2018 Fullsize Invasion: Big Rigs Prowl Moab’s Legendary Trails

Fullsize Invasion! Big rigs prowl Moab’s legendary trails

Jerrod JonesPhotographer, Writer

It was 1967 when the Chamber of Commerce of Moab, Utah, was looking for a way to attract people to come visit. Moab was an absolutely magnificent little town that was beautiful, but far away from any large population. It survived largely on money tied to uranium mining—someday that money would dry up. The Chamber looked at the resources available and came up with a plan: it would hold a jeeping event that would invite 4x4 enthusiasts and off-road beatniks of all kinds to the lovely town. After 52 straight years, we’re comfortable calling the plan a success.

In the early 1980s, the Moab Chamber of Commerce saw this as too big of an animal to wrangle themselves and brought on a local 4x4 club—the Red Rock 4 Wheelers—to manage the event. At some point the name also changed slightly to be called the Easter Jeep Safari. But the plan was never to be exclusive to a single manufacturer. The term “jeeping” was synonymous with “off-roading,” and there simply weren’t enough 4x4 enthusiasts yet to form cliques. Anyone who was into off-roading was welcome. And that tradition still continues today. One thing we saw at the 2018 Easter Jeep Safari was that “different” was definitely cool. A group that helps to push that plan and continues to believe in the “all are welcome” credo is the Fullsize Invasion crew. While they’re all about their fullsize 4x4s, requirements for joining the pack are loose and it is really just a bunch of fullsize 4x4-loving folks that love to see col rigs. We saw Dakotas, Grand Cherokees, and even a first-generation Explorer wheeling with the group.

What started as a rogue run done on a single day six years ago has turned into five full days of trail running during the 2018 Easter Jeep Safari week, accompanied by a party and raffle. For 2018, the raffle proceeds (of prizes generously donated by Fullsize Invasion sponsors) went to help build a new playground at a preschool in Moab. Clearly, the Fullsize Invasion is here to stay. The event is getting bigger every year, is official with permits and insurance, and always hits some of the best trails that the Moab area offers. For more info visit facebook.com/fullsizeinvasion.

It took us a while to figure out what this was, but it’s actually a no-grille first-generation Explorer with an exo cage. And if we’ve ever seen an argument for an exo, it was when this thing literally went over, sprung off its exo cage bar, and back onto its wheels. You could see the joy on Ryan Hauf’s face as the rig successfully dropped back onto all four wheels.