Overlanding Trip Prep

Golfshrink

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I actually really enjoy the planning and research for stuff. I like to know as much information as possible, I really don't like to be surprised by stuff that I can control. How does it tow with a two door?
I can’t really say yet. I’ve only run around town a bit and out on some back roads to get the brake controller calibrated. This all felt really good...maybe even better than the FJ, which was a surprise. The real test will be on the interstate at 75 mph. Hoping for a real camping tip in the coming weeks if the weather and schedules align.



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paulsoncall

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7A42B3A4-326D-4A59-A5C5-4D48DBED6BB7.jpeg

I know your question was for the OP, but here’s our Hiker mid-range 5x8. We’ve previously been towing with a FJ Cruiser but got the Wrangler about a month ago and plan to tow with it. Hikers are great little trailers. We’ve loved ours.

As for the OP’s question, I’m useless. We’ve been on numerous outings pulling the Hiker with the FJ over the last year, but never longer than a week. The idea of that type of epic adventure is equal parts exiting and daunting.
Ran out to the driveway this morning to make sure mine was still there. ;)
You have good taste.

7523D07C-9E79-4CD4-9126-1F07A77A1435.jpeg
 

Golfshrink

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Ran out to the driveway this morning to make sure mine was still there. ;)
You have good taste.

7523D07C-9E79-4CD4-9126-1F07A77A1435.jpeg
Wow! That’s a match for sure! I also have that same little propane tank...just don’t have it mounted on the outside yet but it’s on my “2 do” list! Do you have the 2” lift? Looks like yours sits a little higher. I’m adding a lift to mine...it’s cheap and easy...and will make it sit a little more in line with the Jeep without having to use such a significant drop hitch. The EOR Hiker would be sweet but the dry weight is enough more than the mid range that it really isn’t a great option for the 2 door Wrangler. Having the Mid vs. EOR will also keep me from trying anything totally stupid while pulling the camper...hopefully :angel:
 

Golfshrink

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Next month I'll be embarking on a 7 month, ~15,000 mile journey across the US and Canada. I have a 2020 JLU Sahara with manual transmission and will be towing a 2000lb Hiker Trailer ("square-drop camper). It just hit 13,000 miles. I realize that during my journey I'll have to perform routine maintenance several times, and for that I'll try to find Jeep dealerships along the way for my free oil changes and tire rotations. Besides changing my oil and rotating my tires is there any other maintenance I should get done before I set out?
Since you’ll be towing with a manual, you’ll be in total control of gear selection but for others who may read this thread, and tow with an auto, manually controlling your tranny when towing is a must. With the Rubicon and the 8.4” screen, you you get the off road pages which have a transmission temp gauge. I assume this is oil pan temp but I need to do a little more research. You’ve got to monitor this so you don’t destroy your transmission fluid and subsequently your transmission. The safe bet with a lot of heavy towing would be to add an external transmission cooler, which I may do depending on what I find when I start towing the Hiker with the Wrangler. I didn’t add the external cooler to the FJ but did install a Scangauge which I set up to monitor both transmission oil pan temp and torque converter temp. This allowed me to control my driving and gear selection if the temps were getting too high. Again, with your manual, this will be a non issue for you and I assume you’ll run a lot in 4th gear and keep that 3.6 up in the rev range where it’s happiest. What extra service the manual tranny and clutch will require with constant towing for 15000 miles is best answered by someone else but I wonder if it might need a little TLC. What gear ratio is your Sahara?
 
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paulsoncall

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I never ordered it with a lift, just the standard mid-range package with a bunch of extras but I don’t recall a lift being one of the options. I got it about a year ago and ordered it a year before that. I have a 4 door JLU (no lift) and it sits perfectly in line. I’ll show a pic when I hook it up. I’m glad I got this one as I can’t imagine towing the extra weight of the EOR through some of the mountains out west with my JLU and the gearing on the manual transmission. I haven’t towed it anywhere yet besides Montauk and Martha’s Vineyard so the true test is yet to come.
 
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paulsoncall

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Since you’ll be towing with a manual, you’ll be in total control of gear selection but for others who may read this thread, and tow with an auto, manually controlling your tranny when towing is a must. With the Rubicon and the 8.4” screen, you you get the off road pages which have a transmission temp gauge. I assume this is oil pan temp but I need to do a little more research. You’ve got to monitor this so you don’t destroy your transmission fluid and subsequently your transmission. The safe bet with a lot of heavy towing would be to add an external transmission cooler, which I may do depending on what I find when I start towing the Hiker with the Wrangler. I didn’t add the external cooler to the FJ but did install a Scangauge which I set up to monitor both transmission oil pan temp and torque converter temp. This allowed me to control my driving and gear selection if the temps were getting too high. Again, with your manual, this will be a non issue for you and I assume you’ll run a lot in 4th gear and keep that 3.6 up in the rev range where it’s happiest. What extra service the manual tranny and clutch will require with constant towing for 15000 miles is best answered by someone else but I wonder if it might need a little TLC. What gear ratio is your Sahara?
I definitely foresee a lot of 4th gear, and probably a lot of 3rd going up the high mountain passes. I believe the Sahara is 3.45.
 

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paulsoncall

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Another thing is tire repair kit....

https://autoquarterly.com/best-tire-repair-kits/

Don't forget a couple emergency valve stems.

https://www.colbyvalve.com

Are you starting to see my though process, I would need a full size HD truck to carry all this madness.
Yeah I totally get what you’re saying. One wants to be prepared, but it’s virtually impossible to be prepared for every scenario. I have good set of tools with breaker bar, torque wrench, most sockets that I’ll need. I have a fire extinguisher and a decent first aid kit. Still need to pick up the tire repair kit so thanks for that reminder. I’ll be able to carry 6 gallons of extra fuel as well.

That video is crazy. Someone just pointed me to a thread of a few of the manual transmissions exploding so that’s got me going down a rabbit hole of internet searches now.
 

Rumblefish

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Yeah I totally get what you’re saying. One wants to be prepared, but it’s virtually impossible to be prepared for every scenario. I have good set of tools with breaker bar, torque wrench, most sockets that I’ll need. I have a fire extinguisher and a decent first aid kit. Still need to pick up the tire repair kit so thanks for that reminder. I’ll be able to carry 6 gallons of extra fuel as well.

That video is crazy. Someone just pointed me to a thread of a few of the manual transmissions exploding so that’s got me going down a rabbit hole of internet searches now.
Check out Element fire extinguishers, they are stable and never expire. The large one runs for 110 or so seconds compared to the less than 20 for a normal fire extinguisher. I have one, they are the size of a road flare.
 

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In terms of itinerary, it's very loose at this point, but I have general route in mind. I plan on fly fishing along most of the route, which is also what helped me determine the areas I want to hit. I live in CT and from there I'm heading straight to the Florida Keys (tarpon, permit, bones), where I'll spend a month at an established campground. From there I'll probably hit Dauphin Island for some redfish and then start heading west and north slowly. As of this moment here's what I'm thinking:

White Sands, NM
Zion
Canyonlands
Arches
Grand Teton
Yellowstone
Glacier
Banff and Jasper in Canada

From there I plan on heading into BC and making my way to the Dempster Highway, which I will take through the Yukon and Northwest Territories all the way to the Arctic Ocean (Tuktoyaktuk).

Will I be able to do this in 7 months? I'm not sure, but I'm sure as hell going to try. I'm going to use iOverlander to find camping spots as much as possible as I'm sure it will be hard to find camp sites at the national parks from May-Sept.

I appreciate any tips regarding camping, this route in particular, or Jeep maintenance for such a long journey that anyone can provide. Once I'm ready to head out I'll post a link to an instagram account where I'll be trying to document this whole thing.
Did six weeks up to Alaska in 2018 and it wasn't nearly enough time. So I'm doing it for months next year. Did two weeks through Utah/Colorado in 2019. So I'm incredibly jealous.

First, avoid National Parks between Memorial Day and Labor Day. So many damn people, especially Glacier, Banff and Jasper. There's a Canadian NP just north of Glacier that was stunning too. Add in Ouray on your way to Arches, lots of dispersed camping and really fun Jeep trails.

Leave extra time for Yukon, that was my favorite part of the trip.

Go up the Alaskan Highway and down the Cassier, you won't regret it. Make sure you have the Milepost book, it's the most important thing you'll have on your trip through Canada and Alaska. Absolutely everything you need is in it. Gas, points of interest, etc.

Here's just some of my favorite highlights (tried to keep in order):
  • Fernie, BC - on way from Glacier to Banff. Great little brewery, huckleberry beer, enough said.
  • Banff and Jasper - get up early to do anything. Visiting Lake Louise, etc. Three hour wait for busses at 10:00 am and parking is gone by 8:00 am near the Lake Louise and the other one, can't remember the name right now.
  • Liard River Hotsprings - Alaska Highway
  • Sign Post Forest, Yukon
  • Whitehorse, Yukon - Super cool town, great brewery, probably my favorite beer ever.
  • Kluane National Park and Reserve - There's great camping along the Kluane Lake south of Destruction Bay (I think). Epic mountains.
  • Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve - amazing and you're surround by 18,000'+ mountains. Great hiking, hiked up to some crater. Also make sure to visit Kennecott Copper Mine.
  • Valdez - Glaciers and rain forests - if time is an issue, skip and go to Seward.
  • Seward - Exit Glacier, hike up to the ice fields (nine mile hike - one of the most amazing hikes I've done), take a kayak trip out to one of the glaciers (whales and calving glaciers - religious experience), camp in the city along the water ($10), great brewery
  • Up to Denali NP - Enough said
  • Take the Denali Highway east - so much camping, amazing views all along
  • Top of the World Highway - Stop in Chicken. It's crazy. Also, a good little side trip is the drive up to Eagle, AK
  • Dawson City - have to do the Sour Toe Shot and hit up the burlesque show. It's get racier as the night goes on. Ha.
  • Dempster - be prepared for anything. Loads of potholes, muddiness, snow in August (there was six inches on the pass to NW Territories), etc.
  • Cassier Highway - My favorite camping on the trip was at Boya Lake. Words can't describe how amazing that was
  • Hyder, AK - take the trail up to the glacier. This was the second most amazing place to camp. Again, words can't describe. Check and see there are any grizzlies in the viewing area just outside of town.
Check out Lifestyle Overland's Alaska trip. They basically were doing the same trip I did.

I did a combo of iOverlander and Provincial Park camping. Most of the campsites were $7-$12 with toilets.

Sorry, just got rambling about the most amazing trip I've taken. :)
 
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paulsoncall

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Did six weeks up to Alaska in 2018 and it wasn't nearly enough time. So I'm doing it for months next year. Did two weeks through Utah/Colorado in 2019. So I'm incredibly jealous.

First, avoid National Parks between Memorial Day and Labor Day. So many damn people, especially Glacier, Banff and Jasper. There's a Canadian NP just north of Glacier that was stunning too. Add in Ouray on your way to Arches, lots of dispersed camping and really fun Jeep trails.

Leave extra time for Yukon, that was my favorite part of the trip.

Go up the Alaskan Highway and down the Cassier, you won't regret it. Make sure you have the Milepost book, it's the most important thing you'll have on your trip through Canada and Alaska. Absolutely everything you need is in it. Gas, points of interest, etc.

Here's just some of my favorite highlights (tried to keep in order):
  • Fernie, BC - on way from Glacier to Banff. Great little brewery, huckleberry beer, enough said.
  • Banff and Jasper - get up early to do anything. Visiting Lake Louise, etc. Three hour wait for busses at 10:00 am and parking is gone by 8:00 am near the Lake Louise and the other one, can't remember the name right now.
  • Liard River Hotsprings - Alaska Highway
  • Sign Post Forest, Yukon
  • Whitehorse, Yukon - Super cool town, great brewery, probably my favorite beer ever.
  • Kluane National Park and Reserve - There's great camping along the Kluane Lake south of Destruction Bay (I think). Epic mountains.
  • Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve - amazing and you're surround by 18,000'+ mountains. Great hiking, hiked up to some crater. Also make sure to visit Kennecott Copper Mine.
  • Valdez - Glaciers and rain forests - if time is an issue, skip and go to Seward.
  • Seward - Exit Glacier, hike up to the ice fields (nine mile hike - one of the most amazing hikes I've done), take a kayak trip out to one of the glaciers (whales and calving glaciers - religious experience), camp in the city along the water ($10), great brewery
  • Up to Denali NP - Enough said
  • Take the Denali Highway east - so much camping, amazing views all along
  • Top of the World Highway - Stop in Chicken. It's crazy. Also, a good little side trip is the drive up to Eagle, AK
  • Dawson City - have to do the Sour Toe Shot and hit up the burlesque show. It's get racier as the night goes on. Ha.
  • Dempster - be prepared for anything. Loads of potholes, muddiness, snow in August (there was six inches on the pass to NW Territories), etc.
  • Cassier Highway - My favorite camping on the trip was at Boya Lake. Words can't describe how amazing that was
  • Hyder, AK - take the trail up to the glacier. This was the second most amazing place to camp. Again, words can't describe. Check and see there are any grizzlies in the viewing area just outside of town.
Check out Lifestyle Overland's Alaska trip. They basically were doing the same trip I did.

I did a combo of iOverlander and Provincial Park camping. Most of the campsites were $7-$12 with toilets.

Sorry, just got rambling about the most amazing trip I've taken. :)
Wow, man! Thanks so much for all of the detailed info. I will be adding much of this to my itinerary as most of these are on or near my current route. Very helpful!
 

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Check out Yellow Breaches Creek outside Harrisburg, PA. Well regarded trout fly fishing.
 
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paulsoncall

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Here's our plan for this summer's I'll be creating a separate post with more details

5EDF1C6B-A01D-4245-83BB-0C7DCE9F9005.png
Dude, awesome! You're essentially taking the same route as I'm planning. Except I'm going to go through New Mexico and Utah before hitting Wyoming. After that the route is the same. Hope to see you out on the road!
 

                           
























































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