set of tests I had planned were for two weeks after that event
when I was supposed to attend a run with my club in Mason, TX.
I ended up not being able to make the event for a number of reasons,
so then I was determined to finish my evaluation and testing the
first weekend in October at the Fort-Worth Dallas FWD club's annual
Oktoberfest and SWFWDA Fall Quarterly in Clayton, OK. Little did
I know that regardless of the tests I had planned, the nets would
become a great asset on this trip for a totally different reason.
The trip started
out like any other trip - six hours on the road with no problems.
But then my tow rig started to overheat. We were able to limp
it into a Dodge dealership in Atoka, OK (about an hour outside
of Clayton). The service department looked at the truck and determined
that the problem was probably related to a faulty thermostat,
but it was 5:15 pm and it would be at least an hour before it
cooled enough for them to start tearing it down, so they wanted
to know if I could leave it overnight.
was only an hour down the road I figured we would just unload
the Jeep and drive on into Clayton and then wait for them to call
us on either Friday or Saturday and we would come back and pick
up the truck. But we had gear for two people for five days! How
do you get that much gear into a Jeep?
where the Raingler Nets came in handy. We laid the "universal"
Mini Net down across the top of my tonneau cover, but up high
enough that it wasn't rubbing. We loaded the back of the Jeep
to the gills with my Jeep cover, tools, spare parts, food, our
small ice chests (for the trail) and Carl's clothes bag. That
still left our chairs, table, large ice chest and my clothes bag
and boots. The extra tie downs included with the Mini Net worked
perfectly for securing the ice chest full of sodas, food and two
bags of ice to the Mini Net (Note: Raingler also sells extra tie
downs so you can get as many as you need)..
packing everything left on top of the Mini Net we were able to
load and tie everything down to the Mini Net and tie downs.
As you can see from
the photographs, the net was strong enough and able to be strung
tight enough that it held everything up with only light rubbing
against the tonneau cover.
tightened, the net was strong enough to support the load
above the tonneau cover.
problems that turned up on my tow rig (turned out it was a cracked
head and not just a thermostat), I really didn't get to run many
trails that weekend so I didn't get to experiment with many different
uses for the Side Nets and the Mini Net. But I can tell you that
I was very glad to have them when I needed them.
a number of different accessories for their nets and like Eddie
says, the customers keep coming up with new and different ways
to use them all the time. If you think you have a need or a use
for these nets I strongly recommend you check out their website
for information on different sizes and applications to fit your
vehicle. Currently, they are making specific nets to fit Jeep,
Nissan Suzuki and Toyota vehicles, but many of them will work
on other applications and they are looking for new markets all
to note is that in any configuration of the Raingler Side Nets
and/or the Raingler Mini Net that I tried, both the hard top and
soft tops still fit on the vehicle. So, if the nets are used to
store things like soft doors etc., they could still be useable
when the top is on.
are very well made, extremely strong and very handy. In addition,
they look good and do the jobs you need them for - whatever they
may be. For me, the Side Nets are the most valuable (keeping stuff
out of my daughter's way) but even though originally I wasn't
totally convinced of the usefulness of the Mini Net, I am now.
I will always carry the Mini Net with me whether it is strapped
to the rear, the tonneau area or on top of the Jeep - just for
that extra confidence that I can carry whatever I need to carry
- whenever I need to carry it.
Nets are also available at www.4x4ROCKSHOP.com
Pagan is a staff writer for ROCKCRAWLER.com as well
as Our Land Use Editor. Shawn resides north of Houston,
Shawn at email@example.com