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Old 03-01-2016, 10:32 PM
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Getting started Moab Trails - do I need a winch yet?

So, i am just getting started. Picked up a 2014 JKU Rubicon and signed up for the Easter Jeep Safari in Moab.

I think I am going to do the 2s and 3s (and possibly the low end 4s) out at Moab. I have a stock 2014 JKU Rubicon with 32" BFG MT tires.

My question is, do I need to worry about a winch and bumper yet? I plan on getting them eventually, but don't want to rush and try to order and install something before March 17th. Will I need them for 2s and 3s? Should I attempt any of the 4s?

It talks about Trail rating 4 as needing 33" tires, but then other areas in the trail descriptions, it talks about stock jeeps, so I am a bit confused about what is truly needed.

Anyone done the Red Rocks 4 Wheel club trails out there? Any tips or pointers for this noob?

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Old 03-01-2016, 10:49 PM   #2
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I've seen plenty of stock sports do most of the 2-3. You'll be fine. I'd say topping out at 4s is a solid idea for your first time. Also I've never needed a winch, but I don't go over 6s. Take your time buying stuff. EJS is a great place to see alot of diversity, and the show is a great place to really get ideas. I'm getting all excited now!!!

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Old 03-01-2016, 11:02 PM   #3
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I don't know anything about the trail ratings, but have done a bunch of Moab trails in my 4runner, accompanied by jeeps from stock, to rented to built. Don't worry about a winch, as they are most often used to help other vehicles, and there will be plenty of folks around you with them.

If you're in in a JKU on 32s, and do anything at all hard, you're going to drag, a lot. You're going to hit your rear bumper, a lot. If your are going to replace it, anyway, just tear up the stock one, and figure out what you want by looking at all the other rigs.

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Old 03-01-2016, 11:09 PM   #4
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The vendor show on Thursday and Friday will give you lots of ideas for bumpers and winches and just talking to all of the other jeepers. Find out the pros and cons of the different ones.

Just don't go "cheap" because you will end up replacing the cheap stuff with quality items later on and then you are just spending money twice. A winch could be your life line so use some discernment when making your decision.
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Old 03-01-2016, 11:40 PM   #5
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During EJS, there is no need to have a winch on the lower numbered trails. Unless the description or rating specifically says you need one, you should have no concern.
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Old 03-02-2016, 12:05 AM   #6
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Put some skid plates on that stock Jeep. There is a trans line that crosses under the trans and is completely vulnerable if you have an automatic.
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Old 03-02-2016, 12:08 AM   #7
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Because of the traction in Moab the wheeling is easier then lots of places in the nation. You can definitely get buy without a winch if there are others around. I wouldn't stress about trying to get one in and installed in time. Your time would better of spent getting your camera gear ready.
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Old 03-02-2016, 02:21 AM
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Thanks for all the feedback! Ok, I will bag the winch for now and come back for it later when I have time to research the look and feel I am after. I have done that to some degree, but feel I need to do more looking around. So far, I like the MAXIMUS-3 10A/X bumper. Nice looking and I think it only nets out 25lbs beyond stock (excluding winch). But haven't compared with many others yet.

So for the EJS, I am thinking on getting a CB and possibly a 50" LED Light bar. Not planning on using the light bar during the trails, but we are also renting a So-Cal off road teardrop to see how that goes and do some dispursed camping after we do our trail rides. I would like to have better lighting when we drive at night looking for a good spot to spend the night.

We are trying out the teardrop for now as my wife doesn't like tents too much. Hoping this is a good alternative coming down from our 27' bunkhouse trailer. Something we can get out into the boonies with, but get some degree of comfort over having dealing with boulders under the sleeping bag, or leaking canvas during a rain storm, or waking up to icicles on the inside of the tent. I absolutely refuse to get out of the sleeping bag to take a leak, for fear of certain body parts getting frost bitten and falling off. That said, though, a future trip, I want to try one of those pop-up box camper trailers (like the overland horizon/chaser trailers) and see how they do. The have a shorter length than the teardrops, but it uses a canvas tent.....

Anyway, if any of you have some suggestions on what we should absolutely have before we go, let me know. Just want to be prepared.
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Old 03-02-2016, 03:06 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the feedback! Ok, I will bag the winch for now and come back for it later when I have time to research the look and feel I am after. I have done that to some degree, but feel I need to do more looking around. So far, I like the MAXIMUS-3 10A/X bumper. Nice looking and I think it only nets out 25lbs beyond stock (excluding winch). But haven't compared with many others yet.

So for the EJS, I am thinking on getting a CB and possibly a 50" LED Light bar. Not planning on using the light bar during the trails, but we are also renting a So-Cal off road teardrop to see how that goes and do some dispursed camping after we do our trail rides. I would like to have better lighting when we drive at night looking for a good spot to spend the night.

We are trying out the teardrop for now as my wife doesn't like tents too much. Hoping this is a good alternative coming down from our 27' bunkhouse trailer. Something we can get out into the boonies with, but get some degree of comfort over having dealing with boulders under the sleeping bag, or leaking canvas during a rain storm, or waking up to icicles on the inside of the tent. I absolutely refuse to get out of the sleeping bag to take a leak, for fear of certain body parts getting frost bitten and falling off. That said, though, a future trip, I want to try one of those pop-up box camper trailers (like the overland horizon/chaser trailers) and see how they do. The have a shorter length than the teardrops, but it uses a canvas tent.....

Anyway, if any of you have some suggestions on what we should absolutely have before we go, let me know. Just want to be prepared.
Order this CB until you can see other options and really decide what you want. I wheel with people who use nothing but this. Also take a look at lights when you get there, most 50" light bars cause a ton of wind noise. If you're really needing more light look at the square led's and the amount of light they put out. The high wattage pencil beams are great if you're going over 50 mph at night. Personally I try not to wheel at night, I think it sucks when I'm not at home or camp for dinner. Spend alot of time listening to why everyone has what they have, and how they like it or don't like it, and what they would do different.

For now get a sure fire flashlight and a portable air compressor. I have a Superflo chinese model that I bought on amazon for $60 but Viair makes a much nicer one that is a little more $$. Other than that, bring your own beer.
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Old 03-02-2016, 06:28 AM   #10
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I believe, someone correct me if I'm wrong, that most trail rides during EJS require a CB so that would be priority one for now. Take it stock and learn a lot you won't have problems. We have a 2015 JKU with a 2.5 AEV lift and pull a tear drop with no problems. Do have a winch but that's because we back country alone a lot however We've helped other people with it but never had to winch ourselves out of a situation--mainly because if I think I'm going to need the winch we do something different.
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Old 03-02-2016, 10:17 AM
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Order this CB until you can see other options and really decide what you want. I wheel with people who use nothing but this. Also take a look at lights when you get there, most 50" light bars cause a ton of wind noise. If you're really needing more light look at the square led's and the amount of light they put out. The high wattage pencil beams are great if you're going over 50 mph at night. Personally I try not to wheel at night, I think it sucks when I'm not at home or camp for dinner. Spend alot of time listening to why everyone has what they have, and how they like it or don't like it, and what they would do different.

For now get a sure fire flashlight and a portable air compressor. I have a Superflo chinese model that I bought on amazon for $60 but Viair makes a much nicer one that is a little more $$. Other than that, bring your own beer.

Thanks for the suggestions. I heard about the wind noise thing, but didn't realize that some square ones would put out more light than the light bars. I am not necessarily off-roading at night, but we do get caught after dark trying to get back to camp, and having that extra umph to see where that switchback is you missed a mile back is helpful. Any suggestions on some good square ones?

As far as the CB. Thanks for that. I am going to look into it. When I looked into this a while back ago, I saw the Midland 75-822. The battery compartment comes off when you are hooking it up to a cigarette lighter and then it operates like a cb handset without the box under the dash somewhere. Space in the wrangler is pretty limited so I was thinking of putting a hanger somewhere and just have as small as a handset as possible. I don't know about how well it does, but the design is interesting anyway. I have heard that handhelds have problems with any kind of distance (even with a whip). So, I never pulled the trigger. How has this Cobra performed out in the field?

Thanks for the heads up on the air compressor I wasn't thinking of that. I have one from walmart I used for camping, I will see if it can do the job. Otherwise I will check out the viair.
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Old 03-02-2016, 11:14 AM   #12
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don't skimp on the compressor it will drive you nuts. the viair 400P is relatively cheap and pumps 35's from 12 to 30 in no time. I have been with people who try and use the little cheapo ones and I have 7 tires pumped up before they have one done. Also if you are going by the RR4x4 rating those are conservative on the easy side ie 2 and 3 you could do in a Subaru. Do fins and things to get your feet under you and your confidence up and you will be ready for 4's and 5's and maybe some 6's. I am leaving tomorrow for Moab, it is way better to go now then fight the crowds at ejs. We have gone every year at this time for the last 4 years.
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Old 03-02-2016, 12:21 PM   #13
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don't skimp on the compressor it will drive you nuts. the viair 400P is relatively cheap and pumps 35's from 12 to 30 in no time. I have been with people who try and use the little cheapo ones and I have 7 tires pumped up before they have one done. Also if you are going by the RR4x4 rating those are conservative on the easy side ie 2 and 3 you could do in a Subaru. Do fins and things to get your feet under you and your confidence up and you will be ready for 4's and 5's and maybe some 6's. I am leaving tomorrow for Moab, it is way better to go now then fight the crowds at ejs. We have gone every year at this time for the last 4 years.
+1 to this. Last year I took my stock JKU Hard Rock to see what it could handle. I was pleasantly surprised. I drug a number of times, but most of those were my fault. Wrong line or too fast. This years trip will be after 2.5" lift and 34's. I also have onboard air which will be much better. Enjoy your trip!
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Old 03-02-2016, 03:58 PM   #14
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CB should be all you really NEED due to ESJ requirements. I highly recommend picking up the Moab trail guide book by FunTreks and having a tow strap just in case. You do not want to air down because you need every bit of clearance. Rougher ride is better than getting hung up on a ledge. We have gone to Moab twice with a stock 13 JKUR and once with TNT skid plates added and had a blast. You will be amazed at what you can do with a stock JKUR. Here is a list of trails we did completely stock with out any issues. Being stock you have to think a lot more and pick your lines (path).
Tower Arch
Usher Tunnel
Hidden Canyon
Secret Spire, Dellenbaugh Tunnel
Spring Canyon Point
Gold bar Rim
Hell's Revenge
Fin's and Things
Potash Road, Shafer Switchbacks
Elephant Hill
with TNT skids:
Poison Spider Mesa
Golden Spike

the stock gas tank skid is very thin and bends easy causing you to get hung up on ledges that with a good skid you would just slide on.

Hope this helps.
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Old 03-02-2016, 10:08 PM
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CB should be all you really NEED due to ESJ requirements. I highly recommend picking up the Moab trail guide book by FunTreks and having a tow strap just in case. You do not want to air down because you need every bit of clearance. Rougher ride is better than getting hung up on a ledge. We have gone to Moab twice with a stock 13 JKUR and once with TNT skid plates added and had a blast. You will be amazed at what you can do with a stock JKUR. Here is a list of trails we did completely stock with out any issues. Being stock you have to think a lot more and pick your lines (path).
Tower Arch
Usher Tunnel
Hidden Canyon
Secret Spire, Dellenbaugh Tunnel
Spring Canyon Point
Gold bar Rim
Hell's Revenge
Fin's and Things
Potash Road, Shafer Switchbacks
Elephant Hill
with TNT skids:
Poison Spider Mesa
Golden Spike

the stock gas tank skid is very thin and bends easy causing you to get hung up on ledges that with a good skid you would just slide on.

Hope this helps.
Eric
Eric,

This is great! Thanks. I am going to check out these trails and see which ones I am brave enough to do on my first run. Like you said....going to build up confidence so I don't want to start off too spooky yet.

So do you think I should get some new skid plates or just wait until I go the first time, and just stick with the more basics and then come back with plates?

I am actually going slightly bit ahead of EJS because we could not get in on some of the combo trails (all full). We are heading out on the 16th or the 17th and returning on the 20th. I am hoping that there will be enough people there to watch some of the brave/crazy ones on the 8-10s. I thought it would be fun just to watch a bit and then take part on the more tame trails myself. Getting pretty excited to get out there.

Anyone on the forum going to be there during those days?
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Old 03-02-2016, 10:14 PM
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don't skimp on the compressor it will drive you nuts. the viair 400P is relatively cheap and pumps 35's from 12 to 30 in no time. I have been with people who try and use the little cheapo ones and I have 7 tires pumped up before they have one done. Also if you are going by the RR4x4 rating those are conservative on the easy side ie 2 and 3 you could do in a Subaru. Do fins and things to get your feet under you and your confidence up and you will be ready for 4's and 5's and maybe some 6's. I am leaving tomorrow for Moab, it is way better to go now then fight the crowds at ejs. We have gone every year at this time for the last 4 years.
You reccommend the 400P? I saw the 450P online for $264 (about $40 more than the 400P). Is that overkill?
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Old 03-03-2016, 03:35 AM   #17
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Overland journal did a comparison and 400 was faster. I would do a gas tank skid first thing.
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Old 03-03-2016, 06:30 AM   #18
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Eric,

This is great! Thanks. I am going to check out these trails and see which ones I am brave enough to do on my first run. Like you said....going to build up confidence so I don't want to start off too spooky yet.

So do you think I should get some new skid plates or just wait until I go the first time, and just stick with the more basics and then come back with plates?

I am actually going slightly bit ahead of EJS because we could not get in on some of the combo trails (all full). We are heading out on the 16th or the 17th and returning on the 20th. I am hoping that there will be enough people there to watch some of the brave/crazy ones on the 8-10s. I thought it would be fun just to watch a bit and then take part on the more tame trails myself. Getting pretty excited to get out there.

Anyone on the forum going to be there during those days?
Well you can spend the money now and prevent any serious damage to your car or you can spend the money later after you have to fix something you broke by smashing it on a rock.
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Old 03-03-2016, 08:07 AM   #19
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We just returned from Moab last weekend, you should be fine running Hells Revenge, Fins and Things and Poison Spider with out any issues, there are a lot of trails that will keep your interest without tearing up your ride. The main thing is to take your time and try to pick your lines with care. We had a stock FJ with us and they had zero issues with the 3 trails I have listed.
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Old 03-03-2016, 09:59 AM
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Well you can spend the money now and prevent any serious damage to your car or you can spend the money later after you have to fix something you broke by smashing it on a rock.
Point taken....but will 2s and 3s be at that level? I was thinking that since they state the 2s and 3s are fine for many stock cars/trucks, I was under the impression that in a Rubicon it would be no issue at all. I suppose it matters less on the trail rating than how I actually end up trying to drive the lines. I.e. If I do something stupid, I could be banging up my jeep coming out of the parking lot.

So what plates would you recommend starting out with? Some/All?
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Old 03-03-2016, 10:02 AM
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We just returned from Moab last weekend, you should be fine running Hells Revenge, Fins and Things and Poison Spider with out any issues, there are a lot of trails that will keep your interest without tearing up your ride. The main thing is to take your time and try to pick your lines with care. We had a stock FJ with us and they had zero issues with the 3 trails I have listed.
Awesome...I am going to add those to my list. Thanks!
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Old 03-03-2016, 10:09 AM   #22
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One huge misconception about Moab is that it requires highly modified Jeeps, winches, etc. As far as I know, that's crap...but then I've only lived here for 42 years and started Jeeping the local trails as soon as I bought my 1982 Scrambler 34 years ago. Yes, there are trails that require modified vehicles. Most of those trails are for people who would rather test their vehicle capabilities and driving bravado than view the incredible scenery. In most cases, it is the more moderate trails that lead to the most jaw-dropping scenery...and there are plenty of those trails.

The only one of my Jeeps that ever got a winch was the Scrambler that I just re-bought. The only thing that winch was ever used for was pulling other people out of places they should not have been in the first place. However, I always carried a beefy come-a-long just in case I suffered a momentary lapse in judgment. And I'd never go anywhere without a tow strap...and a compressor (I use the Viair 450P).

I will second the recommendation to protect that VERY vulnerable automatic transmission line. You will use skid plates more often than a winch around here. I was very happy with the Rock Hard skid plate on my JK, but there is a mind-boggling number of choices.

Also, a CB radio is not required for Safari trails. It might come in handy, but is not a mandatory piece of equipment for Safari participants.

While incredible scenery used to be Moab's main draw, the popular buzzword now is "Adventure"...and all the joys and pitfalls that word implies.
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Old 03-03-2016, 10:17 AM   #23
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IMO new jeep, new winch before any other option.

Get stuck in the mountains and you are walking out.
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Old 03-03-2016, 06:04 PM   #24
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Well you can spend the money now and prevent any serious damage to your car or you can spend the money later after you have to fix something you broke by smashing it on a rock.
That's a little off topic. What does damage to his car have to do with his Jeep?
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Old 03-03-2016, 06:06 PM   #25
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imo new jeep, new winch before any other option.

Get stuck in the mountains and you are walking out.
+1
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Old 03-04-2016, 10:30 AM
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One huge misconception about Moab is that it requires highly modified Jeeps, winches, etc. As far as I know, that's crap...but then I've only lived here for 42 years and started Jeeping the local trails as soon as I bought my 1982 Scrambler 34 years ago. Yes, there are trails that require modified vehicles. Most of those trails are for people who would rather test their vehicle capabilities and driving bravado than view the incredible scenery. In most cases, it is the more moderate trails that lead to the most jaw-dropping scenery...and there are plenty of those trails.

The only one of my Jeeps that ever got a winch was the Scrambler that I just re-bought. The only thing that winch was ever used for was pulling other people out of places they should not have been in the first place. However, I always carried a beefy come-a-long just in case I suffered a momentary lapse in judgment. And I'd never go anywhere without a tow strap...and a compressor (I use the Viair 450P).

I will second the recommendation to protect that VERY vulnerable automatic transmission line. You will use skid plates more often than a winch around here. I was very happy with the Rock Hard skid plate on my JK, but there is a mind-boggling number of choices.

Also, a CB radio is not required for Safari trails. It might come in handy, but is not a mandatory piece of equipment for Safari participants.

While incredible scenery used to be Moab's main draw, the popular buzzword now is "Adventure"...and all the joys and pitfalls that word implies.


I think you have touched on the point of why I am going out and learning at Moab. I am not trying to do any kind of rock crawling as a hobby. What I am looking to do is learn how to deal with trails that, right now, seem iimpassable to me. I want to know what I should and shouldn't do when I am out in the mountains looking for a secluded area that most people don't go.

I am all about enjoying the scenery and getting away from it all with my family. Finding that perfect fishing hole or mountain stream, or even go to some peaks and look out across the valley below. Knowiing how to get there and being properly prepared is my objective, and Moab is my first classroom.

I am perfectly happy with taking those more "moderate trails with jaw-droping scenery", so if you have some suggestions of which ones to take on, that would be great. I am not interested in spending 4 hours trying to get past a boulder and having to get out and set up winches, dig holes, build ramps, etc. If I need such things for safety and/or recovery reasons, great, but that is not my objective.

Skid plates make sense....but will I encounter the need when I am on 2s and 3s at Moab?
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Old 03-27-2016, 05:00 AM   #27
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For 2 and 3 rated trails you will be fine stock. I was there for the first time two weeks ago and I used my skids a few times. I would suggest the Evo Pro-Tek skid set when you are ready: http://www.northridge4x4.com/evo-man...ek-skid-system
I would also skip the 50" light bar and go with something like this: https://www.trail-gear.com/TG/LIGHT_...x#.Vveug3Tn_qA
I have it and it puts out plenty of light. Get whatever CB you want and enjoy Moab. For the level of trail you are looking at, don't miss the 4x4 trail in Arches NP. Ask at the visitors center to show you on the map. Beautiful scenery and one of the most fun trails I did.
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Old 03-27-2016, 12:40 PM   #28
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Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Northern California
Posts: 104
I've got a Hard Rock on order, and once the break-in period is over, might like to do a summer trek out to Moab to have some fun.

Are there activities in Moab similar to EJS that are scheduled during the summer or early fall months?
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Old 03-27-2016, 05:36 PM   #29
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Cheyenne, Wyoming
Posts: 118
Been following this thread as I have a stock Rubicon also. Lot's of great information here. Planning on getting out to Moab some day and was wondering what trails I'd be able to do.
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Old 03-27-2016, 05:48 PM   #30
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Simi valley cali
Posts: 116
I got the hard rock bumpers (take offs) and T-Max winch looks awesome and built in to the bumper.
have used it so far only once (not had it long) to rescue someone else.

If you go alone they are more useful than if you go in group but will help others if they get stuck for sure.

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