Project Autonomous4X4 has been plodding along. If that sounds a little pessimistic it’s because the project continues to be a costly and time consuming endeavor. Building a vehicle takes twice the time and money you expect. I have built plenty of custom cars and trucks over the years but building a house on the back of a truck is a first for me. I have the added pressure of trying to get everything right the first time. For an over-analytical person like me, it adds greatly to the mental workload.
In a more optimistic tone, I travelled to Eastern Nevada to cover the Best in the Desert, Silver State 300 race. I love that area; it’s remote and very beautiful. The downside was weak cell coverage that prevented any internet access. I have been watching the progress of satellite internet from a high priced novelty to several providers who are trying to make it financially viable for the general public. Hopefully, progress towards that goal will continue. For someone trying to live off the grid by simple means, the cost is still prohibitive.
The pop-up has been sold and the new box is not done so I roughed it; sleeping in the shell. It reminded me that all you really need is a place to sleep; all the rest is comfort. The F-350 just got new JE Reel drive shafts before the trip and their construction was chronicled in a not yet published tech article for Offroad Extreme website. The new shafts are beautiful and gave me much more confidence in the old rig. People talk about pouring money into an older truck but I prefer simplicity and always figure that by the time I invest the same amount of money as I would with a newer truck, I will have a personalized vehicle that is unique. It will also be much better than any factory offering. New trucks have incredible technology but in my opinion are electrical nightmares waiting to happen. If I had the resources, I would do a Cummins 6BT diesel conversion. The Cummins diesel is as basic as they come and runs forever. It would be a nice combination with the Ford Manual 5-speed.
For now, enjoy some photos from my trip and I’ll get out to the shop!