Local Legend Don't Call It An S10

Here's my trip write up from this past weekend.

Took a half day at work Thursday and my wife, dog, and I drove along with a local buddy and his son up to the campsite where everyone else was at. I logged 252 miles of dirt and 450 miles of pavement. The trails were more or less uneventful and mild, but the destinations were incredible. We experienced everything from 103* temps with gale force winds in Death Valley all the way to 28* evenings and rain near Lake Crowley (near Mammoth, CA). Truck performed flawlessly aside from getting hot climbing out of Death Valley (coolant was hitting 240* so I stopped to cool down frequently), and the trans being too cool the morning we left, so it wouldn't hold a gear until the trans temp got over 100*.

The truck was VERY loaded down, so I need to figure out some better storage solutions, which I already have a few ideas for. I also have some wiring gremlins that I'll be farming out to a friend to fix since I'm most likely the cause of them hah.

Taking off from our driveway
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Stopping for dinner in Mojave
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Views did not disappoint the whole weekend. Here we're about 5500ft elevation
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Throughout Death Valley I was pouring water on Hank to cool him down. AC isn't hooked up right now, so it got warm. Luckily, the 90* water at the hot springs felt heavenly compared to the air temp. Here's Hank with some locals.
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Brad's son living his best life.
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It's easy to think we're cool and tough, until we realize in the early 1900s they used to mine minerals from this lake bed and haul it over this mountain range...

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Leaving the hot springs I had to stop pretty often to let the truck cool down. Hank didn't mind hopping in the driver's seat.
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This was a common sight on Friday
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After leaving the valley we got to a beautiful forested area with snow patches. One of the kids hollered over the radio "CAN WE PLAY IN IT?!" and everyone was game to stop. Ended up bringing out the little kid in all of us! (you can tell we're southern California natives)

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Going through some water crossings. Got a call on the radio that the Toyota behind me came into one of the bigger ones a bit hot and splashed his air filter, leaving him dead in the water. I backed up and pulled him out. Removed the filter and stuck it over the exhaust of one of the rigs. A couple seconds at WOT and it was dry enough to put back on lol.
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It fired back up (you can't kill a 22re!) and we continued on.

After the water crossings I noticed my rear axle was making more noise than usual. I figured the breather hose is cracked and I probably got some water in it. Decided to change the diff oil while everyone else was eating lunch. Didn't fix the problem, but at least it's fresh now!

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Stopped at an AWESOME train museum. This place was amazing. It felt like you were living in the late 1800s/early 1900s. Tons of history, artifacts, original buildings and equipment. We got to watch them start a hit-or-miss engine that was used to power some machinery for filtering out gold from other sediment using mercury, and I spotted this reciprocating saw for men

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More in the next post
 
We made our way north and went through some mini-grand canyon-esque trails.
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A storm was moving in, and we were close to our destination.
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We were all pretty wind-chapped and tired. Spent a while trying to find a spot to camp out of the wind and with enough space for 10 vehicles. We were trying to camp around Lake Crowley, but no dice.
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Played around and did some pretend 4x4 (no front driveshaft, spool in the rear)


Ended up back tracking south along the 395 towards Bishop, where we camped on the Owens River
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Got camp set up and then was quickly hit with howling wind and rain. I used the RTT cover for wind protection and moved the camping table and stove underneath and cooked up some burgers. Chels and Hank are troopers.
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Views while packing up weren't bad...
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Hit the pike and headed home. Put my beanie over Hanks ears to give him some respite from the cacophony of loud exhaust, cab rattles, singing rear axle, and my wife and I singing 2000s throwback R&B
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All in all a phenomenal trip. Thankful to God for keeping us safe, no mechanical issues, and great company. Can't wait for the next one!
 
Hell of a trip for an s10 lol. Looks awesome, congrats on the success.

Definitely an undertaking, and I was a bit nervous. First trip with the new cooling system, first real trip with the wife, first trip with a dog...

loaded down is an understatement, never seen anyone strap containers to the bedsides before.

You don't like my Harley saddlebags? Hah I'm going to be reconfiguring some stuff. I have a 5 gallon propane tank under the spare tire that I'm going to be getting rid of and panel that in for storage. Also going to slide the RTT back a bit more so I can put the bins between the RTT and back window. I'd like to get the fluids out of the cab, as they are currently on the floor of the rear passenger seat. I have my air pump, electronics bag, and recovery gear on the floor of the rear driver's seat, camping bin (heater, grill, small propane bottles, cooking equipment) on the rear driver seat, clothing bags and pillows stacked on top of the bin to the roof. RC Crawler had the tires wedged between tubes and the window to keep it in place. Passenger side rear was kept open for Hank.

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Definitely an undertaking, and I was a bit nervous. First trip with the new cooling system, first real trip with the wife, first trip with a dog...



You don't like my Harley saddlebags? Hah I'm going to be reconfiguring some stuff. I have a 5 gallon propane tank under the spare tire that I'm going to be getting rid of and panel that in for storage. Also going to slide the RTT back a bit more so I can put the bins between the RTT and back window. I'd like to get the fluids out of the cab, as they are currently on the floor of the rear passenger seat. I have my air pump, electronics bag, and recovery gear on the floor of the rear driver's seat, camping bin (heater, grill, small propane bottles, cooking equipment) on the rear driver seat, clothing bags and pillows stacked on top of the bin to the roof. RC Crawler had the tires wedged between tubes and the window to keep it in place. Passenger side rear was kept open for Hank.

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on this episode of hoarders we found a dog under 10 ft of camping supplies. lmao
 
looks like a super fun trip. next up a roof rack?

It was great! No roof rack, I don't think. Push the RTT backwards a little more to put bins on top of the cooler, remove the propane tank under the spare tire and make that area more storage (probably put fluids in there), and build storage boxes between the spare tire and taillights.
 
Finally back to working on this. I have a whole list of things to do, number one is figuring out where my parasitic draw is and why none of my turn signals or lights were working right. I think I got it sorted, so we’ll see if it holds a charge. Need to pick up some loom to make the wiring look nice.

Also, for anyone following me on the lonely piñons trip, you’ll be glad to know I’m adding extra turn signal/brake lights and what appears to be a cal trans light bar I got from a garage sale for a dollar.

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Under the spare I had the propane tank I never used, so I’m going to convert that space to fluid storage.
 
Alright so wiring is tidied up, just waiting on a guide thing for the new dust light wire so it can extend with the slide out. Should be here this afternoon.

Yesterday I got all the panels made for the rear enclosure. Came out halfway decent.

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Not sure how I’ll configure the fluids, but I’ll probably just throw a strap over the top of them to hold them in. Spare tire goes on top keeping it all contained. I can definitely throw rags and stuff in there as well.
 
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