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5 Day, 800 Mile Off Road Idaho Trip


tjZ06
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Earlier this week I wrapped up a trip I've been wanting to do for a long time.  I got the route from this video:

But I decided to run it from North to South.  Originally the plan was to use a full week, including the weekends on either side, Sept 25-Oct 3rd (today).  But my buddy going with me needed to be home on the night of the 30th, so we had to adjust.  We decided to leave the Bay Area Friday the 24th midday and stop in Bend, Oregon that night.  Then Sat the 25th we drove up to less than a mile from the Canadian border, and hit dirt for the first time. 

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Here is the overall route, obviously zoomed way out, I promise the straight looking sections were anything but straight roads: 

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And a bunch of random pics, in no particular order.  I totally failed to get enough pics, or even pics of most (basically all) of our camps:

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All-in-all it was about 800 miles, and I'd guess at 80% off road.  We had 4 nights on the trail (Sat-Tues) and came off the trail Wed night at about 8pm.  We had to push a little hard, most days were 12-14hrs and we pretty much always setup camp in the dark.  We also carried decent speeds on the rocky/gravel roads and both the Jeep and the trailer have the rock chips to prove it.  Still, it was an ammmmmmmmmmazing trip with some of the most spectacular views I've ever had.  WHEN (not if) I do it again, I'll do 2-3 more nights on the trail and make the days more like 8hrs of driving.  

 

-TJ

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6 minutes ago, Kraut_n_Rice said:

Left the broverlander at home?

The Trailhawk and trailer are mine.  I left the WJ at home, since I had 2 long, looooong road days before even hitting dirt.  The WJ still doesn't love towing the trailer both from a power and cooling perspective.  I have something up my sleeve for it this winter, but I got this 5.7 Hemi Trailhawk (used 2017) to hold me over... and honestly it's pretty much ideal for this type of trip.  

 

-TJ

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Can’t wait for more of these trips for me n’ da bride…. Soon, but I have to keep printing for the next year or 2 $$

After that, I’m gonna be semi-retired … of course Glamis I won’t miss at all. Hope to do 6 trips at my 4 day min this year.. and always a KOH trip.

thanks for sharing!.. probably have a Calico trip in there too.. 

abc

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Thanks for all the cool photos TJ.  This is the kind of trip that should inspire us to reach further!!

Regarding the video, I was thinking wow this is the first time I heard TJ's voice........then I was thinking NO WAY that is him........then I saw it was a video from someone else that you got the idea from 😃

Regarding where you went, compared to where I went today on a short SxS trip just to get out in the fresh air, the comparison would be something like from the Pinnacle to the Pits 🙃

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Can I assume with pulling the little trailer that pretty much any decent 2wd could do this who trip? At anytime was 4wd or ground clearance needed?  We’re all the dirt roads maintained? 

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1 hour ago, Brian Machnach said:

so bad ass...would love tp do a trip like that.

X2…looks like that would be a fun trip! Thanks for sharing! 

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14 hours ago, ANGRYBUTTCRACK said:

Can’t wait for more of these trips for me n’ da bride…. Soon, but I have to keep printing for the next year or 2 $$

After that, I’m gonna be semi-retired … of course Glamis I won’t miss at all. Hope to do 6 trips at my 4 day min this year.. and always a KOH trip.

thanks for sharing!.. probably have a Calico trip in there too.. 

abc

Right on, right on.  Semi-retired sounds like a dream, and perfect for trips like this.  

 

14 hours ago, Phoenix7 said:

Thanks for all the cool photos TJ.  This is the kind of trip that should inspire us to reach further!!

Regarding the video, I was thinking wow this is the first time I heard TJ's voice........then I was thinking NO WAY that is him........then I saw it was a video from someone else that you got the idea from 😃

Regarding where you went, compared to where I went today on a short SxS trip just to get out in the fresh air, the comparison would be something like from the Pinnacle to the Pits 🙃

Haha, dude in the video doesn't sound nearly mad, or a-hole enough to be me! 😄 

Also, nice reference: 

 

13 hours ago, NIKAL said:

Can I assume with pulling the little trailer that pretty much any decent 2wd could do this who trip? At anytime was 4wd or ground clearance needed?  We’re all the dirt roads maintained? 

In general, any basic truck/cross-over could do this route *most of the time*, even if it was 2WD. 

We had to do a good bit of working around some road closures due to fires, then ensuing mud slides.  On one of those work-arounds was a long, very steep, loose and rocky climb.  I would have my doubts about a CUV or 2WD making that... but it turned out that climb just took us to another closed road, so we turned back and came back down.  In other words, it wasn't even part of the successful route.  My buddy's Gladiator basically never left 2WD, 'cept going down some of the steepest descents just to use the gearing advantage of 4LO to stay off the brakes, not so much for traction... granted he's on 40"s. 

My Tailhawk has no 2WD mode, but if it did I would have been in it 90% of the time.  The roads were very well maintained, but they do get very washboarded out, especially this late in the season.  The steep ascents/descents get pretty bad, and 2WD would work but would lead to more bouncing (and further washboard out the road).  Still, it could 100% be done, you'd prob just have to slow more than we did.  But, like I said, if I was doing it again I'd take a few more days and try to go more slowly overall.  There were times we had to push pretty hard and the rock chips all over the trailer show it.

The other exception was the snow over Elk Summit.  Elk Summit is around 8,600 feet of elevation, and the side we went up is more the shade side of the mountain so it was pretty snowy starting around 6k feet.  The Gladiator had to go into 4wd since it was sliding around pretty good... but this is an example where the big, wide 40" tires were actually a disadvantage (wide footprint not getting down through the snow).  Lucky for my nerves, the downhill side was the sunny side of the mountain, and had much less snow.  The pic above of my Jeep/trailer was right at the Summit.  

In summary, I'd say about 2 weeks earlier a 2WD would have been fine, for sure.  When we went if  you had a 2WD I'd probably want chains to be safe in the snow. 

 

13 hours ago, Crusty said:

Awesome, love it.

Thanks!

 

10 hours ago, L.R.S. said:

Badass man!  Wish I could have gone, or even sent Balin with you.  Someday we will get out there with you.

For sure, you guys need to join.  

 

4 hours ago, Brian Machnach said:

so bad ass...would love tp do a trip like that.

Ain't nothin' to it, but to do it!  Okay, I know it's way more complicated than that... with getting a week off work and all of that.  But I think a lot of people are deciding to just get out there and do it with all the other BS going on in the world... 

 

3 hours ago, Dunerking said:

X2…looks like that would be a fun trip! Thanks for sharing! 

No prob!

 

-TJ

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2 hours ago, Sand Shark said:

That is an awesome trip!!!!   

Thanks!

 

1 hour ago, matt86m said:

That;s an off road adventure! 

Thanks, you have a Jeep for this stuff now, should I let you know the next time we're doing something like this? 

 

-TJ

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19 hours ago, URCLEVER said:

So dope. glad you got a away. looks like a awesome time and views.

Thanks homie!

 

-TJ

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21 hours ago, tjZ06 said:

Thanks!

 

Thanks, you have a Jeep for this stuff now, should I let you know the next time we're doing something like this? 

 

-TJ

Yes! Do I need to start building an off road trailer? :lol: 

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43 minutes ago, matt86m said:

Yes! Do I need to start building an off road trailer? :lol: 

hit up randy at lead dog motorsports in havasu, just buy one ready to go 😉

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1 hour ago, matt86m said:

Yes! Do I need to start building an off road trailer? :lol: 

It does make it easier/nicer, especially on trips like this where we move daily... but it's certainly not necessary.  Besides, you have to tow your BBQ trailer, lol.  With your JKUR you should be able to sleep inside of it, which means you avoid putting a tent up/down daily.  The downside of that is you have to get all your stuff in/out of the trailer every stop... and you have to sleep with your garbage and food (can't be leaving that stuff out in bear country).  

 

49 minutes ago, Kevin said:

hit up randy at lead dog motorsports in havasu, just buy one ready to go 😉

They sell Hiker and Off Grid trailers, right?  I looked into them some before finding this SoCal Teardrop used.  Nice trailers, no doubt.  I know most "Overland" trailer suppliers are out of stock and 6-12mo out on orders because it's the cool new thing. 

 

-TJ

Edited by tjZ06
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2 hours ago, Kevin said:

hit up randy at lead dog motorsports in havasu, just buy one ready to go 😉

Randy used to be on these boards a lot in the early days, good guy.

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37 minutes ago, Cookie said:

Randy used to be on these boards a lot in the early days, good guy.

Good to know.  If I keep up using this thing enough, I could see having a custom build done in the future.  I really, really, really like the design of my Socal, but there are a few drawbacks of course.  There are some simple things I can fix myself, and others that need to be integrated into the design.  For example, it'd be nice to have a power switch for the water pump somewhere on the outside (I can do easy 'nough), so you don't have to open the back hatch to flip it on and off.  Same with a spigot of some sort on the outside so you don't have to setup the whole sink deal to just rinse your hands if you stop to make food or use the "bathroom" (aka woods) on the trail.  Also, some kind of single latch mechanism for the kitchen swing-out instead of the two pull-pins with safety pins (it seems petty, but when you get a rainy day those pins are all covered in mud so if you want to open the back to grab something from the fridge you get pretty dirty).  I'd also love another tank under the trailer, all skid-plated out like the water tank is, for fuel (with a pump to transfer).  On this trip I put 4 x 5gal jugs in the tongue box, but we still had to pop out to tows a few times and ideally I'd like to carry enough fuel for my entire trip.  I'm sure I can think of other stuff... but all of that said [b]of any of the trailers I looked at I like the setup of my SoCal the best[/b].  They all have areas I'd improve, but I love my "kitchen" once it's setup, and the expanded metal tongue box is easily the most coinvent thing about the whole trailer.  

These are from other trips, but here are some setup pics for an idea:

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-TJ

 

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