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Old 10-18-2013, 09:29 PM   #1
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Tales of Your First Time Offroad for a Newbie!

OK I had contemplated doing the Jeep Jamboree off-road tomorrow. I did a lot of research-from what I can find the trail itself isn't difficult. And it is with a whole group sponsored by the local Jeep Dealer so it isn't like I would be in the middle of nowhere by myself. So that gave me a level of comfort.

HOWEVER, the more I think about it, I have never even had my JKU in 4WD yet lol! And it is a long trail (about 40 miles). I think if the trail were a lot shorter I would have given it a go but I don't want to get too stressed on a loooonnngggg trail ride my first time out and have it spoil the experience for me.

So I will hold out until I practice on some unpaved roads at least (I know where some are around here lol) and hookup with some Jeep clubs going on shorter/easy runs. (And even go with my son when I go visit him in December because then if we get stuck IT IS HIS JEEP NOT MINE LOL!!!!)

So what was your first time? Where did you go? Was it difficult? How large of a group did you go with?

For this time I need to go with my gut and pass. Which bums me. But I would rather do it right and not bite off more than I can chew the first time. For now, I am not worthy. But I will be. Eventually lol!

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Old 10-18-2013, 09:36 PM   #2
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You'll be fine on that run tomorrow. The actual off road section won't be near 40 miles either. Going in a giant group your first time should be more comforting then alone or just with a few other people.

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Old 10-18-2013, 09:41 PM   #3
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My first time out was at Durhamtown offroad park in Georgia. I went at a time when it was really wet and nasty and that made it very tough! I had fun but it was stressful. My advice would be never go into a 'puddle' without knowing how deep it is first or this is what could happen. Thank goodness I had a winch!


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Old 10-18-2013, 09:46 PM   #4
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You'll be fine on that run tomorrow. The actual off road section won't be near 40 miles either. Going in a giant group your first time should be more comforting then alone or just with a few other people.
So on the map they had most of it isn't off road? Like just the part after the paintball where it says "*Requirements 32" Tires and you will use Skid plates! or turn around and go back"? So Castle Springs Rd. is either a paved/gravel/regular dirt road?

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My advice would be never go into a 'puddle' without knowing how deep it is first or this is what could happen.
OH MY!
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Old 10-18-2013, 10:02 PM   #5
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Most of it will be a graded dirt road.
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Old 10-18-2013, 10:11 PM   #6
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my first time...there were about 8 jeeps and 4 of us were newbies. azusa ohv in socal. after that day, the mod addiction started.
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Old 10-18-2013, 10:13 PM   #7
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First time driving off road... I was 13, learning to drive a standard. Pop put his cj7 in 4-low and let me crawl around all day on the farm. Soon after, I was allowed to drive on my own as long as I didn't go ON the road.
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Old 10-18-2013, 10:34 PM   #8
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First time driving off road... I was 13
I am much much much older than 13 lol! I am probably older than your pop was. I am feeling a little better since AverageJK is saying most of it is graded dirt road. Maybe I will try at least the first piece after all.

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after that day, the mod addiction started.
My wallet weeps in anticipation of that point lol!
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Old 10-18-2013, 10:48 PM   #9
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I am much much much older than 13 lol! I am probably older than your pop was. I am feeling a little better since AverageJK is saying most of it is graded dirt road. Maybe I will try at least the first piece after all.



My wallet weeps in anticipation of that point lol!
Just a guess here, but I'm thinking by the end of the day you'll be looking for lines to make the trail MORE difficult just so you can see what the jeep is capable of...
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Old 10-18-2013, 11:39 PM   #10
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I am much much much older than 13 lol! I am probably older than your pop was. I am feeling a little better since AverageJK is saying most of it is graded dirt road. Maybe I will try at least the first piece after all.



My wallet weeps in anticipation of that point lol!

I did a good number of trails while stock and this run would be probably be one the most milder trails compared to what I did while stock. It was designed to accommodate people with stock jeeps. I think you just dont want to get up so early on a Saturday morning, keep coming with excuses to not go!
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Old 10-19-2013, 05:47 AM   #11
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My first time was on land owned by the power company. I was driving along some power line easements after a really good rain. My Jeep was bone stock. I let my best friend drive, and decided to stop in the middle of a huge bog.

We had to call back to a few friends at work and have an FJ Cruiser pull us out. (I have never been so ashamed!) Like so many others, this is when modification started to become a "need to do"!

It is amazing how much difference a good tire makes. It had more effect on my Jeep than the lift, lockers, discos, you name it. The stock tires, on a Sport or Sahara, are listed as on/off road. That should not imply mud! The second you get into anything loose, they just can't bite and then shed.

It you are taking a trail that is mainly dirt, and gets some use, you'll be just fine. If you are going out with a group, it will be a great chance to learn the art off-roading. I hope you change your mind! It is a true joy to be off-road in a Jeep.
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Old 10-19-2013, 06:01 AM   #12
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I'd do it! The first time I went offroad in the JK was with a big group - 20+ Jeeps - and there were about 5 of us "noobs". The experienced people were there to help and teach and in your situation, being sponsored by a local Jeep dealer (assuming folks from the dealer will be on the ride), you couldn't ask for better company to run with.

It's doubtful, if they know they have "noobs" in the group, that they'd do anything extreme...but I can't speak for them.

40 miles isn't too long on trails (depending on the trails) - I'm sure there will be times for breaks and hanging out (bring snacks and water to drink). 40 miles on trails tells me that the trails will be easy to moderate. Think about it this way, extreme trails take a LOT of time to negotiate.

And...grab your wallet. After our first ride, the wife and I decided - "time to mod!" and the savings account and credit cards haven't been the same since...but I have no regrets!

I think you'll have a blast and you should really reconsider not going. Get out there and break that thing in!
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Old 10-19-2013, 06:41 AM   #13
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Took XJ to Moab-no lockers-Easter Jeep Safari. Was doing Poison Spider and holding up the group-had to be strapped a few times. Told them I was not going to hold them up, so headed back to town. Ordered lockers and installed them and went back and did the trails by ourselves the next week-no problem!
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Old 10-19-2013, 06:45 AM   #14
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Let me start by saying...my whole life I have lived off road. From fj40s to dirt bikes to my current rubicon.

My assumption is that you are referencing either a local event or a jeep jamboree vacation. I will speak to the later first. When we had our TJ, my wife and I did about 10 of these vacations...at first stock, eventually with a lift and front locker. They are well set up and geared towards almost anyone who wants to see what their rig can do. There is always someone to help you out of a tough spot and there are generally bypasses if you want to skip a gnarly section.
Friendly advise: stay out of the optional deep mud/water holes....they will mess up your electronics...I know.

Local groups are great too! Good to help find local areas to trail ride and companionship.

Don't worry about the pin striping either...most of that will rub out. What doesn't, is a badge of honor.

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Old 10-19-2013, 08:45 AM   #15
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My first time off road in a Jeep was crazy. A coworker from the UK was going to teach myself and a coworker from the US who also got a new Jeep how to drive in the desert. He wanted us to meet him at a GPS point. We got there okay.



But our teacher had a problem.



He was stuck and we didn't know anything about recovery. See if you can count how many stupid things are happening. He was stuck between rocks and and small slip face, but the slip face was going up a very steep dune. There was a ledge behind him we couldn't get him over, not sure now why we even wanted to do that.



Finally some guys we know showed up in Land Cruisers. They pulled the Xterra out in an extremely violent manner which cause the rear end to fly over the slip face. The Xterra want from the position in the other photos to the position shown in the recovery photo in a fraction of a second, the rear of the Xterra is actually flying in the picture. The same pull continued and dragged the Xterra out just after the shot above was taken, he reversed down the slope. I couldn't believe something didn't break.



It was getting dark, so we followed the Xterra out without further incident. After that I vowed to depend less on local expertise and learn more from reading forums and other sources, to get safer driving and recovery practices. The Xterra was fine and drove with us many times after this, until it blew its engine recently, about two years after these photos.
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Old 11-22-2013, 04:37 AM   #16
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I don't ever remember NOT driving on dirt roads out in the middle of nowhere. Except when I was too young to drive, and Dad was driving on dirt roads out in the middle of nowhere...

Much more pavement in the world today.

I do remember when I made the decision to own a four-wheel drive vehicle. I was high school age. My buddy and I were camping & hunting, using his family 1950's Chevy station wagon. It rained hard all night and we couldn't get the big Chevy out of the mud. Eventually flagged down a guy in a Toyota Land Cruiser. He had a winch! Didn't use it, just tugged the big Chevy out real easy like. That was probably about 1972 or so...

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Old 11-22-2013, 08:25 AM   #17
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Jeep Jamborees are a good way to start and learn. I'm just a little surprised that you can sign up for one that is tomorrow. They are expensive and usually sell out a year in advance. Are you sure this isn't just something sponsored by the local dealer?
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Old 11-22-2013, 08:37 AM   #18
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My first time was the day after I purchased it. Immediately went on a dirt road (not trail) then came up to a stream and there was a rocky river bed. There was a hill leading down to it and I said, wth and headed down. The incline scared the crap out of me and then when I started to try to get out I was sure I was stuck. Then I gunned it and the JK just did its thing. Through all this my wife was doing a video and afterwards, I saw that it was a slight incline and not a hill, lol and that this thing is wayyyyy more capable then I am. At this time anyways
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Old 11-22-2013, 08:38 AM   #19
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Tom, it was the dealer sponsored one you are correct. I ended up oversleeping and missing it tho.
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Old 11-22-2013, 08:39 AM   #20
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Some very cool first time stories here!
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Old 11-22-2013, 08:44 AM   #21
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Tom, it was the dealer sponsored one you are correct. I ended up oversleeping and missing it tho.

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Old 11-22-2013, 10:04 AM   #22
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Ahhh I can recall my first pin stripe from the bushes because I still see it everyday. Bittersweet
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Old 11-22-2013, 06:02 PM   #23
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First time "three weeks ago" I went on a 28 mile, through the mountains trip. I did not even need 4x4, but did come to a couple of mud holes. I did not want to get stuck, so I blasted through them. Big mistake. I have been cleaning mud off the underside for the last three weeks. Next time I will sloooowly go through. Actually I don't plan on going into the mud. My main goal is to explore desert "sand and dirt" not mud. Maybe by this time next year I will have the mud removed. lol... I used a pressure washer and a lift, and still needs more cleaning. What I learned is if you don't want mud caked under your Wrangler, don't go into it. By the way, the only product I found that would clean our red clay mud stains off the bumper and fenders is (Bug and tar spray). Nothing else worked.
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Old 11-23-2013, 04:57 PM   #24
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First time I went with a friend who had also never wheeled through some muddy, mucky trails. Both Jeeps were bone stock but we had two recovery straps. The recovery straps were not used but we took turns going through sections where each of us should be able to pull the other out. Don't wheel alone.

Since then I've done a number of trips with groups where on each occasion I upped the level of difficulty. I've broken stuff, used my winch multiple times (for myself and other) and generally had either a big grin or a terrorized look through most of the trails.

Wheeling is tons of fun but be ready to spend money either fixing or upgrading from here on out. Oh and don't expect your re-sale value to remain unchanged
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Old 11-23-2013, 05:48 PM   #25
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Just a guess here, but I'm thinking by the end of the day you'll be looking for lines to make the trail MORE difficult just so you can see what the jeep is capable of...
X2

They will keep you on stuff that you should be comfortable with. The practice shifting in and out of 4wd will be good for. Something you need to know how to do. You can shift into 4high and back while cruising in and out of areas where you need it. To be in 4high, you want to be on surface with some level of slip allowed for the tires. So off pavement, or on pavement only if slick. If you need to be in 4lo (something really steep/rocky etc.) you want to come to a near stop or from a start, rolling just a little, shift into neutral, shift into 4 lo and back in to drive and you are good to go. You can usually shift from a complete stop to if you want. Just shift into neutral, and then shift into to 4 lo. You may get a small amount of grinding this way. If it wont go in, roll forward a little. Sounds comlicated in writing, easy in application. Are you in a rubicon or no?
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Old 11-23-2013, 05:53 PM   #26
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I dont have a Rubicon. Totally stock JKU in my sig line.
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Old 11-23-2013, 05:59 PM   #27
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re: " I am feeling a little better since AverageJK is saying most of it is graded dirt road. Maybe I will try at least the first piece after all. "

and "I have never even had my JKU in 4WD yet "

sure.....

.........that's the way it starts....

at first.....

then there's the "well it's ONLY 40 miles of ONLY gravel/dirt road"....

and then there's the "do you think 37s will fit under the stock fenders if I take a sawzall to 'em"???

Jeeping is really a life style.....just like camping, backpacking, or any other outdoor activity.....before it becomes an extreme requiring a 12-step program to work your way back into 'normal flatlander society'....if that is where you want to spend your time then....later....AFTER the mods....

and you'll notice your drives on errands take longer and longer as you begin to avoid pavement and seek out something 'more fun'....

as if that's important.....
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Old 11-23-2013, 06:10 PM   #28
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re: " I am feeling a little better since AverageJK is saying most of it is graded dirt road. Maybe I will try at least the first piece after all. "

and "I have never even had my JKU in 4WD yet "

sure.....

.........that's the way it starts....

at first.....

then there's the "well it's ONLY 40 miles of ONLY gravel/dirt road"....

and then there's the "do you think 37s will fit under the stock fenders if I take a sawzall to 'em"???

Jeeping is really a life style.....just like camping, backpacking, or any other outdoor activity.....before it becomes an extreme requiring a 12-step program to work your way back into 'normal flatlander society'....if that is where you want to spend your time then....later....AFTER the mods....

and you'll notice your drives on errands take longer and longer as you begin to avoid pavement and seek out something 'more fun'....

as if that's important.....
Well if I need a 12 step at least I am going to have a good time getting there! So it begins.......

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Old 11-23-2013, 06:44 PM   #29
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I dont have a Rubicon. Totally stock JKU in my sig line.
Good, less to worry about then.
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Old 11-23-2013, 07:42 PM   #30
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Here's a short story of my first time out with new JKU. I spent a good bit of my younger years in the sand dunes of Southern California driving sand buggies with my dad and local club but when it comes to wheelin a 4x4 I'm clueless... but learning quick.

» Day at Wooly’s Off Road Park - Tennessee 4x4

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