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October 2012 Mailbag Letters to the Editor

Posted in Features on October 1, 2012
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In the Sideways section of the July ’12 Jp, there is a burnt-out Jeep XJ. I have a slight correction to the comments. The photo was taken at Rockfront in Los Padres National Forest off of Hwy 166 near Santa Maria, California, at the staging area.

The National Forest asked our California Association 4x4 Club, the Santa Maria 4 Wheelers, to get that XJ off of Shaw Ridge where it burned and was abandoned and bring it to the staging area so law enforcement could remove it.

Our Vice President, John Stewart, was asked by the local head ranger if we could take care of this project. John has a XJ and showed up with his wheels and a tow bar. We had four vehicles and six or seven helpers with tools and hope. The steering wheel was gone and not much was left. We loaded all of the burned parts and melted metal back into the vehicle, bolted John’s wheels and tow bar onto the XJ, and headed out. We had two vehicles in front to pull it up hills and two vehicles in the back for downhill braking. It took us about five hours total to get the XJ to the staging area.

I can see how someone would assume that a dozer had brought the XJ out. A couple of times (no, lots of times!) I didn’t think we could do it. Never say it can’t be done to our John Stewart.
Rob Neilsen
President, Santa Maria 4 Wheelers

We stand corrected. To John, Rob, and all the rest of the gang from the Santa Maria 4 Wheelers, thanks for the hard work in cleaning up the trail and putting four wheelers in a positive light.

Hail to the Chief
Thank you for putting a picture of my ’78 Cherokee Chief in the TDS coverage in the July issue. Just ask my wife—I really couldn’t do much after seeing that yesterday, I was too excited. My parents bought the Jeep new when I was two years old. I grew up in the Jeep, learned to drive it before the age of 10, got it for high-school graduation, and have been building it ever since. She is just a tick over 322,000 miles old.

Anyway, if you guys ever get short on story info, my brother drives my mom’s old ’88 Grand Wagoneer that is built up like mine, only it shows a lot more battle scars. He also owns an ’80 red Honcho flareside. I think a brother FSJ article would be cool.
Kevin Mayo
Via email

Cuck Fancer
This is not your typical Jeep Chix picture, but it’s one with a meaningful story. This was taken Memorial Day during my boyfriend’s birthday weekend “Bucket List” trip. He has brain cancer and one of his wishes was to have all his friends and family together to go wheeling. Everything came together perfectly—all friends were able to make it, my Jeep was able to get fixed from the last wheeling trip in time to go, his parents made it, and most of all, he felt great! It was only his second time wheeling, but he drove my Jeep and dominated every trail like a pro! It was great for his spirit.

It would rock to get the word out about his cancer foundation he started, the Cuck Fancer Foundation. You can find all the information at Facebook - Cuck Fancer,
Kathryn Daniel
Via email

Hey, Beavis
First off, I am 17 and love your magazine. I own an ’03 WJ that I am working on and Jp has been very helpful. I was looking at the cover of your July ’12 issue, and something at the very bottom caught my eye and gave me a good laugh. When you read the cover blurbs about the JK8 and the onboard air in big red letters it says “Finally Blown!” I got a good laugh out of it and am sure some other people will too!
Ryan McMullen
Via email

Next issue we’ll slip the word boobies in there just for you, Ryan.

Big Beef Bull
I always enjoy Jp and want to compliment you on the article “Big Beef,” (July ’12). I especially appreciate that you folks don’t profess to know everything. You point out how the folks at Off Road Evolution informed you that the bent portion of the factory axle plate is not for strength, but to eliminate stress points. Everyone can learn something new, but not everyone will admit it!
Rick Passan
Bethlehem, PA

Yes, although some may think Jp is written by a barrel of monkeys we actually are human beings. And as such, we don’t know everything and we can and do make mistakes. We just don’t mind admitting it.

Take Shorty to the Four Seasons
I enjoyed your TJ camping story, “Take Shorty Camping,” (July ’12), but I’d like to offer some observations. Based on my experience, the biggest problem that I see with the setup shown in your article is dust, which is the nemesis of all backcountry camping adventures. In any open-air rig that spends any time at all on back roads, trying to dust-proof your camping stuff is a nearly impossible task. The little kitchen tote shown with the plates and stuff is clever and cute enough, but by the time you got to your remote campsite, everything in it would be totally contaminated and unusable. The same with the sleeping bags. Up where I live in the Arizona mountains, we see the same thing from the “city folks” every weekend. A lot of perfectly good camping equipment gets ruined that way.

Personally, I absolutely hate to sleep on the ground. In my younger days as a backpacker, I had no choice. But now I’m older, with all of the related aches and pains, I prefer not having to deal with the dirt, rocks, critters, and so forth. To address this, I have tried a number of ideas with my TJ Rubicon. It fits completely inside the Jeep for travel, can be set up in just a few minutes, gives me a very solid six-foot-long platform to sleep on (with a 3-inch foam mattress), and the only thing touching the ground is the tires. Maybe the best part is that it was assembled in place inside without drilling any holes in the Jeep, without removing the hardtop or the back seat hardware, and it can all be easily removed to return the Jeep to stock when desired. Oh, yeah, and all at a cost of less than a hundred bucks, including the tarp/awning.
Chuck Jacobs
Payson, Arizona

I’m glad you found a setup that works well for you, Chuck. However, most of us probably don’t share your aversion to dust and dirt. And at Jp we run onboard air in most of our rigs, so we can always just fire up the air compressor and blow the dust off. But in reality, we’ll just wipe our plates with a dirty shirt and go to sleep in a dusty bag.

As for sleeping off the ground, I’ve always wanted to try bringing a trail hammock on a trip, but that’s not as intricate as the sleeping platform you suspend from inside your Jeep. I’m not sure we’d like to drag along a solid sleeping table like you do. And I certainly don’t think Associate Editor Pete Trasborg would have any chance of sleeping on a ping-pong table without crashing to the ground. To put him in perspective, one of Pete’s calves is as big around as a normal person’s head…and the rest of him…well, let’s just say he’s no 98-pound weakling.

Write Us!
Got a question or comment about Jp magazine or the village idiots at the helm? Drop us a line. Don’t forget to include your full name and where you’re from or we’ll make fun of you. Actually, we may make fun of you anyway. Keep it short and to the point or we’ll hack and chop your letter as we please. We get a lot of mail, but we read every letter. Unfortunately, we can’t print or personally answer every request. We’re too busy surfing the Internet on the company dime. Digital images should be no less than 1,600x1,200 pixels (or 2 megapixels) and should be saved as a TIFF, an EPS, or a maximum-quality JPEG file.
Write to:
Jp Magazine, Editor
831 S. Douglas St.
El Segundo, CA 90245

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