Clive Watson’s Tips + Tricks: Trip Preparation

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EC crew member, Clive Watson oversees EC customer training and support. His technical knowledge and practical overlanding skills are vast. Clive is a natural go-to for key tips from vehicle maintenance to the best “secret” boondocking camping spots. He lives a mobile lifestyle in his retrofitted “palace” on wheels (more on that to come). Check out his previous post on regular EarthCruiser specific maintenance.

Below Clive keeps his tips general for anyone looking to embark on an overlanding adventure for the weekend or the long-haul. 

Overlanding Trip Preparation: Fluids, Tire Pressure, Tool & Storage Check. 

As with any vehicle, it is critical to regularly check fluids. If your EC does not get many miles, fluid changes should be done on a time-frame basis instead of mileage because fluids break  down with time. Add this step to your pre-trip preparation process.

Keeping the tires at the recommended PSI for highway travel is imperative for maintaining optimal wear of the tires. Airing down is equally important when off-roading in rugged terrain. All EarthCruiser vehicles come standard with an air compressor, we recommend having one along for any off-road travel like the ExtremeAire Endura. There are tools to help with the ease and speed of airing up and down, we tested the FasterFlate Mult-Tire System and it performs extremely well and is available to purchase.

Having the correct tools along is very important because of course nothing is ever going to go wrong (yes, that was cheeky). Be prepared for the unexpected which is part of the adventure. Every EarthCruiser is equipped with a standard tool kit, but here are the essentials we recommend for any overlanding vehicle to ensure you can get out of the bush safely. 

Clive on a new EC customer training shake-down

Clive’s must have tools recommendations:

All tools required to change a tire. Test your equipment regularly, never assume everything works correctly. 

All tools required to change a tire. 

Pliers, adjustable wrenches and screwdrivers 

Socket set  and wrench set, Verify if you have any speciality tools needed for your rig. 

Your tool kit is important and undervalued until it’s needed in a remote and unexpected situation.  

Now your vehicle is  ready to-go, but wait is it….. 

Additional trip preparation to-dos:

Stow things correctly, going off-road means a lot can get jostled around. The last thing you want to do is spill that bottle of wine. 

If you have a winch (which we absolutely recommend you do) run out the winch lines. This is important for two reasons. First,  ensuring the line isn’t trapped or snagged and secondly a visual inspection of the quality or rope and familiarizing yourself with the length available. Do you have a plan for winch line repair in the field? Learn this, it’s important. 

Water tanks filled or water sanitization device on board.

Quick visual inspection of the drivetrain, look for potential chafe points/ fatigued components. 

Visual Tire inspection. I recommend bringing along an ARB speedy seal tire repair kit.

Is your Fire extinguisher accessible? Is it rated correctly and in good working condition?

If you depend on battery power while in the bush, knowing the Battery percentage is very important, assess if you need to charge batteries before getting underway. So you will have sufficient power  once you reach your destination. 

Have a checklist and a standard pre-trip preparation routine. Creating habits is important and helpful, a checklist means we don’t forget to drive off without key items (a wine bottle opener). 

Your overlanding vehicle is a tool for exploration. Get out of the house and into the wilderness, expand your boundaries, but return home safe.