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Old 12-02-2012, 02:46 PM   #1
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How far can you Off-road (off paved roads) with a short (under 34) DP?

How far can you Off-road (off paved roads) with a short (under 34) DP?

I plan to upgrade to a DP and realized with all my prior dry-camping (boon-docking) in the Western Deserts, I don't remember seeing many (any) Class A MH on the gravel roads. (ie Old Pony Express Trail, Great Basin) or even shorter distances ( mile+) from the pavement.
Dust can be an issue, is there any problems, or is it not a good idea to go off-pavement with a DP MH?
(Rear or Side Radiator pros/cons with dust?)

Planning the next upgrade.

Want: 2004 CC Seaside 33'
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Old 12-02-2012, 02:51 PM   #2
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We take the Jeep off-roading and stay at off-highway places. Ensure the road is soliid - go slow and easy.
Vince and Susan
2011 Tiffin Phaeton 40QTH (Cummins ISC/Freightliner)
Flat towing a modified 2005 Jeep (Rubicon Wrangler)
Previously a 2002 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 37A and a 1995 Safari Trek 2830.
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Old 12-02-2012, 03:13 PM   #3
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All I can say is if you happoned to go to Quart-Site in Arizona around late January or February you will see M.H.'s, Campers 5th wheels you name it.
It will be their as far as you can see it is one of the bigest flee markets in the country. It happens every year so if you miss one there will be another one next year.
It's all in the deserts theres plenty of sand around.
Just a thought.
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:17 PM   #4
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"Off Road is a term meaning . Well, Off road.

On gravel roads, or even "Improved dirt roads" I see Semi trucks and if they can go there you can go there, the danger is mostly rocks bouncing off your towed. I have taken my 38 foot gasser down gravel a few times. No problem.

But real off road.. With a 39 foot motor home I'd say you coulg get roughly 78 feet. That is.. Just far enough to be in SERIOUS trouble.

True story: how to tell a Front wheel drive car from a Rear wheel drive car from a 4-wheel drive SUV using a remote operated camera in the Winter in S.E. Michigan (NOTE: I used to operate said cameras, why I know it's true)

One end in ditch, other on clear drive pavement, End in ditch is drive axle.

So far out in the field that we have to use the tilt/pan/zoom controls to follow the tracks in the snow and can't see the vehicle till we hit maximum zoom. 4 Wheel drive... and whinching them out is 3.00/foot (Well was back then). Done it more than once.

Best place to be when the SUV is that far out in the field... Nice warm office with camera remote in hand!!!!!.
Home is where I park it!
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:24 PM   #5
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If you have towing insurance, make sure that you know what the provisions are. I think for Good Sam Towing it is 100'.
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Old 12-02-2012, 07:26 PM   #6
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As long as you're satisfied you can turn around, I'd not worry about it too much but I will say this. A diesel sucks lots of air and on dusty roads you would want to clean or replace the filter ASAP after getting back on the road.
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Old 12-02-2012, 09:40 PM   #7
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You can go until you reach the point that you become stuck and can go no further.
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:09 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by vsheetz View Post
We take the Jeep off-roading and stay at off-highway places. Ensure the road is soliid - go slow and easy.
This pretty much nails it. I've gone way off the paved road in our 36' coach a few times with our local Jeep club, you can get to some really nice places off the beaten path. Heck I drive 2.5 miles of gravel road just to get to pavement from our house. I do change air filters every year.

If you don't know the road unhook the toad and drive it first. Google Earth can tell you "there's a great spot down that road" but it can't tell you how big the holes in the road are or how soft it is.
The above post is just my experience/opinion which is worth exactly what you paid for it.
'05 Lance 845/'06 F-250 or '99 Alpine 36SDS Usually towing an '01 Wrangler locked on 35"s or moderate '98 Cherokee on 33"s (rear locker only)
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:13 PM   #9
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I once made a wrong turn and had to travel 12 miles on a Pony Express road just outside of Sacramento. Between Placerville and Grant Line Road. Once I turned on the high grass and the summer fire danger made it imposible to attempt a u-turn. We drove through ruts and cattle trails at 5mph. Nothing broke, but the dishes did rattle a whole bunch. The kids had a great time. Took about two hours, but we finally reached blacktop safe and sound. A great experience I hope to never repeat.
But to answer your question, I guess you can go as far off road as you have to.
Happy Trails
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Old 12-03-2012, 05:40 AM   #10
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As others mentioned, if the road is solid, wide enough and has enough clearance (your mh is much bigger than your car), isn't too windy and you know you'll eventually have space to turn around, I'd go on unpaved roads without hesitation - just take it slow. One thing I would watch for is soft sand. Very easy to get stuck in soft sand and not easy to get motor home out.

If you're not sure of the road, I'd want to take it with a car (or even on foot) before I tried it with a mh.
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:00 AM   #11
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DP's that have the "charge air cooler" need to have them inspected and cleaned if necessary during routine maintenance. I would suspect that traveling off-road would require more attention to the maintenance of the engine, and the entire coach.

Personally, it's not for me.
Wayne MSGT USMC (Ret) & Earlene (CinCHouse) RVM14 (ARS: KE5QG)
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:53 AM   #12
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I will add this... I found out why the program is called "Streets and Trips" when I took it's advice on a trip from Salt Lake City, UT, to the Grand Canyon... It was for sure a trip (think bad acid) Those were not roads, they were mountain goat trails.

I'm not the only one who's made that trip is a large motor home.. I made it.. And I plan on traveling parts of that road again some day.

IN A JEEP!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:51 AM   #13
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It all depends on the quality of the road. We've done up to 10 miles on BLM dirt roads with our 40 foot class A, but there are other places we'd never take it. The bigger the rig the heavier you are, so you have to worry about clearance and sinkage. On a firm, wide road you can pretty much go forever
12 paws, 40 feet and the open road
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:54 AM   #14
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Most of my camping is in the desert. And it's no fun digging out a 40 foot coach, but it can be done with a little patients and a lot of digging. But I'd do it all over if had to, I enjoy jeeping to much.
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