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Four Wheeler of the Year 2018: Day 3 Sand and Water #FWOTY18

Posted in Features on December 6, 2017
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Photographers: Ken Brubaker

Ooh wee! What better place to play around with six brand new 4x4s than the sand dunes. Day Three of Four Wheeler of the Year 2018 started off with tire repairs and a shuffling of vehicles and drivers. We pulled out of our hotel parking lot just before 9:45 a.m. and headed for the sand dunes.

The dunes we used featured a combination of packed sandy-gravel, hard sand and soft, and deep drifts. We slashed berms, tested slow and fast across open plains, and even buried a few vehicles up to their frames. It was a heckuva day. Between the two Land Rover Discoveries (one diesel, one gas), the Ram 1500 and 3500, the Jeep Compass Trailhawk, and the Chevy Colorado ZR2, we really had our hands full. Each vehicle had its high and low points but staff spirits were very high all day. Nothing like thoroughly testing the latest and greatest SUVs and pickups on a bright afternoon in the California desert.

After a quick lunch at a diner just down the road from the dunes, we headed for the hills to tackle a few water crossings. We took turns taking each of the vehicles through a series of streams of varying depths. And thankfully we didn’t have to get too wet to get the photography we wanted because there was some ice in the water. Even though today’s adventures at the dunes and in the mountains of southern California were exhausting (for us and the rigs), we have another day packed with off-road adventures tomorrow. The plan is to tackle a challenging hillclimb to see how the vehicles perform climbing and descending steep hills, followed by some testing at high altitude in the snow. Here’s a gallery and video from today’s adventures to keep you busy until tomorrow. Stay tuned for updates and the Day Four recap at

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