So today I took my Jeep Patriot off roading. I mean real off roading, not some dirt road with some potholes, I mean miles of snow, a creek crossing over a rickety bridge, tons of winch pulls, skidplates being used, a few scratches on the sides and all that.
The trail boss told us the trail would be easy and that stock vehicles would be allowed. My Wrangler had a leak on the radiator and was missing the required full size spare, so I loaded up all my recovery gear and hit the trail with the Patriot.
In the end of the day the Pat did not disapoint. For a Jeep with stock street tires it did very good, and I was running regular street tire pressures. Of course I did not get traction on the slipperiest places and slid off the road when the snow was really thick and the ground sloped sideways.
The Patriot did slightly better than a stock Wrangler with AT tires, who was sliding all over the place and getting no traction on the snow.
The tow hooks were used a lot, once to pull the Patriot off a creek bridge, and a few other times to pull it back on the road, or over icy slopes. We had a Suzuki Samurai, four Wrangler TJs and the Patriot, and only the Samurai and one TJ crossed the creek under their own power, the Pat wasn't the only one getting the winch.
I really had a blast driving the Patriot off road, but although the Pat survived, this trail was too much for the little Jeep, next time I'll bring the Wrangler.
Okkar and Dan's TJs, my Patriot and Kelly's Samurai
The stock Patriot that came out to ride (and be winched around)
Trail Boss Kelly providing the winching with his Suzuki after crossing the creek
Okker being winched out of the Creek
The Patriot high centered on the skidplates, got winched out too
Kelly pulling a winch line to get Dan out of the creek bridge
Okkar took up winching duties after Kelly had issues with his
Keely spotting Ged across the creek, he ended up getting stuck on the creek too
Ged broke his top and busted a window on his TJ when he popped out of a hole and hit a foot wide tree log
Something is wrong here...
Kelly's Zuki was breaking trail all day long
Dan getting the Warn treatment
Just small tug
Zuki went off the trail, Patriot went off the trail... it was quite a tricky winch pull to get both out
Rigging a tricky pull between the Zuki and the Patriot
Kelly and I getting ready to pull the Patriot
Frozen Axles in the woods
Okkar providing a quick chain pull on Dan's TJ
Dan was having issues with his General Grabber AT2 tires. For snow this deep you need some good mud tires.
After this it got pretty dark fast and I got no more good pictures.
More photos here: Picasa Web Albums - Renato - Frozen Axles ...
Videos are being uploaded now, will post later.