Going to Moab with my Jeep and his Tacoma -- how much can he do?
We're going to Moab in a few weeks and my buddy is trying to figure out how much he'll be able to do with his stock Tacoma with factory off-road package. He's got 30.5" tires on it (265/70r16), 4 wheel drive, and skid plate.
I've got a 2012 JK with with a few upgrades: 3.5" Rubicon Express Super-Flex Short Arm Suspension System, Shocks, 35" AT, XRC bumper.
How big do you think the gap will be between what the Tacoma can handle vs my Jeep?
For references, I've been eyeing trails rated in the 3.5 to easier4.0 range like Flat Iron Mesa and Kane Creek Canyon.
The backup option is to rent a second Jeep... they have 2.5" lift with 33s for $150/day.
I think your buddy will be surprised what trails he can do especially if he has some skill behind the wheel. If he is inexperienced I would recommend some milder trails until he gets comfortable with the way his Tacoma handles as far as traction and approach/departure angles.
We did mostly easy and moderate trails with our older Jeep XJ that was bone stock and on 29" tires, we never put a single scratch on it. We then stepped up to a ZJ with 2" of lift and 30" tires and did more moderate and a few difficult trails that had bypasses, still never put a single scratch in it either after a dozen or so years of wheeling it.
Personally, I liked doing some of those trails as they were a little more technical and really helped me to hone in my driving skills. We did Top of the World last year which had just been upgraded from a Moderate to a Difficult and our ZJ did it fine. We had to stack some rocks in a few places but just watching tire placement and approach/departure paths makes a huge difference.
As far as your Jeep there will be a bit of a gap but like I said, driver skills can exagerate or narrow that gap.
Oh, by the way welcome to the forum.
I met up with an Ohio guy in a new Z71 4x4 and we did the back way into Arches from Little Valley near Yellow Cat flat to Salt Valley over the ridge that Devil's Garden is on. (From the north take the road that says "Balanced Rock". It goes through. Just west of there is a road marked "something Arch". It does not go through.) With some spotting but little engineering he got through OK, and he had a stretch cab. Yellow Cat Flat and Salt Valley got real slippery the next day when it rained.
This is not my highest priority trail, just an example for you.
My first choice, "gotta do" is White Rim Trail. It goes all the way around the convergence of the Colorado and Green Rivers on the first plateau below the top. Another guy in a big F-350 with a crew cab said there were a few challenging spots. I think a high-clearance 2wd with a granny gear would do fine, but I haven't done the whole thing yet myself. Guide maps say to budget 8.5 hours.
I suggest going to a Jeep rental place to find out what trails they put off-limits and save those for last. I rented a Rubi in 2008 and Elephant Hill was allowed on their map and it was near its easy limit (one bump under the right rear bumper).
Moab is awesome. Good luck.
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