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Posts Tagged ‘Jeep’

A fundamental issue that arises when evaluating the offroad driver is speed. All too often you’ll see someone hammer down the throttle while negotiating an obstacle, and invariably you’ll get to witness something break, twist, grenade, or the holy grail of ignorance…the roll over! Believe me when I say these things can be common for those who control their throttle and exercise caution also. But let’s just say that the probability is greatly reduced.

Knowing when to get on the gas is just as important as knowing when to stay off. This one single skill when mastered will save your rig, save your money, and complete the mission.

Do you know your limits and those of your vehicle? Speed and recklessness will point them out quicker than any obstacle in your way ever could. Getting on the accelerator at the wrong moment of an off camber situation will pitch you right over, which can result in you on your side or upside down at the edge of the trail with your gear dumped… or it can pitch you right off the side of a cliff ending in a single or multiple fatality!

Imagine for a moment you’re in your Land Rover or Jeep crawling over some very large rocks in a riverbed after a rainfall when the trail is at its roughest and your passenger front tire gets wedged; bringing you to a stop. You attempt to turn the wheels which severely stresses your steering components, you throttle up and… BANG! An axle breaks, a tie rod bends, or a steering knuckle snaps. It happens just that fast. Larger, heavier tires compound this problem. Add lockers into the equation and it’s even more probable that breakage will occur. We’ll get into the spare parts list and the portable welder at a later date.

Slow, consistent throttle application is the key to proper offroading. Choose the lowest gear and don’t manipulate the gas too much. An inconsistent application of the gas will cause you to bounce. When you bounce, your vehicle is out of control… out of YOUR control. If you’re lucky, it comes to a stop and you try again. If you’re unlucky, it flips over depending on the incline and obstacle. But there’s an often-overlooked situation that occurs when you bounce, which is WEIGHT. The bounce can compound the weight of your vehicle as it makes contact with the ground again… making the possibility of driveline and/or axle failure a reality. Slow and smooth is what we’re after here.

When do I get on the throttle you may ask? Each scenario presents its own unique set of challenges, but my answer for the purposes of this writing is MOMENTUM. Sometimes you just need to carry enough speed not to get mired in the muck. Maybe a quick blip on the gas is what makes the difference of getting your rear wheels over the rock to avoid the bounce. Use your best judgment and FEEL what is going on with your vehicle.

Another speed consideration is crossing water. After first getting out of your vehicle and determining that you can in fact cross without sucking water through the intake and hydro-locking your engine, approaching the water with sufficient speed to create a bow wave in front of your vehicle and driving in the lower water level behind it is the proper way to handle the situation. Stay tuned for more on the raised air intake, commonly known as the “snorkel” and prepping your rig for water.

Until then, control your speed and keep the shiny side up!

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The Land Rover Club of Las Vegas had another fun trip down Burro Wash yesterday. The group of “spaceships” rallied at the Railroad Pass Casino in Boulder City at 1:00 pm and left for the trailhead by 1:30 pm. My buddy Jeff who I invited a couple days earlier appeared out of nowhere with his fully built Sportsmobile, a vehicle which everyone was very happy to see in person. A 6-wheel Pinzgauer arrived also, but unfortunately did not join the run.

 

At the trailhead the group decided to air down for a smoother ride but I decided not to, much to my discomfort! Between having fully inflated MTR’s and my shocks adjusted to the stiffest setting of “9”… it made for quite a rattling ride for the first 20 minutes until we reached the more technical portion of the trail.

 

The trail first climbed a hill to a nice overlook to the valley below. We got lucky as the wind did not kick up too badly with just a light breeze, the previous day it was blowing pretty hard. After a quick stop to take some photos we were back on our way…

 

The trail for the most part is very easy, with some minor technical and “off camber” situations along the way. I suppose I define the technical sections as minor due to the amount of lift I have on the Rover, there are some very large rocks to negotiate. Of course, most of these rocks could be avoided… but was that our choice? Of course not!

 

It was also quite surprising how we could take small puddles in the trail and turn them into something making a raised air intake necessary! I couldn’t help but laugh as I questioned how 3″ of water could completely go over the roof of a couple of our Rovers…

 

I believed I was recording video of our shenanigans along the way with my new GoPro HD camera, but no, apparently I pushed the button wrong where it only snapped off some still pictures! That was aggravating to discover as I quickly jumped on the computer when I got home to review the “footage” I had captured, only to find out I’m an idiot. I would’ve had some great video of the technical sections of the trail as well as the cool little canyon we entered as we approached our destination.

As we approached the river’s edge down from the Hoover Dam, we decided to take the Rovers for a swim. Again, I thought I was capturing some cool footage of nothing but water in front of the truck… nope!

 

But it was all great fun, we immediately got to work with the important things in life… food and beer!

 

Levi sprang into action with the roof rack awning of his own design, tables and chairs popped open like the button fly of a fat guy, and viola… chips and dip!

 

I had brought an FN PS90 along for the ride for fun, as soon as that word got out… well it seemed to be almost as popular as the Sportsmobile!

 

With HID’s and electrical outlets at every corner, enough batteries to power the sun, and amenities rivaling your closest 4 star hotel, this truck had to be seen to be believed. Winches and lockers both front and rear. Push a button and the roof cap raises for enough head room to stand up. Pop a burrito in the microwave and you begin to wonder if you’re even camping! In the words of Ferris Bueller “if you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up”.

 

After some much needed relaxation, we packed up and headed out before dark. Some remained behind while the rest of us headed back to town. All in all a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. So if you’re in the area, interested in good friends and good wheeling… check out our site calendar for upcoming runs and join us! Land Rover Club of Las Vegas.

Until next time…

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First, I would like to welcome you to my blog! This is the first post and I can’t wait to see what direction it takes. My aim is to take the spirit of adventure combined with a love of Land Rovers and put them into writing.  I have a simple belief that only in a four wheel drive can you truly enjoy the freedom that most only dream about. With proper preparation and planning, the adventure of a lifetime is just the turn of the key away from being a reality. Whether you’re limited to a weekend excursion, or a full blown trip around the world… that world awaits.

So whether you own a Land Rover or a Jeep, a G-Wagen or a Pinzgauer… join me and let’s share some stories!


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