DIY Fishing Rod Storage for $30

One cool thing about overland camping is the many other activities that can be done in conjunction with it — hiking, swimming, fishing, kayaking. The list is endless. And while there isn’t anything much better than camping next to a stream or lake, there isn’t anything much worse than watching fish swim back and forth and not having your fishing pole with you.

When packing for an overland trip, bringing a rod and reel, isn’t as high on the list of importance as other things. Poles are long, fragile, and hard to store easily, especially if they aren’t two piece rods. When pre-packing for an upcoming trip, I was trying to figure out how to fit a couple of rods into my Jeep Unlimited, without breaking them or having them be in the way. My favorite rods don’t break down, so I had to opt for my back up rods, which are two pieces and easier to transport. I decided to try and make a rod holder than instead of being inside the vehicle, was outside. To have a way they would be safe, and I could have them at easy reach without lots of unpacking.

I decided to start with some 3″ PVC pipe. I bought a solid end cap for one end and a threaded/screw type cap for the other end. I also picked up some PVC cement. I was only able to buy the pipe long enough in a 10′ stick, so there is enough left over to make a couple of these depending on how long you want to make yours. Total cost was about $30.

I measured my longest rod (broken down to two pieces) to get an idea of how long I wanted it to go. I can also store marshmallow cookers and my fire poker in it as well, so keep in mind for extra space, if you would like to use it for other things. It also doesn’t have to go on a roof rack. It could easily be adapted to a trailer, or even inside your rig!

I had some aluminum clamps I got off eBay for fairly cheap, sitting around, which worked perfectly for this. Drill a couple of holes in the PVC to bolt them to it. I used some 3/8″ bolts with washers. IMPORTANT!!! Remember to bolt these on before cementing the ends (like I did) which makes it very hard to tighten them up.

I scuffed the outer surface, then coated the entire thing in spray on bed liner. We will see how well it holds before having to recoat it.


JKU Rear Power Install

When I bought my 2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, I cheaped out and bought a “sport” instead of a more lavish model. I planned on customizing it anyways, but one thing I wish I had, was a rear power source.

My roof top tent has 12 volts, USB powered lights in it. We also like to charge our phones while we sleep. The tent comes with a power cord to plug into a cigarette lighter, which is a great feature, but being that I only have one dc outlet in the front, the cord hanging in the doorway is sort of in the way. Since I have a tailgate table, and most “in and out” while camping, is done in the rear, I decided a rear mounted dc adapter would be an excellent addition. Easy access to plug-in a power inverter, or charge a phone. It also gives much-needed power to rear seat occupants.

Instead of just a simple cigarette lighter outlet, I decided to go a step further, and add a couple of USB plugs, and a voltage meter as well. I also wired in a simple toggle switch so I could shut it all off easily.

I started by ordering a set of outlets off eBay. I was able to find one that included a cigarette lighter, 2 USB ports, and the voltmeter, as well as a faceplate for them. Once these arrived. I was able to get some measurements and order a “project box” off eBay as well.

I started by drilling holes in the box where everything would go. I then test fit the outlets, volunteer and switch to make sure everything fit. It was very tight, but it fit perfectly. The lock rings for the outlets just barely cleared the inside walls of the box.

I then disassembled the box so I could shoot a few coats of spray bed liner on it. After it was dry (2 days later because I forgot), I reassembled everything again and wired them all up. This was pretty simple. Ground from each one pulled together — power from switch to each port. I ran a coated two wire cable from under the hood, all the way to the back. This is a simple fused positive and ground.

Before I closed the box up, I ran two screws inside of it, to secure it to the rear plastic in the Jeep.

The total project cost was under $50, and it makes a great addition to the Jeep!