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Old 07-03-2011, 09:07 PM   #1
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New Sportsmobile, follow Supertank in the Supervan

Picked up our 2011 Sportsmobile last month and we headed off to Utah and beyond from San Diego. My dog keeps a blog of our adventures. This is a link to the oldest posting from about a week ago. Read them in reverse order until you catch up.

http://adventuresofsupertank.blogspot.c ... -road.html

One suspicion I've confirmed so far is that a little hill (albeit with ruts and soft dirt) that my FJ Cruiser would do in 2WD all day long was not passable with all the weight of the Sportsmobile. The biggest problem was the approach was rutty and steep and the back end dragged a bit -- limiting how fast of a run I could take at it. I tried the winch but with no tree and no good placement for the pull-pal, we turned around. But it was a good exercise in gauging the limits of the vehicle. I think I would have made it with a locker front end - my first project when I get back. Also, when I get back I'll report on the performance and installation of the EFOY fuel cell.
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Old 07-03-2011, 09:14 PM   #2
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Re: New Sportsmobile, follow Supertank in the Supervan

did you try creeping up the hill in lo-range? sometimes, that's the ticket.
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Old 07-03-2011, 10:05 PM   #3
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Re: New Sportsmobile, follow Supertank in the Supervan

Low range was the only thing I tried. The opposite wheel in the front would just spin. Hence, the theory that a locker would have probably helped a lot. A diesel might have had better power delivery than the V10 I have and made the difference too. Also, if you look at the pics in the blog you can see the tires are deflated for better traction.

I was mildly disappointed to say the least. I've been driving four wheelers for 30 years so I figure I'm not doing too much wrong. But after seeing some of the hills other owners have gone up, I was surprised when I couldn't get past this relatively mild obstacle. Also, ripped off the trailer light outlet when backing down for the retries.
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Old 07-03-2011, 10:23 PM   #4
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Re: New Sportsmobile, follow Supertank in the Supervan

Can't do much about dragging the "junk in the trunk", but did you undo the front sway bar? Dragging the brakes can help quite a bit too, as it buys a little more traction before the initial slip.


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Old 07-03-2011, 10:26 PM   #5
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Re: New Sportsmobile, follow Supertank in the Supervan

That does seem odd. So far my SMB has gone everywhere I have pointed it.
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Old 07-04-2011, 08:41 AM   #6
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Re: New Sportsmobile, follow Supertank in the Supervan

I did not undo the sway bar. That might have worked but it was 105 degrees out and even my attempt with the winch was half ass and cut short because it was just easier to turn around.

I didn't undo the sway bar when I got off road because the trail was basically your average dirt road before we encountered the stream and sand wash crossing. Lesson learned there. Next time I'll try the sway bar but honestly, I don't think it would have made the difference. The biggest issue was the steep approach with the EB dragging its ass. I had to pretty much crawl up the exit from the wash or risk really slamming the ass end. With no momentum and all the weight, the wheels pretty much started spinning as soon as the ass cleared the bottom of the little incline.
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Old 07-04-2011, 09:40 AM   #7
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Re: New Sportsmobile, follow Supertank in the Supervan

Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGRICH805
Low range was the only thing I tried. The opposite wheel in the front would just spin. Hence, the theory that a locker would have probably helped a lot. A diesel might have had better power delivery than the V10 I have and made the difference too. Also, if you look at the pics in the blog you can see the tires are deflated for better traction.

I was mildly disappointed to say the least. I've been driving four wheelers for 30 years so I figure I'm not doing too much wrong. But after seeing some of the hills other owners have gone up, I was surprised when I couldn't get past this relatively mild obstacle. Also, ripped off the trailer light outlet when backing down for the retries.
The only time I spun the front tires while four wheeling was when I pulled off the Saline Valley Road to go up to Waucoba Tungsten Mine. When the trail became steep, one of the front wheels started to spin and I really wandered what was going on. I backed down the hill and tried it again, the same thing happened. So I backed down again. I switched the transfer case out of gear to the front wheels, I put the transmission in gear and the van didn't move. What happened was when I went from high range to low range in the rear wheels it didn't engage into low range, it was in neutral. I then engaged the front and rear back into low range and went up the hill with no problem.

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Old 07-04-2011, 11:18 AM   #8
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Re: New Sportsmobile, follow Supertank in the Supervan




[Edit: Ok, pics in the blog, I'm going to say from what I see: air down! ]
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Old 07-04-2011, 11:43 AM   #9
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Re: New Sportsmobile, follow Supertank in the Supervan

Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGRICH805
Picked up our 2011 Sportsmobile last month and we headed off to Utah and beyond from San Diego. My dog keeps a blog of our adventures. This is a link to the oldest posting from about a week ago. Read them in reverse order until you catch up.

http://adventuresofsupertank.blogspot.c ... -road.html

One suspicion I've confirmed so far is that a little hill (albeit with ruts and soft dirt) that my FJ Cruiser would do in 2WD all day long was not passable with all the weight of the Sportsmobile. The biggest problem was the approach was rutty and steep and the back end dragged a bit -- limiting how fast of a run I could take at it. I tried the winch but with no tree and no good placement for the pull-pal, we turned around. But it was a good exercise in gauging the limits of the vehicle. I think I would have made it with a locker front end - my first project when I get back. Also, when I get back I'll report on the performance and installation of the EFOY fuel cell.
You are right on track with the assumption that a locker would have helped a lot. A high quality limited slip up front should also be a consideration. Less stress on everything.
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Old 07-04-2011, 02:11 PM   #10
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Re: New Sportsmobile, follow Supertank in the Supervan

I was aired down from the highway 80 psi to only 30 psi. Which brings me to another problem, when I went to air back up the Extreme Magnum air compressor installed by SMB failed after one tire. It started slowing down and I just figured the 10 gallon air tank was getting full and when it finally shut off I figured it was full but the tank barely had 50 psi in it. I figured the compressor seized up and limped to a gas station to air up. When I got back to camp I crawled under and found the breaker tripped for the compressor. I reset the breaker and tried the compressor again and it started up but within a minute or so the same thing happened. Sounds like a bad compressor to me and the bummer is I won't be able to air down anymore on this trip.
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