THE HIACE CHRONICLES: CHANGES, SLOWLY GOING THE WAY OF THE BUFFALO

If you're reading this, hopefully you've followed my link looking for an explanation as to why my IG handle has changed from @northamerican_overland to @roaming_northamerica, well you're going to get an explanation.

For a while now I've been thinking about a change.  When I started North American Overland it was in anticipation of the Yukon & Alaska trip that I completed this summer.  Since inception I have done a fair amount of traveling and through doing so have evolved how I travel.  After traveling up North this summer I realized that I don't really like traveling to reach a destination, I prefer to just go and wander for months at a time without a plan and the word overland doesn't seem to fit the bill any longer as it describes, "self-reliant adventure travel to remote destinations where the journey is the primary goal."  In addition to that, it seems like the word 'overland' is being used on everything nowadays, from bags of coffee to wall mounted bottle openers, it's reaching the realm of overuse.   Thus, I figured that I would simply change my IG name to something a little more indicative of what I actually do, hence the change to @roaming_northamerica.  I thought that seeing as I like to wander/ roam around and my mission statement hasn't changed (traveling all 50 states, 10 provinces and 3 territories), the new name does a better job of letting people know what I'm about.  So, there you have it, the reason for the change.  As well, if you take a gander through my website you'll notice that I've created a new page called Roaming North America.  This page will be where I feature all my vehicle born adventure content.  Last but not least, I've created a new logo for the IG page, check it out!

 I'm sticking with the bison...it's my spirit animal.  Deal with it.

I'm sticking with the bison...it's my spirit animal.  Deal with it.

SO!  Having said all that, lets move on to the good stuff...the van.  There's been a few developments on the van this week.

Lets start with paint.  After repairing the worst of the rust on the van there was a fair amount of exposed metal which meant I had to paint it.  I painted the lower half with grey primer in preparation for bedliner.  Turns out the grey looks pretty good and considering the van is going to be completely repainted next summer I figured that I could keep the primer grey for the winter and save $100 on bed liner (every dollar saved means more travel).

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Vanbuild (2 of 21).jpg

With the help of my father in law who is a maestro with metal, we were able to correct the back right corner of the van that had been pushed in due to some accident before the van arrived in Canada.  

 Mr. Metal Maestro

Mr. Metal Maestro

 Ken fashioned up a special tool that matched the curve of the other light socket and we used the swinger to slowly pull out the pushed in panel.

Ken fashioned up a special tool that matched the curve of the other light socket and we used the swinger to slowly pull out the pushed in panel.

 Almost like it just came out of the factory.

Almost like it just came out of the factory.

I also spent a day or two repainting the SR5 wheels I salvaged off the decrepit 4Runner we had in the yard.  Almost immediately after getting the van back home I had ordered new tires for the van.  I 1" bigger in diameter and wrapped the SR5 rims in 215/75/r15 BFG KO2's.  I've wanted KO2's since they were released but always seemed to wind up with different tires on my vehicles.

 For some reason BFG discontinued white lettering on their tires so I've ordered a special marker that is specifically made for tires, I'll color the lettering in.

For some reason BFG discontinued white lettering on their tires so I've ordered a special marker that is specifically made for tires, I'll color the lettering in.

 The van is building up badass points like a boss...

The van is building up badass points like a boss...

 Mmmm...fresh meats.

Mmmm...fresh meats.

I've also started to plan out storage on the roof rack and mounted our ARB awning.  I'm thinking I may also rework the solar shower I had built earlier so that we can give that a go while we're down South this winter.  

 I have loads of storage space up on the roof rack.

I have loads of storage space up on the roof rack.

Today I spent about two hours pulling out the rats nest of wiring I found buried under the carpet.  Whoever owned the van in Japan installed a bunch of aftermarket tech and obviously didn't care at all about clean wiring.

 I wasn't anticipating learning how to effectively pull apart the whole dash in the van so early, but once I found the rats nest of wires it pretty much became mandatory.  

I wasn't anticipating learning how to effectively pull apart the whole dash in the van so early, but once I found the rats nest of wires it pretty much became mandatory.  

 Anyone need a minidisc/ GPS system for their vehicle?

Anyone need a minidisc/ GPS system for their vehicle?

 Wire exorcism in progress.

Wire exorcism in progress.

 Found me some Japanese Yen in the battery box...oh ya, I found the battery box too...

Found me some Japanese Yen in the battery box...oh ya, I found the battery box too...

 That's all of it...

That's all of it...

 I was pretty stoked when the deck from 4Runner not only bolted right in, it also plugged right in...score.

I was pretty stoked when the deck from 4Runner not only bolted right in, it also plugged right in...score.

So far I'm really stoked on the progress I've made on the van and I'm getting stoked to rip out the interior to start building our living quarters.

 #adventuremobile status.

#adventuremobile status.

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