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Everything posted by 4x4tographer

  1. Thanks for the feedback guys! I looked up the "seasonal forecast" for the area (nearby Eagar, AZ) and you're absolutely right about the rain! I might be rethinking this plan.
  2. Hi all! We're contemplating a camping trip out to Big Lake just outside of Alpine, AZ sometime in August. Anyone familiar with the area? Any must-sees? Any known trails? The seasonal temps look AWESOME that time of year. TIA! Ryan
  3. Happy Birthday George!
  4. haha we have a year to plan our next attack! Thats cool that there is a mailing list. Do you know how to get onto it? Do I just call and ask for Mike? Thanks @Ladybug!
  5. Dude - that KZ Classic is a good find! I'm really surprised at how large it is versus the dry weight (the 181BH and 190BH). The full queen and dual bunks are pretty much perfect for our fam. The 190BH is a dual axel. Nice! As for rentals - we used RV Share. I've also heard good things about Outdoorsey. Both are basically AirBnB for RVs.
  6. 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...
  7. I have the 67 designs mount in my 2018 JL, but the mount-base design is totally different. They utilize a rail system for the JL to allow for more adjustability. https://www.67d.com/collections/jl-gladiator-rail-system/products/jeep-jl-rail-mount-gladiator-series-55-rail-mount-pack-options That said, I'm a fan. The carbon fiber arms are well built, the phone clamp is very solid. I also like the various options to add additional arms/accessories. You can also utilize popular RAM mounts with their system, provided you get the right pieces.
  8. AWWWWW MAAAAAAAN! They charged the darn RSVP date on us! It was originally listed as 5/20. I checked a cached version of the site than they made a change sometime after 4/30. I'm sorry guys, I completely missed it. I never thought they'd go in a change the date after the fact... I guess there's always 2021!
  9. ***UPDATE*** USFS changed the RSVP date to 2 days prior after this thread was started. I completely missed the change and never called. Sorry guys! ===========Original Thread============ Hello! Ever since I saw @Bradywgn71 reminiscing about the Casner Mountain Trail on social media, I can't stop thinking about my own trip up the mountain - it was amazing. I'm planning to shoot for a 2020 permit to get a group to go. However, there is no guarantee we'll get one. The USFS only allots 22 permits per year, limited to 10 vehicles per permit - that means Casner is one of the most exclusive trails around! The goal of this post is to get 10 interested vehicles lined up, with a backup list. Due to the nature of the permit process, the run would occur sometime between July 27 and October 11. The USFS has changed the way they do the permit process. Groups with less than 10 vehicles will be asked to merge with other groups to ensure as many people as possible can use the trail. This is the reason I'm soliciting for 9 additional participants up front. From the USFS website: I plan to be first on the phone for the 2nd round of permits. I'm setting like 20 alarms and bells and whistles! I'm sure I won't be the only one calling! Trail Information: Steep inclines, moderate off-camber, shelf roads TrailsOffroad: https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/1460-casner-mountain-trail USFS: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/coconino/recarea/?recid=55262 A great write up and photos by @theksmith Vehicle Requirements: High clearance, 4 low, A/T or M/T tires. Locker or limited slip recommended. Sign Ups: 1 - 4x4tographer 2 - @Bradywgn71 3 - @johnpa 4 - @JeepUniq 5 - @SlyDawg 6 - @AZRNintheJeep242 7 - @SonoranWanderer 8 - @Eugene 9 - @squinko 10 - Standby List: 1 - @theksmith 2 - @ob1jeeper & @Ladybug
  10. Lol can we include the wine tasting as a side trip on all of the options?
  11. I'd be interested! I'll PM ya!
  12. Hey all! Going to cancel this run from a lack of interest and current climate perspective. I'll keep it on the back burner for a later date! Thanks!
  13. Thanks for joining and the kind words @ob1jeeper and @Ladybug! I always love hanging out with you guys. Hopefully we'll meet back up again soon!
  14. Yeah it sure was! Other than hitting one of the big lakes around here, I've not seen that much water in a long while. The spring was RUSHING and reminded me a little of being back in the Appalachia's. Super cool place.
  15. Thanks for the photos man! Here's a few I grabbed throughout the day. @gearhead @Ladybug & @ob1jeeper followed by @SonoranWanderer as we pull up alongside the Monte Cristo Mine with the moon setting in the background. Here's another with @theksmith An old structure @ the Monte Cristo Mine Back on the trail with @gold digger & Sadie with the Monte Cristo Mine in the distance. This is a very small portion of the Gold Bar Mine. There was a great little overlook and pull off area that gave sweeping views of the area and showed just how expansive the operations were. Behind this outcropping of redrock is the hidden Buckhorn Springs which were FLOOOOOOOWING with water from the recent 4 day spree of rain we had. After we left the springs it was about 2 hours of non-stop water crossings. Here's @gearhead going down the lazy river! The boundaries of the Hells Canyon Wilderness Area.
  16. Home safe! Thanks for coming out everyone! I hope ya’ll had a great time. Photos coming soon!
  17. Sorry for the delay. Yup! I’m on a 100% stock Rubicon suspension and factory A/T tires. I am skidded up though with a decent plate system. I’m not one to take unnecessary risk, and my Jeep is my daily driver. That said, please don’t feel pressured! That said, there are a lot of veteran trail riders that will be with us on this run, so that makes me feel better. I’ve never run this trail system, so I can’t form an opinion on difficulty/wet challenges. We’ll all be experts on this trail tomorrow though! If we come across anything impassable or dangerous, we’ll turn around for sure. If we find the trail is too tough, we can certainly opt for an alternative route. I’m not the biggest fan of splitting up for safety reasons.
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