360 Tours

I have started to take a big step in photography. I have started to take 360 photos when possible to the places I have traveled. I hope that one day it will aid my portfolio. For now, it is just a hobby.

Link to Google Profile: goo.gl/bknPNd

If you are interested in having your location on Google as a 360 Tour, please email me at colinmrupp@gmail.com.

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New Year, New Gear


This year I plan on adding a few more components to my Xterra. My latest purchase was from a REI Garage sale in Charlotte, NC. I picked up a Thule Sonic XL rooftop box for $200. The MSRP for this particular box is north of $600, a unpassable purchase IMO.

I have always been a fan of the rooftop boxes. I love the way they look when fitted to a car or truck.

I have wanted on ever since I had my 1991 SAAB 900s back in 2006. When I went to this year’s REI Garage Sale, I did not plan on getting a box. However, when I came across the section with boxes, this one really stuck out for its size and the price. It was a returned box with a few scratches on the top of the box, I assume from a garage. The scratches didn’t really bother me being that you can not see them once the box is on the car.


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Added Aerial Photography To My Arsenal


Ashley and I recently acquired a new toy. While photography and videography are hobbies of ours, we wanted to step up our photography for upcoming trips and adventures. We spontaneously found ourselves in a BJs one Saturday looking at the DJI Phantom 3 drone, the standard version. 20 mins later we were the proud new owners of the DJI 3. Over the past week, we have become quite familiar with the drone and it’s abilities and features. We plan on bringing it on all our trips and adventures along with our more traditional camera gear.


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Remote Office


Yesterday, I decide to work remotely for a few hours. Down the road from my house, is an old farm field with a nice little lake in the center of it. It is soon going to be turned into a housing development, so there a few construction and old farm tails there. I made my way out there, set up camp and worked peacefully for a few hours. On my way back, driving by the lake, I found myself slipping into a very large hole on the passenger side toward the lake. As soon as I decided to change course, I slipped. Both front and rear tires on the passenger side were sitting nicely in a hole that only 37” tires could fill. Being that is was raining most of the day, the ground was quite slippery. I was not aired down, nor did I walk the trail before I drove it. This all lead to a situation where I became stuck.


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Dana 44 Installed


The other day, well a month ago, I installed the Dana 44 axle finally. One thing I did notice, the Frontier shock mounts are angled toward the body more than the Xterra’s. It’s not a problem, it’s just that there is more down travel now and my airbags need a bigger spacer now. It’s a personal problem and I don’t think it will affect many people.

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Made A “Hitch” Tire Carrier


Got bored today and made a swing down tire carrier for the X. It attaches to the trailer hitch, does not interfere with the trailer hitch or pin in any way and works as intended. Below are a few pictures of the build.

It’s quite sturdy, shakes VERY little and so far in my HARD testing, noting has come loose. I do plan on changing out the hardware for Grade 8, this is simply a prototype version.

I do plan on putting the plastic top back on

This is the captive screw I made to go between the bumper material.

Nut Installed

The tire swings down by unbolting a small nut at the back of the carrier. I am going to make a wing nut for this part so that I do not have to carry a 19mm wrench around. But honestly not a big deal so far for me.


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Artboard 1

So I got sick of using a bicycle pump to control the rear airbags on my X. And the pre-built compressors for air suspension were too expensive IMO and lacked features. So I made my own with my compressor that I had already and $40 in Amazon parts. Here is the schematic:

Here is everything installed:

And here is a video of the final result:

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32″ LED Curved Lightbar


I am a little obsessed with lightning. Weather it is HID or LED head lights, modifying stock headlights with projector lens, I love lighting. I picked up this Amazon 32″ LED Light Bar for about 60$. Well worth the investment. So far, the flooding of light that comes off the front is AMAZING. below are several photos. All taken at the same f3.5 and 1 second of shutter.

The LED Bar

Low Beam

High Beam

LED Bar (The trees are about 400′ away)

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First Impressions May Not Tell The Whole Story


My expectations may have been too high. Let me start with saying that this awning a Smittybuilt 2784, does everything an awning should do. It is “easy” to set up, it blocks the sun and the rain. I did how ever have a few issues, if you consider them issues.

First of all, nowhere does it say that a universal mounting kit comes with the awning. So I went out and bought stuff to mount it only to find out I didn’t need them. Right when i opened the box it came in, I was a little surprised to see how slender the awning was. To some this may sound good, but the engineer in me thinks about everything else being smaller, like the material, aluminum and the bolts. So when I mounted the awning and rolled it out for the first time. I was a little disappointed in the thickness of the cloth. I was expecting a Sunbrella like material that the ARB and Foxwing awnings have. This is much thinner. About as thick as a nice heavy flannel shirt but that is waterproofed. My next issue was with the horizontal pins that attach to the vertical legs. The holes were not drilled out big enough for the pins to install, then I drilled them out a little and noticed that the pins do not go all the way through the arms. This creates an awkward torque on the pin that I was not comfortable with. SO I drilled them out all the way and I am MUCH more comfortable with the stress on those pins.


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