Getting ready (for
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Informations within this Web site are presented to you for
entertainment purposes only. If you wish to try such an experience, we strongly
recommand you take your own informations regarding the security and legal aspects of what
you are about to do. We shall, in no way, be held responsible for illegal or unsafe
actions taken by you..
MARCH 6TH, 2007.
OK. So we made it to March 2007. Less than 4 for months to go...
December was kind of quiet with the Holidays and all...
On the other hand, January went pretty hectic when a fellow really liked our web site
and posted it on more than 15 chat forums (Thanks Desert Hawk!). Our site became very
busy and we litterally got tons of emails thus confirming what we had experienced
at the National Quad show and that is: A lot of folks show a great interest in our trip. (See just a few emails here).
Besides being very encouraging, many folks who wrote us offered to help in all kinds of
ways. Some offer to help establish the best possible route thru their area. They send us
CDs or DVDs of maps for free or some of their personnal paper maps!!! Others offer advice
on pieces of equipment we are'nt familiar with (I'm thinking camcorders and helmet cameras
to put our Adventure on film). One kind fellow offered to edit our footage to help turn it
into a real film. Many other said they'd like to meet us somewhere and ride with us for a
bit. Some of them are members of ATV Clubs or Associations, other are professionals,
public workers, businessmen, or just ATV and adventure fans. Heck! Some of them even sent
us a check!!! Thanks! Thanks!! Thanks!!!
Regarding the preparations themselves, we still have a thing or two...On the following
pictures, each post-it represent one or a few things we must take care of before we leave.
We're getting there, we're getting there...there's a lot less than last month...
After talking to numerous people who live somewhere along the area we'll travel in, we
changed the way we think about the route we should be taking. Part of the route will be
established before we leave but for the most part, we will follow a corridor within which
we will have the opportunity to change our itinerary to check out scenic areas we don't
even know exist yet or to visit new found friends...Somewhat like what we do around here.
So, I guess we could say that, besides a few "hot spots" in Utah and Arizona,
our path is getting clearer.
We are presently tking care of the lasts adjustments and mods on the trailer (mainly on
the aluminium box that was letting water seep in...).
Looking at this picture, you would'nt know if the preparations are progressing or
One thing led to another and the new traffic on our web site drew the attention of a
few electronic medias and we ended up with a couple more articles on web pages of
magazines and a lot of interesting material and statistics to show to possible sponsors. (
see press release) Speaking of which, we are expecting
news in the next few days from 3 important sponsors one of them major...Stay tuned...
DECEMBER 3rd, 2006.
It's been a while since we brought you up to date on our preparation. We've been very,
very busy for the last little while and, I guess we've kinda neglected you a little bit
After having demolished and rebuilt the trailer for I-can't-remember-how-many times, I
finally found the ideal settings for our application.
We went down to West-Virginias "Hatfield-McCoy" trail system for a couple of
weeks. There, we found pretty rough trails with lots of abrupt hills, in short, a perfect
testing ground. Well, I'm happy to report that the equipment held on very well and that
the weight was fairly reasonnable to haul. The roof top tent is really neat. I don't think
we'll be sleeping on the ground ever again!
So we did'nt have to do too many more changes to the trailer this summer. On the other
hand, we traded in our old 500 for a brand new 800, and that meant modifying and
re-adapting the equipment on the new machine. That's all taken care of now and,
theoritically, the only thing left to do on the equipment is to add blinkers, a horn and
some other goodies and it'll be all set.
I said theoritically because, in fact, I'll have to take the tent off the trailer again
to try to find the source (litterally...) of a tiny little water infiltration in the
We went for another little test run (900 miles) in the Lac St-Jean region in
september (2006) and everything went smoothly. As a matter of fact, the biggest problem
was the rain. Water infiltrations in your equipment or in your clothing is very
irritating. Water proof suit or not, you're actually not going to bed with it...At some
point, you have to take it off and then, you get your other clothes wet and it'll never
see the day it'll get dry again...
In other news, it seems we found someone who's willing to drive our truck (and big
trailer) from British-Columbia, Canada to Arizona where it'll stay for ten months,
patiently waiting for us (the truck...not the driver...). In fact , our contact in Az
confirmed just this week that he had found a safe place for it.
Recently, the Salon National du Quad (National Quad show) kept us pretty busy before,
during and after. 15,000 quad nuts showed up. We absolutely loved the experience. It gave
us the chance to meet a whole bunch of quad and adventure travel fanatics. We did'nt know
what to expect at all so, we were delighted to see how much people were intersted, even
amazed by our equipment and our project. A lot of folks said they admired our
"courage". Well thank you! While we appreciate it very much, for us it's a
passion, a dream come true so it sorta comes effortlessly...
Many other developments are cooking. We'll keep you posted.
APRIL 22nd, 2006.
All right, so we're heading for West-Virginia to test our new equipment, rooftop tent,
trailer and all.
Stay tuned for details on how good or not so good this set up is. Coming up sometime in
Week of March 20th 2006 (written by Marc)
Ouf! Mad week my friends! Some weeks, some months, everything seems to be at a
stand still, but now, we're in rush, in a race. It's a race againt time, 'cause, in
exactly one month, we're leaving on another test run with our brand new rooftop tent and
our brand new version of our trailer...wich has yet to be completed...
Tuesday, March 21st 2006
BIG! BIG! DAY!
Lots of excellent news today!
- confirmation of an article on our project to be published in SENTIER QUAD magazine.
- confirmation of an article on our project to be published in CAMPING CARAVANING
- confirmation that it's legal to ride a quad across the BC(CAN) / Montana(USA) border
into the U.S.A. (IMPORTANT: as far as I know, it's ILLEGAL TO RIDE A QUAD (ATV) ON THE
ROAD IN BRITISH-COLUMBIA).
I (Marc) called the U.S. Border port of entry where we're going to be crossing and asked
the officer if we could do it on a quad. He told me that he had never heard of anybody
doing that, but that he would ask around and call me back with an answer. After 45 mins.
he did call back and said he spoke with 3 differents authorities in the area and that they
all said the same thing: YES! You can, as long as your quad is street legal in Montana.
- in between those numerous web research, E-mails and phone calls, I found some time to
assemble both wheel hubs (new) for the trailer and prepare part of the suspension to be
- in the evening, to kill some spare time...we worked on the Web site..
Did I tell ou it had been a BIG day?
Wednesday, March 22nd 2006
We completed the assembly and installation of the new suspension arms, shock absorbers
and wheel hubs. That means we're ready to make our first road test (or off-road test?...)
of the 3rd version.
Results: Deceiving! The springs are way to soft. With a load of barely 140lbs,
the shocks bottom out frequently. Imagine with 300lbs...
New heavy duty springs are on order...
Thuesday, March 23rd, 2006
Installation of the roof top tent supports on the trailer is completed, so is temporary
assembly of all the trailer components just to see what it will look like.
Hum! Not bad!
So, when you think about it, all there's left to do on the trailer is:
- design and fabricate a dust and watertight compartment (to be put under the tent)
- design and fabricate 4 stabilizing legs (sort of a landing gear)
- dismantle the whole thing to the bare frame
- sandblast the frame & suspension arms
- paint them
- re-assemble trailer
- make some more road tests (with the new springs)
- hope it works
All this within 30 days.
Oh! Yes! Forgot to mention: we also have to do some maintenance on the truck, prepare
the camper, fabricate and install and air tight container on the quad (to hold all the
kitchen stuff), get the biggger trailer fixed (to haul the quads)...that too, within the
next 30 days. May I remind you we both have full time jobs...Yeah! Guess we're in a
February 26th, 2006
Welcome to this new (as of feb 26th 2006) feature to the
Funny that we should begin this new section today as we
just had a kinda major disappointment.
We hoped to establish a new Guinness world record for
longest ATV journey. Turns out a fellow from Germany recently set that record at 8400
miles wich is about twice what we expect to do...Of course, in many European countries
(where this record was established) quads are street legal, so that makes it that much
easier to do. Kinda like riding a motorcycle on the road for 8400 miles...Well, there goes
our hopes of fame and celebrity, I guess...
These days, we concentrate on rebuilding (again) the
trailer. Overall, it's been 3 times that we build, dismantle, rebuild, re-dismantle and
re-rebuild that thing. Supposed to be the last time, this time...
The first prototype was O.K. but lacked reliability, then
the next was a lot more reliable but soooo heavy! 275lbs empty, loaded, it was around
600-650lbs meaning that the quads engine and brakes were working like they were hauling
around two quads...Not good. Especially when you plan to ride the Rocky Mountains...
So, once again, we took it completely apart and began to
put it on a diet. We'll keep the original frame (steel) but most of the accessories will
be made of aluminium (rock guard, fenders etc...)
As far as the fully independent suspension goes, we'll
shed the old VW suspension arms and the Pontiac Firefly shocks, to use lighter, custom
made A-arms and brand new Polaris Sporstsman rear shocks.
old modified VW arms
Think they might be lighter?!
I'd like to take this opportunity to say a big thanks to my friend Nicolas, who's help is
an absolute necessity to make this project a reality. We like to joke around that I handle
engineering and design, while he's the fabricator.
Note the (usual) absolute total mess in the garage!
Of course, other friends brings their help and knowledge
too (please see the thanks section for a list of people that helped us get that project
rolling).I guess it's sorta like a "poor man's Monster Garage" where every guy
contributes his own specialty to the project.
Other preparations: feb.26, 2006 (written by Marc)
- When I'm not in the garage working on the trailer, I'm
usually sitting in front of the computer working on the web site (very time consuming),
although France spends even more time on it than I do. And yes, we do have real jobs
- We're putting the emphasis on the web site 'cause we'd
like to showcase it to possible sponsors in the near future.
- This week, we start a new session of first aid lessons.
Hopefully, we won't need that, but it's always good to know what to do in case...
- Other than that, we try to self-teach ourselves a little
bit of Spanish through our everyday life, just to be a little less disoriented when we get
Stay tuned for more updates in the near future...
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