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ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltimaDork
7/12/19 7:19 p.m.

The PanAmerican Highway Thread and the Soft-Roading thread, combined with a co-worker who is about to leave on some awesome motorcycle trip have me thinking I really want to do some sort of adventure-vacation.

That same coworker pointed me to the  TransAmerica Trail, which seems like it could be a pretty fun starter adventure.  I would be interested in doing it by car or suv preferably in a group of 2 or 3 (or more, but unlikely) vehicles.

Anyone done it? 

Thoughts?  I read on 4wd forums that ~95% of it is easily done with a stock 4x4.  This makes me wonder if it would be fun to do in a Forester, CRV, old Kia Sportage, etc. with just some decent tires on it.

 

 

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
7/12/19 7:49 p.m.

I look forward to reading this thread.  I'd never heard of that before.

Wally
Wally MegaDork
7/12/19 8:04 p.m.

Following as well, the Wife’s Jeep is allegedly ok off road.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
7/12/19 8:40 p.m.

The TAT is a regular staple of the ADVRider forum. Seems cool. I never thought of 4X4s, just Mototcyles.

I do have a stock Gen3 Montero looking for someplace to go.  This might not be fair for your planned competition.  I suspect the Montero even on street tires would do pretty well.  

On the other hand, I do have a Pontiac Vibe awd,  At the other extreme, this vehicle might not be enough devil

T.J.
T.J. MegaDork
7/12/19 9:39 p.m.

First I’ve heard of it. Sounds like a fun adventure. 

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltimaDork
7/12/19 10:39 p.m.

I have no competition planned.  I just want an adventure.  I think my lazy approach would be a grand Cherokee, but sometimes I find the difficult route more fun :)

Looking at some of the videos it seems like ground clearance is probably more of an issue than pure traction.

penultimeta
penultimeta HalfDork
7/13/19 8:20 a.m.

Having owned a CR-V for a while, I can tell you that it’s far more capable than you would think. I’d say it’s biggest drawback was the infamous Honda auto trans though this could be negated if you found a 5speed version (awd manuals were rare but do exist).  Throw on some A/Ts, some spring spacers, and this sounds about perfect for your intentions. Oh, I guess it’s kinda slow, but I was always impressed with the driving experience for what it was 

yupididit
yupididit UltraDork
7/13/19 8:27 a.m.

Do it in a G Wagon duh

The0retical
The0retical UberDork
7/13/19 8:32 a.m.

I was actually joking with my buddy that we should build an LS powered off road Exocet and do this a few months ago.
 

Interested in what you guys have to say about it.

 

Mike
Mike SuperDork
7/13/19 8:53 a.m.

Can the remaining 5% be done non-easily with a stock 4x4? I mean, I didn't look at the overall distance, but 5% means a hundred or more miles of super challenging public road.

I'm reading it as Colorado is where it gets challenging. 

I remember that I looked something very similar to this back when I was Ural obsessed. I hope you'll post about it if you decide to do it. 

bmw88rider
bmw88rider SuperDork
7/13/19 9:04 a.m.

The colorado stretch is something that can be done by a good stock 4X4. Our Xterra Pro 4X has handled it with little problem. I stumbled onto most of that without knowing it being a "known" trail since it's just miles from the house here. 

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltimaDork
7/13/19 10:00 a.m.
Mike said:

Can the remaining 5% be done non-easily with a stock 4x4? I mean, I didn't look at the overall distance, but 5% means a hundred or more miles of super challenging public road.

I'm reading it as Colorado is where it gets challenging. 

I remember that I looked something very similar to this back when I was Ural obsessed. I hope you'll post about it if you decide to do it. 

This video seems to be the roughest stuff I've seen.  I'm sure a mildly modded 4x4 is capable of it, but I imagine it could be hairy with a CRV or Forester or other low clearance awd SUV when pinched between a large rock and a cliff (4:50-5:00 ish in video)

https://youtu.be/0BOOxl8jQhc  (go to 5:00 to see this dude eat it hard :( )

 

I found some other vids with water crossings, but its hard to gauge depth.  I would estimate 12-18"

 

The0retical said:

I was actually joking with my buddy that we should build an LS powered off road Exocet and do this a few months ago.
 

Interested in what you guys have to say about it.

Do it and I & a buddy will follow in a support vehicle?  And maybe we can get a few more?

 

Honestly, even just a stock powerplant exocet with a lift and some taller snows would be a blast. 

Or Miata.  Because its the answer.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltimaDork
7/13/19 10:03 a.m.
penultimeta said:

Having owned a CR-V for a while, I can tell you that it’s far more capable than you would think. I’d say it’s biggest drawback was the infamous Honda auto trans though this could be negated if you found a 5speed version (awd manuals were rare but do exist).  Throw on some A/Ts, some spring spacers, and this sounds about perfect for your intentions. Oh, I guess it’s kinda slow, but I was always impressed with the driving experience for what it was 

I thought the auto behind the 4 bangers was pretty reliable?

Also, I don't have a ton of experience off road and it seems that an auto would be better for crawling, esp. in a vehicle with no low range.

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo Mod Squad
7/13/19 11:13 a.m.
ProDarwin said:

The PanAmerican Highway Thread and the Soft-Roading thread, combined with a co-worker who is about to leave on some awesome motorcycle trip have me thinking I really want to do some sort of adventure-vacation.

That same coworker pointed me to the  TransAmerica Trail, which seems like it could be a pretty fun starter adventure.  I would be interested in doing it by car or suv preferably in a group of 2 or 3 (or more, but unlikely) vehicles.

Anyone done it? 

Thoughts?  I read on 4wd forums that ~95% of it is easily done with a stock 4x4.  This makes me wonder if it would be fun to do in a Forester, CRV, old Kia Sportage, etc. with just some decent tires on it.

The Pan-American thread had me out on a similar reading bout.  Doesn’t hurt that I found a bunch of content on the Lincoln highway around the time Irish44 started talking about x-America road trip.  I think some of either would be an interesting way to get out, see the country slower, and teach the sleepykids about it.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
7/13/19 3:09 p.m.

In reply to sleepyhead the buffalo :

If you are looking at the Lincoln Highway, also remember Route 66- we did part of it from Chicago to Tulsa, and had a great time.

Strizzo
Strizzo PowerDork
7/13/19 3:46 p.m.

Also check out the back country discovery routes, I believe they are established for NM, CO, UT, and WY

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
7/13/19 4:41 p.m.
sleepyhead the buffalo said:
ProDarwin said:

The PanAmerican Highway Thread and the Soft-Roading thread, combined with a co-worker who is about to leave on some awesome motorcycle trip have me thinking I really want to do some sort of adventure-vacation.

That same coworker pointed me to the  TransAmerica Trail, which seems like it could be a pretty fun starter adventure.  I would be interested in doing it by car or suv preferably in a group of 2 or 3 (or more, but unlikely) vehicles.

Anyone done it? 

Thoughts?  I read on 4wd forums that ~95% of it is easily done with a stock 4x4.  This makes me wonder if it would be fun to do in a Forester, CRV, old Kia Sportage, etc. with just some decent tires on it.

The Pan-American thread had me out on a similar reading bout.  Doesn’t hurt that I found a bunch of content on the Lincoln highway around the time Irish44 started talking about x-America road trip.  I think some of either would be an interesting way to get out, see the country slower, and teach the sleepykids about it.

Hah, I've actually read several "adventures" on the TAT and would love to do it myself. The only issue being I'd much rather go cross-country in something that's fun to drive on regular roads (i.e. my Porsche), but that pretty much rules out a lot of the off-roady kind of areas. I'm sure my sequoia could handle all of it (13" ground clearance!), but I just don't want to drive it all that way because....it's boring to drive. Plus, I don't have a lot of patience in rough terrain (rally driver) and would probably break stuff lol .

I had thought "well, if I still had my 4Runner...." and also had evil thoughts about building some kind of wagon (maybe something AWD), putting some taller springs on it, and going. Or even just doing up something RWD but with LSD like an e36. 

docwyte
docwyte UltraDork
7/13/19 5:41 p.m.

Most of the TAT on the eastern side will easily be accomplished in a car/SUV, with maybe the exception of Warloop Rd.  Which I think is no longer part of the TAT.  If there's a bunch of rain, everything turns into mud and at that point, stay on pavement!!

The western side of the TAT, you're not doing in a car or most modern "SUV's" which are really crossovers.  I live in Colorado and wouldn't do much of the TAT, particularly Black Bear Pass, without a proper SUV with a transfer case and real low range 4wd and decent ground clearance.

In Oregon the TAT gets very confusing to follow and the trail can be quite narrow, perhaps too narrow for a car/SUV to pass.  On the positive side in an SUV you've got plenty of space to carry the chainsaw you'll need to clear dead fall trees you'll run across in Oregon on the TAT...

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltimaDork
7/13/19 6:03 p.m.
irish44j said:

I had thought "well, if I still had my 4Runner...." and also had evil thoughts about building some kind of wagon (maybe something AWD), putting some taller springs on it, and going. Or even just doing up something RWD but with LSD like an e36. 

All of these sound fun to me, but its really hard to gauge what you really need to complete the trail.  Comments vary a lot and the trail changes a lot (apparently), so maybe is 98% doable in a rallyx car, maybe its 90%.

RE:  The porsche comment... IMO, fun to drive cars are still boring as hell on the highway, so...

Part of what makes the TAT seem like a true adventure to me is that I haven't driven off road much (aside from rallycross).  In addition to that its likely to take me places I would never otherwise go and 

 

docwyte said:

Most of the TAT on the eastern side will easily be accomplished in a car/SUV, with maybe the exception of Warloop Rd.  Which I think is no longer part of the TAT.  If there's a bunch of rain, everything turns into mud and at that point, stay on pavement!!

The western side of the TAT, you're not doing in a car or most modern "SUV's" which are really crossovers.  I live in Colorado and wouldn't do much of the TAT, particularly Black Bear Pass, without a proper SUV with a transfer case and real low range 4wd and decent ground clearance.

In Orego

n the TAT gets very confusing to follow and the trail can be quite narrow, perhaps too narrow for a car/SUV to pass.  On the positive side in an SUV you've got plenty of space to carry the chainsaw you'll need to clear dead fall trees you'll run across in Oregon on the TAT...

Warloop rd: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVID1usuwA8

This seems like it would be plenty of fun in a rallyx car, with some caution around the big pavement step.

 

Black Bear Pass https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdQos5ysccU

Is that part of the TAT?  That looks like is pretty rough and would definitely result in some code brown moments.  Some of those parts I can't picture wanting to ride a bike on.  

 

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
7/13/19 8:07 p.m.
ProDarwin said:
irish44j said:

I had thought "well, if I still had my 4Runner...." and also had evil thoughts about building some kind of wagon (maybe something AWD), putting some taller springs on it, and going. Or even just doing up something RWD but with LSD like an e36. 

All of these sound fun to me, but its really hard to gauge what you really need to complete the trail.  Comments vary a lot and the trail changes a lot (apparently), so maybe is 98% doable in a rallyx car, maybe its 90%.

RE:  The porsche comment... IMO, fun to drive cars are still boring as hell on the highway, so...

Part of what makes the TAT seem like a true adventure to me is that I haven't driven off road much (aside from rallycross).  In addition to that its likely to take me places I would never otherwise go and 

Yeah fair enough. Just thinking out loud anyhow. I keep pushing back when I want to do this XC trip (on roads, in a car that gets 30+ mpg) because I keep spending my money on racing and building cars lol. So doing TAT, though I've thought about it for years, is probably not in the books for my future. The "on road" trip is designed primarily to get me to places and friends I want to visit (with selected great roads along the way). So boring highways are something I'll have to suffer regardless (I'm talking to you, midwest!). I think if I did TAT, it would almost definitely be in a previous-generation 4Runner, since they're very good offroad, tough, parts available, and relatively small for tight areas (look at one next to a modern Jeep and you'll see what I mean!) But, doubtful i can buy a 2nd SUV for myself since I have to keep the Sequoia for towing. 

TAT would probably get me in trouble, since rally makes me want to do double the speed limit whenever there's dirt under the tires :)

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
7/13/19 8:12 p.m.

Watching these guys creeping at 5mph here, I'd definitely go crazy doing this That looks like I want to go 50mph on it with a good gravel suspension :) And then I'd kill myself flying off a cliff.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltimaDork
7/13/19 11:17 p.m.

Late 90s 4 runners are near the top of my theoretical list for many of the reasons you list.  Plus, it appears it might be easy to it for this without *too* much concern for any dents/dings/scrapes and still sell it for what I paid for it.  A Grand Cherokee might be similar, but I don't know enough about them to know which years/drivetrains to trust.

And agreed on the speed.  In the image you posted if I were in a car I would want to be doing 50 on the stock suspension - that looks super smooth with good visibility.    Well, really I'd want to be doing triple digits, but given that isn't a designated race course I would not be so reckless.  Not sure about in an SUV as I'm not comfortable going fast in one, but definitely quicker than they are moving in the video.  All that said, it probably is nice to slow down a bit to take in the scenery there, it looks incredible in some of the shots.

 

 

 

 

docwyte
docwyte UltraDork
7/14/19 11:02 a.m.

In reply to ProDarwin :

Most of the moto guys doing the TAT link all those passes here and do Black Bear too.  I’m not sure if it’s officially part of the TAT or not.

All the passes here vary an enormous amount year to year in condition.  What can be really easy one year (or earlier/later in the season) can be really difficult the next year etc.  

I’d do the TAT portion out here in no less of a vehicle than my old GX470.  It had the trd Pro suspension, bfg ko2 tires, real transfer case low range 4wd and a good amount of ground clearance.

even with that I’d be checking the conditions carefully and have work around routes planned.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltimaDork
7/15/19 9:41 a.m.
docwyte said:

even with that I’d be checking the conditions carefully and have work around routes planned.

Yes, I think flexibility is key.

In some of the videos I watched, people had to take several detours due to DEEP snow on some passes.  And there are recommendations to avoid some trails during/after heavy rain as well.

 

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
7/15/19 10:13 a.m.
ProDarwin said:

https://youtu.be/0BOOxl8jQhc  (go to 5:00 to see this dude eat it hard :( )

When I saw the guy approaching the rocks and crevice that eventually led to his wipeout, I thought, "that stuff is gonna berkeley you up." I had no idea...

If Black Bear Pass is the worst it has to offer, anything with full-time 4WD and an offroad-worthy amount of ground clearance will do it no problem. Stock 4Runner, Xterra, or Frontier/Navara would do it.

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