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Showing content with the highest reputation since 03/03/2020 in all areas

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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."
  10. 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.
  11. 7 points
  12. 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!"
  13. 7 points
    Before and after, thanks Kris
  14. 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!
  15. 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.
  16. 7 points
    To all you vets out there....THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE. Al
  17. 7 points
    We had such a fun long weekend!! Thank you for this great time!! Link to photo album Sarah's photos
  18. 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 )
  19. 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
  20. 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.
  21. 7 points
    Just wanted to start a thread to help offer assistance, supply hunting, grocery shopping assistance, etc. If someone needs something or an errand run please post it up. If you aren't comfortable shopping due to an underlying medical issue please reach out. I am sure our community can help each other out. Stay safe out there! -Sarah
  22. 6 points
    Maybe there will have to be a recall to rearrange the letters.
  23. 6 points
    this is off-topic from outdoor/4x4, but it's still a destination we went to iFly Indoor Skydiving this past weekend and i have to say it was an experience worth doing! Aimee got us a family pass for Christmas after i'd been talking about wanting to do it for months. we each had a couple runs and then paid extra for the "high fly" experience on our last flight. Aimee & B were both chicken to try it at first, but ended up loving it too! here's Brady kicking ass in the tube: i doubt it's much like actual skydiving, but i don't plan on jumping out of a perfectly good airplane anytime soon! one instructor was showing off between groups - flips, spins, walking on the walks, all sorts of poses, dives, and then exited the tube with a backwards flip while hands were crossed on his shoulders! it was pretty impressive and made us want to keep going back until we get enough experience to fly solo.
  24. 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!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  25. 6 points
    Here are a few of mine. There were Saguaros all over the place. Abandoned cabin and what appeared to be a barn at the campsite. Me and my copilot. Thanks @johnpa for snapping the pic!
  26. 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.
  27. 6 points
    Saw this, frankly genius, video that showcases many of the factors and solutions to a lot of offroad challenges. The last few minutes don’t really apply, but the first several challenges are brilliantly demonstrated, in my opinion.
  28. 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.
  29. 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
  30. 6 points
    New Years Day a few of us got together to follow @theksmith around in the desert, exploring some trails and washes on his side of town. It was one of those "If we can drop down into this wash, I think it will take us all the way to the road over there..." kind of days. BTW, the wash did go through. It was a nice relaxing day of sunshine, tunes, and rocks. I needed it. Along for the ride were @Number7 & @scottL. All my photos are here: Diane's Google Photos
  31. 6 points
  32. 6 points
    I have to ad pics in two posts so here's some party time pics. Pile o' gifts. @Number7 cooking away. Thanks again G! Cookie Time. The kiddos.
  33. 6 points
    Today was a blast for sure. Great trail in and definitely interesting drop down the hill. Thanks @dzJeepChic @Number7 for cooking and @theksmith for getting us there. @4x4tographer and @Yodamom here's one for you.
  34. 6 points
  35. 6 points
    So I’ve been interested in joining in on some of the overnight trips some of you guys do, but I’m too big of a wuss to sleep in a tent on the ground. After reading @theksmith excellent sleeping platform build thread I decided to try to adapt one to my existing drawer system that I built for my JLU. KSmith’s build thread is highly detailed, and my engineering prowess is pretty rudimentary. My version of the sleeping platform is definitely a bit of a hack job with some room for improvement, but here’s where I’ve landed. I really liked KSmith’s removable verticals supports, so I did my best to mimic it. Using similar “lift off hinges”, I ran into a little snag where I didn’t have enough room (vertically) on the back of my drawer system to install 2 hinges per side. I opted to go with just 1 per side (they’re fairly beefy) and added a strip of plywood next to each hinge as a sort of support. The thought is that the plywood strips will support the bulk of the weight along this edge. Here’s a mock-up of the 2 boards that make up the sleeping area. A contour gauge and a jigsaw helped to shape the board around the center console arm rest. Some t-nuts and hinges went in to make the platform collapsable. I looked at using a piano hinge for a perfect “fold flat” for storage, but the hinges I found at the local store seems pretty flimsy to me, made of brass. I went for some beefy gate hinges, but realized the error of my ways when I went to fold it flat and the bolt heads at the hinge got in the way. They fold down to about 5 degrees from perfectly flat. I’d really like to get them to fold perfectly flat, so I’m going to have to go the piano hinge route and some low profile bolts or screws with flat/tapered heads. Here’s a photo of the platform “folded”. I won’t be able to hit a trail with it like those as it’ll vibrate it self apart, so I’ll stuff a blanket into the void or something. And here is the platform fully unfolded. All in all, its pretty sturdy. To help keep it from moving around (side-to-side) when shifting weight, I added 2 additional “lift off hinges” to the back-edge of the platform and the leading edge of the drawer system. The platform will slide and “lock” into position, preventing any side-to-side tipping when I’m moving about trying to get comfy. Here’s a view from the other side. I really liked KSmith’s idea of leaving the driver side seat available to sit in, change your pants on, whatever! It also makes it a hell of a lot easier to get onto the platform as opposed to trying to climb in from the passenger side. I felt like I was 20 years older trying to navigate myself in and out from that side. And here’s a view from the tailgate. I suppose I might be a little tall (which is funny to say at 5’10”) but my toes and head touch the tailgate and passenger seat. Something I’ll have to get used to. All-in-all, I’m happy with the width of the sleeping area and I don’t feel too cramped laying on it. Best of all, the entire platform just snaps in and out in about 30 seconds. So it’s a breeze to install it on the fly. For the moment I’m going to leave it all unpainted until I’m happy with it, but I’ll eventually hit it with some bedliner rattle cans like I did with the drawer/deck. Overall the coating is holding up pretty well since I built it about a year ago, so I have a few areas to touch up from some abuse. Now to find a sleeping pad and a decent sleeping bag! Looking forward to trying this new system out on the next trip!
  36. 6 points
    @Yodamom and I took a brief "after work / pre-Christmas" trip out to see the Anderson Mill in the San Domingo Wash just outside of Wickenburg today. Was joined by @Trail Toy and the kids for a nice afternoon! If you've never checked it out - try it! An out & back style trail, you can knock it out in about 2 to 2.5 hours round trip and makes for a great little trip with a lot of mines, scenery, and history.
  37. 6 points
  38. 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.
  39. 6 points
    @scottL and i took a quick trip to visit The Rolls area on Friday afternoon. it was recently re-opened after the Bush fire and you can get in via the 4-peaks or Pobrecito entrances, but the Butcher Jones gate is not open. hopefully that will cut down on some the yahoos you usually see partying at the coves. i think this might be my favorite photo of Gadget flexing ever, thanks for taking it Scott! here are some more i took while we were out.
  40. 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
  41. 6 points
    debadging complete! tools of the trade: i brought the nose up nearly and inch to level her out and make room for the upcoming larger tires. i used software to adjust what the air suspension module considers Normal Ride Height (NRH). you can also accomplish this by replacing the links to the sensors with new ones from airlinksgc.com (or make your own). i went the software route since i'm a tech-nerd and because the app will allow me to change other settings such as keeping the fog lights on with high beams and more. i bought the Alfa OBD app ($50) for Android and then you also need an OBD2 dongle. i've got the OBDLink MX+ ($100) but the OBDLink LX ($60) dongle would work just as well in this particular case. note that the super cheap dongles may not work for some features. 2018 and newer WK2 models also require a bypass dongle or a 12+8 cable ($30) to get around the FCA Secure Gateway Module (SGM). for more info, see the AlfaOBD website and this WK2 specific thread about AlfaOBD, or this thread on RamForum.com which has become the AlfaOBD bible. be sure to read the part about backing up your initial settings to Google Drive for future reference! clean and level!
  42. 6 points
  43. 6 points
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/5dHfr5ykcs6SWsoSA Pics we took from the trip.
  44. 6 points
    Great weekend! Enjoyed the trail ride & thanks for everyone looking out for me. Al
  45. 6 points
  46. 6 points
    I was doing some file purging & digging through old picture files, and ran across a few that perhaps a few here would find interesting. Who says a YJ has limited articulation? "Mini-Rubicon" ... These pic's are from my working days, doing vehicle development. These were courses we built and used for evaluation of vehicles and systems... This particular vehicle is sporting a rather unique full hydraulic suspension system, which allowed for 20-plus inches of wheel travel, all while keeping the body as level as the terrain would allow. Following the first few phases of development work here in AZ, we took it to the Rubicon Trail, which this vehicle's suspension allowed us to do with ease. Sadly, the complexity of the controls system, and the multitude of the hydraulic components of the system proved to be both too expensive (significantly more than doubling the cost of the base vehicle), and over the multi-year time we spent on development, re-designs, and testing, we were never able to get the reliability to meet levels deemed commercially acceptable ... Even with these pitfalls, it was one of the more challenging and fun projects I was involved with in the latter parts of my career...
  47. 6 points
    Had a great day today trying to escape the 116 temps in the Phoenix Valley with a day trip up through the Prescott NF by way of Crown King Road, the Senator Highway and Poland Road. We were able to get the mercury down to about 89 when we topped out at 7,300-ish feet on Poland Road. Got to hang out with @CAVU2 and @gearhead again and we were joined by a pair of new Jeepers from my local neighborhood Jeep group in Vistancia. Total trail length was about 68 miles and we were on the dirt for just about 8 hours. We climbed into Crown King And ran into a HUUUUGE group of SxSs that were doing a poker run. Crazy amount of traffic. We took the old Senator Highway north and connected up with Poland Road near Mount Union, one of the tallest mountains in the area. There was a nice little technical area on Poland Road that was pretty fun and I’d highly recommend this little trail - great views! On our way out we took a very brief walk to check out the Walker Tunnel, which was once part of Murphy's Impossible Railroad that moved supplies and ore from between Prescott and the Crown King Mine.
  48. 6 points
    Opened my rear deck lid & noticed the dome lights flickering out Found a wire split up by the 3rd brake light so I soldered an extension to snake through the grommet Extra length should keep it from rubbing on the back of the ‘lid Viola’ Tight
  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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