Yesterday, a group of four Jeeps and seven people headed out to do a little maintenance: Dean, John, Doug, Dean, Gary, Carlos and Don.
Our goal was a general clearing of trees and branches encroaching on the trail, draining some water, removing a large tree from the trail and shoveling down a huge snow berm.
Well, my thanks go out to whoever got out and shoveled the snow. The berm was gone by the time we got there.
We got everything else done and then headed up the Buck Lake Trail to clear more downed trees. Well, again, someone got there before us. So thanks to whoever that was.
So, for the most part, the Rubicon on the Tahoe side is clear of trees and major snow. There is still a lot of water on the trail. Please tread lightly and stay on the trail.
Thanks again to John for putting yesterday together and all of those who were there to help out on very short notice.
Third day in a row on the Rubicon. This time as a passenger.
So, picking up where I left off yesterday, here is the off-camber section just past the turn to Ellis Peak.
Dean went ahead a drove this as it was. For the other three rigs, I dug a trench for the high side tires. It lessens the side hill and provides a track to prevent sliding off the snow in to the mud.
Of course John did it with his tire carrier swinging. The next obstacle stopped everyone. All four rigs took a winch.
Once out of the Basin and in to the Tahoe, there was snow everywhere in various forms…
But we did make it all the way to Observation Point! It was windy, and I mean WINDY!
Of course, on the way out we came across a downed tree. As in down across the trail. It wasn’t there on the way in.
I had a hand saw but John had a chain saw.
And off we went…
Please go prepared. Turn Around, Don’t Go Around. Don’t drive off trail if you or your rig can’t handle the obstacle.
Okay, I got out on the Rubicon yesterday (6.25.19) as opposed to the Buck Lake Trail the day before that had tree issues.
We got as far as the pond at the Ellis Peak Trail and turned around at the intersection.
Below is the view looking further down the Rubicon. Snow! Lots of side hill action. That’s why we turned around.
This is the view up the Ellis Peak Trail. Nobody’s been there yet.
After the turn around, we poked up the Richardson Lake trail thinking we’d go to the top for the view from Sourdough. Nope! Again, crazy side hill right before the cabin. The pond on the right is a somewhat deep sediment trap.
If you go, be prepared to dig and saw. Snow everywhere, trees still across the trail.
Stay on the trail. If you are not prepared to deal with what is on the trail, Turn Around, Don’t Go Around!
Just did a quick run up the Buck Lake Trail. It’s the first right turn out of the staging area.
It still needs a lot of trimming…
Some of the trees were soft enough to drive through…
Others, not so much…
Now, I did have a saw with me but a hand saw for getting out, not a chain saw for clearing trails.
Bottom line, be prepared for late winter or early spring conditions. Bring a saw and shovel. There is still a lot of snow on the trail. I’ve heard of five foot drops.
Headed out today to get a better idea of what’s going on further up the Rubicon.
Turn Around, Don’t Go Around.
As people are just now breaking through and running the entire Rubicon Trail, some of us are still just getting our Jeeps out of hibernation.
At a recent club meeting, talk turned to the RTF trailer. We all loved that it was available for trail maintenance, but we didn’t like, or use the air of hydraulic system. Most of the time we hand pumped the trailer to dump.
I did a write-up on it years ago when it first came to the Tahoe side…
One of my buddies asked about converting it to electric over hydraulic. I wasn’t opposed to it but it wasn’t mine to make the decision. So, I reached out to ERTF to ask if we could convert it. With RTF off the hook for costs, they said go for it.
Thanks go out to Tim with the Hills Angels 4wd Club of Reno Nevada. Tim did all the fab work on the trailer. Between he and the club they covered the construction costs. For now, I’m on the hook for the cost of the parts.
Superior Hydraulics in Sparks, NV really stepped up and worked with Tim to get the hoses and fittings dialed in: www.superiorhydraulic.net/
So here are the guts. The original hydraulic cylinder was swapped out for something that would work with for us. In hind sight, the original cylinder might be able to be converted to use with the new system. Battery, electric hydraulic pump and reservoir.
A battery was added to run the electric pump. It is charged off the 7-pin connector. If you don’t have a charge on the battery, it will still do a dozen or more dumps before running low. The manual handle is no longer usable. I’m going to add a Battery Tender connection to be able to keep it charged while not in use, or just before it goes out for a day of use.
Protection is always important. Tim had some old (new old stock) Toyota skid plates around and they worked great.
Tim even went so far as to weld rings to protect the mounting bolts.
Tim has always been bothered by the noise of these trailers as they go down the trail. So, he added some rubber padding along the frame rails and a rubber bushing to hold down the bed brace rod so it won’t make noise.
We’re working on getting the official list of parts together, so if RTF wants to convert the other trailers, they have a head start. There are things we’d change if other trailers are converted but overall, we’re happy. The cost should be under $400, maybe even down to $300 if we can reuse the original cylinder.
When it’s all said and done, the trailer is faster, easier and safer to use.
It’s almost as fast fully loaded, but I’m having trouble uploading that video.
Rubicon Ronin – 6/18/19