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Non-Jeeps at the Easter Jeep Safari

Posted in Moab Experience: 2017 on May 19, 2017
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One of the greatest things about the off-road culture is you don’t have to have a specific vehicle to do it. The trail doesn’t care. There are vehicles that are more popular than others and some trails require certain vehicle abilities, but nothing says you must drive any given vehicle. The Easter Jeep Safari is no different.

Jeepers from all over the world flock to Moab, Utah, for the Easter Jeep Safari (EJS) but having a Jeep isn’t a necessity to run the amazing terrain Moab has to offer. Thousands of non-Jeeps run the trails all-season long, and many of them come to town during the Easter week event to join in the festivities.

Broncos, Samurais, Scouts, F-series trucks, off-road vans, and so many others all come together to beat the dirt, sand, and slickrock into submission. Jeeps do have a much bigger following at the event obviously, but there’s plenty to do with a fullsize rig, and no one will turn away a fellow off-roader on any of the trails.

No Jeep, no problem. Capable rigs of any type can run the trails in Moab, Utah.

For years, a collection of people known as the Fullsize Invasion have been led by former Off-Road Magazine Editor Jerrod Jones and Off-Road Designs owner Stephen Watson on trails in Moab during EJS. The groups hit multiple trails through the week, including Hell’s Revenge, Gold Bar Rim, Poison Spyder, and more. It’s a true testament that a Jeep isn’t required.

Super Dutys, ’80s Chevys, Dodge Rams, and anything else with a straight axle are common rigs to see, and in various forms. Desert race trucks, Ultra 4 buggies, overland expedition rigs, and everything in between can take advantage of the experience.

The extended wheelbase and wide track width of a fullsize truck can be extremely useful on the trails when dealing with massive boulders, 10-foot waterfalls, and immensely varying terrain. Even independent suspensions can be seen roaming around the trails, and most of them do exceptionally well. Plus, most non-Jeep rigs have plenty of storage space, and don’t suffer the “how am I going to get all my gear in my Jeep” woes.

The point is, just get out there. Run what ya brung. Build what you want, wheel it, and enjoy the life.

Ford Excursions are getting less common in general, especially capable ones on 40-inch tires tackling rocks and ledges in the eastern Utah desert.
Some of these trucks are built specifically for taking on the rough stuff like this Ram built by Diesel Power Products.
As if having a fullsize ’80s Chevy truck twisting it up wasn’t enough, this one rocks a fully functioning tow rig and dualie rear axle.
There’s also no age requirement for the trails. BDS Suspension brought out their 2017 Super Duty and wheeled it next to 40-year-old trucks all day long.
Stephen Watson, owner of Off-Road Designs, has been wheeling fullsize GM trucks and Blazers all over the country for decades. His truck seems to have the perfect balance among size, wheelbase, and ability that lets the truck go wherever he points it.
John Mears of Lost River Off-Road brought out his ’02 Ford Super Duty named Betsy’s Regret. Between the brute strength of the 7.3L Powerstroke Diesel and the 40-inch Toyos, the truck went nearly everywhere.
The Dodge Ram makes for a great platform to build from. The strong frame, factory straight axle front, and moderate wheelbase allow it to make short work of just about any obstacle.
This heavily modified Tacoma was part desert racer, part rock crawler, and all awesome. The owner ditched the IFS in favor of a straight axle and leaf springs for simplicity and capability.
Classic trucks can have fun too. The trail doesn’t care what the rig is beyond horsepower, proper gearing, and good tires.
Fullsize trucks have a lot of advantages over Jeeps. Longer wheelbases, wide track widths, and storage space galore—Jeepers should be jealous.
OK, so these are Jeeps but they are far less common than the JK Wranglers buzzing around the trails all day.
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