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Old 10-16-2017, 11:40 AM   #281
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Boondocking in a much less "visually stunning" location this week. However; it is SOOO quiet and peaceful.

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Old 10-16-2017, 12:23 PM   #282
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Boondocking in a much less "visually stunning" location this week. However; it is SOOO quiet and peaceful.
You ever worry about getting stuck?
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Old 10-16-2017, 12:49 PM   #283
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You ever worry about getting stuck?
I was wondering the same thing.... I've driven those J4500s.... I'm curious to know what strategies you use to figure out if you can off-road with that heavy bus....

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Old 10-16-2017, 12:54 PM   #284
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You ever worry about getting stuck?
Having observed the RV world for a number of years, worry ("fear") is an interesting topic to me. I certainly do not worry the way I see many folks worry. "Fear is a manipulative emotion that tricks you into leading a boring life." - a quote from Donald Miller and a statement that I began really holding to a few years back. It seems that worry/fear tend to immobilize many folks. "I can't go there, what if I got stuck?", "I can't camp alone, what if someone tried to break in?", "I can't convert a bus, what if people thought I was dumb?", "I can't decide to become an engineer, what if I fail?", etc... I wish our society was more about doing/trying than "conforming". Anyway, I am very cognizant of risk and I feel like I do a reasonable job mitigating it. Once I have considered/mitigated the risk, I refuse to worry/fear. That said, it still sneaks in sometimes.

Getting stuck would really stink. It would be inconvenient, would cost some money (to get pulled out), and would really annoy me. To mitigate that risk, I almost always scout an area using my Jeep - and getting out and walking in some places. It could still happen, of course, but I feel that I have done my due diligence.

The thing I probably struggle with/worry about the most is (what I'll call) "being stupid" - annoying someone. I know I should not care quite so much, but I do. A few weeks ago, I ended up setting up camp on private property (basically in the middle of nowhere (a big ranch)) and I missed the BLM property line by about 300 yards. It is a terrible sinking feeling when someone drives up and starts asking me what I think I'm doing... I hate being "that guy." I was respectful and said I would leave immediately. That respect was returned, we had a very nice visit, and I was even allowed to stay a few days (also a reason to keep your rig, site, and self "respectful looking" (not a dump)).

Long answer for a simple question!
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Old 10-16-2017, 01:17 PM   #285
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You ever worry about getting stuck?
Carry one of these, will get you out of many situations !

black.jpeg



I dig your adventurous spirit and feel the same way. My old lady, however....
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Old 10-16-2017, 01:19 PM   #286
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I was wondering the same thing.... I've driven those J4500s.... I'm curious to know what strategies you use to figure out if you can off-road with that heavy bus....
Hmm... strategies...

Consider all of these in the context of forest roads, jeep trails, and such (not typical "roads" or even maintained "gravel roads").

I always use my Jeep to scout a road before taking the coach. It's just too easy to have a bad day without doing that.

I guess the first thing I figured out is that the use of the "high ride" air suspension feature is super nice for the jeep trails. It raises the suspension up an additional 4" and provides some nice clearance for the engine/transmission/underside.

Speed: SLOW!!!! I mean SLOW!!! I'm barely moving when I travel these roads.

Tag axle: You have to be really careful with the tag axle. It is possible to get the drive tires in a dip with the weight being supported by the tag tires and then the drive tires just spin. Don't let that happen. Either carry some momentum over/thru the dip or hit it at an angle. If neither is possible - don't attempt it.

Slope Angle: Side to side slope is a big deal. Your car might drive on that side slope angle but a bus (mine at least) feels very "tippy" on moderate angles. I avoid them.

Wheel base: A slight "hill" or upside down V shape obstruction may not be all that large but will your rig high center on it due to the very long wheel base?

Sharp corners: My Jeep will turn a circle on a dime - Missy, at 45' long, will not. The road cannot have any really sharp corners.

Weight: 45,000 lbs has a tendency to sink in soft stuff - especially mud. Avoid it! That said, I've been fairly surprised at how well it 'floats' on firm sand and sandy soil (but not piles of dry beach sand).

Trapped rock: It's only happened once but I got a large stone wedged between the two dual tires. I'm not sure there is much you can do to avoid it but I do check my tires from time to time to make sure it hasn't happened again. Getting it out was a fairly major project (at least more work than I was looking to perform that day).

Trees: Sitting in the Jeep (scouting a trail), the tree branches usually look VERY high. Sitting in the coach, those same branches are suddenly not so high. Be cognizant of that when scouting.

Finally, if you are approaching a very questionable spot and/or do not feel comfortable - STOP. Even if it inconveniences someone. If you are not currently stuck, you have options. If you continue another 10', you may burn up all your options and be in a much worse position. Get out, walk around, take a look, and think. Damage usually occurs when we get in a hurry.

Not sure any of those are terribly helpful - but I hope so.
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Old 10-16-2017, 01:30 PM   #287
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Getting stuck would really stink. It would be inconvenient, would cost some money (to get pulled out), and would really annoy me. To mitigate that risk, I almost always scout an area using my Jeep - and getting out and walking in some places. It could still happen, of course, but I feel that I have done my due diligence.
That's what I was looking for. I forgot about the jeep. Driving down that dirt road to find it only ends in loose sand is a hell of a time to figure it out. Assuming the best, you have to back up the next 37 miles because the shoulders are crap for turning around. Assuming the worst, you have to walk that 37 miles because the bus is already stuck and there's no cell signal.

Are there any bus unsticking tricks like plywood under the wheels as in pickumup trucks? Jacking up an already stuck bus has got to be lots of fun. Getting a rig out there big enough to get pulled out would cost a pretty penny too.
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Old 10-16-2017, 01:36 PM   #288
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Are there any bus unsticking tricks like plywood under the wheels as in pickumup trucks? Jacking up an already stuck bus has got to be lots of fun. Getting a rig out there big enough to get pulled out would cost a pretty penny too.
He doesn't get stuck- he scouts it first, then doesn't worry about it.

If any one on the Board here gets stuck near me, I got you covered. I'd be happy to twist ur frame.

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Old 10-16-2017, 01:39 PM   #289
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Tag axle: You have to be really careful with the tag axle. It is possible to get the drive tires in a dip with the weight being supported by the tag tires and then the drive tires just spin. Don't let that happen. Either carry some momentum over/thru the dip or hit it at an angle. If neither is possible - don't attempt it.
That's the single tire axle in the rear? I assumed it was a drive as well.
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Old 10-16-2017, 01:43 PM   #290
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That's what I was looking for. I forgot about the jeep.
Yep, Jeep (or toad) is key. Google Earth/Maps helps a lot too.

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Are there any bus unsticking tricks like plywood under the wheels as in pickumup trucks?
None - I am SUPER happy to report that I have no experience at unsticking a bus/RV. I once saw a guy attempt to drive thru a small "lake" (low lying dirt road that had been sitting under about six inches of water for awhile. My thoughts of 'wow - I didn't think that was possible' quickly turned to 'you idiot' as soon as I saw the whole rig just lower itself into the water (and deep into the mud). I don't know what it took to get it out but I passed by this same spot about three weeks later and an area about the size of an acre was all torn up - I assume it was multiple large tow trucks trying to extract him.
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Old 10-16-2017, 01:44 PM   #291
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That's the single tire axle in the rear? I assumed it was a drive as well.
Right - just for weight (no drive).
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Old 10-16-2017, 01:44 PM   #292
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ive seen some people use some tricks with RVs to get themselves out..

get stuck with the tag too high... air its tires down...
start to dig in sand? yep Air down just like you would in the Jeep..
if you have leveller jacks.. ive heard of people lifting themselves with the levellers then building up with wood, dirt, etc.. and moving a couple inches at a time till they got real traction.
near the woods? winch.. yep a winch.. while a 12,000 lb winch wont hope to pull a bus out on its own.. it may give you enough extra that you can spi nthe tires and help yourself out... oh and put a snatchblock on said winch and BAM!! instant torque!

plan ahead - the Jeep is a GREAT way to scopt out here you are going.. and dont go off-roading if you have 1/8 tank of fuel and $20 to your name!

Water-up! fill your fresh and emergency potable water tanks / jugs before you embark into the wilderness.. (a secondary vehicle is also a HUGE relief.. knowing you CAN get out of the desert if you break down)...

-Christopher
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Old 10-16-2017, 01:49 PM   #293
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Carry one of these, will get you out of many situations !

Attachment 16589
Exactly!!

My Mom used to be afraid to travel. What if I miss my flight? What if my flight is late? What if my hotel reservation is wrong? What if.... I gave her the "as long as you have a credit card, someone will be ready and able to help take care of you" speech.

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I dig your adventurous spirit and feel the same way. My old lady, however....
She must have some redeeming qualities then??? Get her started slowly and in 'comfortable' situations, hopefully she'll slowly buy in.
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Old 10-16-2017, 01:59 PM   #294
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Right - just for weight (no drive).
Cross breed your bus with Rusty's truck!! Steer wheels too!!

I'm not that big a scaredy cat (yet) but I have had the tires spin on wet grass and I have tread blocks (instead of steers on the rear). I'm only 21,000 lbs right now but you ain't pushing that out like a car.

Chris' tricks sound good too but I ain't got any of them either. I might someday oneday do a winch tho. If/when I go full time, a toad will happen.
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Old 10-16-2017, 02:42 PM   #295
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Got my Eagle 10 stuck in the mud after a storm. Tried all day with 2 4WD pickups to pull it out. By the time we were don trying, the pumpkin was sitting on the ground.....

I hitched into town and asked the manager of the John Deere shop if I could hire somebody to bring a tractor out and pull me out.

He looked at me funny and handed me the keys to a brand new 300hp 4WD tractor and told me: We close at 5:30.....
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Old 10-16-2017, 03:23 PM   #296
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Nice bus..

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Of course, I cracked one of the mirrors in the process while kicking it around on the floor.
You better toss some salt over your left shoulder.
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Old 10-16-2017, 03:33 PM   #297
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Nice bus..
Thank you!

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You better toss some salt over your left shoulder.
I wonder if there is a statute of limitations.... I may be too late.
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Old 10-16-2017, 03:35 PM   #298
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I've found that if I get stuck, I can rev the engine and throw the vehicle into drive, then back to reverse, over and over. It works !!!

My transmission repair guy showed me this trick.
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Old 10-16-2017, 03:36 PM   #299
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He looked at me funny and handed me the keys to a brand new 300hp 4WD tractor and told me: We close at 5:30.....
Nice! I grew up on a ranch in Montana and this is the way I remember things being done. Sure wish there was more of it these days.
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Old 10-17-2017, 06:19 AM   #300
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Nice! I grew up on a ranch in Montana and this is the way I remember things being done. Sure wish there was more of it these days.
Yeah, that was damn nice of him.
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