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Waterfront from the Avenue of Stars - Kowloon, Hong Kong
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Road Trip

Page Summary
  • The benefits of traveling with a CB
  • The Midland 75-822 handheld CB
  • Modifying the Midland 75-822 so it will work with the included antenna while using the mobile adapter
  • Traveling with a dog - making your dog comfortable on a long drive

Traveling with a CB



Midland 75-822 40 Channel CB Radio
Reasons for traveling with a CB: Two common reasons people don't have a CB are they're often too large to easily fit in a typical car and they don't want to go through the trouble of installing a CB antenna. A really good alternative to the standard CB and mounted antenna is a handheld version that looks similar to a walkie talkie. After quite a bit of research, the Midland 75-822 is the handheld unit I finally decided to buy.

Midland 75-822 40 Channel CB Radio
Midland 75-822 contents
Click to view a larger image


Included contents:
A CB
B Antenna
C Mobile adapter
    1 Cigarette lighter power connector
    2 External antenna connector
D For charging the rechargable battery pack
E 8 AA rechargable battery pack
F 6 AA non rechargable battery pack
Midland 75-822 with battery pack
Using the 6 AA
battery connector
Midland 75-822 with battery pack
When using the 6 AA battery connector
it easily fits in my armrest
Midland 75-822 external power connector
Attached is the mobile adapter. This allows
you to use the cigarette lighter power and
an external (not the included one) antenna.
The manual says the included antenna can
be used with the mobile adapter. This isn't
exactly true for either of the 2 CB's that
I have.

For mine (so I assume for all of them) when
it's connected this way it assumes you are
using an external antenna and ignores the
small included antenna.

Without a slight modification (such as shown
below) it won't get any reception
even when
trying to listen to the NOAA weather station
which usually comes in very clear.

Pro's for this CB Con Note: Most of the Amazon reviews for this CB are positive but I saw a few bad ones saying "It didn't work at all". The reviews didn't say what "at all" means. I have a feeling they might have tried to use the mobile adapter with the supplied antenna. In my experience when the mobile adapter is used, it assumes you are also using an external antenna. If they were expecting it to work with the supplied antenna while using the mobile adapter, they wouldn't get any reception and it would appear to "not work at all". I found a way around this limitation and provided details below.

Modifying the Midland 75-822 so it will work with
the mobile adapter and the included rubber antenna
Midland 75-822 battery pack disconnected
This is the battery pack connector.
This is what we want the mobile adapter to look like "electronically".
Midland 75-822 mobile adapter disconnected
Mobile adapter.
When compared to the battery connector, you can see the additional terminal.
The additional terminal is for the external antenna.
If it's installed this way, it looks for an external antenna and ignores the small rubber antenna.
Midland 75-822 modified mobile adapter
Mobile adapter modified
I just put a piece of electrical tape over the external antenna connector.
It will now use the small rubber antenna.
Midland 75-822 modified mobile adapter closeup
Mobile adapter modified close up
Be careful to keep the tape off the raised edges because you don't
want the tape to come off when you slide the pieces together.
The CB should now work with the mobile adapter and small rubber antenna.

On my first road trip after buying 2 Midland 75-822's (I bought 2 so we can use them like walkie talkies if needed), I was on the interstate at 2 AM when the traffic in front of me came to a dead stop. I turned the CB on and a trucker coming from the other direction said it was just a road construction crew putting up a sign. After a few minutes three cars in front of us cut across and exited the interstate. Right after they exited, we started moving again. If they had a CB they would have known better. Then about 10 miles down the road we came to a stop again and it was just a road crew painting the lines on the road. Knowing it was just going to be a short delay made the few minute waits much more tolerable.


Traveling with a dog

Even on short trips to the park, my dog paces around on the back seat of the car and never seems to get comfortable. Even a thick, soft blanket doesn't help. I started looking for a better option than the blanket because we were going to be taking an 18 hour road trip soon. I saw some inflatable backseat extenders but many of the reviews said they weren't very good and often leaked. I then saw a solid foam wedge and decided to give it a try. I bought two but ended up only needing one. Here are some pictures of our setup:
Back seat extender wedge small side up
Click for a larger image

This is called a "Orvis Solid Foam Microfiber Backseat Extender".
I bought two of them on Amazon but only ended up using one.
It's nice that it's a wedge so either the small or large side can be up.
In my car if the small side is up it fits between the center console and the back seat.
Enjoying the wedge
Click for a larger image

When we tried the wedge for the first time on a short trip, he tried to lay completely on it.
He was actually hanging partially off the back of the wedge.
I knew we were onto something.
Bed and wedge
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We then put his bed on top of the wedge and seat and he loved it. We went on a 18 hour road trip this way and he slept most of the way.

We wondered if putting a crate under the dog bed would work just as good. We tried it and it didn't.
Enjoying the bed and wedge
Click for a larger image

He was very comfortable with his bed on the wedge and seat.
Enjoying the bed and wedge
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Sleeping peacefully during the loooong drive.
My wife was driving at this point so there's a little room between the wedge and the front seat.
Wedge large side up
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I'm guessing most people probably use it with the large side up because that would put the zipper on the bottom.
As you can see it doesn't fit between the center console and the back seat though.
2 wedges
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I bought two of these but am only using one.
As you can see, if the large side of the wedge is up on both, there's a gap between them.
2 wedges
Click for a larger image

If you have 2 wedges, putting one with the small side up and the other with the large side up works well.
In this setup there's no gap between them.
2 wedges and bed
Click for a larger image

The two wedges shown in the previous picture are below the bed.
This would work very well.
As I said earlier, we only ended up using one wedge because we wanted to have some room to put his water bowl.


Orvis Solid Foam Microfiber Backseat Extender
You might be asking, "How much are they?" I bought two of them on Amazon in late 2014 for about $70 each. The shipping was $14 (for both) so including taxes the grand total was $161.45. Yes they're a bit pricy but I'm happy I bought them. The current price for them should show up in the Amazon window on the right side of the screen.

If Amazon is "Currently unavailable"
For a while after I purchased ours Amazon said they were "Currently unavailable. We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock."
If that happens again here are a few options:
  1. Search Amazon for "Orvis Solid Foam Microfiber Backseat Extender" and see if they're back in stock.
  2. Google "Orvis Solid Foam Microfiber Backseat Extender". The Orvis website will show up. When I bought mine from Amazon, they were "Sold by: Orvis". I would guess buying directly from them would be safe but I didn't order directly from them so you decide.
  3. Try another Backseat Extender sold on Amazon. I saw a similar one listed on Amazon from a company called "Floppy Ears Design, LLC". As of this writing, it's $10 more but it looks similar so you can decide if you like it or not. If you get it I'd be interested in hearing how it is. Here's the link to the similar one: Floppy Ears Design Waterproof Microfiber and Foam Safety Back Seat Expander, Tan, One Size

Happy travels.