Rimrocker and Kokopellis Trails June 2020

Ace Brown

Adventurer, Overland Certified OC0019
Usually I have good notes to do a report from upon completion of a trip. But from lack of practice (shutdown) or just poor memory my notes are quite incomplete. This report will be pretty general but hopefully others will contribute to fill it out.

We gathered at my place in Cedaredge, Colorado May 31. Headed to Montrose the next day where we began the Rimrocker a few miles west of town. The RRT is easy dirt roads for most of the distance to Nucla. We detoured on the Houser Cutoff which is a bit more difficult. All of this section is very scenic. No gas in Nucla so we ran down to Naturita. The little taco place there is now closed. Soon back on dirt where the roads north of Nucla are more interesting. The crossing of Tabeguache Creek was no trouble. The section from there to Highway 141 is extremely scenic as you travel very high above the San Miguel River valley. Soon we crossed the river and began the long climb to the Monti La Sal National Forest. On the way Paul dropped his KLR and it refused to start. Lots of hands finally coaxed it back to life. We camped in a boondock site off Forest Road 0378 and enjoyed a nice fire until a sudden rain storm chased us to bed.






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Ace Brown

Adventurer, Overland Certified OC0019
Second day was very agreeable weather. But just after getting underway George developed trouble with the air suspension under his Hiker trailer; air leak. The road was smooth here so he just stuck a block of wood between the axle and frame. We stopped at Buckeye Campground for a better fix. Had to stop one more time for another fix that got it done. Stopped in Moab for fuel and stuff then on to explore Gemini Bridges. Between the repairs and the tourist stop we got to camp at Horsethief Campground pretty late (sorry Susan). But a beautiful sunset helped boost spirits.







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Ace Brown

Adventurer, Overland Certified OC0019
Day 3 was another good day, well except each day this week was pretty hot and very windy. Paul left us thinking his KLR might encounter lots of sandy roads. He was right. Today was mostly new trail as a member of the Grand Mesa Jeep Club has been routing a major extension to the Rimrocker. When completed and approved it will complete the triangle from Montrose to Moab, to Grand Junction then return to Montrose. Today we followed the second leg. So up through the Blue Hills, cross I70, across the foot of the Book Cliffs, then back to I70 at Thompson Springs. There we skipped the Yellow Cat area and did a high speed run on the frontage road, through downtown Cisco and on to Fish Ford to camp on the Colorado River. We skipped Yellow Cat because of the heat and wind, but mainly lack of shade. Still hot in camp but plenty of shade from big cottonwoods. The only photo I took was the rock art at Sego Canyon. Wish I had caught on camera the tiny antelope fawns seen near Dubinky Well.



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Ace Brown

Adventurer, Overland Certified OC0019
Thursday was our most challenging day. We ran the Kokopelli Trail from Fish Ford to Rabbit Valley. Some rough rocky sections, moderate ledges and a couple tight spots added to the fun. George’s trailer is just a bit wider then his Jeep and he came on the radio: “I can’t fit through here without moving some rocks.” I knew that there was no moving the offending rocks but also that full size trucks have squeezed through. Some rock stacking and good spotting got him through. We ended the trip at the Rabbit Valley parking lot. Vince and Susan said goodbye and headed south. Gary, George n Marie and I headed up to a neat spot overlooking the valley. Still very windy we sat and rocked in our chairs while watching traffic on I70. A beautiful full moon rise capped off the evening.





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80t0ylc

Hill & Gully Rider
Second day was very agreeable weather. But just after getting underway George developed trouble with the air suspension under his Hiker trailer; air leak. The road was smooth here so he just stuck a block of wood between the axle and frame. We stopped at Buckeye Campground for a better fix. Had to stop one more time for another fix that got it done. ..........Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
From the pics of the trailer it looks like he has leaf springs. Was it an airbag setup & do you know what part was leaking? I'll have to watch my suspension. I don't have air bags - just leafs on my trailer. It's my rig that needs the air bags. Weight adds up quicker than I imagined. More tongue weight on this trailer than the utility. I would've had problems on the dirt with the rear sag. The rear tires were rubbing when hitting bumps. I've got my LC rear suspension torn apart right now prepping for the air bags which should arrive later this week. I'm glad now that I turned around. As great as the scenery and camping was, I think it would have been stressful on me and worse on the rig. Hope to be more prepared after this mod is done!
 

Ace Brown

Adventurer, Overland Certified OC0019
From the pics of the trailer it looks like he has leaf springs. Was it an airbag setup & do you know what part was leaking? I'll have to watch my suspension. I don't have air bags - just leafs on my trailer. It's my rig that needs the air bags. Weight adds up quicker than I imagined. More tongue weight on this trailer than the utility. I would've had problems on the dirt with the rear sag. The rear tires were rubbing when hitting bumps. I've got my LC rear suspension torn apart right now prepping for the air bags which should arrive later this week. I'm glad now that I turned around. As great as the scenery and camping was, I think it would have been stressful on me and worse on the rig. Hope to be more prepared after this mod is done!
As we have said for years regarding motorcycles and mountain bikes: “springs don’t leak!” Of course air bags can and nearly always it’s the air lines. Be sure to route them very carefully with lots of rub protection. I had airbags on my FJ and had to repair or replace the lines at least twice. Have them on the 4Runner too but so far no trouble. Both cases were to boost tongue weight. Run separate supply lines or you will get pressure transfer in long sweeping corners that will increase lean. Also good if one develops a leak at least one side stays up. This was the case with George’s trailer.


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gwittman

Adventurer
Tom, the leak occurred in the Schrader valve. It had small leak in the valve itself but after tightening there was still a slow leak somewhere else. Once we started down the road the leak got worse. It turned out the brass body of the Schrader valve was cracked and it broke off in George's hand when he went to disassemble for a thorough leak test. We were guessing a rock may have bounce up a hit it. I was mounted in an exposed area.

There was no leaf springs on the trailer. It is full air spring suspension with separate shocks.
 

80t0ylc

Hill & Gully Rider
Tom, the leak occurred in the Schrader valve. It had small leak in the valve itself but after tightening there was still a slow leak somewhere else. Once we started down the road the leak got worse. It turned out the brass body of the Schrader valve was cracked and it broke off in George's hand when he went to disassemble for a thorough leak test. We were guessing a rock may have bounce up a hit it. I was mounted in an exposed area.

There was no leaf springs on the trailer. It is full air spring suspension with separate shocks.
As I'm getting the image of that out of my head o_O...... I think I get what you intended.:ROFLMAO: That makes me wonder about Hiker's decision to route the line where they did. He must've had a spare with him to fix that. I'm not sure I'd have thought to carry a spare. Thanks Gary, for the explanation.
 
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