Running the TAT in a 4X4?

Discussion in 'Americas' started by x32792, Oct 23, 2008.

  1. Dirt Sampler

    Dirt Sampler Been here awhile

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    I did the Trail from the Mississippi river to Salina, Utah in my dead stock 02 Toyota Tacoma TRD. My brother and two nephews were riding bikes and I carried all the stuff for the four of us.

    The only place I got nervous was going down Warloop Road, mostly because it was raining like stink, dark down in those trees, muddy, slick, and I didn't know if the road was going to pinch out and force me to have to go back up, which would have been a real nasty thing to have to do under those conditions.

    I have driven the Colorado passes in the Toyota and in my wifes stock 98 GMC jimmy 4x4 (the small one)

    The trail West of Green River, after Black Dragon Wash, gets a bit nasty in places with lots of rocks and several places are narrow, actually I think a bunch of it was ATV trail, it was the only place I wished for a little more ground clearance a few times. I jumped on the pavement about 20 or 30 miles east of Salina when it got dark and I needed to get into town to secure a place to stay.

    In short, go for it. A stock Jeep, with some slightly larger tires should have no issues with any of the trail that I traversed. I would make sure I had decent shocks and that the air filter is in good shape and try not to overload. The bulk of the time you will be bombing down decent dirt roads and having a ball.

    Stop at the Main Street Diner in La Veta Co. and say Hi to the girls at the Oark store...
    #61
  2. TJ Willy

    TJ Willy ADV, this, I crave.

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    I wanted to bring this thread back to life.

    Did anyone in the planning stage end up going?

    We are contemplating doing the entire trail by Jeep. A couple of you guys will get PMs from me.

    I have done Jellico to Trinidad on my thumper so I know all of that and it will be no problem. (I have spoken to a few of you guys so you might remember my ride.)

    Maybe Long Canyon Rd in New Mexico will be a go around if the rain has set in... The bypass on that one is easy though. I went up that "Biker's Here" rd/trail after rain and it was fairly scary looking over the edge and not slipping down on the mud and wet rocks. I had tunnel vision so I don't really remember how wide that bit of the trail was.

    What I need are the few very specific locations out west that REQUIRE a go 'round for a wide berth vehicle (Jeep JK). Keep in mind we are both avid off road guys and have built Jeeps for the likes of 5 star trails and can handle rough terrain. Not pro's, but have been over or broke on enough stuff to know what is doable. :)

    I am mainly concerned about getting to somewhere that is impassible with no go around and then having to back out... especially with big drop offs. :puke1

    Dock, that video you posted of the tunnel... it looks like a decently built (maybe stock) Jeep could climb up on the right and perhaps find a place to cross over the road and dip back in. Is that the case?

    The sage out west with those "rabbit paths"... I don't know that shrub. How much trouble do they pose on a lifted 08 Jeep (JK) assuming adequate armor has been installed underneath. Are they hard on tires? I know there are miles of that stuff.

    We *should* be prepared for tree clearing in OR between a saw and a winch. And we will be self contained with extra fuel and water.

    AND we might have one Adventure Trailer in tow... like this: http://www.adventuretrailers.com. Backing a trailer out of a tough spot (again thinking about drop offs :puke1) is NOT something I want to do. So I want to be specific on go arounds.

    If you can't tell, it is the "drop offs" that scare me. I'll needle a trailer (and these are small and narrow) between trees backing up, but ledges.... I shudder at the thought.

    We have planned 6-7 weeks if we do this. Other routes are being considered... and are even more daunting but there is more to this story and part of the adventure no matter what we do will be creating a dvd to give the charity we are working with.

    I like the appeal of documenting the beauty of this great country because it really is amazing. Experiencing the TAT from the saddle was awesome... what I saw of it and I want to do the rest on a bike but for now - after I was creamed by a F250, I am back in Jeeps.

    You guys that have been past Moab... fill me in.
    #62
  3. Tompound

    Tompound M.M.S. Tommy

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    We want 2 wheel adventure! :clap
    #63
  4. Seth S

    Seth S Will _____ for _____

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    [​IMG]
    #64
  5. Seth S

    Seth S Will _____ for _____

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    if you don't like drop offs then you are going to be nervous through all the trails on the trail that run through the middle of Colorado. I saw plenty of 4 wheeled machines on those trails but they are narrow with very steep hill sides above and below them.

    here are a few examples:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    There are a couple of Jeeps parks in the gravel clearing in the middle of this photo:

    [​IMG]


    The only other area you will have a problem with is when the trail crosses under the interstate through a drain culvert. You may have to do some creative highway crossings or do some rerouting to find underpasses.
    #65
  6. x32792

    x32792 Cracker American

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    So time ago, I started this thread to research the idea of running the TAT in a 4x4. Those who responded were helpful, encouraging, offered online support and several expressed an interest to join me.

    After a long search, I have finally pulled the trigger, sold my "daily" and purchased a 4x4 TAT-Mobile. It's a 2001 Jeep Sport Wrangler with inline six 4.0L, five speed manual, hard top and subframe for Kargo Master roof storage. There is some prep and modifications needed, but nothing money can't fix.

    It is impossible to predict with any certainty what you will find or who you will meet on an adventure such as this, but I am hopeful.

    My modest expectations are a mixture of being outside, enjoying some wonderful scenery, meeting some nice folks, staying in some cheap motels, light camping and dining on local roadside eats along the way.

    My scheduled departure from Orlando, Florida is Spring 2010.

    Anyone wanting to join me, let me know. Anyone wanting to run some or part of the TAT with me, you're welcome too...We can try to hook up somewhere along the way.

    This 4x4 TAT RUN is not being done as part of any commercial or charitable enterprise. This is a not-for-profit adventure and nagging item on my Bucket List.
    #66
  7. Jeff@TheQuadShop

    Jeff@TheQuadShop TAT survivor

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    Spring is not a good time for the TAT, all of the high passes will still be many feet under the snow.
    #67
  8. roc104

    roc104 Been here awhile

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    Leaving Florida in spring...Should be August by the time he hits NM :D

    Just kidding. This is a great point, especially after the snow this winter. We are going end of June and I am worried about the snow pack. I know the east has been getting buried. I guess it doesnt really matter anyway, vacation is already set...
    #68
  9. NorthernTraveler

    NorthernTraveler Long time Adventurer

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    If you intend to run the TAT in a 4x4 there are some places you will need to skip.... here is a list by state -

    Utah -

    Take the big bike bypass to skip Eagle Wash, the small tunnel under I70 and the long wash.

    Parts of the section between Richfield and Kanosh are ATV trails and should not be driven in a 4x4. Use the FS maps and stay on the main roads.

    Nevada -

    You've got problems right off the bat - the fence line in the first 10 miles. Should be able to work around it without too much trouble.

    Also around mile 50 you can't make it in a 4x4.... too narrow, rocky and generally crappy. No good way to get around this.... long bypass.

    Right out of Eureka the route is messed up, plan on going SW for a couple of miles to get on the main road going north to the highway.

    There is a section through the sagebrush just past Battle Mt..... easily bypassed on roads - make sure you have good maps!

    Between Denio Jct and Ft Bidwell there are some hairy sections..... not sure I'd want to do them in a Jeep..... up hill switchbacks where you are going up at an angle over loose rock, pivot to going straight up, and then pivot to going the other angle! So expect to have some backtracking there..... I think this is at mile 584.

    Around mile 658 it's a narrow 2 track and can be a mess - muddy and torn up - but the ranch there uses it.... so please don't tear it up.

    California -

    No problem.

    Oregon -

    There are something like 9 known closures/reroutes..... in addition to those, from mile 480-500 there is stuff that is impassable to 4x4 - heck, it's tough on a bike! Road closures, trenches, downed trees, etc.



    Hope this helps!
    #69
  10. Jeff@TheQuadShop

    Jeff@TheQuadShop TAT survivor

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    There is also a section in CO that is ATV/bike only but I can't remember where exactly it was.
    #70
  11. x32792

    x32792 Cracker American

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    Thank you all for your input.

    After reading more ride reports and studying photographic evidence posted by DR. Rock and others on the NV, UT, OR sections of the TAT, I have decided "Discretion is the better part of valor". My traveling solo on the western part of the TAT in a bone stock older 4x4 Jeep Wrangler is fool hearty, ill advised and not for me.

    At this point, I am looking for a mild and scenic 4x4 adventure, light camping, cheap motels, road eats and photo ops.

    Better suited to my machine, abilities and expectations, I will run the TAT to Colorado. From there on to Nevada and Utah to enjoy some of their scenic state monitored 4x4 trails.

    For those who have completed the whole TAT on a motorcycle, I know you must have a deep and personal satisfaction from completing such a long, hard and epic adventure. I know this feeling from completing a six month solo walk about in Central and South America 32 years ago.

    For those of you who have completed the whole TAT, you have my admiration and congratulations.

    For those who have given me the benefit of your experiences and advice, you have my sincere thanks.

    John Hunter
    x32792@yahoo.com
    #71
  12. DCZ

    DCZ Been here awhile

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    I live in southwest Colorado - Dove Creek - it's on the TAT.

    I'd be glad to show you the lesser known parts of the area if you'd like. There is a great little motel here too if you are going to stay a day or two.

    Rick
    #72
  13. x32792

    x32792 Cracker American

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    Thank you for your kind offer. A guide with local knowledge is a wonderful thing.

    My significant this-that-and-the-other, the lovely Ms Suzi informed me she is riding with me to Jellico, TN by way of the Asheville, NC. We will be visiting friends in the area.

    And as anyone who has known the horror of sharing a bathroom with a woman long term can confirm, her second objective is to make sure I wouldn't dare have a good time without her.

    This thing may be taking on a life of its own?
    #73
  14. Brent4ADV

    Brent4ADV Enjoying empty roads...

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    Speaking of doing it in a 4x4, I've recently been talking to a buddy of mine who I used to race enduros with and he recently purchased a Polaris Razr S that he may want to take on the TAT. He's heard all about my trip and so right now it's sort of an abstract idea but I think it would be a blast. I think he could get a trailer behind it to hold all of the supplies. Those things are pretty capable so I don't know of too many places he couldn't get through. I think that riding area right outside of Richfield might be tight in some places but we'll see how he feels about it as he gets more interested. I'll keep ya'll posted.
    #74
  15. x32792

    x32792 Cracker American

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    The Razr S may be capable, but because most of the TAT is run on Public Roads, there is a Street Legal Requirement. Whatever you use must have a License Tag and be registered for on the road use in your home State....Even then, you might be pulled over if your rig is questionable...What is Street Legal in Utah may not be Legal in Tennessee.

    For those seeking a more xtreme TAT experience, there are Street Legal Sand Rails and Dune Buggies, but please keep in mind, after your run, you still may have to drive it back home?
    #75
  16. Vinnie the Snake

    Vinnie the Snake Long timer

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    Went back and read some of this again. First, I would not take on Colorado before Mid-June and Hancock still may be snowed in. Marshall Pass will be open to the South and is a great road to take.

    Other than that, until Utah like said before, I dont know any area you cant get the Jeep down and enjoy.

    Good luck, take plenty of pictures for the RR, and enjoy all the TAT has to offer. May see you on the trail, as I am taking the old Mountain Bike back out West to finish up the TAT vintage style.
    #76
  17. x32792

    x32792 Cracker American

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    [​IMG]

    Sold my daily and purchased this '01 Jeep Wrangler Sport on Craigslist from a 77 year old man who bought it new. He was a sweet old guy who told me, "Put it to good use." He was thrilled when I told him what I intended to do with it.

    Everything you see except the Kargo Master overhead basket (overhead frame was already on it) was put on by the previous owner including the black bra and wire guards on front and rear lights.

    I've had the oil changed, new air filter, front and rear brakes rebuilt, spark plugs, manual transmission serviced and adjusted, engine tune up, new AC condenser and AC fan repaired (Jeeps have notoriously weak AC...about 50K miles and they just die.)

    Serpintine belt is worn, still need new tires and a navigational system.

    Looking hard at a Kamp-Rite Tent Cot: http://www.amazon.com/Kamp-Rite-Tent-Cot-Oversize-Green/dp/B000BH2AZA/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

    Vinnie: If there's snow on the passes until mid-June, guess I'll have drive real slow or camp out at your house until it melts. Is your wife a good cook?
    #77
  18. kelvis19

    kelvis19 Adventurer

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    I am planning on doing part of the TAT im my jeep as well. I have an 08 wrangler with 35 inch tires. I'm planning on doing Arkansas and Oklahoma at the end Aril, Beginning of May. I only have 13 days off so I will be limited. I have more vacation in July and may continue on then. Please post up your time frame, maybe I could tag along some.
    #78
  19. x32792

    x32792 Cracker American

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    I was thinking of leaving the Orlando, FL area about the last two weeks in April or the first of May. Have one stop to make in Brevard, NC to visit some old friends and then on to Jellico. Sounds like we are close....Let's keep in touch as departure dates get closer.

    35" tires?! You sound like a member of the local Jeep Club I've joined to improve my recovery and off road skills. They all have huge tires, heavy Warn wenches, industrial strength bumpers and rear-ends gears down for rock crawling and mudding. Minimum after market "farkles" is $10K and from there it goes up to nose bleed high and beyond.

    They tolerate me and my little Sponge Bob Wrangler with good humor. They find it curious why anyone would set up a nice Jeep to do "expedition" or "adventure" touring? I think they snicker behind my back.

    When they go to Moab, they trailer their monsters and have a certified welder on hand because they KNOW someone is going to flip over and break something.
    #79
  20. Jeff@TheQuadShop

    Jeff@TheQuadShop TAT survivor

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    When I do end up running that TAT in a 4x4, I have two to choose from...

    2000 Grand Vitara..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    or 89 Mazda B2600i...

    [​IMG]

    I made a custom bumper for it...

    [​IMG]
    #80