Finally! The DE-III trip report (multi-part)

dady551

Observer
looks like you people had great fun....and really enjoyed reading your daily reports and your photography....:):)
 

teotwaki

Excelsior!
Thanks for all of the great pictures, explanations and narrative! Good trip reports seem to be a rarity lately.
 

Ace Brown

Retired Ol’ Fart
Where's the rest of the story? :)

I thought it was covered very fully with lots and lots of photos thanks mostly to Martin, but others too. I just spent some time with Scott here in Colorado and chided him about not posting any photos. But Laura quickly got out her iPad and gave us a slide show.

Ace


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk - now Free
 

Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
I just spent some time with Scott here in Colorado and chided him about not posting any photos. But Laura quickly got out her iPad and gave us a slide show.

Ace

Heck, I'm still waiting for Scott to finish posting pictures from our Death Valley trip in 2011! I think he got as far as Mojave road and then stopped. :D

BTW I had dinner with Scott and Laura last night and we discussed the planning for DE IV. I figure Scott will probably be posting a message about it in the next couple of months or so.
 

Vegas_Nick

Adventurer
Thanks Ace! I might would like to get in on that as opposed the one that I am planning. :) I started laying out a map for our annual ghost town trip with hopes to get to the Reno area and back next year.
 

Ace Brown

Retired Ol’ Fart
Does anyone that ran DE III have records of trip data. I mean how many miles and hours on dirt. I always record such data but apparently erased it somehow. I do have total daily miles/hours but not that on dirt. Already asked Scott as I saw he was keeping a journal in Colorado but he just started the practice. Laura was keeping notes but not mileage.

Ace


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk - now Free
 

Ace Brown

Retired Ol’ Fart
Gary was doing an extended trip recently and visited Black Canyon of the Gunnison nearby so we met for dinner in Delta. Good to see another DE III veteran and catch up a bit.

I hope to make DE IV but think I may already have a scheduling conflict. Our club, the Book Cliff Cruisers, is planning our third annual major expedition of Central Utah in early April.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk - now Free
 

MojaveMike

Man of the Mojave
Great trip Report Jumpmaster!

Great trip report Jumpmaster! I am going to go check out some of those places. That is if the rotations ever stop :D

All the way!
 

Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
Final Segment: Lessons Learned

After reading through this I realized that back in July I promised a summary and a "lessons learned."

Stats:

Total miles driven: 2251.

That's from my home in Englewood, the entire trip, and back home. Given that the start point was about 580 miles from home and that my return trip from Gold Point to Englewood with a side trip to Basalt to pick up my bumper was approximately 990 miles, that means our "trip mileage" was approximately 681 miles.

Total fuel consumed: 116 gallons

Average MPG: 19.4

Most expensive gas: $3.71, Richfield, UT on 5/28/13

Least expensive gas: $3.45, Cedar City, UT on 5/21/13

So, in no particular order, here goes the list:

* This was my first trip with my 4th gen 4runner (07.) It performed very well! Plenty of power, 4wd worked fine on those very few occasions it was needed (I think this is the first trip I've done like this that could have been done entirely in 2wd. The only time I really needed 4wd or low range was when Ace, Gary and I took our little short "detour" up behind the mines at Delamar.) Overall average MPG for the trip was a pretty amazing 19, of course that's because almost 3/4 of my total mileage was on the highway to or from the trip. The larger gas tank (compared to my 3rd gen) was also a BIG help on this trip. Honestly, I could easily have made this trip without extra gas (although I'd always recommend that anybody bring at least one spare gas can, if they're making a trip like this.)

* While the 4th gen 4runner was a great trip vehicle, the load deck is not flat enough for sleeping, even with the seat bottom cushions removed. This needs to be addressed with a sleeping platform which I'm hoping to build this Winter.

* As has been discussed elsewhere, I'm disappointed in the performance of the Hankook Dynapro ATMs that Michael had. I had previously run this tire on my '99 4runner and liked it just fine, but after seeing two catastrophic failures in the desert, I can't recommend this tire to someone who drives off road.

* Speaking of tires, I had been worried that my BFG MTs would be too noisy or would cause my MPG to diminish, and I am happy to say that neither of those fears turned out to be true. In fact, even though I've always been an AT kind of guy, I'm seriously considering sticking with MTs when these wear out (which will be a while: I run an AT/winter tire on my truck in the wintertime here so the tires don't get a lot of wear.) These MT's are really good tires and I can understand now why so many people run them.

* My Dometic refrigerator worked GREAT! In fact, the only "issues" I had with the fridge were more related to the fact that the rear 12v power point seems to lose enough voltage to make the fridge shut down in extremely hot weather. On subsequent trips with our trailer, we have resolved this by plugging it into the front 12v power point and this seems to work with few problems (I'm guessing the wiring to the rear power point is the likely cause of the voltage drop.)

* Although the fridge worked great, I definitely felt the limitations of the small size (19 qt.) For those who haven't seen my other posts on the subject, I didn't want to spend $600+ on large fridge so I compromised by getting a small one and augmenting it with a standard cooler. My thought was that the fridge would hold the "MUST stay cold" items like meat and dairy products" and that the cooler could hold the stuff that didn't need to stay cold, but was better if it was (water, drinks, beer, etc.) I also figured that once I had the "must stay cold" items in the fridge, any remaining fridge space could be filled by drinks so I could enjoy a cold one when I needed to.

This system worked OK, but not great. Every time I got something out of the fridge, I had to play "3-D Tetris" getting everything back in in order to make the best use of space. I also ended up doing a lot of shuffling between the cooler and the fridge to keep drinks cold. The final issue was simply the additional space occupied by having two "cold boxes", the fridge and the cooler, which took up more space in the (already small) interior of my 4runner than a single box would have.

As I said, this system works, I just have to decide whether the hassles are enough to justify spending $600+ on a bigger refrigerator. At this point I'm not sure it does.

* As with many car-campers, I find that I carry too much "stuff" that never gets used. I have an "oh, ********" box that I carry in the back of the 4runner at all times that contains things like jumper cables, road flares, an emergency survival kit I put together years ago, flashlight, etc. While most of this stuff I don't mind carrying, the box itself is far too big and takes up floor space in the interior of the 4runner. This issue may be solved with some kind of platform-and-drawer system that allows me to keep this stuff out-of-sight but still available. Also, I will be adding a bigger roof rack than the small Yakima Basket Case I have now, and will be using that for some light but bulky items. This will be particularly useful when "stealth camping" in the Wal Mart parking lot as it will allow me to move bulky items to the roof when I'm sleeping, and then put them back in the interior when I'm driving.

* Communications seemed to work fine with everyone having CB. Frenchie, Ace and Keith and I are all HAMS but I did not have my 2m rig in my vehicle, so we just used CB which seemed to work well most of the time. I do think I need a better antenna than the mag-mount cheapie I'm currently running. My only limitation is that any permanent mount antenna needs to be garage-compatible, which usually means a bumper mount, and that's not great for TX because of the poor ground plane. Most likely I'll compromise with just a better mag-mount in the center of the roof that I'll just take off when I get home.

* As with all my other ExPo trips, everyone got along great and every evening finished with us sitting around a campfire drinking adult beverages and exchanging stories.

So that's about it for my notes and lessons learned! I'm hoping to apply them on future trips!
 

mjmcdowell

Explorer
DE III report

Martin…… as usual your reports are detailed with lot's observations, well done! I will be running better tires for DE IV as you will see, it's another story. I have some small tweaks I have done since the last trip that hopefully will make the trip more enjoyable….. the truck is ever evolving. Have a safe and happy holiday season! Michael
 

stioc

Expedition Leader
Great trip report, somehow I missed it earlier.

A few comments on your comments :)

As I said, this system works, I just have to decide whether the hassles are enough to justify spending $600+ on a bigger refrigerator. At this point I'm not sure it does.
I'm frugal by nature but lately I've realized that the peace of mind far outweighs a couple hundered dollars difference. I'm also pretty anal so unless I'm 100% satisfied with something it'll keep my brain occupied no matter how small it is (yes the brain too lol). You could say I've bought into the 'buy once cry once' koolaid in the recent years. I have the IdelB/TruckFridge/Dometic (same fridge) 45qt fridge and I find that for three of us it's a perfect fit (with a little extra room to spare). We went from a 50qt 5-day coleman cooler.

* As with many car-campers, I find that I carry too much "stuff" that never gets used. I have an "oh, ********" box that I carry in the back of the 4runner at all times that contains things like jumper cables, road flares, an emergency survival kit I put together years ago, flashlight, etc. While most of this stuff I don't mind carrying, the box itself is far too big and takes up floor space in the interior of the 4runner. This issue may be solved with some kind of platform-and-drawer system that allows me to keep this stuff out-of-sight but still available. Also, I will be adding a bigger roof rack than the small Yakima Basket Case I have now, and will be using that for some light but bulky items. This will be particularly useful when "stealth camping" in the Wal Mart parking lot as it will allow me to move bulky items to the roof when I'm sleeping, and then put them back in the interior when I'm driving.

Building a quick and simple storage platform was one of my first upgrades to the truck and it's been the best bang for the buck mod! At some point I'll get around to making it nicer and using a drawer system but at the time I was going for the least amount of wasted space and the least amount of weight added to the back. I only spent one afternoon on it and I'm no woodworker at all :)

* Communications seemed to work fine with everyone having CB. Frenchie, Ace and Keith and I are all HAMS but I did not have my 2m rig in my vehicle, so we just used CB which seemed to work well most of the time. I do think I need a better antenna than the mag-mount cheapie I'm currently running. My only limitation is that any permanent mount antenna needs to be garage-compatible, which usually means a bumper mount, and that's not great for TX because of the poor ground plane. Most likely I'll compromise with just a better mag-mount in the center of the roof that I'll just take off when I get home.

I have the BaoFeng UV5R hand held HAM and it's been a fantastic radio considering they now go for less than $40 on Amazon! I bought a $10 magnetic roof antenna for it on ebay and the optional microphone. I usually stick to HAM or FRS out of convenience and use CB only when going with a group that prefers CB.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
185,848
Messages
2,878,837
Members
225,393
Latest member
jgrillz94
Top