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Your rig looks awesome. I've been living out of my truck as well with my gf and dog overlanding around the continent until just recently and your truck looks like a palace relative to how we've been living! We also did some exploring around the north island and there is lots to find up there. Lots of cool caves and great places to camp off grid. Anyway welcome to the site and enjoy your travels!
Well it's been a while since I've updated this thread but I've had a ton of adventures in the truck over the last year so I figure I'll post some pics. Most of these aren't on the Island so you'll have to forgive the somewhat off topic post. We've been road tripping around a good chunk of the US and also through Alberta and BC. There are a few shots on the north island as well.
Unfortunately here on the Island most of the land isn't actually crown owned anymore. A huge swath of it was handed to private for-profit corporations many years ago who are now locking it up and depleting the mountainsides of what should be a shared resources. At this point it's become almost a hard requirement to trespass on privately owned forestry land to get to any of our beautiful remote lakes, rivers and mountains. I agree with the spirit of petitions such as these but at the end of the day the logging companies have very little incentive to allow public access to the wilderness that they claim to own. The best option for individuals is to find access via whatever means possible while still being respectful to legitimate property owners and presenting a positive image of off roading to outsiders who may not understand the appeal or necessity of backcountry access.
I don't think I've ever had a battery go bad that I didn't neglect, and I usually just get the cheapo Canadian tire batteries. Winching takes a lot of juice but realistically it's only for a very short duration so just about any battery will do it. That said, my ideal setup would be two optimas - one redtop for starting and winching, and a yellowtop for all lights and accessories. Then a charge controller/isolator to let you draw down the deep cycle without stealing juice from your starter. That would be the setup!
Hey welcome to vioffroad! The best way to get started is to just head out up some logging roads and see what you find. Make sure you bring some basic recovery gear and/or go with at least one other vehicle. You can find a lot of cool stuff in the backroads map book, or even just by looking around online. Google Earth is also awesome for planning new routes as it will show you roads and trails that aren't necessarily on any maps. Beyond that keep an eye out for the stock runs that get posted here from time to time as they'll often cover cool terrain without getting you stuck or breaking stuff.
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