The TJ gets rocker guards

So you buy a new rig and just have to change it up a little bit to make it your own by putting your touch on it. Well, for a first step, I went with rocker guards.

The Jeep is a Rubicon model so it came with basic rocker guards but I wanted something more stout and something with a step that will keep the body a little further from the rocks.

I went with A to Z Fabrications. I liked the square tubing that matches the spare tire carrier and the fact it runs the entire length of the body, not just between the fender flares.

Here’s a first look with the guard running under the flares. Note how tall the guards is in this picture.

The 1/4 plate of the guards goes well under the rig.

I decided I wanted to keep the flares stock so I moved forward with altering the guards to accommodate the flares. It was too tall for me so I cut down the height 1 1/2″.

After lots of blue tape and measuring twice…

Realizing that I had probably weakened the guards, I added support under each end. The guards came with the bar to prevent bending with the tightening of the bolts but I added the cut tubes. The block fills the space between the guard and the under side of the body for a snug fit.

In the front, there was too much room to fill the gap so I welded a thick piece of angle iron to strengthen the leading edge.

In my haste to get these installed, I failed to get a picture of the powder coated guards before I installed them.

While I was at it, I took off the front bumper and welded up the unneeded holes and had someone else weld on a d-ring mount. I still need to reline the winch. I made a bracket for the airline as well. You can barely see the rock light on the outside of the bumper.


Rubicon Ronin

Rubicon Oversight Committee meeting

Last Thursday, 2/20/20, El Dorado County held a Rubicon Oversight Comittee meeting in South Lake Tahoe. Here are my notes…

Rubicon Oversight Committee meeting

February 20, 2020                         South Lake Tahoe

Vickie Sanders & Justin Williams El Dorado County Parks & Trails

Nineteen in attendance: eight users (six Hi-Lo’s & two Tahoe Donner 4-Wheelers) the rest were agency representatives

Not being a professional secretary, I’m just going to type out the notes I took:


16 segments within El Dorado County, one available for adoption, Buck Lake area

Holding off on adoptions of the Placer side until the major fixes have been completed

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

Many agencies have come together to agree to support management and maintenance of the Rubicon Trail:

El Dorado County Placer County
Eldorado National Forest Tahoe National Forest Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit CA State Parks – OHMVR Division

Vickie Sanders is THE point of contact for all things Rubicon. She will get you in touch with the right person for you question/concern.

Rubicon Trail Foundation

RTF has donated $32,000 for ten hours of helicopter fly time to fly rock in to the trail where it is needed:

Cadillac Hill (gabions to be built on site) Swamp area near Miller Creek Hardening of rolling dips


Grants are to be written as if the trail is under the management of a single agency. This year CA State Parks wanted letters from each agency but in the future the MOU will prevent that need.

Reroute & Cadillac (not the same issue)

Plans are in the works to reroute the Rubicon Trail away from the section where the trail is about to fall off in to Miller Creek. There are old logging roads that will be used for the reroute. Part of the current grant is to do the studies needed to make this happen. This year is planning, next year is approvals, maybe to be completed in 2022.

A historical analysis of the Placer County section of the trail is just one of the studies that will need to be completed before the reroute and before ANY major work on the trail.

El Dorado County’s system is to do “major” work on the trail every other year. This give the county time to plan for future major projects and to catch-up if a “major” project drags out. 2020 is a “major” year as Cadillac Hill will see “major” work.

The Staging Area

The LTBMU received a grant to pave the staging area four years ago. That grant expires in Sept of 2020 and wasn’t enough to cover the cost of paving. With the new MOU, the Basin has reached out to El Dorado to get more money to fully complete the work. This will include expanding the size of the parking area. It also means the taking down of the trees currently within the parking area.

To Do’s: El Dorado & Placer

There is a small to do list on the El Dorado County website. Anyone, any group, can sign up to complete any of those projects.

Winter issues

There have been talks to pave the quad rental parking/staging area. This could lead to a snow removal contract (paid for with OHV funds) to access that parking area all winter long. Just talking right now.

Placer is still working on addressing the snow berm in Tahoma.


El Dorado County is having an F550 built to be the new Poo Pumper. RTF will no longer be contracted to do poo removal. The County has a poo pumping trailer as a back-up.


The Spider Lake repeater has been down off and on for some time. Tim Green has a separate repeater on his property that uses the same frequencies.

Tim Green also runs the “Rubicon Gazette” Facebook page. That page seems to be THE place to go for updates regarding the Rubicon Trail.

Jeepers Jamboree events

Jeepers Jamboree must now permit with the Tahoe National Forest and the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit as Placer is now not managing the Rubicon. This could lead to possible closures and/or restrictions of the trail within Placer County.

Please contact Joe Chavez is you have any comments, questions or concerns about these possible restrictions.

Maintenance levels

The TNF is also looking for input about the maintenance level the Rubicon will receive. That could be in the form of what type or level of rig should the trail be maintained. As an FYI, the Fordyce Trail is maintained to a level that a competent driver, in a rig on 35” tires and one locker will face a ‘challenge’ but be passable.

Again, contact Joe is you have an opinion.

I tried to do the best I could but I’m sure I missed something or made an error. Please contact me or Vickie is you have questions or see a mistake.



LTBMU Open House for OHV Grant review

One more…


USDA Forest Service

Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit

35 College Drive

South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

(530) 543-2600

Please Distribute Widely

Date: Feb. 11, 2020

Contact:  Public Affairs, Lisa Herron 530-543-2815 or 

Forest Service hosts off-highway vehicle grant open house

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif., Feb. 11, 2020 The USDA Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) will host an open house in South Lake Tahoe on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020, to provide information and seek public input on our annual California Department of Parks and Recreation Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) Division grant applications. The OHMVR applications request funding for trail maintenance and operation of facilities for off-highway vehicle access in the Tahoe Basin.

The open house will take place in the Emerald Bay Room at the Forest Supervisor’s office in South Lake Tahoe, 35 College Drive, South Lake Tahoe, CA  96150. The public may arrive anytime between 4 and 6 p.m. and visit informational stations, talk with staff and ask questions. There will be no formal presentation. The 60-day grant application comment period begins Tuesday, March 3, 2020, and ends Monday, May 4.

“We encourage anyone interested in off-highway vehicle recreation to join us for this event,” said LTBMU Trails Engineer, Jacob Quinn. “Participants can learn about the outstanding off-highway vehicle opportunities in the Lake Tahoe Basin and how these grants support the operations and maintenance of our off-highway vehicle programs.”

For requests for reasonable accommodation access to the facility or proceedings, contact Adrian Escobedo at 530-543-2758 or email   

For more information on the applications, grant process or how to comment, contact Jacob Quinn at 530-543-2609 or email  


ROC Meeting in SLT 2/20/20

El Dorado County will be holding the February Rubicon Oversight Committee (ROC) meeting on Feb 20th in South Lake Tahoe at the California Conservation office at 6:30pm. It’s located at 1949 Apache Ave.

Here’s the agenda…


• Annual Report
• Rubicon MOU
• Grants
o New audit requirements
• Maintenance Activities for 2020 Season
• County Seasonal Help
• County Pumper Truck Update
• Jamboree 5 Year Parade Permit
• Upcoming events


Vickie Sanders has been trying to move the meetings around, outside of Placerville, in order to get more participation from the users.

If you have any questions about the Rubicon and how it’s maintained and/or managed, please get to the meeting.

El Dorado County will be involved with the management and maintenance of the Placer County section of the Rubicon along with the Tahoe National Forest.

OHV Grant Open Houses

Sorry for the late, and short, notice but I’ve been out of state.

Tis the season for those applying for OHV grants through the CA State Parks – OHMVR Division to host open houses to ask for feedback to the grants they have written.

Here’s the rub. Those agencies are REQUIRED to ask for feedback to their grants. If the agency does not hold an open house, the grant will be denied. But, those agencies are under no requirement to change the grant regardless of the feedback from those attending the open houses.

This point was realized by me when the Lake Tahoe Basin Mgnt Unit wrote a grant for an OHV route that was mostly used by mountain bikers. The work proposed was to be done by a mountain bike trail building company. The volunteers cited in the grant was IMBA and TAMBA mountain bike groups. I rallied quite a negative response to the grant and the Basin said in a face to face meeting that they would not change the grant.

CA State Parks heard the negative feedback and the grant was denied on a technicality. Coinsident?

Anyway, the Tahoe National Fortest is holding an open house…

Open House Meeting: Tahoe National Forest Off-Highway Vehicle Grant Discussion

Nevada City, Calif. – The U.S. Forest Service is preparing an annual application to the California Department of Parks and Recreation, Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division, to request funding for trail maintenance, law enforcement, education and safety, and potentially development of facilities, restoration and planning for off-highway vehicle (OHV) access.

On Thursday, February 13, 2020, the Forest Service will host an open house from 3:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. for individuals and organizations to provide input and review proposals for the application.

“I encourage anyone interested in the OHV program to drop by this informal open house to discuss their ideas on these proposals. Written comments are most helpful if sent by February 22,” stated Joe Chavez, Tahoe National Forest Trails Program Coordinator.

These annual OHV grants provide important funds for the Forest Service to develop and maintain trails and trailheads, repair winter storm damage and restore trailside environments, as well as provide patrolling and monitoring of these areas. When finalized, the grants will be available for public review and comment on the State of California’s website ( from March 3 – May 4, 2020.

Open House Meeting Location: Tahoe National Forest Headquarters, 631 Coyote St., Nevada City, CA  95959. Upstairs conference room (enter from upper parking lot in back of building).

Date and Time: Thursday – February 13, 2020. 3:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Questions, comments or letters can be directed to: Joe Chavez, Forest Trails Program Coordinator, Tahoe National Forest, 631 Coyote St., Nevada City, CA 95959; Email: or (530) 478-6158.


The Eldorado National Forest is also holding an open house…

PLACERVILLE, Calif. – The public is invited to an Open House on Wednesday, February 12 from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM to discuss grant applications that the Eldorado National Forest will be submitting for Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) Cooperative Funds during the upcoming 2019/2020 grant cycle.   The Forest is currently in the process of developing preliminary proposals to the California Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) Division with an emphasis on trail maintenance and repair; law enforcement across all four Ranger Districts; printing and distribution of Motor Vehicle Use Maps; and education. Public input is very helpful in the development of these proposals. All who are interested in the forest’s OHV Program are encouraged to attend the Open House.   This OHV Grants Open House will be held at the Eldorado National Forest Supervisor’s Office, 100 Forni Road, Placerville, CA 95667. For directions, call (530) 622-5061.   The Eldorado National Forest has been successful in receiving grants from the OHMVR Division in previous grant cycles. The grants have helped address trail repair and clearing of downed trees on over 300 miles of OHV routes, as well as law enforcement patrol on an additional 900 miles of native surface roads. These grants also make it possible to provide free Motor Vehicle Use Maps, as well as other planning, development, and restoration activities.   Once completed, the preliminary grant applications will be available on the OHMVR website on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 through Monday, June 1, 2020 for review and comment. To review the grant applications submitted, go to   The public may provide electronic comments to the Eldorado National Forest (applicant) by e-mailing Michelle Zuro-Kreimer at and carbon copying (cc) the OHMVR Division at   Written comments, suggestions, or letters of support for the applications can be sent to Michelle Zuro-Kreimer, Eldorado National Forest, 100 Forni Road, Placerville, CA 95667 .   For more information about recreation on the Eldorado National Forest, visit the forest website at   ###