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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 3:48 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 10:50 pm
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Location: Stacy, MN
I did as was suggested and started a new topic on this.

Those colorado roads you guys 4-wheeled in, do they have some kind of 'rating' like rapids do in rivers? A serious rapids might be a 5... is there such a thing for trails?

Are these drives being guided by a local guide? (So they know if the road is even open and passable?) If so, for this year, is there a name of someone I could call and just make sure my vehicle has what it needs in advance of the trip?

You know, if the extreme 4-wheeling is too much, there are 'marked' roads over many peaks in Colorado, that are gravel, steep, but they are maintained and they could be fun as alternatives if some are not inclined to do extreme 4-wheeling.

I know the road from Beulah (look due west of Pueblo, CO) connects with a route (gravel) that goes over San Isabel Mtn, and it's a beautiful drive, but best done with 4-wd, although the year I did it, I did it in a Ford Escort. So you know it wasn't terribly extreme.

Also, do the 4wd Jeeps used on these trips have airbags and are they disconnected if they do?

Thanks

Trish

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 8:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 1:13 pm
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Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Hi Trish,

As far as I know the trails are rated easy, moderate and difficult. Our rally will do moderate trails, but within those routes there can be difficult areas. Because Greg and I were newbies and had no idea what to expect, I'm sure we were more challenged than most last year.

Our guide will be Mike Barmettler. He is a fellow Born Free owner who has led groups on these types of trails for many, many years (30 +). He is very seasoned, and has done the most difficult trails many times. He brings along an experienced team who accompany him in their own jeeps and make sure our group is staying together and that no one needs assistance. He will run the trails and know the conditions ahead of time. Last year we had to substitute one route because rain had made one trail too muddy and slick.

I don't know Mike's e-mail or phone number, but if you contacted Bill Lyon (the organizer of our rally) I bet he could answer all your questions. His contact information is in our rally packets that he sent out in mid June, or on the Rally tab below the discussion forum.

Not being a Jeep owner I don't know if they made special preparations on their vehicles before going off-road. We have a Chevy Tracker (short wheel base, high clearance 4 x 4) and didn't do anything to ours. Since we didn't have off-road type tires we thought about letting some air out to ease the rock climbing, but didn't and we were okay.

I'm sure Mike could suggest different roads if you chose not to do the "moderate" trails that have been selected for this rally. We have a couple books we picked up (Amazon.com and bookstores in Colorado on previous trips) that were helpful to us when we went out on our own. The Guide To Colorado Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails by Charles A. Wells is a reference we used to help us select routes. I also have Backroads of Colorado by Boyd and Barbara Norton which provides routes and photos and rough maps. When venturing out on our own we stuck to "easy" runs.

Yes, the "easy" trails are probably more enjoyable, relaxing and just as beautiful. But I think the purpose of these group rally trail rides are for adventure and the challenge of just "doing it" and surviving. There were folks in the rally last year that didn't go on the trail rides at all but enjoyed being with the group the rest of the time. I think you can participate at whatever level you choose and have a great time.

Talk to Bill. He will be able to address your concerns much better than me!

Linda

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2002 26' RSB
2003 Chevy Tracker 4x4 toad
Datastorm F1, D2, DW7000, 117W


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 11:49 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 10:50 pm
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Location: Stacy, MN
Thanks Linda.

I did get the packet. I'll look through it.

I'm surprised Bill didn't chime in on this yet. :) I don't have offroad tires on my Jeep. So i do want to find out more. I will look at those books, too. Thanks a bunch!

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 6:58 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2005 11:46 am
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Location: Tucson, Arizona
Trish,
We went to Colorado last year, I think we were behind Greg & Linda, we have a Jeep Liberty Renegade and whatever tires were standard in 2005 and we had no problems at all. I believe the trail ratings are on a scale of 1 to 5, we did mostly 1 & 2 but went on a 3 because of weather (it was raining) and the route rated a 2 was on slippery clay.
We do have the skid plate pkg. on ours but didn't need it.
The biggest problem, being an automatic was being geared low enough not to have to ride the brakes down the steep hills even in 4 Lo Range.
We didn't "air" our tires down either, though Mike B. recommended we air them down to 20 PSI.
We have air bags and didn't disconnect them.
Be sure and bring a camera though, lots of interesting places to shoot pics.

Steve


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 7:33 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 30, 2006 1:38 pm
Posts: 595
Location: Monroe, NJ
Being a survivor of many Jeep Jamborees and Camp Jeeps, I can vouch for the capabilities of a stock Jeep. On my very first one I had a Jeep Cherokee with stock highway tires. Went through mud, over fallen trees, up hills where all you could see was sky and down the other side. Very impressive.

I was hooked so I then got a Wrangler with a 3" lift package and 32" tires to handle the rougher trails.

Had to get rid of that though because of the lack of space. Bought a Grand Cherokee and put a 2" lift on it and all terrain tires. Can honestly say I have never gotten stuck.

Go slow and try to keep moving. It's much harder to get going from a stop than to keep rolling slowly.

As far as going downhill with an automatic, the transfer case should be in 4 low and the transmission in first. Shouldn't have a need to hit the brakes on the steepest hills.

Would love to do a Colorado trip one of these days.

John

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2006 RSB - sold
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 9:12 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 1:13 pm
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Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Steve, sorry you got stuck behind us slow pokes last year! We actually needed our skid plates - we took a couple of pretty good bumps, as did the jeep that "high centered" the second day. Glad they got him off the rock and glad we didn't have the same problem there!

We thought about getting a Wrangler but even the 4 door version doesn't have the space I need in back for a daily vehicle (I haul dogs in crates), and the Liberty was heavier than Greg wanted to tow behind the BF. So we make do with the Tracker. But it's always nice to dream!

I'm hoping the trails won't be muddy this year.

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Greg and Linda Giuliani
2002 26' RSB
2003 Chevy Tracker 4x4 toad
Datastorm F1, D2, DW7000, 117W


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 Post subject: 4-wheelin
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 9:13 pm 
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Location: Shawnee, OK
OK, Trisha - I'm finally here. Had a little problem with my logon and Bill Hemme got me fixed up. The trails in Colorado are, for the most part anyway, rated using a scale of Easy-family fun runs, Moderate-sport utility adventures and Difficult-hard core and challenges. The trails we will take in August will fall into the Easy and Moderate categories. Mike Barmettler may take one extra day to schedule one of the more difficult trails for folks who want to be more challenged. As far as equipping your vehicle, if it is a 4 wheel drive, then your factory supplied tires will be adequate. If it isn't 4-wheel drive it probably shouldn't be used. I have traveled the trails that Mike will take us on and my stock Jeep Wrangler 4 wheel drive with street tread tires, etc works just fine. This time I have added one size larger tire than I had previously and am anticipating a small amount of extra clearance and tread width gripping. If you go through Gunnison enroute to the campground, stop at the Gunnison Chamber of Commerce for good brochures about the area and 4-wheeling. Look forward to seeing you guys in August.

Blyon


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 2:06 pm 
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Location: Stacy, MN
Thanks everyone!

I did purchase a couple of the books that the Guliani's mentioned (I think it was them) and am awaiting them, although I think that maybe Amazon misplaced that part of the order! Checking that next.

Thanks, Bill. I'm sure I'll be fine according to what you say. I drive my old Ford Escort up from Beulah over San Isabel mtn and to the highway (which was a gravel road over the peak, steep, switchbacks, etc. But no big rocks or fallen trees. Made it fine. I just see photos from jeep jamborees about water fording and rocks half-again as big as the jeep, and was thinking maybe that was what we were going to do!

Yes, Sam, I noticed that. I can't even understand the idea of a non-4x4 suv. What's the point? It's just a 2000's version of a station wagon, no?

Yes, my Jeep is true 4x4, has both select-trac (full time highway) 4wd and the other, part time 4wd, and also 4-lo REAL 4wd. Max speed in that is 35mpg and it's pretty high rpm. but it cooks. Also guzzles gas. Jeeps that have true 4wd have a 'Trail Rated" badge on them. It's stock but I'm thinking of skid plates. Will see how it works out, I have a 'jeep rewards' card I've been using for over a year without cashing in my points, so I might get them really cheap.

I've taken the Jeep out onto so. Padre Island (the week *after* spring break) which was very rutted, flour sand, lug-nut deep. No prob. Just don't stop, unless you get onto a seeweed berm that gives traction. It's a lot like driving on deep snow. Just don't stop. Keep the vehicle going in the right general direction and don't stop. Don't speed.

We don't get much snow these days...we did get a couple of storms this winter that dropped a foot, and I had a blast! I was just waiting for an opportunity to go out in the fresh snow and play. That thing handles up to a foot of snow or deep flour sand or mud and snow very well.

Sounds like we're gonna have a great time. Bill, what size tires are your 1" larger tires? 17"? I have 16's and was thinking of 17's... maybe not until these are more worn. I don't have that many miles on this jeep yet. I don't drive that much at home...I make it count.

Also, I may be a day or two early for the rally, as I will already be up in Colorado working on my property. Which turns out that it's not that far away from there...down on 160 a little east... I am going to scope out some of the state highways and see if there might be some pretty drives to get there from down Alamosa way. I've got a good Colorado road atlas, and soon, I hope, the backroad guide as well.

Looking forward to it!

trish

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