As if the Rubicon wasn't scary enough, the weekend I was supposed to go up, it was raining/ snowing on the trails. While Vedar and the boys still went north east, Sohan and I packed our bags to go south to Barstow. We were meeting up with my customer, and more importantly my friend Helen and her BF. This trip served multiple purpose; check up on the GX build we did awhile back, check out new trails, test the high-speed off-road capabilities of the bronco, test its long range road trip comfort, and show Sohan what a mildly built rig can do.
Here's a pretty view from the top of a hill that overlooks the campground.
Note to self: get compressor setup
Did a little desert running and a little crawling in the canyons. The Bronco performed flawlessly. I was aired down to 25psi and the truck didn't lose traction on any surface. At speeds around 70ish on the gravel it was composed and it rode over rutted surfaces like a cloud.
Things I found useful:
-The front camera makes ascending and descending steep hills less intimating. The camera gives you good visibility on the obstacles ahead so you can maneuver accordingly.
-The front camera washer is very useful in dusty conditions. I thought it was gimmicky at first, but now I believe.
-Eco mode is your friend on road trips
It decreases throttle response and I believe it optimizes gear changes based on fuel economy. I averaged between a range of 18-20mpg's on this trip. That's fighting against headwind coming back home too!
-Radar cruise and lane keep
This made the road trip on long stretches of road much more bearable. A five hour trip felt like three. You don't have to be hyper focused on driving, you can kinda relax and let the car do the boring bits. I
t's not too jerky and the braking isn't aggressive. It's smooth. Both systems work decently in the heavy rain.
-Trail Turn works
Again something I thought was gimmicky but wanted to have on the truck regardless This feature alone saved me so much from doing a gazillion point turn. This also helped me get into the desired starting position before taking a line trough an obstacle.
-Truck felt stable when hit crosswinds
Cons discovered on this trip:
-Soft top is loud with cross winds
-There's no lock for the tailgate or I don't know how to use it properly? Tough to keep it open with a strong wind gust
On the way home we heard that the Bay Area had nasty weather. Unfortunately it's kinda deep in the navi menu.
You can also pull up the weather at your destination which is neat.
Coupled with Apple Maps and Google Maps, my co-pilot and I monitored how traffic and the different routes were being affected by the weather.
-Things I learned
I'm gonna start sleeping in the back of the truck. My Fj wasn't long enough to sleep comfortably. This is! So before my next camping trip I'm gonna attempt to make a sleeping platform that I can use to level out the rear. TBD