Ultimate Adventure is the pinnacle of off-road trips (if we do say so ourselves). It tests the mettle of man (or woman), machine, and all its components. The event would not happen without our sponsors and their love and dedication to this sport, and for that we thank them. The event allows our sponsor companies to test their latest and greatest products and project vehicles, and to give their employees firsthand experience in the rocks, muck, and mire. Lucky for us, all the representatives from the UA sponsors are pretty cool people too, fun to spend time with. That’s good because there is nothing like a 20-hour UA day to bring people together (whether they want to or not). The sponsors bring a lot to the table, including access to cool new parts, years of in-depth industry knowledge, and the knowledge of how to use their products as designed. The UA is for you, the reader, but it would not be possible without the support of our sponsors.
On on the Ultimate Adventure, suspension parts get almost no downtime. Trail days lead to flex and incredible forces as these rigs bounce and claw their way up the trails. After a night’s rest (assuming suspension parts sleep) we demand the most of these suspension parts as we hurdle down the road directing heavy wheels and tires and plenty of horsepower. You can bet BDS Suspension knows it sells a solid product when the warrantee extends to custom off-road rigs on the Ultimate Adventure. BDS has been with us for years on UA, and the company always brings innovation, knowhow, and solid products. This year BDS not only built and brought one killer Crawlerado, but also brought a support rig and supplied suspension parts for our Summer Camp Jeep Project. BDS’s own Carter Reed toiled away on social media to keep the events of UA 2015 in front of our readers on social media. For all that we say thanks, BDS! We can’t wait to see what happens next year.
The Eastwood Company
Official Tool and Welder
If you haven’t explored The Eastwood Company, you owe it to yourself to do so soon. This company has the automotive hobbyist covered with useful and innovative tools filling its catalogs. Eastwood can help everyone from the hardcore wheeler building his next trail rig to the vehicle restoration guru getting the perfect look. We used plenty of Eastwood’s tools and coatings on the Ultimate Summer Camp Jeep. The Eastwood Company CUCV, piloted by VJ Perrin, carried tools and a MIG welder throughout the trip like an on-trail repair facility. We thank the Eastwood Company for all the help and support for UA 2015 and also for allowing us to play with our favorite Louisiana native, who never ceases to entertain.
The Eastwood Co.
It has been hard getting over how well these Falken Tires worked on the trail and road during the Ultimate Adventure. Despite the sloppy mess that we found just about everywhere we went, the Falken WildPeak MTs grabbed and clawed their way to the top without a peep or any unintended deflation. Falken has been dedicating lots of time to testing to be sure that the MTs are some of the best tires out there regardless of what terrain you use them on. Whether we were on mud, rocks, or a combination of muddy rocks, our Falken WildPeak MTs always performed above expectation and made the few other brand tires look silly. Thanks, Falken!
Since the first off-roaders hit the dirt, 4x4s have been carrying Hi-Lift jacks with them into the middle of nowhere. These tools are useful not only for lifting rigs with flexy suspension but for pulling objects or stuck vehicles. They can be used to straighten parts (and the handle makes a great tie rod sleeve), break beads, push parts back into place, move sheetmetal, and so on. In fact, Hi-Lifts can be used for hundreds of things while you’re on the trail. They have saved our bacon more than once. The mechanism that makes these jacks raise and lower is simple and reliable (with some lubrication). This is the kind of tool that matches off-roading well because its uses are only limited by your imagination and what you have at hand. We were proud to have Hi-Lift Jack along for UA 2015 and we know we will keep recommending and using these jacks for years to come.
Hi-Lift Jack Co.
Shining a light on the road or trail makes keeps things rolling along despite the time of night—or early morning. With rugged and innovative parts, Lifetime LED was a welcome addition to UA 2015. With Lifetime LED lights on several of the vehicles—complete with magnetic-base, cigarette-lighter-plugged utility lights you could place just about anywhere, and handy flashlights—Lifetime LED lit up the dark no matter where light was needed on the UA. Thanks for the opportunity to beat and abuse your products. They took everything we could throw at them, and we hope to keep using them for years. We’ll take you up on that LED lifetime warrantee if the need ever arises.
Official Transfer Case Sponsor
Some time ago someone figured out that you could stack transfer case low range boxes together and get more low range choices than that factory single stick or even lower than stock custom gearing offered alone. In the meantime the guys from Offroad Design got the idea to refine it for fullsize and high-horsepower applications. Like a fine wine, this refinement has led to the best in transfer case utility and durability. This apex: the Offroad Design Magnum Box, a super-compact four-speed transfer case system offering 1:1, 2:1, 2.72:1, and 5.33:1 gearing with no fear of breakage. Since its inception we’ve been abusing Magnum boxes with plenty horsepower, torque, big tires, and gnarly trails, all without failure. This year was no different, with a Magum Box in our hill-killing Ultimate Summer Camp Jeep, BDS’s Crawlerado, and ORD’s own Big Block Blazer. A passel of other wheelers were using ORD-sourced NP203 and NP205 Doubler parts, not to mention shifters and hard parts. Offroad Design, thanks for all that confidence and gearing.
Offroad Power Products
In many communities there is a “fixer.” You know, a guy who can get stuff. The UA 2015 fixer was our official retailer, Offroad Power Products. OPP has it all, and if they don’t, you can bet they can get it. OPP not only supplied parts for many of this year’s UA project vehicles but also helped getting Ultimate Adventure DVDs into the greasy hands of our readers. Plus, the guys from OPP are just a ton of fun to hang out with. This year Cooper “Smash” Rasmussen and Mike “the Ninja” Kim from OPP brought out a classic 4x4, a Jeep Cherokee Chief. The Chief is a great platform for OPP to show how simple yet effective a vehicle can be when all the right OPP parts are assembled in just the right way. Thanks, OPP, for all your help, inspiration, and entertainment!
Offroad Power Products
A 4x4 project is useless without a set of durable axles. Spidertrax does one better by providing super-strong axles that are lightweight for anyone who plans to abuse them but is conscious of the scale. Our Ultimate Summer Camp Jeep sports not one but two totally awesome (and sexy) Spider 9 axlehousings. These axles are the axles to have because they are strong like Spider-Man, so strong that we have to wonder whether they were bitten by a radioactive spider. We never saw the Spidertrax axles shoot out webs for traction, but the Ultimate Unit Bearings laughed off abuse from big tires and the custom Spidertrax axleshafts showed no fear of rocks, muddy climbs under full throttle, or evildoers, so they just might be superheroes. Parts of these axles made it through not only UA 2015 but also UA 2012, Moab for Easter Jeep Safari, and more, without issue. Thanks, Spidertrax, for our superpowered axles!
Two and a half months. Let that sink in. Two and a half months is all it took for Synergy Manufacturing to take our Ultimate Summer Jeep from idea to completion. Sure, there was some help, like that beautiful aluminum body tub, but to build a vehicle out of parts that are not supposed to go together in that amount of time is unheard of. A heck of a fabrication team is only part of what makes Synergy amazing for this. Synergy makes and stocks a huge amount of useful parts for any and all off-road fabrication. Not to mention that the Ultimate Summer Camp Jeep had very few issues during the trip despite the tight deadlines. For that we send out hardy and heartfelt thanks to Synergy. Well done!
Dear VooDoo Offroad, we are not sure what kind of voodoo you do when you’re making your ropes, but please keep it up. It seems to be working.
VooDoo Offroad is a new name to the off-road game, but the company’s bright green VooDoo ropes have helped more than one adventurer on the UA get out of a stuck with ease. Even when that wheeler is getting tugged by a smaller UA rig. VooDoo uses kinetic energy to help overcome the forces that keep your stuck rig stuck. The stretch helps with the recovery and smooths out any jarring from the yank. That’s cool with us. We are happy to say thank you, VooDoo Offroad, for the yank (and the more durable rope bag). We needed that.
The Ultimate Adventure and Warn winches go together like bread and butter. Warn has been with the UA longer than any other sponsor, longer than most of us can remember. We hope the memories continue in years to come. The ultimate off-road adventure means 4x4s are going to get very stuck and very broken. When there is nothing left to try but recover and repair, you want a product with a rock-solid reputation. That company in our experience is Warn. We’ve used and abused Warn’s winches for years without issue even when we might have been exceeding their stated rating a touch or two. Warn’s winches are second to none, but Warn also makes some stellar bumpers, locking hubs, and recovery equipment. Thanks, Warn, for all you do for us. We can’t wait to get back in the dirt and use your winches.