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The van is down there at the end of Frying Pan Road near Basalt, CO. Photo taken on our hike up to the western end of the Hagerman Tunnel.

On the way back to civilization, MrNomer drove about 5 miles in first gear. Doors locked after about 3 miles.
 

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Kite Lake Trailhead near Alma, CO, at 12,000 feet. F150 next to us gained a transmission fluid leak on the access road. High-top Sprinter was swaying so much the people looked like bobble heads. MrNomer drove slowly and carefully with no particular problems.

Such luxury to have an easy hot dinner, then snuggle into a warm bed when those about you are setting up tents and cooking in cold and wind.

i laughed to myself as we ascended Mt. Democrat. Someone here complained about the rocks on Guadalupe Peak. Democrat is rocks bottom to top. Big, little, firm, loose, flat, so steep I was looking straight ahead at MrNomer's boot. In comparison, Guadalupe is a paved road.

 

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You mean to tell me that "regular" people in a "regular" van pulled that off?
 

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I'm just surprised that it could pull it off.
I was under the impression that terrain like that was reserved for professional off-roaders with vans equipped with massive 245/75-16 mud tires that afford a monstrous additional 5mm of ground clearance at the rear axle.
So, I just talk about insulation and fridges and stay on the pavement.
You are a brave soul.
I did chance going to the scrap yard yesterday and the road out back wasn't paved. It was relatively flat but there were a few dips with puddles. I have regular tires and no lift kit. That, and I'm only a regular person. Wasn't sure if I would make it out of there.
I wish I would've taken a pic for the thread.
 

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I wish we had photos of the road. A couple of really bad washout spots. Lots of 5mph washboard, and a purposeful "speed dip" so bad I saw a regular car scrape its front fender.

[phil: I didn’t know there were two, either. This one is the trailhead for Mt. Democrat, etc.]

This trip has certainly caused me to gain more respect for 4-WD vans. It’s disheartening to have to cross mountains off our list or add significant miles/ascent to the climb because we can’t get to the trailhead safely. One problem is you just don’t know unless you try. Last week we stopped short because everything we read said we couldnt make it. We reconnoitered and turned back when it started getting rough. When we walked it the next day, we saw the road improved considerably around the bend and we could have made it easily.

We must not let this success lull us into complacency.
 

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I have had 4X4 most of my life for deep snow, rough roads, mud, and whatever a road or trail throws at you. I have found that narrow and short beats wide and long so I choose to keep my 18 year old Toyota 4Runner to explore the roads in the Sonoran Desert. I go places that make the lifted jeepers shake their heads. You have to be careful in all these challenging places as it is so expensive to get help. My former exploration vehicle was a 1985 Suzuki Samurai which was the epitome of narrow and short. This Van is wide and long and not endowed with much clearance. Rough roads are probably doable as MsNomer found but be warned it needs room and traction. Uphill on sand is it’s undoing IMHO and experience.
 
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2017 2500 HiTop 159 Cargo Van white.
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We just returned from a dirt bike and mt bike trip out to Salida Colorado. Man did we see a lot of vans. Plenty of Sprinters and Promasters headed both ways out on highway 80, 70 and Colorado 24.
We had 4 dirt bikes and 3 mt bikes along with gear stuffed in the back of our 159". Right up around total payload for the PM. Trailer towed beautifully although it can be a little slow going when up around the higher elevations. We saw 9000+ foot elevations plenty of times.
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Knolls OHV Utah, Just off the south side of hiway 80 on the Great Salt Lake Desert. Free camping and nobody around.
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Out riding the Rainbow trail with my youngest daughter and future son in law. 9-10,000 feet above Poncha Springs and Salida Colorado. Absolutely stunning Aspen grove.
64915
 

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It looks like a US person can still take the Alaska Marine Highway system from Bellingham, WA to Alaska destinations.
You have to have a covid test just before the trip up and (I think) another before the trip back down to Bellingham.

Only $3000 to go Bellingham to Juneau (one way) with your less than 25 ft RV.

Gary
 

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This trip has certainly caused me to gain more respect for 4-WD vans.
We had a similar epiphany after our encounter with Forest Service Developmental Road #4680. A damaged rear door, torn water drip strip, scratches along both sides of the van, a smashed 2nd alternator connector, a damaged plastic skid plate and a torn radiator hose all occurred on our final 'run through the rocks.' Fortunately a handful of hose clamps and a nearby creek allowed us to overcome the 'show stopper' loss of radiator fluid . . . but thinking, next time, when the sign says: "Not recommended for passenger cars" maybe we'll think twice.
 

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Our family enjoyed a trip last week to Long Beach, Washington. The worlds longest beach! This is one of the few beaches you can drive on. The ProMaster went as far as we could go on hard sand. My daughter and family had a 4x4 jeep that was better on the soft sand.
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Here's Ramses at his first day of work(for me). I work on a nature preserve, and so my in the wild picture is almost as picturesque as many taken out camping and such. First task between day-job tasks is to find out what I should sell some of the contractor's shelving that is in the bay for and get them listed. Can't begin working on my build out until they're gone!
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View attachment 65528

Grant Lake, June Lake Loop.
I have been all over the Owens Valley, Mammoth Lakes and White mountains all the way down to Ridgecrest/China Lake but never did the June Lake loop. Had no idea it was so barren in spots and so wooded in others. Stunning..... I'm should head there right now.
 
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