Current Stories
PermaLink Nagagamisis Provincial Park07/24/2017
Category : Jeep Adventure
Nagagamisis Provincial Park Site 32
We spent three nights at the camp site. Lake front view, the view was spectacular.
Read More . . .
PermaLink Installing the roof rack06/23/2017
Category : Jeep Upgrades
We needed a roof rack for our canoe before we're heading north this summer. The Marten River trip was clearly an experience which we don't want to repeat. Without going into too many details, the short version is "slippery roof surface". The pads that clamp on the canoe have no grip on the Jeep roof. Rain and/or dust combined with the wind on the highway will shift the canoe - End of this story.
So, we were looking for a rack that can hold a canoe now and a second spare tire, two 20 liter gas canister and the canoe for future excursions. That is a combined weight of about 150 kg.
Kargo Master Congo Pro

A rack with a basket is not an option for the following reasons:
  • A basket makes the high roof even higher by 6 or more inches. Lifting a canoe, spare tire or gas tank to a height over 6 feet and 6 inches is a challenge even for my stature.
  • The basket rims don't seem to have the same rigidness as the other rack components. Strapping a canoe to them defeats the purpose of a sturdy rack.

    After reading comments about the wind noise of racks, the Kargo Master Congo Pro had practically no serious complaints and has a rating beyond our load capacity.
    When we picked up the boxes from Just Jeeps, we learned that it is a very snug fit inside the 4 door Jeep. The rails are actually a one-piece metal tube and only fit diagonally into the Jeep. The trailer would have been a better solution.
    Installation is simple:
  • Does not require drilling.
  • Uses some very odd sized hex screws. I had to sand down a key to size.
  • There are plenty of Youtube instruction, so no need to repeat them here.
  • When ordering accessories such as cross bars, the Kargo Master Congo Pro has all 2 inch tubes, the Congo has smaller tubes. The cross bar connectors are specific to the model.
  • Follow the instructions and do not tighten any screws until the whole rack is assembled.
    Wind noise from the raw rack without attachments are minimal but noticeable. Once the canoe is strapped to the rack, it will be noisy. But that's a given and accepted.
  • Kargo Master Congo Pro

  • PermaLink Marten River Provincial Park and Rabbit Lake excursion05/19/2017
    Category : Jeep Adventure
    Marten River Provincial Park Camp Site 99
    Victoria Day Long Weekend, perfect opportunity to get outside.

    PermaLink Towing a camping trailer with a Jeep Wrangler JK Unlimited04/28/2017
    Category : Jeep Upgrades
    The Jeep has a towing capacity of 2000lb, the Prolite Mini 13 camping trailer is around 1500lb when loaded and is equipped with electrical brakes.
    The Jeep DOES NOT have the tow package installed, so this is the standard, unmodified Sahara 2013 model. I already installed the hitch receiver to mount the bicycle rack and connected the 4-pin electrical adapter at the same time. The Prolite Mini trailer uses the round 7-pin connector. The MOPAR 7-pin wiring harness was not really designed for a brake controller and needed some minor adjustment. The Brake Controller is from Tekonsha and sits on the dash.
    Jeep Wrangler Sahara 2013 with Prolite Mini 13
    This setup works great but has a few flaws.
    1. The trailer sits very low. I decided to lift the trailer by about 2 inches.
    2. The 100lb load on the hitch (Tongue weight) pushes the Jeep down by more than one inch.
    To lift the Prolite Mini I went back to the factory in St-Jérôme, QC.
    To level the Jeep I installed the Air Lift 1000 Load Assist Spring Kit.

    Getting the parts and the installation was straightforward.
    Read More . . .
    PermaLink Day trip to Poison Mountain BC, I think?08/01/2016
    Category : Jeep Adventure
    The plan was to start from Moha, about 40km north-west from Lillooet and drive to the 'Big Bar Ferry' that crosses the Faser River about 100km north of Lillooet.
    The scenery is absolutly breathtaking. This is the Bridge River just north of Lillooet.
    Bridge River in BC Naturally, we missed the Moha turn the first time and started the trip later than expected.
    The road is all gravel and mostly in good shape. Much later we encountered the 'negative speed pumps' or Water Bars. Most of them about 1 meter wide and 30 cm deep. Unless you slow down to a crawl, you loose the axle.
    Read More . . .
    PermaLink Downhill in Whistler07/20/2016
    Category : Hey, why not
    This year again, I had the urge to ride the Bike Park in Whistler. Downhill is one of the pleasures I can not indulge in Ontario - there are no mountains!!
    Downhill Bike Rental in Whistler from Costal Cultures
    The weather eventually got just perfect, sunny and not sticky hot.
    Read More . . .
    PermaLink 2016 Guelph Lake 1 - Sprint Triathlon06/19/2016
    Category : Swim Run Bike
    Guelph Lake 1 Triathlon 2016
    Almost didn't go because of not enough training. But one week before, I did a 40km bike ride in the morning and a 7.5km run in the evening, I knew I can make it "in style". So I signed up and finished just before one hour and forty-five minutes.
    It was Fathers Day and the weather was great, lots of athletes and spectators. My final time was 1:44:45. But most important: I GOT A MEDAL!
    PS: The road out the Conservation Area did not get paved, still an "unforgettable" experience on a road bike.
    PermaLink Mesh Grille to protect the radiator from bugs06/16/2016
    Category : Jeep Upgrades
    One of the first upgrades on the Jeep was the addition of a mesh screen to keep the bugs from clogging the radiator. You can buy a mesh screen insert for $80 or more, or spend less than $20 to have one with your own personal touch. We decided to use red as the colour when adding features, so the quarter inch galvanised wire mesh got a red Tremclad treatment. It actually gives the grille a sophisticated look, hiding the cooling pipes and mounts behind the reddish screen. Bug Screen
    I used plastic cable mounts and glued them with a special plastic glue inside the grille. The wire mesh is held in place with cable ties. Search for "Jeep Wrangler DIY Grille Inserts" and you find different options on how to mount the wire mesh. If I have to do it again, I may not even use any mount points. Just fold the wire mesh 2 times around the edges to give it some stability and it will stay in place due to the snug fit.

    The mesh grille does work! After a 14,000 km trip across Canada and back (Ontario to British Columbia), the mesh was like new. One winter in Ontario with all the ice and road salt, the mesh was like new. The picture above is actuall from June 2017, more than a year after installation. The bug-fest below was taken in summer 2016 in Winnipeg. Bug collection on grill

    This is a 2014 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4-door with automatic transmission. As I found out, there are actually two radiators behind the grille. A full size rad for engine cooling and a half size rad for transmission cooling, the smaller one is just in front of the big one. When you are traveling with a camping trailer you notice that the Jeep transmission was not designed to pull 700 kg. There is enough power under the hood, but the transmission shifts like mad. It is absolutely critical that the transmission cooling works at full capacity. If you find no other reason to have a mesh grille, that is the ONE.
    But we all know "it looks so cool"
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