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I tend to overbuild. I didn't join an offroad club until I had my lift, tires, regear, and lockers front and rear. My skills this year have improved this year so I'm thinking of hitting MOAB in the summer with a small group. While I know I would be just fine with my setup for most trails I'm going to perform upgrades anyway so why not tailor those to MOAB. I'm curious for the guys that actually go. See sig for my current setup. I was originally thinking of going up to 37" tires and putting a truss on my D30. It's already sleeved. My gears are Yukon and have been cryo'd so are a little better but I'd have to be easy on my D30. I've got 4.56 gears and for my DD they are actually a bit lower than I need so I'd imagine would work well for me on 37's. Axles are stock. I'm starting to think maybe I should abandon the 37's and instead upgrade my transfer case to either Rubicon or Atlas. On rock climbs my manual moved too fast for my liking and I killed it often. Here's my list of upgrades and I could probably throw say $2k max at it this year (I perform my own work so just parts). Anyone have recommendations for MOAB?

Possible Upgrades:
RCV axles
Truss for D30
37" Tires
Upgrade RK lift from 2.5" to 3.5"
Rubicon Transfer Case or Atlas if budget permits
Skids (running stock skid plates)
 

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35's are plenty big for Moab. Its one of the easiest places I have wheeled.
You really don't need anything special for there unless you are going to do the few really extreme off camber stuff, then you might want to carry a strap so someone can pull you back over.
 

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35's are plenty big for Moab. Its one of the easiest places I have wheeled.
You really don't need anything special for there unless you are going to do the few really extreme off camber stuff, then you might want to carry a strap so someone can pull you back over.

Depends on the trail. You can do super easy stuff and super hard stuff. 35s will do a lot. More clearance is mo better but 37s on a d30 is an old argument. Skids will help.

My group is heading out end of may/june and we only do the hard stuff - Pritchetts, BFE, Rusty Nail, etc. going to do a CO swing on the way back hit BV, Holy Cross, etc.
 

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You can do Moab stock (at least some of it). I took my new Rubicon there in October with only skid plates installed. It had 211 miles on it when we left the house. Stuck to mostly easier trails and still had a blast. I did do Elephant Hill in Canyonlands, a slightly moderate trail, and no problems. Just get out and enjoy.






 

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I also have a tendency to overbuild, but you are over thinking it. I would just go the way you are presently equipped.
 

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I tend to overbuild. I didn't join an offroad club until I had my lift, tires, regear, and lockers front and rear. My skills this year have improved this year so I'm thinking of hitting MOAB in the summer with a small group. While I know I would be just fine with my setup for most trails I'm going to perform upgrades anyway so why not tailor those to MOAB. I'm curious for the guys that actually go. See sig for my current setup. I was originally thinking of going up to 37" tires and putting a truss on my D30. It's already sleeved. My gears are Yukon and have been cryo'd so are a little better but I'd have to be easy on my D30. I've got 4.56 gears and for my DD they are actually a bit lower than I need so I'd imagine would work well for me on 37's. Axles are stock. I'm starting to think maybe I should abandon the 37's and instead upgrade my transfer case to either Rubicon or Atlas. On rock climbs my manual moved too fast for my liking and I killed it often. Here's my list of upgrades and I could probably throw say $2k max at it this year (I perform my own work so just parts). Anyone have recommendations for MOAB?

Possible Upgrades:
RCV axles
Truss for D30
37" Tires
Upgrade RK lift from 2.5" to 3.5"
Rubicon Transfer Case or Atlas if budget permits
Skids (running stock skid plates)
Thedirtman is right, 35 are plenty for Moab. But let's dive a little deeper. (I organize multiple Moab trips every year and have for several years.)

It really depends on the trails you intend to do. And since I assume this will be your first trip let's look at some of the most popular trails for first time Moabers.

Fins and Things. A nice moderately difficult trail that is a great place to get used to wheeling in Moab. The rock in Moab, even though it is called slickrock, is actually sandstone with tremendous grip. (Wet or dry, don't be concerned if it rains.) There are some steep climbs and descents which help you orientate to the new laws of traction you will be experiencing. A stock jeep can do Fins and Things without much drama. Lockers are nice, but except for the optional steep ass climb near the exit, not really needed at all. (Not sure if you have lockers or not.....)

Hells Revenge. Well if you are doing Fins might as well go across the street and do Hells. My FAVORITE trail. (Ok, a bit of sarcasm. Everyone in my group knows if I have to do Hells one more time I am going to slit my wrists!) Hells Revenge is probably one of the most famous and frequented trails in Moab. So if you go, gotta do Hells!! The head walls get a bit taller and bit steeper than Fins. Nothing that 35s cannot handle. If you have a rear locker you may find yourself using it especially after you return to the main trail just after the out and back to Hells Gate. You can make it up the steepest head wall without lockers but you will be spinning a tire for a bit. Maybe even sliding sideways which is fun, except on the Dragons Tail. Ok, back to Hells Gate, THE main obstacle on Hells Revenge. Tire size, breakover, lockers don't mean squat on Hells Gate. Pick the right line and its a relaxing drive. Pick the wrong line and you will suck that seat cover right up your ass! But like a great number of obstacles in Moab, its completely optional. You can mess around in the hot tubs, but you won't get out of the deepest one (Mickey's hot tub or sometimes called the Devils hot tub) without lockers. And a whole shit load of wheel speed. Probably not recommended for a first timer in Moab. Hell, I have been there a zillion times and I have only done the big hot tub in a buggy.

After those two trails, things begin to open up. Another main attraction is what I call the trifecta - Poison Spider/ Golden Spike/ Gold Bar Rim. Three trails. You can run just Poison Spider but once you commit to Golden Spike you have to run GBR to get out. (Or Rusty Nail, but that is probably not a good idea for a first timer.) I have taken lots of jeeps on 35s on the trifecta. They do it just fine. Sure they drag a big more and bang a bit more and struggle a bit more but they make it. Most of the really big obstacles on PS/GS/GBR have bypasses, but a few don't. On these trails you will encounter sheer vertical ledges. Some you have to climb, some you have to descend. Breakover is key, but again, 35s will make it. Going from a 2.5 lift to a 3.5 lift will help some, but not mandatory. Skids are nice, but not mandatory. For these trails and for most of moab a cross member skid is what you will hit most. Oil pans and transmissions are pretty safe, for the most part. (Top of the World comes to mind as an exception.)

You didn't mention bumpers. Don't know if you have them or not, but if stock, you will be dragging it so be prepared for damage. You can do these trails with stock bumpers, but they will not come through unscathed, especially at the Golden Crack. What I find the most useful "skid" in Moab is a tow hitch with an extension in it. Helps keep you from hanging on your spare tire on the big ledge descends! Just know you will probably tweak the cross member the hitch bolts to and your hitch will take on a permanent 5 degree angle upward.

Again, can you do PS/ GS/ GBR without lockers? Sure, just need to pick better lines and choose your obstacles carefully. There is a wall on GBR that is pretty damn hard to climb without lockers, especially at the time of year you will be going. (They fill it in for EJS and then it gets dug out as you get further away from EJS.) As long as one Jeep in your group can climb it, the rest can winch up if needed. There is no bypass and turning around is not really an option anymore!

After you have run those trails, then think about Metal Masher, Steel Bender, Top of the World, Moab Rim, Cliffhanger (only if you feel comfortable climbing a pretty nasty obstacle close to a 1,000 foot drop). Pritchett is doable on 35s, but your odds of breaking something (front or rear axle shaft) just went up by a factor of 3 or 4. Area BFE is not well suited for 35s. (not really for 37s either, except for few trails)

That will make for fun trip and a challenging trip. So to recap. Breakover is key. A rear locker is required to do some of the harder obstacles. Can you run Metal Masher, Steel Bender, etc without one, sure. Will you be taking the bypasses and / or struggling? Yes. Frankly, I no longer take people on those trails without at least a rear locker. They slow the whole group down because they struggle over stuff that the rest of us just walk up. A front locker is nice, but I find myself using it less and less. Now and again on some big ass ledge, a front locker can get you up. But I would put it in the "nice to have" category.

Which brings me to a good point. As for upgrades, get yourself as close in capability to your fellow travelers as possible. You can do some trails in a Subaru. So having a group of similarly built jeeps is really a good idea. You don't want to be "that guy".

Back to your list:

RCVs - nice to have but not really needed as long as you are smart with your front locker (if you have one). Don't try to turn on the slick rock with the front locker engaged. You will snap a u-joint in short order.

Truss for D30 - Only if you plan to do some high speed stuff on some of the easier trails. For the trails I mentioned, a truss is not needed.

37s - easier climbs up the big ledges. Sometimes the ledge is so tall you have to have bigger tires just to start to climb it. One of the optional ledges on Metal Masher comes to mind. You basically plow your front bumper into the rock and climb! 37s help break over as well. All around nice to have, but not needed.

3.5" lift - Helps with break over. Nice to have. Less dragging. Less banging. Easier on the cross member.

Transfer case - Yeah, maybe a concern. On some of the harder obstacles you want to be able to really have fine control over wheel speed. A lot of stuff requires a very slow crawl, or as some in my group do, just go for it.

Skids - did I mention the cross member skid. I like the EVO Protek that protects the fragile exhaust cross over pipe. Its the middle of your under belly that will take a beating. Don't worry about the tcase skid. I run the stock one and almost never hit it in Moab.

Oh one last thing. Remember its going to be hot in summer. Really, really hot! Take a MINIMUM of a gallon of water per person per day. And probably more that time of year!

Route finding is generally pretty easy, but there are zillions of forks with no signage telling you were to go. A GPS of some kind with the trails on them helps a lot. So does Charlie Wells trail book. Buy one, follow it. You will be glad you did! I know people who have made wrong turns on Hells Revenge! (Long story) Fun Treks GPS card is a no brainer if you have a Garmin GPS.

PM me if you need any help planning the trip. Where to stay, what else to do, etc.
 

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I tend to overbuild. I didn't join an offroad club until I had my lift, tires, regear, and lockers front and rear. My skills this year have improved this year so I'm thinking of hitting MOAB in the summer with a small group. While I know I would be just fine with my setup for most trails I'm going to perform upgrades anyway so why not tailor those to MOAB. I'm curious for the guys that actually go. See sig for my current setup. I was originally thinking of going up to 37" tires and putting a truss on my D30. It's already sleeved. My gears are Yukon and have been cryo'd so are a little better but I'd have to be easy on my D30. I've got 4.56 gears and for my DD they are actually a bit lower than I need so I'd imagine would work well for me on 37's. Axles are stock. I'm starting to think maybe I should abandon the 37's and instead upgrade my transfer case to either Rubicon or Atlas. On rock climbs my manual moved too fast for my liking and I killed it often. Here's my list of upgrades and I could probably throw say $2k max at it this year (I perform my own work so just parts). Anyone have recommendations for MOAB?

Possible Upgrades:
RCV axles
Truss for D30
37" Tires
Upgrade RK lift from 2.5" to 3.5"
Rubicon Transfer Case or Atlas if budget permits
Skids (running stock skid plates)

you'll be fine stock 'tho it is highly recommended that you take a towstrap and a j3ff3ry_j33p with you to MOAB ...

:p
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Wow, thanks for the replies. Nucleophile excellent write up. I have a Barricade front bumper and Smittybilt winch. The rear bumper is stock. I do want to replace them but I always figured I'd rather put money in other areas. I might have to reconsider. I do tow a trailer with my bus so bending the crossmember isn't the best idea. I hadn't even considered replacing my trans crossmember. A quick read and it seems like cheap insurance. It's not nearly as sexy as big tires and suspension but I think maybe the transfer case and some under armor should be on the ticket this year. Thanks.
 

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Thedirtman is right, 35 are plenty for Moab. But let's dive a little deeper. (I organize multiple Moab trips every year and have for several years.)

It really depends on the trails you intend to do. And since I assume this will be your first trip let's look at some of the most popular trails for first time Moabers.

Fins and Things. A nice moderately difficult trail that is a great place to get used to wheeling in Moab. The rock in Moab, even though it is called slickrock, is actually sandstone with tremendous grip. (Wet or dry, don't be concerned if it rains.) There are some steep climbs and descents which help you orientate to the new laws of traction you will be experiencing. A stock jeep can do Fins and Things without much drama. Lockers are nice, but except for the optional steep ass climb near the exit, not really needed at all. (Not sure if you have lockers or not.....)

Hells Revenge. Well if you are doing Fins might as well go across the street and do Hells. My FAVORITE trail. (Ok, a bit of sarcasm. Everyone in my group knows if I have to do Hells one more time I am going to slit my wrists!) Hells Revenge is probably one of the most famous and frequented trails in Moab. So if you go, gotta do Hells!! The head walls get a bit taller and bit steeper than Fins. Nothing that 35s cannot handle. If you have a rear locker you may find yourself using it especially after you return to the main trail just after the out and back to Hells Gate. You can make it up the steepest head wall without lockers but you will be spinning a tire for a bit. Maybe even sliding sideways which is fun, except on the Dragons Tail. Ok, back to Hells Gate, THE main obstacle on Hells Revenge. Tire size, breakover, lockers don't mean squat on Hells Gate. Pick the right line and its a relaxing drive. Pick the wrong line and you will suck that seat cover right up your ass! But like a great number of obstacles in Moab, its completely optional. You can mess around in the hot tubs, but you won't get out of the deepest one (Mickey's hot tub or sometimes called the Devils hot tub) without lockers. And a whole shit load of wheel speed. Probably not recommended for a first timer in Moab. Hell, I have been there a zillion times and I have only done the big hot tub in a buggy.

After those two trails, things begin to open up. Another main attraction is what I call the trifecta - Poison Spider/ Golden Spike/ Gold Bar Rim. Three trails. You can run just Poison Spider but once you commit to Golden Spike you have to run GBR to get out. (Or Rusty Nail, but that is probably not a good idea for a first timer.) I have taken lots of jeeps on 35s on the trifecta. They do it just fine. Sure they drag a big more and bang a bit more and struggle a bit more but they make it. Most of the really big obstacles on PS/GS/GBR have bypasses, but a few don't. On these trails you will encounter sheer vertical ledges. Some you have to climb, some you have to descend. Breakover is key, but again, 35s will make it. Going from a 2.5 lift to a 3.5 lift will help some, but not mandatory. Skids are nice, but not mandatory. For these trails and for most of moab a cross member skid is what you will hit most. Oil pans and transmissions are pretty safe, for the most part. (Top of the World comes to mind as an exception.)

You didn't mention bumpers. Don't know if you have them or not, but if stock, you will be dragging it so be prepared for damage. You can do these trails with stock bumpers, but they will not come through unscathed, especially at the Golden Crack. What I find the most useful "skid" in Moab is a tow hitch with an extension in it. Helps keep you from hanging on your spare tire on the big ledge descends! Just know you will probably tweak the cross member the hitch bolts to and your hitch will take on a permanent 5 degree angle upward.

Again, can you do PS/ GS/ GBR without lockers? Sure, just need to pick better lines and choose your obstacles carefully. There is a wall on GBR that is pretty damn hard to climb without lockers, especially at the time of year you will be going. (They fill it in for EJS and then it gets dug out as you get further away from EJS.) As long as one Jeep in your group can climb it, the rest can winch up if needed. There is no bypass and turning around is not really an option anymore!

After you have run those trails, then think about Metal Masher, Steel Bender, Top of the World, Moab Rim, Cliffhanger (only if you feel comfortable climbing a pretty nasty obstacle close to a 1,000 foot drop). Pritchett is doable on 35s, but your odds of breaking something (front or rear axle shaft) just went up by a factor of 3 or 4. Area BFE is not well suited for 35s. (not really for 37s either, except for few trails)

That will make for fun trip and a challenging trip. So to recap. Breakover is key. A rear locker is required to do some of the harder obstacles. Can you run Metal Masher, Steel Bender, etc without one, sure. Will you be taking the bypasses and / or struggling? Yes. Frankly, I no longer take people on those trails without at least a rear locker. They slow the whole group down because they struggle over stuff that the rest of us just walk up. A front locker is nice, but I find myself using it less and less. Now and again on some big ass ledge, a front locker can get you up. But I would put it in the "nice to have" category.

Which brings me to a good point. As for upgrades, get yourself as close in capability to your fellow travelers as possible. You can do some trails in a Subaru. So having a group of similarly built jeeps is really a good idea. You don't want to be "that guy".

Back to your list:

RCVs - nice to have but not really needed as long as you are smart with your front locker (if you have one). Don't try to turn on the slick rock with the front locker engaged. You will snap a u-joint in short order.

Truss for D30 - Only if you plan to do some high speed stuff on some of the easier trails. For the trails I mentioned, a truss is not needed.

37s - easier climbs up the big ledges. Sometimes the ledge is so tall you have to have bigger tires just to start to climb it. One of the optional ledges on Metal Masher comes to mind. You basically plow your front bumper into the rock and climb! 37s help break over as well. All around nice to have, but not needed.

3.5" lift - Helps with break over. Nice to have. Less dragging. Less banging. Easier on the cross member.

Transfer case - Yeah, maybe a concern. On some of the harder obstacles you want to be able to really have fine control over wheel speed. A lot of stuff requires a very slow crawl, or as some in my group do, just go for it.

Skids - did I mention the cross member skid. I like the EVO Protek that protects the fragile exhaust cross over pipe. Its the middle of your under belly that will take a beating. Don't worry about the tcase skid. I run the stock one and almost never hit it in Moab.

Oh one last thing. Remember its going to be hot in summer. Really, really hot! Take a MINIMUM of a gallon of water per person per day. And probably more that time of year!

Route finding is generally pretty easy, but there are zillions of forks with no signage telling you were to go. A GPS of some kind with the trails on them helps a lot. So does Charlie Wells trail book. Buy one, follow it. You will be glad you did! I know people who have made wrong turns on Hells Revenge! (Long story) Fun Treks GPS card is a no brainer if you have a Garmin GPS.

PM me if you need any help planning the trip. Where to stay, what else to do, etc.
That's a really good writeup there!

I'd only add that I agree -
Hell's Revenge is great but if you know the lines, super simple. Keep the hood level on Hell's gate and it's a piece of cake, get off and it can hose you up quickly though. I told my group last year I wasn't doing it and ended up getting dragged out there one morning and glad I did as I watched one of our guys flop on Mickeys (Mickey's is the second largest - the largest tub is damn near undoable if wet at all without a buggy and when doable you better hit the right line as shown by NR4x4s Jeep last year) Mickey's is easier in a 4door and sketchier in a 2door (which my friend was in). Locals recommend strapping 2doors to keep the front down if possible. I won't be doing Hell's this year.

I highly recommend Charles' book as well as read the EJS Magazine that is put out every year. A lot of it is for EJS but they also have a huge section on the trails that give a rating scale and description. RR4W club does a great job.
Red Rock 4-Wheelers, Inc. -
Red Rock 4-Wheelers, Inc. -

Think about strong rocker rails also if you haven't already. RockHard4x4 skids are nice also to give you another brand to look at. Mine have held up to a lot of rocks.

Pritchett's may be my favorite trail. Each year it gets more worn out and the ledges get a bit bigger and the undercuts get a bit more dug out. You can do some stuff in BFE but Upper Heldorado is what really convinced me I wanted 40s and hydro assist. Gate Keeper to Upper Heldorado is almost undoable without hydro assist. My goal this year is White Knuckle Hill and Widow Maker unassisted. Hoping stickies and front suckdown will help get me a little more traction on the front to pull me up.
 

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Thedirtman is right, 35 are plenty for Moab. But let's dive a little deeper. (I organize multiple Moab trips every year and have for several years.)

It really depends on the trails you intend to do. And since I assume this will be your first trip let's look at some of the most popular trails for first time Moabers.

Fins and Things. A nice moderately difficult trail that is a great place to get used to wheeling in Moab. The rock in Moab, even though it is called slickrock, is actually sandstone with tremendous grip. (Wet or dry, don't be concerned if it rains.) There are some steep climbs and descents which help you orientate to the new laws of traction you will be experiencing. A stock jeep can do Fins and Things without much drama. Lockers are nice, but except for the optional steep ass climb near the exit, not really needed at all. (Not sure if you have lockers or not.....)

Hells Revenge. Well if you are doing Fins might as well go across the street and do Hells. My FAVORITE trail. (Ok, a bit of sarcasm. Everyone in my group knows if I have to do Hells one more time I am going to slit my wrists!) Hells Revenge is probably one of the most famous and frequented trails in Moab. So if you go, gotta do Hells!! The head walls get a bit taller and bit steeper than Fins. Nothing that 35s cannot handle. If you have a rear locker you may find yourself using it especially after you return to the main trail just after the out and back to Hells Gate. You can make it up the steepest head wall without lockers but you will be spinning a tire for a bit. Maybe even sliding sideways which is fun, except on the Dragons Tail. Ok, back to Hells Gate, THE main obstacle on Hells Revenge. Tire size, breakover, lockers don't mean squat on Hells Gate. Pick the right line and its a relaxing drive. Pick the wrong line and you will suck that seat cover right up your ass! But like a great number of obstacles in Moab, its completely optional. You can mess around in the hot tubs, but you won't get out of the deepest one (Mickey's hot tub or sometimes called the Devils hot tub) without lockers. And a whole shit load of wheel speed. Probably not recommended for a first timer in Moab. Hell, I have been there a zillion times and I have only done the big hot tub in a buggy.

After those two trails, things begin to open up. Another main attraction is what I call the trifecta - Poison Spider/ Golden Spike/ Gold Bar Rim. Three trails. You can run just Poison Spider but once you commit to Golden Spike you have to run GBR to get out. (Or Rusty Nail, but that is probably not a good idea for a first timer.) I have taken lots of jeeps on 35s on the trifecta. They do it just fine. Sure they drag a big more and bang a bit more and struggle a bit more but they make it. Most of the really big obstacles on PS/GS/GBR have bypasses, but a few don't. On these trails you will encounter sheer vertical ledges. Some you have to climb, some you have to descend. Breakover is key, but again, 35s will make it. Going from a 2.5 lift to a 3.5 lift will help some, but not mandatory. Skids are nice, but not mandatory. For these trails and for most of moab a cross member skid is what you will hit most. Oil pans and transmissions are pretty safe, for the most part. (Top of the World comes to mind as an exception.)

You didn't mention bumpers. Don't know if you have them or not, but if stock, you will be dragging it so be prepared for damage. You can do these trails with stock bumpers, but they will not come through unscathed, especially at the Golden Crack. What I find the most useful "skid" in Moab is a tow hitch with an extension in it. Helps keep you from hanging on your spare tire on the big ledge descends! Just know you will probably tweak the cross member the hitch bolts to and your hitch will take on a permanent 5 degree angle upward.

Again, can you do PS/ GS/ GBR without lockers? Sure, just need to pick better lines and choose your obstacles carefully. There is a wall on GBR that is pretty damn hard to climb without lockers, especially at the time of year you will be going. (They fill it in for EJS and then it gets dug out as you get further away from EJS.) As long as one Jeep in your group can climb it, the rest can winch up if needed. There is no bypass and turning around is not really an option anymore!

After you have run those trails, then think about Metal Masher, Steel Bender, Top of the World, Moab Rim, Cliffhanger (only if you feel comfortable climbing a pretty nasty obstacle close to a 1,000 foot drop). Pritchett is doable on 35s, but your odds of breaking something (front or rear axle shaft) just went up by a factor of 3 or 4. Area BFE is not well suited for 35s. (not really for 37s either, except for few trails)

That will make for fun trip and a challenging trip. So to recap. Breakover is key. A rear locker is required to do some of the harder obstacles. Can you run Metal Masher, Steel Bender, etc without one, sure. Will you be taking the bypasses and / or struggling? Yes. Frankly, I no longer take people on those trails without at least a rear locker. They slow the whole group down because they struggle over stuff that the rest of us just walk up. A front locker is nice, but I find myself using it less and less. Now and again on some big ass ledge, a front locker can get you up. But I would put it in the "nice to have" category.

Which brings me to a good point. As for upgrades, get yourself as close in capability to your fellow travelers as possible. You can do some trails in a Subaru. So having a group of similarly built jeeps is really a good idea. You don't want to be "that guy".

Back to your list:

RCVs - nice to have but not really needed as long as you are smart with your front locker (if you have one). Don't try to turn on the slick rock with the front locker engaged. You will snap a u-joint in short order.

Truss for D30 - Only if you plan to do some high speed stuff on some of the easier trails. For the trails I mentioned, a truss is not needed.

37s - easier climbs up the big ledges. Sometimes the ledge is so tall you have to have bigger tires just to start to climb it. One of the optional ledges on Metal Masher comes to mind. You basically plow your front bumper into the rock and climb! 37s help break over as well. All around nice to have, but not needed.

3.5" lift - Helps with break over. Nice to have. Less dragging. Less banging. Easier on the cross member.

Transfer case - Yeah, maybe a concern. On some of the harder obstacles you want to be able to really have fine control over wheel speed. A lot of stuff requires a very slow crawl, or as some in my group do, just go for it.

Skids - did I mention the cross member skid. I like the EVO Protek that protects the fragile exhaust cross over pipe. Its the middle of your under belly that will take a beating. Don't worry about the tcase skid. I run the stock one and almost never hit it in Moab.

Oh one last thing. Remember its going to be hot in summer. Really, really hot! Take a MINIMUM of a gallon of water per person per day. And probably more that time of year!

Route finding is generally pretty easy, but there are zillions of forks with no signage telling you were to go. A GPS of some kind with the trails on them helps a lot. So does Charlie Wells trail book. Buy one, follow it. You will be glad you did! I know people who have made wrong turns on Hells Revenge! (Long story) Fun Treks GPS card is a no brainer if you have a Garmin GPS.

PM me if you need any help planning the trip. Where to stay, what else to do, etc.

spot on. I have been to Moab 5X in the last 4 years and going again the end of February.(late feb early march are great times to be there). Have not done pritchart yet but have done most of the tougher rated trails ie Rose Garden hill, Golden Spike (from the crack on in the dark due to a break down), Kane Creek, some of the hot tubs on Hells revenge and did hells revenge in the snow. been on 33's up to 35's and no problems for the most part. did top of the world (have done it several times and it gets old ) in the snow and it got really greasy but pretty much would be doable in a stock jeep. Its funny the older I get the more the ledge road/trails freak me out. Something about having your passenger tire 2" from a 1000' fall when off camber that is unsettling LOL.
 

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I live about 2.5 hours from Moab and visit several times a year. No need to over build just for there. Last time I led Golden Spike a guy joined us with a 2" lifted JK Sport on 33s, no lockers. We kept a strap out in case we had to give him a tug, but he drove well and ran the entire trail without incident. Local Jeep rental outfits like Cliffhanger will add spacer 2" lift on the 2 doors, or on Unlimiteds maybe a 2.5" lift, with 35s and they run those trails all day. Pritchet and a few others are another story, but you'll get the Moab experience without a big spend.

Never underestimate the effectiveness of the JK's Brake Lock Differential feature (BLD). It works great, particulalrly on the post 2012s. FWIW, I ran the White Rim trail last October in my '13 F150 pickup. I was the "Swag Wagon" for a group of mountain bikers on a two-day run. Ford's Advanace Trac system is the same deal as BLD. The truck is bone stock except for a fresh set of BFG KO2 All Terrains in the stock size. It walked the entire trail, only needed 4L in a couple of spots and even though it has a rear E-Locker the Advance Trac handled any situation where it lost traction on one wheel or another. Amazing.
 

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Wow, thanks for the replies. Nucleophile excellent write up. I have a Barricade front bumper and Smittybilt winch. The rear bumper is stock. I do want to replace them but I always figured I'd rather put money in other areas. I might have to reconsider. I do tow a trailer with my bus so bending the crossmember isn't the best idea. I hadn't even considered replacing my trans crossmember. A quick read and it seems like cheap insurance. It's not nearly as sexy as big tires and suspension but I think maybe the transfer case and some under armor should be on the ticket this year. Thanks.
Thanks for the kind words. I could have gone back and read your signature to see what you had, but thought I would just make my advice generic in case it would benefit others.

You don't need to replace your rear bumper. A number of Jeeps I have taken out on those trails had stock bumpers. They were fine at the end of the trails. Scraped a little on the bottom (and passenger corner on the Golden Crack) but otherwise fine. If you leave that stock tow hook in place it can take the abuse on that side of the bumper. If you don't put an extension in your tow hitch, you can still use it as a slider without bending it. (Contrary to what I said last night, I think the tow hitch might actually bend and not the cross member it attaches to, but hard to tell.) Its the added leverage from an 18" extension that gets things wonky. Just be advised that Steel Bender (the "fall") and Behind the Rocks (white knuckle) are probably trails to avoid until you have a real rear bumper. And as for removing the bumper, I am not sure I am agree because then you can (more easily) hang from you rear tire carrier. Which is a real somewhat disconcerting feeling as its not designed to carry that much weight (though I have done with a GenRight AL tire carrier!).

You don't need to replace your trans cross member, just do a skid to protect it. As I said I like the Evo as it is fairly light (I hate adding weight to an already underpowered JK) but plenty strong. It will take the Moab abuse just fine. You will find yourself on your frame rails more than at any other time wheeling. On the big ledges, you usually drag on your frame, if that helps to clarify things.

If you have concerns about crawl speed and are thinking about replacing the transfer case anyway, then do that before you go.

Some additional tips.

1. If you engage your front locker on the slickrock, don't try to turn the wheel any significant amount until the front locker is unengaged. Easy way to snap a u joint.

2. When you drop into the Golden Crack, your steering wheeling is going to turn hard driver. Don't fight it. Don't try to straighten your wheels as you can break the sector shaft. And this goes for anytime the wheel is bound up on the slickrock. Just proceed forward or backward until the steering wheel can turn freely. Don't force it. A broken sector shaft is the end of the road. Its hard to even have someone drag you out.

3. Your best piece of gear is your brain. Stay alert and don't take any obstacle for granted. I have seen Flight for Life come to Moab on multiple occasions. Two women were killed on Hells Revenge last year. I saw another guy who had to be flight for life'd out on Hells. (I think Hells gets more than its share because its were all the tourists go with the rental jeeps.) You can watch the jeep in front of you go down a ledge without drama and if you are 6" off his or her line you can roll. I have seen it happen.

4. Progress your way up the difficulty chain. Trails like Cliffhanger and Moab Rim have higher degrees of difficulty than a Poison Spider or Fins and Things. If it looks off camber, it is off camber.

5. Have a spotter you can trust. A good spotter in Moab can make all the difference in the world. What is really important in Moab is not just spotting one tire, you have to think about all 4 tires, where are they now and where will they be 30 seconds from now. Watch some of the rollover videos. People are fine, fine, fine and then over. It can happen just that fast.

I have taken dozens of people from all over the country (and even as far away as China) on all of the major trails in Moab (except Prittchet) without any significant damage. But we have had plenty of close calls. Moab is an awesome place. Enjoy the breathtaking beauty, enjoy the challenge of wheeling to the edge of your comfort zone and have a great time!
 

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My first Moab experience in my stock Rubicon as a noob trail driver.

I went out with my new, Stock JKU Rubicon Hard Rock as one of my first trips as a noob trail driver in 2016.

I went out there with some Friends, all of whom were lifted with 35's, and who provided excellent guidance.
Got a few scratches and scrapes on the bottom of my new Jeep as souvenirs and I learned a lot! My stock RubiHR did almost everything that the lifted guys did.

The trails we hit did were:

Hells Revenge**
Tower Arch**
Baby Lion's Back
Poison Spider*
Hurrah Pass
Cache Valley
Top of the World
Gemeni Arch

*If I had only one day back there.
**If I had two day's back there.
 

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spot on. I have been to Moab 5X in the last 4 years and going again the end of February.(late feb early march are great times to be there). Have not done pritchart yet but have done most of the tougher rated trails ie Rose Garden hill, Golden Spike (from the crack on in the dark due to a break down), Kane Creek, some of the hot tubs on Hells revenge and did hells revenge in the snow. been on 33's up to 35's and no problems for the most part. did top of the world (have done it several times and it gets old ) in the snow and it got really greasy but pretty much would be doable in a stock jeep. Its funny the older I get the more the ledge road/trails freak me out. Something about having your passenger tire 2" from a 1000' fall when off camber that is unsettling LOL.
We were planning to go late February but we had to change to early March due to a scheduling conflict. You are right, its a good time to go. I am not fond of the big crowds.

You find having your passenger tire 2" from a 1000' foot fall unsettling? I am afraid of heights and I find it down right terrifying! I hate that last big rock that pushes you toward the edge on the descend on Moab Rim. You can't see where you are but you can see its a long way down!
 

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We were planning to go late February but we had to change to early March due to a scheduling conflict. You are right, its a good time to go. I am not fond of the big crowds.

You find having your passenger tire 2" from a 1000' foot fall unsettling? I am afraid of heights and I find it down right terrifying! I hate that last big rock that pushes you toward the edge on the descend on Moab Rim. You can't see where you are but you can see its a long way down!
We are actually going to be in Moab March 1 thru the 6th. So are 6 rigs are committed. Maybe we will see you. We all have Montana plates.
We have always had the place basically to ourselves and have rarely run into other rigs other than on something like hells revenge or fins and things.

hopefully we will see you if you are there at that time. I need a good spotter up escalator. I have not witnessed anyone go up it and I have walked it and think I know the line but I watch videos and see people screw up lol. Its one of those trails I need to see someone drive the right line first.
 

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I tend to overbuild. I didn't join an offroad club until I had my lift, tires, regear, and lockers front and rear. My skills this year have improved this year so I'm thinking of hitting MOAB in the summer with a small group. While I know I would be just fine with my setup for most trails I'm going to perform upgrades anyway so why not tailor those to MOAB. I'm curious for the guys that actually go. See sig for my current setup. I was originally thinking of going up to 37" tires and putting a truss on my D30. It's already sleeved. My gears are Yukon and have been cryo'd so are a little better but I'd have to be easy on my D30. I've got 4.56 gears and for my DD they are actually a bit lower than I need so I'd imagine would work well for me on 37's. Axles are stock. I'm starting to think maybe I should abandon the 37's and instead upgrade my transfer case to either Rubicon or Atlas. On rock climbs my manual moved too fast for my liking and I killed it often. Here's my list of upgrades and I could probably throw say $2k max at it this year (I perform my own work so just parts). Anyone have recommendations for MOAB?

Possible Upgrades:
RCV axles
Truss for D30
37" Tires
Upgrade RK lift from 2.5" to 3.5"
Rubicon Transfer Case or Atlas if budget permits
Skids (running stock skid plates)
I can't really ad much to these excellent comments but one good tip; When driving with the front locker engaged ALWAYS use the accelerator to help you steer as it helps considerably and keeps power steering fluid temps down. I used to run Detroit Lockers front & rear and you could really heat the fluid if trying to just use the steering pump. You will have the time of your life in Moab thats why so many of us have gone 30 or more times. :grin2:
 

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We are actually going to be in Moab March 1 thru the 6th. So are 6 rigs are committed. Maybe we will see you. We all have Montana plates.
We have always had the place basically to ourselves and have rarely run into other rigs other than on something like hells revenge or fins and things.

hopefully we will see you if you are there at that time. I need a good spotter up escalator. I have not witnessed anyone go up it and I have walked it and think I know the line but I watch videos and see people screw up lol. Its one of those trails I need to see someone drive the right line first.
Yeah, you should stick out like a sore thumb. You will be the only 6 jeeps covered in snow! :grin2:

Escalator. Have not driven up it but have ridden shotgun in a buggy up it. From what little I know, the key is keeping your rear passenger tire up on the right side. If it slips down into the hole that is where people tilt over into the wall. But just going from memory. Stop by Outlaw tours. I know in talking to the owner (Jack?) there is a certain way to approach the hole up on top. I can't remember if it stay to the passenger side and turn driver when your front wheels are over it or vice versa. The trick is thinking about where you want the back tires to be, not the front. The front tires are not the problem, its the rear tire placement that get people in trouble. I think you have to keep the rear passenger out of the very bottom of the hole and you should be fine. If you see Dan Mick or his son (Rob?) ask them. Its not complicated, it just has to be executed correctly.
 

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I can't really ad much to these excellent comments but one good tip; When driving with the front locker engaged ALWAYS use the accelerator to help you steer as it helps considerably and keeps power steering fluid temps down. I used to run Detroit Lockers front & rear and you could really heat the fluid if trying to just use the steering pump. You will have the time of your life in Moab thats why so many of us have gone 30 or more times. :grin2:
My goal is no more than 10 feet of driving with the front engaged. And actually, I have been doing most of the trails without ever engaging the front locker. You would be surprised how seldom you really need it. Especially with that big 6.4 hanging out over your front axle!
 

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Yeah, you should stick out like a sore thumb. You will be the only 6 jeeps covered in snow! :grin2:

Escalator. Have not driven up it but have ridden shotgun in a buggy up it. From what little I know, the key is keeping your rear passenger tire up on the right side. If it slips down into the hole that is where people tilt over into the wall. But just going from memory. Stop by Outlaw tours. I know in talking to the owner (Jack?) there is a certain way to approach the hole up on top. I can't remember if it stay to the passenger side and turn driver when your front wheels are over it or vice versa. The trick is thinking about where you want the back tires to be, not the front. The front tires are not the problem, its the rear tire placement that get people in trouble. I think you have to keep the rear passenger out of the very bottom of the hole and you should be fine. If you see Dan Mick or his son (Rob?) ask them. Its not complicated, it just has to be executed correctly.
Dan spotted us thru the car wash. He said it was too wet that day to do the escalator. Nice guy for sure. He has a beast of a rig too.
 
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