Dirt All Day
Land Rover took our Dirt Every Day concept to the max last summer with a trip across the Trans-America Trail (TAT). The trail starts in southeastern Tennessee and ends at the Pacific Ocean in southwestern Oregon, nearly 5,000 miles of mostly off-pavement driving. The TAT is the brainchild of Sam Correro, who made it his life’s work to bring this vision into reality. Hundreds of motorcycles share this dream and use Sam’s maps and rollcharts to travel all or part of the TAT each year, but there have been no documented completions of the Trans-America Trail in a 4-wheel vehicle. Until now.
Four brand-new LR4s were outfitted with dealer-equipped Warn winches, skidplates, and Front Runner roof racks. That’s it. No lift kits (beyond from the factory air coil’s 3-inch range of adjustability), no mud-terrain tires, not even a rooftop tent. Land Rover did not deem anything else necessary, as the LR4 comes with a 375hp V-8 engine, six-speed automatic transmission, a two-speed transfer case, and a rear locking differential. Add in what is arguably the best electronic traction control system on the market and you can see why Land Rover was so confident.
This was a great reminder that you don’t always need the biggest tires or the latest gadget to hit the trail, just a reliable vehicle and a sense of adventure. Of course, some Camel Trophy experience doesn’t hurt either!
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A Week With Tom Collins, aka Mr. Camel Trophy
Tom Collins is the Most Interesting Man in the World (so much so that he even has a drink named after him). He is best known for representing the USA in the Camel Trophy in 1987 Madagascar and later as team director for the U.S. Camel Trophy Team. We learned many things from Collins during our time together, the most important of which was tire placement. With 19-inch rims and low-profile tires, it is critical to know exactly where the tires are at all times and avoid sharp rocks that could result in flats.