We recently had a visit from Rob and Crissi Knasel of Triad Expeditions. Rob gave us the tour of their customized and supercharged FJ Cruiser that has more muscle for hauling their gear off-road. We also get the tour of their custom built overland teardrop trailer that features: reinforced under armor, rugged fendors, two mountain bike racks, grill holder, holds a full tandem kayak, and more.
Also, stay tuned in the next couple weeks as we outfit the Triad crew with some solid gear organizers.
For more about the Triad Expeditions FJ Cruiser and gear they use, go to:
Trying to keep your gear in order for your next overlanding trip? Go to:
Eddy’s IG: https://instagram.com/e.nguyen924?igshid=1x5gumh5kzntk
Giveaway Video: https://youtu.be/83rHteuWfNw
Well the 2020 Toyota Supra is at the ports. They all seem to be waiting to be delivered by July 22nd. We will see how the Supra holds up over the next few years. Thanks all for watching!
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Need a Toyota? Are you in the Florida Pan Handle?
Hit up my buddy Chris Rieck: (217) 433-5762 and tell him I sent you!
Disclaimer: I do apologize for the poor audio in the first 5 minutes, I was having mic issues and did not realize the extent of it until I was back home. The audio for the remaining 30 minutes of the video is just the internal microphone. The issue has been resolved for the next video! Please don’t let my poor audio skills take away fro this amazing truck!
Boy do we have a good one for you today! It was a pleasure to have Ben and his amazing 100 series land cruiser that was built as a Feature Vehicle at SEMA for Rhino Rack!
Join us as we walk around this amazing truck and all of its mods! It is one that I really have a spot for in my heart! Its just so cool!
Make sure to watch to the end to get all the details as we have an open format, unedited conversation!
Make sure you like the video if you found it interesting! If you like videos like this, make sure to subscribe for the Summer of Built!
We are a small family of overlanders, actively exploring all of North America. Our mission is to inspire others who desire to venture away from civilization and experience a more adventurous side of life.
Tents and Awnings – http://www.23zerousa.com
Fridge / Freezer – http://www.snomasterusa.com
LED Headlights and Fogs – http://www.xenondepot.com
Solar Panels – http://www.zampsolar.com
Clothing – https://prometheusdesignwerx.com/
Sunglasses – http://www.roka.com
Shower Pouches – http://www.theshowerpouch.com
Land Anchor – http://www.deadmanoffroad.com
Storage Bags – http://www.overlandtailor.com
How we plan trips / navigate: https://youtu.be/RVflThDx7ZA
How we air-up / air-down: https://goo.gl/Z8qXhs
How we poo and shower: https://goo.gl/vr4EeV
How we control bugs: https://goo.gl/EshCjR
How we mount devices: https://youtu.be/WZjNYsk4by8
How we monitor the 4Runner: https://youtu.be/UXzu1G9wzpQ
How do we stick patches to our roof? https://amzn.to/2E27CgR
Primary First Aid Kit – https://amzn.to/2tgbwMj
Secondary First Aid Kit – http://www.tuffgearforlife.com
Fire Extinguisher – https://amzn.to/2JWUT2O
There are few surprises in the media anymore, but the new Ford Tremor full-size left our offices genuinely in awe. We have grown so accustomed to only seeing the best overland options from Toyota and Chrysler that we (and I suspect they) never saw this full-size Tremor coming. The Power Wagon has maintained the capability championship for well over a decade, unchallenged, but this new 2020 Tremor will go head-to-head on a spec sheet, and has a few options that even RAM does not make available.
For the Overlander: Overland travel requires a few important considerations, particularly with a full-size. Once a buyer decides to invest in a vehicle that big, it is typically because they intend to install a camper or tow a larger trailer. For other capable full-size vehicles like the Raptor or Power Wagon, that has always resulted in a lower payload capacity then other models, and the notable lack of a diesel powertrain. Todd Eckert, Ford’s marketing manager shared that “A growing number of Super Duty customers use their trucks for more than work. They’re fishing, camping and towing boats on weekends and they go off-road, so we designed this truck specifically for them – more ground clearance, bigger shocks, bigger tires and more off-road capability,” and “…Tremor balances what customers demand in terms of work with what they need in the great outdoors.” According to the specifications, the Tremor will be close to the same capacities as the other 2020 models.
For capability, the list is impressive, including class-leading 35-inch Duratrac tires, a 31.6 degree approach angle, 10.8-inches of ground clearance, a 33-inch fording depth (best in class), and a 53:1 crawl ratio (gas engine). For the differentials, there is a locking rear and a Dana limited-slip front. The front LSD will work excellent when combined with traction control, and work as well as a full locker in nearly all scenarios. I suspect a front locker was omitted due to the torque of the diesel and the general lack of experience most consumers have with driver-selectable lockers. The suspension receives attention too, with 1.7-inch twin-tube shocks, and improved articulation with a lower spring rate for the rear swaybar. The Tremor does lack the locking front differential, sway-bar disconnect, and standard winch from the Power Wagon, but it does offer the significant advantage of proper payload and the legendary Powerstroke.
The drivetrain options include the new 7.3-liter gas V8 or the 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel, paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission. Capacity levels are also options, including both 250 and 350 ratings. We are arguably in the golden age of 4WD vehicles, something few would ever have predicted. There are more vehicles with factory-available locking differentials than in any time in history. Vehicles like the Tremor just add to this excitement and consumer interest, and now the Power Wagon has a competitor that just might leave it quaking in its 33-inch tires… ford.com
Four Wheeler Magazine Overland Adventure 2019! In this adventure we teamed up with Bubba Rope to explore Arizona on our way to Overland Expo West. The off road trip would start at the Flying E Ranch in Wickenburg, Arizona with our first taste of dirt being the Hassayampa River off road trail. From there we headed north, constantly climbing in elevation toward Williams, Arizona. This amazing trip had a wide variety of vehicles which included a Unimog, Chevy C10, Ford Bronco, Toyota Tacoma, Jeep Wrangler, and a Dodge power wagon.
Check out all the other Rogue Overland adventure videos here:
Imagine a historic small town, where you can stroll at your own pace along narrow cobbled streets! Imagine not being pushed along by hurrying tourists, looking for the ultimate selfie shot. Imagine a town where you might have to search for a souvenir shop, but where you will discover something worthwhile seeing around every other corner. Welcome to Elvas, a worthy World Heritage Listed Town without the crowds, located in the east of Alentejo, Portugal!
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Elvas is a worthy World Heritage destination in the east of Portugal. Its impressive fortifications are the largest in the world. And Elvas is not crowded!
History of Elvas as a Garrison Border Town
The World Heritage listed Elvas has been a border town with Spain for most of its existence. When I hear “border town” it quickly evokes a mental picture of a slightly grubby place, full of somewhat shady characters, chaotic traffic, and cheap discount shops – a transient place of no real attraction except for some bargain merchandise. We found nothing of that in Elvas! Its World Heritage status was earned exactly for its exposed position on the border and the main trade route, from Madrid to Lisbon.
As a border town, Elvas has long been fortified. A Celtic settlement was recorded here first, followed by the Romans. For them, Elvas was an important post along their major trading routes. Thus, the oldest remnants of the town date back to Roman times. After the decline of the Roman Empire, the Visigoths took over, only to be expelled in the 8th century by the Moors. Finally, in the 13th century, Elvas was recognised as part of the Kingdom of Portugal, and received city rights in the 16th century.
An aerial photo, shows the bulwarked dry-ditch fortifications surrounding the old city of Elvas nicely. In the far background you can the Nossa Senhora da Graça Fort on the next hill. [photo credit ]
The largest Bulwarked Dry-Ditch Fortification in the World
Each empire enlarged the city’s boundaries with more fortifications, making Elvas the largest fortified city of Europe today! These outstanding fortifications are the main focus of the UNESCO World Heritage listing.
Today, only the highest section of the fortified town centre, where the small castle stands, dates back to Moorish times. It was the Portuguese who established today’s ramparts and out-lying forts. Within its town walls, the city has preserved a typical layout of narrow medieval streets, with many of the historic buildings preserved. Walking along the cobbled side streets can feel like stepping back in time.
Even though it’s an impressive city to visit, Elvas doesn’t seem to be overrun by tourists. This might very well be due to its fairly remote border location. The downside of this is that it can be a challenge to get to see all its sights within a day or two.
The main plaza of Elvas, Praça da Republica, seen from the entrance of the former cathedral. In the background the former townhall, now home of the tourist information. The Sunday flea market doesn’t attract many buyers.
We found that many churches, which were of interest to us, were closed. Upon enquiry at the tourist information, we were told that they are opened by volunteers – thus nobody knew if or when they would really open. We revisited a couple in the afternoon when they would ‘surely’ be open – only to find locked doors.
The second challenge to a successful visit is “typical Portugal”: although the Portuguese don’t have a long siesta like the Spaniards, they take their lunch break very seriously. Everywhere in Portugal we found that almost all major sights close for a lunch break – usually up to 2 hours, starting at either 12:30 or 1pm. Also, the out-lying forts, which are an important part of the fortifications of Elvas, are closed every Monday (like most museums).
Don’t let this discourage you from visiting Elvas. We were there in late April, which is pretty much an off-season period. We would expect more to be open during the peak summer holiday period. Anyway, there’s enough to see despite some locked doors!
I will mention the places to see in the order we visited these sights. Because we entered the town early in the morning, we decided to tackle it from the top downwards – because we didn’t want to climb too much in the warmer afternoon.
The enormous Amoreira Aqueduct, whose construction began in the 15th century, was inspired by Roman designs. It supplied water to the city, well into the 19th century. Today, the aqueduct is still a very impressive sight. We were fortunate to be able to stay in our motorhome right next to it.
Part of the long Amoreira Aqueduct in Elvas, photographed at sunrise (me! early riser.).
We roughly followed the aqueduct uphill until we reached the drawbridge, which we crossed to get though the Corner Gates inside the fortified walls. Careful, these gateways are narrow and curved (hence their name) with cars passing through quite frequently, and fairly fast!
You enter the upper section of Elvas through these corner gates. Photo taken through the arch of the outer gate towards the decorated inner gate.
Next, you will walk past the Chapel of Our Lady of Conception and a small powder magazine on the left (we missed both because we didn’t have a map of Elvas’ sights at the time). Directly next are the old Trem Barracks on the left, now a high school.
When we visited, the road and some buildings were under renovation, so at the former Pontoon Storage Warehouse we turned left to follow the wall. From there you get an excellent view of the Conde de Lippe Fort, commonly referred to as the Nossa Senhora da Graça Fort. All forts around Elvas are closed on Mondays, the day we had planned to leave, so this was the closest we came to it.
This is as close as we got to the Nossa Senhora da Graça Fort. Viewed from Elvas’ castle hill. The next day, Monday, it was closed and we wanted to move on.
Finally, you will reach the small Elvas Castle on the top of the hill. It’s not much of a castle compared with so many others we have seen, so we almost overlooked it (and due to the messy roadworks didn’t take many photos either). Here is another good vantage point to photograph the Conde de Lippe Fort on the next hill, and the town’s fortifications and barracks in the other direction.
The best view of the Elvas castle we photographed. All roads around it were torn up for roadworks. Notice the hideous mobile phone tower next to it; it has earned Elvas harsh criticism from the UNESCO World Heritage Council.
Then we zig-zagged towards the Church of Our Lady of Consolation, often named Church of the Dominicas. We knew from our guidebook that it is decorated inside with beautifully detailed Portuguese Azulejos tiles. Unfortunately, the doors were locked (and remained so; Yasha checked again in the afternoon). I found a Spanish blog post with a few reasonably good photos of the inside – to give you an idea what we were looking for.
The small plaza next to this church can be entered under the Arch of Dr. Santa Clara, a small room built across two lanes. The triangular plaza is dominated by the Pillory of Elvas, a rather nicely crafted post with a haunting past (it is a flogging post).
A narrow road leads through the Arch of Dr. Santa Clara. Behind it you can see a little of the church of Our Lady of Consolation.
The Pillory in Elvas stands in a triangular space between the Church Our Lady of Consolation and the Arch of Dr. Santa Clara.
From there it’s not far down the steep, narrow, cobbled road to reach the Church of Our Lady of Assumption, which was once Elvas’ cathedral. It overlooks the Praça da Republica, the main square of the old town. Here you will find some lovely outdoor restaurants, the Tourist Information (in the old townhall), and one rather ugly new bank building… We were greeted by a Sunday flea market, which was a bit too quiet for good business.
The Praça da Republica, Elvas’ main square. Behind the “Love Elvas” sign you can see stalls of a Sunday flea market, with the former cathedral in the background.
After some refreshments, we walked further downhill to get to the old barracks and the Monastery of St. Domingos – unfortunately also closed on this Sunday. Along the way we passed the enormous Fountain of Saint Lawrence. It’s an impressive structure, covering the end walls of two adjoining houses. I have no idea when it was first built, only that it underwent a major refurbishment in 2005 (as a plaque said).
Inside the church of Our Lady of Assumption, Elvas’ former cathedral.
The Fonte de São Lourenço in Elvas. On the right, down the street, you can see the church of São Lourenço (Saint Lawrence).
Part of the barracks behind the monastery has been converted into a Military Museum – fittingly for a town whose history is so strongly connected with Portugal’s defences. We went there for the excellent vistas from the top of the fortifications, towards the south of the old town.
From the monastery we walked east, again coming up to thick fortifications, because we wanted to try our luck at the Church of St.Peter and the Church of the 3rd Order of St.Francisco. Needless to say, both were also locked. But this brought us almost up to the castle again. 🙁 Did I mention we didn’t wanted to climb much in the afternoon?
This photo shows the width of the fortifications well. And of course all the tourists crowding the streets of Elvas 😉 On top of the hill you can see the old castle (with a hideous mobile antenna right next to it).
So we walked past the Pillory back to the main square and then turned west, towards the main entry into the fortified old town of Elvas. We didn’t have much energy left for sight-seeing, but took a couple of photos along the way. One of the Torre Fernandina, a medieval tower that is all that’s left of the second town wall, which enclosed a much smaller part of Elvas.
Before we walked out of the fortified town, I was attracted by the Fountain of Mercy. I found out later that this intricate little structure dates from the early 17th century. Quite lovely how it sits in a minuscule little park! We didn’t even think of trying to enter any other churches – to avoid further disappointment. But the next morning we visited an interesting, or should I say ‘a little obscure’, church on the outskirts of Evora.
The medieval tower, Torre Fernandina on the left, is all that remains of the second oldest town fortifications of Elvas.
Near one of the entry roads into Elvas stands this marble Fountain of Mercy. In the background the Church of our Lady of Pains.
Tip: if you like your religious buildings just a little ‘unusual’
If you have a car (or bicycle) it’s easy to get to the Santuário do Senhor Jesus da Piedade (Lord of Mercy). It’s on a street with the same name. Even on foot, it’s not far from the main section of the Amoreira Aqueduct; my guess would be 15 to 20 minutes, heading west.
This beautiful small baroque church was built by a local man, who was seriously injured, and didn’t have the strength to return home. He collapsed at the foot of a cross, which previously occupied the place of the church, and prayed for a miracle. Apparently he was lucky: somehow he made it home, recovered, and fulfilled his vow to build a church in place of the cross.
Nowadays, this sanctuary is still known for its power to deliver miracles. Once a year, in September, it’s the centre of one of the most important pilgrimages in Portugal. But devotees come here daily. Many leave signs of their desperation or gratitude, from framed photos with prayers to countless body parts! Well, not real body parts, but rather plastic replica limbs. Three small side chapels of the Church of the Lord of Mercy are filled to overflowing with these rather obscure objects. Photography is forbidden and (as soon as I realised) I respected this request; so I really only have the one photo taken from the entrance…
The baroque facade of the Santuário do Senhor Jesus da Piedade (Lord of Mercy).
The Sanctuary of the ‘Lord of Mercy’ was built in the 18th century after a miracle was reported in its location. This is one of the side rooms displaying devotional gifts.
Location of Elvas
Elvas is on the eastern border of the Alentejo region in Portugal, a little over 210 kilometres [130 miles] by road from Lisbon. In this part of the country you will find a number of worthwhile attractions in a small circle of less than 50 kilometres [30 miles]. They certainly justify the longer trip to visit here, perhaps by driving yourself.
If you are coming from Lisbon there are more sights along the way, for example, you can stop in Évora, another UNESCO World Heritage city. Or if you are coming from the Extremadura province in Spain, the city of Badajoz is only 20 kilometres from Elvas. It’s a bit over 80 kilometres [50 miles] from the outstanding Roman ruins of Mérida in Spain (another quiet World Heritage town of less than 60,000 inhabitants).
The narrow cobbled roads in the oldest part of town, on the hill near the castle – too narrow for any cars.
The best road map for any roadtrip in Spain and/or Portugal:
the Marco Polo Map Spain & Portugal
This is likely the most accurate paper map you can find for the Iberian Peninsular.
Elvas is a nice, quiet UNESCO World Heritage town, with an interesting past. We found it refreshing to be able to walk around its narrow streets without having to keep in step with tourists crowds, like you find in so many popular destinations nowadays. Sometimes I think World Heritage listings can be a mixture of a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, they ensure that places are being preserved and, on the other, they seem to attract more tourists.
If you are not overly obsessed with visiting the inside of every old church, you will find many very interesting and beautiful sights in Elvas. It is apparent that Elvas takes good care of its historic structures, despite the few ‘new building sins’ we occasionally noticed. If you include some of the nearby sights, like Vila Viçosa, Elvas is certainly worth the trip for at least a long weekend.
Or you could include more of the smaller towns or villages and make Alentejo a destination for your next vacation. It deserves it! I’m sure you will find it more relaxing than the more popular (and populated) places everybody visits, or talks and writes about.
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This week were on Flat Iron Mesa in Moab Utah for the 2019 Easter Jeep Safari. We teamed up with BOAR Offroad to host this awesome trail run. Flat Iron Mesa is rated a 6 out of 10 difficulty and has its fair share of fun and challenging obstacles along the way. This was the first time I have run Flat Iron Mesa in Moab Utah. Watch as our Jeep Wrangler Rubicon takes on all the challenges this Moab Jeep Trail has to offer. There were a few times i thought the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon would have a hard time getting up some of the obstacles but we made it through Flat Iron Mesa without any troubles on this Easter Jeep Safari trail ride. We host a few EJS trail rides every year that are fun and free for anyone that meets the vehicle requirements. The only reason we have to set requirements is to hopefully help others from damaging their Jeeps on these Offroad trails
Red Rock Crawlers is a community based in Utah and located close to Moab Utah bringing you the best Offroad videos of the Moab and surrounding areas including Sand Hollow and the San Rafael Swell. Utah has so many great Offroad trails its hard to say which Offroad trails are the best and although Moab is always a fun area, there are other parts of Utah we like to explore! Hit subscribe and stay tuned for more great install and adventure videos just like this one!
Did my annual spring cleaning on the Jeep and decided to film my process and show the things I do to keep everything looking new. I also did some cheap DIY mods that any of you can do for your rig, and they turned out great!
Deep Clean List:
Wax & polish
Remove scratches and pinstriping
Repainted track bar, drag link, diff cover
Replaced diff cover bolts
Deep clean soft top
Repaint cargo rack & jerry cans
Clean dash & seat covers
Clean engine bay
Detailed wheels, tires, frame, bumpers
Rain X treated windshield & windows
Restored faded plastic on bumpers, mirrors, fenders
Lamin-x fog lights
DIY sway bar disconnects