this podcast, Matt Scott and Scott Brady riff on all the things we are told to buy for overlanding, but don’t actually need. This of course begins with an Instagram account, which we (shockingly) don’t need to go overlanding. The conversation continues into mud tires, dozens of lights, long-travel suspension, roof tent haulers, complex electrical systems, overrated recovery gear, and more. All of these learnings come from Scott and Matt’s own mistakes building and overbuilding overland vehicles, sharing all the lessons learned.
Scott is the publisher and co-founder of Expedition Portal and Overland Journal and is often credited with popularizing overlanding in North America. His travels by 4WD and adventure motorcycle span all seven continents and includes three circumnavigations of the globe. His polar expeditions include two vehicle crossings of Antarctica and the first long-axis crossing of Greenland. @scott.a.brady
Matthew is a leading expert in automotive adventure. He has extensively explored the world’s most remote places by 4WD and is considered an industry authority on overland travel. He is the only American to ever become an editor of a major Australian 4WD publication and has over 15 years of competitive auto racing experience. @mattexplore
Scott Brady: Hello and welcome to the Overland Podcast. I’m your host, Scott Brady. I’m here with my illustrious co-host, Matt Scott.
Matt Scott: I am here.
Scott Brady: And we are, we’re gonna start off with a rant warning, cuz this is pretty much. I suspect.
Matt Scott: Yeah. That this is, it’s gonna be a, a bit gatekeeping and a bit ranty and.
Scott Brady: So we’re gonna have some fun today talking about the things that we’re told that we need to overland, but that we actually don’t actually need. Which is essentially everything given the fact.
Matt Scott: Yeah, it’s a lot. It’s weird.
Scott Brady: Given the fact that people have, have traveled around the world on a stock motorcycle.
Matt Scott: So, yeah. And I, and I think, you know, one of the conversations we were having before we did this is that we’ve realized this huge. Kind of growing divide between people who are actually traveling that I call Overlanders. And for the purposes of this conversation, it’s the guys that aren’t doing it full-time and aren’t doing it often that.
Scott Brady: Have the most things.
Matt Scott: Yeah. That they need so [00:01:00] much stuff.
Scott Brady: And that’s the reason why we wanted to do the podcast is that. If you look at the Instagram feeds, it’s, it’s always these very overbuilt vehicles. It’s all of this pressure to purchase all of these things. And one of the goals 20 years ago when we started all of this stuff, and you’ve been involved with it for over a decade?
Matt Scott: Yeah.
Scott Brady: With the content that we produce. And the goal has always been to, to reinforce that travel is the goal. So we’ve talked about this before, but I guess like the first. Checkpoint along the way is to ask yourself, am I spending more money on the vehicle than I am on traveling? And maybe make that just be, if that’s like the one thing that everybody takes away from this conversation of, because think about it, if somebody’s got tons of cash and they want to have a super fancy vehicle, that’s fine. But they’re, at least they’re able to still travel the way that they want to travel.
Matt Scott: For sure. I mean, and I’ll call myself out here, like most listeners know. I travel on an earth roamer. I I have a wine rack, I have the fancy lights [00:02:00] that we’re gonna, we’re gonna kind of riff on. I have a lot of this stuff. I like to think that we use it, but.
Scott Brady: But you also know you don’t need it.
Matt Scott: I don’t need it.
Scott Brady: Yeah. And I think that that’s for me too. I mean, if I look back at my earliest, all of my earliest overland project vehicles, they were terrible. I mean, they were so, Overloaded. Overdone. I remember they.
Matt Scott: They weren’t like terrible.
Scott Brady: They were pretty terrible.
Matt Scott: They’ve been on Instagram lately.
Scott Brady: They were pretty terrible.
Matt Scott: What you think?
Scott Brady: They’re terrible. They were pretty terrible. If I look at my, at my Tacoma, it was like just as bad as all the ones of today where I, I was way over payload. I had, I don’t remember the brand of the lights, but I had like four. Spot beams on like this.
Matt Scott: Oh, you had the hells, I’m sorry, the OGs or something that pre-runner rack.
Scott Brady: This big pre-runner light rack. It was terrible. I mean, I like I drilled through the roof of my truck and like had to build in all of this structure for lights that I turned on for a couple photographs. Like they were never necessary. Yeah, so I just think back on so [00:03:00] many of my own projects and then recently my vehicles basically are staying stock like the A T four put down a nice suspension. Just something that helped give me a little bit of lift and some better payload.
Matt Scott: And you didn’t even have anything on that?
Scott Brady: I had nothing. You used crap out of it. I didn’t do anything to the car, so I put some nice tires on it. That was it.
Matt Scott: You know, it, it’s interesting. So obviously we’ve, we’ve both been in the, the, like the, the traveler overland community for quite a while, and a lot of this podcast started. I occasionally rant about things on my Instagram and again, you.
Scott Brady: Matt, you never rant.
Matt Scott: Oh yeah, I do. Oh yeah. Yeah. And, and it was funny. So all of these like, Like legitimate traveler friends start messaging me and I have start having all these amazing conversations on how you just don’t need this stuff, and how, how a lot of the way people are building it. It’s, it’s a fascinating thing to me. So like the way, let’s just say there’s the travelers and the non travelers, the way the non travelers are building their vehicles, who honestly are the people who have kind of the lion’s share of influence. They [00:04:00] honestly get made fun of by the travelers. You know, you see this like built Tacoma with long travel and six or seven lights on the roof and eight pillar lights and light bars in the bumper and fog light LEDs.
Scott Brady: If you’re like, I wanna build my truck.
Matt Scott: It’s become cliche. Yeah, let’s say it that way. It’s like people are just building things in such a certain way that they actually have no use for That is like very interesting. Like when I see.
Scott Brady: Do you think it’s social pressure? Do you think people.
Matt Scott: I think it’s, I think it’s a lot of social pressure and I think, I think that we should dive into this, you know, let’s, let’s look at like the Instagram thing. So, you know, there’s, there’s the influencers, friends with a lot of these people, great people, but, but how it works is they’ll get approached by lighting company, a, suspension company B or whatever, and a lot of these guys are getting paid. There’s, there’s influencers that all of the people listening to this podcast, Probably follow that I know are making a hundred thousand dollars from just like to run this widget. And it’s crazy. And, and it [00:05:00] starts to influence this and create this new norm of what people think is, is reality and that that’s what they need. But it’s really just marketing companies have, and like, Hey, I did it, I did it too with Max Racks. But you know, you’re, you’re leveraging. Audiences to.
Scott Brady: Although you don’t pay people to run Max.
Matt Scott: We’ve never paid somebody. Yeah. I mean, we sponsor x overland, but.
Scott Brady: Well, no, that’s advertising.
Matt Scott: That’s advertising. Yeah. We, we always had a thing of.
Scott Brady: You don’t do influencer marketing.
Matt Scott:I don’t, again, I don’t know what the new direction from Max TrackX will do, but we, we had a policy of just like authentic people, you know, using this stuff. But now it. There’s, there’s the overland market’s big and people are actually getting paid to have these products, and that’s fine. People have to make a living. And, you know, photography’s hard and creating this content is, is, is work, but it’s important for people to recognize reality and advertisement. So you start seeing, very complex electrical systems popping up on. Every influencer’s feed. And now like that’s kind of the norm and the trend and it’s very [00:06:00] stylish to talk about those types of things. Do you really need them? Like that’s, that’s the question is, and, and to stop myself. There’s need and then there’s want, like if you’re just a dude that wants to sit in his garage and build a truck, cuz that’s what an you enjoy. Cool.
Scott Brady: Nothing wrong with that.
Matt Scott: Nothing wrong with that. Like totally get it. But there’s a lot of people that are making these modifications and trying to justify them under the pretense of actually using them.
Scott Brady: And maybe the key to it is make sure that when you go onto Instagram, look up a bunch of travelers that are somewhere in the world. So look at Dan GRE or you know, look at Graham and Luisa. Look at, they have some modifications on their vehicles. But they are very, very minimal. In how they’re modified. And then there’s an equal number of them that are traveling around the world in stock land cruisers.
Matt Scott: Or, I mean, there’s people traveling around the world in minivans now. Like are on, like I always love the motorcycle people cuz you just can’t put that much crap on a bike. So it’s so pure to me.
Scott Brady: Yeah. And it works and they go around the world. Yeah. I think when we look at [00:07:00] Instagram it’s, it’s, there’s nothing wrong with following the fancy forerunner build, but also follow the family or like look at Ray and Maryanne Highland.
Matt Scott: Hundred percent.
Scott Brady: You know, they go the entire length of the Silk Road in a 1950s, you know.
Matt Scott: Series One, 54, series one, I think that they restored on the road like their rear main seal was a leather hat from India. In India.
Scott Brady: That’s right. You know, exactly. And, and they didn’t need any of the things that we’re gonna talk about. And they had an incredible experience as a family. If you look at some of these forerunners. Or some of these Tacomas, they’re 120 hundred $30,000 vehicles. If you had bought a motorcycle, you could have gone, bought the motorcycle. Ridden around the world. Had an incredible experience. And spent less money.
Matt Scott: You bring it. You brought up like the social pressure. It’s almost like people are competitively, humans are competitive creatures. And we’re trying to introduce competition into overlanding or something. Like I have to have this, or this guy has this and I’m gonna get more likes. I mean, I now [00:08:00] get Ads for enthusiasts building their trucks just so they can get more, like I’ve started taking screenshots of it. Cause I just like, I don’t believe that like, Bob’s forerunner, like he’s running ads to try and get.
Scott Brady: Get his numbers up.
Matt Scott: To pump his numbers up. Cuz that’s what’s like, valuable and that’s, that’s like the concerning thing for me.
Scott Brady: And isn’t that just a vanity metric at the end of the day? You know, like the number of followers is very much a vanity metric. And, and fortunately larger.
Matt Scott: But its just interesting like, It’s really split like there’s the travelers and the non travelers and this is a podcast for the travelers. This is for people that I don’t think that you have to drive to, you know, the skeleton coast or something. Like, we’re not saying that it doesn’t matter if you’re just going out on the weekend.
Scott Brady: You could never leave your state.
Matt Scott: Can you ever leave your state? I mean in Arizona you could spend so much.
Scott Brady: You could spend a lifetime.
Matt Scott: Exploring a lifetime. Right.
Scott Brady: Do the exploring. Again, maybe coming back to asking, am I spending more money on the vehicle than I [00:09:00] am on my experiences in life? If you start with that one, it’s probably a pretty good balance. Like I’m spending more money on fuel and buying groceries and, and getting my kids the hats and, you know, headlamps that they need in order to go camping and. You know, like, are you spending money on the actual experience or are you spending money on a set of lights that you’ll probably never turn on? Other than to take some photos.
Matt Scott: It’s interesting. I had a, you know, it’s Baja seems to be like this very aspirational Scott Brady: Yeah. Location.
Matt Scott: Place, location for, for people to go in North America and it’s, it’s great, like busy now, but it’s great and. It seems that that’s the impetus for a lot of these things. I need long travel because I’m going to Baja. I need these lights because I’m going to Baja one, like nine out of 10 travelers. I ask, do you drive at night in Baja?
Scott Brady: It’s not good.
Matt Scott: Only if I’m going to get beer.
Scott Brady: It’s not a good idea.
Matt Scott: It’s not a good idea.
Scott Brady: Yeah. There’s donkeys on the road and I mean, people think it’s like bandidos or something and like that’s, it’s so rare that something.
Matt Scott: Not that actually, no. [00:10:00]
Scott Brady: It’s like, it’s the fact that there’s like a donkey on the road or junk people and camera.
Scott Brady: Or a drunk person.
Matt Scott: I post this Instagram rat and I have all these like desert racers that are like, Yeah, like we see these vans with 5, 6, 7 lights above the windshield. I’m like, like, yeah, we use that stuff when we’re doing 120 mile an hour in a trophy truck or you know, class, whatever. Cuz we run out of light. That van is not going to go over 25 mile an hour off-road, lest a pan hit you in the back of the head. Like, like there’s a house there, dude.
Scott Brady: It’s like literally out.
Matt Scott: So it’s, it’s, it’s literally a modification that. You only would need to go fast.
Scott Brady: And the vehicle can’t do that.
Matt Scott: The vehicle is incapable of doing it. So it’s thing, it’s, it’s modifications like that, that I look at and I’m just like, where is this coming from? And why is it such a fashion trend? Yeah, because it, because when something isn’t, I mean, I’m gonna generalize here, but if it’s doesn’t have a practical purpose, It’s probably not unfair to call it a fashionable thing. You see this with so much stuff these days and like how many, you know, sun faded, roto [00:11:00] packs are out there. That have never had fuel or water in ’em. Yeah. I, I don’t know.
Scott Brady: And I, I’ve never liked the idea of like having water on the side of your vehicle.
Matt Scott: Oh, hey, do you want to come overland in Moab with us? And I’m like, wheeling? Scott Brady: We’re gonna go wheeling.
Matt Scott: And we’re gonna go four-wheeling, like, sounds fun. That’s totally fine.
Scott Brady: That sounds fun.
Matt Scott: It’s fascinating. So the lights is a good one. Let’s start with the lights. Oh, you actually, we decided the first thing that you don’t need that people tell you need, that you don’t need to go over landing is an Instagram account. Like people have actually gone, Entirely around the world, and no one has ever known other than their families that get like a text message update with some photos.
Matt Scott: So selfish. It’s so great. Like I love the community that Instagram has brought together.
Scott Brady: Oh, big time. I totally enjoy it. But you don’t need it and you don’t need to broadcast your trips. It can just be about you and your family. You can make it this personal journey of discovery and no one ever needs to know that you did it.
Matt Scott: I mean, like I said, we, we’ve both been in this space for a while. On my side. I’ve been interviewing travelers for 10 years and I [00:12:00] have seen so many people ruin their trip because they’re not actually like, like, I’m not gonna, I’m gonna say this, maybe it’s controversial, but deep down inside, it doesn’t feel like they’re doing it for themselves. It feels like they’re doing it to prove it to somebody or to gain notoriety, get their 15 minutes of fame, and they spend more time documenting the trip for other people. To bear witness to, to say, Hey, I’ve done this. Then they actually do enjoying their trip. And I think that that’s, that’s the first thing that kind of goes wrong. Like if you’re going through all this effort and it’s not easy to travel overland around the world, like it’s not easy to go through borders, it’s not easy to do these things.
Scott Brady: So I think it’s, it’s, again, it’s like that balance of like, are you giving yourself enough time Yeah. To enjoy the experience. Are you not, like you said, 40 hours a week for a thousand people on Instagram. Like it’s a lot of work. You can be doing other things.
Matt Scott: It really can, it really can be and it, and money to travel. Like that’s just a we don’t live in a utopia [00:13:00] where.
Scott Brady: Yeah, on the phone where you can see your screen time. It is such an incredible tool. Yeah, and it was the reason why I took Instagram and everything off of my personal phone is because I realized I was spending hours a day.
Matt Scott: You habitually just start going to the app like Yeah. I will delete the, my thing is I will delete the app when I’m busy. I can always re-download it. If it doesn’t get rid of my account, I can check it on my computer, but I’ve now started putting it in a folder cuz it’s that simple. Second step. You don’t see it and habitually click it.
Scott Brady: Yeah. I think for me, like I only put ’em on there when I’m on the road. Because I don’t otherwise. If I’m in the office and stuff, it just sits on the iPad because I want to have it be difficult to get on and start to scroll. And I’ve gained so much time back and I’ve been able to use that for my health or To read during the day. And those are things that I love more than being on social media. So that was the first thing is you don’t actually need an Instagram account. Yeah. To go around the world. The next one, and we’ve talked about. Lights a little bit, but the next [00:14:00] one on my list is long travel. So it’s interesting how because it’s extremely expensive. I mean, and.
Matt Scott: Extremely. If you go on the Instagram, it’s, it’s very common with non traveling overlanders.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Some of these long travel suspension kits are seven, eight, $9,000. That is enough money. To drive all the way to Panama and ship back, you can do that for $10,000.
Matt Scott: So, and again, it’s this split between the traveling overlanders and the, the non traveling overlanders. Like, I don’t know how else to politely say, but that’s.
Scott Brady: Well, and, and our hope is that someone that’s listening, that sees all of this pressure to get a long travel suspension and all of the arguments that these influencers make of why you should, and of course all of those arguments are entirely false. You do not need, you can drive around the world in a stock land cruiser. Yeah, you can drive around the world in a stock Tacoma. You can do a lot of challenging back roads in both of those vehicles and never modify them at all. I think for us it’s [00:15:00] about dispelling this myth that you do. The reality is that this suspension systems are incredibly expensive. They’re incredibly complex. They cannot be serviced internationally or in the field, so, If you blow out that crazy coil over remote reservoir, yeah, whatever, and you’re down in Honduras, you’re not going to get a replacement. However, if you have a Tacoma or a Forerunner, there is a proto one 20 or proto one 50 that’ll swap directly over with you, take out, you take out the strut, and you put it into your car and you’re back on the road. Same thing with the Tacoma, but these crazy suspensions, how in the world do you fix them?
Matt Scott: Well, so let’s talk about the, like how we got here. I think as in maybe where we can add some value is off-road industry. Mid early two thousands. Pre-running was the, whatever overlanding is now, it was like pre-running and rock crawling. You ended up with all of these companies. 2008, 2009. Who started buying [00:16:00] forerunners? Who started buying Tacomas? Who started buying this? There was customers and there was a myth created that you needed these items to go offroad through. Again, very, you know, clever marketing and leveraging, influential people in the industry. And it wasn’t that long ago that like, that definitely wasn’t overland. Like I remember when the cream of the crop was like old man emo suspension.
Scott Brady: It still is.
Matt Scott: It still is.
Scott Brady: It still is like the way to go.
Matt Scott: It was durable. And it, you know, they had.
Scott Brady: That’s the way to go.
Matt Scott: They had different spring rates for adjusting, ride height with different cargo capacities. And that was always kind of like the, the gold standard. That’s, and now it’s like, I need to have, you know, these unable upper control arms, they just squeak. Like the, the polyurethane, they rattle and squeak the polyurethane bushings and the unal.
Scott Brady: It works in a race truck where it’s gonna have a 500 mile service life, and then they’re gonna rebuild all of it. Like the thing that you drive back and forth to work, you don’t want it to be squeaking and [00:17:00] rattling on the 1 0 1 for your entire commute.
Matt Scott: I understand that you need to, you know, if you’re gonna lift your vehicle, You need to adjust your geometries and, and correct all that.
Scott Brady: Yeah, of course. But again, lift, lift the vehicle an inch or two and then put a slightly taller tire on it, an inch or two taller tire. And you’re done. It’s like it’s gonna take you everywhere you want to go, and you’re gonna spend tens of thousands of dollars less. So there’s nothing wrong with a suspension upgrade to match the payload that you have or the weight that you need in the vehicle. Level the vehicle. Provide yourself with a little bit more ground clearance, if that’s important to you. And there’s nothing even wrong with premium suspension. So instead of going with the bypass remote reservoir, long travel with the hydraulic jounce and the upper control arms, and the wide track and the additional cv. Just go with a nice BP 51 or, or like an I Box, or just go with like a simple, there’s a.
Matt Scott: Yeah. There’s a lot of brands out there. Keep it simple and serviceable.
Scott Brady: Yeah. They’re like 700 bucks. Yeah. They’re like totally [00:18:00] affordable.
Matt Scott: The Mojave Road is not a race course.
Scott Brady: Yeah, yeah. Especially not a race course.
Matt Scott: Like that would actually be a great bumper sticker.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Well, and that’s the reality of it, is that. National forest. Most public lands that are, when you’re on a dirt road, most of them have speed limits of 25 miles an hour. So if you’re going faster than 25 miles an hour, you’re breaking the law and you’re endangering the other recreationists that are out there with you.
Matt Scott: So, and, and, and there’s, there’s this whole, there’s this whole movement, like if you want to drive really, really fast, read through the desert. Have you ever heard of desert racing?
Scott Brady: I, exactly. You can actually do that.
Matt Scott: Yeah. And you can go by like for. You could get into desert racing in like a, in a Volkswagen bug. I mean, look at like Class 11. Emmy Hall just ran the hoopty class at the Mint 400. She’s into that, into that Miata, maybe 10 grand. That is the cost of suspension on, you know, some of these.
Scott Brady: On one corner.
Matt Scott: On one corner on some of these trucks. Yeah. If, if you have that disposable income go [00:19:00] racing, that’s.
Scott Brady: Do something different.
Matt Scott: But we’re, we’re making these over landings hot. The off-road industry. Changed. This was the new trend. And, and all of these rock crawling companies and desert racing companies and this and that, and pre-runner guys, they all jumped on this bandwagon, right? So now, like the American Overland truck is like the Suspensions Desert racer, the, you know, the Gearings rock crawler. It’s got 37 sevens on it. It has. Trophy truck lights, like it has all of these things that were never really intended, never.
Scott Brady: Or needed to begin. The only time that I’ve ever had to have an extremely modified vehicle is in the, the high latitudes. So like if you’re crossing Greenland, you gotta have.
40 fours, you’re not gonna make it.
Matt Scott: You have to run it what, three psi?
Scott Brady: Yeah. Or less. Yeah. There were many days that we ran less than that. You just don’t need a heavily modified vehicle. Yeah. I mean, the 70 series trucks that we used for E seven, they had a 50 millimeter lift. Like it, they went from a 2 35. [00:20:00] 2 35 85. To a 2 55. 85. That was it.
Matt Scott: Like same exact setup I put on Myro.
Scott Brady: And it worked like it worked everywhere in the world, including the canning stock route and challenging terrain. The only place it didn’t work was Antarctica. We had to put on big tires. That was it.
Matt Scott: So well kind of needed little pizza. Pizza cutters on.
Scott Brady: Is it gonna work? It isn’t gonna work. Yeah. Okay. So there we’ve covered the long travel. Save the 10 grand, put it in your.
Matt Scott: Well, if you’re buy a race truck foot, that’s awesome. Go. Go buy a race truck.
Scott Brady: Yeah, exactly. Okay, so the next thing we have on our list is the beadlocks.
Matt Scott: Oh God. I hate them. Like, I love them because they’re, they’re this like very technical, like I, I see the appeal and I, and I think we should say.
Scott Brady: Although we have both had them. Like I had Hutchinsons. Yeah. Cause I wanted them forever.
Matt Scott: Very few. Yeah.
Scott Brady: And very, and they were the worst wheels I’ve ever had in my life. I could not get them balanced despite the effort. So there’s, did you, did you ever get yours balanced?
Matt Scott: I’ve figured out how to balance item. [00:21:00] There’s two kinds of beadlocks, right? The Hutchinsons that, that Scott and I are talking about are an actual proper beadlock. Scott Brady: Yeah. They capture the inner and outer bead.
Matt Scott: Yes. And they can have a run flat three piece beadlock. So the one portion of the wheel has a seal in it and actually unbolt. So you could plop the tire on and insert actually goes into it, and then the face of the wheel sandwiches it together. For simplification. That’s how it works. Then there’s beadlocks that provide on the outside lip a little additional grip surface, right? I mean, they just prevent the outside of the tire from rolling off. There’s no protection on the inside. If you’re going to run beadlocks, run an actual beadlock. Don’t just put a.
Scott Brady: Well, some of them do. Some of them do have the outer beadlocks. They do capture the entire bead of the tunnel.
Matt Scott: But how are they capturing the inside? Like what’s preventing it? There’s a pushing in.
Scott Brady: There is there’s a face and then the outer ring clamps it to the outer face of the wheel. [00:22:00] But to your point, the inner bead. Is not retained.
Matt Scott: So it’s half beadlock.
Scott Brady: It’s, it’s anyway, like half locked. It is in the area that you need it the most because when you’re coming up against a rock, you’re pressing up against a rock. It’s gonna be trying to debead the outer rim part of the rim. Or if you’re turning on sand and snow or at high speed on the dirt at low pressures, all of that pressure is put on the outer bead. Most of it.
Matt Scott: Here’s what I’ve learned about Beadlocks is. When we went to Tuck, teak Tuck this summer, we needed to rotate tires. We couldn’t find anybody to touch it because they were beadlocks, even though they were d o T compliant. Beadlocks. I mean, the US military runs these, these particular things. Not a single tire shop in Canada or Alaska that we, I mean, I’m sure that there would’ve been some guy or whatever, but you’re passing through, you’re traveling and, and you end up with who you end up with.
Scott Brady: Yeah. If you go to Canadian Tire, they’re not gonna touch it.
Matt Scott: Wouldn’t touch it. Wouldn’t touch it. They were also continental MPTs and you know, these.
Scott Brady: Yeah. 41 inch tall tires. [00:23:00]
Matt Scott: Nasty things like definitely could have found, I, I could have found somebody, but you couldn’t just like roll in easy, you know, so serviceability for those is questionable.
Scott Brady: And they require a lot more maintenance than people think. The one failure that I’ve had with a bead lock is because I didn’t do that every 500 mile. Torque check. On the bolts. And I had some bolt heads break off.
Matt Scott: It took me a while.
Scott Brady: Instant flat.
Matt Scott: Yeah. It took me a while when we were back from this trip and we replaced the tires, and this isn’t to comment on, on the shop that did it. But it took them multiple times to get it right, because they’re just so finicky. Everything has gotta be perfect. You know, you have a, you’re, you’re trying to sandwich this, this wheel face into the, the, the inner ring, and sometimes that the o ringing comes out of its channel. You know, it’s.
Scott Brady: They’re brutal.
Matt Scott: It’s brutal, it’s brutal.
Scott Brady: They take a lot of work and I want, I wanted them so badly. On my G wagon. And I could not wait to get ’em off. Like, I could not get them to balance for a daily [00:24:00] driver, you know, like driving around Prescott, it was fine driving off road. It was amazing. But they were super heavy. They were super expensive, so they’re, my G wagon didn’t have a lot of power or big brakes like yours did. So like it stopped poorly, it accelerated even worse.
Matt Scott: My last G Wagon had smaller brakes. And less horsepower.
Scott Brady: Yeah, that’s true.
Matt Scott: And it had beadlocks do as we say, not as we.
Scott Brady: Well, that’s the thing though, like the reason why we’re saying all of this stuff is we made these mistakes. I have literally made every single one of these mistakes. Yeah. Everything on this list. I have screwed up royally and that’s why I’m thinking like how many. Trips did I not take, or how many experiences did I give up? Yeah. To have some, or even the time it takes to put this stuff on, it’s like, it all takes.
Matt Scott: It’s the time for me.
Scott Brady: It takes, it takes something from us.
Matt Scott: I don’t, I’m, I’m getting so tired of just managing all of these systems. On a vehicle. Scott Brady: Yeah. So Beadlocks. They, they do have their place in extreme rock crawling. They are cool. We totally agree that they’re cool for like.
Matt Scott: They look great.
Scott Brady: But even when we were [00:25:00] running at two psi on 40 fours in Antarctica, we did not have beadlocks. They use like a special, kind of mounting fluid that. Creates a little bit of adhesion as it dries. And then there are new wheel designs. Method, for example, has what’s, and they’re, they’re not affiliated with the podcast, it’s just that they have.
Matt Scott: Trail gripper.
Scott Brady: Some griping bead grip technology. Where they have tighter tolerances, to the tire, so slightly oversized, so it puts more pressure on it, and then it has like this little scalloping along the surface that creates some additional grip.
Matt Scott: I just, I cannot see somebody traveling overland that would need more than that. Yeah, because they don’t need it to begin with, but it’s completely, it’s a completely passive technology. It doesn’t add any weight.
Scott Brady: And, and here’s the other thing too. I have had tires come off the bead. Yeah, absolutely. Like multiple times in my travels, I would say less than five times, it is [00:26:00] never difficult to get it back on. Like you clean out the wheel. You run a ratchet strap around the center of the carcass, you tighten it up so it starts to force the beads out. And then you spray some water on it and you kind of shake the tire back and forth as you’re adding air and it’s like next thing you know.
Matt Scott: And how many of those times are in sand full throttle, full lot, trying to get a cool photo?
Scott Brady: Yeah. You know, probably most of them. One that comes to mind specifically. That was that. That was that with a, with a heavy 200 series Land Cruiser. It’s just not a big deal when it happens. And then it’s something that you learn or you just put on your spare and you take it to the next tire shop, you see, and they fix it for you. It’s not a big deal.
Matt Scott: Let’s, let’s use Baja for example. There is a tire shop. Every.
Scott Brady: There’s more tire shop and gas stations.
Matt Scott: Yeah, that’s right. Like there’s a.
Scott Brady: A little teria. That’s like right there. And there’s usually a great taco shop right next door. You stop, you get your tire fixed. You have a taco Life is fantastic. So that’s, that’s beadlocks. All right. We do have lights next. [00:27:00] Oh, people love their lights though. They just love them. Like, like I get It’s a safety thing. It’s a safety thing is why you have to have ’em. Matt Scott: You have to be able to see. You have to. So I started, I started actually thinking about this, and I don’t drive at night. Like generally speaking, I’m exploring during the day. I’m driving from A to B. And you know when you’re traveling and you are camping. So like I do think like scene lights, like.
Scott Brady: Camp lights.
Matt Scott: Like a light on your trucks or backup lights. Like I think that that stuff’s incredibly useful. But why does your van have. Trophy truck lights on it.
Scott Brady: I think it’s, cuz it looks cool. It’s got, it looks like, I guess it looks cool. It’s gotta be what it is. Or someone told them that they needed to have them, you know, or it’s like, oh, there’s, there’s animals on the road in Yeah, in Baja. You’re like, you’re really, it’s really not a good idea to be driving at night in Baja. It’s just not a good idea. Those roads are very narrow. Matt Scott: Don’t really drive at night in Africa either.
Scott Brady: Like you don’t really drive at night anywhere. Because the [00:28:00] reason why we’re traveling is to see things at night. You don’t get to experience anything. So like on the occasion that you have to drive at night, just drive a little slower. Just what you should be doing anyways at night. Just drive a little bit slower. Slower.
Matt Scott: You’re not like if you’re. Again, if you’re just, if you’re just having fun and you’re building a truck, we’re not like actually talking to you again. I’m gonna reiterate this. I’m gonna continually reiterate this. This is an overland podcast for travelers. Right? And what we’re trying to make sure that people know is despite of everything you see, and professional opinions, so-called professional opinions, You don’t like? Well, I mean, I guess on my last big trip, I was in 24 hour sunlight for like a month, so I didn’t really have a.
Scott Brady: That’s another thing, that’s another thing.
Matt Scott: Like, so if you’re staying in North America and you’re traveling north in the summer, you’re never gonna use ’em. And then if you’re traveling south in the winter, you’re probably not gonna be driving at night.
Scott Brady: The other thing that I found is I put all of those fancy lights on top of my Tacoma. As soon as you turn them on, you, you, it was undrivable because it was so [00:29:00] much. Reflection off of the hood and it like filled the entire cab with this insane glow.
Matt Scott: On the, on the gladiator, I had this, like, empty space between the, the, the roof of the cab and the camper and I’m like, okay, fine. Like everybody’s telling me I need to put a light bar there, so I put a super fancy light bar there. It was incredibly impressive. When I used it in my driveway, I just, I never, I never actually was in a situation where I could use it. Because, oh, and this actually goes somewhere, so I was never in a situation where I could use it because it was just too bright. Like you can only use it off-road. No one can be in front of you. Because if there’s a, if you’re on a trail run or you’re traveling with a friend and you turn that on, they did not have eyeballs anymore. Like, like the, the light was going to hit their, their rear view mirror and it was going to blind them their eyes. Like, it’s not to say that the technology’s not cool or whatever, but I won’t put another one on [00:30:00] because there was, there were so few situations. In which I could actually use it, that it wasn’t, the juice wasn’t worth the squeeze.
Scott Brady: And, and modern vehicles have such great headlights now.
Matt Scott: Oh my God. The prospector, like the headlights turn, you know, lighting.
Scott Brady: Super bright.
Matt Scott: Lighting technology is one of those things that does trickle down the new Jeep Wrangler with the L e D lights. They’re just really good. I, I’ve broken the golden rule and I’ve driven, okay, the one time I drove at night in Baja, south of San Felipe, I was coming north. And the gas station in, Gonzaga was closed for like lunch.
Scott Brady: Like it always is.
Matt Scott: Yeah. Yeah. Like closed for dinner or something and we had to wait for two hours and that we wanted to make it to San Felipe. I actually, well, one, like the only weird experience I’ve ever had in Bajas, this was a couple years ago, and it was after the hurricane came through and washed out all the bridges south of San Felipe, between San Felipe and. And Gonzaga and I had a dude like in his car, like, I don’t know what was really going on. And I don’t wanna, I don’t want to say carjacking and I don’t want to say those things. But there’s [00:31:00] really only, he was.
Scott Brady: Super unusual, dude.
Matt Scott: There’s only really one reason that a, that a Corolla, like a clapped out Corolla. Pulls in front of you when you’re going around. Think of it as in like an underpass, like the bridge was whatever. Washed out. So they were like, I’m gonna say hiding under there, pull out in front of me. And then a guy with another thing comes out with like a strobbe flashlight trying to blind me. So then that was the one time I used my lights. Cause I’m driving really fast back to San Felipe, but I pull into San Felipe and a Federali tries to shake me down because I have auxiliary lights on my car that aren’t covered. And then a Mexico City guy comes over and it’s like, Just leave now. He’s like, he was trying, do you know why he was doing that? He’s like, he was, you had your auxiliary lights on and I only had two little, like small Auxiliary. This was pre light bar and I got shaked down. It wasn’t worth.
Scott Brady: It wasn’t worth the squeeze.
Matt Scott: Yeah. So like in Mexico, from what the, the federali told me is that it is illegal to have uncovered auxiliary lights on your vehicle. And they can, they can and will shake you down for that.
Scott Brady: Whenyou’re on the road. For sure.
Matt Scott: Yeah. [00:32:00] Even though I think, I think I forgot which ones I had on the Jeep.
Like weren’t they like the factory? Like could be Jeep factory performance part. They were literally like a factory light. They’re targets for theft. Like, I mean, you can get those berry nuts and there’s ways to lock ’em on there, but it’s.
Scott Brady: Again, it’s a lot of money.
Matt Scott: Driving lights, it’s lots set of fog lights. Nobody’s talking about that. It’s the.
Scott Brady: And that’s a great place to start, or even even start with putting in some premium fog lights. And then drive the car and see how it works. And like, oh, this works really nice and I’m done. And then maybe you consider a nice set of driving lights. The six light bars, the light bar inside the hood, the light bar on top of the, like, you know.
Matt Scott: And then, and then on the lights too is people replace the fog lights with some kind of drop in L e D pod, but they don’t do the S AE Society of Automotive Engineers Approved. So basically like it’s a way of saying that it’s road legal. The pattern is dispersed enough. Doesn’t mean that it’s not bright, but it’s dispersed enough that you can actually use it on the road. So let’s say like you’re not driving around the world and you’re a normal [00:33:00] person like we all are and it’s foggy outside and you hit your fog lights and all of a sudden one you can’t see cuz fog lights are meant to. They’re, they’re very specific in how they work to cut the fog.
Scott Brady: The cut off and everything.
Matt Scott: And the cutoff and everything. So now you just can’t see, and the people in front of you can’t see because they’re blinded by this like yellow, orb of light. So then you end up with a vehicle that’s in the practical situation where on the road you’re actually going to use them.
You can’t, yeah.
Scott Brady: So it’s less, even less practical, like Yeah. So the lights are another one. They really are, they, I just, I just think like.
Matt Scott: Super cool on a trophy track.
Scott Brady: Save, save that. Save that. Money for gas something.
Matt Scott:mAnd this isn’t to bash on, you know, ha again, to having some good driving lights and, and whatever, like.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Just, just something practical, you know, like something that you’ll actually use.
Matt Scott: I, it came with old Hells, I updated ’em to actually, to Baja Designs. I put an LP six. I kept the factory hella fogs that when I say factory, they were, earth drummer.
Scott Brady: In the bumper.
Matt Scott: Yeah. [00:34:00] Because I didn’t wanna really do, One, I would have to fabricate brackets and how they mounted was a little obscure. I don’t use ’em. Like I’m probably gonna take my LP nines off because I would benefit from cooling on hills more than I would benefit from a second set of.
Scott Brady: That’s another thing too. Lights can really reduce your cooling effectiveness.
Matt Scott: Yeah. You put a bumper on the front, you put a winch on front, you know, and then you start putting light bars in your grill. Or big lights in front of impeding the airflow and the, the, the directness of that.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Or even creating weird vacuums and pressure systems.
Matt Scott: It’s, it’s stuff to consider.
Scott Brady: No. So true. About the lights. Okay. This next one’s kind of fun because it’s a little bit contentious. Because it’s the mud terrain thing.
Matt Scott: Oh God.
Scott Brady: Like the mud terrain thing is interesting because when you put a set of mud terrains on your vehicle, they’re going to cost more to begin with. They’ll be more expensive than all terrains. They’re going to be heavier than all terrains typically. They are going to reduce your fuel economy even more than an all terrain [00:35:00] would because of the rolling resistance. They’re going to be loud when you put them on new and then they’re going to howl like a banshee after about 20,000 miles. Yeah, once they start to wear out, you see them all over the place. In the desert, you just don’t need a mud tire in the desert. Now, if you live in the Pacific Northwest, it’s probably a good idea to have a mud tire.
Matt Scott: Or you live in Kentucky like, I mean, I’m from, I’m from Illinois, where four-wheeling for me, going, going off road meant making a, a farmer very angry, his country lane. And if you showed up with alter terrain tires, you weren’t getting through God, it was like the mud pit on Swanberg Road or something. Like, whatever. It was like the, the, the obstacle. Mud trains have a purpose.
Scott Brady: Totally, but just make sure you’re using them again, not because someone else has them on their vehicle.
Matt Scott: The, the best argument I’ve ever heard from Mud Terrains was from Chris Callard, used to be editor of oj. Very accomplished traveler. And he was in the eighties series in.
Scott Brady: Panama or Guatemala or something.
Matt Scott: I think it was in Guatemala. And he was like going to all of these very [00:36:00] remote, Mayan ruins that were down there. And I don’t think that that, I think that truck had ats.
Scott Brady: It did.
Matt Scott: And kept getting stuck cuz you’re driving through it jungle. So if your trip involves.
Scott Brady: I think it also was impacted by the fact that it had lockers and he didn’t know it. So when you have a factory locked 80 series and.
Matt Scott: I only drove that truck to get beer, so Yeah.
Scott Brady: But the mud terrains would’ve made it, you wouldn’t need lockers if you had mud terrains.
Matt Scott: So, yeah arguably. But you know, like there’s, there are cases where if you’re doing a specific trip where it’s gonna be grassy, muddy and whatever, like, cool.
Scott Brady: Put the mud tires on there.
Matt Scott: But for us guys in the Southwest.
Scott Brady: Fuel economy goes down, expense goes up, noise goes up.
Matt Scott: Number one complaint we have with the Earth drummer is actually those MPTs. It’s, when I say the only tire, I don’t mean like it’s the best choice. I mean, like, It is the only tire that fits. The vehicle and has the load thing. But if they had that in like a more milder terrain tire, like an at and I [00:37:00] didn’t have these huge legs, the car would ride better. It would track better.
Scott Brady: Yeah. You know, it’d be better in, it’d be better on icy roads. It’d be better on wet roads. All of those things are in.
Matt Scott: And they come outta balance. Like mud train, tires come out of balance. And when a vehicle, the tires or the, let’s say the wheels are out of balance, that puts more wear on your ball joints, tie rod ends like all this stuff, which, when you’re a traveler, generally you don’t want to have to change your ball joints in Bolivia, ball joints in Bolivia. That sounds trendy. Ball joints are a pain to change anywhere. Yeah. You know, like get through your trip. Like I, I’ll hear the argument. For mud trains there in some situations.
Scott Brady: Well, there’s totally reasons to have ’em. It just, if you don’t live in a place where there’s a lot of mud. Why do that to yourself? Again, I think it’s, I think it is fashion.
Matt Scott: Like if you’re just rolling around Miami.
Scott Brady: There’s also, there’s also some really good, hybrid tires down. There’s like slightly more aggressive.
Matt Scott: What are they calling ’em? They’re calling ’em like the rts or like. Yeah they’re hybrids. Yeah. I think that stuff like that. [00:38:00]
Scott Brady: That could be a nice option.
Matt Scott: Makes a lot of sense. Especially with nice option modern tire tech and.
Scott Brady: Yeah, totally. So much better now. Yeah. All right, so this was one that I came up with cuz I just ne I’ve literally never understood it. So you have an s u V with two people, an individual in their partner, and they’re in a land cruiser and they are pulling. A trailer that has a roof tent on the top of it. I have never understood why somebody would riff on this.
Matt Scott: Cause I, I got my response. You keep going.
Scott Brady: I, I have never understood why somebody would tow their roof tent, just put the roof tent on top of the car. Now there are exceptions to this, right? So let’s say you’ve got a family of five in the same Land Cruiser, you probably do need a trailer to carry all the stuff for your family and to make sure you have enough food. But if you’ve got a single, a solo traveler or two people in a Land Cruiser and they’re pulling a roof tent, it makes no sense to me. You did mention your retort, which I think is totally valid, but. I think that to spend $30,000 [00:39:00] on something that carries the roof tent.
Matt Scott: Carries the roof tent.
Scott Brady: Carries the roof tent that you could just put on your car. You could take all those systems that are in that trailer and put ’em in your vehicle easily. And save yourself, let’s call it 20,000 bucks. That’s a lot of money. I mean, I, and fuel economy drops in California you can only drive 55 miles an hour on the highways. It is like all these try backing up a trailer for a quarter mile on a shelf road, you know, like, no.
Matt Scott: You know what I would do in that situation? I would unhook it and drive away crying.
Scott Brady: Yeah. So it’s not saying no trailers. I think if you’re gonna tow a trailer, It should bring a luxury with it that you cannot.
Matt Scott: I want to sleep inside of it.
Scott Brady: That you can’t have in your car.
Matt Scott: It’s where like that Patriot X three is nice like.
Scott Brady: Super nice.
Matt Scott: As much as it’s a tent, you’re actually living inside of it. And you have heat and you have all of that.
Scott Brady: You have a heater, you’ve got a little dinette area, you got a table, you got a big, huge, queen sized bed with a, like a regular mattress. It has a heater on the inside. Or like a teardrop where I stayed in this esco pod [00:40:00] teardrop trailer the other day and it was, Howling wind, 40 mile an hour winds in outside of Phoenix. And I heard nothing. It was totally silent.
Matt Scott: And it’s nice.
Scott Brady: It was super nice.
Matt Scott: I don’t personally, I would never tow something that again, didn’t offer me. We’ll call it the luxury of sleeping inside. It doesn’t really make sense. But where I think that trailers like that do make sense is if you want to go out on the weekends and let’s say you have an F 250 tremor or you’ve got a stock pickup truck or, or whatever that is, and you don’t really want to mess with it and you’re building out your trailer. I kind of get that. Like, I kind of understand it.
Scott Brady: But some of these roof tents now, like some of the I camper ones, they have these quick disconnects. Like you could have that roof tent on there in less time than it would take to.
Matt Scott: I think, I think the argument is garages, I’ve gotta park in a garage at home. Or maybe you live in a city where people have sticky fingers. And you want to keep everything in your garage like, [00:41:00] Like I, I see it, but I do agree with you guys.
Scott Brady: Like highly specialized situation or if you’ve got a family of five and a 4runner, yeah, you probably do need a trailer.
Matt Scott: Well, cause you’re at payload with people, right.
Scott Brady: So it’s the only way you can add additional payload is to go against gross combined vehicle weight rating as opposed to just gross vehicle. So if you’re looking at a trail, if you’re looking at a trailer, It should offer something that you cannot do easily in the vehicle. Which means you should be able to sleep inside it. It should have a heater. Even better. It has a bathroom. Like something that literally makes it worthwhile to haul that thing around with your car and take like the three, four mile per gallon hit. And all the other downsides to towing a trailer. When I tow this explorer trailer, like I, I’m happy to tow it because it is so comfortable. And I can work, I can work in it. It has a bathroom, I can spend a week working out of it comfortably. Heater, air conditioner. It’s amazing. But I would never want to do that just to haul around a roof tent. So, something to think [00:42:00] about. Yeah, don’t spend that 20, 30 grand on a trailer that basically is just a roof tent mount.
Matt Scott: Although I do want an OG, At Chaser for some reason.
Scott Brady: Because they’re awesome.
Matt Scott: Because they’re like, I don’t, I think they’re super, they’re, I think they’re like this og, like I think we’re entering this, this period where like Overlanding and whatever we’re calling it now has been around for long enough that you’re starting to kind of get classic stuff in the segment. Where I’m like super into it.
Scott Brady: Behind your LJ that thing be so sick.
Matt Scott: We’ll do another podcast in the LJ, but it’s. The coolest one in the world.
Scott Brady: Yes, it is the coolest. So yeah, doesn’t mean don’t do the trailer, but think about like, really, am I bringing some benefit with it? Yeah, probably, probably not. Especially given the expense. Okay. The next one is this, this oversized recovery gear. This one is really interesting to me because people will have, they’ll put a 12,000 pound winch on the Wrangler. You want the winch to be 1.5 to two times gross vehicle weight. So, and it depends on your use case, but there are reasons for that because the winch will be heavier. The winch [00:43:00] will have heavier cable that isn’t necessary for the load. You’ll end up with less cable on the drum. You’re gonna have a higher amp draw that you don’t need. And you can use mechanical advantage in other ways using pulley blocks and other stuff like that.
Matt Scott: I’ll speak on the, the straps and stuff is that if you have a strap that’s meant for an Earth Roamer, and you use it on a forerunner, what ends up happening is that the part you want to like the strap should always be considered sacrificial. That is what you actually want to fail. What you do not want to fail. Are the bolts or the welds on your recovery point that then turns into a projectile? Right. So you.
Scott Brady: Or, or damages your frame.
Matt Scott: Yeah. Like that’s one of the reasons why when we were doing the whole Recovery Kit Maxx, we actually started doing fused. Like fused soft shackles because so many people in Australia were like, again, throwing the, you know, the 20,000 kilogram billion pound strap on their Hilux, and it was ripping bumpers off.
Scott Brady: And one of the reasons why it rips the bumper off is because the strap is [00:44:00] designed for a vehicle with a specific gross vehicle weight. So if you go with the four inch recovery strap that’s designed for a Super Duty and you use it with your Suzuki Samurai, you are not gonna get that 15 to 20% stretch out of it. You will with a Super Duty. Because it’s designed.
Matt Scott: You’re not gonna be able to pull it, you’re not gonna be able to stretch it.
Scott Brady: So you’re not gonna get the kinetic benefit of the strap, which is gonna put. A significant increased load on all of the connection points and the recovery will be less effective. So use the recovery equipment, use the size winch, the winch rope, the recovery gear that’s appropriate to your vehicle or the vehicles that you travel with, and you’ll end up with spending less money. The kit will weigh less, you’ll end up with better recovery results. And most important, you know, you’re not causing a whole bunch of safety concerns along the way.
Matt Scott: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. That’s that smart one.
Scott Brady: Yeah, that’s a good one. And then this is the last. That I have on the list because it’s, it’s your favorite is the.
Matt Scott: See which one’s this?
Scott Brady: It’s the Overkill Electrical Systems.
Matt Scott: Oh, [00:45:00] oh God. It drives me crazy.
Scott Brady: So this is, we’re gonna end with the Cuda gra.
Matt Scott: I guess like what, maybe two years ago, three years ago it started becoming, you know, lithium started to come out of the scene. And with lithium batteries, they have a lot of advantages. They’re much more energy dense and, you know, they can, their depth of discharge is near 100% versus an AGM or any kind of flooded lead acid battery is about 50%.
Scott Brady: Yeah. The lithiums have controllers on ’em. So they protect the battery.
Matt Scott: Lithiums great. And the, the problem is that on some alternators, they’re not gonna consistently charge. So you need a DC to dc you know, basically is just taking a little bit more amperage from, from the you know the vehicle when it’s running and it’s upgrading it to a higher voltage with, with less amperage. So, you know, you’ll see 20, 30, 40 amp lithium chargers. Well then people started putting trailer systems in their forerunner or their Tacoma, and I mean, I was, I was [00:46:00] one of those people. You know, I put a full system, like it had like four or maybe six water tank outputs. It had like all of these different things and it was like such a problem. Like, remember you guys took it up to Utah?
Scott Brady: It just didn’t work.
Matt Scott: And like the little clips, even though they had screws, like you have to shoehorn these things, you know, so you.
Scott Brady: And they’re heavy in their bid.
Matt Scott: They’re heavy and you end up with. Two of these things that are about like 18 inches long by like 10 inches high. And then you have to shove this somewhere and then all of the ensuing cables not a problem when you’re putting in a new caravan or a trailer or you know, some kind of exhibition camper or, or something like that.
Scott Brady: And those things need to have power management at that level of complexity because they’re complex systems.
Matt Scott: But most people end up putting this, some of these systems by the time they’re installed are $10,000. I mean there’s five grand of just parts. So oftentimes, and the labor is expensive cause it has to be done right. And there’s some shops that are doing really good work, but they end up with like [00:47:00] a really overkill thing to turn on, like a three watt l e d light and to run their fridge and things like that. And I just like why I, again, it’s, I literally, I just don’t understand why people are putting trailer systems.
Scott Brady It must just the jewelry
Matt Scott: Yeah. Is it because it’s trendy and again, you start to trend to this like, Fashion accessory. And a fashion accessory. That’s very overkill. There’s nothing.
Scott Brady: Well, and it’s not even just like we talked about the recovery stuff. That was overkill problem. This is unnecessary complexity.
Matt Scott: Like Yeah. It’s actually defeating the purpose.
Scott Brady: I think, and I think what I have experienced in most cases around power management systems is that within a very short period of time that they don’t work. And you just, you always know the guy in camp because he’s fiddling and he’s pissed off and his solar panel’s not charging and his, and or his, or he goes out and his auxiliary battery is flat because it hasn’t been working. And then his fridge is shutting, shutting off and his and his food’s spoiling.
Matt Scott: It’s like you’re describing me with my gladiator. It was so, [00:48:00] I, I literally, I would get to camp and like, oh. The diesel heater’s not working. Why is the diesel heater not working? Oh, because it blew a fuse on this thing. And then it did this, and then you’re.
Scott Brady: Go with the most simple solution first and there are degrees of that. I, we were talking before the podcast about when I got to spend time with Tom Shepherd in the UK and he was showing me his G wagon that he had driven all over Northern Africa. And I said, do you have an auxiliary battery? He says, I do, cuz I wanna make sure that I can start the vehicle if the main battery fails. And I do run some accessories off of that, like my radios and my GPS units. And I said, well, how do you manage that? And he flips the seat forward. And there was a mechanical, like a literally a dial.
Matt Scott: One of those blue seats.
Scott Brady: Yeah, that’s right. It’s like a blue sea dial. And it has a position that says off, which disconnects both batteries completely from the system. So that’s now a, a security device. You turn it into the off position, you can’t start the car, nothing works. Or you could go into position one, which is just day-to-day driving. Or you could go into [00:49:00] position two, which was now only your house systems. Or you could combine them where it said all and he said the reason why he does that is it makes him pay attention to his battery system. He checks on stuff. Yeah, he checks the gauges. He’s being, he’s participating in the process Now the next step up from that is just a very simple DC to DC charging system. They’re very small and compact. They’re not that expensive. They take power from your alternator and they provide. 20, 25, 30 amps.
Matt Scott: Yeah. $2. There’s a lot of great options out there for ’em.
Scott Brady: And, and a lot of times they have solar power inputs and they are super simple, they’re very inexpensive. They can be installed, maintained in service. And then there are like also very simple ones that just use starter solenoid relays. And they just, once the voltage hits a certain level from the alternator, it combines it. And then it’s charging. So really going simple, I think is the key on those things.
Matt Scott: Yeah, I see a lot of people that are doing, you know, like the wedge style campers. [00:50:00] They, they go so overkill on this stuff and they, they end up spending, you know, an equivalent amount of money to a four wheel camper, having a trailer or something. And they have a quarter of the space. Like we had that at Summit on the Gladiator, and it was, it was really good. Like it was well insulated. It was well made, like I, I truthfully enjoyed it. The mistake that I made. Was deviating too far from stock. Like from at, it came with, you know, kind of some, some power switches. It came with USB charger, it came with a, you know, a cigarette lighter.
Scott Brady: A little light.
Matt Scott: A light, yeah. You know, you could have a fan put in, you could have all that, and then you literally had like a cable quick disconnect. If you wanted to take the camper off, you could. It all went downhill from that because what I tried to do is I tried to turn what was a simple camper. You know, like a wedge camper is inherently simpler than.
Scott Brady: Sliding camper.
Matt Scott: A sliding camper. Let’s, let’s just build on that and you’re trying to really get the slide in camper. You end up spending more money and you end up with, I had a five foot bed. A lot of guys that are doing these wedge campers [00:51:00] have five, five and a half foot beds. You can’t put 10 pounds of stuff in a five pound bag. So you end up with like, oh, is that storage? No, that’s an electrical compartment. Oh, is that storage? No, that’s another electrical compartment. Oh, what’s that? Well, that’s where I keep my battery. Oh, so where do you keep your stuff? And then you end up building cabinets out, and then you end up building this out and then.
Scott Brady: Then you’re over payload.
Matt Scott: Then you’re over payload, and then you’ve spent 30 or 40 grand and you should have just bought the slide in camper. Like it’s, I mean people like projects. I love projects. I enjoy doing some of it, but.
Scott Brady: But this is another thing that people are told that they need, that they don’t.
Matt Scott: Yeah. They, they see it, it goes back, back to like.
Scott Brady: That’s, that’s the key is that you don’t need, you can buy the $70 blue C switch.
Matt Scott: Acr. Yeah.
Scott Brady: And you can click, click, click and you’re done. Or Yeah, there the blue C acr, which is super simple.
Matt Scott: Yeah. Cause I think that that one has an auto setting.
Scott Brady: It does have an auto setting. Yeah. That one’s very cool. And very inexpensive. Couple hundred bucks. And you’re done. I think it’s really about making sure that we’re not over complicating [00:52:00] the vehicle and we’re not just monkey see, monkey do. On something that we see on Instagram and that we save that money for traveling. Exactly. Matt, you’re gonna have your wrap up, but for me, my wrap up is there’s nothing wrong with doing any of this stuff. You can do all everything on our list. Enjoy it. Have a wonderful time. Take all the pleasure that comes from a hobby that you love. But what we do want to. What I was hoping to achieve with this podcast was that for those that were on the fence, for those that were unsure if they should spend the money on these things or they’re not sure what they should spend money on, you don’t need to spend money on any of it. A stock 200 series, land Cruiser will take you around the world. There’s nothing to be done. Just go and enjoy travel if that’s your goal. If you enjoy building vehicles and you enjoy accessories, and you enjoy making something that’s a reflection of your personality or. Whatever, you know, that’s fine too. But, but we real, I really wanted this to be about if you go down this list and you spend all that money, you’re gonna spend 60, 70, 80 grand [00:53:00] of stuff on a vehicle that you don’t need. And I’d love for people to spend, you know, even half of spend that.
Matt Scott: Spend the time traveling.
Scott Brady: Half of that on actually traveling.
Matt Scott: Yeah. Many things in life for me come down to need versus want when people ask me questions. That’s a, that’s a really particular thing for me. When they say I need this, my mind defaults to simple simplify because my experience as a traveler has taught me that simple is almost always better than complex.
Scott Brady: And I think in all of life.
Matt Scott: Generally speaking, right? So when somebody comes up and they’re like, oh yeah, I need to get lights and I need to get this, and I need to get this and I need to get this. I’m like, you don’t need it. If you want it. Totally go for it, man. Like.
Scott Brady: All in, enjoy it.
Matt Scott: Like there’s, there’s things that I want and there’s things that I buy that not, like it doesn’t always have to make sense. Right.
Scott Brady: Oh, I think most of the things that I buy, even though I’m, I live very minimalist. Almost everything that I buy, I don’t need.
Matt Scott: I am not a minimalist.
Scott Brady: Mic drop here, folks. If you were, [00:54:00] if you were wondering if Matt was a minimalist or not.
Matt Scott: No but and again, I think. The thing is that this podcast isn’t directed towards the builder or the non traveling overlander. Like they’re almost just a different breed now. But don’t let the, you know, we’re, we’re trying to create an audience and, and, and things for travelers.
That is what we are passionate about. And what I like to think that this podcast is actually about, it’s one of the few remaining, like actual overland travel things. Like it’s not, it’s weird. It’s, it’s, it’s this fine line and there was.
Scott Brady: And there’s no judgment.
Matt Scott: There’s some messages that I had that I’m like, oh, well, you know, you’re, you’re being really gatekeepy on this or whatever. I’m like, I. Yeah, a little bit, a hundred percent. But I’m also talking, this overlanding word has always been so ambiguous and it’s been very unclear. If, if you were the builder, you know, the non traveling overlander, like I’m not, I’m not criticizing you. I will say like, recognize what you need. And what you don’t need.
Scott Brady: Yeah. And then be careful [00:55:00].
Matt Scott: If the lights.
Scott Brady: Over, overreaching it to others.
Matt Scott: Yeah. Hopefully to the travelers out there. Which again is, is who this podcast is for. Hopefully there is something of value there.
Scott Brady: Oh, I think so. And and it’s really, like you said, needs versus wants. And. Making sure that we’re spending more money traveling than we are on the truck. And I think that that’s kind of the message that.
Matt Scott: Yeah. Cuz if, if you’re just.
Scott Brady: And it’s fun. It was fun for us to riff on all these. I mean, and again, like I want to close with this, everything on the list I have done wrong.
Matt Scott: Yeah, me too.
Scott Brady: So I’m literally.
Matt Scott: Actively doing.
Scott Brady: I’m literally just trying. Maybe if we save one, Matt, if we can just save one.
Matt Scott: Save one.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Make all it. So thank you all for listening. And we’ll talk to you next time.