HamCation 2023 and Raleigh Car Shows

January and February were busy months for my car and mobile ham station! My previous post detailed the completion of a “micro tower” on the roof. Next, I worked on my amplifier and feed line installation. I shared that project on my new ham radio website, KE4WMF.com.  I had hoped to finish prior to the VHF Contest in late-January. Supply delays kept that from happening. The pressure to finish the job was eased, but only a little. I was invited to take my mobile station to HamCation in Orlando, FL in early-February to display it with Emergency Communications (EmComm) vehicles. I still needed to finish the overhaul to be show-ready. HamCation is not a car show, but I still wanted to present a good exhibition! Continue reading

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Rooftop Antenna Tower w/Rotator!

If you’ve been watching my site, then you’re aware that I’ve been slowly building a VHF contest Rover. I’m documenting my process on my new “Rover” page. My coverage there is brief; so, this entry will share more details about the project. “What is a rotator?,” you ask. Most are familiar with vertical whip antennas, which have omnidirectional radiation patterns. Directional beams allow operators to focus their emissions in a specific direction. Some Rovers use a temporary mast that’s set up at each operating position and then pointed by hand; others mount a permanent mast and then steer their vehicle to point the beam. A more sophisticated approach that’s adapted from home equipment includes the use of a rotator, which is a motorized device which points the antenna array in the direction that’s chosen by the operator. They can even be used while the vehicle is in motion. Continue reading

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Daughter’s Car is Fixed!

My daughter’s car is fixed and on the road! The repair happened before my daughter came home for Thanksgiving, which gave me time to take the car for a few test drives and to shoot a video (link below). In short, the car looks and sounds great, is running with more power and a younger engine, and has a slew of new parts that should enhance its lifespan. Best yet, she was able to drive it back to North Carolina after spending Thanksgiving with us. The end! Or keep reading for more details! 😉
Continue reading

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Dometic CFX3-35 12V Cooler

I’ve mentioned my Dometic CFX3-35 12-volt cooler a few times during the two years that I’ve had it, starting with the kick-off for a coast-to-coast road trip. I’ve even published videos dedicated to it. But I had not shared an article here until now. Our coast-to-coast road trip took place during the height of lock-downs and restaurant closures. With that, combined with my wife’s diet restrictions, we knew that we needed to carry our own food as much as possible. Dometic is a popular brand among some of the overlanding YouTubers whose videos I enjoy. So, I started my search there and quickly settled on the CFX3-35, their largest cooler that would fit beneath my car’s parcel shelf for concealment in the trunk. Continue reading

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Electronics Overhaul!

I receive a lot of compliments regarding the level of detail and workmanship on my electronics panel. However, something interesting happens over the course of time as equipment is either added or changed, in this car as well as two previous cars: The addition of new power feeds, control cables, and coaxial feed lines often winds up detracting from my clean installation and can eventually contribute to a convoluted mess, especially in areas that are hidden from plain view. For example, the compartments under my rear seat delete have become catch-all spaces for leftover cable that I didn’t take the time to organize. Over time, that area has become a bit of a rat’s nest. It’s long past-due for an overhaul. Continue reading

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Six Year Anniversary – Still Adding Stuff

My GTI recently saw its six year anniversary. I bought my car new on Veteran’s Day in 2016 and it’s been really good to me. Yes, I did have an injector problem and a few minor issues over the years, but I still consider it to be a great car! I drove 29,000 miles over the past year, which puts the car at almost 172,000 miles. I’m pretty much done with performance mods, although I did make one more exhaust change in 2022. Instead of vehicle performance, I’ve been working more on my ham/amateur radio performance. I’ve gone a bit nuts and have blown my “stealth” appearance. Continue reading

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Is an Old Mk7 Golf Worth an Engine?

The official diagnosis, confirmed by a shop that I trust, is that my daughter’s 2015 Launch Edition Golf needs an engine. Compression and leakdown testing confirms a major leak in the block. So, this isn’t a problem with the head gasket, a ring, valve, or anything minor. Could the engine be rebuilt? Probably. Is it something we want to tackle? Certainly not! There’s a lot of labor rate involved with a rebuild. Plus, no mechanic wants to risk finding a problem after it’s put together and reinstalled in the car. There’s a valid argument that the parts and labor to rebuild an engine is similar to the parts and labor to replace the engine with a used engine. For a little more, one could even replace the entire long block and have a mostly-new engine from the manufacturer. At least that used to be the case. So, is an old Mk7 Golf worth the cost of an engine? Let’s consider some options: Continue reading

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Needs an Engine?!

My daughter’s 2015 Launch Edition Golf recently had the dreaded Cylinder #3 misfire. She’s recovering from shoulder surgery; so, she couldn’t do much. Unfamiliar with any European specialists in her area, I suggested going to the dealer for what could have been an easy visit that ended with a new injector. They troubleshot and concluded that the #3 injector was faulty. The service advisor suggested an intake cleaning. We concurred with both. “The car will be ready for pickup tomorrow,” she said. BTW, this dealership did EVERYTHING via text. They don’t answer their phones at all. Continue reading

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Eurofest Maggie Valley with Growing Comms Exhibit

A few weeks ago, I shared an update which shared recent amateur radio activity as well as my plan to attend more car shows with my communications exhibit. Eurofest at Maggie Valley, NC was easily the largest VW show on my schedule. Its distance from my home was far enough to warrant extending the trip to add other destinations along the way. I added a run on the Tail of the Dragon as well as three Parks on the Air (POTA) activations. My only concern about this trip was a weekend forecast with rain and thunderstorms. I decided to take a chance! Continue reading

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Ham Radio Updates

I’ve been neglectful, but busy. I’ve enjoyed making YouTube videos and publishing every week. However, spending so much time making videos meant that the writing on my website had fallen behind; plus, the more time I spend creating, the less time I spend actually DOING the things that inspire content. So, I took a break from publishing so that I could actually DO some things. I’ve said it before: My content will follow my interests. Since 2020, I’ve taken a deeper dive into ham radio than I ever imagined for myself. I’ve shared some details on a dedicated page, but my subscribers are only informed when I publish “posts,” not “pages.” So, here’s an update… Continue reading

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Volkswagen Show Catch-Up!

This entry is a bit late. I find it difficult to take the time to write articles when I’m focusing on creating YouTube videos. Coincidentally, I find it difficult to DO the things worth sharing if I’m making YouTube videos. It’s all quite time-consuming! I’ve taken a break from video creation so that I can do more things with the car. My current project is a ham radio contest rover build. Read about my progress HERE. I’m getting ahead of myself. This entry about a few VW and European car shows that I attended recently. Still, the shows and my communications build are somewhat related… Continue reading

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My First POTA Road Trip

My website has fallen behind. I hope to do some catch-up work in the coming weeks. While this site has been primarily automotive-related, my content has always followed my interests. I’ve been doing a lot of upgrades to my amateur radio (ham) setup. The year 2020 drove many social changes. In my case, I dove more deeply into ham radio. I’ve been building a contesting “Rover” setup for occasional VHF contesting. But one pursuit that I’ve been enjoying on a small scale is Parks on the Air, or POTA. Continue reading

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Orion-Tr Smart 12|12-30 360-Watt DC-DC Charger

A car’s alternator is NOT appropriate for charging LiFePo4 batteries. First, it’s output voltage is not quite correct; nor, is it intended to charge two batteries (starter and aux) with differing chemistries at the same time. Next, and perhaps more important, lithium batteries will charge at far higher currents than a standard alternator should supply. My particular LiFePo4 BMS will gladly take as much as 120 amps of charge current; others can take 200 amps or more. That can lead to overburdening the alternator and even starting a fire under the hood! My goal was to find a solution that would adjust the charge voltage, limit charging current, and isolate the lithium battery from my starter battery. Continue reading

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100-Ah Lithium Iron Phosphate Secondary Battery

This year is the first time in many years that I spent a lot of time using my ham radios. As much as I like to drive, operating on the HF bands often requires log work, especially during contests or “Worked All States” network sessions. Logging while driving is unsafe, especially at night when most HF nets occur. Spending an hour or two on the radio while parked is taxing on the starter battery; plus, I don’t like to idle the engine for extended periods to maintain the battery charge. What’s worse is that I had wired-in a bypass switch to activate my electronics panel while parked. I’ve had a few occasions where I accidentally left that switch in its “bypass” position and drained the starter battery overnight. I needed a better solution! Continue reading

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Deep Discharge – Get Restarted Fast!

Own a car for long enough and you’ll eventually find yourself with a weak starter battery. If the battery is just old, then maybe it will turn-on all of your accessories, but lack the grunt to turn the starter motor. If you’ve left something energized overnight, something more than just an interior dome light, then you may come out to a DEAD battery, one that is so low that nothing works at all. Either way, I’ve found a tool that can help recover from such an event, even if no one else is around to help. Continue reading

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Five Years in a Mk7 GTI! More Mods or Time to Sell?

I can’t believe it’s been five years in my Mk7 GTI already! Is it too late to add more mods to this geriatric GTI or should I sell it? According to some, I’m way overdue for ditching this car! I had plenty of comments on my 3-year video saying that 93,000 miles was too much and that I should get rid of the car while I still could. Of course, I didn’t listen. The car now has over 143,000 miles! So, what’s next? Continue reading

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Rear Seat Delete: New and Improved

This entry may seem like déjà vu if you’ve been following my site for a while. Yes, I had created and installed a rear seat delete in 2019. I removed it after a couple months of use because I felt that it wasn’t practical. It added to the cabin noise and anything that I had placed in the trunk would inevitably wind up on the floor behind one of the front seats. Fast-forward two years (I can’t believe it’s been over two years already) and I have a newfound use for a rear seat delete, both as a cargo option and for new ventilation wants. I’ll explain; plus, I’ll include some measurements and specs… Continue reading

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Coast to Coast: Fault Diagnosis and Lessons Learned

This report is LONG overdue! I had drafted it, then forgot about it. Oops! What follows is my recollection of a engine fault that my GTI suffered while pulling a trailer on its first Coast-to-Coast trip. I have a series of entries about that trip, starting with this entry. We wound up on the side of the road during a night time mountain climb about 2500 miles into the trip. The roadside stop was very brief. We were climbing a mountain pass and probably should have been in a lower gear. We had experienced a check engine light a day or two earlier, also while in a climb at only 2500 rpm. However, this time the EPC light came on, the Check Engine Lamp (CEL) was flashing, and the car’s behavior was terrible. I was certain that I could restart the car and drive gently. After pulling-over and restarting, I decided to stay in a lower gear with the trailer in the mountains. I pulled codes with my OBDEleven app and found cylinder #3 misfire and “hide cylinder” DTCs. I cleared the codes and continued west. Continue reading

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Fuel Economy with IS38

One look at that title must have you wondering – “What kind of lunatic tracks fuel economy in a modified GTI?” THIS GUY does. HAHA! Coming from a Volkswagen turbodiesel background and having a lifetime of fuel economy testing under my belt, you KNOW I took the car on a road circuit to see how the IS38 affected my fuel economy. I got 39.6 mpg when the car was stock and descending from Tennessee to the coast during its first trip to Tail of the Dragon. Later, I developed this 200-mile road circuit (see photo) where I could make consistent drives to test fuel economy at efficient highway speeds in support of this article about how different loads affect fuel economy. I drove the circuit again after upgrading to APR Stage 2 and achieved 38 mpg. I had hoped to do better with APR’s high-flow catalytic converter. Unfortunately, I didn’t test fuel economy after upgrading to the Baun Performance cat-back exhaust. I wish that I had. Continue reading

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APR Stage 3 with OEM IS38

This is the upgrade I thought I’d never do because it increases maintenance needs and removes some of the low-end torque that I really enjoy… and it’s expensive. Still, I would have instinctively seen an IS38 as a good upgrade if my original turbo had failed. Well, with 128,730 miles on the odometer, I got bored and decided to make a leap to greater power! I took the car to my APR dealer, Euro Pros in Yorktown, VA, and had them install an IS38 turbo and update the software. The IS38 is the factory turbo found on the Golf R and Audi S3. In fact, we acquired my turbo from a local Audi dealer to insure that we sourced the latest revision. Also, APR recommends NGK-R7437-9 spark plugs, which have been backordered for a while. Instead, Euro Pros installed OEM spark plugs for an Audi RS5, P/N: 06M905606F, also acquired from a local Audi dealer. The RS5 plugs work great, are half the price of the NGK racing spark plugs, and have a longer service life. Continue reading

Posted in Mods & Projects, Performance Related, Product Review | 6 Comments

VA to CA and Back: Full Trip Wrap-Up

Being a former TDI owner, I still love to track fuel economy and other technical stuff. Come to think of it, I’ve tracked MPGs from the day I got my first car, a 1973 Beetle in 1986. Overall for this trip, I drove 7668 miles and burned 352 gallons of premium unleaded. That puts the trip’s average fuel economy at 21.7 mpg, which is 1.3 mpg less than on my previous trip to CA. I had hoped that the cargo trailer would be more aerodynamic than the top-loaded utility trailer. However, the cargo trailer is heavier, wider, and taller; plus, I think my speeds were consistently higher along the way. I suspect I-80 may be slightly more mountainous than I-40, too. I haven’t scrutinized the costs of hotels, fuel, and food separately. I don’t want to! But I do know that this trip was an expensive way to get a small amount of my mother’s stuff. Regardless, this was more about the journey than the economical acquisition of goods. Continue reading

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Return to VA: Part 3

As I was digging in my suitcase and deciding what to wear, I saw a strange color that surely was not my normal thing. “What’s this?” A kid somewhere is upset! I guess finding someone else’s clothing mixed-in with my own is an aspect of laundromat-life that I had forgotten about. I don’t think I had this happen before, even when I was a regular at laundromats, and certainly not 1000 miles after the fact. Live and learn, them more than me this time, I guess.  😀  I left Columbia just after sunrise and planned to drive 500 miles to Springfield, OH. Why the turn north? I saw an opportunity to enter Pennsylvania for another “Been There” mug. Coincidentally, someone had commented on my tiny cargo trailer conversion in Instagram about a month before I left on this trip. He’s near Pittsburgh. So, I offered to meet him and show him the trailer in person. Some of you may recognize him. More on that later… Continue reading

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Return to VA: Part 2

I left Rawlins, WY bright and early. The drivers of the pickup trucks that had parked around me were early birds! They were already gone long before sunrise. I was certain that I-80 would be endless miles of boredom; that’s what I was hoping for, at least. There are a lot of mountain passes and opportunities to find closed gates if unexpected snow came. I didn’t see anything in the forecast, but that didn’t preclude the possibility of a mountain pass being closed. Other than avoiding snow and ice, my only priority on this day was to get more “Been There” mugs for my wife. Continue reading

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Return to VA: Part 1

My wife got up around 3:30am to pack her bags. I slept until about 10 minutes before we needed to leave. The hotel was just five minutes from the departure terminal; so, I had the luxury of kicking her out the door and then going back to the hotel to pack. We said our goodbyes and I returned to the hotel. Traveling with her, even for just a weekend, often results in A LOT of extra stuff in the car. She loves to pack plenty of snacks and drinks. My back seat had just a jacket and a suitcase for my outbound trip. I buy food and drinks as I travel. Here’s the car after a weekend with my wife and for the trip home… Continue reading

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Return to CA: Packing and Sequoia National Park, Round 2

After a good night’s rest, we went to my mother’s storage unit to unpack and decide what was coming home with us. I nearly had a heart attack every time I heard my wife say, “Awww…” It seemed like a potential signal of each additional thing she’d want to load into the trailer. HAHA! I had made it clear that I was bringing home “just” 500 lbs, nothing more. Thankfully, many of the things that gave her moments of pause were also things that she was able to put back into their box and move on. Later, she said that it was 1:00pm and that she was hungry. “WOW! Has it been that long already?” We had leftover pizza in the car’s refrigerator and took a lunch break. While eating, I opened my Instagram page and discovered that it wasn’t 1:00pm. Her FitBit was still on east coast time; it was only 10:00am. “Early lunch for us!” HAHA! Continue reading

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Return to CA: Sequoia National Park, The Giant Forest

In my previous entry, I had left my trailer in a pull-out just below the snow-line on the mountain climb to General Sherman Tree in Sequoia National Park. I didn’t want to spend too much time away from it since I was paranoid about it being stolen or towed (small trailers are easier to snag). It wasn’t about the cost of replacing it. Instead, its disappearance would have put a huge dent in my timeline for getting my mother’s stuff. I was burning PTO (paid time off) in the hole (negative balance) and wanted to minimize any disruptions. Realistically, had anything happened to it there or elsewhere, I was prepared to just buy another trailer and get my mission completed. Still, the park ranger assured me that it would be fine. My first stop along my way farther up the mountain was to shoot the “small” Sequoia in my previous update (shown here). From there, I went to the Fallen Tree Tunnel. The road was closed because it is unmaintained during the off-season since the plows cannot fit. I could have hiked and saw the tree. But shooting it without the car was not part of my plan. Plus, I was on a tight schedule because I needed to pick up my wife from the airport soon. Continue reading

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Return to CA: Sequoia National Park, The Ascent

I awoke nice and early because I wanted to beat the crowds to Sequoia National Park. My goal was to photograph the car with some Sequoias and to get a photo with the car/trailer in the fallen tree tunnel. The road had been indicated “closed” on Google Maps, but appeared to be open now. I called the road conditions hotline: “Roads open… Chains not required.” I’m gone! My hotel was at around 350 feet above sea level. The Sequoias are in the mountains where there is no fuel stations or cellular service. It was no place to take a trailer without a full tank of fuel. I refueled about halfway there to avoid any surprises. Then came the entrance… all to myself…

Continue reading

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Return to CA: Part 3

Next, I entered the place that compelled me to pack extra fuel in the trailer: Death Valley. Websites and blog write-ups warn that there is no cellular coverage in Death Valley. They’re not kidding! I easily drove over 150 miles without a signal, even with my cellular signal booster. Bring paper maps and/or download offline maps for navigating. I had both and was ready to visit a few main attractions. For a very long time, I had thought about a road trip that included the highest paved road in the U.S. I thought that was Pike’s Peak until I later discovered that it’s Mt Evans nearby. Regardless, both my November trip and this current trip took place when those roads are closed due to snow and ice. Continue reading

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Return to CA: Part 2

I mentioned in my previous entry that I arrived in Flagstaff under moderate snowfall. I settled into my hotel room and enjoyed an early evening inside. Silly me, I didn’t look at the weather forecast before going to sleep. I awoke early the next morning at around 4am. I don’t know why, but I STILL didn’t think to look at the forecast to check for more snow. I guess I love surprises! I went outside to discover that a bit more snow had fallen, maybe two inches. After taking this photo, I opened the trailer to grab my snow removal tool. I KNEW it was a good idea to pack for snow! Continue reading

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Return to CA: Part 1

Rainfall during the days leading up to my departure was killing my workflow. But I got things done when I could. Here’s the trailer’s interior as it was for the outbound trip. I don’t think I mentioned that I’d be traveling with a refrigerator and a battery back-up. I’ll share a photo of the setup in an album at the bottom of this page. I visited a scale to weigh everything. Unfortunately, the video of that visit got corrupted and the specific numbers are lost. BUT – I do remember that the trailer itself weighed 1060 lbs (480 kg), which included five gallons (19 liters) of extra fuel as a precaution in sparsely populated areas along my route. So much for staying below 1000 lbs (455 kg) for the outbound trip. The good news was that I expected to be past the scarce fuel areas by the time I loaded cargo and could empty the fuel can into my car’s fuel tank in California. Continue reading

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Return to CA: Kick Off

It came time to hit the road again. You may recall my “Coast-to-Coast” series from November (shared in January). My wife and I had driven to CA to retrieve my mother’s cremains and some of her effects. What we didn’t expect was to have a change of heart regarding our desire to bring more of her things home with us. Unfortunately, we were at my limit for cargo capacity in my GTI and the baby trailer. We immediately made plans for a return trip. We had two significant concerns: 1) Winter was coming; so, we needed to wait until at least March. 2) Unloading/reloading the baby trailer each day was a pain! Plus, it was an aerodynamic disaster. I decided to speed my efforts to finish the conversion project that I had started on my cargo trailer. Using the cargo trailer MIGHT improve aerodynamics, but would certainly allow me to leave my cargo locked in the trailer each night. Continue reading

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From the Vault: Our 2011 Road Trip

Note: This journal is printed as it was shared on my previous website at StealthTDI.com. It was updated periodically and followed by friends at TDIClub.com. I duplicated the journey on this site because it was a good trip and still referenced as a basis for some of my travel-related decisions today. Enjoy! -Scott

In 2011, the annual TDIFest was held in Lexington, KY. This was an event I knew was close enough to take my daughter and still have her back by the first day of school. I also planned to combine this trip with a trip to Texas to visit my family there. In time, I decided to tack on a few extra miles so I could reshoot the car photos I had done in White Sands, NM. Before I knew it, the trip turned into a full-on photo tour with emphasis on car photos for my website. Unlike with our TOUR OF THE NORTHERN US, I shared and unfolded the trip in two discussion forums HERE and HERE. The photos in the threads are gone since I retired my old site, StealthTDI.com. This page was created after the trip and features all of the photos. I took THOUSANDS of photos using a camera that my wife gave me for the trip. I’ll share a lot of photos below. The map above depicts our planned route. At first, this was planned as a trip to Texas followed by a trip to the TDIFest on the way home. Then I added White Sands. Later, I decided to add Oklahoma since I had not yet tackled that state for my STATES TRAVELED MAP. During the trip, I was presented with an opportunity to attend my 25-year high school reunion. The rest was just stops along the way. Continue reading

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From the Vault: Our Tour of the Northern United States (1999)

Note: This journal is printed as it was shared on my previous website at StealthTDI.com. It was updated periodically and followed by friends at TDIClub.com (before it was a registered site). As a result, it is written in a present tense even though the voyage happened over 20 years ago. I duplicated the journey on this site because it was a good trip and still referenced as a basis for some of my travel-related decisions today. Enjoy! -Scott

May 12, 1999

Windmill in Buzzards Bay, MA.

On May 18, 1999, my wife and I will transfer from Cape Cod, MA to West Texas. Instead of making the transfer a four-day 2400-mile “Point A to Point B” drive, we decided to make it a 5000+ mile tour and see some sites while we’re on the road. Our main goal is to drive to Montana to meet family members I have not seen since I was a toddler (in other words, I’ve never met them). We simply plotted our course to West Texas via Montana and chose points in between to visit along the way (or slightly out of the way). Continue reading

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Tiny Cargo Trailer Conversion – Rear Door and First Camping

This post covers the final touches to the conversion and my first overnight in the trailer. I had shared in another entry that I was going to create a rear slide-out to increase my legroom a bit. However, I decided against it for two reasons: First, the slide-out takes valuable space inside during transit and would need to be secured to prevent damage. Next, when the trailer is being used for its primary mission of hauling cargo, I’d have to store the bulky slide-out someplace that’s out of my way and where it would be safe from the elements or theft. I decided to stay with my original plan. Continue reading

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Tiny Cargo Trailer Conversion – Exterior

The exterior: The final stretch! I had initially sanded the original paint and had a plan to have it wrapped. I did that before a lot of other projects started. Lockdowns put the wrap on hold. My goal was to paint it to match my GTI. So, I decided to try a matching spray paint. It did not work well at all. I’ve spray-painted plenty of small projects in my life. But this was my first attempt at spraying a large surface. There were streaks everywhere, no matter how much I overlapped. Continue reading

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Tiny Cargo Trailer Conversion – The Interior

With the roof resealed and basic wiring done, it was time to work on the interior. I started with the insulation. A lot of DIY trailer converters like to use the pink stuff or the blue stuff. Unfortunately, the green stuff was all I could find, perhaps due to a variety of business shutdowns in 2020. So, I went with what I could find. I wasn’t going to lose time due to a minor insulation preference. Plus, I’m not fooling myself into believing that I’m going to camp in extreme heat or cold, especially in this tiny camper. As a result, I think nearly any insulation will be an improvement that’s “good enough.” Continue reading

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Tiny Cargo Trailer Conversion – Electrical

With the roof fan installed, I had some encouragement to rework the trailer wiring so that I could get some airflow while working inside. The factory wiring was terrible! It looked like this on both sides of the back door. It was disappointing to find this. However, in retrospect, I’m not sure what method “quality builders” are using in the same location. This area was covered by aluminum flashing and is probably never seen by the average owner. Still, as a career electronics man, it was unacceptable to me and one of the first things I wanted to address. The wiring harness enters the interior through and unsealed hole in the frame. Once inside, the harness quickly became a patchwork of what appeared to be whatever wire colors that the Homesteader crew had laying around, especially once the wires crossed over to the other side of the trailer. Continue reading

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Tiny Cargo Trailer Conversion – The Roof

In “The Problems,” I mentioned my need to reseal the roof after finding leaks inside the walls. In order to reseal the roof, I first had to strip away the existing sealant. I thought that would be easy enough with a scraper, a putty knife, and some heat. I was wrong! Sure, the bulk of the sealant did come up with scraping and heat. What I didn’t know is that there is at least a dozen screws which fasten the roof to the structure hidden under the sealant. There was also 50+ raised edges where Homesteader had kerfed the front end of the trim ring without trimming away the excess material. See the photo above for details. That kerf job made smooth operation of a scraper just about impossible. Continue reading

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Tiny Cargo Trailer Conversion – The Problems

Converting my Homesteader Fury tiny cargo trailer into a sleeper turned out to be a real challenge! It was easy to assume the job would go smoothly since the original owner only had it for a year and was using it to haul around products for a clothing business. So, it was very clean inside. I figured removing the walls to add insulation would be an easy feat. I was right… they came out fairly easily. It was at that point that I found evidence of leaks and subpar craftsmanship in the build. I figured I’d better tackle those concerns while I had already dug into the trailer. That’s when the trouble started. Continue reading

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Coast to Coast: Return Trip, The Final Stretch

We continued to Oklahoma City and checked in at our planned stop. It was a convention center. I knew unloading would be painful as soon as the receptionist gave me a map to the parking area. UGH! There was only one luggage cart. Thankfully, we were able to walk all the way back to the front desk, take the cart all the way back to the car, and then get to work. There was just one elevator for the whole place. It wasn’t busy, but it was far from the only ramp in the parking lot. It had me wondering why the accessible rooms are so far from the conference center… or why the parking spot is so far from the accessible rooms… Oh well, not my problem. Continue reading

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