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  1. 11 points
    I made it. Three nights four days. Thanks to Jim, jgaz, for the valuable information
  2. 9 points
    what a crazy day! the only "on the trail" photo i got was this scenic shot of Woody coming up out of the creek: carnage report... @gearhead suffered a punctured sidewall, but fortunately told us he has Discount Tire replacement certs. @CAVU2 destroyed a rear tail-light when his rig tried to reverse-cowgirl a tree that was in his blind-spot while backing up. @SonoranWanderer did great at maneuvering the extra length of his new Gladiator Mojave - only a few new scrapes on the factory skids, control-arm mounts, etc. Gadget so far looks to have escaped with only a few minor new scrapes on the underbelly too. some other folks had a worse time... air & RAZR rescue... on what i think is currently the sketchiest part of the trail (an off-camber, steep, loose down-hill), a guy had rolled his RAZR and suffered a compound fracture. i didn't see him up-close, but a couple folks said was acting a fair bit delirious and had lost some blood. others had righted his RAZR before when we got there, but the brakes weren't working and it was blocking the trail as no-one wanted to try and maneuver it out of the sketchy area without the ability to stop! we had just passed the others from his group in their 2 side-by-sides before here, supposedly heading to Oracle to get parts/supplies. they'd left their buddy with a couple dirt-bike riders that just happened upon the scene. supposedly his "friends" had been complete assholes, smacking his arm and joking around - not to mention leaving him with strangers to wait for the air evac. there was some discussion about the fact the injured guy should probably look for some new trail partners. we also wondered if all of them had been drinking based on their eagerness to leave the scene. after the evac, the dirt-bikers and our group worked together to get the RAZR fixed and off the trail. i just recently started carrying spare fluids again and was able to give them brake fluid to refill the RAZR, plus a pair of needle-nose vice grips to pinch-off the busted brake-line. then one of the dirt-bike guys rode the razer up past the sketchy area and we moved it up to the top of the hill just off the trail. Kevin donated a can of Fix-A-Flat to one of the dirt-bikes with a low rear tire, but it was still losing air from the valve-stem. Woody gave him a new valve core but it was still leaking after i aired him up. Woody had a metal cap with an o-ring seal, and we figured that would hold the low PSI they run long enough to get to pavement. this whole side-adventure killed a couple hours at least, but we made great time on the trail otherwise. more nice folks... later, a older couple came up behind us in their TJ while we were navigating a tight rocky area. the guy "hadn't been on this trail in 10 years", and his lady friend, Pam, seemed a little nervous about this technical section they were about to do. it turned out he was a great driver and didn't need any spotting at all. they followed behind us till we went over to the optional "Step" obstacle. Pam shot a couple videos and was nice enough to take down our info and send them to us: we got off the trail well before dark, but all still had to drive back to Phoenix. it was a long, but memorable day and everyone from our group had a great time. here's a big "thank you" to @gearhead for organizing and leading this run!
  3. 9 points
  4. 9 points
    These 2 guys are having way too much fun. Riding a home built rail cart to Goat Canyon Trestle in Carrizo Gorge, Anza Borrego park in Cali. George should ditch the bicycle for this!
  5. 9 points
    The fam and I took a little spur of the moment trip up to Sedona yesterday to get out of town for a bit. We ended up running through Broken Arrow, as @Yodamom hadn't see it yet, and I think it's frankly one of the biggest bang for your buck trails in the area. I love living in the north valley as that puts places like Sedona just 1.5 hours of our driveway and makes for an easy getaway whenever we want a dramatic change of scenery. A few photos just as we entered the trail and aired down. Submarine rock is my absolute favorite part of this trail. I could spend most of my day hanging out there. When there are no vehicles around and the tourists quiet down, its amazing how quiet this large of an open space really is. Chicken Point always has some pretty dramatic scenery. A little flexing just before Devil's Staircase Here's the staircase itself. The girls hanging out with the Jeep at Chicken Point. Brynna really wanted a photo with one of the Pink Jeeps since "her room is pink and he pants are pink and pink is her favorite color". She's also let me know that she wants her own pink Jeep when she's old enough to drive.
  6. 8 points
    Brady doesn't get his license for a couple more months, but he already has a Jeep! we looked seemingly FOREVER to find an affordable older JK without too many miles and in decent shape - apparently they're made from solid unobtanium! anything that was a good deal was gone the same day it was posted, otherwise we'd find ones that had clearly been in major wrecks or customized really poorly with tons of junk that was falling apart. we finally found this "Jeep Green Metallic" 2009 Wrangler X with only 41k miles! we were the first ones to go see it the same day it was listed, and were ready to make a deal. B has named her Fiona, from the movie Shrek! i don't think it's been cleaned inside since 2009, and needs a fair amount of TLC - but all small projects we can work on together. she drives really nice (once i took the tires down from the 47 psi they were at!) and seems to be in good mechanical condition overall. there's a Teraflex 2.5" coil spacer lift installed, along with their 9550 shocks. the lift clears the oversize tires fine for street use. she also has front disconnects, but the tires are a bit too big for the lift and would probably rip off the fenders if you did disconnect. the 35" A/T's from Hercules (a discount brand made by Cooper) have nearly full tread and perfectly even wear so far. they're on 15" steel simulated beadlock rims which just barely clear the front calipers. the long term plan is to either go down a tire size, or install a bit more lift. she came with a bikini top only, and most of the straps were broken off. however, we were very fortunate to find a full OEM soft top on Craigslist yesterday! the purchased top includes all the hardware, which is awesome because we aren't sure which brackets and such Fiona even still has. Gadget is not impressed with having to sit outside a couple days until we get the top installed! more updates soon as we dig in to all the little projects and maintenance together!
  7. 8 points
    Video Links, including DPS rescue. https://www.amazon.com/photos/shared/J9_hAbA7QvSCwi_NlDH-1A.Pr-dqEiQ5YtZoLxzNIlII_ Pictures. https://www.amazon.com/photos/shared/_-7QmnhtSM6LZQuUKrr8rA.znM_5sLpFT-oJZgAoy30LU
  8. 8 points
    i bought a set of Dirt Bagz for my JK Unlimited to cleanup several different sized bags i previously had shoved under the back seat. these are available for 2 and 4 door JK's as well as JL Wranglers. they come in a pair. a nice touch is that they are left/right specific so the zippers face the same way on each side. i measure each one to be about 19" x 8" x 4" plus another inch every direction if you really stuff them full. you can easily get quite a bit of junk in. the lids also have a thin pocket accessible via internal zipper. the main zippers are large and don't get tangled in the heavy duty fabric. they appear to be mostly made from PVC coated nylon or similar. the sides are further reinforced with 3" webbing sewn in. the webbing also contributes to the overall stiffness, so they keep their shape even when empty. i cut up the box they came in to make an additional stiffener for the bottoms. my favorite feature is they fit on the floor in front of the rear seats when you want to fold those down! so now when i fold down the passenger side to deploy my sleep platform, there's just one bag to move, and a dedicated place to put it. the placement still works even if the front seat is all the way back. shipping was fast, only took 2 days to arrive here in AZ. they're a little pricey considering you can just grab any old tool bag for much less... however, they seem to be high quality and are purpose-built/sized to the exact space available making for a really clean & convenient storage solution.
  9. 8 points
    George @Number7 had a little adventure over last weekend, rescuing his friend's Rhino SxS. Below is his friend's write up about their experience. When he mentions in the story that they had to go over a spot that he had marked on his map as 'impassable' he's talking about Rocker Panel Pass (which G says is rougher than ever right now). If you were with ORP on a trail ride in 2010 and we found a tortoise out past Rocker Panel Pass, that's about where the Rhino was. Rhino Side by Side Adventure On Monday 2/8/21 we did a fairly strenuous hike on a high ridge above Horseshoe Canyon so we planned an easy ride on our Rhino side by side for Tuesday. The plan was to visit the area of the 2019 Verde forest fire shown on the map below. We had been on the trails in this area on a small 2WD quad ATV in 2001 2001 2021 The Rhino we now have is 4WD and well equipped with large oversized tires, skid plates, etc. We started out from the Bush trail head and went north on forest trails 1848,403,1852 and 1096. The trip took about four hours and was unusually tough with many rocks, boulders, washouts, steep up and downs, etc., so we decided to take a different route back. Plan was to take 160 east to 1855 south, then 1851,403 and 1847. Many times we have found that trails numbered with 3 digits are more traveled and in much better shape than 4 digit trails, hence we choose 160 going east. Surprise, the 160 trail was TERRIBLE. The further we went the worse it got. The downhills were so steep and rutted that we were at the point of no return back up those hills. We have driven our Rhinos 15,000 miles on all types forest trails in the last 16 years with no accidents, this time we flipped ours on its side. We were stuck on this very steep hill, miles from any help and no cell phone service. For about 10 years we have carried at Spot device which can send a SOS message to search and rescue folks and provide them our exact location. We had never had occasion to use it before but needless to say we did now. The device indicates when a SOS is sent but there is no feedback showing the message was received. We waited on site for 1 hour and then started hiking on down the trail realizing we would probably not reach help by nightfall. A short while later a low flying helicopter went past us and hovered directly over the Rhino. A short while later they spotted us and landed a short distance ahead of us and got us onboard. LIFT OFF…..OUR RHINO CIRCLED IN RED The Maricopa Sheriffs copter took us directly to the Bush trail head where our car and trailer were parked. . There two officers awaited us along with our daughter who had been notified of the SOS by them. They checked our health and asked for identification so they could complete a report AND SEND US A BILL FOR THE HELICOPTER SERVICE! I once heard someone was charged $1700 for the service. We got our drivers licenses from the car and I inquired as to the possible cost, the officer replied he was JOKING, hallelujah and many thanks to the Sheriff’s search and rescue team. The officers said that we were on our own as far as retrieving our Rhino and they would not be helping in that endeavor. Retrieving the Rhino turned into exciting 1.5 day adventure which will be documented in the near future. RETRIEVING OUR RHINO 1/10/21 The rescue helicopter took us to our car at the Bush trailhead. While driving home I called our friend George Zalman who operates the OFFROAD PASSPORT jeep club. We live close to each other and only about 10 miles from the trailhead. He was home and told us to swing by which we did. We showed him where our Rhino was on a topo map and he was very familiar with the area. He said he could retrieve the Rhino with his jeep and would pick me up at our house in a few minutes. The shortest way to the Rhino from Highway 87 was the dreaded 160 trail. The Jeep folks are aware of how bad that trail is and about 2 miles in we came to a section I had marked on my topo map 20 years ago as an IMPASSE (see red X on attached map). George has modified his jeep to handle about any terrain and I cannot describe how tough this section of 160 is, I’m still in disbelief that we got through it (sorry no photos). We got to the Rhino and got it upright by winching to a large hillside boulder (again no photos). Next problem was it would not start. All the gas had run out on the ground but an onboard spare gallon tank was full and we used it but still no luck starting. We tried dripping gas directly into the intake, bypassed brake starting switches, and everything else we could think of to get it started but with no success. It was getting dark and the decision was made to tow it out. Without describing all the details I will just say that doing this in the dark was a nightmare. Because of sharp switchbacks it was not possible to hook the Rhino directly to the jeep but instead we had to drag it using the winch cable and I was onboard steering it in the dark with no lights or power steering because the battery was rundown. It was critical to drag the Rhino brakes on the steep down hills to avoid smashing into the jeep. After about an hour of this my 87 year old arms gave out (they had been steering the Rhino for over 5 hours earlier that day). George said we only had two more hours to go but I wimped out. We left the Rhino and it took us an hour just to jeep out. I got home about 10:30 that night. ANOTHER DAY ANOTHER TRY 1/10/21 George was available Tuesday afternoon and I recruited our grandson Kramer to be the Rhino pilot. He and George went in the Jeep to get the Rhino while Del and I towed our trailer to the Sugar Loaf trailhead and several miles on the 402 trail so as to shorten the Rhino towing distance. To our surprise the tow crew appeared with the Rhino in less than 2 hours. In the daylight they had unhooked the winch on some steep hills and let Kramer freewheel down. In summary, it was an interesting 2 day adventure with lots of lucky happenings after the not so lucky wheels up flip. The most important lessons learned are: 1. Do not proceed beyond the point of no return 2. Do not proceed where passage is doubtful Many thanks to George and Kramer and the Guardian Angel that kept us injury free.
  10. 8 points
    Here's a few that I took....Not much left of the assayer's office, nor the sup's home office...Still cool to see some of that equipment, and always fun to see water in Burro Creek! smiles, ladybug PS- You should all know that I am not ill. I only picked up one rock yesterday - a beautiful piece of quartz, which I gave to Mia and Marilyn....I am fine!
  11. 8 points
    So @4x4tographer (husband) convinced me to finally create an account so I stop bugging him about what is happening. Really looking forward to hanging out with you all next weekend.
  12. 8 points
    last Friday evening i drove up to Kingman, AZ for a night run that was posted on a Facebook group. the run ended up being just myself and 2 Kingman locals, Ric Swats and @stockjeep (Wayne). we did Bull Run which starts out as a fairly easy climb up to an old quartz quarry. after you weave your way back down the other side of the little mountain, you enter a rock-crawly tight wash that Ric swore was a trail! however, after a wrong turn, Wayne took over lead and i asked him if they created the trail by just following a drunk Javalina through the desert one day. a mile or less from the exit (back on easy trail), i stayed behind to camp while the crazy Kingman boys finished the run and headed home. i woke up just before 6 to a nice sunrise over Kingman! after gassing up and getting McDonalds in town, i head south to run the Hualapai Mountain trail - a graded road that runs the ridges along the major hills of the Hualapais. stopped along the road to eat my breakfast: the pavement ended up at the top and after passing a collection of little homes, i aired down and enjoyed the view. it's a long trail that passes a few tree-lined camp spots early on but then becomes mostly shrub brush. i did find one nice little shady valley down a short spur trail, so that's where i had lunch. a young couple came in on an old beater CJ and their faces dropped when they saw me parked next to an existing fire ring. they perked up when i told them i wasn't camping there, just having lunch! at some point you finally stop running ridges and shelf roads, then start to descend fairly rapidly. near the bottom (on the south end), i stopped to look around the Boriana mine ruins a bit. there's a huge tailings pile there, but it's heavily eroded and looks like it might have been twice as big at one time. a little further down the road i took another short spur to the Copper World mine. the main adit was "kind of" gated, but also flooded. lots of junk there! back down on the desert floor, i decided to try a random set of trails to make my way over to Wikieup. i started in Bar I-L Wash, which was full of Joshua Trees and things blooming. obviously i'm not a rancher, so are all baby horseys this skinny, or was this little dude malnourished? have you ever pulled up on a place and immediately thought, "oh yeah, that's haunted"? i saved exploring that one for next time another short spur led me to some old surface mining prospects, and more baby critters. didn't stay for pictures long there - dad came running around the corner looking all sorts of bothered! as i started to climb back up in elevation, the trail definitely appeared less used. soon i realized my planned route was going to take me much higher that i had realized. i had a nice view of that wash i came in on though: then i didn't take any pictures for a while... my path gradually turned into a total ATV-width shelf road with constant inconveniently placed boulders. i managed to nervously squeeze Gadget through, but came very close to breaking a rear window and had to absolutely drag my rims across the sides of some of the big rocks. now i normally like a good afternoon nap, but being off-camber on the side of a mountain will keep you wide awake. my little route ended up climbing all the way back up to over 6,000ft again... i really gotta pay more attention to those topo lines when route planning! coming back down, things widened up and i calmed down, so i tried to get a photo of a not-as-bad example of the sort of obstacles one could enjoy on this trail. of course pictures never do justice to that real-life leaning feeling! oh, and there had been numbered trail markers every so often along the entire route... with no indication that this was for narrow rigs only, i took them to be personal taunts - like they were saying: "this is a perfectly good real trail, stop being a wuss"! after the off-camber and narrowness and boulder scraping, i realized the past few miles had taken a long time and that i still had a looong ways to go before pavement! Gadget looks like she's sighing from the same realization here... next up the path became easy, but with insanely tight brush. i know i've led a few of you down some crazy "trails" while exploring, but this was the worst paint scraping i've ever been through. ...but before that, this darn cow absolutely refused to get out of the way for several minutes. the sun was getting low and so i hauled butt once back on normal dirt trails, stopping only briefly to look at the ruins of an old mining town named Cedar. finally an actual road! the fire in the sky was almost completely gone as Wikieup came into focus. i aired up just after sunset. i'd been going hard since right after 6am, but still needed to drive another couple hours on the 93 to make it home. i was slightly loopy by the time i pulled Gadget into the garage, but it was a very memorable day and i wouldn't trade adventures like that for anything!
  13. 7 points
    During a recent trip the wind was very strong and required something other than standard tent stakes. I borrowed/stole this idea from Steve (ob1). They worked awesome. They are made out of 3/8 rebar. Along with my professional welding skills I now have my own set. Thanks Steve
  14. 7 points
    Yeah! They poured the main slabs today! It's frickin freezing up here Frank! Brrrrr
  15. 7 points
    Not bad for a non-mechanic. Built this 2700 piece Porsche. Alit of fun and just amazed at how they developed this model. Next up, a Ferrari
  16. 7 points
    My wife and I have a friend in town for the weekend that wanted to hit a trail. I decided to take them on an easy run to Four Peaks. It's an easy trail and I've been wanting to check it out for a while. Nothing to terribly exciting to report back other than it's open, in good condition and wasn't too busy. We ran across FR 143 with no side detours. Only saw a couple other rigs out there(One Jeep and a Yota), an Audi SUV that seemed to be in a hurry, some bicyclists and a minivan at the roundabout. Here are some pics. Great View of Lake Roosevelt Time to air up with my helper.
  17. 7 points
    Been meaning to post a pic, the new tire set is wider by a tad compared to the MTs but SOOOO much quieter.
  18. 7 points
    Next time any of us are headed to Sand Hollow or near the AZ Strip, we should check out Glitter Mountain. It's an old Gypsum (selenite) mine where the ground is scattered with crystals! Old Gypsum Crystal Mine Littlefield, AZ 86432 Google Maps link.... Here's an article with a little more info on the place. If you go, be sure to respect the mine claim owner's wishes: "...the mine does have an active mining claim on it, and the owner of that claim has requested that people do not enter the pit, or break out new chunks of gypsum. The claimant has actually enjoyed the excitement about the mine, and agrees that it is fun for explorers of all ages to find and learn about the minerals in the earth, but is concerned about people getting hurt and the liabilities associated with it."
  19. 7 points
    Ok so for those interested just an update on my horse chase! The rancher and I tracked his hoof marks for about 3-4 miles back into the net of washes. We used the dirt bikers and ATV drivers as helpers but eventually lost the tracks after maybe 45 minutes. We returned to the staging area using 413... I gave him my phone number so he could update me if anything happens. I think they are going back with a search team or something as they were returning to the staging area on Bartlett Road on my way out. Ill update this post if I hear any news.
  20. 7 points
  21. 7 points
    good times, great to see you all - thanks everyone for coming out and for bringing all the stuff we needed to make this a successful event! quote of the day came from Brynna: "i got a cactus too, but my dad pulled it out of my butt!"
  22. 7 points
    Before and after, thanks Kris
  23. 7 points
    yesterday was our 7th time going up to the Mogollon Rim area to cut down a tree thanks to the National Forest Christmas Tree Permit program! i highly recommend this as an awesome family activity and the NF has made it even easier now that you can get the permits online: Apache-Sitgreaves Tree Permit... Coconino Tree Permit... we missed the last few years after i got Gadget since i haven't had a roof rack or trailer. the last time we went was when the @Bradywgn71s came with us in 2015: but this year i had a plan... @aimee took this shot from our neighborhood as we left the house bright and early! we almost didn't go because i worried about mud after this week's rain. there's been plenty of snow on some of the previous trips, but this year has stayed too warm for much of the white stuff. fortunately the mud wasn't bad at all. after driving around some offshoots of FR300, we saw a nice little grove of Fir and then Aimee picked out a pretty little tree. Brady "chopped it down" using my trusty 18v reciprocating saw and a long demolition blade. after the required poses with the tree, it was time for my genius plan... no roof rack, no trailer, no problem! i mean that will totally not fall off at 75 MPH for nearly 2 hours right? on the way out of the forest, i continued Aimee & B's least favorite tradition - making them listen to Jingle Cat's Meow Christmas! and well the tree... completely survived hwy 260 and the I-17 all the way back to Phoenix! there were a lot of open mouths and smiles and pointing from passengers in other cars though it's not the fullest tree we've ever found - but it came out nice once Aimee got it lit and decorated. and now that it survived the freeway, we just have to keep the cats from destroying it! Merry Christmas to all our 4x4 friends!
  24. 7 points
    FYI: If you carefully remove the Grand Cherokee badge, the letters can be repurposed into.......... Hey. It was a slow night at work.
  25. 7 points
    To all you vets out there....THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE. Al
  26. 7 points
    We had such a fun long weekend!! Thank you for this great time!! Link to photo album Sarah's photos
  27. 7 points
    chillin' and snackin': these taste better than the piles of bigger brown berries over by the trees: the RV crowd and main party spot: tent campers, and @johnpa's ground nesting area: roaming gangs of feral children: happy campers with fancy beers ( @KtroubleA ) spur of the moment side road to overlook West Clear Creek: always make em' laugh during the selfie ( @GRUNT )
  28. 7 points
    Thanks to the Orp staff for a great weekend. Kris, the trail ride was perfect. Good to see new faces and old friends. John
  29. 7 points
    I took my buddy Al up to Mt. Graham. We stayed at Riggs flat lake at almost 9000 feet. Nice little lake you can kayak. Also the views to the west were majestic. I would have posted but someone forgot to pay his dues so he got kicked off the site. My bad.
  30. 6 points
    George and I haven't been wheeling much at all this season, because we've been super-busy with another big project. Some of our friends know, but it's going to be news to others, that we're moving to Mohave county! It took us a long time to finally settle on a location, and after not being able to find a house that we wanted, we bought some land and we are building one. We settled on a spot about 15 miles northeast of Kingman in a neighborhood called Valle Vista. It totally reminds us of Fountain Hills back in the day; there's a gas station, a few restaurants, a Dollar General and a golf course. We're pretty much building a replica of the house and garage building that we have now on a slightly larger lot. This is going to be the view out my kitchen window: This is also out the back, looking toward Kingman: This is looking out the front: We will be exploring a lot more in the northern sections of the state, not to mention Death Valley, Mojave Road, Lake Mead, and such, and leading some adventures there too. We're looking forward to unexplored territory! More...
  31. 6 points
    No, this isn't the latest title in your favorite series of books in the wizarding world - its a collection of interesting information I stumbled across and thought might be interesting to some of you! This post has no particular point other than to share what I found, and walk you some strange series of "one thing led to another" as I was browsing for "dream trip ideas". As some of you know, I'm an astronomy and astrophotography junkie, so this type of stuff had me pretty excited. The Loneliest Road in America Starting off - here is a great article I read on Nevada leg of the US-50 which was dubbed "the Loneliest Road in America" back in the 80's - the premise being that there was literally nothing along this 280+ mile stretch of tarmac. The Dark Rangers & The Great Basin I then ended up on this amazing article about the Dark Rangers who are experienced Forest Rangers who specialize in dark sky astronomy. There are apparently a number of them at Great Basin National Park, one of our newer National Parks. Great Basin is in Bortle Class 1 skies and ranked as the BEST dark sky park in the USA. Link to Great Basin's astronomy program Great map for finding a dark sky site near you What is the Bortle scale? Nevada Offroad Trails So finally, as I unwrap this stream of consciousnesses, I found this fantastic map of trails in Nevada. It honestly reminded me a lot of TrailsOffroad.com, but state sponsored. Nevada has really pulled out all of the stops when it comes to OHV travel on state lands. Every trail has a description, tracks, PDF downloads of maps, directions and more. All of their information ties back in to responsible off-road recreation, safety, and other related information. It's pretty genius, and thats coming from someone commonly critical of government. This particular set of tracks is just north of the Great Basin NP and is noted for some excellent views of the mountains, like Wheeler Peak. Another great thing about Nevada's OHV site is that you can click on any of their tracks to see updated information regarding status, trails width, vehicle types, etc...
  32. 6 points
    thanks @SonoranWanderer for this video of Gadget on The Step:
  33. 6 points
    thanks everyone - Brady is super excited and loves driving Fiona already! day one project... i took all the extremely dirty and faded roll-bar fabric off - we decided to try and clean it up instead of just ditching it or paying for a replacement set. B laid out all the pieces in our driveway and washed them down with the garden hose and a little carpet stain remover. after they dried thoroughly, i bought 2 cans of flat black Dupli-Color Vinyl & Fabric spray paint from Autozone for $17. it's more of a dye than paint, but the spray can makes it easy to apply. Aimee showed him how to spray evenly and he did a great job bringing all the pieces back to life. the dye/paint makes the fabric a little stiff and rough feeling, but we were very pleased with our budget fix. she also gave the sound-bar a good scrubbing for him while we had that out.
  34. 6 points
    New pictures from the project. Things are happening!
  35. 6 points
    @Number7 and i recently traded some work on each others' rigs... George replaced my transmission filter and custom installed a Fumoto drain valve into the pan. the OEM pan has no drain at all and we both like to replace some fluid every few oil-changes instead of waiting 50k+ miles to do a complete trans flush. note that Dorman does make a replacement pan with a drain plug for this trans, but it's for a different vehicle because the plug sits directly above the exhaust crossover on a JK and would be impossible to access. i ordered a Fumoto F102S drain valve and a 3/8" BSP threaded brass nut to match its thread. G drilled a hole in the pan near at the back passenger-side corner to install the drain. he sealed it all up with grey RTV. i figured grey is used on the transfer case halves, so it must be able to survive ATF+4 fluid. G suggested i add a small heat shield to the crossover pipe to ensure the plastic security clip on the valve would not melt. i had some left over from my recent custom emergency fluid storage area project, so that was a quick addition using a couple large hose clamps. i already have the little elbow and hose that clips onto the Fumoto snort-nipple valves to drain fluid neatly into a bucket, since that's what i use for my oil changes. while i had all the skid plates off, i went ahead and changed my transfer-case fluid as well. a cheap transfer pump that attaches directly to quart or gallon jugs makes that an easy job. the Mopar part numbers used for all this: - ATF+4 for the transmission and the transfer-case: #68218058AC - transmission pan gasket: #52108332AA - transmission filter: #52108325AA
  36. 6 points
    10 weeks ago we placed the order... then yesterday @aimee's new 2021 Grand Cherokee (WK2) Trailhawk was finally ready to be picked up! 2021 Grand Cherokee Trailhawk 4x4 5.7L V8 MDS VVT Engine with 8-Spd Auto 8HP70 Transmission Granite Crystal Metallic Clear Coat Trailhawk Luxury Group includes things like the Dual-Pane Panoramic Sunroof, Trailhawk Leather Trim Seats with Perforations, Power Tilt/Telescoping Steering Wheel and Rain Sensitive Wipers Protech II includes the Adaptive Cruise Control (Radar/Camera based), Brake-Assist, Lane Departure Warning/Correction and Auto Parallel Parking Premium Lighting Group Bi-Xenon HID Headlamps, LED Daytime Running Lights, LED Fog Lights, Auto High Beam Control Mopar Rock Rails (supposedly these are a PITA to install, so we let the factory do it) ...pretty much every available option except the Engine Block Heater and Rear DVD Entertainment Center. the Trailhawk Edition comes with the Quadra-Lift Air Lift Suspension (with 4.1" of total adjustability to the ride height), Quadra Drive II (includes a "real" 4wd transfer case with low range), skid plates, the blackout hood decal, and of course the red highlighted tow hooks, badging & stitching details. it's rated for up to a 20" deep water crossing and has a maximum of 10.8" of ground clearance when the Air Lift suspension is set to "Offroad 2" mode. the 5.7 Hemi upgrade gives her a max tow rating of 7,200 lbs. you can actually add the Offroad Adventure Group option to most of the other WK2 editions to get the same suspension and transfer case as the Trailhawk. However, we also like that the Trailhawk edition doesn't have a bunch of chrome - all of the trim details are either black or matte gray. we traded in Aimee's 2012 Infiniti G37 for the new Jeep... she really liked the car but wanted something that could at least make it down a forest road for camping or to explore a random easy trail while on family road trips. the G37 was way too low for many maintained gravel roads even, and neither Aimee nor B think the JK's seats are particularly comfortable. even the rear seats in this WK2 recline and are heated (the fronts are heated and ventilated)! there won't be any extreme mods since it's primarily a daily driver and road-trip rig. our immediate plans are: new wheels and tires have already been ordered. neither of us really like the stock rims and we should be able to go up 1 size on the tires without major work. tint de-badge level out the factory rake get a sun shade, rear cargo mat, hitch-mounted recovery point, and a few basic supplies like a tow strap, tire repair kit, etc. we may add a couple additional skid plates at some point, depending on how often she actually gets on a trail.
  37. 6 points
    Great photo's guys, looks like a great run! I have a question for @theksmith, does "short easy run" translate to "It's just a forest road"?
  38. 6 points
    We already sold our house in Fountain Hills, and are really lucky that the new owner is leasing it back to us until our new house is done. We've already hired a builder, got the permits, and the foundation is going in. The date of completion should be sometime in June or July - the perfect time of year to move! But at least it should be just in time to experience our first Kingman summer about 10 degrees cooler on average.
  39. 6 points
    Maybe there will have to be a recall to rearrange the letters.
  40. 6 points
    Positives and negatives on this weekend's trip: Positives, Ran four really cool trails which had excellent scenery and challenging obstacles. Wheeled with some really cool dudes. Experienced sun, rain, sleet and snow. Absolutely epic. Negatives: NONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  41. 6 points
    So we traded in our Ram truck and picked up a 2020 V8 Grand Cherokee Trailhawk. A huge shout-out to the amazing Martin Swanty dealership in Kingman, AZ. There were by far my best car buying experience. We negotiated via email and they were very fair with no games. Then drove up and were done in 20 minutes. I highly recommend using them. The Phoenix dealers were playing a ton of games. Ask for Chuck if you decided to check out this dealership. So now a three Jeep family....God help us! So now that Chris is busy on the other two Jeeps I have something I can do easier off-road trails with. Loving all the fancy features and it is fun to drive! Up next is a set of Animal Off-road rock sliders. We are considering their bumpers too but it gets pricey! We have named her "Cupcake" for now as her coloring is Red Velvet. d rock sliders.
  42. 6 points
    Alright! Update on the horse! Yesterday the rancher called me and let me know that the horse had been found early Monday morning! He said that he was found over near Dynamite Rd... I dont quite know where exactly he means by that but by the sounds of things the horse made quite a treck! Anyway... He is safe and back with his family now
  43. 6 points
  44. 6 points
    Just in case someone doesn’t have the metric conversion factor: metric shit ton A metric shit ton is exactly 204.62262 pounds more than a shit ton.
  45. 6 points
    I've been drawn to the emigrant trails for as long as I can remember. Just something about all those people making their way west and the struggles they endured really intrigues me. Anyhow, I ran into this article today discussing several of the 'cut-off' trails that emerged during the era. You might have heard of the Lassen Cutoff or the Hastings Cutoff. I always just thought these were alternate routes, but it turns out people often were duped into thinking they were short-cuts, and went that way to try to save time. But these routes often went hundreds of miles out of the way and offered little if any water sources along the way. The Donner party were victims of 'entrepreneur' Lansford Hastings when they took the Hastings Cutoff, and as the story goes, many died. Interesting read: Atlas Obscura
  46. 6 points
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/5dHfr5ykcs6SWsoSA Pics we took from the trip.
  47. 6 points
    Was really great seeing everyone again! Our family had a wonderful weekend with you guys! Here's a few photos from the event. Might have some drone footage over the next few days. Friday night stargazing was pretty solid. The Pleiades, the California nebula, Perseus, Double Cluster, & Capella are all visible in the next image. @ob1jeeper & @Ladybug's new ride! It was really great seeing you guys and Conan the Barkarian again! Clear Creek Canyon and the trail ride
  48. 6 points
    we made the last minute decision to get out of town for a little change of scenery before Brady got too far into the new school year... so we headed off to Mammoth Lakes, CA for a week. Friday it took us nearly 10 hours to drive from Phoenix through the Vegas route, but we were rewarded with the much cooler weather due to the nearly 8k feet elevation, some great 4x4 trails in the nearby Inyo National Forest, and plenty of natural wonders to see! we stayed in a little condo rental in The Village Lodge Mammoth - which was convenient because there's a whole slew of restaurants, bars, and shops in an outdoor mall style arrangement. most of the area restaurants were open for outdoor dining. one of our favorites was Shelter Distilling - their Black Unicorn Coffee Liquor was excellent (still not quite as good as the Coffee Moonshine @Ladybug gets back east)! Saturday Saturday we hit the grocery store and just explored around town. Sunday our friend Kevin (@KtroubleA) also joined us on this trip. since he's kind-of a Jeep newbie, we took him on a fairly easy run Sunday to get his feet wet and see what sort of tolerance he had for trail adventures! the Laurel Lakes Road trail was rated "moderate", but i'd say all except one crazy switchback was easy for any stock high-clearance 4x4. Kevin's brand spanking new 2020 Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon JL didn't have any trouble, and Kevin seemed to be eager for more trails! on the way back out of the dead-end trail, we stopped for lunch in a little Aspen grove by a creek. Monday our other good friend Chris (@defectivemonk) had made the 12 hour drive down from Portland, OR to join us as well. his black 2013 JK Unlimited Rubicon has a mild AEV lift and an integrated Ursa Minor J30 "pop-top" camper. but, i found Gadget with a dead battery Monday morning, so we all drove down to the Autozone in Bishop for a warranty replacement and planned to hit the Sand Canyon trail afterwards. i got confused on which number the trail was in the Wells California Book, and so we ended up at the end of the easy Buttermilk Country trail instead. but a trail is a trail, so we just ran Buttermilk in reverse! it was a very diverse trail with some great scenery, though i could have done without the last couple miles of washboards! Kevin took this photo when we stopped for a little break in the tall pines at the western tip of the loop: we finished Buttermilk early enough everyone agreed we had time to still do Sand Canyon - so we headed towards it. on the way however, my TPMS started barking and i watched my driver-front tire pressure drop quickly. turns out i had sliced a sidewall somehow on that easy trail - no idea where exactly. we put the spare on and then called a few tire shops in Mammoth and Bishop about getting a replacement. (photo from Chris) after striking out on the first couple calls, Kevin found a Diesel & RV Repair/Tire shop in Bishop that was able to get the correct size Cooper STT Pro for me the next afternoon. with Gadget having been a very bad girl, and without a spare - it was time to just head back to Mammoth and hit the distillery! Tuesday most of Tuesday was just a nice lazy vacation day. Chris, Kevin & i headed down to Bishop around 2pm to get the new tire - Brady and Aimee (@aimee) stayed back to relax more and explore near the condo. the shop was interesting and off the beaten path, but they were very fair about the price of the tire as well as the mount & balance - nice folks! once Gadget was back in business, we headed over to the natural Stone Columns at Crowley Lake. there was a mix of pavement and little dirt roads to get near them, and were excited we could see the columns once we hit the end of a trail. they looked reasonably close and so we scurried down to see them right away. the limestone formations were really neat up-close. here's Kevin by the first ones we encountered: obligatory selfie: the sky began to look ominous as we headed back. we never did get any real rain though - instead it was the hike back up to the Jeeps that tried to kill us... we had been so excited to get to the columns, we didn't realize how steep the sandy hill climb back was going to be. i was in flops, of course, but all 3 of us had to stop and gasp for air multiple times. Crowley Lake is at nearly 7k feet elevation and the app on Kevin's phone said we climbed around 400ft more of elevation in only 200ft of distance! Wednesday we all met up at the Devil's Postpile National Monument on Wednesday morning. it was a short easy hike to the base of the postpile. Kevin & Brady also hiked up to the top (photo from Kevin): then they conspired to get Aimee, Chris & myself to climb up a little ways to see another view of the formations: on the way back into Mammoth, i dropped Aimee & Brady off at the Main Lodge so they could ride the Gondola up to the top of the mountain. us boys decided to go run that Sand Canyon trail we'd never made it to on Monday. the trail was rated moderate with killer views and several types of terrain. we crossed a very small section that looked to have recently burned. a difficult rated spur trail, Wheeler Ridge, juts up the side of a mountain about 2/3rds of the way into the Sand Canyon trail... i convinced the other guys we should check it out at least! it turned out to be a very tight twisty little boulder strewn climb. though Chris's JK is less modified than mine, and Kevin's JL is bone stock - we spanked it! Chris & Kevin even get extra credit for no whining for time's sake we only visited the viewpoint on top instead of following the entire ridgeline. my GPS said we topped out at 10,949 feet! pano from Kevin at the viewpoint: this is Chris's JK on the way back out to rejoin the original Sand Canyon trail - the sign said "Most Difficult, Skilled drivers with modified 4wd vehicles"! feeling accomplished, we then finished up Sand Canyon which dead ends at a little lake which needs mowing (photo from Kevin): a steady downhill in sand for several miles, the ride back out was an ass-haulin good time. after these 2 great trails, Kevin's ear-to-ear grin told me he was hooked on Jeepin! Thursday we all drove down to Mono Lake to see the other-worldly Tufa formations Thursday morning. next up was an easy 2wd loop around the Obsidian Domes. we all agreed that @Ladybug would love to have one of these huge boulders of volcanic formed black glass - i couldn't lift any of them though! we pulled out the chairs and had a nice leisurely snack in the shade of the pines before finishing up the loop - sort of a last day trail goodbye. (photo from Kevin) Friday we made good time driving back. it took about 9 and half hours to come home via the CA 395 and the I-40 as our major roads this time. there's never enough time, and so several things near the 395 are still on my bucket list - the Reward Mine, Alabama Hills, and maybe the Bodie ghost town. i also still need to take Aimee & Brady to Yosemite someday. we weren't able to get last minute passes despite trying online every morning as they opened up a few. this was as great way to escape the Phoenix heat and we all had an awesome time - i highly recommend the Mammoth area!
  49. 6 points
    A VERY thoughtful and informative write-up. Well done Ryan. I agree 100% with you observations and suggestions for improving the safety of towing. I've been towing trailers, for 50-plus years, and and teaching towing basics to test drivers for many of them, and I must say that you hit nearly all the important safety highlights squarely on the head. And most of the user friendly oriented ones as well, including some valuable helpful hints for those who are new to RV's with holding tanks. If I would add any thoughts, it would be to be ever mindful of the extra weight of towing a trailer that weighs nearly 2/3 the weight of the tow vehicle, causing braking distances to increase as much as double non-towing capabilities, and the potential for creating control issues, especially in down-hill situations and elevated speeds. Braking distances will increase in all situations, and depending on added weight, and braking balance of braking systems, creating the need for higher than normal distances to the vehicles in front of you. Additionally, the weight shift of the trailer adding extra load to the hitch of the tow vehicle, in all situations, but particularly when decending grades, tends to unload some weight from the front wheels of the tow vehicle (which BTW normally produce the bulk of normal braking effectiveness of a vehicle). This can be partially offset by proper installation of a load equalizing hitch, as you have wisely noted/suggested. Additionally the extra weight can cause increases in speed for the downhill situations, that may increase the tendencies of a towed trailer to begin to oscilate in a yawing (side-to-side) motions, which is also referred to as the tail (or trailer) to "waging the dog" (so-to-speak). This yaw moment can be significantly reduced by use of the sway control devices you alluded to, and is also helped by the use of a load equalizing hitch. Sound and thoughtful response, and tips shared Ryan. Well done indeed.
  50. 6 points
    Hi Shellback - I am pretty new to towing, but here is what I learned with my recent experience last fall. Please note that I'm a far cry from being an expert on the matter. We have 2018 JLU Rubicon, equipped with the factory tow package. This gives us the ability to pull 3,500, same as you. Side benefits of the tow package for our model was the 4pin/7pin power adapter at the tow hitch, beefier alternator, and pre-wiring for a brake controller. We wanted to "try before you buy" and get a taste of the RV life during the annual ORP 2019 "Not-Cinder's Trip on the Rim". We ended up renting an R-POD 179 and it ticked a lot of boxes for us. Bathroom/Shower Kitchen Queen Bed Convertible dinette that slept our 2 kids HVAC Large Pull-Out Slide (for some extra room) Electronic brakes All of this comes in at 2,300 lbs DRY (no water, no supplies). The R-POD 179 was wonderful, comfy, and easy to pull. It had (if I remember correctly) a 30 gallon water tank and two (2) 15 gallon tanks (1 grey, 1 black water). It also came with a stereo, tv, outdoor shower (in addition to the indoor shower), lots of storage, and a Dometic fridge. Our experience was very largely positive. We did have a mechanical issue with the driver side brake, but it was no fault of the trailer design. It was the fault of the owner not maintaining their gear properly. Extra equipment we had to purchase: Tekonsha P3 brake controller + appropriate wiring harness Husky weight distributing hitch Appropriately sized hitch ball for our specific application (2" in our case, our weight distribution hitch came with a 2 5/16") Grease gun and grease Gloves (rubber disposable for handling your black water tank disposal) RV toilet paper / sanitizer tablets The ball, grease gun, gloves and toilet paper were all surprises for me and represented costs above and beyond what I anticipated. The nice thing, though, is that now I own everything I need to tow a camper trailer again in the future with no extra costs. Some things I learned. Brake Controller: Trailer brakes and a compatible brake controller were a MUST for us. No compromises. Especially considering 90% of our trips out of the valley will involve the steep inclines/declines of the I17. Our Tekonsha P3 was extremely easy to install. It utilizes adaptive braking and progressively increases the force applied to the trailer brakes equivalent to how hard you're stopping. It has an internal sensor that measures how quickly you are stopping. You can manually brake with a touch of a lever, and adjust the amount of braking applied on the fly. Weight Distribution Hitch: I'd highly recommend a weight distributing hitch for both safety and performance. It essentially uses a "wheelbarrow" effect and help redistribute the tongue weight of the trailer across both your front and rear Jeep axels. This results in better handling, braking, etc... In the two below images you'll see the before/after. In the first shot, I just brought the trailer home from the rental place. There is quite a bit of squat. In the 2nd shot, I've got the WD hitch installed and torqued up, helping to take a huge bite out of the "squat" and leveling the Jeep and the trailer. Here's a close up of the WD hitch. Sorry it isn't a very good photo and the load bars are not installed in this photo. There are some zerk/zirc (sp?) fittings to allow for easy greasing up of the load bars. You'll also want to apply a little grease to the ball prior to coupling up the trailer. Our WD hitch also came with a sway control arm, but I didn't use it. It requires drilling holes in the trailer, and since our was a rental we didn't go there. Ball Size: Yes, size matters! Our WD hitch came pre-installed with a 2 5/16" ball. Our trailer rental required a 2". I had to go buy one. Installing it is easier said than done. Our new 2" ball required 480 ft/lb of torque to install. I ain't that strong... Some of the RV forums I was trolling around on had other solutions that involved a B.A.W. (big-assed wrench) and a cheater pipe. Essentially, you will insert the hitch/ball into the receiver sideways and stand on the cheater pipe to get the appropriate torque. You'd then calculate out your weight and the distance up the pipe you need to stand to get the right torque. Sounded shady. I went up to a local shop and the zipped it on with an air wrench. The shop tech said his air tools produced up to 450 ft/lbs. Sanitation: Another unexpected expense/experience was related to the black tank. This is the wastewater tank where the really nasty stuff goes. I ended up needing to purchase some disposable gloves for when I needed to perform the dump of the black tank (see what I did there?) and handle the waste water hose. Dysentery doesn't agree with me, so I figured better safe than sorry. RV toilet paper. Had to buy a 4 pack for our trip. Not something I thought of until the day prior. This stuff is designed break down quickly and to not gum up your black tank. Sanitizing tablets. You'll flush one of these. It helps sanitize the tank and deodorize. Driving: The actual act of towing wasn't anywhere near as bad as I thought it would be. I had COMPLETELY freaked myself out leading up to the big day. My JLUR was confident, and when the trailer was empty, it was almost like it wasn't back there. I don't know if that is a the bonus of the WD hitch, but frankly, it towed like a dream. Towing Safety Checklist: I try to be as safety conscious as I possibly can be. My personality makes me pretty risk averse, but I've also got a pretty crappy memory, especially when dealing with an overload of information regarding RV's and towing. Something I found that helped me out a lot was to create a "towing checklist" in Excel that I printed out and kept in the glove box. It helped me make sure everything was hooked up properly in an order that made sense to me. I also included a "double check" column to force myself in to validating I'd done everything I set out to do. Videos & Forums: Even though I was just renting for a week and not making a long term commitment, I found that finding some Youtube reviews and joining some forums went a long way in understanding the vices and virtues of the RPOD. The RPOD forums in particular were amazing, with a TON of great information regarding common problems, mods, upgrades, and features between the made different years and models of RPOD. A nice thread was out there on maximizing your battery power when you are dry camping and don't have a generator. Youtube videos helps me understand the "how" portion of it. The RV has a ton of different "sub-systems". I watched videos on how to flush the toilet (hahahahaha), how to dump the waste water, how to operate the stove, how to properly use the 3-way fridge (it ran on propane, battery, and "shore power"), how to top off the freshwater tank, and many many many more. I hope this helped, even if only a little. My wife and I have the itch again to buy a trailer, and after our experience - we're pretty sure the RPOD will be at the top of the list of considerations. We've just gotta pay off the Jeep first! Some comparable trailers we will also consider include: Jayco Hummingbird Forest River Flagstaff E-Pro Travel Lite Aura 21RB Jayco Jay Flight Airstream Sport (in my wildest dreams) Airstream Nest (also in my wildest dreams) Since we've got a growing family, we can't expect our two kids to sleep on a dinette, so we're personally going to have to look at something with a bunk bed, or possibly a Class C or Class A motorhome and then flat-tow the Jeep...
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