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Old 11-15-2012, 10:56 AM   #71
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Why I have a 4x4 truck...aside from needing it for the snow and farm use I mentioned in an earlier post to this thread.

True story. We were visiting the Bruneau Dunes State Park this past summer. Dunes...blowing sand. Their paved parking lot had a uniform layer of sand blown across it. Paved and level, but, with a coating of sand. Here we come in our Cummins Turbo Diesel. I don't know about the Ford or Chevy diesels, but, that Cummins is heavy...1100 lbs vs. 485 lbs for the Hemi V8. IIRC, the only way you can get the Cummins package is if it is built with the snow plow package to hold that additional weight up. We park in the lot and do our "sight seeing thing". We go to leave. Rear wheel spin, no movement. Deep breath. Lighten up on the gas foot and still nothing. Is there something I could do? Yep, I could air down the rear tires from the 80 psi I use for towing to get a bigger foot print, I could get down on my hands and knees and clear the sand away (98 degrees; sand and asphalt much hotter...). Or? Turn the dash knob to 4 wheel Hi and back out of the parking space. Turns out that the parking lot had "sagged" where the front wheels were...two little depressions that the heavy Cummins had settled right into while we were "out and about". Even my limited slip rear differential wasn't going to haul that heavy front end up and out while sitting on a layer of sand.

Do you have to have a 4x4? No. I could have gotten out of the parking lot without it; more work and a lot more sweat. Am I glad I had it then? You bet. Turn a knob or break a sweat? I'll take turning the knob every time
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:41 PM   #72
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I only have my opinion, no facts. I drive a 2002 Chevy K3500, 6X6, dually, crew cab, long bed truck. I tow a 15,500# 5er. Our maiden voyage we drove from Indiana to Idaho via US 2. Just West of Cutbank, MT. the highway dept. had totally torn-up the highway for replacement. We drove about 7 miles on a soft mud surface. I used 6WD the entire time on the muddy surface except switching to 2WD a few time to see what happened. Those times the rear wheels spun (locking differentials), but I kept moving, and throwing mud onto our new 5er and oncoming cars. Switching back to 6WD, stopped any spinning and throwing mud onto oncoming cars.
We also like to explore the desert, specifically for ghost towns. You are foolish to take a 2WD vehicle into the desert, even 4WD users take along a shovel, water to pack the sand, and mats for getting unstuck. A dually is not well -suited for this purpose, but is required for towing our 5er. Fuel costs/mileage (about 2MPG less) are not much different from our old 2WD 1996 Dodge 3/4T CTD, loaded or empty.
The bottom line? It's your life and money to spend as you choose to enjoy.
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:19 AM   #73
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4x4

A lot of advantages, maybe not necessary--sometimes its just a Tim Taylor(of TV show "Tool Time") thing--arg,arg,arg,arg--Vince
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:48 AM   #74
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<TRIGGER> Editorial comment. This may piss some people off. It's rather long too.

I need to step in here and say something. Over the past several days I've been in several forum discussions with more than a few people who want to go out and play in the desert. I've even given them an adventure south of Death Valley. The talk turned to who can do what with 2WD vs 4WD vs 6WD and on and on. I've seen this in everyone from experienced RVers who are everything from LEOS, retired military, engineers to noobs in the desert who grew up on a farm in 4x's. I get the same thing from all of them, "It's ok, my multiple axle wheel and track thing can go anywhere." Bulls**t!!

This now has me worried. I've spent the last 20 years teaching people how to play safely in the desert and that includes driving 4x4s. I've written 6 books on the desert including two on survival, one how to drive and play off road. I've also built off road vehicles and used them to haul RVs of all kinds from Class 'C's to fivers and more out of the desert where they should not be and found more than a few RVs stuck on the side of an open desert road between towns where the only people are me and the guy who got stuck. Usually broken down to maint problems.

My point; I see the same thing here that I have seen in my survival classes and on the road for 20 years. Too much EGO. I don't care if you drive a 2,4,6,8, or 12 by. It doesn't matter if you can haul your rig through 12ft of snow with your tow. The attitudes shown here only say one thing to me.

Some of you are going to head out to the desert one day and you won't return.

It's a fact and it is well documented.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Press Conference with Riverside County Sheriff 2002.
Reporter: "Sheriff how many undiscovered bodies to you think there are in the desert?"
Sheriff: "If they all stood up at once there would be a forest."
All survival texts and classes say you can go 3+ days without water and 5+ without food. In the desert, even with water, that number drops to hours not days. Without water survival beyond 24 hours is almost unheard of. In fact the last guy I remember lasting more than 3 days was in 2004 and it was in the middle of winter.

The desert is no place for attitude, egos or anything else. If you try to challenge the desert it will kill you and you die slowly not even knowing it's happening to you. Don't say it can't happen because I've seen it way too many times. An 18yr old went for a 2 mile easy walk at 6am to avoid the heat. He left his water behind and a week later we find is body sitting against a rock near another campground. Too late the coyotes have already been there. Coroners report said he probably died by the middle of the day. Then there was Evan Tanner the Ultimate Fighting Champion. In 2008 he went in to the desert for a weeks trip after preparing for it over several months. He lasted three days; cause of death by what the sheriffs' dept calls "exposure to extreme desert conditions". The real cause of his death was stupidity, ego, adventure, challenge, obsession, the sure thought that my vehicle can handle anything. I wonder how many times I've heard that only to wind up rescuing the guy who uttered those very words. I have a nice photo album of all those "Stuck Pigs"

Problem is the knowledge that I can post to protect you, to give you the edge is prohibited by forum rules because I sell one item on that site and copyrights on my docs all send you there; to the company whose only goal was to keep you alive. You find my site I don't care if you buy it or not. What I care about is YOU, people I don't know and keeping you alive.

Adventures in the desert are amazing. The Plank Road, the site of the Mojave Phone Booth, ghost towns, the Integretron, sunken ships and more. I encourage you to go find them. Just put your ego away when you head out there.

Click to Enlarge.
l-r Desert Ranger and some of my builds. The Dirt Dawg, a Moab Rated 89 Jeep YJ. 5" lift, 34" tires, lockers, 5:12 gears, 4.2l 6-cyl. Also known as Hummer Rescue 1.
The Hummer is a tour vehicle. The Bronco a work truck used for touring and rescue. Trivia question: What is it about that Hummer that is so strange?




Okay, I've wasted a couple of hours on this for one reason. That is if any of you ever into the desert, you come back here to post about it.
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Old 11-17-2012, 03:46 PM   #75
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The real reason to have a 4x4. Backing up a slight incline on loose gravel or wet ground to park in your camping site, 4 wheel drive really helps. Pulling out of a very wet soggy campsite after a few days of rain and the 4 wheel drive truck is n i c e! We have done some off road stuff but the Old Ore Road at Big Bend Nat Park and off roading in Azirona - never again. The best use of your 4 wheel drive is otherwise poor driving conditions.
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Old 11-18-2012, 07:37 AM   #76
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The bigger they are, the more drive wheels they have, the harder they stick.
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:01 AM   #77
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I must have hit the wrong key on the above post, I wasn't done.

Nice post DesertRanger. Easy to see you are passionate about the subject. I have only been to the dunes in MI where you are no more than 10 minutes from water and a ranger. Next year, God willing, we are heading off for a 2 month trip around the US, west from Michigan, probably August and September. One of our stops will be Moab where my son will hopefully fly in to join us for a few days. He originally bought the Jeep in high school 22 years ago. I need to do some research as how to enjoy the area without getting into trouble, maybe by joining a tour group of Jeepers. Any suggestions? PM me or post here.
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:04 AM   #78
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Got that right. I remember back in the 80's driving one of my home brewed truck. A 2WD Chevy C-10 with a lift and large tires. I could pull a stuck jeep out of the sand with it. It's all in the technique.

For your trip to Moab I'd rather post in public. Better chance of giving someone else the edge they might need. I remind you all of the guy who went out alone in the Utah desert and wound up cutting his hand off to survive.

Make sure your Jeep and other off road vehicles are in the best condition they can be. Moab while an unbelievable place to play will also eat your 4x<insert number> in very short order. Jeep advertises "off road" rated. That is not the same as Moab rated and that is not a joke that's made up. It's very real, Moab eats RVs of all kinds. Moab even took a chunk out of the my Dirt Dawg one afternoon. We had to haul it back to the carry vehicle for a damaged rear U-joint and a jammed drive shaft. Too 6 hrs to recover the Dawg from a place it took 20 mins to get to from our camp.

Take 3 times as much water than you think you need then add more. Watch the weather. Nighttime temps in the desert drop below freezing almost as soon as the sun goes down. One year met some "experienced" cold weather campers from Minnesota. They told me the night they spent in the desert was the coldest they have ever experienced. No cold weather gear. Seen that one way too many times.

Make sure you have a Get Me Home or Pioneer Kit which is all the tools you need.

I don't know what else to say. You ask for tips and the best thing I can give you is printed on a piece of cloth or made up in article written over 20 years. It's already written and unfortunately it's verboten to put a link to it here because of the copyrights. I can write a book of suggestions for you. Wait a minute... I already have.

Calling all MODS. What do I do here? I would like the members to have this info but forum rules say no advertising of a retail product. I've asked and been told NO EXCEPTIONS.

I'm going to step close to the line here.

When we created the first guide what we said was, "If it saves one life then all the money poured into the project is worth it." We lost money on the Third Edition but that is irrelevant. So I ask that you make an exception for this or PM me and I'll send you to the site so you can check it for yourself. This is more important than a few dollars. This is about keeping anyone who ventures into the 30% of the USA that is covered in desert. Problems can happen anywhere on the road or off and if you are not prepared than you have problems.

A Catch-22. I can help but I'm not allowed to. Been there before.
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:23 AM   #79
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Jeeze I thought we were talking about 4x4 trucks not survival training

Some of us are not as dumb as some perceive us as and
just use common sense and our 4x4 to tour around ...

back in the day I too did the moab stuff too and motocross and trials and....
but assume that most here know their own limits...
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:30 AM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ7ole View Post
One of our stops will be Moab where my son will hopefully fly in to join us for a few days. He originally bought the Jeep in high school 22 years ago. I need to do some research as how to enjoy the area without getting into trouble, maybe by joining a tour group of Jeepers. Any suggestions? PM me or post here.


Well, it's a bit off topic but . . . . .


I'm 150 miles from Moab and spend a LOT of time over there, associate member of the Red Rockers, gunner during Safari, also land use officer and webmaster for our local (Durango) Jeep club. Please feel free to PM me for any questions you may have about the area. Moab trails range from this


To this and beyond.


The main keys are NEVER travel alone, carry basic spares, bring enough stuff for an overnight stay. Mots important is always go with a group that is large enough to drag you out just in case. On our last trip we had a Jeep disabled by chewed wires turning the mighty straight 6 into a straight 5 with no lockers. Most weekend days you can find Jeeps in the City Market parking lot around 8-9:00 AM heading out on various trails. The Charles Wells guide is without a doubt the best trail guide for the area. Again, please feel free to PM,

And now back to 4x4 trucks and why you don't need one. . . . . or can't live without one.
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:40 AM   #81
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[QUOTE=JohnBoyToo;1374224]Jeeze I thought we were talking about 4x4 trucks not survival training

Some of us are not as dumb as some perceive us as and
just use common sense and our 4x4 to tour around ...

QUOTE]
If " Common Sense " was truly common, then every one would have it.
5 pick ups so far in my life time. First 3 , 2wd. Last 2 ,4X4 wouldn't own another 2wd , pu. JM2cW. The longer you own your truck , the more likely you are to incounter a situation when you need 4x4.
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:40 PM   #82
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THE REAL REASON WE NEED 4 WHEEL DRIVE

Shopping Accident - Funny Dutch Commercial - YouTube
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Old 11-18-2012, 02:47 PM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip426 View Post
If " Common Sense " was truly common, then every one would have it.
Soooo true, I have yet to pull a 2wd vehicle out of a ditch up here during winter. Most are AWD Subarus that the driver's thought made them invincible and one new FJ that miss-estimated just where the ditch was during a heavy snow storm. The 2wd owners either stay home 'till the streets are clear or drive like they are on ice (well they are ) with dedicated snow tires.
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:42 AM   #84
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I would not buy a regular cab truck as those are the ones that are bought and used 99% of the time by companies whose workers are less likely to take care of them. They also are sold in the most basic trim level with the fewest options, like a tow package.

A extended cab or super cab or crew cab makes more sense for hauling a 5th wheel trailer where you can put very little in the bed of the truck and it is not secure. The bigger cab provides storage for items I want in the truck like jumper cables, heavy duty bottle jack, snatch strap, axe, shovel, small tarp) and provides a place to put groceries and rain coats and camera gear and other things I want to get to easily.

When you drop the 5th wheel at a campsite and then use the truck to explore the area and to go shopping for provisions and such where will you put everything?
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