Summer Soft Road Meet 2014 in North Texas event report

DetroitDarin

Scratching a 10 year Itch
great photos/vids, and story. I'm most-surprised the new Jeeps seemed to do as well as they did; since the launch I've had my doubts about their off-road worthiness.
 

XJLI

Adventurer
awesome. all these new "soft roaders" are super capable with all of the electric traction control wizardry. goes to show you don't need a bro-normous JK on 37s to get off pavement.
 

machine1

Explorer
12:04 - About the time Rick lost a Radiator on Raptor Hill :smiley_drive:
Yeah, I didn't find out about that until later. That must have been a gnarly landing to hit the bottom of the radiator. His passenger developed a headache and went home, not sure if it was related to the jump.
 

texploration

Adventurer
Yeah, I didn't find out about that until later. That must have been a gnarly landing to hit the bottom of the radiator. His passenger developed a headache and went home, not sure if it was related to the jump.
Very intense! I'll be taking advantage of the lull in heat this weekend and hitting the trails.
 

Stretch79

Observer
As a fellow offroader and frequent user of northwest ohv park, I am curious as to how ya'll get these vehicles off the trail and out of the way of others if/when you get stuck or break down? I did not come here to ruffle feathers but wanted to point out a safety issue with the lack of tow hooks/recovery points on some of the vehicles in your caravan.
 

machine1

Explorer
As a fellow offroader and frequent user of northwest ohv park, I am curious as to how ya'll get these vehicles off the trail and out of the way of others if/when you get stuck or break down? I did not come here to ruffle feathers but wanted to point out a safety issue with the lack of tow hooks/recovery points on some of the vehicles in your caravan.
The answer to that one is very easy. I know the capabilities of the vehicles in our group, I know what trails we can do and what trails we need to stay away from.
The last thing I want is someone getting stuck and flooded out there on my watch, that is why we have scouts and people with experience and knowledge of the park leading.

All of these vehicles have recovery points, some are easier to get to than others.

Are there any specific areas of the trail that you think we will get stuck in? I've been down in Mino's Bypass, that's probably the hardest trail I would ever attempt at the park.
 

machine1

Explorer
Stretch79, after realizing that this is your first post in this forum I would like to bid you welcome to Expedition Portal from a fellow North Texan. I'm glad my event report was visible enough to get you registered and posting.

You are concerned with us getting in the way of the trail? When we do our trail runs we are fully aware of the other groups out at the Park that day. On the day of this meet I've had to apologize to one group (3 vehicles) for being in the way because we had to spot some guys down a hill. They were amused and happily watched us slide down the muddy hill one after the other. We did not run into any other groups the entire day.

When we do these meets we are fully prepared. We plan these meets months in advance. We had at least three recovery trucks that day just in case something happened, and guess what the recovery truck had to be recovered because he went into some deep water, another recovery truck cracked a radiator and had to go home at lunch. That left us with at least two other dedicated recovery trucks (coworkers on other the harder trails), not including all the other Jeeps, Tacomas, and Subarus that were not stuck anywhere. I don't ever go to the OHV Park alone, I bring an army with me every time.

I appreciate your concern about the recovery points, I'm usually the trail lead and I'm equipped with a hitch mounted recovery shackle in the rear and a bumper beam mounted one in the front. I will not send these guys into a trail that I don't think I can make it through. The newer models also have bumper beam mounted screw in hooks in the front and rear, I told them they were responsible for getting dirty and screwing them in if they happen to get stuck. None of us got stuck on this trip, the last trip, or the five other times I've been out there over the past year. I will not send anyone down No Winch Hill or Godzilla, or even under the Powerlines now that it is completely washed out.

What are your suggestions on recovery points? Also, what vehicle do you drive? Have you ever run into our group out there?
 

Stretch79

Observer
Stretch79, after realizing that this is your first post in this forum I would like to bid you welcome to Expedition Portal from a fellow North Texan. I'm glad my event report was visible enough to get you registered and posting.

You are concerned with us getting in the way of the trail? When we do our trail runs we are fully aware of the other groups out at the Park that day. On the day of this meet I've had to apologize to one group (3 vehicles) for being in the way because we had to spot some guys down a hill. They were amused and happily watched us slide down the muddy hill one after the other. We did not run into any other groups the entire day.

When we do these meets we are fully prepared. We plan these meets months in advance. We had at least three recovery trucks that day just in case something happened, and guess what the recovery truck had to be recovered because he went into some deep water, another recovery truck cracked a radiator and had to go home at lunch. That left us with at least two other dedicated recovery trucks (coworkers on other the harder trails), not including all the other Jeeps, Tacomas, and Subarus that were not stuck anywhere. I don't ever go to the OHV Park alone, I bring an army with me every time.

I appreciate your concern about the recovery points, I'm usually the trail lead and I'm equipped with a hitch mounted recovery shackle in the rear and a bumper beam mounted one in the front. I will not send these guys into a trail that I don't think I can make it through. The newer models also have bumper beam mounted screw in hooks in the front and rear, I told them they were responsible for getting dirty and screwing them in if they happen to get stuck. None of us got stuck on this trip, the last trip, or the five other times I've been out there over the past year. I will not send anyone down No Winch Hill or Godzilla, or even under the Powerlines now that it is completely washed out.

What are your suggestions on recovery points? Also, what vehicle do you drive? Have you ever run into our group out there?
I have ridden a joyner buggy (chinese hunk of junk, never buy one), a raptor 660 and my newest baby a 2014 JKUR with a few things done to it at bridgeport and gilmer, several years ago I had a tube buggy on 42's and beadlocks. I have never seen yall out there but would be interested in watching. Like I said, I did not come here to bash on the subarus or other vehicles in your group (I'm sure yall receive plenty of that from others). I was genuinely concerned about the appearance of missing recovery points on several of the vehicles. I truly hope that the recovery points are well secured, I have a hard time imagining that they are considering the amount of plastic visible, and are these vehicle frames actually manufactured for true offroading? We are actually headed out there tomorrow around noon. Personally when I get in a sticky situation I like my tow hooks to be easily and quickly accessible. And the video of the person on street tires sliding into the barb wire fence was hilarious.
 

machine1

Explorer
I have ridden a joyner buggy (chinese hunk of junk, never buy one), a raptor 660 and my newest baby a 2014 JKUR with a few things done to it at bridgeport and gilmer, several years ago I had a tube buggy on 42's and beadlocks. I have never seen yall out there but would be interested in watching. Like I said, I did not come here to bash on the subarus or other vehicles in your group (I'm sure yall receive plenty of that from others). I was genuinely concerned about the appearance of missing recovery points on several of the vehicles. I truly hope that the recovery points are well secured, I have a hard time imagining that they are considering the amount of plastic visible, and are these vehicle frames actually manufactured for true offroading? We are actually headed out there tomorrow around noon. Personally when I get in a sticky situation I like my tow hooks to be easily and quickly accessible. And the video of the person on street tires sliding into the barb wire fence was hilarious.
Thank you for not taking any offense to my responses.

Concerning recovery points, I have 3/4" recovery shackles front and rear.

The front one is mounted to the factory tow hook eyelet that screws into the front bumper beam that is underneath all that plastic.


DSC_0106 by machinecrewchief, on Flickr

We use this point for towing a disable vehicle through the shop, tow truck drivers also use this point to winch onto their flatbeds when the vehicle is disabled.

It is similar to the front recovery points Jeep put on their new Trailhawk...


DSC_0447 by machinecrewchief, on Flickr

In the rear I have a 2" tow hitch mounted shackle, the hitch is bolted into the factory hitch mount locations in the rear subframe rails.

You didn't see any hooks on most of the other vehicles because the owners didn't install them. I pre-warned everyone that if they do happen to get stuck they will have to wade out into the mud and connect their own recovery points. I had an extra 3/4" shackle and a recovery rope, but I doubted I would have to use it because we had three winch equipped vehicles at the park that day associated with our group.

I personally have had a positive experience off-roading at the park, some people smile and wave and others give me a wierd look as if they just saw a UFO or something.

Sometimes I get in over my head and drive into something I shouldn't...


We all have different opinions of what off-roading is, but if you watch some of the commercials Subarus are off-road capable. Subaru in Australia markets them as off-road capable...

http://www.subaru.com.au/off-road

The main purpose for our vehicles isn't to be an off-road park rock rig, we use them for camping, fishing, kayaking, skiing, hunting, and whatever other outdoor activity you can think of, and most of the time the roads to those areas aren't in the best of condition. We host the meets to teach owners how to properly use their vehicles when the terrain gets a little sketchy, and the OHV park is a perfect controlled playground.

Have fun tomorrow, I will not be back out there until sometime next year to scout the trails again for our Spring Meet. Hopefully by then I'll have a couple more inches of ground clearance.

I will post in the Central forum the date of our next meet, you'll be able to meet the other guys from this forum (Non-Subaru), they are a great group of guys and were very helpful at our last meet.
 
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Cascade Wanderer

Adventurer
Between his two different Jeeps, my son had a little Subaru Impreza that he took some places I'd have rather not known about... :)

His younger brother still has a Subaru Outback that he runs occasionally on dirt roads. That son doesn't get too crazy with it because he knows he can borrow my Jeep anytime he wants. Heck, he's got a key to it on his key ring.

The newer all-wheel drive vehicles are surprisingly capable off-pavement. Thanks for letting me know what "soft-roading" is. New term to me. I like what you're doing with these modern rigs. It's good to know that someone is actually taking them off pavement.

Good photos BTW.

Regards, Guy
 
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