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Product Reviews

Scepter Gas CansScepter Water Cans | Brunton Solaris 52 | Maggiolina Airland Rooftop Tent
Engel MT-45 12-Volt Fridge | BF Goodrich MT KM2 | National Geographic WeekendExplorer 3D

National Geographic Weekend Explorer 3D

Recently purchased the National Geographic WeekendExplorer 3D GPS mapping software for Anza Borrego and the surrounding areas. Will post a review once I have a chance to play around with it

So far I like the fact that it will run on a Macintosh or a Windows PC and that I can export GPX files.

Without getting too technical, GPX files are XML files that contain waypoint and route data that can be used in most GPS devices. In my case they can be used with my GPSKit app on my iPhone.

Full review coming soon.....


BFGoodrich Mud Terrain T/A KM2

When it became time to replace the worn out BFGoodrich All Terrain tires on my LandCruiser ....


Scepter Military Issue Fuel Cannisters (MFCs) Jerry Cans

20Liter Scepter Fuel Can

Military Issue Water Canisters (MWCs) Scepter

Scepter 20l Water Jerry Can


 

Brunton Solaris 52

OK if 26 watts is good then twice the output is better right?

Well I decided I would purchase the Brunton Solaris 52 since we do camp alot and we like to use our fridge and various GPS type devices. Since I am so impressed by this product I decided to give it its' own page which you can access here.

Brunton Solaris 26

Brunton Solaris 26
Solar is THE buzz word right now. In fact as I sit in my office I am watching the installation of multiple large solar panels on the roof of our building. Solar Panels at UCSDSeems UCSD has jumped on the renewable energy bandwagon so I thought to myself hey why not....Wink

I have wanted something like this for a long time. Sure I would like to be able to afford the Solaris 52 which has 2x the output  but the cost is a bit prohibitive. My real goal is to be able to run my Engel fridge and maintain my Optima deep cycle battery while on extended camping trips.  I started doing some Googling and seems the Brunton Solaris 26 should meet my needs. I am looking forward to putting this to the test and since a majority of our camping is out in Anza Borrego; sun should not be a problem.

 

Our Review :
Since our first camping trip to Anza Borrego is not for a few weeks I decided to put the Brunton Solaris 26 through some preliminary tests. The Brunton 26 requires full sun exposure to achieve the 26 watts it is rated at. I calculated that 26 watts should be able to output 2.16 amps at 12 volts (26watts /15.4 volts = 1.6 amps). The Engel MT45 has an average power consumption between 0.7 and 2.5 amps so I figured at full sun the Solaris 26 should be able to power my fridge.

Brunton Solaris 26 ReviewEngel MT45 hooked up to Solaris 26
I am happy to say my test was successful.Smile

Hooked the fridge up to the Solaris 26 with the supplied adapter and voila, I heard the slight hum of the Engel kick in. I angled the panel to get maximum sun but besides that I just let it run for a few hours and it worked great.
Next test will be trial-by-fire out in Anza Borrego where it will have to keep our Thanksgiving fixings cold.

Stay tuned.....


DeLorme Earthmate GPS PN-20

Earthmate GPS PN-20Coming Soon.... 


Maggiolina Airland RoofTop Tent

We have owned our Maggiolina RoofTop tent for a year now.  It is easily mounted to vehicle racks using load bars and the 4 C-clamps that are supplied with the tent. When it is closed, the tent is 8-10 inches tall so it is pretty aerodynamic. We have had it mounted to the bed rails of our Tacoma using the factory bed attachments and Thule load bars. (see pic) We have also mounted it to the top of our FJ Cruiser using the factory racks and the Thule load bars.

Either way it is great to be able to pull up to a camp site, crank up the tent and have a place to sleep in 2-3 minutes. The supplied mattress is very comfortable and the thick canvas sides make a dark, cozy sleep area once everything is closed.
http://www.autohomeus.com/products/maggiolinaAirlander.php


Anza Borrego - Tacoma With Maggiolina tent.
2007 Toyota Tacoma with Maggiolina Rooftop Tent
Anza Borrego - Tacoma With Maggiolina tent.
2007 Toyota Tacoma with Maggiolina Rooftop Tent
Toyota Land Cruiser BJ70 in Anza Borrego
1985 Toyota BJ70 with Maggiolina Rooftop tent  
Our Landcruiser in RockHouse Canyon - Carrizo Gorge with Maggiolina Rooftop TentBorrego  

1992 HZJ80 Toyota LandCruiser  with Maggiolina Rooftop Tent

 
Our Landcruiser on Egg Mountain in Anza Borrego  

 1992 HZJ80 Toyota LandCruiser  with Maggiolina Rooftop Tent

 
 

2007 FJ Cruiser with Maggiolina Rooftop Tent

 
     


Engel AC/DC Fridge Freezer - Engel MT45F-U1

 

This has been one of the better purchases that we have ever made. Our Engel Freezer Fridge has performed flawlessly in the 2 years we have owned it. For camping it has worked out very well. Our Toyota FJ Criser has dual isolated batteries with 4 extra 12-volt outlets and we use one of the outlets in the back to run the Engel. It has a realtively low draw of 2.7 amps so we can run the fridge for quite a while without starting the car up. If you only have one battery in your vehicle you should invest in a battery monitor to prevent discharging your only battery.
Camping aside it is very convenient to make grocery store runs without having to worry about rushing home to get the perishables in the refrigerator.

Another added bonus is that because the Engel 45 has a relatively low amperage draw I have been able to run it off of our Brunton Solaris 52 Solar panel.

Engel 45 Freezer Fridge (MT45F-U1) Engel AC/DC Fridge Freezer - Engel MT45F-U1


Coleman Exponent Multi-Fuel Stove

We have used the Coleman propane stoves for years. Don't get me wrong, they have performed flawlessly and the convenience is great. Only problem we have is that the propane cylinders are non-refillable and end up being thrown out when finished.
The Coleman Exponent Multi-Fuel stove will run on white gas (available from Coleman) or on regular Unleade gasoline (available from your friendly neighborhood gas station.) What is nice is that it will last all weeknd on one fill and there isn't a cylinder to dispose of when you are done.

Our Review: Worked great. Not as easy as the propane version of Coleman stoves but easy enough. You pump the stove 25 times and then close the pump. Turn the knob and light. Once it is lit you pump the stove a few more times and voila. It worked great and seemed to boil water quicker than the propane version. I like the idea that you can run this on gas and there are no propane cylinders to dispose of. Thumbs Up! I was drinking coffee within 10 minutes of rolling out of the tent which for me is a definite necessity.

Coleman Exponent Multi-Fuel Stove


Coleman SportCat Catalytic Heater

Before our Joushua Tree Trip, where the temperature dropped into the 20s, I never thought about needing one of these. Boy was I wrong!! I wish I had owned this little beauty when we were out there freezing our butt's off. This is a tent safe heater (no flame) that will apparentley run for 14 hours on a single propane cylinder. Initially when you purchase it you should run it outside for a while to burn off the oil residue in the heater. After breaking it in it will run very clean. I am really looking forward to using this out in Anza Borrego on those cold Desert nights.
http://www.coleman.com/coleman/colemancom/detail.asp?product_id=5035A750&categoryid=3000

 Our Review: Coming soon



Coleman SportCat Catalytic Heater

 

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