For the lazy - QD-II XK = the awesomeness today
For the whole story.
I was invited on a camping trip with a student veterans organization that my buddy runs. (I'm not currently a student or a veteran, but my wife is currently serving overseas) I figure why not, I haven't seen him in several months since he's down in San Diego, it's about a 3 1/2 drive when there is no traffic, which is almost never since I have to go through LA to get there. So I load up all my camping gear with extra stuff, and get the kids loaded and drive down Friday. From what he had told me the trail to the camping spot was pretty easy, so my original plan was to camp with the group sat night, and then stay by myself sun, and meet up with Omelet (WK member over at JeepForum) for some Fire Service Roads on Monday.
So I crash at my buddies fri night, and we all meet up sat morning for the drive out the camping spot (somewhere around Corte Madera Climbing Area). Approx 15 of us, so we had 6 vehicles when it was all said and done.
My Jeep Commander, QD-II with OEM goodyears.
My buddies 4wd Tacoma
F-250 4wd lifted with I'm guessing 37's (open diffs though)
So all of us (except the xterra) convoy out to the spot. We start down the trail part of it, and had spaced out the 4wd's so if we ran into any issues there would be support for the 2wd's with too much work. Getting down to the camping spot was pretty easy for the most part, I think the pathfinder got stuck once. However it was mostly downhill.
To make things more interesting it was rain/sleet/snowing. After seeing the trail down, mixed with all the precipitation that was coming down I had pretty much decided I wasn't staying Sun night to try to get out of there solo.
Then we woke up to about 2-3" of snow. We decide to break down camp as quick as possible and get on the trail to get home since it's going to be a journey with these 2wd's going back uphill in the slop.
To start off the trip up, the pathfinder can't get out of her parking spot.. pulled free no big deal. Next up the f250 sunk into his parking spot and couldn't get free. No worries Rambo to the rescue (that gave me a **** eating smile for awhile) Finally we are all staged up ready to hit the trail back home around 9am.
About 20 min into the ride back, the 2wd Tacoma looses a bead and tire goes flat. No worries, changed with the spare.
View behind me while waiting for the tire change.
Then we get to the first real trouble spot. The leader in the 4wd Tacoma slid off the chosen line and into the rut that had formed from the flowing the water. Unfortunately he did hit his rear bumper and tweaked it. He was mildly stuck at this point, but managed to hand winch out. Next up is the 2wd Pathfinder, that didn't do so well either.
The trouble spot
Somehow she ended with front and rear bumper damage.
So the 4wd Tacoma was going to pull her out. Until he blew something up, I'm not sure if it was his diffs or his transfer case, but he went into full on limp mode without getting the Pathfinder out. So now we need to get another vehicle around the stuck Pathfinder, which wasn't too bad because right behind her was the f250. He was able to stick the line that was intended and get around her and up to pull her out. Since he had to go around the 2wd tacoma that was in front of me no longer had a 4wd helper... so I got go around him and hit the trouble spot. With a little spotter help I managed to keep the correct line and make it up without issue. Then came the 2wd Tacoma. He did pretty well, partially because we had to dig out around the pathfinder, and partially because he just gassed it and aimed.
So he was a pretty easy tug out from there.
Then through various areas I would have to stop and assist some more since but nothing too major to report through most of this area. Then we made it to the large clearing area. This is where the Xterra had parked the night before and got shuttled down to the camping spot. When we go there we found one of their rear windows broken, but nothing missing and the fuse cover removed. So a quick duct tape repair and we add another 2wd vehicle to the mix..
We decide to reorganize the running order. I take point with the Xterra behind me. We are the ones that have small kids with us, and the Xterra is running low on baby supplies.
About this time is when someone notices a hissing sound coming the from the 2wd tacoma. Rear tire puncture, and he's already running his spare. I had a plug kit so we plugged him.
So the Xterra and I are underway.. Nothing too crazy happened, I had to tug him through quite a few uphill areas, but nothing too major. For large sections of it we just remained connected and had a pretty good rhythm going so we could cover a lot of ground quickly. There were a few areas where I unhooked and had to reposition so I didn't get stuck, but nothing too bad.
Then I heard over the radio that the f250 lost a tire. That didn't really effect me and the xterra, but it slowed the group following up behind us.
Ah ha we made it the broken up pavement.
Troubling skies behind.
Beautiful in front.
Obligatory Jeep pic (I was originally in position 5 in the convey, thats why the tape is there..)
So the Xterra and I make it to the "main road" and hang out and BS for awhile. They need to get on the road to get home to take care of their little one. So we part ways.
At this point I was out of CB range of the group, but we both had spotty cell coverage and got a text out that they were slowly headed up. So I waited..
Text comes in, "Hey can you google for Toyota Roadside Assistance?" about the time the slow connection gets the number they are back in CB range. Busted up 4wd Tacoma bringing up the rear. All the other vehicles make it up and my buddy in the Tacoma asks me to come back, he can't make up the hill on the pavement anymore.. his ****s broke. I tow him the rest of the way up.
We clear some room in my Jeep so I can squeeze two more people in. The Tacoma has to wait for the tow truck.
So we made it to the camp spot in approx an hour and fortyfive, and I made it back to by buddies house after 8 hours..
I had decided I was not going to sleep in wet sleeping bags, so I started my drive home. Unfortunately that meant not meeting up with Omelet, but I had had enough.
4wd Tacoma - transfer case or diff issues
2wd Tacoma - 2 flat tires
f250 - 1 flat, and had to be pulled out by me
2wd Pathfinder - front and rear bumper damage
2wd Xterra - busted out window
QD-II XK - Unscathed! :teehee:
So before the that was dumb comments come in.. I wasn't familiar with the trail. I also didn't know anyone except the driver of the 4wd Tacoma. I think if the weather would have been good it wouldn't have been too much of an issue. No one was injured, it defiantly wasn't the smarted thing to do, but live and learn I guess. The good thing about it is that everyone came together and managed to successfully get everyone back out with nothing more than vehicle and ego injuries.
Everyone did take note that the XK was amazing. The pathfinder owner said she's buying one, and several other people mentioned how impressed they were with how well it performed. I couldn't be happier, and as soon as my tax return his the bank, some AT's are on the way to only making it even more trail ready.