I have caught the bug...

#1
So I have caught the itch/bug to get out on the road for a bit and explore mainly CO and UT to start. I have spent enough time in WY and MT to know that I would like to spend some more time out here. But maybe a couple weeks at a time to start. I am going to be lurking around here for a while researching and learning. I think I will learn a ton on here. But my setup might be much different that most as I have chosen quite the rig to get going with. I am a Jeep guy. Even though I still consider myself young (36), I like old things. And therefore I now have two older Jeeps. A 1979 CJ5, and we as my proposed travel rig, a 1978 Cherokee Chief. I got it about a year ago and have been hard at work on it since then. Unless you guys really want to see thing and know, I won't go through the list of things I've already done to her. Just know it has been a lot, lol. It was pretty well taken care of by previous owners, but certainly not to my standard.

My plan is to preserve the antique nature of the Jeep to the best of my ability, so I won't be adding things that can't be removed easily (i.e. no drilling into the body etc.). I think she is capable enough in her current state to do what I would like to do, with a few more additions etc. I have done tons of work already, but right now the priority is on reliability of the old 360 to get us everywhere we want to go. So a rebuild, fuel injection, gearing etc. is all potentially on the table. I am working on sound deadning and thermal insulation of the interior right now. I don't plan on rock crawling her, but I do plan to get off the paved roads on our travels.

I am planning to go the RTT route with the ladder coming off the back to utilize the natural awning there for our access to the rear, cooking etc. Plan on having an awning off the side as well. Early thoughts are to build a platform in the back with a couple long drawers for gear. Will be leaving the backseat out for travel as it is just the lady, myself and the dog currently. I am open to any and all suggestions. And if you want to see the build page, it is over on fsjnetwork (http://www.fsjnetwork.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=12962). Most everything is there, but missing some recent work.

So here she is. This is the day I picked her up, and currently how she sits:
 

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#4
Don't know yet. It is just the two of us plus the dog, so I thought we could get by with a two person, but may spring for a three person for some extra room. We have a two year old Vizsla that is only about 38 lbs, but all legs. And she likes to push you out of the bed, so we may need the extra room, lol. Have been looking at the Tepui Kukenam and a couple others, but I am fairly new to the RTT world. The ruggedized version would of course fit the color theme :), but I just don't think we will need it. Thought about waiting until the next member sale at REI and purchasing through there to get a discount. Have been watching Craigslist as well, but have not come across anything yet. Have a neighbor who is a carpenter by trade, so may employ him to help me design and build some organization and storage as well as the platform and drawers for the back of the Chief.

She will also be a rig for standard long weekend camping trips and getting me to all those little blue lines on the map with my fly rod in hand.
 

nwoods

Expedition Leader
#5
IMHO, the RTT is a $2,000 luxury accessory that reduces your trucks handling and performance and kills your MPG. They are not a gimmick, there is a lot to be said for quick and easy set up/tear down of "camp", but DO NOT let the right tent stop you from using that killer rig you have now. A decent ground tent as an option for when you are going stay for more than one night, and a sleeping platform as your go-to "overnighter" accommodations will serve you really, really well. Get some miles under your belt and nights under the sky, then decide if the RTT is the right use of money, but only make that decision on the trail, not behind a keyboard. Keep your money, use what you have, figure out what you need after some experience.
 
#6
I had a clean '79 Cherokee, I rebuilt the auto tranny myself using Jeep and Chevy parts. I also had a minty 1985 Grand Wagoneer. The latter, I installed a Chevy TBI system, using junkyard parts, not too difficult. Didn't help the 10mpg however, but eliminated the vapor lock I had at altitude. Too bad I sold both vehicles. They are hard to come by cheap and clean. My current rig, the Saurer 6dm gets about 6mpg, so don't worry too much!
 
#7
IMHO, the RTT is a $2,000 luxury accessory that reduces your trucks handling and performance and kills your MPG. They are not a gimmick, there is a lot to be said for quick and easy set up/tear down of "camp", but DO NOT let the right tent stop you from using that killer rig you have now. A decent ground tent as an option for when you are going stay for more than one night, and a sleeping platform as your go-to "overnighter" accommodations will serve you really, really well. Get some miles under your belt and nights under the sky, then decide if the RTT is the right use of money, but only make that decision on the trail, not behind a keyboard. Keep your money, use what you have, figure out what you need after some experience.
I agree 100%. Have done some decent ground tent camping as we have section hiked a lot of the AT, staying at either shelters or in our tent along the way. Have camped out a decent amount on fishing trips in the backwoods as well. If I am honest, the appeal of having a somewhat comfy mattress and being able to leave all my gear (sleeping bags, pillows blankets) in the RTT really has some appeal to me as I get older, lol. I could sleep in the back of the Jeep on solo excursions without a doubt. But with the girl and the dog, that is probably not an option with gear in tow. But yes, I plan to use it as is right now as soon as I get the mechanical to where I am confident on where it would take me. The TBI is certainly on the short list. Even though she starts right up currently, I have read about the stories at altitude. As well as the hot places boiling the gas out of the carb. Also, I am in the middle of getting the A/C back up and running. So in GA she is not being driven much right now, lol.
 
#10
Work is moving along on the interior. The driver door vapor barrier was trashed, so decided to make my own out of some 3.5 mil vapor barrier. Should work fine. Then added some Reflectix to the back of the door panel to maybe help insulate a little more sound and temperature change.

Finished up the floor with sound deadner. Now on to the roof. Plan to hopefully knock that out tomorrow. Along with removing the stock roof rack. I will be storing it, but I have some gutter mount racks that I will be able to make more use out of in supporting canoes, kayaks, tents etc. up there. I could re-enforce the stock roof rack, but there is not way the cross bars could really support much weight. They are pretty flimsy.

Also, the dog is watching with interest. If she is around and I mess with either the CJ or the Chief, she thinks we are going somewhere. And they don't go many places without her in tow, lol.
 

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#11
What sound deadener did you use on the floor, and what are you planning on using for the roof?

I've used the cheap Peel n Seal on the floor of my TJ, but have read that it can sag/pull off when its used for a roof...
 
#12
Used Noico 80 mil on the floor. Can get it through Amazon. Just make sure you clean all the surfaces really well (alcohol, degreaser etc.) and use a roller or something similar to really adhere the material to the roof.

The Noico is Butyl, where I think Peel and Seal is an asphalt base. You may get a little odor with the asphalt based stuff. Also, you could just use a insulating type material on the roof and use a spray adhesive to attach it. Also, the bows for the roof will help hold it in place.
 
#13
Got the roof done today. Need to respray the headliner. Wondered why it was flaking. Big stain above the drivers window. I guess someone sprayed the whole thing to cover it up. So I guess I will be doing the same tomorrow. Hope to have the interior back together tomorrow. Got the roof rack installed as well.







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#14
Check out the CVT hard shell. It's a little bit more expensive, but it's aerodynamic and setup is only about two minutes. But I'm the same way you are, I hammock camped for years and once I finally nutted up a bought a rtt, it was worth it. One of the biggest things, the girl friend is happy and that's what matters most. At least if you want to enjoy your time in the woods. Hahah
 
#15
CVT hard shell would be nice, but I don't think I am ready to spend that coin. I think the Jeep in itself will keep my wallet fairly occupied being the nature of its age. Actually decided to send back the gutter rack system that I got, and bought the Thule high mount gutter rack system and longer bars (58"). The rain gutters on the Jeep slope downwards in the rear (which makes sense), so mounting anything to the rack I had on there would have been tight. Not to mention the weight of it would have probably caused it to hit the roof in the rear. Not into damaging the Jeep in that way, lol. The high mount should give me plenty of clearance to mount things rearward on the Jeep.
 
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