@vegasphotog is spot on. Moab has everything, and also it's not just a Jeep destination. It has amazing national parks and all sorts of land for wonderful outdoor sports.
White Rim Trail is on my bucket list. It's a 70-mile moderate trail that circumnavigates the rim of Canyonlands National Park. Your Wrangler is more than capable of doing the trail.
@overlander: Do you have any insight to these questions?
If the ratings aren't maintained by an official authority what about the trails themselves? Is it all done via by volunteers? I'm trying to understand how much trust I can put into the condition and safety of these trails.
How do I know what PSI to air-down to when out on the trail? Is there a standard set-it-and-forget-it PSI that is suitable for most green and blue trails?
You need to experiment for yourself and see what makes sense with your specific vehicle. I've run as low as 3 PSI for gnarly rock crawling and in sand. I usually run 7-8 PSI on most trails (like Hell's Revenge👇). If it's very easy 4x4 terrain, I'll do 15 PSI. If it's an easy graded road, I'll not bother airing down the tires.
As for trails, I personally proceed at my own risk and assume that there could be obstacles I might need to turn around for. I saw that @DanSolarMan here on cake is a serious jeeper. @DanSolarMan - how would you advise Brian on checking trail conditions?
I would say your tire pressures are spot on. Our race tires are rated at 50 psi max. It is totally trade secret what each racer runs. Most of them if you ask they will lie. We run a goo in the tire that is supposed to prevent leaks. Most racers will deny that they use the goo. Keeping your tires inflated is a big deal and pressure even bigger. Guys used to leave flats all over the course. They now penalize you if you do and each tire must be labeled as yours. That and leaving your catheter for someone to pick up are big no, no’s.
I would never go out alone. The extreme trails are usually scouted for seasonal damage. Each Jeep club has a rotating scout that is supposed to pre-run the more difficult trails before the entire club goes out. Most of the trails we run have been run so many times they are committed to memory. Many though are seasonal with some opening in late July. Trails like the Fordyce have a creek crossing at the start that depending on the year may be un-runnable because of high water. Rubicon used to have a large boulder gate keeper that was a challenge right off the start but somewhere along the line dynamite took care of that.
Each terrain has it’s own challenge, many times a club member will literally walk ahead of the group the entire trail. Most trails are marked for difficulty. Experienced spotters are of great value and everyone is trained in safe winch technique. How to properly set up jacks and how to inflate a popped tire on the trail. My first time running the Rubicon a buddy popped a bead and a little starting fluid sprayed in the tire and a match attached to a stick, BOOM! Bead back in place. Tickled the heck out of me at the time.
Mostly runs are just a huge social event, we have things like the Stag run where the guys just go out and break things. Or the Doe run, no men allowed.
Whatever your skill level the beauty of the sport is that there is always someone there to help. At our race in Pahrump last year our main rival Billy Bunch was pitting right next to us. We were low on brake fluid. Here comes a member of his team with a bottle of brake fluid.
It’s how we roll.
@DanSolarMan - Thanks for all the info! You are exactly right, it is so second nature to me to go with other vehicles that I forgot to explicitly mention to never go alone as one vehicle. Going with a group of vehicles is a requirement on most Jeep trails. @bstrong, I would say you're safe to go on forest roads and what not by yourself. Once you graduate to stuff where you need 4-LO, never go alone.
Even for experienced guys, having a group is necessary for getting unstuck or just getting out of the wilderness if your vehicle breaks down. But for you Brian, going with others will also be a huge benefit for learning how to navigate the trails.
My first time running the Rubicon a buddy popped a bead and a little starting fluid sprayed in the tire and a match attached to a stick, BOOM!
Dan, do you think I could have done that to fix my buddy's tire on our last trip 😉
You can see our jack on the rear quarter panel. One on each side. Screw jacks. Behind each driver and co-pilot are battery impact wrenches. They run the jacks and lugs. We can change a tire in about ten minutes. It almost takes longer to get back buckled in. We will usually leave our Hans device in place and helmet on while changing a tire. To much time lost otherwise.
In this shot you can see our lightbar has been knocked off by a tree. It is resting on the cowling. We managed to save it until the pits then cut it off and go!
ON NICE battery impact wrenches are such a time saver! I carry a DeWalt impact drill with me, with the powertool socket adapters.
As you can see in that last photo, my friend drove a little father than he should have on that flat. It jammed the lugs so much that we had to use his stock bottle jack to torque the wrench enough to loosen them. The DeWalt wasn't strong enought. This impact wrench is on my wishlist. I can't justify buying it now, because I don't race and the dewalt works for now, but I want it.
Yeah, I always have my offroad jack on the Jeep, and I make sure to always break down over ruts. That way I can easily get under the rig to work on it 🤪
If anyone wants to track us today we are in Jeep 3714 we start at 1:30 pacific.
The Mint 400
Hey Dan....good luck....I could not get the http://themint400.com/ website to load up....I am going to be down around Lake Mead today but I might drive over to Jean and see if I can get some pics....I will look for your whip.
We lost a front driveline and took second. A really good clean safe race. I’m not sure what we took overall.
Wow...amazing dude....it seems they made you pay EVERYWHERE around Jean...do I did not see any racers...great job!
They definitely got their money. I was asked to write a race report. I’ll share it tomorrow.
Was an amazing experience. When technology catches up to this race it will truly be the greatest American race.
I have ideas of what they need but satellite feeds are just not reliable or fast enough yet. Everything has to be done by helicopter. When they have in car cameras, audio where they can hear driver and co-pilot coms. Instant replay, on course tracking with (we have it now) track position. In other words the viewer needs to not only be in the car but know course position speed and placement with competitors.
There is no other racing that flys across American deserts while wheel to wheel racing. Seriously, some of the passing is breathtaking. Until now only the coyotes can appreciate the excitement!
3rd overall in our group. 12 minutes out of first in our class.
Picture the Jolly Green Giant throwing around Raggedy Anne.
A co-pilots perspective on The Mint 400
The Great American Off-Road Race!
Scott Dzierzanowski is an amazing talent. Lots of people can play the guitar, how many can sing too? Scott sings too. I believe in order to be a good teammate I must trust him implicitly. I do. Scott wants to do what he’s good at, drive. He doesn’t want to clutter his mind with logistics. He’s already in co-ordination with many others dreamed his Jeep. His Jeep is him this is a man at one with his machine.
My job. Eliminate the clutter. I’m packing his golf bag giving him distance, he’s hitting the shot. Scott and co-driver his father David Dzierzanowski hit some hard bangs at his first race and win at the Parker 425. I yelped in pain, Scott said I screamed like a little bitch. I told him I was feeling the machines pain and it wasn’t me yelping it was the machine. That’s my job. Help him be the machine.
Let’s go race.
Why do I always have to pee once I’m belted in?
At the starting line everyone was staggered at 30 second intervals. There was a crash ahead and they held us at the line for over a minute. Green light go! We were next to another JeepSpeed 1700 and within the first mile passed them. Catching the first of the 3700 class quickly we passed all of them. We were surprised at how quick we caught them. We were running good. Out to the Warp Zone we passed a couple more and topped out around 100mph. Somewhere out by the Chokers we caught another JeepSpeed and on the siren I go. He’s high speed and so are we. Nosing our way past him Scott moves to the left rail and pushes the Jeep past. Bang! There is a cutout in the rail and we nail the hardest bang of the day. I ask him if I screamed, he said yes. I said protect the machine and she wont scream.
Calling out the corners we are developing a rhythm and Scott is fast fast. We are by all of our 3700 class by the time we hit the Thumpers. We rolled thru those at about 75 mph. The Fox Proving ground is just that. Our Fox shocks were really doing their job. Out to the Gravel Pit and there were seven racers stacked ahead of us. We were on the siren almost the entire time and by the time we exited the gravel pit had passed all but one. Down the hill high speed and got the last one. He is driving amazing. Did you see that jackrabbit? Yes. Back to work. By the time we hit the steep drop before the Shooting Range we were in clear air and running strong. Somewhere out there came a series of huge whoops. Scott had been able to gauge the woops pretty good up until now and we were skipping across the top. These were challenging and he got caught. They were controlling us. Bang, bang, up we flew. Ass over teakettle the front end was trying to go first. I was Whoa! Easy! He was, I got it! I got it! I’m tucking my elbows staying out of his way. He’s back and forth on the wheel. Whew! Down on all fours for about 2 seconds and here comes an off angle whoop! Up we fly again and we are going over. I’m looking down at the track right front tire is the only one remotely touching. I got it he screams! Sure enough he did. Awesome driving! (Lap two we did much better)
Out thru The Rockets and we are running strong and smooth. We pass the big blue truck and he is looking good. Scott is reminding me to check our back he wants to stay clear of anyone passing us. Sure enough here comes Blue and he’s hot on our tail. We pull over and let him by. It’s real rocky and we are staying smooth. We see him rocket into the distance. Just before the most beautiful section of the course the Joshua Tree Hyway we see him pulled over with a left rear flat. Scott says See! That’s why we let him go. We are thankful for our tire still turning full of air.
Coming down into the pits we are able to reach our crew and give them a status update. Down the paved road at 25 we come into the Finish Chicanes, we hit a jump and shortly after we have a clunk, clunk, clunk in the front end. Crap! 20 MPH for the next 5 miles and Scott is frustrated. What the heck? We lost a front driveline pinion nut at Parker. What’s going on? We lose ten minutes and we’re getting passed. Radio ahead to the pits. Tim Dzierzanowski is standing at the pit entrance directing us. Dan Bowers is rocking the team. We pull in and ten people attack the Jeep our PNW4WDA racing family is there and has it under control. We were notified Eric J. Sigwing passed us in the pits.
Off we go heading for lap 2 in two wheel drive.