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The Aspirational Overlander

 Council, ID. Now reading "Sharpe's Rifles," by Bernard Cornwell.

 Notch by notch I have crept towards "overlander" status, although real four wheel drive (4WD) enthusiasts would laugh at this.

Most people know of somebody who has become a complete fool about how ruff-n-tuff their 4WD machine is. There must be many a wife whose patience is tested by a husband who has become ridiculous over this. The lucky wives stay good-natured while rolling their eyes and shrugging over "boys and their toys."

So why should a wise old man like me head down this direction at all? I like the challenge of improving my rig's backroads capabilities without getting drunk on the topic. There is an element of practicality, especially when the camper has any wet roads to deal with.

Young yahoos will squander unconscionable sums of money on 4WD. But those who belong to the brutally-utilitarian school -- that is, the 'brutalitarians' -- get their fun by resisting the B.S. of the overlander industry, as one example of resisting the 'System' in general.

For instance my tow vehicle is a (rear) two-wheel-drive van. I have yet to find a tempting installer for a locking differential. (Of course, the van does have traction control.) 

Better tires will have to wait until the OEM (factory) tires need to be replaced.

In the mean time, it will have to suffice to air the tires up and down as conveniently as possible. My Smittybilt tire inflater is wired in to the van's battery, and of course, I idle the engine when using it.

But airing-down has been pretty slow, so far. You can air-down faster by removing the tire's valve core, but you should buy a pack of replacement valve cores since it is easy to lose the valve core in the dirt.

This might be another trick to airing-down faster:

This ARB tire deflator unscrews the tire's valve core but TRAPS it in the brass tube of the tool. You air-down quickly, then screw the valve core back in.

I doubt that anybody would brag about this on Expedition Portal, but like I said, notch by notch.

Tire chains are probably the next notch.