xaugievike

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For Jeeping in Michigan, you don't need anything special, maybe a winch, a stock rubicon is capable enough for 95% of the trails in Michigan. You don't need a camper, bring a hammock or a tent, sleeping pad and a sleeping bag. build a fire to cook over and you probably already own a cooler. Pack that Jeep up and go on an adventure. Make a plan, and make it happen.
I know you're right. Im hung up on the sleeping arrangement. Of course I could run to Wal Mart and have a tent in 10 mins, but thats not where I am.

I find your post(s) inspiring though. Please keep them coming.
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Jamrock

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It is the E-Pro 12RK.

I have pulled it approximately 24,000 miles. in the last year and a half.
It is one of the best solutions I have seen so far. It looks a lot more comfortable than putting a tent on top of the Jeep or something similar.

Do you feel much of a difference in the Jeep's performance when you are pulling it?

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Did you purchase it with the fridge, oven, a/c, etc?

It looks like a little home away from home. I thought camping was about roughing it out for a few days. When did this change?
 

engineXI

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as a native born Yooper I appreciated seeing the pics. FH13 is always a great area to check out, those logging trails can get pretty hairy.
 

JasonInDLH

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You guys sure know how to have fun! Thanks for sharing! I shall live vicariously through you.
 
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wibornz

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It is one of the best solutions I have seen so far. It looks a lot more comfortable than putting a tent on top of the Jeep or something similar.

Do you feel much of a difference in the Jeep's performance when you are pulling it?

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Did you purchase it with the fridge, oven, a/c, etc?

It looks like a little home away from home. I thought camping was about roughing it out for a few days. When did this change?
This is roughing it. We downsized from a 36ft Class A motorhome with two slides.

My E-pro came with fridge, microwave and a/c with heat. I removed the fridge as I run a fridge in the Jeep, I also removed the A/C..heater. I sold the A/C unit and installed a Maxfan. To use the A/C we had to carry a generator and extra fuel. That just got old as we almost never used it. Even when we were in Moab in July, it was still cool at night when we were typically in the camper. The Maxfan moves 900 cubic feet of air per minute so when it is turn all the way up it is like being in a windstorm inside of the camper. We hardly ever turn the Maxfan above 30% and it cools off the camper fast and uses very little energy from the batteries. For heat, we use an electric blanket to warm the bed for about 10 minutes prior to going to bed. Then we stay warm as long as the temperature is above zero with just blankets and our bodies warm up the rest of the air in the camper. We have sufficient battery power that we can run the electric blanket more if needed, but never have needed to.

Getting rid of the A/C and generator saved us about 300 pounds of weight so it was also a bonus that way.

I do not even notice the camper back there. The Jeep pulls it easily. The only way I notice it is by fuel mileage. I will typically get about 3 mpg less while pulling the camper. So usually between 12 and 14 mpg pulling the camper. It is funny though because on the way home, we had a nice tail wind and I go great milage.


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I also changed over the mattress and added a 10in dual memory foam mattress. We both sleep great in the camper.

I also changed the tongue jack out to one that is mounted on the side of the tongue instead of the middle of the tongue. The side mounted jack also folds up. This enabled me to access the back of the Jeep and the ability to fully open the tailgate and rear window while the camper was hooked up.
 

Bulletbill

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So I spend time looking for cool places to camp. I use Gaia and look specifically for trails that end at a river, or a lake. I look for places that are accessible by only one trail. and dead end at said lake or river. So I was following the coast of Lake Michigan in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and found a spot that I though warranted driving for 6+ hours to get to. We were going to go to Drummond Island, with a group of our friends. 4 of them came down with covid, (they are all good now and are over it. two were un-vaccinated, two were vaccinated) Another couple had the front axle seals go out in there JKUR so they and their two friends were out. With our group down from 12 people to 4 people and only two Jeeps, it was the perfect time to go look for that spot. So last week on Wednesday we loaded up and took off.

There was an added bonus. My bud Bill that if you follow any of my other Jeep traveling post you will know as the driver of the Punk'N JLUR brought his girlfriend with him..... I know it doesn't sound like a big deal, but I have known Bill for almost 30 years, He was divorced about 15 years ago and while he has had some fuck buddies, and girls that he would hang out with, this is the first time we have ever met one of the girls and this is the first one that he has ever called a girlfriend.

SO we left the Lansing area and headed north. We stopped off at a small lake up by Grayling for the first night of camping as we got a late start. Wanted to have time to enjoy the camping and cook a good meal.

Get there just in time to catch sun set through the trees.
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In the morning we are greeted by some fog over the lake and it made for a pleasant morning.
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Off we go to the UP of Michigan crossing the Mighty Mac

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We stop along the trail for lunch on the hood of JLUR. Is there a better way to have lunch then on the hood of JLUR along side a trail while in the shade about 40 yards from the shore of Lake Michigan?
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So we start scoping out scoping out some of the places that I though looked like a great place to camp. My first choice was open, It is about 10 miles by trail off the main road. Back in the woods of the UP with no one around..... No one.

This is our first look at it.
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Yes that is the shore of Lake Michigan in the background. We are right on the lake just in the woods and out of the wind. There are zero bugs. Winning we are.

The water is beautiful and there are rocks sticking out of the water. Note the T-shirt says it all.
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I think it was a trap.
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Set up camp and start cooking. The dinner meal is shredded beef and shrimp tacos with cheese, onion and mushrooms topped with Chipotle sauce.
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My wife baked, yes baked a pineapple upside down cake at camp. The smell was incredible, as I slide my Glock onto my waist. There is a lot of bear and cougar activity in the area.
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It was incredible and even more so as it was baked while we were camping on the shore of Lake Michigan. This is living. We were all excited to try it and it was amazing. It was a wonder that I was able to get a picture before they cut into it.
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After dinner, I flew the drone and we took a walk on the beach to burn off some of the calories from dinner. It was so nice to finally meet Bill's official girlfriend. She fit in well, she loves drag racing, Jeeping (she owns a 2019 white JLUR) and loves to camp plus she is low drama. So big win for all of us.
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We watched the moon come up through the trees.
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Then stepped out to watch the moon rise over the lake.
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The next morning we headed out to run trails for about 6 hours.
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Found another cool camping spot on a inland lake. It was big enough to fit abut 10 to 15 campers on the site. Had a nice fire ring, good view of the lake and a rock to flex on.
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The trails were easy for the most part, just trails through the woods. There was some mud here and there, but mainly just a relaxing trail run with good sights along the Lake and in the woods.
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This would be another sweet camp site next to an inland lake too.
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A few more drone shots from our main camp spot.
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You can see the camp spot with the Jeeps at the bottom of the pic and the shore of Lake Michigan at the top of the pic.
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We walked out on the sand bar. It is nice not having to worry about sharks and having fresh water.
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As the light faded behind the trees.
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Up early and caught these shots.
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After sunrise, we hiked about 2 miles north on the beach to the mouth of a river that spilled into Lake Michigan. We were told that it was common to eagles catching fish there in the morning.

Sadly there were no eagles, but we saw many signs of bear and cougars.
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apparently bears also shit on the beach. This is about 100 yards from our camp.
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We did head out and do run some trails at night.
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The moon on Friday
night was bright coming through the trees.
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Saturday we broke camp and headed back to the lower peninsula to one of my other favorite camp spots.
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I was up early, cut some more wood, built a fire before the rest of the crew got up. Of course I put coffee on even before you ask. Duh...
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She looks innocent and sweet, but she will full send your Jeep and twist axle shaft, jump the Jeep, get it suck in the mud and dam near flip it over backwards. I would suggest you NOT let her drive your Jeep. She drives mine and it cost me and it makes me have to wash it often. Just saying.
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Breakfast at camp, we are roughing if. Eggs, cheese, bacon, sausage, sour cream, tomatoes and onions with flat bread, or a croissant. Then of course my wife baked up some raspberry type breakfast pastry.
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Then back to reality Sunday as we packed up and headed home. We were home just long enough to drop the camper and then meet up with our local Jeep peeps for some ice cream.
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It was a nice way to end 5 days of camping.
Timing of this post was perfect. I live in PA and was planning a trip to Michigan for next summer. Drummond Island popped up in my OnX off road app as a place I would like, so I started to explore taking a trip out there about a week ago. Wanted to take my girls fossil hunting and get some off roading in at the same time.

I showed my wife your trip and she was on board right up until you posted the cougar tracks, lol. Now I am trying to find lodging on the island because she refuses to camp 🤷‍♂️.

Anyways, a couple quick questions. Did you make it to the fossil beach? Can you get to the fossil beach, spend a few hours there and still make it back to the Bridge in a day?

Your trip looked amazing and has me even more stoked to explore the area.
 

Punknhed

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Very cool. We will be heading to Wisconsin over the holiday weekend and may stop on our way back and spend the night on Mackinac Island. Kind of our loose plan. My wife wants to walk and bike the island.
where in wisc? i have some friends there, and my son and i went this summer. we hit milwaukee, and Green Bay, went and hung out by Lake Michigan, it was so peaceful and a break from the horrible humidity in Va.
 

Irish Creig

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Wow! It looks beautiful and relaxing! I've been strongly considering moving to Michigan. I read that there's a lot of areas in Michigan that have an excellent cost of living!
 

mnjeeper

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Love this. I really need a tiny camper. The setup/layout you have is about perfect.
 
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wibornz

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Timing of this post was perfect. I live in PA and was planning a trip to Michigan for next summer. Drummond Island popped up in my OnX off road app as a place I would like, so I started to explore taking a trip out there about a week ago. Wanted to take my girls fossil hunting and get some off roading in at the same time.

I showed my wife your trip and she was on board right up until you posted the cougar tracks, lol. Now I am trying to find lodging on the island because she refuses to camp 🤷‍♂️.

Anyways, a couple quick questions. Did you make it to the fossil beach? Can you get to the fossil beach, spend a few hours there and still make it back to the Bridge in a day?

Your trip looked amazing and has me even more stoked to explore the area.
This trip is not on Drummond Island. It is about 170 miles west of Drummond Island.

I have been to Drummond Island many times, onATV, snowmobile and Jeeps. I have been to fossil beach many times and yes you can go to Fossil beach and be back to the bridge in a day and still see the highlights of the island.

we will be on Drummond Island camping and wheeling at the end of September.
 
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wibornz

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where in wisc? i have some friends there, and my son and i went this summer. we hit milwaukee, and Green Bay, went and hung out by Lake Michigan, it was so peaceful and a break from the horrible humidity in Va.
We have friends that campaign an off road race truck and his wife races a SxS. They are racing in Wisconsin over the holiday weekend. they have rented a big house for all of us to stay in. Then be at the track for most of the day each day. The worst thing about going to the races, is I will have to listen to my wife beg for a vehicle she can race for the next two or three months. I just got her to stop asking for a Ultra 4 car and a rock buggy.

We will be attending this event.

https://crandonoffroad.com/52nd-polaris-crandon-world-championship/
 
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wibornz

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Wow! It looks beautiful and relaxing! I've been strongly considering moving to Michigan. I read that there's a lot of areas in Michigan that have an excellent cost of living!
yea, there are places you can buy a house for $400. I would not want to live there. Overall Michigan is nice, depending on where you live. The west side of the state is awesome. There are a few big cities that are just shitty. No nice way to say it. Finally Detroit is kind of making a comeback. The problem with Detroit is it is just one election away from being a shit hole again and again. Mid-Michigan has many overcast days. A lot of moisture is picked up over in the winds coming across Lake Michigan and at times it can be overcast for weeks on end in the fall through spring. Meaning you can go weeks with out seeing a blue sky or the sun.

Anyplace that is nice to live in Michigan, expect the cost of living to be like other nice places to live.
 

JStuke

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Ted, thanks for sharing the story and pictures. Camping with friends and family is the best. My coworkers and families are planning a trip to Drummond Island next year. I am planning on towing my JLU behind my midsize RV (28 ft) to the island as basecamp. Any issues bringing my RV to Drummond Island? Obviously cannot take it off-road like you did with your trailer.
 

wolf

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I forgot about this time-lapse video of the sunrise over Lake Michigan.

What system did you use to attache the two fuel canisters behind your spare? Can that be done on stock jlr. Or do you have to change bumper etc. great coverage on your trip. Outstanding photography.
 

Bulletbill

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This trip is not on Drummond Island. It is about 170 miles west of Drummond Island.

I have been to Drummond Island many times, onATV, snowmobile and Jeeps. I have been to fossil beach many times and yes you can go to Fossil beach and be back to the bridge in a day and still see the highlights of the island.

we will be on Drummond Island camping and wheeling at the end of September.
Sorry reread your post, misinterpreted the Drummond Island part, but good news is now I can tell my wife the cougar tracks were not on Drummond Island…Although I imagine they’re probably are cougars there, but she doesn’t have to know that just yet😜.
 
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