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July 2012 4xForums Letters To The Editors

Posted in Features on July 1, 2012
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Send questions, comments, and suggestions to:
4Wheel Drive MAGAZINE
Attn: Christian Lee
1733 Alton Parkway, Ste. 100
Irvine, CA 92606

Economical Off-Road Trailer Build
I read your article in the recent issue of 4WHEEL DRIVE MAGAZINE and thought you might be interested in my Harbor Freight trailer build-up. I've been very happy with it and plan on taking it on a major road trip to Alaska this May/June, towing it behind my '98 TJ.

We'll be taking a ferry from Bellingham, Washington, to Haines Alaska, then driving to Anchorage, up to Fairbanks, and then (for lack of better descriptive terminology) over across Alaska to Canada, and then will work our way back down to Washington, camping along the way. While we'll be sticking to major roads but we'll be looking to get off the beaten track as much as possible. Anyways, thanks for putting out a great magazine. Attached is a picture of my Jeep and trailer when I drove it to Moab and back last year (2,200 miles round trip). It towed beautifully. Especially behind my four-cylinder Jeep with 4.88 gears and 33-inch tires.
Paul Dickinson
Via email

Paul, that sounds like an incredible adventure. We're very jealous! Please take pictures and post them to We can't wait to hear the details. Your trailer is perfect! I initially considered building upon a smaller Harbor Freight trailer like the one you built, but I also love motorcycles and like to have space to haul them along if desired. (See Part IV of our build on Page 50.) Thanks for writing. 'Wheel on.

Gluten-Free Trail Food
I have celiac disease, a digestive disease characterized by severe reactions to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. This prevents me from eating most common trail and event foods due to their ingredients and possible cross-contamination. I recently read that you are experts in preparation of breakfast foods, most notably, hash browns. What is the best way to make gluten-free hash browns on the trail? Thanks.
Miguel Sanchez
Via email

Here's a gluten-free trail breakfast that I recommend: frozen Ore-Ida Shredded Hash Browns, Jimmy Dean All-Natural Pork Sausage, and eggs cooked to your preference. As for the hash browns, I put the frozen bag of Ore-Ida's in the cooler. They are fine as long as kept cold and will cook best when defrosted anyway. I press the defrosted potatoes between paper towels to remove excess moisture (the less water in hot oil the better) and then toss them in a skillet over medium-high heat. Make sure you let the skillet get hot before adding a few tablespoons of cooking oil and then let the oil heat up before adding the hash browns. You can also use sausage grease left over from cooking the sausage. Add salt and pepper or other spices if desired. I'll sometimes season the heated oil before adding the 'browns to ensure thorough coverage.

Let the hash browns cook with minimal flipping — cook one side crisp and then flip and cook the other. If you break them up or stir too much you will end up with crispy potato chip strips, which are also tasty but not hash browns. Watch your stove temp and adjust as necessary — you want a crisp brown, not black. Just like with an engine, if the oil smokes you're running hot. Once cooked, eat with sausage and eggs, or all can be combined in a Food For Life Brown Rice Tortilla with a bit of Tapatio Hot Sauce. You can also prepare before you go, wrap the food in aluminum foil, and toss in the cooler. Place it on the engine manifold at the start of a trail ride, and it should be good and hot in no time. For more information about celiac disease, check out . Thanks for writing.

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