Automotive Tips, Tricks, and Advice

We like to keep our customers informed about the condition of their car and how they can get the most useful life from it. While we’re happy to answer questions and offer advice on a personal level, we’ve decided to also address common questions and situations with a series of written articles and short videos. We hope they’re helpful and please check back frequently as we will be adding content regularly.

Happy Motoring, from Top Shop Auto Service!

Go Camping and Explore your public lands


You may have heard of “Over landing” this is a term used for out door camping and adventure with all your needed gear stowed away in a vehicle for travel. Any vehicle could be used for over landing, the difference being where and what kind of terrain you wish to explore.


Boon docking would be a vehicle that has the room for all your gear and food, and mostly can drive on paved highways, and light gravel or dirt roads. An example would be a small motor home, or truck with a bed mounted camper or trailer. When boon docking, you set up a site off the beaten path to enjoy the wilderness, you can small off road vehicles with you can give you a bit more range for exploring out past your base camp.


Over Landing:

Over landing is enjoyed in a truck, SUV, or car that is built or modified to go past the flat dirt and gravel road. Over landing vehicles can traverse obstacles and terrain like large rocks, waterways, mud, snow, and steep inclines. For over landing, many rigs include roof top tents, little kitchens, and other niceties on the vehicle to make the trip more enjoyable as well as to extend the time out on the trail. There are all different kinds of “Rigs” used for overlanding, now days some manufactures are building SUVs & trucks just for this type of adventure. There is some skill needed to take a trip out in to the back country, and if going by your self, a means of communication with the outside world is a must. Do your research on what is needed, and how its done before heading out.


Where to go:

Here in the SF Bay Area we are blessed with roads and trails from the coast up to the mountains, then into vast deserts. BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land is your land, full of outpost cabins and free dispersed camping for thousands of miles all around you. Camp ground to camp ground camping is another way to go, plan your fist trip with some camp ground nights with more amenities to keep your family happy.


Top Shop Auto has teamed up with Overland Bound to support the off road community here in the Bay Area. We are here to help you go explore in any way we can. Overland Bound has made up software to show you all the places to go. The OB1 mobile app can help you map your trip, know where you are, and help pick roads suited to your rig and experience. The Overland Bound site has a community of world wide explorers like your self for support, group trips, & meet ups.

Overland Bound principles:

The goal of Overland Bound is to make vehicle dependent adventure and exploration in the great outdoors as accessible and safe as possible. All levels of experience are welcome. These are the principles Overland Bound was founded on. We ask each member of Overland Bound to review and be in agreement.

Overlanding is vehicle dependent travel. That’s it.

If you go much deeper than this, you start excluding folks. Do you feel a sense that something is missing in your life? Do you like pushing yourself outside the “normal” constraints of what exploring and being outdoors means? Congratulations. You are already thinking like an overlander. You’re 99% there.

Overlanding is for everyone

Adventure is Necessary. The point of the Overland Bound community is to include folks of various backgrounds, skill levels, and stages in their vehicle build outs and lifestyle. Smelling like caribou, trekking across the Sahara for months at a time, or having a completely built out rig with all the features are not prerequisites to join. 

It doesn’t matter what you drive

We are not a Jeep community, a Toyota community, or a Land Rover community. Your vehicle has to be capable and safe for what you ask it to do and where you want to go. The sharing of resources to help you accomplish this is the point of the Overland Bound community.

A connection with nature is paramount

We believe a connection with t

he great outdoors is a key to living. It gives us perspective, keeps us grounded, and feeds the explorer and wonderer deep in our DNA. Ignore this, and things get messy.

Leave it better than you found it

There are 50% more people on the planet as of 2018 than in 1970*. Now more than ever, it is imperative that as many individuals and groups take ownership of our lands to counter act the damage that has been done and raise awareness. Our natural environment is the key to survival. Preserve it.

Be prepared

Safety First. The trip defines the needs. Research, ask questions and investigate the requirements of any journey before you start. We prefer epic tales of adventure without bad endings. Keep the rubber side down.

No barriers to information

We don’t own information any more than we own the great outdoors. No one has a patent on what it takes to survive. Share information freely and openly; we create a stronger community that way.

Be kind.

It’s that simple.

Help each other and engage in the smallest of interactions

This is what community is all about. It takes a village. Human kindness is a valuable asset that could mean survival when traveling anywhere, and humility is essential. Remember that no one has all the answers and we all started somewhere. Take being a decent person seriously.

Have fun

Being grounded creates stability and joy for you and everyone who comes into contact with you. That’s the whole point.

*  Source: U.S. Census Bureau, International Database.

Overland Bound

So, nothing is stooping you, get out and explore.