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Tom Severin

Where is Your Winch Controller?

Mt. Patterson was our destination that beautiful autumn day. Part of the Sweetwater Range and located on the western edge of the Great Basin, Mt. Patterson’s summit offers a commanding view of that area.

The drive entails a slow climb on a one-lane shelf road. I was leading a group of seven vehicles up the long switchback. The road can be a little dicey if you encounter anyone coming down. There aren’t too many places to pull off.

At one point a party of six motorcycles came up from behind. Being courteous folks, we let the cyclists slip past. To create additional room, one driver decided to back up. His intention was to aim for the trail’s edge. But he almost went too far, dropping two wheels off the side.

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John Stewart

Nonresident OHV decal required in Arizona

New decal required for nonresidents to ride in AZ, purchased only through AZGFD

PHOENIX — Out-of-state residents wishing to legally ride their off-highway vehicle and support OHV trail maintenance, education and law enforcement efforts in Arizona can purchase a nonresident OHV decal beginning Sunday, Sept. 1.

The new decal was supported and pushed by the OHV riding community during the 2019 legislative session and was signed into law by Gov. Doug Ducey. The law requires nonresident OHV owners to purchase a decal to operate the machines within the state. 

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Tom Severin

Be a Guest-Focused Trail Leader

Four-wheeling is best enjoyed in groups. (Indeed, I stress group outings for safety reasons.) At times you will be a participant. Others times you will want to be the Trail Leader. You’re proud of your skills and want to showcase the trails you enjoy exploring.

Being a Trail Leader isn’t a particularly difficult task. But it does entail many responsibilities. In 10 Qualities of a Great Trail Leader, I touch on the role mostly from the technical side.

This article takes the guests’ perspective. Specifically, how to ensure that your guests enjoy the best trip possible. (Note that I don’t use the word “customer.”  These people don’t pay to participate.) Certain aspects are beyond your control. But many others can be influenced by you.

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John Stewart

Daystar Hood Wrangler Install

Daystar Hood WranglerEvery JK owner will notice that strange little hood movement known as “hood flutter”.  That is when you pass a semi on an windy day and you see your hood start to lift.  The 2007 and newer JK Wrangler stock hood latches are prone to stretching which allows movement of the hood.  As an easy fix, Daystar Products has introduced the Hood Wrangler, polyurethane replacements for the stock rubber hood latch.  Installation is easy, less than an hour from start to finish, provided you have a the right stuff on hand.

The Daystar Products replacement kit includes necessary parts and instructions.  What the instructions don’t tell you is the size of nut holding the hood latch.  And, more important, the location of the nut provides a challenge to fit a wrench and loosen the nut.

First, it is easy to find where the nut is located.  Yes, there is plenty of room around it, but, access is tight.  To make it real easy to replace the hood latch, remove the radiator or the fenders; slightly more than a one hour job.

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Tom Severin

Items That Don’t Belong on a 4WD Trip

If you’re a regular reader, you’ll recall that I often stress the virtues of proper packing for your 4WD trip. Having the right gear and supplies can make or break a four-wheeling experience. At the same time, taking the wrong stuff can be bad for you, your vehicle and the environment. What kinds of items am I talking about? The following list will get you started. The categories showcase the issue.

Environmental Responsibility:

  • Glass beer bottles: From the evidence I’ve seen, beer drinking can lead to irresponsible behavior. Empty bottles are tossed on the ground or into the fire pit. Broken glass litters the campground, which is a real hazard. If you want to drink beer, bring aluminum cans (and make sure you recycle).
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