Author Topic: Short/Narrow Wheelbase Runs  (Read 5390 times)

Offline chicomecha

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Short/Narrow Wheelbase Runs
« on: April 17, 2007, 08:55:05 AM »
Periodically I see a run, like on on Sierra Trek, advertised as a short-wheelbase run.  Why do they limit this?  What happens to a built full-size on that type of run?  What happens to a rock buggy on that type of run.  Do you really just hit obstacles that only a SWB vehicle, or narrow WB vehicle can get through?  How long is "short"?
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Offline Pantheus

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Re: Short/Narrow Wheelbase Runs
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2007, 09:30:17 AM »
In addition to the safety equipment rules which apply to all vehicles on all Cal4Wheel sponsored runs, the following apply to short-wheel base vehicles, especially Sierra Trek:

Additional Vehicle Requirements for Short Wheel Base Trips

71” maximum width of body, cage, and/or non-flexible flares

80” maximum overall width sidewall to sidewall

122” maximum wheelbase

Traction aiding differentials in either front or rear axle are required on all short wheel base runs.


I remember when the wheelbase used to be limited by Cal4Wheel to 85 inches !  But TJ s and other rigs seem to have pushed that out now to 122 inches.

As to what happens if a rig shows up and is too wide, long, or lacking ANY requirement or safety item(s), they are denied participation, at the safety check point, before the run starts, with no monies refunded,  or given a chance to rectify the issue(s), if possible.  The rules are explained ahead of time, printed on the web site, printed in In_Gear as well as in the registration packet.   There is plenty of time and information given to the participant whether they can qualify or not.

Ken
« Last Edit: April 17, 2007, 09:44:24 AM by Pantheus »
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Offline chicomecha

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Re: Short/Narrow Wheelbase Runs
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2007, 11:12:48 AM »
So outside of Sierra Trek, if I took a full-width rig, like a newer blazer or bronco or scout or F-x50 on a trail that they said was SWB only, would I run into problems?  I guess I am asking if the trail was the reason for the SWB restriction, or they just want to have a bunch of like vehicles on the run?  What about the trail caused it to be SWB?  Is it because if a bunch of full-sized rammed their way through the trail that damage to both the trail and vehicles would result?
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Offline Pantheus

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Re: Short/Narrow Wheelbase Runs
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2007, 11:59:56 AM »
Because you asked specifically about a Sierra-Trek-type event,  I responded with that, and similar events in mind.  The rationale for this, in the case of Sierra-Trek, Molina, High Desert Round-Up, and similar events,  is to make it possible to get several hundred vehicles over the trail with minimum help / guidance / breakdowns / and the myriad of things that keep VOLUNTEER organizers from having meals and some party time.

I'm sure that with ANY organized event,  the trail promoters or event promoters, or land owners in the case of parks and SRAs  put in place whatever rules make sense for THAT event. 

Some of the restrictions most likely have roots in trail width, trail difficulty, challenges, water crossings,  and all the things we love,  but VOLUNTEER organizers would rather take less time, with a hundred or two more vehicles to come.  Their game, their rules.

In reality, I don't know of any trail itself which has RULES as to who may or may not use it, except for the actual ability to do so.  By this I mean most single track trails simply can't accommodate a Ford F250.  IMHO, it is the event coordinator or organizer who places the restrictions, and makes the rules.

I think also that the "rep" a trail gets by users, can be a determining factor as well.   I doubt very few vehicles fall off the showroom floor and go to Moab, Hammers, or Moon Rocks, expecting to drive much.  On the other hand The Jeepers Jamboree for almost 50 years has been "carrying" brand new rigs across the Rubicon for huge bucks, because THEY make the rules, and get the bucks from Jeep/Chrysler  to do so.

There was a time 30+ years ago that the Rubicon was thought to be for ONLY short WB vehicles,  but these days humongous Hummers and full sized stuff have done it, as well.

An example, closer to home ...   at THIS point I don't see that above Ford F250 going across PipeJam for several reasons.  Trail is narrow and tight, with more than 6 large rock work-arounds  -IN-  tight turns, several likely winch points,  and not nearly "brushed out" to full size width.  Time may change that,  but in some places not as much as in others.

One other consideration may also be that a trip leader, or leaders could possibly set the "rules" as to what would be required for the trip THEY are leading.  When I was active in large clubs, each run had a "JeepMaster". It was he/she that defined the trip, and the requirements  to participate in that trip.   I'm sure not advocating more rules, and particularly on a run with just a few vehicles, but somewhere  responsibility for the safe trip, and return falls to those on that  trip.  If a Hummer showed up to do PipeJam,  I think I'd be looking toward Bald Mountain for them instead, and give them a map.    ;D

Ken
« Last Edit: April 17, 2007, 12:11:24 PM by Pantheus »
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Offline Pantheus

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Re: Short/Narrow Wheelbase Runs
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2007, 12:26:43 PM »
So outside of Sierra Trek, if I took a full-width rig, like a newer blazer or bronco or scout or F-x50 on a trail that they said was SWB only, would I run into problems?  I guess I am asking if the trail was the reason for the SWB restriction, or they just want to have a bunch of like vehicles on the run?  What about the trail caused it to be SWB?  Is it because if a bunch of full-sized rammed their way through the trail that damage to both the trail and vehicles would result?

A perfect example to respond to this question(s) is the Fordyce Trail. (Sierra Trek trail)

This trail is strictly limited to (up to ) a 4 day trip, in which permits, insurance purchased, arrangements made with P.G. & E. to shut off the water to make the multiple water crossings possible.  They also set up (5) FIVE winch points, allow two tries before hooking the vehicle, breakdowns towed no further than the nearest wide spot, until the run is done,  and several more rules for flow, safety, and security.

These days buggies, juggies, full widths, and basically everything that has wheels goes up there outside of the permitted time, and rips the hell out of the trail, high water and all, all in the name of THEIR fun,  to hell with the trail, and those who maintain it.  They do damage to their rigs,  and especially to the trail.

There is a grass-roots organization coming to the forefront, called Friends of Fordyce, modeled after Friends of the Rubicon,  who will take responsibility for the trail, its repair, maintenance and use, working with the Adopt-a-Trail clubs, the Forest Service, and the Rubicon guys, who have saved Rubicon.

I have a very warm spot for the Fordyce trail.  It was the first real run I made in a real Jeep after returning to California in 1975. 

If the lone-wolf users who care more about breaking stuff don't begin to see that there is far more to a trail than what you broke,  then someone RESPONSIBLE has to step up. - And thank god we are !

Ken
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Offline chicomecha

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Re: Short/Narrow Wheelbase Runs
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2007, 06:34:37 PM »
Pan, you are a wealth of knowledge. 

I saw some inCREDibly built YJ's over at Bent and Twisted today.  39.5" tires, wide axles etc.  Really beautiful machines - for something.  It just made me wonder if rigs that huge could even get any fun out of some of the local trails, even Pipejam.  Seems like they would get stuck in several spots by just being too wide to go between the trees.  I guess we'll know soon.  If they do try it, I want to be there to see it.
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Offline Pantheus

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Re: Short/Narrow Wheelbase Runs
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2007, 08:22:25 PM »
Pan, you are a wealth of knowledge.


To some degree I have had at least a big toe,  and sometimes my whole body into land use, closures, and dealing with agencies at many levels.   I had planned to kick back and wheel,  and tried,  but sometimes the "fight" gets the better of me.

I saw some inCREDibly built YJ's over at Bent and Twisted today.  39.5" tires, wide axles etc.  Really beautiful machines - for something.  It just made me wonder if rigs that huge could even get any fun out of some of the local trails, even Pipejam.  Seems like they would get stuck in several spots by just being too wide to go between the trees.  I guess we'll know soon.  If they do try it, I want to be there to see it.

I agree...   there are only a couple places in Northern California that those ego rigs can even use half of their potential.  One box,  one sluice on Rubicon,  one sluice, maybe two on Fordyce,  then there is Johnson Valley / The Hammers in SoCal,  Moon Rocks in Nevada, and Moab in Utah.

Other than that I know they'd be bored to tears in places that old school rigs enjoy, trails that actually go somewhere,   trails that lead to fishing holes,  heck they can't carry much camping gear either.

I know the face of wheeling has changed,  and I haven't changed (much) with it, a few upgrades here and there, creature-comfort addons, safety things,  but the rigs I see coming out of MP Customs, BnT and other fab shops, look great,  must cost a ton,  but where can they be enjoyed?  Sitting on a trailer? 

I'll stay old school, take a fly rod, and sleeping bag,  and hope they don't like where I will continue to go.

Ken
« Last Edit: April 18, 2007, 07:34:20 AM by Pantheus »
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Offline Kessler

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Re: Short/Narrow Wheelbase Runs
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2007, 04:46:17 AM »
I agree with old school, sometimes it get like a Highway up there.  A few years ago i did Sierra Trek in a FJ-40 with my son , we had a great time, i was with a club from Chico, we took care of Winch Hill # 1. It was fun from the food, 4 wheel drive show, live music, and the huge fire pit.  A lot of people set up camp at Meadow Lake on top, and wait for some to come through.  I enjoyed just seeing all the rigs.  My wife has never been, maybe i will take her through one of these days.  I look forward to getting togeather with you again.  It is wed morning and it is snowing @ Tahoe, i checked out the Caltrans webcam.  Keep in touch . Kessler.    I dont think a motor home could get down there now. Jerry.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2007, 04:47:49 AM by Kessler »
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Offline Pantheus

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Re: Short/Narrow Wheelbase Runs
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2007, 09:12:08 AM »
Jerry,

I 'gotta wonder what you think is "old school" about your nearly new Rubicon, with about every bolt-on that could be added - and still shiny paint?   ???   ;D

That pic is of the 'mid-point' of the trail to Morris Lake - when do you think a motor home will ever go there?  Not in MY lifetime.  (Although I have seen a 25 foot class C, 2 WD at Spring Valley!)  But I'll admit it is looking easier than the last time I was there, before last August, I guess.  One more rock in the middle knocked out of the way,  and it'll be a cakewalk.   ;D

Ken
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Offline Kessler

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Re: Short/Narrow Wheelbase Runs
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2007, 06:11:10 PM »
I guess i was confused , i remember you talking about the class C, that was Spring Valley, and had to be towed out.  I guess in a couple of weeks the weather should warm up. I would like to get togeather with you guys again one of these days.  After i got back from the desert, like you have mentioned before, i have some medical issues.  I guess that is what happens when you get over 60 .  Any way i am dealing with it , and hope to see you all again one of these days.  Kessler.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2007, 01:45:02 AM by Kessler »
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Offline chicomecha

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Re: Short/Narrow Wheelbase Runs
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2007, 05:11:32 AM »
Keeping it real, right?  Yep, you're confused.  And I guess this site is now not flame-free.  The thread is about SWB trails, and you're talking about motorhomes going to Morris.  You say you're all about old school, but you drive a '05 TJ with all sorts of retail add-ons, and you are selling your '73 Blazer???  You list the day in your post, like I can't see the date three different places on the screen.  Keep in touch?  Its a bulletin board!  Come on Kessler, keep it real.
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Offline toyoder

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Re: Short/Narrow Wheelbase Runs
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2007, 09:12:03 AM »
wow do i need to get my fire gear out before i post here  ;D

Offline chicomecha

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Re: Short/Narrow Wheelbase Runs
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2007, 01:23:49 PM »
Naahhh.  The thing you can't see is the smile on my face as I type.  Equal doses of truth and ribbing.
"If you're lucky enough to be in the mountains, you're lucky enough."
N6RCJ