Originally Posted by darkproximity
the reason I bring all this up is because now is the time to relish in what we have.. because in due time it will be gone. The hippies will keep winning and nothing we do will stop that.
There is something we can do - keep fighting them. The reason we are loosing is because we are not organized. I've had land managers tell me they want to see organized support. That goes a lot further than just individual support. Do you belong to any groups that support off-roading? If not, now is the time to get involved. If you let others do it, it won't get done! And we will keep loosing. (See my signature for organizations that are in the fight to keep OHV users from loosing ground) If you want to meet in person some time I can explain all this in more details.
You may call them hippies; I call them environmentalists. However, we OHV lovers are slowly winning the battle. I am always in the battle for OHV users and recently found a document that will blow the environmentalists view that wilderness brings in dollars is nothing more than a smoke screen. It uses factual data to support the view that wilderness does not bering in dollars. And in this economy, that's not what the politicians and local communities want to hear.
I totally agree with your thought on the diminishing availability of good "out of the box" off-roader vehicles. I've been off-roading for over 40 years and it's not what it used to be. Too many "mall runners" and "soccer mom" SUVs.
When I arrived up here in 2004, I started looking around and decided I would need a 4x4. I had a 1999 Toyota Extra PreRunner. It was basically a beef-up 2WD truck which had a locker in the rear. I finally decided to buy a 2007 Wrangler. I was very concerned because I heard that D/C was going to totally revamp the Wranglers for model year 2007 and figured it would end up like the others - a mall runner. Fortunately they didn't do that. My 2007 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is awesome in it's stock mode. I have subsequently upgraded the bumpers and earlier this year installed a 2.5-inch lift kit in preparation for upgrading the current 32-inch tires to 35x122.50x216 or 17 tires early next year.
I even had some hard core wheelers attempt to go up some hills in northern Idaho and they had a terrible time. When I attempted the hill, I just put it in 4LO, disengaged the front swaybar, engaged both lockers, and went up without any tire spin. When I came back down, one of them said "are you sure that's not been modified?". I told him it was 100% stock and only a couple of weeks old. He walked away shaking his head.
However, as you mentioned, because it is my daily driver, I can't afford to have anything major break and I don't have the place to make repairs (apartment living). Fortunately I can use the auto hobby shop at Fairchild (and have on many occasions to do the upgrades). There are some place I won't go because I know of the possible carnage and just don't care for that. And yes, it does have "NW pinstripping" on it as a lot of the trails in eastern WA and northern ID are narrow.