What will it take to navigate these roads safely?

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AntiGroundhogDay

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I'd like to navigate the following roads in a RAV4 Hybrid SUV (if I go solo) w/ 7in of ground clearance:

Mostly these types... 
natural_resource_road.jpg


Once in awhile these types of roads...
1.jpg

forestrd.jpg


And roads where I'm probably looking for a bit of trouble...
_MG_1173-L.jpg

Web-10-Rough-and-steep-section-of-middle-trail-heading-south.jpg


I'm interested in opinions on the type of tire I need for these roads and tools for self-assist if I get stuck.  Heck maybe you think this SUV can't handle some of these roads with the ground clearance it has period?!  Maybe I don't have enough storage in a little SUV for the proper tools?

Questions....

- Would the stock, all-season passenger SUV tires be problematic on the tougher roads?

- While trying to maintain MPG, would this LT tire be ~more~ than I need?  Just right?  Not enough?
Geolander

[font=Verdana, Geneva, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]- I see traction boards mentioned often (I like these because they fold: Traction Jack, but wouldn't this be more compact in my tiny SUV?  Trac - Grabber[size=small][font=Verdana, Geneva, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][font=Verdana, Geneva, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]  M[/font][/font]aybe they are not as effective?[/font][/size]

- I suppose a compact shovel, tire plug kit with compressor and spare tire would be desirable.  Plus I'd have a snatch strap for anyone that came along that could help pull me out.  Any other tools?

[font=Verdana, Geneva, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Basically I want to be reasonably self-sufficient out there.  I want the ability to venture out solo in a safeish way (I know nothing is guaranteed), but I have to admit I'm a little scared our being out in the middle of no-where alone.  Should be fun getting over my fear! Thanks![/font]

(Big credit to Vanholio for supplying the pics, as he's on the road actually doing this stuff and I'm stuck in a desk job....for now. :p)
 

highdesertranger

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1st pic no problem that's a maintained road.
2nd pic what you can see looks fine but these roads can go from fine to impassable quick. it appears that at one time that road was maintained but isn't now.
3rd pic getting a little rougher. looks ok in that pic but obvious water damage. could get bad quick.
4th pic drive slow watch for sharp rocks. when driving in fractured rocks go extremely slow. this road also has water damage.
5th pic again drive slow try to miss the larger rocks. this road looks like a prospecting track see the tailing piles on the right.
in all the pics the roads at that point look passible for a 2wd and are fairly easy roads. just slow down and pick your line carefully. when I say slow I mean under 10mph even slower sometimes.
spare tire is a must. traction mats might help. a good jack is a must. plenty of food and enough water to swim in. a ham radio helps.
on a light weight vehicle like yours those tires look ok. why 17's? is that what you have now?
if you are going to the RTR go to the getting unstuck seminar. I might think of something else latter. highdesertranger
 

AntiGroundhogDay

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highdesertranger said:
1st pic no problem that's a maintained road.
2nd pic what you can see looks fine but these roads can go from fine to impassable quick.  it appears that at one time that road was maintained but isn't now.
3rd pic getting a little rougher.  looks ok in that pic but obvious water damage.  could get bad quick.
4th pic drive slow watch for sharp rocks.  when driving in fractured rocks go extremely slow.  this road also has water damage.
5th pic  again drive slow try to miss the larger rocks.  this road looks like a prospecting track see the tailing piles on the right.
in all the pics the roads at that point look passible for a 2wd and are fairly easy roads.  just slow down and pick your line carefully.  when I say slow I mean under 10mph even slower sometimes.
spare tire is a must.  traction mats might help.  a good jack is a must.  plenty of food and enough water to swim in.  a ham radio helps.
on a light weight vehicle like yours those tires look ok.  why 17's? is that what you have now?
if you are going to the RTR go to the getting unstuck seminar.  I might think of something else latter.  highdesertranger

17s are standard on the RAV4 Hybrid.  Good point about having extra food and water when you go down a road like that.  To [font=Verdana, Arial, sans-serif]tx2sturgis's point as well... yeah having enough supplies to wait that out is a good idea.[/font]

[font=Verdana, Arial, sans-serif]Do you think those Geolanders have a significant advantage over say the OEM all-season SUV tire offering?  Maybe more puncture resistant? Not headed to the RTR this year.... stuck at the desk job in the NE for now.[/font]
 

MrNoodly

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I've done roads like the first three in my 2WD open-diff Express with all-season highway tires without any problems. I've done one or two like the fourth example with the same tires, but the roughness was exhausting and tedious and it turned out the trip wasn't worth it, with much nicer places being easier to get to. I don't consider the fifth example a road. It's a 4x4 trail. As tc2sturgis wrote, they're a different matter when wet -- or just moist enough for the rocks to be slippery. And steepness can be a problem. Then there's the pain in the ass of reaching an impassible spot and the last place to turn around was miles back. Or it's one of those very narrow "roads" with mountain on one side and cliff on the other and you meet someone coming the other way.
 

highdesertranger

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around here it's called a 2 track. a lot of times the brush is growing down the center leaving 2 tracks. highdesertranger
 

DuneElliot

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I know plenty of Wyoming people, including me, who have done roads that look like each one of those pictures, including the last one, with Toyotas and GMC Yukon-type vehicles. I would potentially upgrade the tires to ATs though
 

Spaceman Spiff

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AntiGroundhogDay said:
Questions....

- Would the stock, all-season passenger SUV tires be problematic on the tougher roads?

I have driven on roads 1 - 4 in a Subaru Forester with P rated tires with no problems. With #5 I would want something with stronger sidewalls.  And as HDR said: SLOW.  If in doubt get out and walk; I walk a lot when driving roads like #5.  If the road is wet, any of them could be problematic with highway tread; dangerous and impassible if an incline is included.

- While trying to maintain MPG, would this LT tire be ~more~ than I need?  Just right?  Not enough?
Geolander

IMHO get tires to handle the worst conditions you will be driving in.  #4 & 5 = a D or E rated A/T tire.  You trade a small price in gas milage and tire life for safety.

[font=Verdana, Geneva, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]- I see traction boards mentioned often (I like these because they fold: Traction Jack, but wouldn't this be more compact in my tiny SUV?  Trac - Grabber[size=small][font=Verdana, Geneva, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][font=Verdana, Geneva, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]  M[/font][/font]aybe they are not as effective?
[/font][/size]

My experience with plastic traction boards is they are slippery when wet and the nubbs wear out fast.  I made traction boards out of 3/8" plywood and lots of hex head sheet metal screws, sized to fit behind seats in cab.  Heavier than plastic but get good traction and they can be sized to fit where you have room.
As to the Trac-Grabber, I have thought of making something like that out of old tire chains (carry full set of chains now and they are heavy).


- I suppose a compact shovel, tire plug kit with compressor and spare tire would be desirable.  Plus I'd have a snatch strap for anyone that came along that could help pull me out.  Any other tools?

The more compact the shovel the more back breaking to use; and make sure it has a metal blade.
An axe and bow saw (or chainsaw).
Tire plug kit and tire inflator, the largest tire boot you can find, an inner tube to fit you tires, know how to break the bead with your jack and vehicle AND practice resetting the bead before you break it in the boonies.
Spare tire is a must, two is better.
Tow strap (two is better), tree saver, block and tackle or winch.  Hand operated winches are dangerous and should only be used in a dire emergency and very, very carefully.  A block and tackle is safer to use.  You can take advantage of a taut tow strap to pull yourself out but it is a slow, tedious, back breaking job.  I also carry an anchor for when a natural one is not available.
A good jack.  High lift jacks are handy for getting unstuck but not a good choice for tire changes.
Reliable communicator.  I carry an inReach satellite based personal emergency beacon that doubles as a text communicator.
Hand tools for repairs as appropriate.

Plan on getting yourself out of any situation; it might be a long time before anyone comes along.
Plan on being stranded for a while, with enough food/water/supplies for at least 5 days.  I've been stranded by an impassible muddy road (like #1) for that long.

[font=Verdana, Geneva, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Basically I want to be reasonably self-sufficient out there.  I want the ability to venture out solo in a safeish way (I know nothing is guaranteed), but I have to admit I'm a little scared our being out in the middle of no-where alone.  Should be fun getting over my fear! Thanks![/font]

(Big credit to Vanholio for supplying the pics, as he's on the road actually doing this stuff and I'm stuck in a desk job....for now. :p)
 

akrvbob

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I don't see any problems with any of those roads. I routinely go on worse. 3 Things that will seriously stop you:

1) Mud
2) Sand
3) Boulders embedded in the road

Number three is the most common and could stop you on the rougher of those roads. The low ground clearance of the Rav4 will be a big issue then.

We all hope better tires will get us through mud and sand, but they won't. Most important thing is to air down your tires, then the tires may help a little but really traction is king in mud and sand and that means 4x4 or a locker.

I've owned and used these traction matts quite often, highly recommended, I won't be without them.
http://amzn.to/2yEZH6b
 

Motrukdriver

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akrvbob said:
I've owned and used these traction matts quite often, highly recommended, I won't be without them.

Ahh, good old traction mats.  I used those rubber friction mats shippers put down in the trailer for hauling those big rolls of paper.  ALWAYS kept 5 or 6 rolled up under my bunk for just such an emergency.  Still have a few of them in my tool box on the little Ranger 4x4.  You could even use them in case you had to belly crawl in the mud up under your rig to fix something and not get nearly as messy as without.
 

AntiGroundhogDay

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Here is the RAV4 Hybrid on an off-road course:


*Please note the driver states the GC is 6.3in, but in actuality the Hybrid is 7in and the regular RAV4 is 6.3in.
 

AntiGroundhogDay

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In a bit of a mess:


Not quite as good as traditional AWD offerings, but if I were alone I probably wouldn't be trudging through this stuff in the first place...
 

bullfrog

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Sharp rocks seem to be the most common problem in my experience. Lots of them in the Henry Mountains of southern Utah. If even the first photograph gets wet or has standing water you will have to wait till it drys out here because of the red sand that has no bottom and the clay that turns to grease. I have had two flats a once in areas where there is no communication so tire repair and jacking skills should be practiced. Traveling with two vehicles with CB radio in both is preferred but as a loner I have lately been looking at the folding electric rad bike as an emergency means of getting out to civilization. In cars with electronic fuel injection and ignition, failures will eventually leave you stuck 20 miles from pavement so make sure you have a way to deal with those types of situations, as well as a back up plan to the back up plan. Knowing how well traveled the area is and knowing someone will come looking for you can eliminate a lot of equipment and stress if you get stuck.
 

AntiGroundhogDay

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Something tells me I'll need a locked box on the hitch to carry all this stuff in the little SUV. Haha.
 

Matlock

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"What will it take to navigate these roads safely?"

Practice.

And I'd ask a friend with off-road experience and a Jeep CJ w/tow strap to come with. :D

A winch on the front of the Jeep wouldn't hurt either.
 
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