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Gear In Use:

  1. I spent almost 400 hours in my cold shop this winter. I rebuilt a "COOT" ATV I bought in Utah last fall. When I bought it, it didn't steer. One kingpin was frozen, and the other 3 were very stiff. The engine had a stuck valve. The wheels needed new u-joints at each kingpin, and the worm gearboxes, and transmission needed seals. Wiring was shot, and the body needed prepped and painted. The wife and I decided we wanted to offroad together rather than wrestle individual 4 wheelers, and not wanting to spend big bucks on a side-by-side, and being a handy guy, this is what we ended up with. It's 4 x 4, articulated, 12hp, amphibious, and has a cargo capacity of 1,000 lbs. Top speed is 20, and in low range top end is walking speed. Will climb a 32* (70%) slope fully loaded. Should get us and our gear wherever we want to go, though slowly...LOL Jim
  2. Since I am now a snowbird full time and will be living out of my 1995 4 cylinder Tacoma, I had to get creative to deal with everything from foul, rainy weather, wind, cooking, computer work station for editing my YouTube videos, sleeping, storing food for weeks, even months on end, showering, accessing my detecting gear, powering my ICECO 60Ltr. Fridge/Freezer, batteries for everything from detector, phone, computer, power tools and anything else I get that consumes power, my bases are covered. I utilized a ladder rack and added 1x8 and 1x3 boards to the sides, and then outfitted the top with a 4x7 ft sheet of 5/8" plywood. I then stained it with solid base olive drab stain. Next came taking a large military canvas tarp, cutting it down to four sections according to the measurements of each side inside the truck bed. I then got some 1"x 1.5" boards and fitted them to the top edges, folded the boards over the canvas and screwed them in place. Everything is a tight fit and the canvas is sandwiched between the interior boards and the exterior boards. The bottom edge is long enough to hang over the top edge of the truck bed when I am at camp. They will be tucked inside when driving, unless it is raining to shed water outside the truck bed. I have a tie down screwed down to the ceiling to hang a lantern for light and heat. On the driver's side I added three vertical boards to the exterior horizontal boards and put hinges on them to attach a counter top to accommodate my camp stove as well as space to work at the computer. My inspiration for this was a dream I had about a fold down bed attached to the ladder rack and it evolved into the work counter. I hang my solar panels from the passenger side upside down to angle them up to receive the sun better. I still may add the fold down outside bed platform if I can think of a way to still accommodate the solar panels. Well I just now figured it out so that will be a upcoming project. I keep my Jackery Explorer 1000 solar bank locked inside with heavy chains and paddle locks and my fridge is locked to the truck bed in the same manner. I am never out of sight of my truck and if I ever do, then I employ my 5th Ops perimeter trip alarm. Booby trapping the truck with Carolina Reaper pepper powder when it is detonated by would be theives. I have back ups for back ups living this way. That's how I roll. Hope y'all enjoy this creative setup and get some ideas to make your rigs better outfitted, if you don't have a camper. This enables me to get to very remote areas and enjoy creature comforts for long periods of time.
  3. I'm sure many of you have trailer horror stories. Please share a few to keep the rest of us safe!
  4. Basically was a matter of transferring gear, cleaning up with new carpet covering and installing in new Toyota Troop Carrier from the old 1986 Troopy, "Back to the Future" project. No photos of old Troopy setup as took very few photos back in those days. Of interest perhaps old 86 Troopy cost 50 ozs new, was very basic, leaf springs front and back and a diesel motor that couldn`t pull your hat off but will go forever. New Troopy cost 35ozs has coils on front, A/C, Navi Screen, electric windows, locking front and rear diffs, electric winch, V8 diesel that`l pull a CAT etc etc. but fortunately the body is still the same thus everything fitted, holes were in same place. Solar charges 2x125A/hr AGMs, which powers all including a 2000W Inverter for this coffee snob, nothing beats an Expresso as one waits for the sun to come up. Separate Fridge and Freezer accessible from sliding side windows, I camp on a stretcher with a swag and awning sides for when cold or wet. Have a small 11ft off-road caravan but rarely use as is too much trouble getting it into our rugged NQ OZ. I think the below photos tell the story.
  5. I am finally after 5 long months going to get to swing the GPZ again I think, crossing my fingers I’m not jinxing myself being optimistic. In the beginning of May I blew a head gasket that took out my radiator frying a cylinder and time for a new engine...that’s the short story. So far I’ve put in a new stroker engine, new transmission, new fuel system, new gears from 4.10 to 5.13, new radiator, new control arms, new control arm mounts, new toyo M/T’s and engine computer tuning. First shop I took the Jeep to was a disaster and in the end everything they did I threw away, fortunately my luck improved and the Jeep is almost ready to go, transmission shop misaligned the driveshaft that made for an uncomfortable drive home and now I’ve got and appointment at Adams Drive Shaft to get everything balanced on this coming Monday, I still intend to change the shocks and springs but this has all gone on too long and I really need to find a nugget or at least go look! while all this was happening I snagged a good deal on a used Aliner Scout lite with an off road package, the off road just gives better ground clearance everything else is standard duty. In the Aliner at 10 feet long and 1200#’s while I’m 6’4” Still gives me headroom I can at stand up in the center and the bed is comfortable, I think this will work out otherwise there’s going to be a discounted Aliner for sale. I have never ever camped out on or near where the claims are or where I’m prospecting so this will be a totally new experience, I do day trips or rent a room someplace doing lots of driving. I’m a little concerned about camp security, getting back in some place where turning around might be difficult and beating the camper to pieces dragging it along dirt roads (I know, slow down). I’m wondering what solutions other have found?
  6. Hello all, I was wondering what brand of UTV Buggy you all use? I'm going to get one but can't decide if i want a used 2017 Yamaha Wolverine R-Spec EPS SE with 1,100 miles for 8,899 OR just buy a new Pioneer 500 or 700.
  7. I got tired of having to load up the car to travel to distant hunts...staying in hotels, and eating in restaurants. Pain in the butt! So, I had to see if my young son would take to a "camping" lifestyle and not just complain about not having wi-fi for his games, I took him to an club sponsored MD Treasure Hunt near Tulsa in a rented Class C Motor Home. It was pretty beat up, but everything sort of worked, so we'll see. He absolutely ate it up! Loved the camping aspect and the Kids Hunt and was disappointed after two days to have to go home. (I cleaned UP on Silver halves and quarters on MY hunts!!) So after getting back to Tinker AFB, I had a long talk with my wife, and we made a decision. We need better family vacations and getaways whenever she can get away on leave from her Command position in the Air Force... along with prospecting and metal detecting, so we made a decision and started a different kind of hunt. We were successful! Our new transport for all things fun is an absolutely MINT condition 2013 Forest River Sunseeker 3010DS Class C Motor Home with an auto tow dolly. The wife is already in the books and on Google deciding where and when we start having trips! This beauty only has 23,000 miles and the previous owner was a retired Master Sergeant from the Air Force who was a vehicle and aircraft mechanic. Those skills showed in how well this rig was kept up! It looks literally showroom new inside and out. I'll be doing videos and updates on our adventures, and will post the MD related jaunts here as well. Woohoo! Lovin this rig and the adventures to come!
  8. Hey everyone: So im curious what is everyones drive time and mileage to there nearest gold prospecting location. For me it ranges from out my backdoor to about 1.25 hours one way.
  9. After my Rye Patch ordeal, I decided to splurge and put a new engine in the Rokon. The original Honda 5.5hp 160cc engine is 20 yrs old and my hop up mods were really pushing it too hard, so I bought a lightly modified Honda Go-Kart racing engine from NR Racing. $500.00 gets a new Honda 6.5 hp 200cc engine with mods that bring it up to 12hp. All the bolt patterns are the same so it slipped right in the Rokon frame. I had to do a little drilling and bending to make a new throttle linkage and now she purrs like a kitten. I'll be headed back up to CA gold country next week and ultimately back out to Rye Patch. The goldfields are calling, Tally Ho!
  10. Check out this newly available off road only version of the old WW2 Jeep we just started selling at AMDS! If you want to rip and tear then a side by side would be great but if your looking to haul and pull this looks like this would be the ticket. Just what every gold prospector needs! Mahindra ROXOR Jeep Spec Sheet The Mahindra Roxor Is A Reincarnated Willys Jeep ATV.com Review Autoweek.com Review Some Close Up Mechanical Details “With the recently opened 400,000 sq ft facility spanning three buildings, the MANA headquarters and manufacturing center in Auburn Hill, MI is a serious investment in the North American market. Mahindra has already invested over $230 million and created 300 new jobs in Southeast Michigan, with an additional $600 million investment and 400 more jobs anticipated by 2020”
  11. I started the above thread yesterday and (as usual) got some good responses. As a bonus there were some suggestions on the choice of vehicle. I decided to start a new thread since if someone were to search topics they might not find that discussion there. For starters, like metal detectors, the choice of a vehicle depends strongly upon what and how it will be used, and even who will be using it. Not only is there an obvious higher cost involved (well, unless you're talking about a Zed ) but also the variety of required tasks is likely considerably larger. I'm certainly not going to talk negatively about someone else's preferred choice. Just like detectors, if it works for you then that's exactly what you need. I'm going to concentrate on what works for me, or at least where I'm currently sitting in terms of my next vehicle -- I might change my mind and you might help me there. In the other thread there were a couple (maybe more) suggestions of getting a Toyota 4WD Tacoma pickup. Below you'll see why it's not the perfect fit for me, even though it's a great vehicle and, IMO, if I were locked on getting a pickup it would likely be my #1 choice. I live in the midwest and I'm going to be driving at least to the Rockies (1000 miles one way absolute minimum; California is more than twice as far) two or three times per year. Those are highway miles. Efficiency matters to me. Comfort, at the moderate level, matters to me. Safety (e.g. blind-spot-alert) matters to me. I need a vehicle I can sleep in (safely), that I can lock up securely (obviously no guarantees if a thief is determined enough). Here are, in order of importance, my requirements: 1) Off-road worthiness -- as written this is pretty vague so I'll try to explain a bit. First off, a minimum is four wheel drive (4WD). All wheel drive ("AWD" -- unfortunately the disctiontion isn't clear cut here) and obviously 2WD (whether front or rear) aren't going to make it. I want at least one wheel on each axle pulling at all times (when needed) and an extra low gear (not just the transmission 'L' gear). Locking differential(s) and/or limited slip differentials are a bonus. This requirement #1 eliminates a huge number of vehicles currently on the market, some of which claim to or try and give the impression they can be taken off-road. (Well, anything can be taken off-road....) Those typically are designed for slick pavement, meaning concrete or ashphalt. And and many are designed to make you look cool. Enough on that tangent.... 2) Enclosed, unified storage, etc. volume -- what I mean is that one key unlocks the entire space. This rules out a pickup truck. Yes, there are extended cab pickups which offer more room, and there are sliding windows to give you access between the cab and the bed. But those aren't enough for me. (I want to sleep in the main volume.) We've now trimmed down the choices another order of magnitude. 3) High fuel efficiency -- now this is where things really get cut down to a few, or none depending upon your definition. (Using US units here) a huge number of 4WD's don't even get 20 mpg highway. Of the remainder, most are in the low 20's. Now, many/most will say "fuel is cheap..." It's not just the cost for me. I don't want to add any more CO2 to the atmosphere than is required to meet my needs. But even the "cheap" part, if it remains true for the future (and I, for one, don't think it will if you're thinking 10+ years -- my vehicle's minimum life expectancy), consider this: 30 mpg vs 20 mpg at $3/gallon for 16,000 miles (a typical year for me, I'm anticipating) is $800. That's a new detector every year or two! 4) Age & Cost -- obviously few of us is wealthy enough to ignore this. In the US you can easily pay $50k for a new 4WD pickup. I'd like to stay near or under $30k with $40k the max. I'm not going older than a year or two for many reasons, not the least of which is rust from Midwest salted winter roads. (As I've said before, you guys out West don't know how good you've got it.) There isn't a non-stainless steel in existence that can handle our Midwest roads. The key is to underwash the vehicle multiple times in the winter to minimize the damage, and do you trust a used vehicle seller to have done that? I've considered quite a few vehicles. Toyota: Tacoma, 4-runner, FJ Cruiser; Chevy Colorado ZR2 (the new killer off-road vehicle); Ford Explorer; Subaru: Forrester, Outback, Crosstrek; Nissan Frontier and X-Terra. All excellent vehicles if they meet your needs/requirements. All fall short of my 1-3 filters above. As far as I've found, only three vehicles make the cut and all are Jeeps. No question the hard-core off-roader is drawn like a magnet towards a Jeep Wrangler. Unfortunately they are about as aerodynamic as a ship's sail. Fail on #3. Jeep does make vehicles which satisfy at least 1-3 above: from lowest to highest in cost: Renegade Trailhawk, Compass Trailhawk, Cherokee Trailhawk, and Grand Cherokee (several submodels). The Compass gets the best fuel economy (30 mpg highway) while even the heaviest of the bunch -- Grand Cherokee -- is rated at 24 mpg highway. The Renegade is too small (and too cutesy) for me. For a long time the Cherokee was the front runner, but 30 mpg vs. 25 mpg is a big plus for the Compass, sacrificing power (Compass only comes with 4 cylinder engine...), but surprisingly not much in interior room. Compass Trailhawk (new) is under $30k; Cherokee Trailhawk is just over $30k; properly outfitted (for example: Quadra-Trak II transfer case and skid plates) Grand Cherokee can be found for high $30k's. I'll be the most surprised of all if I end up with anything other than one of these three. It really is all about priorities. I'm always open to suggestions, though. Something satisfying my 1-4 requirements and I'm all ears.
  12. Just hope I can find the damn thing when I come back from a wander
  13. Getting out to some of our more remote locations is our Idea of living the dream but and for some of us such journeys can be weekly or monthly or even a yearly excursion but what ever it is no matter how much planning we do fate can always step in and throw us a curve ball, I bought another Truck/SUV In February I have been preparing it to reduce the chances of being caught by what ever mother nature can throw at us, What started out as something where I needed a 4x4 to get off the beaten track is turn in to a money pit, Not that I am complaining because I have always loved Pickups and 4x4's but setting up a vehicle has sort of taken over a lot of my spare time, I don't mind that because I get to play with lots of high end Gadgets, Having been a bit OTT I have looked in to many Gadgets from Exhaust Jacks which can be a great life saver along with recovering ya truck from a bog hole with minimum effort, Also The Genuine American made Hi-Lift Jacks, having always used them I won't cut corners and buy any thing else in fact my first one (The HL-485) still looks like new, But a couple of months I happened to get on you tube and I saw their video showing the "NEW" 60" Extreme Hi-Lift Jack with a new colour scheme (paint job) and some very useful features such as removable foot plate and a new Clamping attachment that has extra features and is rated to the maximum rating of the jack (7000lbs) so out came the wallet again and my new toy arrived the next day, This thing is real hard core and a must have Item, It can be used for clamping Winching and of coarse lifting etc, These are the best jacks bar none, http://www.hi-lift.com/hi-lift-jacks/x-treme.html The jack is the sort of thing that you only wanna break out in an emergency, and be very careful when operating the thing, theres enough videos on YT of people busting up their heads and loosing teeth, Anyway you get the picture, Although the jack can be used as a winch I decided that a good winch was in order so out came the plastic and "Yep" you guessed it and the next day it arrived, So I ordered one of Champion/Warrior 9500lbs short drum winches as in the same model the UK armed forces use (SAS) vehicles, Joy of joy this thing came with every thing including the normal remote and a spare cordless remote, Seeing that I was kind of hoping it had built in TV channels but sadly "No" but I will survive without watching NCIS or Nashville for a week or two, All this thinking and spending made me hungry and it wasn't long before my thoughts turned to "Food" In February last year lowlifes broke in to my lockup and stole about $100K's worth of Tools and stuff but the thing that **** me off the most was the stole my 70 quart "Snap-On" Cooler and my electric cooler that I bought here all the way from Oz the lousy £&%@ers, So while I am on my excursions I thought about buying another cooler but the thought of all that Ice and soggy food did not bode well with me so I started looking up for Aussie Fridge Freezer, Brands that I knew and Trust well I did the research thing and I ended up buying the ARB 47L/50Qt version, I figured that It has enough room for enough food to last me on my own for about 21 days, I check this thing when it got here and I plugged it in and it cooled down pretty quick and I half filled it with frozen food and it came on for about 6 minutes and it never switched back on for over 2 and a half hours, once it settled down that became roughly every two hours and even then its run times got shorter and shorter which was fine with me because when this thing is mounted in the Truck it will use next to no power, ARB rate it at 0.87 Amps per hour, well I was seeing run times as little as 0.5 Amps per hour variable. I also bought the protective jacket for it to keep it safe and help with insulation because these things are not cheap and if looked after they will last forever. This Fridge freezer cost me a small fortune but I got it for a real good price at around $900.00 So life is Good and the fridge lives in my home because they is no way am I loosing this one. See this Link, http://store.arbusa.com/Fridges-C11.aspx One thing that I have always done when I have bought a truck is replace the tyres, On this one they will be replaced soon, I got 2 that are driving me Nutz within a week the rear two loose Air and the drivers side one looses the lot, Back around 2003 I bought the American Made TruckAir 275 and they are a brilliant little compressor that are supposed to handle the big stuff and it does but they do hammer ya battery, Anyway I had seen these new Double pump versions that are on the market and they are impressive to say the leased, Now baring in mind these things are only about the size of a loaf of bread, This thing can put out a 150litres of Air per minute OR over 5 cfm (cubic feet per minute) what that mans in the real world is that it can blow 4x4 tyres real fast, My truck battery was 3 parts flat and it blew up my tyre in 3 and a half minutes which is incredible and considering with the truck running it will do it from Zero to 40lbs in under 2 minutes, I strongly advise you gentlemen to buy one of these things, I know the brand names with be different depending where you live in this world but if you read this review you can find the good ones that are sold near you in this link, http://www.unsealed4x4.com.au/issue017/#185 This is just some of the kit I have bought for my Truck and I have bought a whole lot more and have more to get still, It's not cheap but it will all make for a better safer time while I am off swinging a coil or two and my next task is to mount my solar panels on the roof to charge the Duel batteries that I have ordered because I need to charge them detector batteries up, I have bought a 115 Amp /1000 cca for the Trucks starting Battery I have 2 X 135 Amp /1100cca batteries to come then it is off to the Auto Electricians to get the wiring fitted so they will also charge via the Alternator, And all because I like detecting. John.
  14. nah not really, but the new station owners have two R22's for mustering and feral control. Went for a spin today to look at the water situation after the recent rains and check out some ferals. Remarked how it would be ideal to get into some more out of the way places and was pleasantly surprised at the positive answer.
  15. The final straw broke last night on my trusty suv and I parked it and walked away... Sort of, sold it for parts to a friend, no way I would feel ok selling it to someone as a driver although don't get me wrong, I got 222000 miles out of it and the engine and tranny are still strong... Just the rest of it was junk and I didn't trust it anymore going into the wilderness. so, I've got my eye on a very clean 2006 jeep rubicon slightly built 3 1/2 inch lift winch bumpers other goodies with only 19000 miles, $23000 b/o. Guy bought it as a toy, didn't use it but a couple of times and then his daughter put most of the miles on it. Looks like new and I like this model because it's the last one jeep made without all the electronic junk I keep reading complaints about and the same stuff that ruined my Mercedes suv (Daimler/Chrysler) electronics, too close to the jeep electronics for my blood. any thoughts?? Price seems a little high to me, but the jeep is nice.
  16. http://daymak.com/corporate/beast-brochure.pdf does anybody actually own one of these electric offroad scooters, supposedly street legal, and have a review? Hard to believe they can go 15 miles on a 20 amp battery or less ,and offroad to boot. Minimum price is 2300 and goes up to 4500,almost affordable, and no noise. How would you carry a detector and other gear I wonder?
  17. I think I will save my pennies for one of these instead of a new detector.
  18. Check this out, they call it the OX and was designed for the 20 % of the world that has no vehicles. Would make a great prospecting off roader with a little custom work. http://www.topgear.com/car-news/big-reads/can-flat-pack-truck-save-world
  19. Hi all... I'm starting to make plans for Winter in the AZ gold fields, anyone on here own an RV park before I give my cash to a non nugget hunter. :o) Jen
  20. I went down toward Yuma las Tuesday, got setup by 3:40 and had my first/biggest 1.1 gram nuggie by 3:45...wandered all day Wed with high winds and got the littlest one 1.4 grains, then found the other two Thursday morning...my new trailer is very comfie for me and my wife...the detector is where the first nuggie was...
  21. I was on my way to the central Indiana goldfields this weekend when I pulled off the Interstate highway at the rest area and spotted this ? Kinda looks like a Unimog, but fitted up with a backhoe and dozer blade? Just what us prospectors might need.... -Tom
  22. Upgraded from a Toyota Troop carrier(28yrs old) back in 2012 to a Hilux 4WD. Heading off this morn to new prospective area hit a bump not a jarring jolt going slowly in low range. Front strut busted limped home and removed photo below. Independent suspension, nice ride but not impressed but I do know I`m going back there, the Goddess of Gold is trying to keep me away.
  23. Northern Nevada gravel roads will tell you when your trucks tires are getting to thin! My last trip there, I couldn't plug the thumb size hole and had to trust my old spare for the last couple of days of the hunt and to tow the camper back to NorCal. I also noticed my hunting boots were getting my socks awful dirty and a few little rocks would sneak in as well, as I would boot a possible target. Well we made it home and ready to make some new tracks in the goldfields. Hunt report, after that big storm in the Rye Patch area the ground was hot and stingy with letting go of the gold. But, no skunks in our party of 8...beer was cold at camp for soothing the looks of our pokes and Baby & I, have some new shoes! Until the next hunt, LuckyLundy
  24. The perfect Gold hunting combination. Minelab GPZ 7000 & 2002 Mercedes-Benz ML270 CDI 5 Cylinders Diesel Turbo Intercooled Luxury MY2002 Sports Automatic >grin< Picked up the 4x4 yesterday Roo bar Led light bar Solar and a sleep arrangement up top and I'm set. ad...
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