After reading the Inbox section of the May ’12 issue, I realized how much crap people give you guys over stupid issues. I just wanted to let you know that I love reading Four Wheeler and I read every last word on every single page. I don’t even have my own subscription; my boss gets them at my work and looks at them, then gives them to me. Sometimes I read them for my entire 6-hour Saturday shift and have nothing bad to say about them. I’m 17 and have a ’98 Jeep Grand Cherokee with the 4.0L. Despite my age, you’d be surprised at how well I try to maintain it. The Jeep was in an accident and now it has a bent axle. Sadly it’s time for me and my Jeep to part, but almost all of the modifications I’ve made to it were influenced by Four Wheeler. I really do enjoy reading and can’t believe that some people don’t.
Barn Door Dreaming
After reading your editorial (Firing Order, May ’12) about the loss of tailgates I was reminded of the loss of rear barn doors on SUVs. I used to sell GMC trucks and SUVs and I would often encounter customers with horses that wanted barn doors so they could open them when their trailers were hooked up. GM no longer offers barn doors and Ford killed the Excursion so where do you get a family hauler that can tow an enclosed trailer and still have access to the back? Keep up the good work.
Tailgated SUV Option
Regarding Firing Order (May ’12), it depends on what your father is looking for—it may not be durable enough but the Mitsubishi Outlander has a tailgate. Unfortunately, Mitsubishi wasn’t bright enough to include a point on the upper door that can secure it while the tailgate is down. However, the enterprising can come up with a solution there. It’s a pretty soft SUV though, more CUV so it might not be of any use. I’ve found the rear suspension way too soft to carry much weight.
I couldn’t believe it when I saw your tailgate photo (Firing Order, May ’12). This picture is from a Boy Scout trip going from Arlington, Texas, to Colorado. This is an overnight stop in Amarillo. I use my tailgate for a workbench and table all the time. Thanks for the great picture and story.
I’ve been four-wheeling off and on for most of my life, and I just have to make a few comments. First of all tailgates, I’m with your Dad on this one (Firing Order, May ’12), why do we have to put up with this situation?
Second, you replied to Dave Kupfer of Louisiana (Inbox, May ’12) with a good answer and towards the end “so that’s what our evaluation focuses on—off-road capability.” Now I realize why I never read any of the off-road magazines any longer. If I was interested in off-road capability, I would buy one of those sprung-over, highly-articulated vehicles that can go anywhere.
All of my four wheeling life I’ve been searching for a vehicle that enables me to do the following:
Leave Friday afternoon after work with two people and enough camping gear to camp primitive for two nights. Camp Friday night near the trailhead and run the trail on Saturday taking everything with me. This would include two five gallon gas cans, a Hi-Lift jack, a tool bag (which has to contain both SAE and Metric, plus a good assortment of Torx drivers.), then of course there are the 15 must haves as outlined by Cole Quinnell (“Must Haves,” May ’12). But of course the vehicle would have to be capable of running the trail.
To me that would be the real test.
Sooo, you mean basically the way we test the vehicles now, which includes highway, storage capacity, comfort, and off-road performance, among other things?
This is my rig in Afghanistan. It’s little bit bigger than my XJ and about 35,000 pounds heavier but it still handles the rough stuff!