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Old 08-25-2013, 08:09 AM   #11
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Re: Need WY Red Desert recommendations

Trip report coming soon. Hopefully I will get my pictures downloaded today. Stay tuned.
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Old 08-25-2013, 03:39 PM   #12
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Re: Need WY Red Desert recommendations

You can see my trip report at:

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=11706&p=108790#p108790

You also can see a few of the funny signs on Highway 28 on the way to South Pass. (see page 10)

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=5122&hilit=funny+signs&start=1 35

This is a great area for both campground and boondock camping. In between South Pass City and Atlantic City there is a turnoff to Forest Road 300 leading into the Wind River Range. The Wind River Range is a wilderness area. This is the only road into this part of the Range. The road northbound is 19 miles of dirt road with very severe washboard ripples. It rattled our brains at 10 mph. After ten miles, just past Louis Lake, the dirt road is not so rough. The final 16 miles are paved. There are very scary switchbacks that descend into Sink Canyon. Half of Sink Canyon has been destroyed by fire.

There are several campground and picnic areas around Louis and Fiddler Lakes. One can camp right next to the lakes. There are unlimited places to boondock camp. The whole area is beautiful with fascinating geological rock formations. We did not drive on the Red Canyon Rim road since we could see all of the canyon from above on Highway 28. However, it looked like an interesting drive.

While visiting the Martin Handcart site south of South Pass (where members of the Willie-Martin Mormon Handcart company suffered 13 deaths in one night) we got a flat tire. The dirt road to the historical sight is very well graded. So I drove 60+ mph on the way in. When the Mormon missionary guides saw my flat tire they said people who go fast on the dirt road get flats while those who drive 30 mph do not. They said they see at least one flat per week with the record being seven flats in one week. Tour buses also get flats. It costs $2000 to have someone come up from Lander to fix a bus flat.

I finally got to use my High Lift jack. Unfortunately I never practiced doing so. Fortunately there was a man and his family also visiting the historical site. When he saw my flat he said, "Well, let's get to it." He helped me change the tire. Actually he did most of the work, which is good since I have been so weakened by five years of vertigo. One of the studs on my Aluminess tire carrier was stripped, so it took us over a half hour to free the spare tire from the carrier. It also took both of us to lift the van and change the tire. I'm very grateful that such a good Samaritan was so willing to step in and help out. After going off alone on so many trips and being hundreds of miles off the beaten path on very rough roads, I now know there is no way I could have changed that tire alone. I also realize I need to find a better jack than the High Lift. My wife and I would have been there for many hours struggling to change that tire if this good man had not come along. I'm starting to re-think my custom of camping alone and going off on less-travelled paths. I may have to start camping closer to civilization.
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Old 08-25-2013, 04:25 PM   #13
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Re: Need WY Red Desert recommendations

I frequently get flats on my backcountry adventures far from pavement. It could very well be that high speed driving leads to more flats, but I haven't let that hold me back.

I have found that I can often just fix the flat with the tire right there on the van rather than swapping with the spare tire. If you do have an on-board compressor, I highly recommend carrying a T-handle tubeless tire repair kit like this one. And a pair of needle-nose pliers pulling the culprit after you find it (perhaps using soapy water). It's not difficult. I once talked my wife through fixing a flat tire this way over the telephone.

http://www.amazon.com/Victor-22-5-00.../dp/B000AMOEGY



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Old 08-25-2013, 06:32 PM   #14
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Re: Need WY Red Desert recommendations

Had both the compressor and the tire repair kit. I didn't try to fix the tire because the gash in the tire was 1/2" long. When I went to the tire place to fix the tire they didn't even try. I had to buy a new tire. But now that I know how hard it is to change the tire, next time I will try to fix it first.
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Old 08-25-2013, 09:39 PM   #15
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Re: Need WY Red Desert recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by macmcintire
Had both the compressor and the tire repair kit. I didn't try to fix the tire because the gash in the tire was 1/2" long. When I went to the tire place to fix the tire they didn't even try. I had to buy a new tire. But now that I know how hard it is to change the tire, next time I will try to fix it first.
Yikes. Well, good to know when you're beat. You might be able to get a repaired 1/2" gash to hold air if you use more that one of the sticky repair "worms" -- as long as the hole in the tread not the sidewall -- but it would be an emergency fix; I wouldn't trust it at highway speeds.

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Old 08-26-2013, 05:18 AM   #16
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Re: Need WY Red Desert recommendations

I definitely will try it next time. Anything is better than having to change the tire. The nearest city was 6 miles on a dirt road and 35 miles on the highway. Perhaps I could have made it.
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Old 08-26-2013, 08:48 AM   #17
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Re: Need WY Red Desert recommendations

From a different thread on HiLift Jacks:
I think you would like this setup, especially with the impact gun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BajaSportsmobile
I recently purchased a couple of HUMMER H1 HUMVEE M998 HMMWV SCISSORS JACK rated at 3.5 Tons and they lift to over 20 inches. I also made an extension that goes on top for additional reach. I'm thinking these might just be the best solution for my SMB and am looking forward to testing them out.

I welded nuts on them so that I can operate them with my Cordless Impact Gun - very fast!

This is what they look like.


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Old 08-26-2013, 11:40 AM   #18
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Re: Need WY Red Desert recommendations

Hmm. I had supposed SMB left the OEM jacks with the vans. They're actually quite nice; they are telescoping and collapse to a rather small size, which is important since on crowned dirt roads there's often not much room under the axle (although some digging will fix that).

A Hi Lift is rather a poor tire changing device, at least on our vans. I've also modified a scissor jack.

And it is SOOO tempting to drive fast on those long desert graded roads. But it does cause flats; people have similar problems on roads like Saline Valley and the Racetrack in Death Valley, and on logging roads up north. Just because you can doesn't mean you should.

Thanks for the info; look forward to visiting the area.
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Old 08-26-2013, 02:49 PM   #19
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Re: Need WY Red Desert recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by rob_gendreau
Hmm. I had supposed SMB left the OEM jacks with the vans. They're actually quite nice; they are telescoping and collapse to a rather small size, which is important since on crowned dirt roads there's often not much room under the axle (although some digging will fix that).
We used our factory jack, left in the car by SMB, to swap tires on a steep and rocky rain-swept hillside, parked on the downhill side of the narrow road such that working on the tire meant standing on a back diamond hillside. The jack looks puny but it worked fine if slowly. (We may not have wanted to lift the van any faster under those conditions, though.) Nick Gennock, our salesman at SMB, discouraged us from the idea of using a Hi-Lift for tire changing and thought the Ford jack was fine. Seems he was right, even if he passed up a sale.

Don
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Old 08-26-2013, 03:18 PM   #20
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Re: Need WY Red Desert recommendations

Mac,

Was it a rear tire flat?

If so, speed was probably the cause. Frequently the front tire will flip up a pointy rock and the rear hits it causing the flat. At lower speeds the rocks have time to fall back down before the rear hits the point. Magic speed seems to be around 40-45mph. Slower is ok; faster is risky.

Mike
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