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February 2008 Letters To The Editor - InBox

Posted in Features on February 1, 2008
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4-Wheel & Off-Road welcomes letters to the editor. Letters must include an address or a telephone number so the sender can be verified. Once verified, your name may be withheld at your request. Letters published in this magazine reflect the opinions of the writers, and we reserve the right to edit letters for clarity, brevity, or other purposes. Due to the large volume of mail we receive, we regret that we cannot reply to unpublished letters or return photos. Digital photos must measure no less than 1600 x 1200 pixels (or two megapixels) and be saved as a TIFF, an EPS, or a maximum-quality JPEG file.

Write to:
4-Wheel & Off-Road
6420 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048-5515
fax 323.782.2704

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Reader: Alright, now I have to write in regarding the Rhino Hunter article ("Samurai vs. Rhino," Nov. '07). I think the comparo is a great one. My buddies and I have discussed this quite often. But there is one area that you lost touch and that is the cost of building the Samurai-$1,700 for a winch, $1,200 for shocks, $540 for lockers, $500 for a ring-and-pinion? Are you guys sniffing RTV again? I mean come on, if you are trying to get the costs the same, then state that as your goal. Don't inflate the pricing and make it look like they cost almost the same! I am glad you're not spending my money. Used Suzuki 4.62:1s or 5.12:1s are $400 for the pair at the most. A Trail Tough spool is $100. A front EZ Locker is maybe $200. Shocks are (at the most) $400 a set. An 8,000-pound winch costs $500 (overkill on a Samurai). Your figures are all wrong. As always, keep up the good work and keep including the trucks that don't say Jeep on them. There are a lot of alternate wheeling rigs on the trail.
Jeff Theis

Editor: Our prices vary just as they do around the country, and we can't find killer deals like you can. We had a guy write a similar letter where he said he could get Chevy Dana 60 fronts in great shape all day long for a couple hundred bucks each. I said I'd take 10 of them, but never saw a one.

Reader: I was flipping through my last issue (Oct. '08) and on pages 13 and 14 is a two-page ad for the Jeep. Right in the first paragraph it states "Toledo, Ohio. that's were the original Jeep brand vehicles were manufactured." How bogus is that? Who can I write to pitch a fit about the real first jeep, the Bantam? The ad goes on to mention that in 1940 requests were sent out, but it doesn't mention who originally designed and created the jeep-the American Bantam Car company.
Ellen Roberts
Butler, PA

Editor: The truth of the matter is that the Jeep ad is right because they were careful on how to word it. Notice they said Jeep brand, not just Jeep, and they had the registered trademark below the word Jeep. They did however say that it "is a tribute to the designers" which we all know started with the Army laying out the specifications. From this, the American Bantam Car company produced the first prototype vehicle, and their work product was given to Ford and Willys so they could compete as well. Unfair as that may have been in the eyes of Bantam, the rest is history.

Reader: What is the deal with the slow start in the aftermarket world with the new GMT900 trucks? It seems that we're being left out for some reason. I skim through Web site after Web site only to come up short on aftermarket parts for the new trucks. Now granted, the new Fords seem to have a strong jump on cool accessories to make hot chicks overlook their lack of interior styling (whoops, spoke out loud). But in all seriousness, what is taking companies so long to come out with some products for our trucks? How about an article with some of the new GMs? Maybe I have overlooked my past subscriptions that had them featured, but I'm talking besides the one that reads "GM to release new model beginning in late 2006." As always, great magazine and great articles!
Nick Sutton

Editor: Yep, the aftermarket has been slow, but we will be featuring a few manufacturers' kits in the next issue or so, so hang in there!

Reader: I am a subscriber to both 4-Wheel & Off-Road and Four Wheeler magazines. Though I regularly receive and enjoy both of the publications, I recently went to the newsstand to look for even more four-wheeling reading material between issues. I came across a magazine called 4x4 Garage. I did not notice that it was published by Primedia, even though I made a point to quickly scan the cover for Primedia's logo. I paid $5 for the mag, and realized that it consisted of nothing but old features from the other two previously mentioned Primedia publications. Not only was the content the same, but so were the photos! So, I just wanted to say thanks for suckering a loyal subscriber into paying $5 for old recycled stories that have already been printed. There should at least be a warning on the cover stating "contains previously printed and released material," or something to that effect. Maybe Primedia should consider customer loyalty before ripping off subscribers by grouping old stories in new packaging in order to mislead readers.
Jason D. Treadaway

Editor: We're sorry you feel duped, but we have found that for the most part the crossover (people who read more than one mag) isn't that much in our market, and we've found that we can reach many more new readers this way. If you feel duped, send me the mag back and I'll personally refund your money. Better yet, leave it in a doctor's or dentist's office, and send us a photo of them reading it for our mag and I'll send you a license plate. Do it with 4-Wheel & Off-Road as well and I'll send you a sticker too!

Reader: I was wondering when the 2008 Ultimate Adventure application form will be available. I would love to submit my application. You guys do the best wheeling trip I have ever seen. "No Whiners." I like that. Thanks again.
David Call

Editor: We enjoy it ourselves. Check out our Web site or for the information, or check out this month's editorial on page 6.

Reader: I have sent in pictures in the past and have never seen them in print. I have always seen "extreme" looking pictures in your magazine and I always wondered if I could do those obstacles. So I was disappointed when I saw the section about the UA Barnwell Mountain trip ("Ultimate Adventure East," Nov. '07). Every picture shown was only as "amazing" as a mess up. Wheels were in the air where mine never are. People were leaning, about to flip, in places that I stay completely level. Running up a tree on Dewoody? It's not that hard to miss them! And I am sure that that is not considered Treading Lightly! I heard that most on the trip could not successfully complete Dewoody without a winch, while I have video of me going up it in less than a minute. This just goes to show me that I could do those extreme obstacles that I always see in your magazine since what looked so "extreme" in your Barnwell pics can be made so simple.
Brook Gehle

Editor: I take it you had the same wheeling conditions as we did when you were at Barnwell? And, of course, you had a fully equipped street-legal vehicle ready for a 1,000-mile trip, and took the same lines the participants did, right? Glad you enjoyed the article.

Reader: I am writing in response to the "Loves the Whoops Premium" letter (Nov. '07). I too, wondered why the newsstand issue had more content than the issue I received in the mail. I have been a loyal reader for many years, and a prepaid subscriber for six years. I would think, in my humble opinion, that you would want to treat your "loyal soldiers" with a few perks such as the whoops premium rather than sending them a thin issue. I understand the concept of business and trying to attract more readers by including this feature, but at the same time all of your patrons would surely like to view these options that they subscribed to see. I love this magazine more than any other, and I think you guys do a great job at it. I simply think your subscribers should have more perks than the guy that thumbs through the magazine rack and yet is too cheap to actually bring it home to read.
Rusty Merrill
Brookings, OR

Editor: Thanks. We wish we could include those in the subscriber issues. What did you think about the DVD premium that came out the next month?

Reader: In the Nov. '07 issue In Box, it was explained that the "Greatest Whoops Ever" segment was not included in the subscriber's edition of your magazine because it was a "premium" too expensive for us to have. Are the subscribers not your "premium" readers?

Do we not pay you in advance for whatever magazine you might publish, as opposed to the casual newsstand browsers? Are we not the same subscribers whose information you use to sell advertising in this same magazine, and other marketing media we receive? Is it not our subscriptions that keep you all employed?

Remember who your "premium" readers really are. As for me, when my subscription runs out in January 2008, I'll have to decide if I'm Premium or Regular.
Steve Vine

Editor: Nice way to put it, Steve! In our minds, every reader is premium, but the bean counters still do these things to boost sales to make a profit. That's what business is all about. Keep reading!

Reader: I enjoy your magazine and have for over a decade. I always wish there were more articles that talked about how to deal with public land issues. I have seen one or two articles on land issues, which is more than in the past and this is great. How about an article on how to work with FS or BLM managers to open new trails or make parallel routes to existing trails that would have a challenge.

If more of us would keep a relationship with the land managers and look for areas that could be more challenging, then we could really open up some fun areas. Look for areas that parallel a current trail that would have little impact on the area. Choose areas that have good drainage and would hold up well to the intended use. Then involve the land agency and make friends with the wildlife biologist, take them out to the area and show them what is possible. You don't know until you try! Then make sure they know you will support their efforts in the region where possible and your local club will do all the work getting the grants. Let them know you will help maintain the trail and then do it.

Contact NOHVCC for more info and take some of their training courses, these guys are ex-FS and ex-BLM managers and know how to grease the skids and make things happen! Thanks for the great mag!
Mark Kary

Editor: We couldn't agree more, and will be instituting more of these types of stories on a regular basis. We hope our readership will participate too and let us know of the dangers, victories, and other items going on in the Earth Watch section of Drivelines.

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