Category: Nomadics

How to Take Any Car Off-Roading [Insert Caveats Here]

off-roading in a sedan

Photo: VW Forum

So you want to venture into the wilderness but you don’t want to fork out the dough to build an ultimate adventure rig? No problemo. Outside Magazine tips you to what you need to venture off the beaten path no matter what kind of car you’re driving.

At the top of their list is traction because, well, it’s all about where the rubber meets the road. Or doesn’t as your case may be. So tires and tire repair are definite must-haves.

And if you have the derring-do to adventure into the outback in your Corolla, please read to the end of their article…which is all about recovery. Sand ladders, a tow strap and some kind strangers might be all it takes to make your trip something you can survive long enough to share with the grandkids.

Teardrop Trailer Holds its Own in the Outback

off road teardrop trailer

This Teardrop holds its own on technical trails | Photo Chris Cordes, Expedition Portal

One of the big questions about mechanized camping is whether the expense and trouble of a camper offsets the hassle of setting up and striking a tent. But when you’ve got a camping trailer as capable as the SoCal Teardrop the equation starts leaning in the direction of “camper.”

Chris Cordes takes an in-depth look at the performance of a fully outfitted SoCal teardrop and has a lot of good things to say. This rig was equipped with an ARB refrigerator powered by a couple of Goal Zero Boulder 30 solar panels which gives it some off-the-grid capability. The suspension was retrofitted and a fold-out side tent added.

But the best mod that was made to the trailer?

By the end of our first journey I had begun implementing a series of small changes aimed at making trailer more enjoyable and easier to live with. This began with swapping out the wheel on the tongue jack. As anyone who has pushed one of these things around can tell you, plastic wheels are awful for maneuvering. We picked up a pneumatic rubber model from AT Overland, and spent the rest of the year and a half thanking ourselves for such a smart decision. Seriously, it might be the best investment you’ll ever make.

If you have an inclination toward taking a trailer on one of your explorations, give this article a read.

Also: Tent Camping Vs. Trailer

We Designed the Best Roof Top Tent Ever. Sort of.

Car Camping in an 1967 Chevelle in the Arizona Desert

How Robots Might Change Our Understanding of “Off the Beaten Path”

Concept for an Autonomous Exploration Vehicle | FastCo Design

Concept for an Autonomous Exploration Vehicle | FastCo Design

A road trip is the ultimate journey into the unexplored territory of one’s soul. FastCo Design asks the question “how will that change when cars drive themselves?”

Honda invited creative director Morihiro Harano to highlight the company’s autonomous driving tech by talking about his love for exploration:

“My inspiration for this project came from a few things,” Harano says. “My son’s and my love for motorhomes—we built one together from Legos—the tiny house movement—I love architecture—and a road trip in Iceland for a shoot on a very long and wild road. When I learned about Honda’s autonomous driving technology, those four things are came together for me. I thought if we could make a comfortable motorhome with autonomous driving technology, I would love to live my rest of life on the road, moving, traveling, enjoying a very long road trip on this planet, being a kind of new nomad.”

I wonder, though if one’s sense of being part of a bigger experience will get lost when we leave the driving to the bots. It might start feeling less like a road trip and more like a family vacation.