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Showing content with the highest reputation since 07/20/2009 in Posts

  1. 11 points
    I made it. Three nights four days. Thanks to Jim, jgaz, for the valuable information
  2. 10 points
    Descriptions do NOT do justice to this trail. Photos can't really portray it accurately either. You see, Cherry Creek Trail is more than just visual splendor, it's an unbelievable immersion into everything that makes Arizona remarkable. When you're not diving thousands of feet deep into a number of red rock canyons, you're greeted with the the scent of autumn in the mid-west, and the rushing sound of water - literally everywhere. I've NEVER seen this much water in Arizona. Ever. There are several unexpected surprises as well, such as cabin hide-aways, flat grassy plains, and something new around every turn on which to feast your eyes. Unfortunately, this trail's days are numbered. Between impending closure under the Tonto NF Travel Management Plan and the irreversible doom of soil erosion - this trail will unfortunately fade away unless something is done about it. We noted a number of areas where the trail soil is loose and granulated, wearing away with each passing rain and some areas literally sliding down the mountainside in many places. My recommendation: Run it and experience it while you can. Like... now. Either by government action or the next Monsoon, this trail might be inaccessible the next time you think of it. The Group's Take: This is a wonderful trail that is a solid moderate. It's literally a once-in-a-lifetime trail due to many threats to its continued existance. Jeeps and 4Runners (and smaller rigs) should be good on this trail. No full-size rigs due to many width concerns. Gladiators and Tacomas may drag their tails in a few areas. There are a few "obstacles" that may continue to degrade over time due to soil erosion - however our group had zero issues. If you run this, don't go alone. Consider making it an overnighter and camp around mid-way through the trail. You can read the original trip planning thread here. Please note this was an Offroad Passport Club members-only event. Account required to see the content. View membership options → Attendees: @4x4tographer @theksmith @Ken Ford @kaspily @Bradywgn71 Here's one of about 8 creek crossings we made with plenty of flowing water. Note the very healthy deciduous trees everywhere. Here's a wonderfully well-preserved cabin. The inside was pretty well provisioned with emergency supplies like water, propane canisters, lanterns, canned foods. There was a nice plaque on the wall that described the history (dating back to 1890) and stories about the grounds - a portion of which was farmed by the inhabitants of this little hideaway. Here is a prime example of the erosion occurring in many areas along Cherry Creek Trail. The erosion can't be easily repaired as you'd need to shore up the soil below (which in many places had 50-60ft drops). You also can't exactly "move the trail" away from the drop-off as there is a mountain in the way. The trail can be run with any "Jeep width" vehicles, but full-size rigs will not fit in quite a few spots. Off-camber was the name of the game in many places. This area is another good example of soil erosion. Every turn presents you with a new jaw-dropping vista and backdrop for some awesome photos. This area was the most "sketchy" due to a washout of the trail. However we found that with the right line you could make it across with minimal drama. As all of our rigs had good departure angles, it wasn't much of an issue. However our Gladiator and Tacoma-driving friends might drag a tail. A good look at the departure angle on this section. Again.... unbelievable views pretty much everywhere. This trail was Chris-Approved On the way out, we popped by a short 2.5 mile side trail to check out some 800 year old Solado cliff-dwellings that were incredible. From the parking area its "only 200 yards", which in ORP-speak means it a lot more. In reality, it's about a 2000 ft hike that is largely easy. To get to the dwellings, someone had built a stone cairne to mark where you should scramble up the rocks about 50-60 ft. I won't post directions to the ruins here in order to help preserve them. If you'd like directions on how to get to them, please PM me. Photo by @kaspily The rock face: Mysteriously, Ken's camera stopped working the moment he stepped inside! Many of the original timbers are still holding up some of the structure. It looked like it was multi-story at one point in time. \ Note the great condition of the stucco/mud on the interior walls. My own house doesn't even look that good and it's only 15 years old! Here's the view from the cliff-dwellings. I'd say that's a million dollar view. Can you imagine what it looked like 800 years ago? The drive past Lake Roosevelt home was amazing as well. Depending on elevation, in the distance we could see rain storms and snow storms occurring all around us. We even had a shot at a pot of gold. Roosevelt Bridge:
  3. 10 points
    Figured I'd put together a little post to help track our latest acquisition, Gandalf! For those that know us, we've been trying out different campers/trailers for a few years now, learning as much as we can by renting. We ended up landing on purchasing a motorhome due to the Jeep's pretty limited towing capacity + our family's size (with 2 growing kids). We made sure to find a rig that is fully capable of towing the Jeep with all of her added bulk. Here are some specs on Gandalf: 2005 Winnebago Sightseer 30B Ford F53 chassis (18,000lbs) 6.8L SOHC Triton V10 4R100 4-speed overdrive transmission 310 hp @ 4,250 RPM 425 ft/lbs @ 3,250 RPM GVWR: 18,000lbs GCVW: 26,000lbs Length: 30'11" We named him Gandalf after everyone's favorite wizard, Gandalf, from Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. Look at the size of that driveshaft! I believe Gandalf is sporting a Dana D80 rear end. Here's the Jeep, trying on our storage slot for size. Our neighboring coaches dwarf Gandalf at 45ft.... massive. Here's Gandalf on his first voyage this past weekend to the Grand Canyon National Park. We found a nice park at "Trailer Village RV Park" (where I was expecting to see Joe Dirt), but it was actually pretty nice, only 5 minutes from the south rim! We had several maintenance items that needed to be taken care of to make the RV safe to drive on the road. I'll try to cover these in some future posts. For now, we're very happy with our purchase, we got a heck of a deal and it was very well-maintained by the previous owner. Here's to future adventures, exploring our gorgeous nation with @Yodamom and the kids!
  4. 9 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!
  5. 9 points
    As if you needed another reason to visit Crown King! If you've been up to CK in the last year or so, you may have noticed some development happening in the heart of town, just across from the General Store. This will be the site of the new-old Crown King Depot. When I say "new-old", it's because that particular site was the original site of the original train depot that was built around 1904. Some details related to the Crown King Inn & Depot Open weekends only Friday, Saturday, Sunday 11am - "closing" (whenever that is ) Local Beers & Wines Offering beers that are brewed locally exclusively for the Depot (Kiss My Kaboose, Crazy Train Ale, Cowcatcher Porter, for example) They will also offer wines (presumably some AZ varieties) Restaurant with a simple menu "Grill Your Own" Burgers Charcuterie boards Snacks Flatbread pizza Lodging At least 4 "tiny homes" that you can rent that will be built from shipping containers If you're interested in more information an news as it develops: The CK Inn & Depot website: https://crownkingdepot.wixsite.com/mysite Their Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/crownkingdepot Some History The depot was the result of Murphy's Impossible Railroad, started in 1901, connecting a range of destinations, such as Big Bug Creek, Humboldt, and Poland via the Bradshaw Mountain Railway, operated by Santa Fe. There was an additional spur that became the famous "front way to Crown King" that connected Mayer and Crown King and was completed in 1904. The current "front way" in on Crown King Road via the i17 was laid right down on top of the foundations of the old railroad, including all of the tight switchbacks climbing the Bradshaws. For more information on the original railroad, click here for a fascinating telling of the history. Here's a great map I found of the original Bradshaw Mountain Railway. If you look closely, you can see the switchbacks on the final climb into Crown King: Here's another angle on the original Depot. Note the snow on the tracks and the roof. Here's a shot of one of the big iron beasts that used to make the climb into CK from Mayer: The New Crown King Depot The new depot appears to be a modern spin on an old classic, with the depot being rebuilt entirely out of (currently very trendy) shipping containers. Here's a rendering of the concept/plans: The very first of the retrofitted shipping containers being installed just a few days ago in March of 2022! I'm looking forward to my next trip up to CK once the construction is finished to check out the latest reason to make the climb to CK! Hope you all found this as interesting as I did.
  6. 9 points
    Long Saturday, did not get the gears fully swapped. Ran into a shim issue on the front. But should have one that will get me the backlash I want by Friday. Did get the fenders and level kit installed and mounted the rims and tires. This week will be the bed rack swap.
  7. 9 points
    I would like the ORP community to help me acquire one of these. See trip report from this weekends trip led by Ryan for justification. https://images.app.goo.gl/5WgYNku5iqeNATvi6
  8. 9 points
    A neighbor posted this to facebook - taken last night. What a view!! That's the Cerbat Mountains in silouette, and lights from Kingman.
  9. 9 points
    The counter tops are in! Well, mostly. One of the bathroom cabinets arrived damaged, so that top has to wait, but the rest are done. I love them !
  10. 9 points
    Check out the short dash cam video in the link below. https://www.thedrive.com/news/41371/watch-a-jeep-grand-cherokee-get-kod-by-lightning-in-terrifying-video I don’t think I’d want to try and tackle that electrical repair. You can see the brake lights fade out as it coasts to a stop.
  11. 9 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.
  12. 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!
  13. 9 points
  14. 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!
  15. 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.
  16. 8 points
  17. 8 points
    Hi everyone! With GMRS gaining traction out there in the offroad/overland arena, I figured it might be helpful to have an “all-in-one” post with information on how to get into GMRS. The basic approach to the post is for a newcomer to GMRS, or someone (like me) that gets a little overwhelmed with all of the options available. So, if you’re like me and want to just “get to the point” with GMRS, I’m hoping you can walk away from this post knowing how to: Get legal Get talking What is GMRS? There are a lot of different radio “services” out there, including Citizen’s Band (CB), Ham (amature radio), Family Radio Service (FRS), and others. It can get a little confusing keeping it all straight. Bottom line: GMRS is a “relatively new” range of frequencies set aside by the FCC for the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS). Compared to some other services, GMRS is appealing because: It has competitive range/power Good quality transmissions Easy to install and use radios/antennas Easy to use (choose 1 of 22 different channels, similar to CB) No exam or technical requirement, just a paid license Repeaters. Similar to Ham, certain models of GMRS radios have access to special repeater channels that can allow you to transmit over pretty incredible distances. Some local repeaters here in AZ are pushing transmissions over 150 miles, depending on geography and conditions! Cool story bro. So what do I need to get started? This is a pretty easy section. You will need: A GMRS radio A GMRS license with a callsign That’s literally it. GMRS Radio Types There are a TON of different models/styles of GMRS radios. These include models that are highly portable walkie-talkies to hard mounted mobile units that you’d install in your vehicle. Here are a few links to help you with your personal research: Midland Rugged Radios Buy Two Way Radios Marine Approved BTech has a cheap handheld that is repeater capable **UPDATE** Check out this excellent post from @SonoranWanderer on building a GMRS radio kit on a Budget! There are a lot of options out there that fit a range of needs and budgets. My recommendation is to find a radio that provides you with access to the high-power channels. This will get you more range. That said, more power, more money. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with grabbing a cheap handheld unit to get you by on some trail rides. If you’re interested in what I personally bought, check out this thread and this post. So I Need a License? Sounds Intense. Yes. You need a license to LEGALLY TRANSMIT on GMRS frequencies. You can listen all day without one. But if you want to talk, you need the license. Here’s the great thing about the license: Its good for 10 years. Yes, 10 years. NO TESTS. It covers your entire family (immediate family) You get a sweet callsign (WRKC290 is mine, makes you feel official) Its affordable. But what about the evil government tax license fee? Today, a 10 year license is $70. That’s $7 per year. But wait, there’s more. The FCC recently announced that they are reducing the fee to $35. That’s $3.50 per year. At these prices, there’s literally no good reason to avoid getting one if you plan to transmit. Get one. Get legal. How Do I Get a License and Callsign? It’s relatively easy. Check out this article on the AZ GMRS Repeater Club website. It walks you through the entire process, step by step. To get started, visit the FCC website, click “register” and get going! My license was approved the next business day. My license and callsign arrived by email (PDF) the following day. My callsign was updated in their database that very evening. So, I Got My License. What’s Next? Install that radio and get transmitting! Read your manual, get to know your radio’s features, grab a buddy and test it. Some additional resources you’ll find interesting: Check out this great GMRS on a Budget thread! Repeaters – Repeaters will grab your transmission and rebroadcast it at higher power from (generally) a much taller/larger antenna than you’re working with. This can extend your range significantly when you need. MyGMRS.com is a fantastic resource for repeater information. Create a free account, punch in your callsign, and you’ll get access to a nationwide map of repeaters – complete with input/output access tones. It's important to note that MyGMRS hits the FCC license database before they'll let you create an account. If you don't have a license, you're not unlocking any of the repeater tones (more on this later). Get licensed. Get Legal. It’s important to note that this isn’t every repeater out there, some owners don’t have their stations listed here and operate their own club websites. AZ GMRS Repeater Club is another great group with really good information. They host a tower on the White Tank Mountains. You can catch this repeater on Channel 15 (462.5500). They also have a Tuesday night “Radio Net”, which is like a radio-based club meeting, which is fun to listen in to. They also report on the traffic and weather every workday during both the morning and evening commutes. It’s a LOT of fun to listen in on. Tucson GMRS Association – another repeater club. These guys have a few towers, including one on Mt. Lemmon. I’m able to pick up their transmissions from my house in Peoria. Etiquette – Like any form of communication, there are niceties and rules to be observed. Here’s a helpful blog article on some basic rules that apply to pretty much every form of radio communication. Tones and Codes – GMRS allows for privacy tones/codes to allow you to filter out any cross-talk that is occurring on your favorite channel. This allows you to talk to your buddies and not have to listen to some other operators complaining about their spouses. How's this work? In simplest terms, a privacy tone/code simply allows a transmission to breath through your squelch so you can hear the transmission. If you have the tone/code active on the receiving end, you won't hear any chatter on that channel until your radio picks up the appropriate tone/code. Then it lets that piece of traffic through. Pretty simple. Radio to radio (or ship to ship communication): Essentially, if you're using a tone, when you transmit your radio will simultaneously transmit a preset tone. If your friend's radio is preset to listen for that same tone, your message will be heard by them. Think of it like a backchannel chat occurring away from a much larger group chat. However, it's important to note that these "privacy tones" are not necessarily keeping your conversation private. People that are monitoring the same channel can hear you. The tones are more for you to be able to filter out the garbage that might be occurring on a highly active channel. Radio to repeater communication: The use of a tone triggers the repeater to pick up your transmission and retransmit it. Pretty simple. Note: Some repeaters use a dual-tone system, with a difference tone for the input, and another for the output. Some radios (like my Midland 275) can't do dual tone. I can use an input tone to get the repeater to repeat my transmission, but I won't natively be able to hear a response from anyone that responds to me. This doesn't mean I can't hear them though - the workaround is to hit your Monitor Button, which allows all of the grimy static to come in as it removes your squelch so you can hear all transmissions on that frequency, regardless of privacy tones. It's also important to state than many repeater operators rotate their access tones. They do this to keep morons off the airwaves, or help prevent abuse by folks breaking the rules for the repeater. It is also worth noting that almost every locally-based (AZ) repeater uses a tone or code to allow you to transmit on the repeater. These tones/codes come in 2 flavors, including CTCSS and DCS. Here are some detailed articles on the subject, if you’re interested. Continuous Tone-Coded Squelch System Digital Code Squelch (DCS) CTCSS and DCS Tones -- What's the difference? The Travel Tone - It’s also worth noting that there is a “national travel tone”. This is on CTCSS 141.3 Hz. The idea here is that “most” repeaters will accept the travel tone and allow you to broadcast for travel or assistance related transmissions. This is pretty nice, since you don’t need to know a ton of specific tones for specific repeaters for specific needs. This is reminiscent of Channel 14 on CB, which was a largely accepted “travel channel”. Note that not ALL repeaters are set up this way. Most repeaters are privately owned, and their owners are able to configure them however they wish. If you have access to a repeater via a travel tone, DON’T abuse that privilege. Frequency Chart – Here’s a handy freq chart that @theksmith found. I like this as it shows you the cross-over frequencies where you're able to talk to FRS radio users. Jeep Jamboree - JJUSA had an excellent article about why they're moving from CB to GMRS - it's very well written for the layman to understand the advantages. I believe it is also a tipping point towards GMRS when a larger organization like JJ makes such a dramatic shift to a new method of comms. But What About My Baofeng Radio? Nothing that follows in this post constitutes legal advice. So you have a cheap Baofeng radio, like a UV-5R. It's a Ham radio, but can also program in GMRS and transmit. It's easy to see the appeal, you can pick up a Baofeng for like $25. Well, while you CAN, doesn't mean you should. You are able to use the radio to LISTEN to any channel you'd like. However you shouldn't transmit, even if you have a GMRS license. This is due to the radios not being certified by the FCC to broadcast on GMRS frequencies. That said, there's something to be said about grabbing the cheapest radio you can find to be able to listen in (which is legally fine). You also have it on hand in the event you need to transmit in an emergency. Confused? Yeah me too. Here's a great video on why you CAN transmit on GMRS with a Baofeng-type Ham radio, but probably should not due to the legal ramifications. Here's another video on the topic worth watching: If you're interested in programming your Baofeng to pick up transmissions on GMRS bands, here's a great how-to video:
  18. 8 points
    Thank you Marty @shellback91 for the great trail report and leading the run. We could not have asked for a better weather and conditions. We definitely had a blast meeting the ORP family and looking forward to joining on future runs. We did not take too many photos, but grabbed some screen captures from our GoPro, phone and drone video footages. There were not an abundance of drone footages because I was voiding flying close to private lands and where there were power lines. But we got a few nice shots of the overall landscape for sure. I hope to get the video edited and published within a few weeks. There is definitely a back log of trail running videos because we are hitting new trails faster than I can edit them. Please stay tuned as I will publish the video on our YT channel - J2DXPLR. Screen captures from video footages.
  19. 8 points
    I was so pleasantly surprised when I received an email from the State Land Department that my State Trust Land permit was due to expire, and its time to renew! This is a new thing for the State Department! And much welcome, IMHO! I always made it a new year task for me to get my permit every year, but this new reminder was a welcome email. There are pockets of State Trust Land all over the state of Arizona. A family permit is only $20 per year, and well worth the peace of mind in knowing that you are legit in being on that land. Apply here: https://asld.secure.force.com/recreationalpermit/ It's the right thing to do. Help protect and respect our land. smiles, ladybug
  20. 8 points
    Just returned from Winter Jamboree in Sand Hollow, riding shotgun with a local "Wickenburger" (whom I've been encouraging to join ORP... Hope he will as he would be an asset to the club). ANYWAY.... Will post a few photos later as I get time to download some. I didn't take a lot of pics, due to battery issues with the picture taking device... Was a good time, even if a overly busy/crowded on the trails, making for some longish waits at some of the obstacles. Trails ran included; Milts Mile, Double Sammi, Slip Lock Gulch, & Toquerville Falls. Here's a few shots from the event. Day one - Slip Lock gulch Day 2 - Started out badly - Dead in the water after breakfast in the hotel parking lot with a no-start condition... Which presented as a failed fuel pump, but when a new pump did not fix the issue, a bit of sleuthing of the wiring we discovered an open circuit in the fuel pump ground wiring, and corrected by adding a solid connection ground.... AND THUS... Day 2 ended pleasantly with a scenic ride out to Toqerville falls, Followed by sighting a little wildlife on the way back to town...
  21. 8 points
    Day three we went to Double Sammi, where I failed to take any photos, but on our final day (day 4), we ran Milts Mile, where I was able to get a couple shots... The "moon buggy" was owned by one of the spotters for the trails. He did not have as much excitement as the "full-bodied" rigs did... LOL These next three are of the final obstacle on Milts Mile, named "The Chute"...
  22. 8 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...
  23. 8 points
    Here are a few my wife took. Nothing, quite an accurate description. A gaggle of Jeeps and their humans. A view from the top.
  24. 8 points
    Home safe and sound after a fun day! Thanks everybody who came out to celebrate the holidays after the holidays! We had an absolute blast, it was so great to see everybody. I'm with Ryan, I think I ate more cookies than I ever have. Those were some awesome cookies! Thank you everybody who baked!
  25. 8 points
    Thanks @Sonoranrunner more info and pics soon! Great meeting the group and hope the return home was all safe!
  26. 8 points
    For Black Friday @Number7 and I ran the Chloride Mines trail near Chloride, AZ. This is the trail where the Painted rocks are located. We ran it west to east, the opposite of directions shown in Wells trail guide. It is a very scenic trail, with eastern and western views from the Cerbat Mountains. We could see all the way to Valle Vista from one vantage point. There are 2 campgrounds along the way, but neither of those will accommodate a very large group. They were kind of funky, you had to carry your stuff a long way to the table and fire ring. The trail itself is easy with a couple mildly moderate spots. It took us 2.5 hours including a quick (it was freezing!) lunch stop. Overlooking Chloride
  27. 8 points
    Did one of the last interior items I intend to do on the Wagoneer. Installed some slip type seat covers from Seats Unlimited in Mesa. Before and after pics below. Carpet was done a few weeks ago while I was waiting for the seat covers to come. Still need to redo the Sun Visors.
  28. 8 points
  29. 8 points
    Following up on my post from a few months ago, I replaced both front seat belts in the Wag with new ones from Juliano's. The retractor reel was acting up and we decided to play it safe and go with new. Installed easily and ready to go.
  30. 8 points
  31. 8 points
    what & why i realized that i couldn't really lift a 37x13.5" tire/wheel and line it up on the carrier at the same time, so i made a hoist that can raise or lower it effortlessly. i keep a battery powered drill in my rig, which runs the hoist quickly - but in a pinch i could also just use a ratchet. i'll probably make a better video, but here's an early test: building it the main component is an LCI RV Spare Tire Winch, which is designed to mount under a camper or trailer just like the factory one on many pickup trucks. it's really just a specialized worm gear hand winch - i prefer the worm gear style over a simple two-way ratcheting winch as it gives you more precise control, can switch direction at any time you need, has less moving parts, and the design is inherently load-holding. i drilled holes across an extra splined lug-nut key and attached it to the winch so that i can turn it using anything with a 3/4" socket (i.e. a ratchet or drill with a socket adapter). FYI, this inexpensive drill-adapter would be an even easier choice if anyone decides to tackle this project themselves. i cut off the wheel grabber that it came with and put a loop in the end of the cable instead, mainly because i needed to pass the cable through a small slit (more on that in a moment). then i made a new wheel holder that hooks onto that loop and fits more securely in two of my wheel's lug nut holes. original part on left, new wheel grabber on right: here's how it fits into the wheel: i made a simple bracket to mount the winch to. it bolts into the upper 4 tire carrier mounting points. i actually have a Teraflex Alpha Tire Carrier, but it mounts to the tailgate in the same holes as the factory one. i needed a slit cut into the Teraflex spare mounting plate for the cable to pass through. to create it, i drilled 2 holes and then connected them using a rotary tool with a carbide burr. then this pulley got bolted to the plate (or this one would work as well): the little piece of aluminum over the top of the pulley is just to hold the cable in the groove even when there's no weight on it. here's the final product: cable extended, ready to attach to the spare using my wheel grabber (still sitting on top of the tire in this photo): after the spare is raised and bolted onto the tire carrier, only the cable loop is visible slightly... ...but that gets covered up by my custom license plate / third brake light / camera mount: here are the Ryobi tools i carry under the rear seat in a JeepSwag DirtBagz bag. besides the 1/2" impact wrench, there's a JobPlus base tool and 3 interchangeable heads: right-angle drill, rotary tool, and reciprocating saw. i use a 3/4" socket on the impact wrench for lug nuts, and then just move that socket over to the drill (with a socket adapter) to run the hoist. improvements & other ideas this project was pretty straight-forward and seems to work well. the only potential issue i see thus far is the length of the LCI RV Spare Tire Winch's cable. it's just barely long enough to reach the spare on the ground with my current lift and tire size. there's also no additional room on the drum, so it can't be easily extended. this Dutton-Lainson 1500lb is the next smallest worm-gear winch i could find which would have plenty of room for extra cable. but you'd need to build a small fairlead for it to keep the cable lined up with the slot in the tire carrier plate. Harbor Freight has a cheap slightly bigger one, but it's actually kind of large and heavy in-person. i also strongly considered using a small electric ATV winch, but in the end i was dissuaded by nearly 15 pounds of weight and added complexity of running decent gauge wires to it. sometimes simplicity wins out, even on a "Gadget Jeep"! i did find this incredibly cheap Tyrannosaurus 2k synthetic ATV winch that would probably work quite well. in fact, if i you have a heavy duty bumper-mounted tire carrier and 40's then IMO, that would be the way to go.
  32. 8 points
    Took the 1st load of stuff to the new house yesterday. We'll be fully moved by the end of the week. Needs a few things to make it a 'home', but I am totally loving the place. I think the island looks beautiful .
  33. 8 points
    This year's Gala is being organized 100% by Offroad Passport members! We'd like to extend a heartfelt "Thank you!" to the following folks for putting this all together, including spending their time & fuel scouting for camp sites: @4x4tographer & @Yodamom @Bradywgn71 & @kaspily @shellback91 @Trail Toy Ya'll are awesome! - The Offroad Passport Founders (Kristoffer, George & Diane)
  34. 8 points
    Clifford is all moved in already! Just make yourself at home buddy, see you in a couple weeks! I am in love with my new house!
  35. 8 points
    Stuff continues to happen at the new house, George will be up there next week painting. I grabbed this picture off facebook taken yesterday evening from a vineyard near our new neighborhood. Evening walks and skies like this are part of the reason I'm excited to move.
  36. 8 points
    My buddy Al has been working out
  37. 8 points
    She never talks to me about stuff. We need counseling
  38. 8 points
  39. 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
  40. 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.
  41. 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!
  42. 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.
  43. 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!
  44. 7 points
    Fiona got a hard-top! Brady has wanted one since we got her, but even used they typically goes for around $1,500 - on the rare occasion you can find one locally. well thanks to @Number7's knack for spotting Craigslist deals, we picked one up with slight damage for an absolute steal, even including the $150 in gas to retrieve it from Kingman. FYI, an entire soft-top does just barely fit inside a 2-door if you take out the rear and passenger seats! the previous owner damaged a rear corner while taking it off. besides that and a few minor scrapes and scratches, it was in good shape. we'll try to do a proper fiberglass repair at some point, but i threw on a piece of duct-tape for now to get it through the car-wash without further damage. it could really use some tint... but an engine/trans skid and a couple new tires are the more immediate needs. also, me driving it to Kingman and back really upped the priority of adding cruise control! BTW, we now have a factory soft top for sale if anyone needs one!
  45. 7 points
    The first item to work on was Shelley's new front bumper. I'm using early mornings, evenings, and breaks from work to tinker on these projects. This one took two mornings and evenings, plus lunches. So maybe I'm not the fastest wrench slinger. She liked the Smittybilt Stryker front bumper. She got the full-width setup. but for this post I installed it as a stubby. The wings will come later once I get the cube lights installed into the wings and wiring in place. The stubby center section has openings that accept the JL's factory LED fog lamps. The bumper supports standard sized winches and for her Jeep we went with the Warn Evo 10k-S (synthetic rope). She found some light blue D-Rings and we closed out the install with a Factor-55 flatlink in (dark) blue with the Factor-55 rope guard. The first job was to strip off the factory plastic bumper and related parts. Bumper and plastic skid plate cover removed: Very useful tools in both removing and disassembling the bumper: Factory skid plate that covers the (anti) sway-bar disconnect removed: On each side of the frame mounting points is a bolted on brace, the inner braces (still present int eh picture above also need to be removed for the Stryker. The Stryker uses a different bolt pattern and hardware and comes with its own inner replacement braces. You can see the inner brace (looks like a backwards "C" and bolt on the passenger side frame rail better in this image: At this point, I'll say that the Smittybilt instructions leave a bit to be desired. The bumper can be used on a JK, JL or JT, and the instructions and picture are written for a JK, with extra steps in text only for a JL/JT. And the images are of black metal in not well lit conditions. This made trying to figure out that they wanted that inner brace removed but the outer brace retained. Their instructions are also not well written for someone who has never removed and taken apart a Jeep bumper before. If you have replaced a JL/JT, even a JK bumper before, you would probably not notice the gaps in the instructions. Later on in the instructions, some assembly of the bumper facia and overrider/bull bar is completely left out. You just have to realize there are "extra" bolts and holes that if filled early in the process make life a little easier. Putting on the single piece winch plate and tow points, not see are the SB inner braces. Lying on the garage floor is that factory inner brace, previously removed. Next is the Evo 1k-S winch. Due to the design of the winch wiring hook-up points and the tight space in which you have to work, and the fact that you do not want your new winch wire touching a hot transmission cooler or radiator, there is not an easy way to hide the red/hot wire. I may revisit that later on. Once the winch power wires went under the front facia, I followed existing factory harnesses along the frame rail (that stay adequately away from the potentially hot starter motor until I could route the wire up between the air box and battery. . Side note on wiring to the battery, the 3.6L engines come with nuts on the battery accessory terminals to secure accessory wires. The 2.0L engines do not (Internet verified!). The accessory posts are there, just no nuts. for the 2.0L you will need to run to the hardware store or a car parts place and grab a couple M8-1.25 Hex flanged and serrated nuts. Why Jeep does this differently based on engine may remain one of life's great mysteries. The battery image above shows my awesome aftermarket nut on the negative accessory terminal. It also helps if you go to the store and get a high tech wire routing tool. I think I bought this one about 10-15 years ago. Something I did not get great pictures of is that while the fog lamps unscrew from the intact bumper, to recover the factory fog light harness intact, you have to completely disassemble the bumper into its three major parts. The wire harness goes in through the front and back of the center plastic super structure (left in the image below, harness already removed). That a little bit of desert keepsake in the crashbar and not rust! Another goodie I added to this installation was a Factor-55 anti-theft winch lock replacing one of the four winch mounting bolts (top of image): Nothing's perfect or absolute, but it will make a would-be thief work just a little harder. Onward to the bumper facia and skid plate. The facia is held one with 8 bolts that sink into the facia, 4 around each tow point. The skid plate attaches to the facia via four sunk bolts barely visible in the image. Now the frustration in the instructions are that while the eight facia bolts also hold the overrider in place there are actually four hidden holes and undocumented bolts that hold the overrider to the main facia, two per side. Knowing that would have made this one-person install of the facia to the winch plate go a lot smoother and quicker. Not show here and also not well shown in the instructions is for the JL/JT how to secure the back/bottom of the skid plate to the frame using an extra otherwise undocumented part (bar) that bolts to the frame and to the skid plate. the JK does not need this part. Worth noting, the Evo winch with the (passenger side) factory fog lamp with the fog lamp harness plugged in is a tight fit. Crammed and jammed really. Not in the instructions, plug in the fog lamp harness at least to the passenger lamp before installing the facia. Might leave the driver's side unplugged to do harness routing after facia assembly. The driver's side is easy to plug in later. Fully bolted, torqued, and assembled bumper, winch and accessories. I think the lighter, but not flat, blue D-rings set off the appliance nicely. Factor's blue is a close enough match given it's far enough from any blue painted body surface. Warn was nice enough to include a black hawse fairlead, but not black bolts. Fortunately there were extra bolts in the Smittybilt bolt and parts bags. Given their matching size, maybe for this exact reason? And yes (for the very observant), the winch cable needs proper rewinding.
  46. 7 points
    i don't think i ever posted that Fiona inherited Gadget's factory rims, wheel spacers, and 35" STT Pro's when i went to 37's. i actually thought Fiona looked great with the black steelies and wide A/T's, but B preferred the more modern style of the 2016 OEM wheels. at least now he has a matching full size spare! both of our rigs were clean at the same time for once, so i grabbed a father-son-Jeep photo this past weekend!
  47. 7 points
    carnage report from Rocktoberfest 2021: the new wheels got some major gouges, but the fake bead-lock rings worked very well at keeping their valve stems and rest of the wheel out of the rocks. i slid downhill and drug my driver rear Nemesis aluminum fender flare against a boulder while on the Safelite trail. it held up great though - didn't bend and didn't transfer any damage to the body. i've already filed the rough edge back smooth and touched it up. of course the rock rails and skids got scraped-up quite a bit... just doing their job though! i did come down on the driver side rail hard enough to bend the middle of the hoop though (also on Safelite). i haven't re-painted them yet, but did file/sand out the sharp gouges. the only costly damage appears to be my rear driveshaft - not sure when this happened. unfortunately it's dented at that one deep gouge, not just scratched. i'm worried about that being a weak point which could lead to it twisting during some future hardcore trail. an aftermarket shaft was already on the wishlist, but now it's top priority. happy to report no new body dings except for a couple small scrapes on the rear of the hard-top from backing into tree limbs while trying to get a different line at an obstacle on Black Inky Spring. Gadget did good - she's getting a hand-wax for a reward!
  48. 7 points
    Most of you know we went full "nomad" phase in June 2021. Thanks to the housing market we sold our home in Peoria and transitioned to RV fulltime status. We were under contract in March on a 2008 American Tradition 42F but lost this in May to a very shady RV dealer in Sun City, AZ. However, thanks to this fraud we saved 12K in sales tax and put that instead towards a bigger and better model. In a weird twist, the owner of this 2008 RV contacted me via Facebook and didn't even know the dealer sold it out from under us and was trying to screw him on the price too. Working together we held the dealer accountable and the owner got his full asking price. So word to the wise, if buying an RV stick to a private party sale if possible or at a minimum never buy from the large well known consignment dealer in Sun City. So what did we get you ask? We ended up finding a private party sale for a 2010 American Tradition 45Y RV diesel pusher with 32,000 miles. It has the 425hp Cummins motor and the heavy spartan chassis that lets us tow 15K in weight. This RV retailed for $450K new and has all the extras. It was always parked in an airplane hanger so it looks new on the outside and the inside was in excellent condition. We purchased a flatbed drive over fender trailer that can haul 14k in weight so our fat Jeep should fit just fine. However, the RV is 45 feet long and trailer is 20ft plus hitch. So we are going to be very long going down the road. So where the heck are you is the next question we get? I lucked out and found a private lot in Rimrock, AZ on Craigslist of all places. It is a one acre lot, with room for the dogs to run around, and we have full hookups. We moved here in mid June and have been working on projects and upgrades. Travel plans are a bit delayed right now as we get everything dialed in and wait on some income to come in. However, we will be making it to Sand Hollow, St George, Utah in October for the first big trip. After that plans are pretty flexible as I look for continued virtual work. Another positive is we have the opportunity for a Chino Valley home base with the same owner of the Rimrock property. So stay tuned for that. This thread is to document the projects and upgrades for our RV. Stayed tuned for more we have been very busy this past 2 months.
  49. 7 points
    Rolled out to Lake Pleasant to explore a little side canyon area with @theksmith and to grab some "commercial" photos. It's been a LONG time since I've played around with some strobist photography. I've forgotten how much I enjoyed it. I've still got a few more to look at, but dropped a few of my favorites from the day below: The shade of this small canyon wall helped keep direct sun out of the equation and let us play with a mix of ambient light and remote flash. Of course, you need to add in your own headlights for a little extra drama! The lower to the ground you get, the better. I was crawling in the dirt most of the morning. Here's a nose to nose shot with Gadget, and below are a few of my favorite captures of Kristoffer's rig.
  50. 7 points
    I am not sure about plants but my buddy Al has been trying to grow french fries in his JKU. He keeps planting them underneath his seats any chance he gets
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