CentreSteer #84 – New Zealand Forum

Sponsor: Commonwealth Classics

The eighty-fourth episode

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Guest: Greg Byrom, New Zealand Land Rover Forum (NZLRF)

Episode 152 – Vorsheer Offroad Trailers

This episode of The 4×4 Podcast is brought to you by Artemis Overland Hardware.  Whether you’re going to start a trip to Tierra Del Fuego or simply hitting the forest roads in the Ozarks for the weekend, Artemis Overland Hardware has just what you need.  Visit online at artemisoverland.com or visit their awesome showroom in … Continue reading »

Episode 430 – Jeep Company in Trouble for Covid Help

Merideth Evasew Extreme Terrain’s hottest video host right now and she’s been cranking out the tech advice and demos in each of Extreme Terrain’s series of Throttle Out videos. And they’ve just released another great episode as part of Extreme Terrain’s monthly YouTube video series. In this month’s edition of XT’s Throttle Out, Mer grabs the keys to a very lucky XT customer’s JLU for some premium upgrades.Be sure to watch this month’s Throttle Out from Extreme Terrain where form and function come together to create one bad-ass Jeep. https://www.extremeterrain.com/throttleout-march-2020-2.html

This Week In Jeep:

Overlanding In a Jeep Is About To Get a Serious Upgrade

The Nestbox is an all-in-one camper system that can easily be moved in and out of the cargo area of a wide range of SUVs, wagons, and vans.  The system is made by the Czech company Egoe Nest and is about to make its North American debut. The main components of the Nestbox system are the kitchen and the bed.  The kitchen consists of a two-burner propane stove, a sink and water system, some organizer drawers, and a 12-volt fridge. All of these items stow neatly into the cabinet box and fold and slide out for use as needed. On top of the box is the Nestbed. This bed system consists of a three-panel design that folds out over the stowed rear seats of the vehicle.  It not only stores neatly above the Nestbox for transport but can easily be removed for day trips. Egoe offers the Nestbox in four models. The smallest version is the Nestbox Camper is going to have an MSRP of around $3,000. From there we step up to the Nestbox Hiker model,  set to come in around the $3,500 mark, and is just a bit bigger than the previous model. The Nestbox Supertramp is slated to come in right under the $4k price point, and is a big, full-featured model specifically designed for the rigors of off-road travel. The biggest Nestbox of them all is the Roamer also costing about $4k. However this one is most suited for compact van applications and likely won’t fit in the back of any Jeep save for maybe a Gladiator, and even then, we’re not sure how things would line up or mount. Along with the various Nestbox models, Egoe Nest also offers a full line of accessories to complement the camper-in-a-box system. Of course, it offers trendy state of the art products to outfit the Nestbox, like 12-volt fridges, Fisker hatchets, and more. It also offers accessory bags for the rear windows of vehicles, called Nestbags, and even matching pillows to the Nestbed mattress called Nestpillows.  Afterall, being offroad doesn’t mean you can’t be Fung-Shui. The Czech-based Egoe currently makes Nestbox systems for a wide range of vehicles, but most are European models not offered here in North America. So just why the hell am I telling you about this super expensive modular camping and overlanding system then? Because the big news coming out of their camp (no pun intended) is that the ever-popular Jeep Wrangler looks to be the next vehicle to get a Nestbox.  Going off of the pictures they have up on their site, the Wrangler looks to be getting a full-featured Supertramp model. While the exact specifications haven’t been released yet, I’m going to expect the Wrangler Nestbox Supertramp to weigh in at about 175 pounds and cost in the neighborhood of $4,000 based on the specs of similar units. Egoe was scheduled to debut its Nestbox system (and likely with a JKU or new JLU) to the North American market at Overland Expo West in May.  But the expo has been postponed, as the COVID-19 epidemic has quickly shut down most events nationwide for the next few months. So that means we’re going to have to wait just a bit longer to get our eyes on these super cool, super expensive camper-in-a-box systems for ourselves. In the meantime, if you want to see what four thousand dollars worth of a modular overlanding insert for your Jeep looks like, we’ll have the link in the show notes for this episode on our website.  https://www.egoe-nest.eu/en/news/egoe-nest-for-the-first-time-in-north-america/

A Local VFW and Some Jeepers Help Out (feel-good-story)

For those who aren’t familiar with what an Eternal Flame is or what it means, it is pretty much as it sounds. They do occur in mother nature, but in this context, we are talking about a monumental flame.  One man made, and that will not ever go out or be extinguished. Burning forever to remind, commemorate, or otherwise pay tribute to persons, places or events for all eternity. On Saturday, March 14, VFW Post 4829 and the Eternal Flame Coalition sponsored a Jeep Run to raise money for the Eternal Flame Monument at The Lincoln Public Square, often called “Freedom Square” in Shelbyville Illinois. Twenty-five jeeps and 75 volunteers went on the run, and they managed to raise a significant amount of money for this cause.  The Square’s monument was dedicated in 1907 to honor the local Soldiers and Sailors of the Spanish-American, Civil, Mexican, 1812 and Revolutionary Wars and was updated recently to include Desert Storm. The monument was designed by a local artist, Robert Marshall Root. Beneath the monument is a black marble pedestal, which holds the eternal flame. On the pedestal are etchings of U.S. Marines raising the flag at Iwo Jima, General MacArthur walking ashore and Shelbyville resident August West. Around the perimeter of the entire square are dozens of US flags waving in the breeze. The eternal flame was dedicated July 3, 2002 and dedicated to the men and women who have served in past wars. The square also has a plaque in honor of Abraham Lincoln, who practiced law in Shelbyville. The money raised through the event’s raffle, entry fees, and collected donations will be used exclusively to maintain the flame and pay the cost of fuel to keep the flame burning 24/7 well into the future. If i wore hats, mine would come off for the Jeepers and volunteers who attended this event. It was a worthy cause, and I love hearing about Jeepers and locals coming together to do some good for the community they live in.

Tech Talk With Jeep Talk:

Suspension Types (Spring) Comparison – Part III

Over the last two episodes we’ve talked about the different types of springs commonly found under Jeeps.  From where it all began back in the days of WWII, when the Jeep was a little courrier and scout vehicle bouncing its way around the battlefield on leaf springs. To the modern day version of the Jeep Wrangler Suspension system which has made it the unbeatable offroad king it is today.  Leaf springs and coil springs each have their own benefits and drawbacks, which make them unique and suitable for a wide variety of off road needs. To that end there is one type of suspension system we have not covered yet, that takes this to the extreme. This system is by far the most versatile and adjustable system out there making it the best overall for off roading a Jeep. So what the heck am I talking about anyways? Coilovers. Yes, it’s true, that coilovers aren’t a spring alone. BUT they are composed of a spring, usually two, and sometimes as many as three giving the Jeeper running these as much as three different spring rates of control over their Jeeps suspension. That’s not all. Coilovers are generally smaller and lighter than a coil sprung Jeep running standard shocks, meaning they take up less room in the wheel well, and can actually make your rig lighter. And like I said, they also offer a lot more adjustability in ride height, spring rate and more all in one unit. Look, I’ve seen leaf springs outperform a coil sprung Jeep, and there is some great coil spring technology available for every level of Jeeper in the aftermarket. But a coilover conversion will beat them all pretty much no matter what.  One of the biggest differences between coil springs and coilovers is that lift coils are usually only offered for a given lift height and application with little to no spring rate information ever provided. This one-size-fits-all mentality works for Jeeps that are close to stock, but as you add larger axles and tires or change the drivetrain of your Jeep, the spring rates offered by off-the-shelf coils might not fit your needs.  By contrast, coils for coilover shocks are offered in a wide variety of spring rates, diameters, and lengths. The choices can (honestly) be overwhelming with manufacturers offering over 100 different springs, with spring rates offered in increments as small as 25 pounds per inch. If you don’t want to spend the time and money experimenting with spring rates, traditional coil springs might be a better option to stick with for your Jeep. With that said, there are a lot of resources out there to get you started calculating the perfect spring rate for your Jeep, but be warned, there’s going to be a fair amount of math involved, and you absolutely MUST know the weight of your Jeep with it loaded. And I mean down to the last half pound. Don’t let me talk you out of going down the path of a coilover conversion though, just know that you are entering the waters of race inspired technology.  And when you’re at that level of performance, it comes with that level of price tag too. Simple mounting kits, the bare minimum needed to mount a coilover system is going to be in the $500 and up range. Bare bones coilover conversion kits are generally in the $2000 dollar range, and the high end stuff can run you as much as $6k-$8k. Note that when I say bare bones, I mean this is still going to seriously outperform your regular coil system and drastically improve your ride quality and performance of your Jeep offroad. This is next level performance, and if you ever get to see a coilover rig in action, it’s very clear why. Aside from specifically dialed in spring rates to perfectly match your rig’s weight and the space saving design, you also get an insane amount of suspension travel. Without a doubt, you will easily get more flex and articulation out of coilovers than any other system out there by many inches, and as much as a foot in some applications.  Also due to their size, you can more easily convert to a high steer system, and push the track bar length out to perfectly match the length of the drag link. Now your entire steering system is matched up, perfectly parallel, and will steer and ride better than stock even. There are just so many advantages to a coilover conversion over leaf and coil spring Jeeps that it’s likely only a matter of time before you have a dedicated savings fund going to make it possible. Be prepared for a big price tag and in some applications some fabrication work might be required, meaning cutting and welding. So if you’re not equipped for that, make sure you sock away some loot for professional installation as well. So what do you think? Are coilovers right for YOUR rig? Are you one of the few that actually regret going to a coilover conversion? Maybe you have a story about the first time you wheeled a rig with coilovers, all good reasons to give us a call and leave us a message. Hope that we hear from you soon.

Newbie Nuggets:

I got to thinking that with the social distancing we are practicing these days, some of you may be going out by yourself OR you may be bringing some newbies with you and I thought it might be good for us to discuss trail etiquette. What I mean is what to do and not do on the trials. We are stewards of the trails throughout our areas and like it or not there are groups/organizations that want to shut down the off-road vehicles to all trails. How we manage, treat and maintain trails is what is keeping a lot of the trails open for us to use now and for the future.  Things to do while on a trail; 1)  Stay on the designated trail. This is probably the #1 reason trails get closed. People go off trail and want to venture on their own (sort of blaze their own trail). I’ve seen fences cut, trees cut down and boulders moved from people trying to get access to “other” areas and not stay on the trail. There are usually sensitive areas outside the trail system that the forest service wants to protect. I know up here in Big Bear on Gold Mountain (a black diamond trail) we have a plant species that only grows on these  pebble plains and nowhere else in the world. However, each year there are idiots that break through the fences and drive over the pebble plains causing damage. The forest service, or BLM, begin to consider closing the trail. Please stay on the designated trails – the more we adhere to this, the more chances we’ll have keeping the trails open. 2)  Keep tire spin to a minimum- I know we all like to get out there and wheel, but if you are going over an obstacle (mud, sand, water crossing, dirt etc.,) and you start to create major wheel spin, you are disturbing the trail and creating ruts. First, wheel spin does you no good and second you are creating erosion to the trial. Wheel spin doesn’t always help you and the more you spin the more you can dig yourself deeper in a hole. Then you have to ask for help, and get pulled out or get your Hi-jack out and lift yourself out. It’s much easier to think before you let wheel spin dictate your course AND you are preserving the trails 3)  Respect other drivers – This is important as we share the trails. You may be going downhill and another group is coming uphill. Stay to the right , especially on blind hills and curves. Some trails may be narrow and you may have to pull to the right and let the other group by. As you go along the trail, always look for turnouts. You may be the group that needs to back up a little to allow the other group by. Also, let the first driver of the other group know how many jeeps are in your group. We do this when we ride our quads and motorcycles. We hold up the number of fingers to indicate the number of vehicles behind us. So if you have 4 jeeps in the group and you are in the #1 position, you hold up 3 fingers, the guy/gal behind you holds up 2 etc., etc. The last position holds up a closed fist to signify there are no other jeeps in your group. It’s really nice to know how many jeeps you are waiting for before continuing on your way. 4)  Pack it In & Pack it out – Try to leave no trace. This is another major issue with trash and broken glass on trails. I have no idea the allure of drinking and then throwing the glass bottles away to see how they break. I personally have picked up more broken glass on trials than I care to count. It is littering and it is hazardous to the animals and besides if there is trash on the trail – other people think it’s OK to throw their trash. So if you bring trash and use your Trash-A-Roo pouch we discussed in episode 426, it’s a good way to keep the trash out of your jeep and off the trail. Always secure your trash in some way. Sometimes bouncing down the trail you may not realize that your trash is bouncing out behind you. 5)  Leave it cleaner than you found it – As you go down the trail if you see trash, pick it up. 6)  Leave what you find – Sometimes jeeping takes you to areas that you can’t get to by foot or regular cars. This could be rock formations, cliffs, water ways, petroglyphs, old buildings/cabins, etc. If you are observing this beautiful part of nature leave it there. Don’t collect rocks or plants or animals. Leave it in its natural state. And BTW anything that is 50 years or older is considered an artifact and by law is supposed to stay put. For instance an old can, or bottle top or whatever if it’s more than 50 years old you are not supposed to collect it. I know some of us may consider it to be trash and want to pick it up but archeologists consider it to be a treasure. 7)  Bathroom breaks – We all know when you gotta go, you gotta go. There is an unwritten rule that when the group stops for a 10-100 (bathroom stop) the women go to the right of the jeeps and the men go to the left. YOU want to know why? Because Women are always RIGHT…..     Now ladies PLEASE take a baggie with you and please take all your feminine stuff back out with you. Do not leave that stuff on the trails. And this goes for your kids diapers too. Just don’t do it! I hate cleaning that stuff when we do trail maintenance on our adopted trials. 8)  Do not feed the wildlife – this seems obvious to me but every year there is a report of some idiot trying to touch the bison in Yellowstone and there’s a video of them getting gored tossed in the air. Don’t feed the wildlife, including birds and squirrels, no matter how cute they may look or what they say. Besides, they typically carry diseases and you really don’t want that. 9)  Control your pets – We love jeeping with our dogs (and some cats) but you are still responsible for cleaning up after them and keeping them from destroying wildlife. Don’t let them chase animals (deer) or dig. This is their natural habitat and we are just visitors.

Interview with:

Brit and Tiff from CrawlHers.com

Jeep events everywhere postponed due to virus concerns

Links Mentioned in Episode 430: 

Extreme Terrain $15,000 sweepstakes (enter every day to win!) 


Ep 117: Social Distancing

This week, we act responsibly and record over video chat. In reality, I was just tired of Matt and Jose eating all the food in my house when they come over. 

We also spend some time talking to some of our friends in the industry about how the recent events are impacting their business. Thank you to Jeremy and Tyler (@ivdsuspension), Jason (@demellooffroad), Rory (@triggercontroller), and Christian (@shiftpod) for having some real conversations with us.