Big dumb trip

Stormin’ Moorman

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Hello jeepers! I am embarking on a big dumb trip for work, in my JL of course, and figured I would document the trip in case anyone is interested. I will be traveling through the SE from the Georgia coast, up into Arkansas and Oklahoma and back down through Mobile, AL, then back through SW Georgia and home again. Probably about 3,000 miles total.

I have thousands of acres of private land to appraise for acquisition; Probably 20,000 acres total. Throughout this process I’ll be wheeling through swamps, forests and mountains. Sand, mud and rocks. I’ll try to make this interesting but I’ve never done anything like this so don’t have high expectations.

Day 1: (yesterday) I started in the swamps of SE Georgia inspecting properties along the Satilla River, west of Brunswick. Most of this area is “flatwoods” meaning it’s flat...and wooded. Lots of mud with deep holes filled with murky water. All the fancy Rubicon buttons won’t help you here, just lots of skinny pedal and some mild profanity. Not too bad a day, 300 miles of highway, dirt roads and logging trails. Pretty boring actually. I did get a good pic of the Jeep on a sand bar in the Satilla River.

Day 2: (5/16) All interstate today...miserable. I spent 12:27 behind the wheel and covered 776.8 miles. I ended up in Ruston, LA and I’ll be attending my oldest daughters high school graduation tomorrow. Eleventh in her class and a full scholarship to the University of Louisiana, Lafayette ( The Ragin’ Cajuns). Not too shabby for a full time socialite.

My overall impressions with Jeep today. Lowering the tire pressure to 33# made a big difference in handling, especially after the tires heat up. It tracts much better. I have grown really attached to the 8.4 Uconnect. It’s one of the best things about the vehicle. The seats are OK. Could be better, could be worse. I really wish it had ventilated seats.

The gas tank is too damn small. I swear mine only holds about 19 gallons with a 300 mile range. That just sucks for long trips. Gas mileage is a little disappointing(14.4), averaged about 75 MPH with few stops.

The pics are 1. Satilla River (day 1). 2. Place where “the dude” passed (day 1). 3. Forest (day 1). 4 carnage of day 1. 5. Starting off day 2 clean at Starbucks. 6. Stats for day 2

I can’t get the pics in order damnit.

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Hello jeepers! I am embarking on a big dumb trip for work, in my JL of course, and figured I would document the trip in case anyone is interested. I will be traveling through the SE from the Georgia coast, up into Arkansas and Oklahoma and back down through Mobile, AL, then back through SW Georgia and home again. Probably about 3,000 miles total.

I have thousands of acres of private land to appraise for acquisition; Probably 20,000 acres total. Throughout this process I’ll be wheeling through swamps, forests and mountains. Sand, mud and rocks. I’ll try to make this interesting but I’ve never done anything like this so don’t have high expectations.

Day 1: (yesterday) I started in the swamps of SE Georgia inspecting properties along the Satilla River, west of Brunswick. Most of this area is “flatwoods” meaning it’s flat...and wooded. Lots of mud with deep holes filled with murky water. All the fancy Rubicon buttons won’t help you here, just lots of skinny pedal and some mild profanity. Not too bad a day, 300 miles of highway, dirt roads and logging trails. Pretty boring actually. I did get a good pic of the Jeep on a sand bar in the Satilla River.

Day 2: (5/16) All interstate today...miserable. I spent 12:27 behind the wheel and covered 776.8 miles. I ended up in Ruston, LA and I’ll be attending my oldest daughters high school graduation tomorrow. Eleventh in her class and a full scholarship to the University of Louisiana, Lafayette ( The Ragin’ Cajuns). Not too shabby for a full time socialite.

My overall impressions with Jeep today. Lowering the tire pressure to 33# made a big difference in handling, especially after the tires heat up. It tracts much better. I have grown really attached to the 8.4 Uconnect. It’s one of the best things about the vehicle. The seats are OK. Could be better, could be worse. I really wish it had ventilated seats.

The gas tank is too damn small. I swear mine only holds about 19 gallons with a 300 mile range. That just sucks for long trips. Gas mileage is a little disappointing(14.4), averaged about 75 MPH with few stops.

The pics are 1. Satilla River (day 1). 2. Place where “the dude” passed (day 1). 3. Forest (day 1). 4 carnage of day 1. 5. Starting off day 2 clean at Starbucks. 6. Stats for day 2

I can’t get the pics in order damnit.

6BB85375-FECE-444E-A4D4-840E35D554C3.jpeg


184C7B0F-26AD-45E3-8EAB-E0947B920F82.jpeg


0B2ED514-83F1-4331-B611-3F3F6D370C95.jpeg


64312D59-9E2A-4656-AA49-1FD90D9DFC46.jpeg


530AA16C-7C3D-4CF3-9AB7-AA1BA18D1AB4.jpeg


6624DFD7-65F6-497B-82D7-647A3DE59171.jpeg
Enjoyed the journal, keep it up! Like that you wove vehicle critique into it...
 

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Interesting trip and nice build....thanks for sharing. I would think your jeep is still riding rough doing a 3k mile trip on 35" e rated tires at 33psi...surprised you feel it rides good at that high of a psi. Based on chalk testing & trying different psi during 10k miles daily driving on 35" ko2's load c and my friend who works on jeeps for a living, the outer lugs prob arent fully contacting the road and the tires are prob still riding relatively stiff. Try putting chalk or dirt on them and driving on flat pavement for 100 yards and you'll see the chalk/dirt doesn't rub off the outer lugs bc they aren't touching the road causing uneven wear. Try lowering the air in 3psi increments and retesting. I imagine you'll find they'll wear more evenly and ride noticeably softer around 25psi when tires are cold.(28-29 psi when warmed up after driving). I found simply dropping tires 3 or 4 psi made a noticeable difference in terms of helping dampen bumbs in the road.

As a data point, the 35" ko2's load c on a 8.5" wheel make full contact at 30psi and ride much better than when at 34psi.
 
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Stormin’ Moorman

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Day 3: Off for my daughter's high school graduation. Very proud.

Day 4: Started the day in Ruston, LA. I got my son started on a timber inventory outside of Minden, LA. He did well, made $900 today. Wouldn't stop until the job was done. He was obviously paying attention for the last 19 years, that's surprising. I ended up staying with him a little longer than I would have liked, but i don't get to see him much so i hung around.

I then headed up towards El Dorado, Arkansas. Inspected some tracts with pretty big timber, rolling hills and a few good trails. Some were muddy, but not too bad.

At this point, i started to get tornado warnings on the Uconnect. This is a good opportunity to comment on how much i like the features and 8.4" screen. Coming from a 2008 F250, i didn't even have bluetooth or a backup camera. At first i felt like I was piloting the Starship Enterprise, but I'm used to it by now and must say that for the most part i absolutely love it. XM radio, awesome. Backup cam, awesome. Travel Link with weather radar and warnings, super awesome. GPS, eh could be better. The GPS is pretty bad. It always takes me the worst possible way to my destination. I've still been using Google maps on my phone for the most part and i plan to check the GPS settings, maybe i have something set incorrectly. I like everything else about Uconnect and want to give credit to FCA on this feature, I think its best in class.

Back to the tornado warning, the shit hit the fan and i was in a tornado warning area...like the exact middle. Even though I was getting warnings all day about the coming weather, the speed at which it hit was impressive. Out of nowhere i had winds that had to be 45-50 MPH and blinding rain. I saw a lot of wind damage but no tornadoes or tornado sign.

My 35" Ridge Grappler tires are still impressing me. I've run several types of BFG and Nitto over the years and the ATs are never good enough in the mud, while the MTs are great in the mud but suck everywhere else. I went with the Metrosexual of tires, Nitto Ridge Grapplers this time and they seem to be the Goldie Locks of off-road tires so far. Much better than ATs in the mud, and better than MTs everywhere else. They certainly handled the pouring rain on and off road toady.

I ended the day in Hot Springs, AR, with only about 6 hours in the jeep and a total of 1,022 miles in two days of driving. My average MPG crept up to 15.4, probably due to the slower speeds on county roads and trails.

Tomorrow will be a long and hopefully fun day, into the Ouachita Mountains of Oklahoma and then back to Mobile, Alabama. I doubt I'll make it the whole way but I'll try. Time is money.

PS- I saw a zebra

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Stormin’ Moorman

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Interesting trip and nice build....thanks for sharing. I would think your jeep is still riding rough doing a 3k mile trip on 35" e rated tires at 33psi...surprised you feel it rides good at that high of a psi. Based on chalk testing & trying different psi during 10k miles daily driving on 35" ko2's load c and my friend who works on jeeps for a living, the outer lugs prob arent fully contacting the road and the tires are prob still riding relatively stiff. Try putting chalk or dirt on them and driving on flat pavement for 100 yards and you'll see the chalk/dirt doesn't rub off the outer lugs bc they aren't touching the road causing uneven wear. Try lowering the air in 3psi increments and retesting. I imagine you'll find they'll wear more evenly and ride noticeably softer around 25psi when tires are cold.(28-29 psi when warmed up after driving). I found simply dropping tires 3 or 4 psi made a noticeable difference in terms of helping dampen bumbs in the road.

As a data point, the 35" ko2's load c on a 8.5" wheel make full contact at 30psi and ride much better than when at 34psi.
I'll try this tomorrow. Thanks for the advice.
 

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Following your travels!

Enjoy our Ouachita "mountains."

Very curious how the Wrangler performs throughout your trip.
 
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Stormin’ Moorman

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Following your travels!

Enjoy our Ouachita "mountains."

Very curious how the Wrangler performs throughout your trip.
Haha. Well I live in Savannah, GA at a staggering 17’ above sea level. They look like mountains to me!
 

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Congratulations on your daughter's graduation! Good reason to be proud.
 
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Day 5: Started in Hot Springs, AR (HS). I haven't been here in quite a while but it's still a really nice place. Lakes, National Forests, plenty of bars. So as a "field trip" i decided to visit the HS ORV Park. It's located a few miles north of HS, on about 1,200 acres in the Ouachita Mountains. It's also at the doorstep of the HS National Park, which i did not visit. The park has a crap-ton of trails. You could spend several days out here and not ride them all. The trails are rated on a 1-5 diamond scale, 1 being the easiest. I arrived a little before 9:00 AM so i could air-down to 18 PSI. When they opened up I paid $36 for a day pass and received a map and advice on what trails i should try.

The park has 3 Badge of Honor trails and I wanted to complete as many as i had time for. They strongly suggested that i not attempt Rubicon Ridge alone ("Don't be that guy", they said), so that left Snake and Fun Run. As i started Snake i was joined by a couple from Tyler, Tx in their "Smurfy" JKUR. I tossed them a radio and off we went. Snake was pretty easy, but long, and took longer to complete than I anticipated. Now when i say easy, I don't mean the trail wasn't fun. It was a lot of fun and I'd recommend it to anyone.

After Snake, my new friends had to head back to TX and i decided to head out as well. After all, i still had to look at several thousand acres in Oklahoma and drive back to Louisiana. I could always come back to do the other trails another time. It's only 1,000 miles from my house. Well, that's where it got interesting. I thought the trail I chose to leave on connected to a main road but as it turned, it did not. It was a trail called Buckhorn SE and it's a strong 3. Awesome! I did this one alone and loved it. And as it happened, it dumped me out on Fun Run! Boom, another Jeep Badge. Fun Run was pretty short but much more demanding. I had to use all my fancy Rubicon buttons to climb two sections. The 2 inches of rain we got the day before didn't help. But i climbed it nearly unscathed. I may have gotten a slight boo boo coming down hard on a rock in the rear and it pushed my bumper into the body of the jeep. That's my penalty for being a dumbass and not having a spotter.

After i left the park i headed west towards Oklahoma. For much of this trip (90 miles) i traveled adjacent to the Ouachita NF and through a lot of Weyerhaeuser land. I bet i passed 3 people, at most. Not a bad drive at all and there were many forest roads that were taunting me as a went by. This place, especially Polk County (Population 3) are worth exploring if you're so inclined. I wish i had more time.

I launched the drone for "work" and got a few good shots, which i will attach. I'm still learning how to use it but it has potential.

Tomorrow i will be on the highways heading to the swamps north of Mobile, Alabama. They kind of suck. I'll update tomorrow night.

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Stormin’ Moorman

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Day 6: Pretty long day, started in Ruston, LA and ended in Mobile, AL. Mostly driving through the middle of Mississippi, which has no silver lining. I stopped to help a girl who had a flat in her car in the middle of nowhere. She was a mess. Her tires were bald, her battery cables corroded and car in general disrepair. She blamed it on her daddy, typical sorority girl. I gave her a good talking to about personal responsibility which I'm sure went in one ear and out the other, but i feel better for having said it. I'm attempting to raise my daughters differently, I hope it sticks. 50/50 odds at best.

I rolled into Washington County, Alabama in the afternoon to look at one small tract of land. Natural long leaf pine forest with a cool little pond. It was very secluded and if I didn't have to "internet" all the time i would have stayed there.

Staying in downtown Mobile, which is a cool old southern town with a lot of bars and restaurants in walking distance of the Admiral Hotel I'm at.

The grind is starting to set in and I'm ready to get home. 3, maybe 4 days left....

Just a couple pics tonight, nice pond with jeep shot and Dauphine Street in Mobile.

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Stormin’ Moorman

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OK, I'm a little behind schedule but there's a story behind it. When last i posted i was just getting into Mobile, Alabama. I went to eat at a great restaurant called the Dumbwaiter on Dauphin Street. They have great meat and better beer. Enough said.

DAY 7: The next day i was heading to the Mobile County courthouse on I65, and the proverbial poo hit the fan. I was riding along when all of a sudden the car in front of me erratically swerves into the next lane and leaves me looking into the back of a junk trunk, which is in the process of raining down a poo-storm of wood and debris all over my jeep. Several pieces of lumber hit my jeep but i couldn't swerve much due to cars on either side of me. Then a large piece of wood stuck my hood on the passenger side, bounced up and hit my cowl, smashed my windshield wiper and broke my windshield. I was a little bit upset at this point, but there was more to come.

I saw the driver looking into the side mirror with eyes as big as saucer plates and jaw agape...and then he kept going. He undoubtedly saw the incident but this a$$hole wasn't going to stop! Well that wasn't going to fly with me so i engaged all 3.6 liters of the Pentestar and caught up with the truck. That took about 3 seconds since the truck was a huge POS. I pulled along side and starting yelling at the guy to pull over and eventually had to box him in and push him over to the shoulder. (Since the truck had no plate, i really didn't see many options.) Side Note: I'm now looking into dash-cams.

When i got out of my jeep i noticed a Mercedes had pulled in behind me and two women were getting out. The driver gets out of the junk truck and immediately starts saying that i didn't have any damage to my vehicle and something about having to prove damages, before approaching my jeep. It was honestly a bunch of gibberish. The driver gets on the phone to call his boss and the ladies in the Mercedes call the police. Apparently some debris also struck her vehicle.

Well the boss shows up and he is probably the dumbest, most belligerent ass I've ever met. He struts up to my jeep and asks "Where the debris" while dramatically mimicing a searching motion around my Jeep. "You ain't got no error-dence! You ain't got no error-dence!" To which i replied, "I don't need no 'error-dence', we have multiple witnesses which saw it happen. And what the hell are you doing looking around my Jeep for 'error-dence', the incident happened a mile back."

The incident further progressed into a downward spiral of ignorance so deep that i had to restrain the Mercedes driver from retrieving her pistol from her car in order to "Kill that worthless SOB!"

The police arrived just in time to avoid a homicide. Cop jumps out of his car walks up to my Jeep and says, "Nice JL, are you on your way back from Jeep Beach in Panama City? I just got back last night." Haha. Anyway he writes up the report and i leave the scene. I was surprised the junk truck had insurance but he did, so we'll see how that turns out. I will probably need to have most of the front of my jeep repainted, a new windshield wiper arm and a new windshield. yay.

I worked the rest of the day and evening in Mobile and had a close call with a washed out road about a million miles from anywhere. This detour cost me about an hour. I drug my tired butt into the Fairfield Inn in Dothan, AL at about 1AM. I was very tired driving but i found that a couple Monsters, "Hairnation" on XM radio and putting the top back helped to keep me alert. I was too tired to photograpg the mileage but i have the grand total.

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Stormin’ Moorman

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DAY 8: I hung out most of the morning at Panera Bread in Dothan, working on mapping out the next 2 days of tracts to look at. I hit the road about noon and headed back into the Great State of Georgia. I spent all day looking at some of the most boring timberland there is. No drama, nothing cool.

JEEP NOTE: I will say that i am not a fan of the stock fenders. I've had my jeep for 4 months and already detached 2 fenders. The first was the front passenger fender. A limb got wedged in there and popped many of the plastic rivets out. I ordered a rivet gun on Amazon and fixed it. But then a few weeks ago, the back fender was mostly detached and i have no idea how that occurred. I know i didn't hit anything, well I'm kinda sure. I used the rivet gun to fix that one back as well. And I've noticed that they are very chipped up from rocks and also get stains from mud. When my jeep goes into the shop to get painted i may put some aftermarket fenders on.

I stayed in Americus, GA that night. I was happy to be back in Georgia, it's generally a more refined place...not counting Atlanta. The people and genuinely more pleasant and have better manners. In Alabama I got panhandled 6 times in one day. I've never been panhandled in GA...again, not counting ATL.

I saw some nice farms around Plains and Americus. This is where Jimmy Carter is from and the Global HQ for Habitat for Humanity is located here. I am definitely not a Carter fan, but if it wasn't for him i would never have met my wife. That's a story for a different forum.

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Stormin’ Moorman

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WRAP UP: I made it back home on the evening of my 8th day. When i left my Jeep had 9,XXX miles on it and when i returned it had 12,XXX miles. I am posting a pic of my trip total below, but i accidentally erased day 1. So add about 10 hours and 300 miles to the total. Also, I didn't drive for 2.5 days around my daughter's HS graduation so the miles and time are condensed to 5.5 days.

Overall, the Jeep was on point. It squeaks when i start it, but I'm going to get that fixed. As someone who drives a good bit, both on and off-road, I have always said on-road and off-road capabilities are mutually exclusive, i.e. - you can't have both in the same vehicle. I am still of that opinion. Although the JL is a lot better than past Wranglers, it's still not awesome on road. And I'm fine with that. Any vehicle will carry you down the highway, but few can carry you 9 miles down a washed out logging road, ford creeks and climb over boulders without batting an eye. I have not yet tested my Jeep and I've been places no 4Runner can dream of going, and i love 4Runners. There is nothing better than a Wrangler off road. It's truly in it's own class. There are Jeeps, then everything else.

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Jaeth

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Was not expecting an actual accident. Glad everything was mostly OK.

Great write up. Enjoyed reading it all
 

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