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Old 08-27-2015, 12:54 AM
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78cj5's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Monroe, Washington
Posts: 141
Got stuck for the first time in my new Jeep.

I have a stock 2015 JKU Rubicon. I decided to go on a camping trip with my friends to lake Kachess in Washington state. We actually go on this trip every year, but this was the first time the lake was low. In fact, it was 32 feet down.

Since it was so low, it required driving out onto the exposed "dry" lake bed to launch your boat, or raft as far as I was concerned. The exposed lake bed stretched out about a quarter mile from the original launch ramp and was hilly with rocks and some muddy patches here and there. Honestly, I tried to stay away from the mud -as I know lake bed mud can be some pretty mushy stuff. But as I was looking for a place to launch, I turned around and was moving fast over some softer stuff. Before I knew it, I went down a slight hill and into a good sized mud patch. I knew immediately I was in trouble, but tried to keep the momentum going. I was almost out, but the wheels were slipping and Jeep was going nowhere... I foolishly put it in reverse and went about 20 feet back into a worse situation. Now I was very stuck. The axle was buried in the mud. All we had was a military shovel to dig it out. We let our friends know who were going to meet up with us about our situation, and told them to bring a long shovel and some wood. My friend who was with me helped me dig around all the wheels are much as we could and we laid some wood and rocks under the tires. I cleaned out the mud from the tread, but all four wheels spun and the jeep didn't move... 2 hours go by.

Eventually a man walked up to where we were and asked if we needed help, I said it would be great if he were willing. He said he had a big lifted diesel truck, but was nervous about getting stuck out there himself. He said he was camping nearby and that if we weren't out in a couple of hours, he would come back and see if he could pull us out. I had my brand new ARB recovery strap, but it was close to the length of the muddy area, and it was hard to tell if he could even make it there... 2 more hours go by.

After a couple more failed attempts, and unloading the Jeep of all the camping gear, we set up our rafts and gear for launch as we waited for my friends to show up with the long shovel and wood. The man I spoke to earlier "sort of drove up" in his truck. He didn't think he could make it, so he wished us luck and left. At this point I decided to walk toward the campgrounds and see if there was someone with a capable vehicle or find someone who had a winch. On my way there another man asked me if I was the guy stuck in the jeep and asked if I needed help. I said "sure, but a man in a big truck went earlier and was afraid he would get stuck." He said he had a big truck too, but would give it a try. On my way back to my Jeep, a large family of Mexicans asked if I needed help and that they would be willing to give me a push. I said "sure, that would be great!"

So the truck made it to where my Jeep was -barely- he came really close himself to getting stuck. No one, obviously, was driving in the mud pit I was stuck in, but there were some nasty smaller mud patches on the way to the dry spot that was about 20 feet in front of my Jeep. I told them I wanted to use my recovery strap instead of the tow strap. Told them to take the trailer hitch off and put the hitch pin through the loop of the strap. I hooked the other side to one of my front hooks. There was just the right amount of slack. The Mexican family of about ten walked up to the back of my jeep and got ready to push. The truck took off, I stepped on the gas right when the slack tightened and I launched out, I was pushed and pulled about 10 more feet before the Jeep regained control. Super giddy, I thanked everyone for their help and got back to the parking lot, following the truck, just in case it got stuck on the way back... 25 minutes go by.

My other friends arrive and are very pleased that they didn't have to do any digging and that our camping trip could begin. We found a great launching point at the other side of the ramp that was completely dry.

Additional thing that was funny. After our camping trip was over, I walked back to my Jeep to bring it back down to pick up our 700 pounds of gear. A truck was blocking the ramp. What!?!? We didn't want to have to carry our 700 pounds of gear a quarter mile back up to our vehicles. I think it might have been a ranger's truck blocking the way to keep people from going down there and screwing around at night. It was getting dark, so I needed to find another route to get down there. I noticed some large 2 foot rocks that were spread out acting as a kind of "barrier" around the sides of the parking lot near the ramp. I went right over those rocks and my friends said a guy who was getting into his Prius saw me do this and said "cool" in a sort of wishful tone. I'm living the dream man... and my wife loves the Jeep!

It wasn't the first time I had ever been stuck. I got stuck a few times in the '78. As much as it sucked being stuck for 5 hours, it felt good to get that out of the way on the JKU -and it felt good to get use out of that strap. I do plan on putting a Rock Krawler 2.5 inch X-factor on it and some 35s -and some day, a winch. But these things will come slowly I'm afraid.

Here's some pictures. It doesn't really look as bad in them as it actually was.

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The '78CJ5 is the jeep I grew up with. I currently drive a black 2015 JKU automatic Rubicon ..and a 2017 manual Gobi JK Recon
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Old 08-27-2015, 05:51 AM   #2
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Location: Washington, DC
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That sucks! Glad you made it out and that so many were willing to help out. I've yet to get stuck in my '13 but I'm sure it will happen some day. Got stuck once in my YJ, in fact everyone I was with got stuck and we had to spend the night. That's what we get for wheeling in the dark.

'13 JKUR, Billet
'88 YJ w/ 4" lift and 33's - Gone but not forgotten
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Old 08-27-2015, 06:58 AM   #3
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Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 1,756
Cool story. Getting stuck is part of owning the Jeep. You really don't want to but in a weird sense you do because figuring out how to get unstuck is pain and pleasure wrapped up in itself. No one hurt, no body damage, some mud for the driveway. Kick ass!
2013 2 dr Commando Green,2.5 Metalcloak Gamechanger lift,Teraflex MonsterTB, Northridge bolt kit, JKS Quicker Discos, Cooper 37X13.5X70 STT Pros on ATX Slabs. ACE rock sliders, Rugged Ridge XHD front bumper RR synthetic line winch, LoD rear linked full width bumper, RR Snorkel, 4.88, ProRockR44 with 35 sp RCV, rear Tenfactory 35 sp, locked with ARB,MC all 8 arms, MC rear Track Bar, Steersmarts TR and DL, Adams Extreme duty front DS
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Old 08-27-2015, 07:12 AM   #4
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Mansfield (DFW area), TX
Posts: 801
I got stuck the first time I took my 13 off road. I high centered coming out of a mud hole. I was alone but I was in a 4x4 park, my son ran out to the main trail and someone came and winched me out within 10 minutes.

A few weeks later I didn't feel so bad when I saw a pic on one of the local Jeep clubs website with a guy stuck in the same hole. Difference is he had a pretty good sized lift and 35's and I was stock.
My wife calls my jeep my mid life crisis, I told her if it was my mid life crisis I would have got a 2 door
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Old 08-27-2015, 07:18 AM   #5
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: No Longer in SFL (and no longer have a TJ)
Posts: 410
Glad you got out and great to see so many helpful people. Last time I was stuck I was on my frame, left it in drive, got out to watch all 4 wheels slowly spin. I knew I was in trouble at that point.
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Old 08-27-2015, 08:01 AM   #6
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Wichita
Posts: 127
Perhaps a winch should be your first mod! Glad everything worked out
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Old 08-27-2015, 10:07 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Monroe, Washington
Posts: 141
Originally Posted by windshieldfarmer View Post
Perhaps a winch should be your first mod! Glad everything worked out
Yeah, I know that I wished it was my first mod when I was digging! If the recovery strap counts, that was my actual first addition and it did the trick! But I had to wait for 5 hours...

I'll probably get a hi-lift jack next though. A winch would be brutal on the stock suspension and the way it nose-dives. Hopefully by next year I'll have the lift on and be ready to add the winch!
The '78CJ5 is the jeep I grew up with. I currently drive a black 2015 JKU automatic Rubicon ..and a 2017 manual Gobi JK Recon
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Old 08-27-2015, 10:22 PM   #8
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Alaska
Posts: 1,243
All you need is a couple of 1/2 inch spacers to re-level the front. An average winch with synthetic line only weighs about 65 pounds. The mounting bracket that works on the stock bumper is another 20.

I think adding a winch first is a great idea. And you can be all in with a budget winch for about $600. About what it costs for 1 tire and rim.


2013 JKU Sahara, Commando Green - 4.5" Franken Lift w/ Fox 2.0 Res shocks - RockJock44 w/ ARB & RCV - 36x13.50 17 Irok Bias Ply on Cragar D Window Rims - Check out more Alaska Wheeling at Bad Goat Off Road
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