Stainless steel bar for securing gas can - another problem solved

Another chore out of the way today…


I have an extra gas can compartment on the top of my roof rack.  To prevent the can from flying out over rough roads, or some crook from helping himself to the can, full or not, there is a 9" metal bar securing the can to the compartment.  Well, it seems that someone in my condo helped themselves to that before my last trip.  I say that because the bar itself was secured with a lynch pin, which that provides security in itself, but can be farther secured with a lock. I discovered it was missing just before OTR8 in 2016, about the same time that someone from my condo loosened four the five lug nuts on my rear right tire, which I discovered 1000 miles into the trip just before the wheel almost came off.  There are two suspects in the condo who would have done this, one of whom moved out about that time (his going away gift to me), the other of whom is known for this kind of mischief.  She also glued the locked to my storage locker in my parking space when I was away on OTR8.  The good news is that she was sued by our condo's managing agent for libel and slander and lost the case and her job in the process. A little schadenfreude never heart anyone. 😊


So I don't forget, below  is the web site I found where I was able to get a new bar for my mechanic will fit it to the rack.  Below it is the web site for the lynch pins.


There are hundreds of chores like this I have to go through in preparing for those trips.  Each one takes time (this one, probably four hours).  But they have to be done as there are enough problems that occur on the trip that need attention. These pre-trip postings are made for my own purposes, as a reminder to those who read my blogs that these trips ate not just a matter of packing, tossing the dogs in the car, and moving out/



Another OTR problem solved

I just ordered this 90” extendable ladder to get up on the front of my roof rack, now that I cannot climb up the way I used to because of my leg.  It hooks onto two clamps I will have bolted on my roll bar and it folds in half for storage. At 42” folded, it will ride nicely on the ladder in the rear.  I also ordered two ladder clamps to hold it down, although I will also secure it with a locked loop-end stainless steel cable.

Barrier for dog in rear of Defender

In preparing for my eight (soon to be nine) road-camping trips with my dogs, the one chore that has consumed the most times was (still is) trying to create some kind of barrier in the rear for the dogs to prevent them from getting out.  Until now, I have been using the disassembled sides of a large dog cage.  They have worked just fine for the two side windows (when the side windows are rolled up), not only for keeping the dogs inside, but preventing other things like maps from blowing out, as happened on my first trip in 2000 when I had installed nothing.  Only once did any of my dogs Leben and Erde breach the side gates, in 2001, when 25-pound Leben found a three-inch opening between the roll bar and gate, squeezed through, fell four feet the deck of the ferry and wandered around the car deck looking for me until I was summoned by the ferry’s purser at 6 a.m. one morning to go to the car deck to retrieve my  dog.  Lucky for me -and Leben-  that he did not find the nearby opened door to the open deck of the ferry. I was again summoned on OTR6 in 2013 by the purser to do the same, except that that time it was “dogs.”  Somehow, either then-12-year old and paralyzed Leben or his sister Erde managed to open the rear dog and I found both of them relaxing on the deck in the rear of the Defender.


The cage setup over the rear window worked quite well for all the other trips with Leben and Erde but became problematic with Donner, whose dominant skill in life seems to have something to do with escaping.  On OTR8, in New Brunswick, just before I experienced the first of five Defender breakdowns, I came out of a store only to find that Donner had pushed the rear gate out of the way and found that the only means of escape -or so he thought- was between the rungs of the stainless-steel ladder on the rear of the Defender.  He was wrong, and got his head caught between the rungs. Fortunately, he was not hurt or, as I was to learn later, discouraged from trying this again.  That again happened three months later three times on that same ferry from Alaska.  Three times I got summoned by the purser to “retrieve my dog from the car deck” when Donner managed to break though the rear panel of my brand-new canvass roof, push or clae the gate out of his way, and leap four feet to the ground.  A new rear panel cost me $1000. Not wanting to repeat that expense, and embarrassment, not to mention injury to Donner, I have spent hours searching for a better solution.  I think I found it with the below dog gate, although some reviews I read about it are not prosing in terms of its flimsiness.


The advantage of this gate is that I can put it inside the rear panel and not outside so he doies not claw through my rear panel.  It also covers the entire 58-inch width of the rear instead the 40 inches of the current gate, which gives him 18 inches of hope.  I will try this for a few months to see how it works.  If it does not do the trick, my search will continue. If an appropriate gate cannot be found, perhaps the solution is a new vehicle, or perhaps a new dog (just kidding).