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Old 06-08-2013, 07:06 PM   #1
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Rubicon Trail Tips.

I am no expert by any stretch of the imagination. I have only been on the world famous Rubicon Trail once. However. I did learn some things and would like to share them here for those that are planning a future trip.

1. A few things I learned, or rather we learned the hard way was prepare.
As I entered the gate keeper, about 1000 feet into the trail. I pealed the rear diff cover back and lost all my gear oil. So my tip is to either get a stronger aftermarket cover. Or at the very least, remove the stock cover and move it up so there isn't a lip to get hung up on. If it still hangs past the diff when moved up. Grind some off. There is plenty of meat to do this. Extra diff oil. Make sure you carry at least two quartz. Trust me on this one folks. I was lucky the group I was with had some.

2. TPMS's or steel valve stems. Unless they are away from the outer part of the rim. Get rid of them. When pressed agains a rock, and trust me they will be. They do not flex. They just break off. And you know what happens next.
Either way carry extra valve stems and the tools needed to make that kind of repair. You may opt to just change the tire while on the trail. But once you get to camp, you will want to fix that stem. A high lift jack works great to break the bead on the tire to make the repair. Also a means to air back up will be important.

3. I also recommend a tail pipe spreader tool. My friend Glen fixed two or three tail pipes while at camp with those tools. One of those tail pipes was almost smashed closed. So be sure someone in your group has that tool. HF Carries that tool and its not to expensive.

4. This tip won't matter till your driving home or to your destination once you exit the trail. When the tire shop balances your wheels and tires. Make sure they use tape or strip weights. So not accept the weights that attach to the edge of your wheels. The rocks on the trail will kindly remove them and you won't know till you rolling down the road and your steering wheel is wobbling.

Those are just a few things we encountered. So I am sharing them with the off road community. I hope this thread becomes a place where we can share info for one another.

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Old 06-10-2013, 02:10 PM   #2
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Old 06-10-2013, 02:28 PM   #3
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Also be prepared to deal with bears and lots of mosquitoes.
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:03 PM   #4
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Also be prepared to deal with bears and lots of mosquitoes.
I guess that would be a good idea. Although bears were not an issue for us. It is a good idea to be aware they are out there.
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Old 06-11-2013, 11:40 AM   #5
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I guess that would be a good idea. Although bears were not an issue for us. It is a good idea to be aware they are out there.
We lucked out, because another group who camped at Buck Island Lake two or three days after us were raided by bears twice.
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Old 06-13-2013, 10:10 AM   #6
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Thanks. I think these are good tips for many trails... even Calico has claimed many tail pipes and valve stems.
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Old 06-18-2013, 08:22 AM   #7
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Bear fence. Bear repellant. Or bear proof food containers.
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Old 06-18-2013, 11:54 AM   #8
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I was up there last weekend. Didn't have any problems.
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Old 06-18-2013, 08:11 PM   #9
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Talking with Stan today jogged my memory.
Instead of carrying fire would. Bring a chain saw.
You cut what you need and don't have to carry any.
Worked for me on many trail runs.
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:11 PM   #10
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Talking with Stan today jogged my memory.
Instead of carrying fire would. Bring a chain saw.
You cut what you need and don't have to carry any.
Worked for me on many trail runs.
Thanks for the tips Serg. The chainsaw makes sense, no wood permit needed?
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Old 06-20-2013, 02:10 PM   #11
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Just got back, plenty of fire wood on the trail, all we needed was a hatchet. Mosquitoes were out in force. Bring plenty of repellent.. Your going to have a great time.
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Old 06-20-2013, 02:55 PM   #12
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Mosquitoes were out in force. Bring plenty of repellent.
Mosquitoes LOVE me, but I hate putting that repellant stuff on my skin. I used this clothing repellant spray last year and it worked great. I wore lightweight breathable long pants and long-sleeve shirts (most of the time), a big hat, and a bandana around the neck. I treated it all (including my socks) with this spray, and ended up with only 3 or 4 bites around my hands and ears where I wasn't protected. That's pretty good for me based on pasted experiences with other insect repellant products.
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Old 06-20-2013, 03:07 PM   #13
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great tips! I've been avoiding rocks 'cause I'm still stock under there except the lift but I want to start investing into skid plates and new dif. covers.

I know its a ways out sometimes, I always try to bring a knife, hatchet, waterproof matches and three days worth of water on an big trip like that.
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:28 PM   #14
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Thanks for the tips Serg. The chainsaw makes sense, no wood permit needed?
No wood permit needed. You will need a camp fire permit though. You can print that off the Internet. The rule is if its dead you can cut what you need. They prefer you find trees that have already fallen but if you down a tree it better be dead. A shovel and five gallons of water are also required at the camp fire as part of the permit.
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:32 PM   #15
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As for bugs I wasn't attacked at all. It must depend on the person. I had shorts and a t-shirt and don't remember getting bit. When I stood over a pool of standing water I noticed the little bastards landing on me but not biting. I had some bug wipes so I used one just in case. There are some good suggestions as to what to wear to help avoid getting bit. If your one of those people that that get hammered. Read the post above.
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:03 AM   #16
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Camp fire bans are being placed for the Sequoia national forest. Any groups heading to the Rubicon may want to talk to someone at the local Ranger Station for an update on this matter. Knowing if they permit fires or not may save you the hassle of carrying wood or cutting it only to find fires are not allowed. Just a heads up folks. Carry on.
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:35 PM   #17
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Camp fire bans are being placed for the Sequoia national forest. Any groups heading to the Rubicon may want to talk to someone at the local Ranger Station for an update on this matter. Knowing if they permit fires or not may save you the hassle of carrying wood or cutting it only to find fires are not allowed. Just a heads up folks. Carry on.

Thanks Serg. This is what I found on the Forrest Service website.


Date(s): Jun 17, 2013
The Eldorado National Forest is in fire restrictions in the west side of the forest as of Monday, June 17. Full fire restrictions are expected to take effect on July 1 for the entire forest due to dry conditions.

I am planning to hit the Rubicon trail next week. In regards to difficulty is there any local trails you can compare it to?
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:48 PM   #18
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That sucks
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Old 06-27-2013, 09:08 PM   #19
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I am planning to hit the Rubicon trail next week. In regards to difficulty is there any local trails you can compare it to?
not really. When I was there a year ago before the remodel. It took all day to get through on 35's. As I understand it, 35's walk through like nothing. On the up side....you can enjoy the scenery much more now.
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Old 06-27-2013, 09:09 PM   #20
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That sucks
Yes sir it does big time.
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Old 06-29-2013, 02:54 PM   #21
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Fire Restrictions in effect July 1st

The Designated Exempted Recreation Sites are not on the Rubicon here is a link for the exempted camp sites

http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_...rdb5423957.pdf

Eldorado National Forest In Forest-wide Fire Restrictions for Fourth of July Holiday

Release Date: Jun 27, 2013 Placerville, CA
Contact(s): Frank Mosbacher, 530-622-5061


Due to increasing temperatures, fire restrictions in Eldorado National Forest will expand to include the entire forest starting Monday, July 1, 2013. Wood fires and charcoal barbeques will be restricted to designated recreation sites and other fire related activities will be prohibited until forest and weather conditions change significantly.
“Despite this recent storm, the predicted hot temperatures will dry the vegetation in the forest out quickly,” said Fire Management Officer Jay Kurth. “Visitors should also be aware that all types of fireworks are illegal in the National Forest. It is important that we all take responsibility to keep wildfire out of the forest.”
A list of the Designated Exempted Recreation Sites on the Eldorado National Forest can be found at http://www.fs.usda.gov/eldorado.
Beginning on July 1, the following acts are prohibited within the Eldorado National Forest through the end of the 2013 fire season:
  1. Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire, except within the stoves and fire rings provided in the Designated Recreation Sites shown on Exhibit A. 36CFR 261.52(a).
  2. Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a Developed Recreation Site or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material. 36 CFR 261.52(d).
  3. Welding, or operating an acetylene or other torch with an open flame. 36 CFR 261.52(i).
  4. Operating or using any internal or external combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed and maintained in effective working order. 36 CFR 261.52(j).
The following persons are exempt from this order:
  1. Persons with a permit from the Forest Service specifically authorizing the otherwise prohibited act or omission.
  2. Persons with a special use permit from the Forest Service for a recreation residence in a Recreation Residence Tract, may build, maintain, attend or use an elevated charcoal or propane grill for purposes of cooking at their recreation residence, provided that they have a valid California Campfire Permit, and comply with the terms of the permit.
  3. Persons with a valid California Campfire permit are NOT exempt from the prohibitions listed above. However, persons with a valid California permit ma use a portable stove or lantern that uses gas, kerosene, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel.
The prohibitions carry penalties that can include fines and imprisonment. Violation of the prohibitions is punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both. Forest Service fire prevention personnel will patrol the Forest daily looking for unsafe situations.
Campfire permits which are still required for gas fires can be obtained at any U.S. Forest Service, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), or Bureau of Land Management office. Visitors can also help by educating others about fire danger and reporting abandoned or illegal fires to 911 or to the nearest Ranger Station.
Motor vehicle use on the Eldorado National Forest is allowed only on the designated routes displayed on the free Motor Vehicle Use Map that is available at all Eldorado National Forest offices. Visitors planning to camp outside of developed campgrounds must park their vehicle on or within one vehicle length of a system route. Check before your trip to determine that the route you plan to take is open.
More information on recreation opportunities, route closures, and fire restrictions is available on the Eldorado National Forest website: Eldorado - Home.
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Old 06-19-2014, 10:21 AM   #22
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Maybe this thread can be updated since many folks have done the Rubicon since it was last looked at.
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Old 06-19-2014, 01:41 PM   #23
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I have a fix for the smashed tailpipes on TJs, you might not want to do this on a custom exhaust. We cut our tailpipes back up above the Axle. The key to this is to leave a bit to channel exhaust down away from the gas tank or you will end up burning a hole in the gas tank . I can post pictures when I get my Jeep back from the Trans shop next week.
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Old 06-19-2014, 02:25 PM   #24
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Thermocell is the best $30 you will ever spend. I hunt a lot and have found it effective on all biting flies and skeeters. will give you about an 8 foot radius for 6-7 hours. Just bring refill kits.
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Old 06-19-2014, 04:05 PM   #25
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I have a fix for the smashed tailpipes on TJs, you might not want to do this on a custom exhaust. We cut our tailpipes back up above the Axle. The key to this is to leave a bit to channel exhaust down away from the gas tank or you will end up burning a hole in the gas tank . I can post pictures when I get my Jeep back from the Trans shop next week.
Harbor freight had a tool to open a smashed exhaust back open.
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Old 06-19-2014, 05:29 PM   #26
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Don't forget a tire plug kit too!!!!
Pitman arm!!!
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Old 06-19-2014, 05:54 PM   #27
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Don't forget a tire plug kit too!!!!
Pitman arm!!!
Tire plug kit is a great suggestion. The pitman arm? I have never heard of that being needed. But, it doesn't mean it wont be. However, The sector shaft that attaches to the pitman arm is one I have read about twice.

This thread should be many pages long. If everyone that has been on the Rubicon trail post's one suggestion, it really could be of great benefit to the first timers and folks that may have forgotten something.
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Old 06-19-2014, 07:54 PM   #28
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Great thread. Got some reading to do.
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Old 06-19-2014, 10:21 PM   #29
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Here is a tip I just thought of. Most off roaders carry the basic tool kits.

I suggest taking the odd ball stuff. Like the socket for the front spindle. Or the sockets for your drive line yokes. I'm just trying to jog your memories of what we don't carry versus what everyone normally does.
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Old 06-19-2014, 10:42 PM   #30
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I don't know if bears are bad this year but plan on protecting your food from them.

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