MEHillwalker80

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Tom
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On June 14th 2021 I departed my home in Maine on my way, hopefully, to Alaska. I had decided to slowly make my way down the Appalachian Mountain chain and pick up the Trans America Trail entering Oklahoma. I would then follow the TAT where it winds through OK, NM, CO, UT, ID, and then up into Canada on m y way to Alaska, My estimated trip length was 15 to 17 thousand miles or so. My equipment was 2019 2DR Wrangler Sport+, RTT, ICECO fridge, TEYES CC2L+ running Backcountry Navigator with TAT GPX route file and typical miscellaneous camping stuff.

First stop was Hickory Run State Park, PA (2 nights) (471 miles) Spent two nights anticipating a long drive getting there and hopefully ample time for shake down issues. Nice campground and pretty trails.

Second stop was Shenandoah National Park, Virginia Loft Mountain Campground for again two nights since my son was going to come up from DC and spend some time with me. (2 nights) (290miles) Back in the 60s and 70s I camped there several times when stationed in DC.

Third stop was at Little Oak Campground in Tennessee. Spent only one night. Very crowded lake side camping, (263 miles)

Fourth Stop was at the MWR Campground at Fort Knox, Kentucky. (2 nights) (298 miles) Military campgrounds are a very different animal.

Fifth stop was at Markham Springs Campground in Mark Twain National Forest, Williamsburg, Missouri. End of Part One
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MEHillwalker80

MEHillwalker80

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Tom
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2019 Wrangler Sport S JL 2 DR 1999 Chevy Suburban K1500
On the sixth stop ( 10 days out) I stopped in Westville, Oklahoma to begin the TAT. Now the mostly dirt roads begin. The travel speeds were from 5 to 45 MPH depending upon the road conditions. Lost of annoying washboard surface. I reduced my tire pressures from 45 psi to 25 psi which helped considerably in smoothing out the incessant pounding. The USGS maps I had loaded on Backcountry Nav worked beautifully on the Teyes CC2L+ HU. I managed to find spots to set up my RTT at the end of every day after asking farmers and ranchers I met along the route.

Eventually I reached BLM and USFS lands where it was no problem camping. At one campsite in the San Isobel National Forest I found a beautiful site in a high meadow surrounded by conifers and peaks. That evening I got a dose of altitude physical effects and discovered that I was camping at 11,400 feet. Big thunderstorm with wind and hail most of that night. Not a lot of fun that.

The weather forecast for Colorado was dismal. Calling for the next ten days of rain. I opted to get off the TAT, skip through Colorado and avoid the crowds which I despise, and head over to Utah. Which I did.

Spent two nights at Mesa Verde National Park, but was bored. Big winds all night so sleeping was minimal. Next day got back on the TAT enroute to Moab the dirt way.

The TAT takes you through the Manti - La Sal National Forest and into Moab from the East with some great forest road with lots of marked "Jeep" and "moto" trails. I was having a good drive until I came to a road block by the Forest Service. Active forest fire. The super nice Ranger gave me a reroute into Moab on the "Rim Rock Trail" which took me around the other side of the La Sal mountains and into the Zoo of Moab. Since I was overlanding and not particularly interested in rock crawling, I stopped in Moab to eat and then drove on the the Potash area of the Colorado River canyon to find a campsite away from the madding crowd.

That evening I got the word that Canada was again going to be closed for through travel until at least late July and probably not going to be open at all this year. Even if it were to open in August, that is very late to be taking a road trip up there with winter impending.

Having fulfilled most of my objectives for this trip, and Alaska out of the question, I decided to drive home, and did.

I logged 7800 miles in just over three weeks and enjoyed my 81 year old self immensely.

Equipment thoughts. RTTs are nice, but they limit you in leaving camp to go anywhere without folding up and partially breaking camp. Mine is going on a small trailer next.
The ICECO fridge was awesome. My Genesis Dual Batt system ran it flawlessly. The JL was an absolute pleasure to drive. No wandering nor death wobble and the best cruise control I have ever used for highway driving.

Even though I was pushing that big RTT at speeds around 70 to 75 my Jeep's average mileage for the trip was a little over 18 MPG for the entire trip. When I kept the speeds below 65, 19 to 20 MPG readings were common.

I am 6' ' 2" and 220 pounds, 81 years old, and found the Wrangler Sport seats very comfortable and good seating for 6 to 10 hour driving days.

I had a dash mounted GoPro 9 running off my Aux Switches instead of its internal battery with 256 GB SDC. I ran it only after I got on the TAT, but it was capable of an easy 8 hours of recording. I took very few still pictures. Whenever I stopped to film I used a REMOVU K1 hand held camera. I therefore have hundreds of 4 GB GoPro video files from the trip. It's pretty pointless to post them here since they are my "winter reading" and very boring.

I intend to try for Alaska again next summer, but this time will drive directly to the Western Canadian port of entry. Still a five day drive from my house. Canada is only an hour from my house here, but driving across Canada and then up into Alaska would be horrendous with Canadian Gas prices as they are.
 

jimim

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My neighbor is Canadian. Her while family is in Toronto. She was telling us last weekend July 30th border reopens I guess.
That sounds like an awesome adventure!
how did you like camping in pa. We do have some great country here. I have learned to appreciate it more over the past 10 years seeking out new fishing holes with the boats on game land when allowed and exploring the susky river more.
 

SeaGoatLXIX

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You just documented my retirement plans, only I intend to start from the Ft Knox area and head south and west prior to heading to Alaska. I have been researching the use of a RTT on a trailer and you just confirmed that is the way I want to go.

Thanks for sharing!
 

Yaak392

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Impressive, I hope you can find the time next summer to try it again. Keep us posted on the journey. We want to take our JL to Alaska too.
 

HungryHound

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On the sixth stop ( 10 days out) I stopped in Westville, Oklahoma to begin the TAT. Now the mostly dirt roads begin. The travel speeds were from 5 to 45 MPH depending upon the road conditions. Lost of annoying washboard surface. I reduced my tire pressures from 45 psi to 25 psi which helped considerably in smoothing out the incessant pounding. The USGS maps I had loaded on Backcountry Nav worked beautifully on the Teyes CC2L+ HU. I managed to find spots to set up my RTT at the end of every day after asking farmers and ranchers I met along the route.

Eventually I reached BLM and USFS lands where it was no problem camping. At one campsite in the San Isobel National Forest I found a beautiful site in a high meadow surrounded by conifers and peaks. That evening I got a dose of altitude physical effects and discovered that I was camping at 11,400 feet. Big thunderstorm with wind and hail most of that night. Not a lot of fun that.

The weather forecast for Colorado was dismal. Calling for the next ten days of rain. I opted to get off the TAT, skip through Colorado and avoid the crowds which I despise, and head over to Utah. Which I did.

Spent two nights at Mesa Verde National Park, but was bored. Big winds all night so sleeping was minimal. Next day got back on the TAT enroute to Moab the dirt way.

The TAT takes you through the Manti - La Sal National Forest and into Moab from the East with some great forest road with lots of marked "Jeep" and "moto" trails. I was having a good drive until I came to a road block by the Forest Service. Active forest fire. The super nice Ranger gave me a reroute into Moab on the "Rim Rock Trail" which took me around the other side of the La Sal mountains and into the Zoo of Moab. Since I was overlanding and not particularly interested in rock crawling, I stopped in Moab to eat and then drove on the the Potash area of the Colorado River canyon to find a campsite away from the madding crowd.

That evening I got the word that Canada was again going to be closed for through travel until at least late July and probably not going to be open at all this year. Even if it were to open in August, that is very late to be taking a road trip up there with winter impending.

Having fulfilled most of my objectives for this trip, and Alaska out of the question, I decided to drive home, and did.

I logged 7800 miles in just over three weeks and enjoyed my 81 year old self immensely.

Equipment thoughts. RTTs are nice, but they limit you in leaving camp to go anywhere without folding up and partially breaking camp. Mine is going on a small trailer next.
The ICECO fridge was awesome. My Genesis Dual Batt system ran it flawlessly. The JL was an absolute pleasure to drive. No wandering nor death wobble and the best cruise control I have ever used for highway driving.

Even though I was pushing that big RTT at speeds around 70 to 75 my Jeep's average mileage for the trip was a little over 18 MPG for the entire trip. When I kept the speeds below 65, 19 to 20 MPG readings were common.

I am 6' ' 2" and 220 pounds, 81 years old, and found the Wrangler Sport seats very comfortable and good seating for 6 to 10 hour driving days.

I had a dash mounted GoPro 9 running off my Aux Switches instead of its internal battery with 256 GB SDC. I ran it only after I got on the TAT, but it was capable of an easy 8 hours of recording. I took very few still pictures. Whenever I stopped to film I used a REMOVU K1 hand held camera. I therefore have hundreds of 4 GB GoPro video files from the trip. It's pretty pointless to post them here since they are my "winter reading" and very boring.

I intend to try for Alaska again next summer, but this time will drive directly to the Western Canadian port of entry. Still a five day drive from my house. Canada is only an hour from my house here, but driving across Canada and then up into Alaska would be horrendous with Canadian Gas prices as they are.
We missed a lot of good trails in Moab too because of the fires. Did find many many trails to run nearby though. Spent one morning on Fins-n-things, but quickly got bored just beating up the Jeep for the heck of it. Trails with rewarding views and no other people were much more enjoyable....and there's still a lot of obstacles to crawl over outside of town.
 
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MEHillwalker80

MEHillwalker80

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First Name
Tom
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Maine
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2019 Wrangler Sport S JL 2 DR 1999 Chevy Suburban K1500
The Rim Rock trail the Ranger put me on was the most fun I've had in my JL so far. I got to use the 4WD both high and low range, and the +- select shift to control my speed on down hills. I did get a lot of brush and tree scratches going through some sections but I really don't care. The signage for the Rim Rock trail is a capitol R and a reversed Capital R on the fiberglass substrate marker wands. It is shown as FS 0128. I didn't time it, but I think it took me well over two hours to negotiate. Great fun! The heat wave out west is really brutal this summer.
 

wolf

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florida
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On my third Rubicon(2dr's 2020, 2015 jetta diesel/2013 mb
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retired
On June 14th 2021 I departed my home in Maine on my way, hopefully, to Alaska. I had decided to slowly make my way down the Appalachian Mountain chain and pick up the Trans America Trail entering Oklahoma. I would then follow the TAT where it winds through OK, NM, CO, UT, ID, and then up into Canada on m y way to Alaska, My estimated trip length was 15 to 17 thousand miles or so. My equipment was 2019 2DR Wrangler Sport+, RTT, ICECO fridge, TEYES CC2L+ running Backcountry Navigator with TAT GPX route file and typical miscellaneous camping stuff.

First stop was Hickory Run State Park, PA (2 nights) (471 miles) Spent two nights anticipating a long drive getting there and hopefully ample time for shake down issues. Nice campground and pretty trails.

Second stop was Shenandoah National Park, Virginia Loft Mountain Campground for again two nights since my son was going to come up from DC and spend some time with me. (2 nights) (290miles) Back in the 60s and 70s I camped there several times when stationed in DC.

Third stop was at Little Oak Campground in Tennessee. Spent only one night. Very crowded lake side camping, (263 miles)

Fourth Stop was at the MWR Campground at Fort Knox, Kentucky. (2 nights) (298 miles) Military campgrounds are a very different animal.

Fifth stop was at Markham Springs Campground in Mark Twain National Forest, Williamsburg, Missouri. End of Part One
IMG_0006.JPG
What set up is the roof rack and tent, looks nice. I have a two door also. Since you’re 81 it must not be to hard to set up? I’m 75. Thanks
 
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MEHillwalker80

MEHillwalker80

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First Name
Tom
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Messages
308
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500
Location
Maine
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2019 Wrangler Sport S JL 2 DR 1999 Chevy Suburban K1500
What set up is the roof rack and tent, looks nice. I have a two door also. Since you’re 81 it must not be to hard to set up? I’m 75. Thanks
Takes me about 10 minutes to set up. The hardest part is taking off and rolling up the rubber cover. I use a two foot tall step ladder for ease of access. On JLU Wranglers you can buy a pair of folding foot pegs that attach to the rear door hinges. Folding it back up time is approximately twice as long as set up, but I am a stickier for folding everything nice and Bristol fashion. The rack is Rhino Rack Maximus 3 and the RTT is a Smittybilt Overlander. If you need to setup in a hurry, or only for a short stay, you can set it up with only the door wire stays in less than 5 minutes. This technique keeps the front and side windows covered. Much better storm stability.
 

jyeat

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Seventy-eight here and this has inspired me to do the same.
 
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