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 > Outfitter White Rim Trail Expedition

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magic43

Brookhaven, Ms.

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Posted: 03/22/08 07:10pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Congratulations on a great trip !!! We were in Canyonlands and Arches last year, but not even to the extent that you were.


magic43

DonCurley

La Sal, Utah

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Posted: 03/22/08 07:16pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

RockyRoadCamper wrote:

Dave:

Great trip. You said you do not recommend driving that road with duals? What about a crew cab? Is that because of the rocks and narrow road and the sharp switchbacks make duals and a long wheelbase unreasonable or impossible for that long rough trail? Sometimes I wish I had purchased a pop up like you!


The White Rim Trail is really the domain of smallish 4x4 vehicles (Jeeps, etc.), mountain bikers, and dirt bikes (motorcycles). Going in with full-sized pickups with pop-up campers is a bit of a stretch, but it can be done with the right equipment, experience, and a bit of luck. Steve_in_29 had a LB Ford, so again, it can be done. However, when you start adding in an extra long wheel base, with duals, and then a heavy hard-sided camper ... I submit you are definitely asking for trouble. There are some VERY narrow sections, relatively low overhangs, and numerous switchbacks in places. Traction could also be an issue in some places with duals.

Could you make it if you were really determined? Perhaps, but you would likely increase the potential for damage to your rig, getting stuck in a major way, or worse. There are no services in the immediate area, the National Park Service is technically not allowed to help you out, and the general rule is if you go in, you are responsible for getting yourself out. Getting towed-out from a commercial service in Moab would likely cost you in excess of $1000 (assuming you could get someone to even come in there). And that would probably be just your truck and not the camper too.

Don


-'07 Dodge 3500/QC/SB/SRW/4x4/6.7L CTD/6-spd auto/35" Toyo MT's/Ride-Rite air bags/RS9000XL shocks
-'07 Apex 8 fully optioned w/220W solar/2 T-145's/2KW Prosine/Honda EU2000i/Tundra fridge/AC/etc
-'00 Jeep Wrangler TJ 4x4, highly modified w/5.9L Magnum V8


Nemo667

Louisiana

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Posted: 03/23/08 07:40pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Don the question about tire pressure and if we aired down at any time on the trail is something folks might be interested in. We never aired down while we were on the trial even though we all had air compressors if that was needed. We didn't get a chance to talk about that after the trip. I think my general feeling is the tires were better off aired up because of the weight we were carrying. We might have been able to air down a little bit for a slightly softer ride or more traction, but not much. The trail was too rocky to go down too far. What are your thoughts on that? Steve? Dave?


2007 F-350 SRW 6.0L CC SB 4X4
2006 Outfitter Apex 8, 220W Solar and 3 AGM's
2013 Jeep Rubicon


Steve_in_29

St Johns, AZ (SEMPER FI)

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Posted: 03/23/08 01:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DonCurley wrote:

RockyRoadCamper wrote:

Dave:

Great trip. You said you do not recommend driving that road with duals? What about a crew cab? Is that because of the rocks and narrow road and the sharp switchbacks make duals and a long wheelbase unreasonable or impossible for that long rough trail? Sometimes I wish I had purchased a pop up like you!


The White Rim Trail is really the domain of smallish 4x4 vehicles (Jeeps, etc.), mountain bikers, and dirt bikes (motorcycles). Going in with full-sized pickups with pop-up campers is a bit of a stretch, but it can be done with the right equipment, experience, and a bit of luck. Steve_in_29 had a LB Ford, so again, it can be done. However, when you start adding in an extra long wheel base, with duals, and then a heavy hard-sided camper ... I submit you are definitely asking for trouble. There are some VERY narrow sections, relatively low overhangs, and numerous switchbacks in places. Traction could also be an issue in some places with duals.

Could you make it if you were really determined? Perhaps, but you would likely increase the potential for damage to your rig, getting stuck in a major way, or worse. There are no services in the immediate area, the National Park Service is technically not allowed to help you out, and the general rule is if you go in, you are responsible for getting yourself out. Getting towed-out from a commercial service in Moab would likely cost you in excess of $1000 (assuming you could get someone to even come in there). And that would probably be just your truck and not the camper too.

Don
Well after a side trip to take care of some business we finally made it back home Saturday afternoon. I hope to post some pics soon.

As to the posters that mention taking their dually's and hardside campers into the WRT, I think Don is being too diplomatic. There are a couple of spots that will pretty much guarantee damage to a hardside due to their increased height and width. The Outfitter is slightly narrower then most campers and there were places we JUST fit. A dually would have had AT LEAST one of the outside tires literally hanging off the edge of the road in a couple spots. Not a good thing when the edge of the road is a drop off into nothing. At one point I had my tires less then a foot away from the edge to enable my camper to clear some rocks that jutted out into the trail.

Don mentioned my truck being a long-bed but it is only an extended-cab which makes it the same as a crew-cab, short-bed. Either of which would be the longest vehicle I would want to try taking over that trail. Though I guess a crew-cab, long-bed with an 8' camper would work as well but could still have problems due to the increased turning radius. The increased wheel cut (and resultant tighter turning radius) on the 05 and up Fords really was nice.

Please keep in mind that places like the WRT are NOT amusement park rides, where all the dangers are only make-believe. Not trying to inflate our egos but people need to be aware that there REALLY was the potential for serious damage/injury while taking vehicles as large as ours over the trail. Even while doing everything right, with our tires as close to the edge as they had to be in places, something as uncontrollable as the dirt giving way could have resulted in disaster.

That being said, for appropriately sized vehicles the WRT is a GREAT adventure.


2007 F350,SC,LB,4x4,6.0/Auto,35" tires,16.5 Warn,Buckstop bumpers
2007 Outfitter Apex9.5,270W solar,SolarBoost2000e,2 H2K's,2KW inverter,2 20lb LP on slide out tray,4 Lifeline AGM bats,Tundra fridge
95 Bounder 28' ClassA sold
91 Jamboree 21' ClassC sold

FishPOET

La Habra, CA

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Posted: 03/23/08 01:18pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It has been a blast reading about all the adventures and viewing the fantastic pictures in the last couple of days. Thanks to everyone for sharing.

One question. Did you carry extra parts for the truck that you might normally not carry?

DonCurley

La Sal, Utah

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Posted: 03/23/08 03:41pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

FishPOET wrote:

It has been a blast reading about all the adventures and viewing the fantastic pictures in the last couple of days. Thanks to everyone for sharing.

One question. Did you carry extra parts for the truck that you might normally not carry?


When I go off-road with my modified Jeep Wrangler TJ (especially for anything hard-core ... which means a LOT more difficult than the White Rim Trail), I typically take a lot of tools, spare parts, and other equipment. For this trip with a full-sized pickup and pop-up camper, I took the following items:

- Full set of tools (SAE & metric)
- Spare Firestone Ride-Rite air bag, axle clamps, U-bolts, and full air line/fittings service kit.
- Front/rear driveline u-joints
- Crankcase oil, tank seal, misc sealants, JB Weld, etc.
- SS hose clamps, misc bolts/nuts, wire, fuses, cable ties, and other hardware.
- Professional tire repair kit
- Recovery gear (53000 lb yank-out line, two straps, shackles, snatch block, chain, etc.).
- Misc wood blocks & wedges
- Come along
- Ratchet straps
- Booster cables
- Shovel, axe, hatchet
- Extra fire extinguishers
- Back-up air compressor
- Gear for hiking/backpacking out (in case of a complete breakdown)
- Survival gear
- Extra flares
- Spare fuel (gas & diesel)
- Duct tape [emoticon]

I might add that some folks felt that air bags would likely not stand up to demanding off-road operations without either getting holes in them, bending brackets, or otherwise failing. I am happy to say that this did not happen during our White Rim Trail excursion. Moreover, while there is admittedly not a lot of axle travel to be had with the heavy duty suspension in a 3500, I noticed no loss of rear axle articulation and I do not believe I lifted either of my rear wheels off the ground over any of the obstacles we went over. So, at this point, while I am glad to have the necessary spare parts to make any needed repairs while off-road, my Firestone Ride-Rite air bags performed well in some pretty demanding circumstances.

silversand

Montreal

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Posted: 03/24/08 05:36am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Did you guys have axle limiting straps for front or rear axles? If so, what length and make, and were they temporarily attached along any part in the trail? Or, on stand-by in the tool box?

Do you recommend using axle travel limiting straps on an HD pickup with a TC on-board on WRT or similar trail (i.e. the 'Top of the World' climb) situation? Or not?

Cheers,
Silver-


Silver
2004 Chevy Silverado 2500HD 4x4 6.0L Ext/LB Tow Package 4L80E Michelin AT2s| Outfitter Caribou

Steve_in_29

St Johns, AZ (SEMPER FI)

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Posted: 03/24/08 10:59am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

silversand wrote:

Did you guys have axle limiting straps for front or rear axles? If so, what length and make, and were they temporarily attached along any part in the trail? Or, on stand-by in the tool box?

Do you recommend using axle travel limiting straps on an HD pickup with a TC on-board on WRT or similar trail (i.e. the 'Top of the World' climb) situation? Or not?

Cheers,
Silver-
AFAIK none of us used limiting straps. I know at least for me the stock sway bars (front and rear) kept my suspension in check well before it could max out my springs. For harder core travels it would be possible to disconnect them to achieve greater axle travel as long as the going was slow. This would probably alleviate some of the side to side movement of the camper I experienced since the suspension would be moving more instead of the truck leaning sideways due to the suspension maxing out against the sway bars.

DonCurley

La Sal, Utah

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Posted: 03/24/08 12:02pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nemo667 wrote:

Don the question about tire pressure and if we aired down at any time on the trail is something folks might be interested in. We never aired down while we were on the trial even though we all had air compressors if that was needed. We didn't get a chance to talk about that after the trip. I think my general feeling is the tires were better off aired up because of the weight we were carrying. We might have been able to air down a little bit for a slightly softer ride or more traction, but not much. The trail was too rocky to go down too far. What are your thoughts on that? Steve? Dave?


Ben ... you're right, I had thought to mention this aspect and then forgot.

Just for others, before we started out the first day, Ben and I talked about airing down. I mentioned that for my modified Jeep Wrangler TJ, I religiously air down for off-road travel. For the White Rim Trail, that would probably be someone around 10 to 15 psi with my 35" Good Year MT/R load range C tires. For more demanding 4x4 trails, I will go down to 2 to 7 psi (and I have Staun internal bead locks to allow for the lower pressures without breaking a bead).

However, for my full-sized pickup with a fully loaded camper on board, I did not think it was a good idea to sacrifice the load carrying capability of my load range E Toyo Open Country M/T tires (especially since airing down would increase sidewall flex and would likely increase side-to-side rolling with the camper on board). We both decided to not initially air down, try out the ride and traction with a full 65 psi in our tires, and only air down if we really felt it was needed.

As Ben indicates, airing down was not needed. We did not find the ride in our Dodge to be harsh as one might have expected with fully inflated tires. And I noticed no loss of traction or spinning wheels even on many of the quite steep inclines where you had to get on the throttle and stay on it. If we had been jarring our teeth out, or if we had traction problems, I would definitely have tried incrementally deflating the tires until some improvement was achieved. However, as I said, this never needed to be done, so we stayed at full pressure throughout the trip.

All of this said, keep in mind that we are talking about off-road tires here with aggressive tread and a lower max pressure rating (i.e., 65 psi versus 85 or higher). If someone else went in there with less aggressive tread or higher pressure tires, then you might have a different experience and need to react differently.

DonCurley

La Sal, Utah

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Posted: 03/24/08 12:19pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Steve_in_29 wrote:

silversand wrote:

Did you guys have axle limiting straps for front or rear axles? If so, what length and make, and were they temporarily attached along any part in the trail? Or, on stand-by in the tool box?

Do you recommend using axle travel limiting straps on an HD pickup with a TC on-board on WRT or similar trail (i.e. the 'Top of the World' climb) situation? Or not?

Cheers,
Silver-
AFAIK none of us used limiting straps. I know at least for me the stock sway bars (front and rear) kept my suspension in check well before it could max out my springs. For harder core travels it would be possible to disconnect them to achieve greater axle travel as long as the going was slow. This would probably alleviate some of the side to side movement of the camper I experienced since the suspension would be moving more instead of the truck leaning sideways due to the suspension maxing out against the sway bars.


I agree with Steve ... none of us had limiting straps. Between the sway bars (I only have one on the front), and the relatively close proximity of the factory bump stops on my Dodge 3500, there really isn't a lot of suspension travel to be had. Now when it comes to my modified Jeep Wrangler TJ, that's where I have a LOT of travel for maximum suspension articulation, but that's a completely different vehicle in a different ball park (and I have no rear sway bar in my Jeep and I have a pneumatic sway bar disconnect system for the front).

I think Steve has a point though. We experienced a lot of sideways rock & rolling on the trail, and beyond the overly stiff F-350 & 3500 suspensions, the sway bars were no doubt the limiting factor. My first Apex 8 vehicle platform was a Dodge Power Wagon which had an electronically controlled front sway bar disconnect system from the factory which was sweet, but I don't honestly know if that could be retrofitted to my 3500 or not (my guess is probably no). But I suppose some experimenting could be done to manually disconnect the sway bars for slow-speed off-road use.

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