Just returned with Ruby Tuesday
after a 3 month, 12,700 km (7890 mi.) road trip to the end of the road in Inuvik which included 800 km (500 mi.) of gravel each way on the Dempster Highway
. Plus lots of other side trips via gravel roads. Towing my 2004 Trillium
Outback (13 ft.) with my 2006 Toyota Tacoma 4 cyl. 4 WD with Access Cab.
In mid May we caught the ferry off-island, stopped at the BC Fiberglass meet at Fort Langley for a couple of days and then headed North. Late August we made it back to the Island, more or less in one piece.
We, my long-time travelling partner and I, had been planning this trip for a couple of years, long distance, as he lives in England. This was our 4th road trip together in the last 5 years but the first with the Trillium
Preparation involved, long Skype sessions, and multiple lists before we finally got on the road.
a check of all the running gear on both the truck and trailer; propane
check; load test batteries; R&R of one window in the trailer that had been installed upside down and leaked; restrung the cordage on the Venetian blinds; new spigot on water tank drain; installed shelves in the hanging locker.
The 3 shelves were covered with non-skid material. For containment, I found some black plastic-coated wire baskets in Staples that fit on the 3 shelves. There was enough room on one side of each shelf/basket for other food items. To keep everything in place I added a front strip to each shelf with a 1/2" lip to keep everything in place. This system worked very well regardless of the type of road we were on.
Two new sets of tires
- 6 ply for the trailer and 10 ply for the truck: Marathons & Nokian Rotiva Plus respectively. Two steel wheels for extra set of spare tires
for truck and trailer. Set of removable towing mirrors - these were hard to find for the Tacoma.
for the truck: replace all hoses, belts, thermostat, plugs, filters, fluids plus new front brakes
and windshield wiper blades.
included: replacement 25A converter (8700 WFCO);larger 2lb B &C fire extinguisher and bracket for trailer; hitch receiver lock; pair of axle
stands; interior LED bulbs; portable solar lights
; canvas tonneau cover; instant up screen tent; silicone tarp;12V shower pump/hose; pop-up privacy shelter for showers; small compressor; battery
tender 1.25 A; folding aluminum table; 120W portable solar panel
and new unbreakable dishes and glasses, both plastic and stainless steel; upgraded automobile association membership to cover RV towing.
In the cupboard above the locker is where I keep my pots and pans. There I soon discovered I should have put some sort of protection between the pots and the non-stick frypan. The non-stick was worn from the vibration of the pots on top. Another piece of non-skid would have been ideal, but a face cloth sufficed.
There were a few items that I wished we had:
- luggage scales - to weigh the 20 lb. propane
tank (38 lbs. full)
- hand grinder - for coffee beans; only had electric
- wide mouth Nalgene bottles - these do not leak!
- squeegee - good quality, thin bladed
- different lengths of cable ties - aka zip straps - fasten tow mirrors
- screen door for trailer
- more underwear - couldn't find anywhere to purchase in Jasper!
- more rags!
Things I wished I hadn't bothered taking:
- wheel for swivel jack stand
- 5 gallon buckets - only used 2 out of 3
- tarp clips - wouldn't hold in any wind
- 12V misting fan - it did get hot but it didn't put out enough air.
I'd like to write more about this trip, including photos, if anyone here is interested?
Trip of a lifetime! Thanks for reading, feedback, questions, welcome.