Every summer, campers from around the country gather at their favorite destinations to enjoy camp activities together. Canoeing, swimming, archery, knot tying, sleeping outside, hiking, fishing, and the like keep campers busy and happy. These campers are young and free, unburdened by the of responsibilities of adulthood, but wishing that they could be older without realizing what that means.
For every year but one of the past 16, Petersen’s 4-Wheel & Off-Road magazine has assembled a group of young-at-heart campers for the magazine’s version of off-road summer camp known as the Ultimate Adventure. When conceived, the Ultimate Adventure was a weeklong trip that tested drivers and vehicles in a variety of extreme off-road terrain as well as on long road days. While these general parameters are still in effect, the comradery and friendship provide the Ultimate Adventure with a definite “summer camp for off-road hooligans” vibe.
With Rick Péwé, our network content director (and ferry aficionado), leading the group from point to point, you should always be ready to expect the unexpected. This year Head Camp Counselor Péwé led our version of summer camp and a group of self-proclaimed Canoeligans over a large portion the Appalachian region of the Eastern United States.
The Canoeligans Summer Camp started in Southeastern Ohio and then traveled in and out of West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama. There were stops along the way to go 4-wheeling, camping, and canoeing, to snack on ice-cream, and even to ride a ferry or two.
The rules for the UA are pretty simple and designed to keep participants safe, happy, and capable of reaching the end of the trail or road. On top of the usual rules, this year every vehicle had to carry a canoe or other water-displacing device capable of carrying both driver and co-driver across a 150-foot-wide body of water. In general the device of choice was a canoe, hence the unofficial name for our summer camp: Camp Canoeligan. Campers dubbed themselves the Canoeligans. The weather this year was cool and rainy (it rained every day and some days never seemed to stop raining), so our camp probably should have been called Camp Rainagain, Camp Soakinwet, or Camp Soggybottom. Either way, tons of fun and adventure were had despite the rain. Even the first rule, No Whining, was nearly always adhered to.
Arrival and Check-In
The official start of the Ultimate Adventure is usually held at a hotel on a Saturday afternoon and evening. Participants are supposed to arrive in the late afternoon for vehicle tech inspection, to fix any issues that may have become apparent on the drive out, and to see old friends as well as shake the hands of the newcomers. This year we assembled on the eastern border of Ohio in a town called St. Clairesville. Stickers and swag were distributed as participants trickled in. Despite the heavy rain, participants hung out in the parking lot or lobby getting to know one another while checking out each other's vehicles. Everyone told stories, towhooks got welded in place, and gear was checked and repacked, all in anticipation of our first official adventure starting the next morning.
Arrival at the hotel for tech inspection is also a great time to address any last-minute repairs or additions that need to be made. It’s also a good time to get to know fellow Ultimate Adventurers or hang out with old friends you made at summer camp last year. You’ll also get a bag full of sponsor T-shirts and stickers for the event. Keith Bailey’s blue bruiser buggy has been on several Ultimate Adventures over the past several years. As a crony rig, the buggy works well and is very reliable.
Returning reader Brennan Metcalf brought his trick low-rider Willys MB back for UA 2015. He brought Matt Bokan, driver of the red IH Scout from UA 2014, as a co-driver. Since the flattie is parked next to Jeffrey Corwin and co-driver Chris Breidenbach’s Range Rover, let’s remember that the first Land Rover was built on a surplus WWII Jeep chassis and axles. That makes this MB the Land Rover’s vehicular version of a great, great, great, great uncle. We were all anxious to see how well this luxo-ute would do on the UA and were pleasantly surprised.
You, the reader, are the reason we have this event and publish a magazine every month. Without you we would not get to work or play with trucks and 4x4s, and for that we say thanks. Jack Sloan, along with co-driver Jared Cummons, were perfect for Ultimate Adventure. They arrived with the right attitude and willingness to keep on going. Plus, Sloan’s 1993 Ford Explorer made for a great Ultimate Adventure rig. For one, it’s not a Jeep. We love Jeeps, but variety is the spice of life, and several year models of Explorers make a great platform for a wheeling rig.
Need to add a few psi of nitrogen to those coilover shocks? To get an accurate pressure reading, it’s best to have the coilover at full extension. The easiest way to do this is to flex it out on a newfound friend's tire just like invited reader Bill Costa did in his one-of-a- kind 1946 Chevy truck. He and co-driver Derrick Williams brought this unique mix of trail rig and hot rod down from Vermont for the event. It is a textbook idea for building an eye-catching trail rig that any gearhead is bound to love. With 1-ton axles, dual T-cases, a GM 5.3L, and 18-inch-travel shocks on all four corners, this is one well-thought-out rig.
We produce several stories about the Ultimate Adventure every year, but there is also a week of UA coverage on the Motor Trend channel on YouTube November 16-20. Putting together a video requires having camera guys who work hard while we are all out having fun. To make their lives a little more enjoyable, we conned the folks from Quigley 4x4 Vans into letting us borrow one of their capable passenger vans for the week. With veteran Quigley driver Tiger LeBrun behind the wheel, this GM 1-ton van was sure to see some pretty serious action schlepping camera guys and supplies around behind the scenes.
Sponsors are also a huge part of the Ultimate Adventure. Not only is the UA a great event for showcasing the utility and durability of various parts and tools, but it’s also a great venue for sponsor companies to get out of the office and into the dirt themselves. A company can also get feedback from readers, cronies, other industry experts, and the magazine staff. One product that has stood the test of time and countless Ultimate Adventures is the Hi-Lift jack. Max Dollinger and Derek Phelps joined us for UA 2015 in the HI-Lift blue TJ.
Building the Ultimate Adventure rig is no simple task. Editor Fred Williams (Freditor?!) and Synergy Manufacturing deserve a huge pat on the back for getting this flattie together so quickly (2 1/2 months!) after starting with a few components that are not designed from the factory to fit together. Still, sometimes the little things get overlooked. This year we went with a fancy radiator overflow bottle from Mellow Yellow since we would be in the Southeast. Looks pretty good, huh, y’all?
Network Content Director and Head Camp Counselor (and Guide) Rick Péwé managed to burn up the 4L80E in the CJ-17 Jeep from UA 2010 in Northern Arizona on the way to UA 2015. As a result, Kenny Smith (invited reader from UA 2013), being way too nice for his own good, volunteered up his recently completed orange 1986 CJ-10. Smith also skipped out on the end of his family vacation and drove the Jeep to Ohio for the start of UA 2015, all so that Péwé could beat up his nice Jeep. The Jeep needed a few items to pass tech inspection, including front and rear towhooks.
It’s not much of a surprise to anyone that a few Ultimate Adventure participants may roll up to the start a little later than planned. Cooper “Smash” Rasmussen from Offroad Power Products drove solo from Spokane, Washington, to St. Clairesville, Ohio, via Chattanooga, Tennessee, in about three days. He rolled into the hotel parking lot in Ohio just after dark and passed the safety inspection performed by cronies Sam Gillis and Dave Chappelle. Just getting to the UA can be one hell of an adventure. Some participants, namely James and Steven Watson from Offroad Design, reached Ohio after midnight on that Saturday.
Day 1: Powerline Park, Wheeling, West Virginia
The first official day of UA 2015 was Sunday, June 28, what the Ultimate Adventurers call the first trail day. After a brief drivers meeting at the hotel, the Canoeligans loaded up in their rigs and headed to the Powerline Off-Road Park just outside St. Clairesville, Ohio. Troy Ayers and Greg Eaton served as trail leaders for the day. The trails were wet and slick due to the recent and torrential rains, so the Canoeligans braved deep mud, water, and a few slick and muddy hillclimbs. With trails named Dead Deer Hollow, Happy Hollow, Polish Club Trail, the Circle Track, and the Highwall Ponds, no one from Summer Camp was left dry or bored on our first trail day. Special thanks to Ayers and Eaton as well as their helpers/trail spotters Eric Eaton, Darin Dye, Jeff Donda, and Matt Burghy for all their help and letting us play on their trails.
We started the day at Powerline Off-Road Park by following some tight trails between trees. Quickly these tight trails became hillclimbs. Péwé attacked one nasty hillclimb in his rental CJ-10. Sharp-eyed readers will notice that both front tires are off the ground. Do you also see the sparks? Something on the front axle hit a rock. Here’s to hoping Péwé got full coverage on his rental policy.
Offroad Design has been making aftermarket parts for fullsize 4x4s for years. While ORD specialize in GM fullsize trucks and its nearly bulletproof transfer case doubler adapters and boxes, Steven and James Watson also like to build capable trail rigs. This 1985 K30 fits their mold pretty well with a ton of heavy-duty parts, a fire-breathing Pacific Fab–cammed LS3/L92 hybrid GM V-8, and several modifications that make this truck a relatively lightweight buggy in truck’s clothing.
After hitting a few narrow hillclimb-style trails we were led into the low lands at Powerline Park. Thanks to the ample amounts of recent rain, there was plenty of mud and water to negotiate. Returning reader Brennan Metcalf’s 1942 Willys MB is not built for deep water crossings, but that does not mean he’ll back down from a hole. The odd-fire Buick V-6, wide 35-inch tires, and simple leaf-sprung suspension keep the Jeep light and capable.
Not to be outdone, Falken Tire’s own Andrew Hoit hit the deep water in the Falken JK Recon project vehicle. The Brute-esque 2009 JK is powered by a stock 3.8L and spins Falken WildPeak MT 38x13.50R17 tires with help from 5.38 axle gears, an Advance Adapters Rubicrawler, and the factory NP241 Rock Track transfer case.
The hood vents on Cooper Rasmussen’s 1975 Cherokee Chief may be there to help cool the AMC 360 that powers the truck, but in deep water they serve to vent sloppy muck. Cooper and co-driver Mike “the Ninja” Kim are always fun to hang out with. These guys love what they do for Offroad Power Products even when it means getting dirty or fixing small issues along the way.
The next obstacle of the day was some thick cementlike mud in a creek-bed-turned-trail. Rob Petersen and co-driver Bradley Lindseth used all the power their right-hand-drive formal postal Jeep JK with 146,000 miles on the ticker could muster. Petersen not only put the postal-themed Synergy rig together just before this event, but he also oversaw the construction of Fred Williams’ Summer Camp Jeep. He got all that done and also had this mud hole handled.
Phil Pasciak and his codriver Chris Larsen brought their 1969 FJ-40 to Ohio from Nevada. Since they hail from the dry Southwest, thick sloppy mud was not their specialty, but they gave this hole one helluva go. They would later prove to be driving a real sleeper. Corby Philips from Warn Industries used this opportunity to show off one of Warn’s most iconic winches, the venerable Warn 8274, by pulling the Toyota out of the muck.
Somewhere behind all of that mud in the air is UA crony Sam Gillis’ green Alabama tube car. He generally runs tail-gunner on the UA. He and Dave Chappelle make a great sweeper crew when readers, cronies, or sponsors have some issue that sends them to the side of the road or trail. Gillis is also one hell of a good driver and takes the tube car almost anywhere he wants with ease.
Somewhere in the woods of Powerline Park, Jeffrey Corwin did his best impersonation of the Camel Trophy in Borneo circa 1985. Straddling one deep mud hole, the Landy almost found itself with its knickers in the wind and its bonnet in the drink. With a little help from a few nearby cronies, the fine British equipment was back on former colonial soil.
VJ Perrin weaseled his way back onto the UA this year by striking up a deal to represent Eastwood after being last year's returning reader. His 1985 CUCV is always fun to watch with its swapped-in 12-valve Cummins turbodiesel and NV4500 manual transmission. The big truck is no bantamweight, yet it manages to make its way up almost any trail and somehow retains all of its glass. The big truck flexed like mad on one set of washed-out notches in Ohio.
As the day wound down we found our way to an area known as the Circle Track and Highwall Ponds to rinse some of the mud off our tires before heading back to our hotel for the night.
The first day of UA 2015 found more than a few weak links in the chain of Ultimate Adventure vehicles. Jack Sloan’s 1993 Ford Explorer has a high-pinion late ’70s Ford Dana 44 swapped in place of the stock TTB up front. That’s a great axle to put under an Explorer, but the lunchbox locker in the factory carrier was broken. A solid fix was to remove the locker and reinstall the factory side gears so VJ Perrin could pay the bills and use his Eastwood welder to create an Eastwood locker for the injured Ford’s axle. This kind of parking-lot fix is typical and what the Ultimate Adventure is all about.
Day 2: First Road Day
One might expect the trail days to be the hardest days on the Ultimate Adventure, but one would often be wrong. Not only are the road days long, but road miles accrue much faster than off-road miles and temperatures are a bit higher for most components. While off-roading is hard on equipment, water intrusion in hubs, diffs, or transmissions may not be noticed until things get good and warmed up at speed on the highway. Day 2 of UA 2015 will go down in history as being a long one. It stretched a good way into the morning of Day 3 before campers could get some sleep.
Despite that, Day 2 started with fun and games as we rolled into Clay Valley Dirt Park for a few hours of play not long after leaving our hotel. Once there, most of us off-loaded our canoes and played on the rocky hills and tight trails. After a bit more off-road action we hit the pavement leading to a ferry. Some 20 hours after leaving our hotel in Ohio, the group found itself in Harlan, Kentucky. We’d like to thank our guides, Ralph and Kyle Painter and Bill Gardner, and our trail spotters, Rachel Reno, AJ Holland, and Shawn Hubbard from Clay Valley, as well as Team Awesome Jeep Club.
Ah, the road day! As it turns out, Head Counselor Péwé likes to keep us on our toes. An hour or two into our first road day we turned into the Clay Valley Dirt Park near Roseville, Ohio. We weaved our way around a lake until we found this tricky climb with a large V-notch near the top. The notch was tough for just about everyone, including Bill Costa in the hot rod 1946 Chevy.
Just about the only rigs that made the V-notch look easy were the two crony tube cars from Alabama, and both chose to go wheeling with their canoes on their rigs. Keith Bailey has to be one of the nicest, most patient people on the face of the earth for putting up with lovable co-driver Tom Boyd, one of two people who have been on all of the Ultimate Adventures. Boyd can be kind of like a weasel on speed, rushing around and instigating water balloon fights, telling farfetched stories, and entertaining locals. He’s an odd duck, but he is our odd duck, and we love him.
We like underdogs. Jeffrey Corwin’s Range Rover is an easy target, but the rig worked very well. He proved that British 4x4s can be built to do things that no one who has ever test-driven one on the concrete dealer test track would imagine. Still, vehicles sometimes get sleepy while playing out in the woods, and as it turned out the big girl needed a nap.
Tim Hardy is an off-road icon and hero to Suzuki drivers all over the world. He just keeps beating on this poor old red 1987 Samurai, which does not have a 3-square-inch piece of original sheetmetal left that is not dented or bent. Somehow the old rig keeps on going with special low-range transfer case gears (which make it turn 4,500 rpm on the highway at 55 mph), a few trick suspension parts, some axle components borrowed from a Ford, and one heck of a tenacious driver. Rick Reed accompanied Hardy this year as his co-driver and helped him keep the Sammy on the road despite the last 20 years of abuse.
Maybe he was inspired by Tim Hardy. Maybe he didn’t want the British SUV to get all the attention. One way or another with the Eastwood locker in the front Dana 44 in full effect, Jack Sloan laid his 1993 Explorer on its side in the V-notch, joining the club of V-notch floppers at Clay Valley Dirt Park. After a shove and a tug the Ford was not much worse for wear.
After playing in the woods of the Clay Valley Dirt Park, canoes were loaded back atop the rigs and we hit the road. Keeping 25 rigs together and something like 53 people all headed in the same direction takes skill and luck. It has been compared to herding cats.
Day 2 was wet. In fact, we may have dodged a tornado or two. While the day and weather both seemed never-ending, we got to do some more cool stuff. Namely, we hitched a ride on the Jenny Ann, an old ferry that runs from 1 mile west of Higginsport, Ohio, to the town of Augusta, Kentucky. Kevin Stearns piloted his 2011 BDS Crawlerado on to the deck of the ferry as we said farewell to Ohio.
Heat rears its ugly head on road days. Whether your transmission gets hot, or there’s mud in your radiator and the engine starts running hot, or wheel bearings get hot from water intrusion, as the sun set on our first day several participants were chasing heat issues. Cooper Rasmussen and Mike Kim from Offroad Power Products decided to swap their thermostat in the parking lot of a parts store when the AMC 360 kept getting more than warm. Late-night repairs are the cost of getting your rig ready for the next day of the Ultimate Adventure.
Day 3: Second Trail Day
Harlan County is in the heart of coal country in the mountains of eastern Kentucky. The hills in this area are all part of the Appalachian Mountains and contain lots of coal formed 300 million years ago when the region was very different than it is today. As the coal-centered economy dwindled along with the coal veins, a new source of revenue for the area became important. Four-wheeling on the old logging trails and contour mining paths of the area is a great option to draw money to the county. With 7,000 acres and over 150 miles of trails, the Black Mountain Off-Road Adventure Area is a great place to wheel and spend time with family and friends. We camped at the Putney Trailhead Harlan County Campground & Cabin Rentals near Putney and rode just a few of the trails in the Black Mountain Off-Road Adventure Area. Jason Vanover led the way and served as trail guide in his big bad Jeep Wrangler YJ over trails and obstacles with names like Waterfall, Rail Bed, and Steel Hill. Since our ever-present friend the rain was with us again, you can bet that all the trails and rocks were slick as snot, making for some exciting action.
The first obstacle on Day 3 in Harlan, our second trail day, was known as the Waterfall. Everyone in the group struggled with this climb up and over a rounded rock with water trickling down it. Steven Watson was one of a select few who drove the obstacle, and he did so by the judicious and generous application of horsepower.
While almost everyone attempted the Waterfall, only a few made it. This was not for a lack of trying or the number of lines attempted. Justin Cardwell’s driving style ensured that everyone on the UA knew that his 2.7L Toyota–powered Suzuki Sidekick had a rev-limiter. He and co-driver Joe Poisel seemed to be pretty confident that the drivetrain in their small wagon would hold up to the abuse, or they just didn't care. Either way, watching them in action was more than just a little bit fun. The group came to expect the rev-limiter and wasn't surprised when there was a rollover. Regardless, the show never failed to disappoint.
Fred Perry (“East Coast Fred”) is an off-road legend and a nice guy. He is always ready with a funny joke, and the guy can flat-out drive. He also knows how and when to push the limits and his silver 2005 LJ, which has been on its lid more than a few times. Perry gave the Waterfall a heck of a go, but decided to let co-driver and Warn representative Corby Phillips run some cable when things got a bit too tippy. Part of being on the UA is wheeling for the whole week, and that can mean knowing when to push your rig and when to take help.
Phil Pasciak’s 1969 FJ-40 is a sleeper; from its oil-burning Toyota F2 I-6 engine to its simple look, the thing just works. Pasciak also knows how to drive the thing. He just about made it to the top of the Waterfall despite the lack of horsepower. This is the kind of rig we love, something that works and upon closer inspection reveals more than just a few well-thought-out trick parts.
Oh Chevy, how sweet things could be if a stock Colorado had more in common with Kevin Stearn’s 2011 Colorado. Unlike the factory version, this Colorado has a solid front axle and an LS2 6.0L V-8. Stearn’s Colorado also has an NP205 and Offroad Design’s Magnum Crawler Box. Oh Chevy, how we’d love to own a truck like this rather than one with an I-5 (whatever the heck that is) and IFS.
Huh? Who’d have thought that having 550 hp and a set of sticky Falken WildPeak MT tires would help a flatfender make it to the top of the Waterfall? Just like with the Watsons climb, we wish you could hear the sweet sounds of woo-pow that Fred’s Summer Camp Jeep was making right about when this picture was taken.
The next section of trail we hit in Harlan at Black Mountain Off-Road Adventure Area was called Rail Bed. This tricky and slick rock gully tested a driver’s ability to pick a line and stay on it despite the lack of traction. UA crony Trent McGee knows how to drive his anvil-strong and simple 1989 Chevy Blazer with 1-ton axles. The truck does not look like much, but with ample room and not enough power to hurt itself, it may have been one of the best all-around vehicles on the trip.
Reader Robert Keller and his co-driver Jary “Jerry” McNeil are from Florida, and we bet that neither one has any rocks in his yard (other than the ones that might have sunk into Florida’s sandy and damp soil). Either way, Keller’s 1989 GMC V3500 is functional. With its factory 1-ton axles (converted to single wheel hubs) and a shortened wheelbase, the truck just works. Given the lack of rocks in Florida, we bet that these guys and the GMC will be back in Harlan before too long.
UA crony Chris Durham is no stranger to muddy rock trails, having grown up in the Southeast. He cut his teeth on trails all over the South. This year he is driving his friend Bob Poore’s 1979 FJ-40/FJ-45 hybrid. Durham likes low-slung rigs with big tires and ample power, and this Toyota is no exception. A GM 5.3L spins a TH350 and an NP205 on the way to 1-ton axles liberated from a CUCV.
The terms “rental Jeep” and “rental 4x4” came up more than once during UA 2015. The list of borrowed or company trucks on the trip was long. Among the rentals was the Hi-Lift TJ, which belongs to Austin Harrah and was driven by both Max Dollinger and Derek Phelps most of the week. The Jeep works pretty well and has a very flexy suspension that often led to the Jeep carrying a tire up obstacles. The rental Jeep never flopped over but often came close, and that made for some spectacular photos.
Another rental or company truck was the custom Falken JK driven by Andrew Hoit and co-driver Martin Castro. The Jeep works very well and has extensive suspension and body modifications to form an awesome trail rig/super-capable chase rig for Falken racers and events. Man, would we like to have a company truck like that!
Who Are the Cronies & What Do They Do?
Any small problem on the Ultimate Adventure can cause large delays when the whole group has to stop. For this reason (as well as helping with trail repairs and trail recovery) we have the UA cronies. This ragtag bunch of characters stays with any broken UA rig until a solution can be figured out. This often means relaying info to Péwé, but can also mean late nights helping swap engines, rebuilding axles, swapping tires, and the like. In all honesty, the cronies are friends of the staff of the magazine. They are some of the people we would go 4-wheeling with if we were on vacation and hitting the trails. These people volunteer their time and vehicles, often paying for parts, fuel, and hotels, to participate in the UA. At the end of the day they are the people we, the staff of the magazine, can count on to make sure everyone is safe and sound. Their skill is unparalleled. Being a UA crony is a selfless (and often thankless) task, and thus we offer special thanks now to Keith, Sam, Dave, Trent, Tommy, and Tim, as well as to Clifton Slay, who couldn’t make it this year. Thanks for being the glue that holds the Ultimate Adventure together, the wind beneath our wings, the blue stuff in our Porto-Let. We couldn’t do this without you, and we love you like family.
Whether a Warn winch, a Hi-Lift jack, or a Voodoo Rope is used, the cronies are always ready to help with a recovery. These guys have more experience extracting stuck rigs than any other group of misfit summer camp counselors.
Stuff breaks. It’s a side effect of off-roading that many of us have to deal with. Add in hard trails and long road days, and weaknesses somehow rise to the surface and become problems. Just to keep everyone humble we keep a list of broken parts from Ultimate Adventure 2015.
Phil Pasciak’s 1969 FJ-40: Water in distributer; broke entire flange off the rear axle.
Robert Keller’s 1989 GMC V3500: Body damage; rear spring bushing; A/C idler and hose.
Jeff Corwin’s 1998 Range Rover: Dual sandal blowout; bent rear driveshaft; taillight guard; cracked windshield; passenger-side body damage; rear locker leaking; rear suspension air bag divorced from vehicle with a bang.
Bill Costa’s 1946 Chevy: Power steering sector shaft; a few steering arm studs.
Justin Cardwell’s 1994 Suzuki Sidekick: Body damage; clutch master cylinder.
Jack Sloan’s 1993 Ford Explorer: Rear diff bolts loose; add fluid; broken front locker and hub; body damage.
Brennan Metcalf’s 1942 Willys MB: Broken shock mount; temporarily misplaced fan shroud mounting bolt; wet seats; gas pedal stuck (won’t rev).
Trent McGee’s 1989 Blazer: Body damage; taillight; rear tailshaft T-case bushing causing major leaks.
Sam Gillis’ green tube car: Feelings hurt cuz he had to use a winch.
Tim Hardy’s 1987 Samurai: Upper wish one Heim joint broken; wheel bearings burned up; smoking wires; starter quit, started working again, quit, started working again, and so on; fuses; loose lug nuts; drivetrain pops, clicks, and bangs; dents.
Tom Boyd’s 2011 Nikes: Water balloon cannon broken.
Chris Durham’s 1979 FJ-40/JF-45 hybrid: Burned coil wire; tie-rod end; bent control arm.
Eastwood’s CUCV: Several broken beadlock bolts; dented driveshaft; broken ladder bar; rear leaf springs bent on both sides; cooler spill.
Hi-Lift Jack’s Jeep: Broken axle; destroyed control arm bushing; bent fender; water in differential; engine overheating.
Offroad Design’s K30: Vent line puked, causing smoke, fire, and nearly death; driveshaft out of balance; blown fan fuse; engine overheating.
BDS Suspension’s Chevy Crawlerado: Popped bead on front passenger tire; loose pitman arm; rear driveshaft; dented bedsides; damaged yoke; door damage.
Synergy Manufacturing’s Postal JK: Blew radiator; front ring-and-pinion; smoked amp; smoked power inverter.
BDS Suspension’s Colorado support truck: Broken CV shaft (Jeep engineer at fault).
Falken Tire’s Jeep JK: ABS locked up (pulled sensor); broken driveshaft flange.
Offroad Power Products’ Cherokee Chief: Jam nuts loosened; broken exhaust bolt; bent exhaust; engine overheating; alternator quit; locker issues.
Warn’s Jeep TJ Unlimited: Transmission line broke; brake light fuse popped twice.
Fred Williams’ 1947 Willys: Control arm joint snap ring failure; electric fan wiring failure.
Rick Péwé’s 1986 CJ-10: Dead power steering pump; broken beadlock bolts; broken CB antenna; two-way radio shattered on road; shock bolt fell out—twice; more broken beadlock bolts.
Verne Simon’s 2007 hiking boots: Swamp rot on feet; work laptop died.
Camera & Crew
Rocknocker Resources’ F-250 support truck: Fire extinguisher went off by accident.
Scott the camera guy: Tent failed.
Harrington Video General: Fingernails hurt, and he turned 60 years old!
Camera crew: Destroyed an $800 microphone and a $7,000 camera.