Metalcloak Roadtrip North to B.C.

I built my rig for longer trips that involved lots of road miles and wheeling destinations.  My prior Jeep TJ was a great offroad vehicle, but lacked much in the way of long-mileage road trips.  I've had the desire to get out farther and do more events out of state, or out of the country, and the Tj just wasn't going to cut it.  The Jeep JL checked all of those boxes, so earlier this year I picked one up and built it up as an everything rig, including daily driver. There's complete build thread on the JL Forums if you want to see the progress, or take a look at the video down below where Casey250 does a full walk around of the rig with discussions on the "why" I chose to go the 2-door route.

Since we've sponsored Jeepapalooza for the past few years, it was on the checklist of things to attend. My friend Casey250 had been asking me to come up for a few years now, so it was time to point the Jeep north and make it happen.  The rig was ready, I just needed to install our Rocklander Rack System and slap on an RTT.

I departed Sacramento on a Tuesday and planned to hit a few of our install shops along the way to meet with owners and break up the drive. We have quite a few installers in the PNW, but we don't make our way up there too often. Jeepapalooza is held on Vancouver Island and it's about 1200 miles to get there, so I split it up into 2 days. After visiting some shops on Tuesday/Wednesday between Oregon and Northern Washington, I popped over the border into Canada and stayed in Tsawwassen for the night. The next morning, I grabbed the early ferry to the Island where I met up with Casey at his house near Victoria and we headed North to Comox Valley for the event.


We arrived and set up camp Thursday afternoon before all of the attendees arrived. Friday the crowds rolled in one by one and the festivities began. There was a DJ, glow party, food, vendors and lots of off-roading taking place between Friday and Sunday and various runs to choose from ranging from Overland runs to extreme and everything in between. I shied away from the harder runs since my rig was full of camping gear and upper weight (plus I had a 1200 mile trek back home to deal with and didn't want to destroy anything), but I managed to get out both Saturday and Sunday for some exploration around the Island with Casey and Friends and witnessed some incredible views of the surrounding waterways.

Jeepapalooza is very well organized with lots of good people and good attitudes. The Canadian folks were very welcoming and appreciative that I was willing to drive all the way up from California to attend, although they did have an attendee from Germany, so I didn’t get the “farthest travelled” award.

On Monday, Casey and our friend Gretchen and I packed up and headed over to the West coast of the island and met up with "Chef Jon" at Pachena Bay campground where we enjoyed some gourmet cooking, an awesome campfire followed by a long night of rain and drizzle which I enjoyed.

Prior to the rain, Casey and I did a thorough walk-around video of my Jeep (click here to watch) which is now live on YouTube.

2-door Overlander/Rocklander Walkaround video (click on image above)


On Tuesday, we headed down the coast on the "scenic route" visiting the fishing villages of Port Renfrew, Jordan River and Sooke before returning to Victoria where I stayed at Casey's house for the night.

The next morning I grabbed the early morning ferry back to the mainland and stopped by Epic Adventure Outfitters for a bit, chatted with the Bearded Ginger and Shaun from "The Story Till Now" before heading south.


The drive back was un-eventful and I managed to make it all the way down to the Umpqua River in Oregon before grabbing a campsite along the river there for the night. I have to admit that having a roof-top-tent on the Jeep sure makes for a quick setup and teardown of camp.  I sleep really good up there, but yes it does add some wind drag and a slight degradation in fuel economy.  It’s worth if for certain trips like this one, but I’m never opposed to using a ground tent.

Trip Stats:

Total Days: 9
Total Miles:  2340
Total Fuel: ~175 US Gal
Total Cups of Coffee: 43
Total Friends Acquired: 247


I didn't track all my routes, but here's a lo-tech breadcrumb overlay of the weekend miles that we covered while on Vancouver Island.

Next stop... Mexico! for Overland Sin Fronteras! Stay tuned for more and don't forget to follow along on my Instagram account @metalcloakmike