2011 Ram Build


picked up a winch and got an alignment today. so after i put the topper on i had my tonneua cover for sale. one guy contacted me and while figuring out how to meet to buy it, i find out he owns a shop who specializes in alignments for lowered and lifted vehicles. so i ended up just trading the cover for the work done.

bought online picked up in store at the local 4wheel parts store. free winch cover with it.
2017-09-18 11.14.03 by Mike, on Flickr

2017-09-18 16.43.51 by Mike, on Flickr

2017-09-18 16.43.13 by Mike, on Flickr

2017-09-18 16.43.40 by Mike, on Flickr

2017-09-18 16.44.13 by Mike, on Flickr

after i installed it, i then realized i don't have d-rings to attach my hook to. so for now it's snug on that crossbar. but next weekend i should be putting a light bar up there, so any ideas? i was looking at those Factor 55 Pro Links, but that is just too expensive.

Comanche Scott

Expedition Leader
I used to do a lot of winch work. For all kinds of stuff, trail, farm, land clearing, etc.
Using the hook for me is so much quicker and easier. Even now that I don't use the winch so much, I still prefer the hook.
I also don't keep a whole lot of tension on the rope, so I can release the gears, grab the hook, and pull cable quickly.
Just makes life faster. So the hook is always attached somewhere it is quick and easy to grab.

If you don't already have a winch support kit, Warn has a really nice setup with tree strap, chain (in it's own tube, so nothing else gets greasy), block, bow rings, etc.
There is also plenty of room to add more stuff.
I used to have a milk carton -O- stuff. It was always a tangled greasy mess. Had all kinds of stuff to cover just about any situation, but man what a pita to use it.
When I bought the Jeep, it came with a nice Warn Snatch kit, and I added the Warn winch support kit.
Added some additional gear to both bags, and it makes life so nice. :)
Just grab the bag that's needed for the job, or combine them both together.
Hope this helps,

ETA: Picture of gear I carried in the Jeep. I did a lot of work with just this bit of stuff. :)



i do have my own kit except for chain. i installed the light bar today, so now i have the winch hook like it is on the picture on the box. hopefully it doesn't make a loud banging noise, i'll go test it out along with the light bar tonight.

Comanche Scott

Expedition Leader
Depends on what I'm doing. With the synthetic line, I'm more worried about abrasion & grit. So I'll use the damper as a "slide" over a rock, or around the edge of something.
My buddy had a trailer stuck deep in the mud one time. I had the winch line pulled long and doubled back to the Scout. It was really pushing the capabilities of the winch and the line (XRC 8 winch), so I tossed the damper over the line, just to be safe. That is the most extreme pull I've done with the synthetic. Most the time it's a single line pull with about 50' or less rope out.

Yeah, I like the chain any time I have to go under a vehicle. Don't want grease,oil or fuel on the synthetic rope, and don't want it getting nicked by something sharp on the undercarriage. Plus I can attach to multiple points with the chain underneath.
I've had a couple of times where a rig needed to be lifted up over a rock, and I couldn't get the rope above the rock to make a clean pull. Chain works good for that too.


Thanks for the info. I have a damper from when i had a winch with cable, now i have synthetic on both of my vehicles.

Comanche Scott

Expedition Leader
Nice. That makes for a light package. :)

Watch for sand working its way inside the rope. Every now and then, squish the rope together, so you can view into the rope. If you see sand in there. It's time for a major cleaning.
The easiest way I've found is to have a helper. One to squish the rope together, and one with a hose to flush it out. This requires a great amount of trust, or it turns into a really fun water fight... :elkgrin:

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Sep. 29 - Oct. 9, 2017

A trip I've been planning for a year or so, was to drive up to Maine and spend a few day in the Backwoods area, checking out cool sites like the Tramway (abandoned Locomotives from the early 1900's), B-52 crash site and Baxter State Park (tallest Mtn. in ME) and other interesting sites.

Larger storage box: has my tool roll-up, other misc. tools, ARB tire plug kit, Viar air compressor, BROG Recovery bag, paper towels
2017-09-29 12.33.19 by Mike, on Flickr

Smaller Storage box: I was able to stuff my sleeping bag (compression sack, mummy style), sleeping liner and travel pillow in here.
2017-09-29 11.57.25 by Mike, on Flickr

Swingcase attached to my bed: Impact wrench (battery, attachments), duct tape, wd-40, hand cleaner, gloves and a basic hand tool kit of different sizes and extensions. I also used a tackle box to put extra fuses and other electrical repair items.
2017-09-29 12.26.36 by Mike, on Flickr

all of my camera and other electrical equipment (radio, batteries, chargers, cables, laptop, etc..); most of this stuff was in the back of the cab.
2017-09-29 11.57.00 by Mike, on Flickr

under rear seat storage: LED road flares, fire ext., and portable jump starter (could also be use to charge smaller items)
2017-10-11 15.10.24 by Mike, on Flickr

Truck packed ready to go...gear for 2 of us. Other gear not mentioned above: tan case has all of my food and cooking gear, under cot: hiking poles, boots, sandals, camera tripod, Go Treads; on top: backpack w/ clothes and other things, shoulder bag for day hike, extra chest camera bag. left side of truck i have my green camping chair and axe behind toolbox. other gear towards the back/middle is my brother's minimalist things.
2017-09-29 13.51.00 by Mike, on Flickr

Here is my winch, Hi-lift, and LED bar setup - I know some people feel they have no use or are afraid to use a hi-lift jack, but i thought about all the times i actually used one and not knowing what to except up there i decided last moment better safe then sorry. plus as an added bonus the grille setup takes some getting used to because w/o the jack there you can not see how far it extends. especially since my brother never drove the truck before.
2017-09-29 14.14.35 by Mike, on Flickr

We left Friday afternoon and planned to drive through the night to get up there as soon as possible, taking turns driving and sleeping. Ended up sleeping for a few hours at a rest stop. The next day, Saturday we arrived in Brunswick, ME sometime in the late evening. Stayed at a Days Inn for the night. Next day followed US-1 up towards Acadia.

a nice sight looking out of the Atlantic
DSC_9072 by Mike, on Flickr

first stop was Scenic Flights of Acadia right before the island. flight was about 35 minutes, a whole tour around the island.
DSC_9165 by Mike, on Flickr
DSC_9077 by Mike, on Flickr
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DSC_9139 by Mike, on Flickr

after the flight we did a quick drive around Acadia (Sunday, it was very crowded), got back on US-1 our next stop would be Cutler Coast Reserve-rocky beaches and hiking trails. did the shortest one to a nice private beach.
DSC_9176 by Mike, on Flickr

the sun was starting to set so instead of checking out the next site (lighthouse), we headed to Cobscook Bay State Park to get a campsite. even on a Sunday evening all the nice waterfront spots were taken. saw a nice expo rig there too. found one with a private drive to it and nice view.
DSC_9196 by Mike, on Flickr
2017-10-01 17.42.12 by Mike, on Flickr
bright moon that night
DSC_9212 by Mike, on Flickr
awesome view in the morning
DSC_9214 by Mike, on Flickr
waiting for a long time to see wildlife, the only activity were birds on the water..
DSC_9223 by Mike, on Flickr

we headed out to West Quoddy Lighthouse (easternmost point of the USA)
DSC_9251 by Mike, on Flickr

checked out a beach right next to it..
DSC_9257 by Mike, on Flickr
DSC_9258 by Mike, on Flickr

back on US-1 heading north towards Fort Kent. Across the water is Canada!
DSC_9270 by Mike, on Flickr

here is a view of Mt. Katahdin (Maine's tallest peak); you can just barely see it.
DSC_9276 by Mike, on Flickr
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we were on US-1 for most of the way up, at one point we got onto another highway to end up in Fort Kent. before that we made a pit stop in Presque Isle, got some food and i upgraded my sleeping bag. the mummy bag i have is almost 10 years old and the previous night i was freezing. i felt like it lost it's warmth. it's a 30 deg. bag that i have for backpacking. my new one was well worth it.

Fort Kent, ME - this was a must for me. i live in Florida and 10 years ago visited Key West which is Mile 0 of US-1, so this was on my bucket list going to the other end of US-1. one of these day i would like to travel the whole road without departing from it.
IMG_20171002_165459627_HDR by Mike, on Flickr
IMG_20171002_165618836_HDR by Mike, on Flickr

It was just getting dark by the time we entered the woods. from what i was expecting the checkpoint to be it was a bit different. first off i had to prepare for it not to be open as it was getting late, but found out they are open until 9pm. second, i heard you just pay a fee at each checkpoint and tell them where you plan to camp, so i was a bit unprepared. they wanted to know how many days (i had an idea, but things change, so wasn't sure exact dates), what campsite i was going to stay at, and what area i would exit out of. they were very helpful, though, in finding me a campsite for that night as it was getting late already. they were also trying to save me money, for some reason if you camp along the Allagash waterway the campsites are cheaper....well ended up paying way more then expected...$62 for 3 days plus that night. our first campsite was right off the main road going in/out, had a nice creek right there and a bridge. all night we heard the truck traffic speeding by.

Next day we started to head out towards the trains (Tramway, Locomotives). lots of wooden bridges, big/small, if semi's travel these roads it must be safe.;)
DSC_9288 by Mike, on Flickr
DSC_9286 by Mike, on Flickr
DSC_9285 by Mike, on Flickr

saw one moose the whole trip
2017-10-03 21.11.43 by Mike, on Flickr

long story short, first attempt to find the trains was a bust. wasted most of the day bushwacking and ended up going in one big circle and into a bog. late afternoon once we got back to the truck. we decided to check out another area...ended up camping near Allagash Lake. after talking it over decided the next day to re-attempt the trains (since that was a must-see). second try we found the actual trail-head parking lot. we weren't sure prior, that there was an actual hiking trail leading to it. made things a lot easier.
2017-10-04 12.09.06 by Mike, on Flickr
DSC_9405 by Mike, on Flickr
DSC_9328 by Mike, on Flickr
DSC_9298 by Mike, on Flickr
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DSC_9388 by Mike, on Flickr
me posing next to the trains
2017-10-09 19.56.44 by Mike, on Flickr

still had half a day to drive and head towards Baxter State Park to do some hiking. on the way there warning light on my truck comes on....loosing air pressure in my rear tire, pull over sure enough you can hear the air seeping out. quickly i jump in the back to get my tire plug kit (had it for 5+ years first time using it), quickly looked at the directions, right at that moment a truck pulls up and out comes a Forest Ranger. we start to plug the tire, he helped too, filled the tire back up, we were able to drive a few miles, but right as i started going a little faster psi was dropping again. tried to re-plug it, but the hole was too large, so threw the spare on.
2017-10-04 15.46.29 by Mike, on Flickr

came up with a new plan: we would find camp, i would drop my brother off so he can go hike the mountains and i would go into town to find a new tire.

found a nice empty campground with hot shower and right on a small lake with views.
DSC_9427 by Mike, on Flickr
DSC_9424 by Mike, on Flickr
DSC_9416 by Mike, on Flickr
DSC_9445 by Mike, on Flickr

so, next day i drive into Millinocket a few small shops are open, one guy tells me to try a shop about 8 more miles out of my way, so drive down there, my tire is not repairable, he didn't have the bfg ko in stock for my size, he offered other A/T's i decided to go with the General Grabber AT2's and all 4 since my BFG's would need to be replaced soon after i got home anyway. spend the whole day driving around and sitting in some parks because he told me he would take care of me if i came back in the afternoon. install time only took an hour. got some subway's met my brother in the mtns. looking at my truck from this view i actually like the spare wheels better
DSC_9449 by Mike, on Flickr
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Next day decided to take Highway 11 around to Gulf Hagas area. Another checkpoint (expense for bieng non-resiedent per person) this was only a day pass, just driving through. found a side trail going to a waterfall, very rocky terrain on the way back down i aired down for a softer ride.
DSC_9476 by Mike, on Flickr
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closeup of the new tires
DSC_9512 by Mike, on Flickr

Gulf Hagas Trailhead saw this Fourwheel camper/Tacoma
DSC_9524 by Mike, on Flickr

Hike in to were we were going was 1.7 miles one way. river crossing, didn't bring my sandals and there were no rocks to cross over, so it was a warm day but the water was freezing, so i just got my feet wet.
DSC_9576 by Mike, on Flickr
DSC_9575 by Mike, on Flickr
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DSC_9572 by Mike, on Flickr

drove out to Lily Bay State Park to camp. This park sits on Maine's Largest lake, Mooshead Lake and also close to the B-52 crash site.
DSC_9583 by Mike, on Flickr
DSC_9581 by Mike, on Flickr

next day we drove about 30 minutes to the crash site.
DSC_9586 by Mike, on Flickr
DSC_9587 by Mike, on Flickr
DSC_9600 by Mike, on Flickr
DSC_9602 by Mike, on Flickr
DSC_9613 by Mike, on Flickr
DSC_9616 by Mike, on Flickr

heading back south
DSC_9626 by Mike, on Flickr

crossed over into the White Mountains in New Hampshire and from there headed southeast eventually to NY to visit family. Trip was 10 days long, about 300 miles off-road, and about 4200 miles all together. I've traveled many time before, longer trips too, but this one was the longest in the wilderness and off-road.
DSC_9633 by Mike, on Flickr
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Great looking build! Did you ever end up doing any suspension work in the rear or did it settle with the guard/winch?

Looks like your trip was a ton on fun. I'm a little jealous myself that you made it into the Maine area. I took a trip a few weeks back through the North East but had to cut out Maine due to time constraints. I definitely need to make it there sometime judging by your photos.


Thanks....It settled...measured before i left, empty weight, hub to fender:

23" front, 23 3/4" rear

stock (before bed cap):
21" front, 24" rear

Comanche Scott

Expedition Leader
Awesome pictures!
Thanks for sharing the trip report. :beer:
If I make it to retirement, one of the goals is to spend a few years back east.
Between the history of our country, and all this beauty, I don't think a lifetime is long enough to take it all in.