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  1. Let's see your off road rigs! Tell us what mods you've added, craziest off road experience, etc. Here is the 2019 4runner, added some Bilstein shocks, leveled the front, added RCI Sliders, full skids (lower control arm armor, diff armor, full skids down the center, just missing the fuel tank armor). I haven't had any crazy experiences with the 4runner yet, but as you can see, I am over the issue with desert pinstripes!
  2. Just curious to hear what gear you carry with you when you know you're going to be far away from civilization? I carry a ton of gear now, usually enough water for all of us for at least 5 days, personal locator beacon (2), mini-jump start, two small fire extinguishers, extra food, 3 recovery shovels, first aid kit, some extra matches, etc. What do you currently carry, wish you had, and think you can do without?
  3. Here are a few things I Love about my RAM so far. 1. HEMI Power ... it's not a race car by any stretch, but it's nice to have the extra torque and horsepower when you need it! 2. Fuel mileage ... Seriously gets nearly the same fuel mileage as my slow and boring 6 cylinder 4runner! 3. Comfort ... it's like you're sitting in a luxury vehicle, but it's a truck that can actually take you places! 4. Comes ready to go off road ... it's comes with the right tires, armor, and everything you need to go off road! 5. Rear locker ... I know this is going to come in handy when hitting the dirt trails! Here are a few things I LOVE about my 4runner: 1. Incredible traction control system ... I have seen what it can do off road and it's pretty impressive. 2. Rear locker ... I have used it a few times and it's awesome when you need it! 3. Reliability ... No arguing with Toyota reliability. 4. Resale value ... One of the highest resale value vehicles on the market. 5. Crawl Control ... It's like a black magic in the sand! Feel free to add your own, I would love to hear what you love about your current explore vehicles!
  4. The "new" RAM has about 8,000 miles on the odometer, and I just took it in for the first oil change. From what I have been reading online, many would cringe waiting this long but ... According to manufacturers recommendations, services should be performed every 10,000 miles, but from reading online, most seem to perform their first oil change at 1,000 miles ... but I decided to follow what the engineers who designed the engine suggest. What do you think? Even the dealer is trying to suggest a 5,000 mile oil change interval, so I was considering changing my own oil. That was until I read what a nightmare it is to change the oil and why my undercarriage is now soaked in oil! The first issue is the location of the oil drain plug, right above the sway bar and gets all over, but it gets worse! The placement of the oil filter is right above the steering rack and leaks oil all over the steering rack and gets everywhere! Double whammy, and there are countless threads online discussing this. Anyway, with all those issues, I have decided I will just take it to the dealer every 10k miles as suggested by the manufacturer, but I will bring my own Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Fully Synthetic oil and K&N Filters. Do you think the dealership will give my any trouble bringing my own oil and filter? I have considered installing a Fumoto oil drain plug and changing it myself, but with all the off -road traveling, I wouldn't want it to get knocked off as it sits very close to the sway bar. Ugh.
  5. I am trying to figure out why so many people underestimate the off road capability of the Toyota 4runner? It seems a huge population of people don't understand how capable they are off road. For instance, so many people in the YouTube comments will say things like "you need to get real off road truck", or when they see the new RAM they say, "Finally, you got a real off road vehicle.". I can't help but chuckle because the truth is, the 4runner is much better off road! Don't get me wrong, the RAM is plenty capable, has a rear locker, but the 4runner has unbeatable traction control, rear locker, and crawl control. It also has much better break over angle. The 4runner is one of the best stock off road vehicles you can buy, not too far behind a Jeep. When I need to get somewhere that's kinda crazy, I am taking the 4runner, not the RAM. It's just too wide, not enough break over angle, and lacks the traction control of the 4runner. Why do you think people underestimate the 4runner?
  6. Lately I have been considering my recovery strategies as we get out into some pretty remote locations. I don't have a Winch, and am not currently planning on getting one as it would mean I had to replace the bumper on the 4runner, and usually there isn't much to anchor in the desert! I am looking at getting a snatch strap, but it seems most of the straps on Amazon are misleading, they call them recovery straps, but they have no stretch. I did find one with 22% stretch that I am going to grab, but I am wondering what recovery gear do you keep in your vehicle for when things go south? My current list includes: Traction mats 3 small spade shovels Snatch Strap Tow Hitch Shackle Tree saver to be used as a bridle What do you have, or wish you had? Suggestions?
  7. Have you ever been stuck or gotten stranded? Are you willing to share your story? I got stuck one time, and there is a video on YouTube which documents some of the ordeal. I was way out in the middle of nowhere, no cell phone reception, and got high centered in a sandy wash. I tried to dig out the center of the vehicle as it was high centered, but there was a massive ant hill right where the belly of the Armada sat making it much harder to dig out. We tried to use the jack, but due to the angle, it snapped the handle! We shoved sagebrush and other things under the tires, but with an open differential, once one side was good, the other side would just spin instead! I tried to get out for around 3 or 4 hours, but it was no use. I was lacking a shovel and only had a prospecting pick, and didn't have any traction mats. It wasn't too worrying though as I had a PLB and I knew I could get help, but I dreaded pushing that help button as it makes you feel like a failure. I had my two youngest daughters with me at the time, which made it a little more difficult to wait it out, but basically I ran out of light and had to make the dreaded call for help on my PLB. It took a few hours for them to show up, but once they did, we were able to get rescued but we had to leave our only vehicle in the wash! It was tricky getting a rental car the next day and finding someone who would pull us out of the rut. Anyone else every get in a bad situation?
  8. Has anyone seen this video yet? This guy handles it like a serious pro, and it goes to show how quickly things can turn south. A lot of respect for the vehicle owner, he knew how to deal with the situation and take it in stride!
  9. https://www.kolotv.com/content/news/Man-rescued-after-getting-car-stuck-in-mud-at-Black-Rock-Desert--566449431.html
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