RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Truck Campers: San Juan XTC, part three

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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > San Juan XTC, part three

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jefe 4x4

West Slope, Northern Sierra Nevada

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Posted: 11/16/10 12:42am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Here is the long awaited part three of San Juan XTC. I've been on here so little lately that a whole new category of XTC is born before I got back. The Whazinator at "Oh" pt.

[image]

Doug took this after climbing Engineer Mt. in the afternoon of our last day together;
[image]

Yet another sunset shot over the Uncompagres. One of those peaks is above 14,000 feet.
[image]
Another shot just after sunrise at "Oh" pt.

[image]
I said good-by to the XTC Bros. about half way down the south side of Engineer Pass road.

[image]

Doug tried to talk me into going a much longer route back through Silverton and doubling back over Red Mt.Pass and down to Ouray. It looked so long on paper. My idea was to go the shortest route, down the last part of the Alpine Loop road west to Ouray. It's only about 6 miles..... on paper. The route proved to just as bad as point dog said it was. I don't think any truck camper has done this part before. It was steep, narrow, sometimes just cut into the rocky hillside, and very rough. This little outcropping stopped me dead in my tracks as both the front and rear diffs hung on rock simultaneously. I backed up to take this pic:
My front diff cover is now leaking as a result. Knowing what I know now about the trail, I would NOT consider going up hill in the TC on this section of the Alpine Loop. It's kind of like the Alpine 'gatekeeper'. "Turn back, before it's too late". I don't have pics of the really white knuckle parts (common when the pressure is on) but there were a handful of 1-2 foot drop offs on a bias where it would have been nice to have some super low gears like my Jeep has (130:1 final drive in low/low) to just creep down the steps.
[image]
I'm just glad I was motating the trail early as there was very little traffic. On some long narrow cut benches there is NO way anyone could have passed me coming up, and absolutely no way I was going to back up. It was about 9am as I descended the rocky route. Since no one else in their right mind would have camped up there, only up traffic was encountered.
[image]

[image]

[image]

I got down most of the way dropping off rocky benches and encountered Don's fabled
cable: I studied the problem for a while and got my G.I. shovel out and dug a shallow trench on the up hill side in which to put my pass side tires. It looked like we could make it work.
[image]
I needed about 9 inches to clear. A family (see their Suburban in background) was picking around the diggins. I asked the man if he could spot me under the cable. Fine. I also had the two incredulous daughters ready to yell out if there was a clearance problem. Everyone in postition, the man spotted me through with the girls as look outs. It worked.
[image]

This was a great trip for me. I gained two more brothers (I already have 3), drove over some interesting real estate, and camped in style at altitudes few folks could only dream of.
I had no clearance issues with the hard side. My rig rocked more than the others, but I had that weight up higher. At no time did I feel like I was going to roll over, get stuck, or not make a sharp turn. One thing i did notice was the lack of down travel from the suspension on both my rig and Whazoo's. Doug with a stock susp. had no such problem. Of course, maybe that 25' long Ford frame was twisting without me seeing it. Whaz and I both have a mild lift. With the trailing arms and link arms already pointing down mightily, there's not much left to do except lift a tire. A long arm kit might be the ticket for me. Looking ahead, when my tires wear out, I'll go to 36x14.50 tires and change the RG&P from 3.54 to 4.10. I did the math and the revs @ 60 mph are about the same. Oh yeah, there may be a little body work to make the tires fit. The pics above were taken variously by Whazoo, Doug, and myself. I took about 40 pics, Doug took about 200 and The Waz took maybe 300 pics.
regards, as always, jefe

* This post was edited 11/16/10 11:33pm by jefe 4x4 *


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BradW

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Posted: 11/16/10 04:32am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Jeffrey,

What you may want to do is to go to the first post in each of the 3 threads and add clickable links to the other two threads. That way, if someone finds one of the threads, they will know about and can easily find to the other two.

Brad


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kohldad

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Posted: 11/16/10 05:35am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great conclusion to a fantastic trip report.

Liked your simple solution to gain the necessary clearance to squeeze under the cable.

One day I'll make it out that way and hope to have a few brave folks challenge the passes with me.


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billtex

RI

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Posted: 11/16/10 05:59am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Incredible camp spot up on that Peak!

Thanx for sharing..you Guys are nutz!

Bill


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Xpd77

Southern IN

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Posted: 11/16/10 05:36am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Greap pic and report. I really enjoy reading up on others adventures. It is also good to see my old stomping grounds.


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bigfootford

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Posted: 11/16/10 08:01am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wonnerful!!!

Jim


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My Blue Heaven

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Posted: 11/16/10 11:42am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You guys have some cojones grande. I would have tried that with my ATV, POSSIBLY a jeep, but NEVER with a TC.


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btggraphix

Golden, CO

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Posted: 11/16/10 04:18pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great shots jefe. That differential-hanger looks like quite an obstacle for a loaded TC truck. Very impressive - it would make a great video - can you go back and get one? [emoticon] I wonder if that cable would have been too heavy to go scrap together some 2x4's, or an old pipe, or something like that to raise it up a few inches by wedging underneath it?

DonCurley

La Sal, Utah

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Posted: 11/16/10 07:38am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Jefe,

Well, I had heard a while back that you somehow made it under the "fabled cable" at the Mickey Breene mine, so now I know the details (and congratulations!).

Don


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silversand

Montreal

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Posted: 11/16/10 04:40pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Beautifully photographed (quite professional) and written-up!

Is there a Part IV ? [emoticon]

*Please check your Trip Reports entries for errors; if the order is wrong, its my fault [emoticon]

Tremendous effort! I could see this going into Overland Journal (print edition).
Silver-


Silver
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