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Old 03-25-2010, 06:26 PM   #1
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Who ya gonna call when your 4X4 SMB is no longer mobile?

Here is the story: The outer bearings in my Dynatrac right front hub disintegrated after about 90K mi. Fortunately the calipers held the hub on until I got my SMB stopped near the town of Pahrump. The garage was 12 miles away so the tow job was covered by AAA. Bad news is that the bearings in both hubs and the right spindle had to be replaced. I also had them do a brake job. The final cost was $2,076.

I travel into remote areas (Toroweep, Marble Canyon DV, Beebe Lake, etc) and was wondering what I would do if my SMB became immobile in the wilderness. I was told that it took a $1,600 deposit to get a vehicle from Death Valley to Pahrump, NV. That is if you do not have to be snatched from the Race Track or Marble Canyon.

What kind of contingency plans have you cooked up to deal with a significant breakdown in a remote area?

Is there any kind of service that specializes in 4X4 rescue?

Has anyone from the SMB group attempted to arrange a rescue operation for other SMBs that need to be repaired or hauled out of an extreme area?

How do you deal with repair shops that use an estimate sheet that includes a modifier for out of town customers (generally known as the screw factor)?
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Old 03-25-2010, 07:11 PM   #2
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Re: Who ya gonna call when your 4X4 SMB is no longer mobile?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraHawk
Is there any kind of service that specializes in 4X4 rescue?
Generally, there are two options;
Visa
MasterCard

Seriously though, sometimes your best best is to call a local 4x4 shop who may be able to drag you out. Probably less money than a tow service, but it won't be cheap either. Of course with an SMB, it requires a large vehicle, and it requires cell phone or radio service where you're at, or a long walk.

This type of situation is hardly exclusive to SMBs. IMO, the more complex a vehicle, the more failure points there are, and most of them are single points of failure. Now take a complex vehicle and bounce and shake it around and you greatly multiply the likelihood of failure. Remember, it's the journey not the destination.


Herb
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Old 03-25-2010, 07:30 PM   #3
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Re: Who ya gonna call when your 4X4 SMB is no longer mobile?

In my area around Sonora, Tioga, and Kaiser Pass, there are several tow services that deal with backcountry extraction. I have their phone numbers written down in my service manual. It's probably a good idea to research the area you plan to visit, find the companies that deal with extraction locally and keep their phone number handy. It can cost a small fortune to get your vehicle out (if even possible) by a 4x4 tow rig. There might be times that a mobile mechanic would be cheaper (or the only solution) and I have friends who I can call to make the repairs and yes that will also cost me in money, time, and finding a way to get them to the site. My main problem with my van is not being able to brake with the engine dead and this is because of the steep terrain I commonly visit. Most of the time a drive train problem can be resolved to a point that you can get the vehicle to a regular tow service spot. Yeah I really sweat that. So far I've been lucky and have been able to limp out to a road where someone can get me. If not...beau coup bucks
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:06 PM   #4
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Re: Who ya gonna call when your 4X4 SMB is no longer mobile?

My contingency plan usually involves going into the back country with multiple rigs (Jeep experience). Three is a good minimum number. In theory, one to go for the part you can't fix and don't have. One to stay with the disabled vehicle so it doesn't get ransacked or stolen by someone that knows how to fix it and has the parts.

And much like any hobby, it is always good to get involved with people that know more than you do (like a buddy that is a mechanic). Then, watch and learn when his rig breaks.

Finally, like Herb put so well - It is the journey, not the destination. Hopefully, if it needs to be the destination, you will have learned enough on the previous journeys to get you through...
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Old 03-25-2010, 11:17 PM   #5
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Re: Who ya gonna call when your 4X4 SMB is no longer mobile?

Personally I like to rely on daveb.

Thanks daveb and don.

Last Chance Canyon in January:





Whenever possible it really pays off traveling with others.

steve
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Old 03-26-2010, 06:37 AM   #6
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Re: Who ya gonna call when your 4X4 SMB is no longer mobile?

We have towing insurance on our auto policy. It will at least tow us, as long as we are on an "existing roadway" for 100 miles or the nearest town with a repair shop. I'm not sure I would want to test this where we usually go.

I have been towed from Saline Valley, and Panamint Valley many years ago in our Chevy S-10. The Saline Valley tow was $1,400.

I suppose if we are broken down out it the middle of nowhere and have no cell service we are usually equipped to hang out for days in need be. We also carry a Spot if it was a dire need.
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Old 03-26-2010, 06:41 AM   #7
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Re: Who ya gonna call when your 4X4 SMB is no longer mobile?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cellularSTEVE
Personally I like to rely on daveb.

Thanks daveb and don.

Last Chance Canyon in January:





Whenever possible it really pays off traveling with others.

steve
BTW,
How did you manage that? Turing around? Looks like a tight spot for sure. I'm not busting your chops, I recently got stuck in a campground.
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Old 03-26-2010, 07:44 AM   #8
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Re: Who ya gonna call when your 4X4 SMB is no longer mobile?

Quote:
Originally Posted by saline
Quote:
Originally Posted by cellularSTEVE
Personally I like to rely on daveb.

Thanks daveb and don.

Last Chance Canyon in January:

Whenever possible it really pays off traveling with others.

steve
BTW,
How did you manage that? Turing around? Looks like a tight spot for sure. I'm not busting your chops, I recently got stuck in a campground.
Yeah Steve, where's the trip report on that? It looks like you're more or less at a right angle to the roadway. Inquiring minds want to know.


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Old 03-26-2010, 08:00 AM   #9
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Re: Who ya gonna call when your 4X4 SMB is no longer mobile?

I know what happened.
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Old 03-26-2010, 08:13 AM   #10
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Re: Who ya gonna call when your 4X4 SMB is no longer mobile?

I have a camping world and a good sam deal
(they added at check out on my first trip to CW, thought was one svc...)

will have to call and ck em out see what they cover

bw

(stuck at campground
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