Rookies on the Rubicon

jeremyk

Adventurer
Sorry for the abrupt ending to the video, I might try to fix that and repost.

Erik is following a pretty trick restored/modified FJ-40. We checked out his rig at the Observation Pt photo-op, we took each other's group picture . He had 3 extra shift levers and 37" tires.
During the video, I'm lunging my way up the hill behind Erik; we all arrived at the top at pretty much the same time. Next time I hope to have new gears and a "crawl box"
 

ErikKnight

New member
Wow...I make it look sooo easy ;o) Gotta say the hype in our heads was a lot worse then the actual experience! Our rigs were so well outfitted that picking a reasonable line and staying gentle on the skinny peddle on the right was all that it really took. Thanks again for taking the time to chronicle our trip and for providing an honest representation of our triumphs and fears. I am both empowered to do the next one and mindful to stay cautious.

Love you Brother!
 

toyotech

Expedition Leader
I live very close to Dusy but never done it before. would love to hit that trail with you guys. Im still IFS so it should be fun
 

rickashay

Explorer
During the video, I'm lunging my way up the hill behind Erik; we all arrived at the top at pretty much the same time. Next time I hope to have new gears and a "crawl box"
Is this the start of the slippery slope where your "Expo" rig turns into a Crawler?!?! haha The hunt for the ultimate do-everything vehicle is a path I'm all too familiar with.
 

jeremyk

Adventurer
Is this the start of the slippery slope where your "Expo" rig turns into a Crawler?!?! haha The hunt for the ultimate do-everything vehicle is a path I'm all too familiar with.
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I like my rig.jpg
On the White Rim

Weeeeeell... I hope not. I want to be able to do what ever I'd like to with my rig. Right now, I have it outfitted pretty well for 90% of what I want to do with it. My build is pretty straight forward:

2008 TT, a/t., APR X-1, 285 KM2's, with Toytech/TT Bilstien adjustable front shock kit, LR upper arms, MetalTech LT rear system with reg. springs and 1.5" spacers, stock rack with WAG basket, Fab Fours bumper with Warn 9.5ti, 15 gal Dale's aux tank, drawer system with slide out work table, this has three interior config's for sleeping inside and rear seats in or out, dual-battery system w/solar, ARB compact compressor, ARB fridge, All-Pro DoM sliders, BudBuilt skids and diff skid. So nothing too fancy.

I want to be able to put 35's (or something close), on steel wheels as an alternate "mode", and I want to be able to switch back to the 285's for overlanding and towing (I hope to get a Bambi someday). So that means re-gearing. I'll probably go with 4.80somethings. I would also like to get a two-speed Atlas for "crawl". I'm also going to have to get stiffer springs for the rear and hopefully lose the spacers and some sort of longer travel shock in the front - I think that I can gain about 1.5" which along with a 1" diff-drop and the BMC and some wheel-well modification should help fit larger tires.

I don't think that any of this will inhibit my overlanding abilities at all, I wouldn't want to since that is the ESCAPOD's primary purpose. I like it so well that when I've driven the wheels off of it, I'm going to put them back on and when the motor dies, I'll put something else in it. At least that's my thinking right now.

Henry Mountains.jpg
To Bull Run pass, Henry Mountains
 
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korslite

New member
It hasn't been said enough so i'll say it again, great write-up Jeremy! I cannot wait for my boy, or possibly boys, to be old enough to make a trip like this with me and the trusty Toyota. I love that this wasn't another average trail review or the same pictures you see in most Rubicon threads on the web. It told a great story of a great experience with family. Captured a lot of what I love about this type of travel and adventure with my wife and family.

I also love your build approach as it is very similar to the approach I've been trying to take with my Tacoma. There is something satisfying about driving that far from home to put your daily driver through that type of test knowing it is your way back home and back to work when all is said and done!
 

jeremyk

Adventurer
It hasn't been said enough so i'll say it again, great write-up Jeremy! I cannot wait for my boy, or possibly boys, to be old enough to make a trip like this with me and the trusty Toyota. I love that this wasn't another average trail review or the same pictures you see in most Rubicon threads on the web. It told a great story of a great experience with family. Captured a lot of what I love about this type of travel and adventure with my wife and family.

I also love your build approach as it is very similar to the approach I've been trying to take with my Tacoma. There is something satisfying about driving that far from home to put your daily driver through that type of test knowing it is your way back home and back to work when all is said and done!
Thanks very much Justin (and every one else with very kind comments). Yes, we weren't on the Rubicon for anything more than the adventure and the experience with each other. We weren't trying to climb over the toughest line or do it in the fastest time; we just wanted to be in the woods, have a challenge with an unknown outcome, and have an adventure as a result.
 

korslite

New member
Thanks very much Justin (and every one else with very kind comments). Yes, we weren't on the Rubicon for anything more than the adventure and the experience with each other. We weren't trying to climb over the toughest line or do it in the fastest time; we just wanted to be in the woods, have a challenge with an unknown outcome, and have an adventure as a result.
That's great. We took a very similar approach going into the much much tamer Slickrock trail around lake alpine not too far from Tahoe last year. We bypassed what we could an watched others mash through the tough stuff. Got a few funny reactions when people realized how far we were from home playin out the rocks, all with our daily driver and a 3 month old son!
 

NMBruce

Adventurer
Thanks for that!

This writing exercise was practice for a rather 'epic', but less technical, solo adventure I did in May. I drove from Big Water to Moab, 800 miles on the dirt. I've begun to write it up, but it was a 17 day long trip, so it will take a while. I want to have it done before I begin to post it up, so that it's more organized.

I think that we're moving closer to doing the D-E. I'd like to do one overland (2+ weeks) and one trail next year, and I'll write them up.

Very pleased that you enjoyed it

Great write up, thanks. looking forward to your other write up.

It's write ups like this that make me want to build my Rubicon in to a expedition JKU and do overland adventures.
 

jeremyk

Adventurer
Great write up, thanks. looking forward to your other write up.

It's write ups like this that make me want to build my Rubicon in to a expedition JKU and do overland adventures.
It's gonna' be a while, hopefully before Thanksgiving. I want to have most of it written before I start to post it. I've written three pages of trip planning and review of the previous year's aborted attempt, and I still haven't hit the trail. So it's in the works...
 

Wh1t3nukle

I gotz dis
Great writeup of the experience. It varies for everyone and each different time. The trail changes alot, even more so in the last year-and-a-half. So much has been done by the DOT and recent organized events contributing to the trail's condition. I have video from last year to this year showing drastic change on Cadillac Hill (among other sections), especially the portion right before the right hand turn around the tree (where your video starts in post #102 I think).

Next time you run it in '15, be sure to hit Old Sluice! ;)
 

OSV

Adventurer
I just returned from a brief foray into the rubicon, but only as far as ellis... so many things that you wrote in this thread ring true; this trail never lets up.

I have a far more capable rig than what you all were running, but even then, I found myself pulling over regularly, to look for the safest line to take... I had to drive 500 miles back home, and I needed to keep my parts together.

I think that this trail takes it's toll on everyone, including the locals... I met a guy in a full-size dodge, who had broken all of his motor/trans mounts, and another guy who had rolled his very capable 4runner(that was running 40's)... someone else apparently broke the frame(!) on his first-gen Toyota, in a couple of places... all that's just within the space of one weekend, in the October off-season... who knows what other damage happened, that I didn't know about.

the locals know every rock on the rubicon, and for them, part of the fun is pushing the limits of their rigs... they will go out of their way to help, and offer lots of good advice.

in the end, I turned back because I had brand new 37" mtr's that were rubbing into my back fenders, and a nervous Nellie of a wife who hadn't done much serious rock crawling before, lol

a bit of minor tweaking, and i'll hit it again soon.

thanks for taking the time to write up your experiences.
 

OSV

Adventurer
I want to be able to put 35's (or something close), on steel wheels as an alternate "mode", and I want to be able to switch back to the 285's for overlanding and towing (I hope to get a Bambi someday). So that means re-gearing. I'll probably go with 4.80somethings. I would also like to get a two-speed Atlas for "crawl". I'm also going to have to get stiffer springs for the rear and hopefully lose the spacers and some sort of longer travel shock in the front - I think that I can gain about 1.5" which along with a 1" diff-drop and the BMC and some wheel-well modification should help fit larger tires.
bigger tires and better gearing make a *huge* difference on a serious trail like the 'con.

I have dual transfer cases, 2.23/4.70 gearing, and I used all of that combo regularly, all together, even just going in as far as ellis.

the 37" tire size and 5.29 r&p in my rear end puts the odometer within 3% of what mapquest said that my distance traveled was, for the 500 mile drive back... so i'm close to stock, with the big tires and r&p to compensate.

the transfer case gearing is what prevented me from burning up the clutch on the hills and rocks.
 
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