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January 2011 Letters to the Editor

Starcraft Camper Trailer
Posted January 1, 2011

Kudos for Camp Trailers, Blazer vs. Ranger and More

Kudos for Camp Trailers
I read your article about the Mopar camp trailer (Oct. '10). You guys might also want to do an article on the Starcraft RT-series off-road pop-up trailers. We own one of their original smallest models, the 10RT. It is scarcely bigger than the Mopar trailer, tows great over everything but the most extreme 4x4 trails, and offers all the comforts of home: Sleeps five, with hot and cold water, shower, full galley, fridge, gas grille, plus we've added A/C and solar. Our family of four has spent the last three Thanksgivings in the middle of nowhere in Death Valley in remote places where only a few wheelers dare to go. We couldn't love it more, and it's added a whole new dimension to family wheeling.
Brian Dunning
Laguna Niguel, CA

We're seeing a lot more of these fold-out/pop-up camp trailers on the market nowadays, and we think they're a great alternative to say, a bulky cabover camper shell or a full-size motorhome. We'll see if we can get a hold of one for testing sometime during the year.

Wants More Expedition Stories
I'd like to start off by saying, great magazine (especially since you got rid of the male enhancement ads). I look forward to getting my copy of every month! That having been said, I would like to suggest maybe running more of the expedition-type articles. I love the "Border to Border" series in the latest issues. You've said that people seem to be getting more and more into this type of four-wheeling, and after all, wasn't that the whole purpose of four-wheeling to begin with?

I'm not trying to be nitpicky here, but in the latest issue (Oct. '10), you have an article on an 8-inch lift! Eight inches? With what, 2-inch-tall tires? What good will a truck with that kind of setup do off-road? (Just a small gripe.) If there are no plans to run more of the expedition-type articles in your mag, could you please point me in the right direction? I have subscribed to Four Wheeler for 12 years now and don't plan to stop-I just want a little more.
Joseph Vallin
Turlock, CA

We certainly hope you'll stick with us for the coming year. For starters, we'll be running the last installment of the "Border to Border" series in next month's issue, so you'll want to be around for that. Second, we're building an expedition-type rig of our own this year off a time-honored Toyota 4x4 platform, and our "Project 4Runner Backcountry" buildup starts in next month's issue, too. We think you'll enjoy it. And rest assured, after we finish building it, we'll be using it for some backcountry treks, which you'll be seeing in the pages of this magazine later in the year.

About that lifted truck you mentioned: The owner of the rig in question ("Pieces of Eight") could have gone to a bigger tire size than the 33s he chose, but he would have probably needed to re-gear his axles to keep his rig's powertrain performance optimal. We're guessing he was just looking to save a little scratch by going with a smaller tire size and keeping the stock gears for now.

What Happened to the Ranger Aftermarket?
I have a new 2010 Ford Ranger 4x4 with 4.0L V-6. I have been looking for a 4-inch lift all over the Internet and have encountered the decline of options available to the Ranger after about year 2000. Is there anyone who makes an aftermarket suspension lift for the Ranger anymore? Ford still makes the 4x4 version of the truck-did consumer demand drop so drastically that the aftermarket discontinued those lift kits?
Darrel, J. Kopriva
Santa Rosa, CA

Yes, Ford still makes a 4x4 version of the truck, but not for long. Ford will cease domestic production of the Ranger right around the time you get this magazine in the mail, and thereafter the truck will only be manufactured for sale overseas. Which should give you a pretty good idea why aftermarket support for the current truck has vanished into the ether. We know that ReadyLift offers a 2 1/2-inch leveling kit for your rig that's said to accommodate 32-inch tires, but if you want to go bigger than that, you're pretty much left to your own devices.

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