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Trans America Trail in a RBV?

Flash Gordan

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Just curious if anyone has run the Trans-America trail in a Ranger before. I've read on other sites that it is geared towards off-road bikes. And a few jeeps have done it. But I'm wondering if it can be done in a RBV. All input is welcome.
 


JoshT

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There was an episode of Leno's garage where they covered the trail in stock land rovers. I imagine with enough skill and determination it could be done in an RBV. I think if I were going to attempt it I would use a modified BII for the short wheelbase and tight turning radius.
 

Flash Gordan

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I saw that episode. Land rovers don't impress me.
 

JoshT

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Not saying that they impress me either. My thought is if they can do it then we should be able to as well.
 

Flash Gordan

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The only land rover that ever slightly impressed me was the one built by Mark Evans on a 15 part show on BBC titled A 4x4 is Born. The work that he put into that was outstanding. But getting back to the subject at hand, has anyone else even tried running the TAT?
 

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I saw a blurb someone put up about running it in a Jeep and saying it wasn't so crazy difficult as the ones with the Land Rover made it out to be.

Given some of the builds I seen some members here put together I have no doubt it is possible with a RBV if a Land Rover or Jeep can do it.
 

Flash Gordan

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If you check out expeditionportal.com there are quite a few people over there that have done the trip. Mostly on bikes and a few 4x4's. Probably the reason the Land Rovers made it out to be so difficult is that they used brand new, factory stock, just off the showroom floor Land Rover LR4's. If I read it correctly they didn't do any serious modifications at all.
 

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I'd love to do it. I've been looking in to it. The guy who created it wants a bunch for the map, but if you look online and research it enough, you'll find the maps, or sections of it to piece together, on other forums.

Don't base anything off what Land Rovers do. They don't have any wheel travel.

Here's a few links to look at about the trail:

https://sites.google.com/site/gpskevin/adventurerides/trans-america-trail

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=552416

http://ridedualsport.com/forum/index.php?PHPSESSID=a9h52lv0teqsgtlvtkr77qrc14&topic=237.30

You'll probably find more map help on the motorcycle sites.
 

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See now the banner across America should ride the length of this trail as it snakes its way across, now wouldn't that be fitting?
 

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Don't base anything off what Land Rovers do. They don't have any wheel travel.
In that case it sounds like an excellent vehicle to base this off of. If a Land Rover with no wheel travel can do it, a RBV with any wheel travel should be able to do it.

When I mentioned the land rovers above, that was only an example that a 4x4 SUV has done it. I wasn't meaning to make them sound impressive, or the trail to sound difficult and that you had to be in a LR4 to do it.

OP asked about Rangers doing it. Haven't seen where a RBV did it, so instead I was just providing another example of a 4 wheeled vehicle doing it. IMO it was a pretty good example considering that as said above they were completely stock. I stand by my previous statement of if they did it, with enough skill and determination it can be done in an RBV. Not saying that anyone here does not have that skill and determination, but its a damn long trip and if you don't have them (especially the latter) you won't make it through the first week.

Based on the motorcycle riding plans 5000 miles total at 200 miles per day that's 25 days, almost a month if you actually plan to cover the 200 miles per day and not stop to sight see along the way. In a truck it'll probably be slower going most of the way. The you've got to drive back home at the end, for me that's basically back to the trail head which is another week over road driving 8 hours a day. I'd love to do it myself, but I don't have the time. I'd basically have to quit my job to make the run, then I wouldn't be able to afford it. If anyone here decides to tackle it please take lots of pics along the way. That way those of us who can't make the trip can ride along when you get back.
 

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See now the banner across America should ride the length of this trail as it snakes its way across, now wouldn't that be fitting?
Sounds interesting, but that banner would have to go east to west instead of west to east. Be like a relay race different members for different sections of the trail. Who am I kidding we can barely move it on road, how long would it take to get it there off road. I can see it now... TRS banner "The Trans-American Crossing" in 2015, final signature in Oregon in 2030.
 

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I also read and post at AdvRider. Several years ago there was a ride report there about a guy who did the TAT in a Jeep Wrangler. The photos have since dropped off the site - I don't recall if it's because he didn't pay his bill at photobucket or if he pulled them for some reason.

Here's the link to that thread: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=573095

And here's the link to another thread on the same topic (and started by the same guy): http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=398882

The eastern sections of the TAT have mostly been paved (chipseal) since Sam first laid out the route, which basically ruins it as an off-road experience. Based on the reading I've done of late, it seems it does not become mostly dirt again until someplace in Arkansas.

Except for the technical sections out west and a few sections of single track the TAT is mostly gravel roads and fire roads -- all doable in a Ranger. And in dry weather, doable in a 2wd.

Go for it.
 
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bobbywalter

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like...a stock rbv with a winch and some gear?



because that would be a challenge with oem tires.



if you mean a typical mid build rbv....you cant mean a typical mid level build rbv:icon_confused:....you could do it with your eyes half open and drunk.
 

bobbywalter

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but most years of land rovers are bad ass and worthy of respect.
 

wordsmyth

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When it comes to gravel roads, rocky forest service roads, and drivable double track I think the superstition about Jeeps, Land Rovers, and some otherwise decent vehicles is just a bit over the top. We can't believe everything we hear in the marketing spin. :annoyed:

And it is worth noting that in the trip mentioned above featuring Land Rovers that Land Rover probably paid big advertising bucks to help sponsor the event.

Anyway, on two different occasions (June 2004, and July 2010) I've spent considerable time in and around Westcliffe, CO. On any given day people out there are riding the mountain roads in every conceivable type of vehicle - some 4x4, and others 2x4; some in nicely outfitted trucks and others in aging but reliable old cars. (I don't recall the exact location at the moment, but the TAT crosses/intersects the CDT (Continental Divide Trail) somewhere in the vicinity of Westcliffe.)

On one occasion in June 2004 a woman in a Suzuki Samurai passed us and waved at the top of Tincup Pass. We were picking our way through baby-head sized boulders and she was probably doing 20 mph. As she passed she looked at me like I was an idiot.

My friend who lives there looked at me and said "They all drive that way out here."

The Samurai bumping over the hill had street looking tires on it.

In 1998 I spent the second week of June in Salt Lake City and used my rental car to explore the mountains between Park City and Wyoming. At 5,000 feet the sun was shining, at 6,000 it was raining, at 8,000 it was sleeting, and when I crossed the mountain at 8,500 feet there was 4' of snow on the ground.

My point is that with elevation and ground surface considered, rain and snow can radically alter the passibility of any dirt route in a matter of minutes. And as a caveat I'll note that sand changes the equation drastically. Street tires in sand would be a disaster.

That aside, on a dry summer day my basically stock Ranger 4x4 with street tires would take me back to any place I drove in 2004 and 2010.

With those things considered the spin about Land Rover being the only suitable vehicle is malarkey.

:icon_thumby:
 
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