How to Carry All the Gear You Need While Living on the Road

Or, in other words, an exercise in decluttering and organization necessitated by a 200-square-foot living space


A decade ago, I’d have scoffed at the suggestion that fitting everything we needed for road life into a 23-foot travel trailer would be tricky. Back then, my wife Jen and I embarked on all manner of western adventures in a 1998 Volkswagen Golf, stuffed to the gills. How hard could it be to fit all our stuff into a setup that, along with a pickup, measures nearly 40 feet long?

Turns out, it’s harder than you think, even if you’re committed to simplicity.

The day-to-day infrastructure in an Airstream is mostly self-contained, but there are some bulky exceptions: camp chairs, a table, solar panel and battery, a generator, outdoor grill, etc. We also need work essentials, including laptops, backup drives, and photo and video gear.

Beyond that, our interests are wide ranging. We both ride on the mountain and road, which means four bikes and appropriate sundries. We hike and camp, so we always roll with a couple of packs, a tent, and a trail cooking setup, plus bikepacking gear for overnights on the bikes. Fly fishing means we need rods, tackle, and waders. Hunting necessitates bows, a rifle, and camo. Climbing demands shoes, harness, a rope, and a small rack. And that doesn’t even get into skiing, surfing, kayaking, or any of the really unwieldy stuff that’s currently relegated to storage back home in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

But we’re somehow able to fit it all, thanks to some deliberate pruning—and a few carefully chosen accessories.


Yakima Showcase 15

For extra storage and organization, we added crossbars on the roof and a Yakima Showcase 15 cargo box. I’ve used a lot of roof boxes through the years, and this one is the best yet. It solves my main complaint from past models—poor opening and closing—with a clearly marked key-lock system and a large button that works every time. As is standard, it opens from either side. Installation was simple, courtesy of locking levers that hold the feet in place and ratcheting knobs that clamp the feet onto any shape bars: round, square, or aero. Yakima makes a box with 30 percent more space, the Showcase 20, but this one is ample for our needs, providing storage for bulky items like sleeping bags, backpacks, bikepacking gear, and a tent that we don’t use every day. Best of all, we haven’t seen any real decrease in gas mileage with it installed.

Friends tease that we need less stuff, a bigger truck, or both. The less stuff is probably true, but honestly, we could fit everything into just the truck and trailer—no box or racks. The add-ons, however, let us spread out and keep organized. So instead of constantly packing, unpacking, and digging for gear, we spend more time out using it.

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Stop by your Local Yakima Dealer to learn more about the Showcase series and other great Yakima products.

Aaron and Jen also use a tray style hitch mount bike rack and fork mount roof top bike racks. Check out the Dr Tray and HighSpeed to complete your optimal #AdventureMobile.

Yakima Dr. Tray hitch rack first look review –

from MTBR.COM by Francis Cebedo


Slight upward rise of the rack provides more clearance for steep driveways.


A lightweight rack that easily expands to 3-bike capacity

The new Dr. Tray Rack from Yakima is a bit of an enigma. It looks massive but it weighs only 34 lbs when most of its competition comes in at over 50 lbs. Underneath the black powdercoating is 6063-T5 aluminum material used throughout the rack.

It can take on any tire size from road bikes to 29 Plus to 5-inch fat bikes. But it’s not approved for most heavy bikes since since the maximum capacity for this rack is 40 lbs per bike.


The weight for the 3-bike configuration is a shockingly light 44 lbs.

But its coolest trick is the the trays can slide side to side and front to back ensuring fitment of any combination of bikes without interference. And with an optional bike tray the Dr. Tray can be converted to a 3-bike carrier very easily.


Rack is slid forward to accommodate the third rail.

What we like so far
  • Incredibly light at 34 lbs for the 2-bike system and 44 lbs for the 3-bike
  • Trays slide in all directions to provide bike interference
  • Tilt mechanism lever is big and is at the most convenient spot
  • Massive tire size range allowed
  • Allows a 3-bike option for 1.25 inch hitch
  • fully fat bike compatible
  • No tools needed to install and remove from vehicle.

Tilt allows one to open the hatch even with bikes with 800mm bars.

Dr. Tray Features
  • Low weight due to all aluminum construction (34 pounds)
  • Available in two hitch sizes: 1.25” and 2”
  • Fat bike compatible up to 5” tires
  • Add the EZ+1 and carry a third bike (sold separately for $229).
  • Clearance of up to 18” between trays
  • Remote Control tilt lever and lightweight, aluminum design simplifies raising and lowering rack
  • Tool-free locking SpeedKnob for a secure and easy install to your vehicle
  • SKS cable lock system for each bike secures both wheels and frame
  • Price: $579


    PRW Note: it appears MTBR installed the first two trays backwards. But the rack will still operate fine, just a little tougher to reach the pivot arms.

So there’s our initial impressions so far. We’ve just had it a week but we’ll put it through its paces on many bike trips this summer.

For the full review check out and for more information stop in to your local Yakima Dealer.


Cam mechanism tightens the hitch interface and secures the rack with a lock.


Yakima HighRoad Roof Rack Review

The following is a review By Dave Krueger from

I generally have a choice when I want to travel with one or more of my bikes: do we leave my bikes home and take the kids, or leave the kids to fend for themselves and bring whatever two-wheeled steed I favor? Of course the kids always win. Well, most of the time.

Another issue that has arisen with the advent of fat bikes and car racks is that some sort of modification is needed to allow your fatty to fit – if they fit at all. Hitch racks generally need new fat-compatible trays and roof racks generally need you to remove the front wheel. Fortunately, manufacturers are quickly adapting their racks to fit most bikes right out of the box. Hmm, I wonder if the Yakima HighRoad will fit my road, cross, and fat bike?

The aptly named HighRoad ($229) is a roof-rack that places your bike high above the road. It attaches to most factory and aftermarket cross-bars. If you are the lazy type like me, the HighRoad is an upright bike carrier which does not require the front wheel to be removed. The rack functions by securely clamping the front wheel whilst a strap secures the rear. This system of securing the bike has the sweet benefit of only touching the wheels and not the frame. Thus the Highroad does its best to keep your sexy frame scratch-free.

Setup of the HighRoad was very easy. Without reading the directions, I had it secured to my factory crossbars and ready to go in less than ten minutes (and now that it’s properly adjusted, it take about three minutes to put on/take off). The sturdy, yet flexible, straps are tensioned via an adjustment screw then snapped into place via a camming lever. There are two straps up front and one strap with a SKS lock on back to affix it to the cross bars. The clamp arms are tightened to the front wheel via a knob with a built-in torque setting. Just turn the knob until it clicks and your bike is secure!

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Gear Patrol Editors Pick – Dr Tray

From Gear Patrol

The Best Bike Rack for Any Adventure

Sweet Rides for Your Ride

Whether you’re headed on a weekend trip, to the local trail system for a lunch ride or the top of your favorite descent, a good bike rack is key. It’s no fun to have to throw your bike in the back of your car, finagling it by twisting the handlebars, taking off the front wheel, lowering the seat, and so on. Not to mention muddy bikes, which can make quick work of your plush alcantara interior. (What?! You don’t have an alcantara interior??) Also, a bike rack allows you to bring tons of other stuff with you, like your buddies, your dog, a refrigerator, or whatever else tickles your fancy.


Editor’s Pick: The Dr. Tray is, hands down, one of the most stable hitch-mount bike racks I’ve ever used. The mechanism that attaches the rack to your receiver utilizes a wedge that eliminates virtually all movement and sway. The trays are also infinitely adjustable, allowing you to position both bikes exactly where you want them and eliminate any chance of them rubbing against each other.

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Yakima Is Taking Camping to New Heights With the SkyRise

From The Manual 

yakima-skyrise-feature-1200x450-cEvery outdoor junkie wants a camper van — we get it. They’re the epitome of portability and convenience, even if they’re not quite as capable or luxurious as a dedicated RV. Nonetheless, they rarely come cheap. Perhaps that’s why rooftop tents — you know, the pop-up tents you strap to the top of your Jeep Cherokee before hitting the road  — are becoming more popular among outdoor enthusiasts with each passing year. Expedience, it seems, is always in demand.

Yakima, a renowned rack-manufacturing stalwart, is just the latest company looking to elevate your sleeping quarters. The forthcoming SkyRise Rooftop Tent ($1,000+) comes in two sizes — one that accommodates three adults and one designed to comfortably sleep two — and requires no tools to install. The modern, lightweight tents utilize 210D ripstop nylon and are made to resist all types of weather thanks to their rugged DRW coating, ensuring you’ll stay dry regardless of where you wander. The medium and small models also weigh 120 and 95 pounds, respectively, meaning they’re up to 40 pounds lighter than the competition.

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Inside, you’ll find a built-in, 2.5-inch foam mattress and overhead ventilation panels that help with airflow and provide elevated views of the surrounding region. It doesn’t take much to enjoy said views either, given the SkyRise’s entire setup process takes about a minute. Simply remove the weather-resistant cover, unfold the tent, and drop the affixed aluminum ladder. When in transit, the unit folds into itself, allowing for a low-profile when on the road. Just don’t forget to fill the tank.

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Yakima SkyRise


Yakima SkyRise

The first rooftop tent from Yakima

Lightweight, easy to install, and mega-comfortable in all types of weather, the Yakima SkyRise Rooftop Tent is on its way. Coming in two sizes for an ideal fit on small or larger vehicles, the SkyRise features a big skylight for clear night star viewing, and a DWR coated rainfly for less ideal conditions.




With universal mounting hardware and a super-comfy foam pad, the SkyRise is ready to roll to any roadtrip destination. And because it’s from Yakima, you will know your fit is secure, even on small vehicles.




Don’t waste your vacation time setting up camp – pitch your tent in seconds and get back to the fun part. We bet you’ve never broken camp this fast before.


Yakima Partners With Locally

From SGB Media by Carly Terwilliger



Yakima Products Inc., a vehicle racks and cargo solutions company, has partnered with Locally, an online-to-offline commerce platform that supports local retailers by guiding consumers to local dealers with the desired Yakima products in stock.

“We love that Locally supports both our consumers and our brick-and-mortar retailers. It brings together the best of both worlds for our consumers – blending our unparalleled online vehicle customization tool plus the convenience of the 24/7 online experience with the hands-on help and support from local retailers,” said Jason McGibbon, VP of sales at Yakima. “For our retail partners, Locally enables them to have a wider-reaching online presence, and to reach their local customers.”

Locally currently features more than 250 Yakima products. Consumers can do their research online, then find a local retailer to complete their transaction, enabling customers to support their community and get expert in-person assistance.

Lake Oswego, OR-based Yakima launched Locally’s Dealer Locator this summer, which allows shoppers to browse a participating store’s in-stock Yakima selection. Yakima’s phase two, which debuted on November 1, includes a Locally-powered Product Locator installed on every Yakima product page. This feature enables a shopper viewing a specific item to see which nearby store has that exact item in stock.

The Product Locator is powered by live retailer inventory feeds provided by dealers. Through Locally’s “Buy it Locally” conversion platform, shoppers can reserve an item or pay online for in-store pickup at a participating store.

“We’re very excited to have Yakima join the Locally family, and to empower both their local retailers and consumers,” said Mark Strella, Director of business development at Locally. “Yakima has a robust digital platform that lets consumers do online research for the best fit and products for their vehicle. Our tools take the experience one step further and translate that consumer research into local sales.”

The Yakima portfolio of brands includes Yakima, Whispbar and Prorack.