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Old 09-28-2016, 12:59 PM   #1
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Recovery & Security Gear

I am about bottomed out on my preliminary van budget- checkbook is smoking!
However I am starting a Needs vs. Wants for 2017. I would appreciate input on the following

What are priorities for recovery gear?
Also for security installs ie safe?

2011 V10 Quigley/AOR (RIP'd)
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Old 09-28-2016, 01:40 PM   #2
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I posted regarding this in my homeuild thread yesterday. Below is what I am planning on getting to go along with my 12klb winch

- Maxtrax
- Hilift with base and lift mate
- 30k lb tree saver
- 30k lb 30' tow strap
- Four shackles
- Tire repair kit
- snatch block

Very interested about what others think. Seems like a high lift with necessary attachments and maxtrax can get you out of a lot of stuck situations

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Old 09-28-2016, 02:18 PM   #3
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I keep in my van:

1- 20' long 20k lb tow strap (no built in hooks!)
1- 30' long 30k lb tow strap (no built in hooks!)
2- screw pin type shackles, need to double check their capacity
1- enormous pulling shackle that is big enough to wrap around a leaf spring eye
5/8" hitch pin
"D" handle shovel about 3' long
A pair of leather gloves

I need to come up with a secure mounting method for my 60" Hi-Lift and it will make its way inside too.

On the to-do list is a 12k lb winch up front, but that is quite a ways off since I'll need (want) a new bumper first (which will incorporate front tow points.) A come-a-long can also get the job done, usually requiring a double (or triple) line pull (which will require snatch blocks) but it is going to take a long time and make you sweat!

A way to re-inflate tires should be considered as part of your recovery gear as well. More often than not, low air pressure will get you out of a soft terrain stuck (and/or prevent the stuck in the first place, it also makes the ride more pleasant on rough terrain), but you don't want to have to drive down the highway at 10psi looking for a place to re-inflate.

Also consider a set of MaxTrax or the like and a Pull-Pal type soil anchor if you foresee being in an area with nothing to anchor to.

Another vehicle with you is always a plus.

2 way communication like a cell phone (which seems to NEVER have coverage in the boonies) or InReach to get a hold of somebody to assist is a plus.

DO NOT USE CHAINS! They are meant for HOLDING a load, not pulling it. They are definitely not forgiving to shock loads like nylon/synthetic straps/lines are.

Even if you don't know how to make use of all that gear, it's worth having as much of it as you can. Someone might happen across you/your stuck rig on foot/bicycle/motorcycle/horseback/atv/sxs/etc that could not pull you out, but they may very well be able to make use of the equipment.

Additionally, make sure you have enough supplies on board to safely spend the night (or longer.) I know most here with SMB's have that covered, but I have come across countless other OHV's that were not prepared to be out for more than a few hours (they usually run out of water first) which could leave them in a bad way, especially if conditions were extreme.
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Old 09-28-2016, 03:18 PM   #4
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This is a great thread --- gotta bookmark this one.
Especially for us 2WD guys who wander off the pavement and out-of-bounds from time to time.

Before straying too far from the double-yellow stripes, I'm slowly stocking up on items to be prepared for dealing with the unexpected, and "having the tools in place" to navigate successful returns from the attractive (and yet remote!) desert locations that beckon. The sandy/dusty nature of SoCal makes those MaxTrax things in particular look mighty attractive.

(In full realistic/prudent humility, I would also venture that the list of "essential recovery gear" for a 2WD van.....might also want to include "having a second van along on the trip with you that has 4WD" )
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Old 09-28-2016, 03:37 PM   #5
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Agree with TheLetterJ above. The single best piece of "recovery" gear I have is low air pressure which implies an air compressor to re-inflate...if you're afraid to lower air pressure you're much more likely to get stuck. I also have recently acquired a Pul-Pal after testing it in the desert. I often am alone in the So Cal desert. It's heavy and expensive but it's nice insurance. I also now carry an InReach Satellite locator - very cool and a great safety device. I carry all the ropes, shackles, shovels, jacks, etc mentioned above. Finally, get some friends together - or take a class from Badlands Offroad Training in So Cal - and go get stuck on purpose when you have the support and time to learn the limits of your vehicle.
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Old 09-28-2016, 03:47 PM   #6
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Good list so far!

-Tire Chains. Work well for non-snow sticky conditions. Plus they can be mandatory in OR and WA at times

-Jumper cables or booster pack. Dead batt is a crummy reason to get stuck, and seems like nobody else carries them anymore. Plus if you are stuck, it's often when you accidentally leave things on and kill the battery trying to get unstuck.

PS - another reason to carry a shovel: It's required in mosts forests during high fire danger, unless you have a fire extinguisher.
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Old 09-28-2016, 03:53 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by bolty View Post
if you're afraid to lower air pressure you're much more likely to get stuck
I think every time I've ever been stuck in my life, it's been due to being lazy and not airing down. I, of course, always have had a compressor.. I'm just lazy.
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Old 09-28-2016, 03:53 PM   #8
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Lots of people have front recovery points. Rear ones are also handy to have. There are times when it will be easier to drag the rig backward than forward.

A good starting point is a recovery kit. All the winch manufactures have them. The one linked to is what I started with. To that I have added an adapter for my rear receiver that accepts a shackle.

I also carry an inReach, cell phone(not useful in back country), a ham radio, and a CB radio. The radios are handy on the trail to talk with other members in your party or if you need to talk to a spotter that is not next to the rig.

Also have Tred Pro traction mats.
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Old 09-28-2016, 04:28 PM   #9
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Pretty much what has already been posted
>>>Front winch with synthetic rope. I do carry the steel rope I took off the winch to be used as an extension. I've yet to purchase a jerk strap but it's on my list.
>>>Various nylon anchor/tree straps from 3-15 feet along with several shackles.
>>>Rear hitch shackle receiver insert rated for about 10,000 lbs
>>>Four maxtrax's.
>>>Heavy duty ratchet strap
>>>Two snatch blocks.
>>>Hi-Lift jack with jacking accessory, base plate, and wheel lift kit. I also carry a larger base plate that the one Hi-Lift sells.
>>>A few short chains, some hammer locks, oval and pear rings.
>>>A pul-pal.
>>>Max axe shovel kit.
>>>Rubber blanket for rope recoil.
>>>Knee pad
>>>Tire repair kit.
>>>LED magnetic Flare lights
>>>Gloves & a Tyvek suit.
>>>I have a compressor but a small Power Tank might be on my list as a backup.
Probably forgot something.
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Old 09-28-2016, 05:11 PM   #10
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One thing I forgot to mention is a a camera. The first thing you want to do after you are stuck is take a couple of photos. These give you bragging rights once you are out. Then assess the situation to see the situation to determine the best recovery method to use.

Read detailed trip reports, see photos and videos on my travel blog,
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Current van: 2002 Ford E350 extended body camper with Colorado Camper Van pop top and Agile Offroad 4WD conversion.
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