Before embarking on a cross country adventure, I thought it would be wise to go on a brief camping trip to perform a DIY camping equipment test run. It’s fine to design a DIY camping/sleeping platform, roof wing awning system, cargo shelf and chuck box, but will they perform as intended when in use?
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This article and this video will review a test run of said equipment and suggest what worked well, or requires revision before embarking on a more serious cross country adventure.
The CheaperJeeperTV DIY Jeep Camping/Sleeping Platform
The first item of our DIY camping equipment test is the sleeping platform. These videos on the design, construction and finishing touches of the Platform illustrate the details of this project. Also, review of the details in these design, construction and finishing touches articles will also help to describe the modular, functional, and diverse implementation options of this platform. But do the intended features of the design hold true in practice?
I am happy to report that during the brief camping trip, all features inherent in the design of the platform met our expectations.
As an FYI, as seen in this DIY Camping Equipment Test video, The foam purchased is a 3″ High Density foam. (2.5 lbs cu ft, ILD 45 compression). It was about $160. I purchased it at www.thefoamstore.ca
The DIY Roof Wing Awning
The second item of our DIY camping equipment test is the Roof Wing Awning. These videos on the design, construction and deployment of the roof wing awning concept, are also supported in these design, construction and deployment articles. At the park, there were many trees that afforded plenty of protection from the elements, so during this test run, the first stage of deployment was only tested. The ease of deployment of this first stage, void of guy lines and poles worked as expected and provided easy shelter. More testing of the other stages will be required in subsequent test runs.
The Cargo Area DIY Brackets and Shelf
The next item of our DIY camping equipment test is the cargo area DIY brackets and shelf. This video on how to create the DIY metal bracket and cargo shelf is also discussed in this article. As the image below illustrates, the shelf proved to be a helpful and convenient feature for storing items when camping. In fact, it served as our coffee making area one morning when it was raining. This feature is definitely a keeper.
The Chuck Box
Finally, the next item of our DIY camping equipment test is the Chuck Box. This video on how to create the DIY Chuck Box is also discussed in this article. This chuck box design is almost like a swiss army knife of chuck box design. The relatively small box unfolds and provides storage for much kitchen gear and plenty of surface areas. Although we did pack minimally when it came to kitchen utensils, we still had plenty of room in this chuck box design. My wife found that the chuck box was very helpful in organizing and making readily available all kitchen items including spices. The surface area was also plentiful. If anything, I may design a new chuck box around my new propa=ne camping stove, and make it slightly smaller, and lighter in weight.
Conclusion of the DIY Camping Equipment Test
Before going on a major camping adventure, it was good to do a short camping trip to do a DIY camping equipment test. Essentially, we found that the sleeping platform met our expectations and was very comfortable. Although the first stage of deployment of the awning system functioned as designed, more testing of the other features is required to determine if it is a useful feature to include on any major trip. The cargo area brackets and shelf afforded us a storage space which proved to be very helpful, and a feature worth keeping. And finally, the features of the chuck box design were taken advantage of and found to be quite helpful, although improvement of the design to make it smaller and lighter is likely.