Would you call -7 degrees cold? I call it Maine. I can drive from Bangor Maine in the middle of the state to Madawaska up north and it will drop as much as 20 degrees, or drive south to New Hampshire and it will rise 20. Maine is in a perfect position geographically to face the brunt of the arctic cold air masses coming down over eastern Canada heading for the Atlantic, and I have lived and worked outdoors through many days and nights at temps of -20 and less. I hope this will be my last winter spent in the deep freeze no matter what part of the country I move to.
Before I can move on to my future plans there are many repairs and upgrades to be completed. I recently had the oil pan gasket replaced along with a new and larger pan for the automatic transmission. The larger pan gives me 2 more quarts of fluid for better cooling and less chance of drawing air instead of fluid on steep slopes. This pan also has a drain so I can change the fluid a lot easier for longer life after the rebuild that will be coming soon.
The charging system needs an upgrade from a single battery and 75 amp alternator to a dual battery setup with a 135 amp alternator. More power is needed for the accessories such as the winch already installed along with the many others I will add. Two batteries with an isolator will separate the starting battery from the deep cycle battery that most of the loads will be drawn from. As a backup, I have a Honda generator with 12 volt DC hookups that will charge any battery and get me started if need be.
The cooling system will get minor upgrades before the pressures of warmer climates I will drive in soon. I purchased new hoses and fluid, a new thermostat and housing and an electric fan system instead of the mechanical one. Electric fans are more efficient at lower speeds and much of my exploring will be done in low range going quite slow. A new front bumper is in the near future as this one is homemade and very inadequate for any serious off roading. A brush guard that transforms into a fire wood rack will be custom made and attached to the bumper. More on that soon!
This past weekend I installed the CVT rooftop tent back on my Jeep with a custom made bracket to spread out the load on the fiberglass hardtop. Using rubber butyl tape to seal out the weather I bolted it down along the edges where the roof is the strongest. This tent weighs 165 lbs empty, close to 500 lbs with myself the dog and other gear at night, and the roof is really not that strong towards the middle. The tape squeeze out will be cleaned off after it stops oozing! Rubber butyl tape is a great product that is used in the boating and RV community because it never hardens.
I must admit I have never felt at ease with the tent removed. Something about not having a ready bed whenever needed makes me nervous. My independent streak is a mile wide and I wont be comfortable until everything is complete.
I will end this post by saying how much I appreciate the company I work for. Much of the work I have been doing is in their heated garage on the weekends. They don’t have to let me, in fact many people tell me they have never let anyone else do so, and I can’t thank them enough. If you pay attention you will find there are always a few friends in your life that you can count on.