Off-Road Unloaded - Letters To The Editor - March 2011Posted in Features on March 1, 2011
Letter Of The Month
This issue our Letter-of-the-Month writer is getting a pair of Lockstraps (www.lockstraps.com) from Lockstraps. These are really nice because they not only help you cinch down the load in your truck bed, they keep it safe while you're in a store or restaurant while on the road. Carabiner locks deter would-be thieves from an easy haul, and ensure that your stuff will be there when you get back to your truck.
A Gesture Of Kindness
In the October 2010 issue, there was a kid named Jacob Sanders who, with his dad, picked up all those tires out of the boonies, just because. I was very moved by a few things, one of which is that the dad needs a good handshake and a cold beer for instilling these kinds of values in his son-the same kid who's disciplined enough to be saving up for school and forgoing things like magazine subscriptions. We need more fathers and sons like them all over this country, and God bless those [who] are already here. I work in several areas of law enforcement on the East Coast, and I see so little of that. Which brings me to the purpose of this communication: I want to buy a year's subscription of the mag for this kid and his dad. They deserve to know that what they did means something, and the boy needs to know that sometimes simple actions bring rewards unexpectedly, and from unexpected places. That goodness and kindness doesn't always have to be one-sided (shame on those tire places that wouldn't at least try to help out).
From a tried, mostly true, and always faithful dirty-knuckled dreamer,
Mr. Holler, that was a very nice gesture, and I know that Jacob appreciates it, because I've already contacted him and read his thankful response. Without a doubt your kind gesture makes yours our Letter of the Month, and you'll be receiving a pair of Lockstraps to keep valuables in your truck bed safe.
We Didn't Crash!
My name is Lisa Cassel, and my husband Shawn and I own a four-door F-150 Supercrew. Our truck was shown in the January 2011 issue in a story about the Pismo Huckfest. There is a photo of our truck in the air, and right next to the photo there is another photo of a wrecked Supercrew with a caption that says, "Bad Day at the Dunes." Because those two photos are right next to each other, it looks as if our truck was the one that got obliterated. Not the case. Our truck is as awesome as ever!
Stupid Freakin' Video Screens!
Okay, this is sort of random, but your mag is the only one I read, so you've got the only place for me to really vent. And I need to tell someone about how dumb those video screens over the fuel pumps at gas stations are. They are really obnoxious, and usually turned up so loudly that they hurt your ears.
I understand that the gasoline companies put these video screens in because it's just another way of making more revenue with in-your-face advertising, but I think it might be backfiring-at least with consumers like me. I drive a lot, and in an SUV that uses more fuel than I'd like it to. About a year ago, I started making notes of certain gas stations with video screens in them. I make it a point to avoid these stations from now on, and instead enjoy pumping my fuel at more "antiquated" gas stations that have only everything I need (and no stupid video screens blaring at me).
I realize I am only one individual, but I hope there are others out there like me [who] care enough to protest (even silently) these types of 21st-Century annoyances, and together our actions can be noticed.
Jimmy, I have to say that I am 100 percent with you on this one. I go so far as to pull out of a fueling station and find another if I pull up and notice a video screen before I start pumping.
Ways To Better Fuel Economy
I was writing to comment on Matt from Gayville, South Dakota's letter in November 2010, asking for better fuel economy from his '77 GMC. There are a few things I'd recommend for him.
I had a '78 Chevy K-10 with a carbureted 350 and full-time 4WD. The most obvious suggestion is to lower the truck and maybe run 31s or 33s. Those are big enough for a lot of obstacles. Use better spark plugs and wires, too. Go to a smaller carb and use an aluminum intake manifold. The stock Rochester Quadrajet is 750 cfm. If you have a 350, I'd suggest a 600 to 670 carb. Convert from the mechanical fan to an electrical fan. Also, use synthetic fluids.
If you don't see any fuel-economy gains with these, it will at least help the engine run at maximum efficiency. Also, headers and dual exhaust would help, and make sure the tires are inflated properly. And check that your ignition timing is correct. For a 350, I believe it's 8 to 10 degrees before top dead center (TDC). Hope this helps. I enclosed a picture of my truck with my mom and niece standing in front of it. Thank you.
Royal Oak, MI
Ready To Head Up A Cleanup?
In the 35 to 40 years that I've subscribed to magazines of one sort or another, I've never been inspired to write into the editor. However, the letter in the October 2010 issue from Jacob Sanders about him and his dad picking up old tires in the desert really struck a chord with me. I'd appreciate you forwarding this letter to him:
Kudos and many huzzahs to you and your dad. Your efforts to clean up the desert are commendable, but sadly a losing battle since there are way too many uncaring slobs out there. And it's not just tires-refrigerators, boats, propane bottles, household trash, cars, etc. Here are a few ideas that will better prepare you with more help for cleaning up other's junk next time.
Contact-or better yet-join an OHV club and organize a cleanup in your area. When your group partners with land-managing agencies (BLM, Forestry Service, Fish & Game) they will often make arrangements with trash disposal companies to provide roll-off at little or no cost.
Does your county have a trash cop? Check with your county and city offices and get them involved, too.
Put notices in your local newspaper and on local TV and radio stations inviting the public to participate. A promise of free food (burgers, 'dogs, and chili) after the work is done will always bring folks out to help.
The Bullhead 4 Wheelers has done a couple of these cleanups and has recorded as much as 14 tons of trash picked up in a single day. Typically there will be separate dumpsters for metal, old tires, and general trash. You'll find that motorized folks will show up in droves if the event is adequately advertised for a well-known OHV area. You might even have a few token greenies show up to help, as well.
Golden Valley, Arizona
I was reading in your latest magazine and really liked all the Chevy articles, especially the almost twin Silverados that were prerunner-styled. I do have one question for you, though, and it concerns my truck. I own a 2008 Chevy Colorado 2WD that I am running 31x10.50 on 15-inch wheels. Is there anything out there for this truck, like levelers, lifts, long-travel kits, or anything custom whatsoever?! Thanks, and keep up the good work.
Rusty- you're not the only one out there looking for Colorado/Canyon parts. We've gotten lots of inquiries about these. Unfortunately, the aftermarket didn't take to these trucks as well as some would have liked, but there are some companies out there making suspension parts for your Colorado.
For leveling kits, I'd have to assume that most leveling kit companies have something simple for a Colorado/Canyon.
For lift kits, try Tuff Country (www.tuffcountry.com) or Skyjacker (www.skyjacker.com)
If you're looking for increased suspension travel, I'd check out CST's kit (www.cstsuspension.com) or Brenthel's kit (www.bajakits.com).
Featuring Your Truck In The Mag
This is my current ride, The Sleeper. It has a 12-point 'cage front to rear, a 3.4L engine swap, long-travel suspension with 33-inch tires, and it still fits two dirt bikes or a snowmobile in the bed. There is way too much to list. I wanted it to appear stock, so no flashy paint or fiberglass. Maybe we can feature it in the mag sometime.
Thanks for writing in, D. Ose, and showing a good example of how to get in the mag. If anyone wants to see their truck in the magazine, and possibly used as a feature, all you have to do is email an image of the vehicle, along with a short description of it, to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Editor's Note: If you want to say or ask something, email Unloaded at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to:
Unloaded, Off-Road Magazine,
1733 Alton Parkway,
Ste. 100, Irvine, CA 92606
Remember, we're giving away swag every month to the author of our favorite letter. Be sure to include your address, so we know where to send your goods. And because we lost our copyeditor, please know that we are not going to be copyediting your letter if you are going to be hating on us, so you better check it over well before sending it our way! Thanks!