Gardena, CA – January 3, 2020 – MILESTAR, a leader of high value performance tires is pleased to announce an all-new 30-Day Ride Guarantee and Road Hazard Protection program on select Milestar tires. These programs are intended to provide piece-of-mind to the consumer during their tire buying decision. It also provides more support for the dealers as the tire purchasing becomes more challenging with so many brands out in the marketplace. This ride guarantee is designed to provide a 30-day, hassle-free, trial period to test the product. If a consumer is not 100% satisfied with their tire purchase, they can return them to the original place of purchase with an original sales receipt. Customers will have the opportunity to purchase a new set of tires of equal or lesser value from the original place of purchase, completely hassle-free. The Road Hazard Protection program offers a free tire replacement through an authorized Milestar dealer should a tire become damaged due to cuts, punctures, snags, bruises, tears, or impact breaks within the first 12-months from the tire’s purchase date or first 2/32nd wear from the original tread depth, whichever comes first. Milestar Tires stands committed to excellence and expanding programs to support both the dealer and their customers. Both the 30-DAY RIDE GUARANTEE and ROAD HAZARD PROTECTION will begin in January of 2020, and will include the MS932 Sport, MS932XP+, Weatherguard AW365, Patagonia H/T, and Patagonia A/T R.
“We believe in the our tire technology and manufacturing quality so much so, that we are backing them with programs to support consumer confidence,” stated Andrew Hoit, Tireco’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “It is our pledge to our dealers
Gardena, CA – November 6th, 2019 – Tireco, the exclusive U.S. distributor of WESTLAKE passenger and light truck tires, is pleased to announce and all-new Limited Mileage Warranty available on all PCR and LT tires sold in North America. This new enhanced warranty will be effective January 1, 2020 and will include the RP18, SA07, SU318, SL309, and SL369 tread patterns.
This limited mileage warranty will help bolster the continued effort to expand and grow programs for all Westlake products. Up to 40,000 limited mileage warranty will be offered within 5 years from date of installation.
“We’re excited to add a mileage warranty to Westlake Tires,” stated Andrew Hoit, Tireco’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “Westlake tires have continuously proven to exceed expectation and we’re thrilled to continually support our dealers and consumers with this added confidence.
Gardena, CA – November 5, 2019 – MILESTAR, a leader of high value performance tires is pleased to announce 12 expansion sizes for PATAGONIA X/T Xtreme all-terrain tire to include 40X13.5R17LT high flotation. The X/T is a modern, refined light truck tire designed to deliver the bold aggressive looks and tough off-road performance normally found in an M/T tire, yet still providing the smooth quiet on-road manners associated with an all-terrain tire.
The PATAGONIA X/T’s Rugged Tread Blocks feature step-down supports on the center blocks to provide enhanced stability and handling.All sizes feature a 3-Ply Sidewall for added strength and durability, and a silica-infused cut and chip resistant tread compound, to work with stone and mud ejectors to tackle the roughest and toughest off-road conditions.Additionally, select sizes are offered with an F load rating to allow for higher load carrying capacity ideal for today’s ¾ Ton and 1 Ton truck applications.
The X/T is engineered and designed for a quieter ride utilizing a variable Pitch Tread Pattern, while the Variable Depth Siping provides performance consistency throughout the entire life of the tire.A total of 19 sizes will be available in Q1 2020 with another 29 sizes coming in late 2020.All sizes of the PATAGONIA X/T feature 18/32” tread depth and are backed with a 40K Mile Limited Warranty.
“This expansion includes aggressive flotation, plus-sized fitments to stay competitive in the Jeep®, light truck and off-road markets,” stated Andrew Hoit, Tireco’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “Sizes like the 35”, 37”, and 40” show our commitment to these markets and the continued growth and expansion of the entire Patagonia Family of light truck and SUV tires.”
It’s a dream of many hot rod enthusiasts: to have a wicked looking Nomad Wagon. It is the staple of rare but “cool” to modify vehicles and Brian Hill of Hill’s Rod and Custom used his expertise to create this beautiful utility rodder out of his own 1955 model.
If there was one show and actor that helped cement the Nomad for modern hot rodders it was Tim Allen and his show, Home Improvement. That car is even listed as the 19th of the top 50 TV cars by Rod Authority back in 2016. It was owned by Allen and the 1956 Nomad was tied to the main character, Tim Taylor, but canonically the car was the daily driver of his on-screen wife, Jill.
However, it would be the episode titled “Don’t Tell Momma” that would cause every Nomad and Bel Air enthusiasts’ hearts to collectively sink when the car was “crushed” on accident. Fortunately, the stunt car was a four-door Bel Air with a wagon roof added, rear doors welded and smoothed enough for the shot, and crushed on-screen while the real 1956 Nomad wasn’t harmed.
…it’s not a proper looking Nomad if the top isn’t its signature pristine white…
He even pulled the car on set to show it was still around to the live audience for that show’s taping. It would eventually be sold for Ebay’s “Auction for America” on October 4th, 2001 to benefit victims of the September 11th attacks just a few weeks earlier.
Fortunately for Hill’s Rod and Custom in Pleasant Hill, CA, this 1955 model wasn’t crushed or destroyed but was still put through a full, frame-off restoration before it was modified. Brian Hill pulled every piece and part off to strip, bang, straighten and finally repaint his in the Lamborghini Orange Pearl. However, it’s not a proper looking Nomad if the top isn’t its signature pristine white for that classic two-tone look.
All the glass was then replaced with new reproduction versions with modern weather-stripping for a noise-free ride. This was done to make sure the Vintage Air heating and air-conditioning system didn’t leak the cool interior air to the Bay Area’s hot atmosphere.
…a 1955 Nomad that’s worthy of television stardom.
That’s even as this Nomad makes its own atmosphere when it arrives. The interior is a fully-custom leather that carefully compliments that Lambo orange and chrome touches throughout. New, but classic gauges complete the classic looks of the Tri-Five dashboard.
Those new gauges are designed to work with the TurnKey Engine Supply LS1 crate engine, a 5.7-liter displacement that makes 410-horsepower and 420-torque to the crank with its 10.25:1 compression. Inside, the rotating assembly is lead by a set of Mahle forged pistons and squeeze fuel and air into cathedral port GM heads.
It’s designed to be installed and ran as it included everything, even the throttle pedal for the LS1 electronic throttle body but its ECM is calibrated with a TurnKey tune so it doesn’t need a GM PATS key. The only change was the addition of “Nomad” script emblems on the engine covers and painting the intake to match the Lambo orange of the body. Its power is then sent to a GM 6L80E six-speed automatic transmission.
We certainly wouldn’t mind being caught in it.
To control sway and pitch as Brian drives his Nomad, a modern set of coilovers were installed up front but the rear retains its leaf spring design. It’s not a race car and you’ll be able to haul more utilitarian loads thanks to the leafs if you desire or need it.
Brian Hill and Hill’s Rod and Custom have certainly designed a 1955 Nomad that’s worthy of television stardom. Thankfully, it doesn’t come with the usual headaches fame brings but instead gives its driver the comforts of modern cars with the looks of a great classic Tri-Five. We certainly wouldn’t mind being caught in it.
Go into any current forum or social media group for Jeeps and 4x4s and you will find the most frequently asked question is “How big of a tire can I fit on my *insert 4×4 here*?” The question is posed so frequently that the query is “stickied” to the top of the forum page with countless replies. “You can fit 35 inch tires if you have…” “37 inch tireswork, but only if you’ve done…” “You need tons in order to run 40 inch tires…” (“Tons” is shorthand for 1-ton axles sourced from a pickup). They’ve all been asked.
These seemingly universal 4×4 questions have been answered in their entirety, which we won’t get into here. The Jeep community has seen the 37×12.50R17 become the ubiquitous size on any new Jeep. Go back just over a decade and 37s were the extreme size tire to have and only a handful of brands to choose from. 33s and 35s were BIG, but 37s meant you were serious! So how did this desire for ever-larger tires come to be so common and why is there such a jump in size going from 37 inch tires to 40 inch tires with no choice in between?
In today’s tire world, nearly every tire manufacturer has an All-Terrain (A/T) and a Mud-Terrain (M/T) in a 33, 35, or 37 inch tire that fits on a 17 inch rim. These sizes have become a standard upgrade for several reasons. First is 4×4 vehicles are bigger than ever before with auto manufacturers adding extra space, seats, and cargo capacity. Second, with the added space and creature comforts comes the weight.
33s and 35s were BIG, but 37s meant you were serious!
Everything gets bigger from the drivetrain, axles, brakes, steering to handle the extra weight and still be a capable vehicle. This transition to more capacity and capability was lead by growing popularity in outdoor activities amongst families. With the vehicles and their components getting bigger and adding capability, enthusiasts took to modifying them with greater earnest and in greater numbers. One of the easiest ways to add capability is by gaining clearance through a larger tire size.
It can be argued that this rapid expansion in tire sizes was brought about by the advent of a single vehicle: the 2007 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (JK). It dropped the iconic Inline 6-Cylinder for a V-6 that was better suited to a minivan than a 4×4. The improved approach and departure angles showed enthusiasts that Jeep engineers were focused on making a capable vehicle.
But the one change that was seen as heresy initially and is now beloved: 4 full doors. Jeep aficionados scorned the longer Wrangler, thinking it more of a minivan than a true Jeep. But over time, the extra wheelbase lent itself to improved off-road capability, with the right modifications.
Chief among them: Larger tires. Tires are the only thing that connects the vehicle to the ground. They are the easiest and quickest way to gain ground clearance, improve approach and departure angles, and provide that oh-so-desirable “tough” aesthetic that many enthusiasts are after. But there is a canyon in terms of budgets between running a 40 inch tire and the ubiquitous 37 inch tire.
But the one change that was seen as heresy initially and is now beloved: 4 full doors.
40’s are an average of 40-60% more expensive than their 37 inch tire counterparts, and a lot of expensive changes have to be made to the vehicle in order to reliably run a 40 INCH tire as well. So what does an owner do when they want more than their 37s, but can’t afford or justify the required upgrades for 40s? Enter the Milestar Patagonia 38 inch.
While the 38×13.50R17 is only one inch taller than its smaller sibling—the 37 inch, it pays off in ways that become greater than one would initially think. It poses less strain on the hard parts that turn and drive the tires when compared to 40 inch tires. The 38 inch tire size clears factory brackets and bumpers and keeps any sort of body modification to a minimum.
Wheel offset, suspension bump stops, steering, and fenders all can stay the same if the vehicle has been properly kitted for 37’s. Where 37’s provide a better “stance”, the 38 inch tire make the vehicle look like it has 40s. All of this is gained with a reasonable bump in price on just the tires. Not only is the 38 inch Patagonia M/T taller, but it’s a bit wider at 13.50 inch giving the wheeler that much more of a footprint.
The tires’ C-Load Range is also a nod to the recreational wheelers as it is commonly thought that having some sidewall give, while still being 3-ply, will allow the tire to “grab traction” or “bite” when aired down. This is further supported when one takes into consideration that tire manufacturers often modify the construction material of the plys depending upon the load the tire is expected to bear and how much air pressure it is rated for.
…the added capability of a 40-inch tire, without the 40-inch wallet.
Strength is upheld with the Patagonia, while being a more focused 4×4 product. At 82 pounds, the 38 inch Patagonia M/T’s optimized construction is shown as it is the same lighter weight as many of it’s 37 inch competitors. This is important because added unsprung weight negatively affects suspension performance and ride quality.
In addition, extra weight also brings down fuel economy and increases wear and tear on the drivetrain and steering components. The 38 inch Patagonia M/T is constructed to balance strength, size, and weight; all major factors when enthusiasts start their 4×4 project.
The 38 inch Milestar Patagonia M/T is the choice when one wants the added capability of a 40-inch tire, without the 40-inch wallet. It is tailor-made for the recreation wheeler with its strong, yet pliable sidewall, all-important 17″ wheel construction, and true 38 inch tire sizing. Your next question is simply where will you buy your set?
J. P. Miller’s restoration of his 1969 Dodge Charger R/T Super Track Pack
We’re always told about stories of people who finally get their hero car and it often turns out to be so much work it gets abandoned. For J. P. Miller, he knew he had something special once this 1969 Dodge Charger R/T arrived, but it wasn’t ready for anything close to street duty when it did.
“It was a barn find out of Moscow, Idaho,” J. P. Miller began his recollection of when he first heard about this 1969 Charger. “A friend of mine and father of my Goddaughter, who also would end up doing the paintwork, found it in a ‘Penny Saver’ magazine in Spokane, Washington.”
J. P., like a lot of us, was a huge fan of the “Dukes of Hazzard” and its hero car Charger and often seen as a character itself, General Lee. His friend knew he was looking for a 1969 model to match it as J. P. wanted to build a General Lee replica. So, they contacted the owner in Idaho and that’s when the story turned into something more than just a remake of a classic cult car.
“It turned out he was basically holding a silent auction for the car,” said Miller, “so, it totally caught us off guard and basically he have people look at the car and what it was coming with, write their offer on a paper and folded it in an envelope, and then at the end of the week pull the offers out of it and award it to the highest bidder.”
…you won’t find any Bondo on this Charger…
So, Miller went with Price is Right rules and bid $10,001.01 to ensure that he at least was the highest he could predict. At the end of the week, he got a call from an Idaho number to tell him he had won and could pick up the car and all the parts that came with it.
Randy Scheurer then drove a rollback from Spokane to Moscow, Idaho and back with everything on and in it. From there, it was a ten-year process of stripping the car down and restoring it back to what you see before you. It was loaded on to a rotisserie and torn down to its bare chassis. After that, it was media blasted and acid dipped before taking it over to Doug Standerfer of Spokane Valley, Washington for the sheet metal work.
Very extensive sheet metal work as the quarter panels and taillight panel needed to be replaced but the rear window metal work and pillars were able to be repaired by Doug. However, you won’t find any Bondo on this Charger as the metal work included leading for a proper, time-proven repair.
The rear quarter panels and taillight surround all had to be remade and were some of the first stamped sheets from Auto Metal Direct (AMD) for the 1969 Charger. While brand new stamped panels aren’t too hard to find now, back in 2005 they and Year One were the only ones making them and the process was only beginning for AMD.
…these are bumps you must anticipate, and patience, as well as understanding, is required.
Their molds had yet to be tweaked from the car they created their bucks from, and the panels wouldn’t fit correctly right away due to the gauge of metal used wasn’t exactly factory original, either. When you’re this early in the game for a restoration of a car like this, these are bumps you must anticipate, and patience, as well as understanding, is required. J. P. knew the hurry-up-and-wait game would be worth it after researching the car.
In between all the restoration work, Miller decided to dig into the history of this car and found out it was an original R/T Super Track Pack with a 440-cubic-inch V8, four-speed transmission, and radio delete. Someone bought this with the intention of racing it and looking into the engine, which was blown apart from a track thrashing before being parked, it showed.
While J. P. wasn’t the only owner, he did a VIN track and contacted the third owner of the car. Needless to say, the former Air Force serviceman was blown away to know the car was not only still around but in the process of being restored back to its former glory, too. Especially in the state, he showed him at the time.
Yes, you read that correctly. The engine block was in pieces as some time in the 1980s a rod went through it. However, the entire car was numbers matching and that included that original 440 big block Mopar that would have been considered destroyed by other builders.
Miller took it to an engine shop in California that specialized “lost cause blocks.” He took a look at the block and found that, while there was a large hole in it, the webbing was intact and could be repaired. Other than a standard rebuild and putting the block back together again, the engine is factory original.
…far greater, much rarer, and a hero car to lust over in its own right.
At this point, it was now April of 2012, the metal work was done, the paint was factory matched, and the 1969 Dodge Charger R/T Super Track Pack was ready for final assembly. All of the key parts were sourced from Ed Wogulis’ The Mopar Shop in Madera, California while other parts and assembly help was done by Dave La Marche of Concord, California.
From the work J. P. Miller did, this has been one incredible restoration job. It’s possibly one of the best we’ve seen in a long time. While he wanted a General Lee, we feel that he’s come out with something far greater, much rarer, and a hero car to lust over in its own right.
Tim Clancy’s 1968 El Camino has the heart of a CTS-V
These days, it’s not uncommon to see pickups used as daily drivers, decked out with luxurious interiors more suited to a limousine than a work truck, and optioned out to the point where the additional features double the sticker price. But back in the muscle car era, pickups were seen as utilitarian tools, not status symbols. Ford, always looking to create new market segments, launched the Ranchero in the 1957 model year, and foreshadowing what would happen with the Mustang and Camaro a few years later, Chevy got into the game with their own El Camino in 1959.
Built on two-door station wagon platforms, these two original “utility coupes” were originally aimed at the Gentleman Farmer, with a bed large enough to carry a useful payload, but a car-like driving experience that the wife wouldn’t object to for weekend trips into town for shopping and Sunday services at First Baptist.
…business up front, party in the back…
While the Ranchero enjoyed a successful run, it was the El Camino that launched a “business up front, party in the back” fanbase that continues to this day, with intermittent pleas for General Motors to import the Holden Ute to the US like they had done with the Commodore (which was rebadged as the Pontiac GTO).
Unfortunately, with both Ford Australia and Holden out of the business of building vehicles, it’s unlikely that we will see the return of a domestic branded “utility coupe” to showrooms any time soon, but that doesn’t mean that things are hopeless for those desiring a Ute with modern power. Case in point: Tim Clancy’s 1968 Chevy El Camino.
“I’ve had it for about 24 years,” Clancy explains. “I paid 2,500 bucks for it. I drove it for a long time with the original 396 and Muncie 4-speed, and I just drove it until it started smoking so much that I had to stop driving it.”
Now, they say that old cars don’t die—people just run out of money to keep them going. But Clancy knew what he had, and didn’t want to part with it just yet. “About five years ago I started back in on it, doing some simple bodywork, and I got it painted and rechromed everything,” he recalls.
Now, they say that old cars don’t die—people just run out of money to keep them going.
Of course, the cosmetic fixes didn’t address the main reason why he parked it in the first place, and a quick rebuild of the big-block might have gotten his ElCo back on the road right away, but Tim had bigger plans in mind. Much bigger.
“It still had the 396 in it, so it sat for a while until I finally decided to pull the trigger and bought that LSA motor.” By which he is referring to the 6.2 liter supercharged LSA crate engine, derived from the 2009-2015 Cadillac CTS-V and 5th Gen Camaro ZL1, that currently resides between the front fenders of his El Camino.
“It was a hell of a deal,” he says, but writing the check payable to Chevrolet Performance was only the first step. “We had to refabricate everything in the engine compartment to move it all—all the reservoirs, cooling for the blower—it was quite an ordeal and a lot of work. Everything is essentially upgraded to 2017 standards,” he reveals.
Rated at 556 crank horsepower, with a little expert attention the true potential of the factory-stock crate engine was unlocked. Per Clancy, “I had it dyno tuned to around 605 horsepower, and eventually, we are going to upgrade it to about 850. But I am waiting for the warranty to run out—as long as there is that three-year warranty, I am going to hang with it.”
Backing the LSA is a T-56 manual transmission feeding power to a Mark Williams rear end stuffed with premium components including a NASCAR gearset. “it has a 5-link suspension with coilovers, but it is still light in the rear end, and when you reach the limit it wants to come around,” he admits. To fight that tendency, Clancy knew he needed high-performance rubber, but he didn’t want to sacrifice the look of the El Camino with a modern-style “pro touring” low profile wheel and tire combination.
Clancy says, “I could have gone with the normal ‘nostalgia’ radials on it, but I’d just end up dead in a ditch. I wanted the look but I needed tires that handle well. I’m just not willing to compromise on that.” The Chevy rolls on 15-inch “Rally” style wheels wrapped in Milestar Streetsteel radial all-season high-performance tires, which are designed specifically for muscle cars, hot rods, and classics. These tires blend current technology and timeless raised-white-letter styling to provide traction and handling that would seem like black magic back in ‘68.
600-plus rear wheel horsepower demands respect, especially considering that this Chevy is going to be handed down to the next generation. “I don’t sell cars,” Clancy explains. “When I do, I always regret it. I’ll keep all my cars and give them to my kid, and he’s also a serious gearhead.” With a modern drivetrain transplant, suspension upgrades, an interior refresh that kept things looking original, and tires that are up to the task, his 1968 El Camino is ready for whatever the next 50 years have in store.
“I have six other fast cars in the garage, but this is what I drive every day. I just really enjoy it. You can drive it hard and not worry about breaking it.”
IS DAN FRESH’S JL WRANGLER THE PERFECT COMBINATION OF FORM AND FUNCTION?
When the 2018 JL Wrangler debuted, the Jeep-world went into a frenzy. Vehicle sales were busy, just as many expected. The aftermarket parts industry spared no time getting started with the design and production of new parts. The new model is extremely capable and stylish, something Dan Fresh of OC Motorsports in Costa Mesa, California wanted to be on the forefront of.
Dan and his crew at OC Motorsports transformed a stock 2018 JL Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon into an upscale culmination of form and function. The team worked with many industry-leading aftermarket parts companies to design a Jeep that could hold its own on the 2018 SEMA Show floor and also be used as a flagship for OC Motorsports events, all while also set to be a dependable race support vehicle.
Dan Fresh is a racer at heart. Over the years, he has been heavily involved and raced in trophy trucks, Jeepspeed, Ultra 4 and many more facets of the racing world. That meant straight from the start that this Jeep would be top shelf.
For any performance vehicle to work as it should, it needs to have great components. Dan and his team worked closely with Fox Factory to set the Jeep up with a full round of newly designed 3.0 Internal Bypass Shocks. The massive shocks also feature finned aluminum recirculating reservoirs with DSC Adjusters for quick tuning.
Shocks like those need to have some grunt supporting them. A Savvy Off Road 3.5-inch suspension lift was installed, including adjustable control arms along with a Currie Enterprises Antirock anti-sway bar in the rear.
The new suspension gave clearance for a healthy set of 40-inch Milestar Patagonia M/Ts, wrapped around matte black 17-inch Method Trail Series 701 wheels. A combination that gives the vehicle both the ground clearance, stance, and raw gripping power a true performer demands. Because the Jeep often goes from off-road to the street and back again, an Innovative JK Products ARB Under Seat Mount with Air Up and Air Down Kit was installed.
The Rubicon differentials were treated to a pair of Dana 44 AdvanTek covers to protect the gears and lockers. The Jeep’s steering linkage was swapped for a Synergy Heat Treated Chromoly Tie Rod and Drag Link kit with the support of a Fox Factory ATS steering stabilizer system. The power and torque are brought to the differentials via a pair of JE Reel 1350 CV Driveshafts.
Attention was also put on the body of the vehicle. Protecting the rails are Rock Slide Engineering Step Sliders with automatic steps. A Savvy high clearance rear bumper was installed, along with a spare tire/camera delete kit. The front received a prototype Savvy Hidden Winch Bumper with Hoop for Dan to test out on the trails and race courses. The body wrap was installed by Versatile Wraps.
Desert racing and adventures require light when the sun goes down and when the unforgiving terrain doesn’t let up. To battle the darkness, a host of Baja Designs LP9 and XL80 LED lights were installed.
The powertrain has been left mostly stock for now, save for a MagnaFlow Rock Crawler Stainless Exhaust System. Though, with the immense capabilities of the OC Motorsports team, there shouldn’t be any surprise if a HEMI V8 finds its way under the hood in the future.
The amount of work done to Dan’s JL is impressive, even more so in that it was all completed in a matter of two days. After proudly standing tall at the 2018 SEMA Show, the Jeep has been on numerous customer appreciation trail runs, desert race testing trips and regularly driven on the street for commuting duties. Soon, the Jeep will be working hard as support for King of the Hammers, Best In The Desert and SCORE International races.
This likely won’t be the end of the modifications for this Jeep, but it is a stellar start out of the gate.
Venturing far off the beaten path takes preparation. The farther you wander from civilization, the more you need to be self-sufficient. The saying goes that two is one, and one is none, but it’s also easy to go overboard with parts and equipment. You can get so overloaded, you lose efficiency. Building something that has everything you need, and nothing you don’t takes careful execution.
One such truck that hits the mark is Noah Voloshin’s Toyota Tacoma. Amazingly it’s his first build, but he learned a lot helping friends on their vehicles. When it came time for his own, he knew exactly what he wanted. Everywhere you look on this truck you see the details that make it special. The quality of the components stand out, but the way they are so cleanly integrated into the truck really sets it apart.
If you look closely you will also notice the scratches and patina that lets you know this truck is the real deal. Those don’t detract from the truck, they are like badges of honor. Souvenirs from a do or die rock climb, an overgrown goat trail, or a night spent hunkered down in the dirt during gale force winds.
Judging by the raw aluminum exposed on the beadlock rings of Noah’s Method Race Wheels, the aggressive tread design that wraps down onto the sidewalls of his Milestar Patagonia M/T tires has come in handy. Those gouges had to have come from big rocks, deep sand or course mud; all areas where the Patagonia M/T’s shine. They have taken everything Mother Nature has dished out.
They have taken everything Mother Nature has dished out.
Keeping the tires planted is made possible by a custom suspension based on Total Chaos upper control arms in front, and Deaver progressive leaf springs in the rear; all damped by King Shocks.
It’s obvious that Noah isn’t afraid to conquer tough terrain, so having the protection that covers both sides, front and rear is a must. Up front, a C4 Fab full plate front bumper provides protection while blending seamlessly with the DB Customz fab grill, and factory sheet metal.
The bumper is loaded with essentials like recovery rings, and a Warn Zeon 12s platinum winch. It also mounts a full complement of Baja Designs LED lights. A light bar, fog lights, and ditch lights at each corner give Noah specific lighting for all conditions. His custom lighting covers the entire truck with supplemented rack, rock, reverse, and recovery lights. Along both sides of the truck are C4 Fab rock sliders, and Pelfreybilt skid plates protect underneath.
Outback is a C4 Fab high clearance rear bumper with swingout. In addition to the recovery points and LED lighting like the front, it also carries a full sized spare, 2 Rotopax fuel containers and sand ladders.
With everything to get there and back, it was time to outfit the truck for gear and other essentials. An AFE intake supplies clean air to the engine. For electrical storage, dual Odyssey batteries are used. Noah also carries an ARB twin air compressor. In the cab is a Goose Gear seat delete, and National Luna fridge freezer.
Going offroad is amazing. Whether you are conquering challenging terrain or traveling to remote locations, offroad travel has major benefits. It also comes with some responsibilities. There are some general safety rules and proper trail etiquette that everyone should know before venturing off the pavement.
1. Know Your Rig
You should have a good understanding of your vehicle before you hit the dirt. You need to familiarize yourself with the strengths and potential faults found on your model vehicle, and the specific weaknesses of your own rig. It’s also a good idea to regularly inspect it for loose bolts, leaking fluids, or unnoticed damage.
If you know what it’s supposed to look like, it makes it much easier to assess what’s wrong if you run into trouble. At the same time, you need to have a decent supply of typical replacement parts and the tools needed to replace them. Things like belts, hoses, U-joints, and tire repair kits are universally brought along for emergency use. If you are not mechanically inclined, it’s safer to travel in a group with someone who is.
2. Know Yourself
Do you take regular medication? Do you have allergies to poison ivy, bee stings, or sunburn easily? Make sure you have what your body needs to function properly and let others know your condition so they can assist you if needed. Always have water and food. If you take more than you need, you can share it on the trail with those who are in need. I always have a box filled with drinks and snacks that stays in the truck at all times.
It’s also important to carry clothing. Do you have a change of clothes in case you get wet, or coated in something foul? How about a windbreaker, or raincoat? Changes in elevation or location can cause huge swings in temperature and humidity. A good pair of gloves will protect your hands, and keep them warm if needed. Being prepared also includes having a bedroll or some warm blankets just in case. Things that every vehicle should have are a first aid kit, tow rope, and a fire extinguisher.
3. Know Where You Are Going
Many of us live to explore and are driven by our curiosity of what lies around the bend, or over the next hill, but it’s wise to do a little research before you venture out. Is there a highway to the north, a major river that runs to the ocean, or a mountain peak you can use for reference? You should have a general idea what’s out there. Trails can be blocked, vehicles might be damaged; emergencies can, and will happen. Do you know which direction to go for help? Always have options in case something goes wrong.
4. Know How To Navigate
Can you read a map and a compass? Do you understand topography? There are things in nature that can assist you when navigating through the wilderness. Water generally runs downhill. The sun rises in the east, and sets in the west, and the higher you go, the less vegetation will be present. If you need to signal someone, head to the highest point.
If you seek shelter, get down in the valley. A couple more good bits of advice are that perfectly straight lines in the distance usually means something there is man-made, and nobody builds a road in the wilderness for no good reason.
5. Know the Rules of the Trail
The first rule is to stay on the trail! If the trail you are on is not challenging enough, find one that is. Never head off the trail to challenge obstacles or take short cuts. Trail etiquette includes keeping the trail clear if you decide to stop. Always give the vehicle heading uphill the right of way, and don’t follow too closely. Always make sure others on the trail are OK. We can be stubborn asking for help, so always break the ice with strangers you may meet by offering help if it is needed.
When someone pulls over to let you pass, let them know how many vehicles are traveling in your group. Hold up however many fingers corresponds with the size of your group, or if it’s more than 10, you might want to stop and tell them.
Always have options in case something goes wrong.
If you encounter wildlife or animals on the trail, give them space. Take pictures, admire them, but don’t startle them, or harass them. Taking a selfie with a wild animal is not wise for several reasons. Always pack out your trash, and don’t feed the animals.
6. Know How To Communicate
Almost everyone carries a cell phone these days but reception in more remote areas is spotty at best. Do you have a 2-way radio? Do you use a device that will send an emergency beacon if needed? How about a satellite phone? There are all types of communication available both high tech and primitive.
You can use rocks or sticks to show which direction you are traveling and use a whistle to send messages as far as the sound will travel. Like stated in #4, perfectly straight lines are typically man-made, so a giant X or an arrow can help people in the air spot your location. The military uses hand signals to communicate when they need to be silent. The same techniques may be useful when you are within sight, but out of shouting distance.
7. Know Your Biology
You should know what types of plants, and/or animals pose a danger to you where you are traveling. Is that a typically docile lynx, or a mountain lion looking for a meal? In the worst case scenario, you will need to know how to find food and water. Do you know which types of plants need lots of water to grow? This also provides a great way to stay entertained.
If the kids get bored, quiz them on what types of plants they are seeing. Get some books and keep track of the plants or animals you see along the way. The more you know about the ecosystem you are in, the more you will appreciate how nature works. It can also help you with situational awareness. When the vegetation changes, you know you are entering someplace different.
8. Know Situational Awareness
It’s easy to forget about what you are doing when you are away from the crowds. Nature is so rewarding, but it can also be dangerous. Whenever you are on the trail, you need to read the terrain. Is the trail getting rockier, sandier, or muddier? Are you heading down into a valley, or higher into the hills? Do you see weather conditions changing on the horizon? You should be relaxed and enjoying yourself, but you should also be aware of your surroundings at all times.
Many people just follow the trail without making a mental note of landmarks they can use on the way back. If they get mixed up and on the wrong trail, they get lost. Part of navigating successfully is paying attention to the direction of travel, forks in the road, side trails, and other distinguishing points along the way. You might not know exactly where you are at all times, but you should be able to realize when you are going down instead of up or heading into the sun instead of away from it.
9. Know How To Relax
Taking your vehicle offroad can be stressful. Learning your capabilities takes time and experimentation. You will get stuck. You will get flat tires. You will probably get lost. The key in all those situations is to relax. Things are usually not as bad as they seem and if you have done all the other things mentioned here, you will be prepared. The situations that come up might be daunting at the time, but they will become fond memories and great stories to share in the future.
Solving problems is part of the adventure.
Most of the negative things that happen are caused by rushing. See some sketchy obstacle ahead? Get out and check it first. When you go to try it, is your seat belt on? Did you air down your tires? Are you in the right gear? Slow down and relax, it will pay off in spades. If you are in a situation, a clear head will be vital in solving your dilemma. Solving problems is part of the adventure. Adversity helps us to appreciate how easy most of us have it in our daily lives. If you are not on fire, you aren’t dying of thirst, and you are not injured, it’s not that bad, you’ll be OK.
10. Know All These Things and More
These are only a few ideas that will make your offroad journeys more pleasant. There are endless things to learn and understand about nature. Many people love to cook in the outdoors and thank goodness they do. There is nothing better than a gourmet meal in the fresh air of the wilderness. You may develop an interest in bird watching, photography, geology, hiking, biking, you name it.
There are so many opportunities that make themselves available once you become an offroad traveler. The key is to keep learning as much as you can. The skills you pick up along the way will benefit you your entire life and can be passed on to your friends and family as well. So hit the dirt, have fun, and stay safe on the trail.