Making Tracks Where Fullsizes Fear to Tread
Tradition, tradition, tradition. Every year, the go-slow off-road community meets in Moab, Utah, for a week of crawling some of the gnarliest, nastiest, and most scenic trails around. Although it's called the Easter Jeep Safari, we wonder if Easter Wheeling Safari wouldn't be more fitting.
Every year, we see more and more non-Jeep vehicles in Moab taking on the trails. While we do like the traditional Jeep platform, there's a spectrum of 4-Lo-equipped vehicles completely capable of taking on the otherworldly terrain of southeastern Utah. Tony Owens is the proud owner of one such wheeler.
"I grew up in the Reno/Lake Tahoe area, where there were lots of places to go four-wheeling," he tells us. Although, Tony hasn't always been a 'crawler.
"I was in the sand drag/quad world, but as I got older I felt it was time to get off of the quads. At that point, rockcrawling became a lot more interesting."
Many SDs get left behind in the parking lot, attached to trailers while their drivers spend quality time with more nimble machinery. This one leaves the parking lot behind. The formula?
"Choosing the Super Cab instead of the crew cab saved 8 inches of wheelbase," explains the owner.
The shorter wheelbase makes the truck more maneuverable, but it's still quite a bit longer than a familiar trail rig, such as a Jeep CJ-7 or an early Bronco. Sand washes and hillclimbs are places where the extra length is an extra advantage. Another SD-favoring situation is when encountering two ledges in a row (think Moab's Double Whammy): "It just boogies right up."
The advantages don't stop there. A meatier truck makes for a more competent recovery vehicle, which tends to win friends and influence people on the trail (and sometimes nets a little extra cash).
Is the XXL 'Crawler the be-all, end-all rig that everyone should build? Sorry.
"I've realized the limitations of a fullsize," Tony confides. "Out of necessity, I'm building a smaller rig for the tighter, more technical trails."
Smaller rig or not, Tony still has a Super Duty that can be driven daily, haul gear, recover stuck rigs, and tackle all but the tightest of trails. Don't hesitate to build and bring your Super Duty to Easter Jeep Safari. Traditions, like rules, are sometimes meant to be broken.