Showing posts from April, 2017

ARB 1250 Awning

Shade is a commodity like water where we amble. Trees are sparse in the land that we travel and we've depended on an awning for the decade we've been doing this.

This is our third awning, our second ARB and I was surprised to find some improvements in the product when I slipped it out of its shipping tube.

Gone is the envelope design of the case. This one is tailored, boxed at the ends to better fit the rolled awning with an inverted pouch on both ends to keep the zipper tabs.

Nothing else has changed and doesn't need to. The friction cams on the legs lock tight, the channel material and junction hardware are machined to tuck away and stay put.

The awning is mounted to the Apex Roof Rack using four 3/4 inch rubber lined zinc plated clamps on the vertical stanchions and two 1" clamps on the top rail, under $7 for a solid mount.

Apex Roof Rack

The Franklin Rack didn't work out for our needs; too small, not rigid enough. It's found a new home on my son's Gen 3. I replaced it with this Apex Rack, a larger, more rigid platform with parallel vertical posts where a rear awning could be mounted.

The rack builds with a lower base with a welded basket and an upper rail attached with vertical stanchions. The way it comes together; the rack can be separated into two halves, front and rear, with some questionable hardware that clicks the tubes together - nothing that can't be remedied with stainless hardware. It fits well on the stock roof rails with enough rear overhang to mount an awning.

The rack mounts with four U-bolts with thumb bolts. There's plenty of room for recovery gear, Rotopax fuel and water containers, and our Kodiak tent.

Rocker Blackout and Pinstripe

I used Duplicolor's Spray Truck Bed Coating to black out the rockers and bumpers. I made the mistake of using their rolled on product to begin with, resulting in bad surface continuity.

The coating was sealed at the seam to the factory finish with 1/4" pin striping in signal orange as a nod to the Montero/Pajero's history with the Camel Trophy.

Platform and Drawer System

If you've been reading along on this build you know that there was a dog deck and a folding utility shelf installed, neither of which worked as well as I would have liked. Add to that one of the reasons I went with this 2.5 is its room to create a sleeping platform, and I decided to do a do-over, making this Interior Modification, Part 2, combining a platform with a drawer system. 

I studied a number of DYI systems on Expo and other build threads, making decisions on materials and dimensions, but keeping all this driven by our overland history of what has worked and what we wish we had. The driving need here for us was to have the ability to pull over, level out, roll out pads and bags and go to sleep. 
We've done the RTT route and have a Kodiak ground tent, both with pros and cons. Being able to sleep in the Monty seems to be the best compromise for us; easy set-up and access, great weather protection and climate control, off the ground away from critters and more of a chall…