Covercraft Custom Vehicle Protection – 5/31/2016
During the next few of months as we continue our blogs all the way to China and onto Mongolia, Russia and South Korea, I thought it would be interesting to our readers to throw in an occasional little tech tip. These will cover products or techniques that we have found over the years to be valuable during our 40 years of exploring the world.
Not really a mechanical thing or a driving thing, but certainly when our truck is on display at big events like the SEMA Show in Las Vegas and the Overland Expo in Arizona, a question often asked is, “Oh my God! How do you keep these trucks so clean after all the places you’ve driven? Well, the truth is 90% of the roads we drive don’t have a lot of overhanging brush; the exceptions have been few, like the Camino del Diablo, (The Devil’s Highway). Then there was that little road in Turkey that Mr. Garmin and Monika insisted we follow on a two-track through a grove of overgrown olive trees, and I do recall our discovery of Bahia de Los Animas in Baja, at the end of an arroyo guarded by hungry mesquite trees. Scratches mostly polish out.
In reality, the dust and mud and grit of overland adventure all pretty much wash off. The real damage done to our vehicles has always been from the ultra violet rays of the sun, the heat, bird droppings, love bugs, pitch and just plain old weather.
Certainly one of our secrets over the years has been that during the months that we are off the road and The Turtle trucks are parked outside, they are always protected by Custom Covercraft Covers. As much as we love our vehicles and as much as they cost nowadays, and considering how much of them are made of plastic and rubber, it just makes sense to protect them. Covercraft Custom covers come in a variety of styles and materials. Our favorite has been Evolution, designed to stop just about anything that might fall from the sky.
Sometimes people laugh when we cover our car even for a couple of hours while we are at a restaurant or a movie. I smile. It takes about 30 seconds to put a Covercraft Custom car cover over the entire vehicle or a custom Covercraft Cab Cover over our truck, and another 30 seconds to take it off. It takes me an hour to do a half decent wash job. Do the math.
Even when we are on the road, as soon as we stop, our custom-made side window and windshield covers go up on the inside. Monika sews them from lightweight Space Blanket material, available at backpacking stores like REI. The covers attach in seconds with small Velcro tabs. They block the sun’s heat and damaging rays and as a bonus, any kind of cover keeps curious eyes out. What you can’t see you don’t think of stealing. The Space Blanket covers fold up and store behind the seat or above the sun visors.
There has been discussions among overland travelers as where to place the windshield covers. Putting them on the outside will reduce the heat build-up in the cab a little better but we feel, that in an emergency, where we’d suddenly have to drive away (it never happened), having the covers on the inside would allow us to remove a corner of the windshield cover to peek out and leave safely. (Yes, when parked, we always unlatch the back cab window so Monika could crawl through from the camper and start the engine.) If the covers are attached to the outside they could also be easily stolen or with any kind of a severe wind they would blow away.
As long as we’re thinking of covers, have you priced your tires lately? Our Michelin XZLs run about $535.00 each if you can find them. Even a BFGoodrich Mud Terrain KM will set you back over $235.00. Protecting them from the sun is a no-brainer and Covercraft offers several sizes of “Tire Savers”. They also manufacture seat covers, doggy beds, dash covers and cab covers. If you drive it or sit on it, they make a custom cover for it. Do I need to point out; clean trucks, cars and SUVs are happier and run better.