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Dollar 07-20-2012 08:52 PM

Road Trip in my 2012 Overland
We returned from our yearly road trip a week ago. Last year's trip in an Xterra Pro-4X featured more difficult off roading, but we did fine this year. So, on to the details. I will leave out all the family photos :D . I'll also use several posts since I don't know the pics per post max.

First things first. I purchased a Stone White 2012 Grand Cherokee Overland 4x4 V8 end of April. All available options. Even has an engine block heater. In Texas!! :confused: It has the Off Road Package, which I wanted. Then, I ordered the 20" polished wheels from Had them fitted with Cooper Discoverer AT3's in 275/55 20. Applied Plastidip to the wheels. I know I love black wheels, but I wanted the option to return to polished. I also sprayed plastidip on the front grille, rear brow and side mirror covers. All were removed for spraying. I sprayed the door handles, but they didn't last more than a few days. The constant grabbing at the handles is too much. I'll get painted handles now that we're back. The only other thing done is yellow fog covers from LaminX.

Here it sits prior to window tint:

So, the day before the trip I decided to spray plastidip on the leading edge of the hood and on the front bumper. This was to protect the paint during the road trip and has since been removed.

Starting in Houston, TX, we drove to Carlsbad Caverns (11 hour drive). Hung around there for a bit and then spent the night at Brantley State Park along the "lake", a few miles north of Carlsbad, NM.

Dollar 07-20-2012 08:59 PM

Re: Road Trip in my 2012 Overland
Woke up and drove to Canyonlands NP in Utah (12 hour drive). Got there too late to obtain a backcountry permit or to get a camping spot in the CNP campgrounds. So, we spent the night at Horsethief.

Woke up in the wee hours and headed to Mesa Arch for the sunrise. Then hit the visitors center when they opened and grabbed a backcountry permit to spend the night at Whitecrack off of White Rim. I will have to add pics from the Shafer Switchbacks later. I was enjoying the drive so much that I didn't stop for many pics.

This is headed to the Shafer Switchbacks

This is somewhere along the White Rim

Took the detour to Lathrop Canyon

Didn't make it all the way to the river. I'm guessing we were less than 1/4 mile from it when we encountered some very soft sand. Being along and miles and miles away from anyone, we did not want to risk getting stuck. So we turned around and continued to our campsite.

Dollar 07-20-2012 09:04 PM

Re: Road Trip in my 2012 Overland
After 5 hours of driving along the White Rim, we finally made camp. White Rim was awesome. We did not see a single soul along the way. We were literally miles and miles away from anyone (40ish miles). And Whitecrack is over 1 mile away from White Rim itself. We were at the southern most camping site in Island in the Sky and had a 360 degree view with views toward Needles and Maze districts.

Since we were in the best possible spot, we had a great view of the sunset:

A full moon:

And of course a great sunrise:

Dollar 07-20-2012 09:08 PM

Re: Road Trip in my 2012 Overland
It was then time to move on. Another 5 hours of off road driving along the White Rim to get to Moab.

Dollar 07-20-2012 09:25 PM

Re: Road Trip in my 2012 Overland
Once in Moab, we did mountain biking, lots of hiking and some rappelling. I'll spare you all those photos. We did run Hells Revenge in a rented RZR. I'm not sure the JGC would do too well on many of the spots and we needed it in tip top shape to be able to finish our trip.

So after a full week in Utah, we headed to Colorado. Bad weather to start that leg of the trip. Drove to Silverton and headed to Animas Forks and Cinnamon Pass. In heavy heavy rain. Not the best idea, but we had plans.

Set up camp in American Basin:

Camped there because we were to hike Handies Peak (one of the easiest 14er's in the area). Weather was horrible until late evening. Thankfully, it cleared up and by morning, the hike was on.

Hiked up the peak. Spent some time on top of the mountains, then hiked back and drove back to Silverton.

And there you have it in a nut shell. We have well over 1500 photos from our trip. Lot's of off roading, camping, desert hiking, mountain biking, some canyoneering and alpine hiking.

Thoughts on the Grand Cherokee? Well, I changed the oil the week before we left. I had 900 miles. The round trip added roughly 3300 miles. I changed the oil and rotated the tires upon returning. Cruises absolutely great on the highway. Fuel ranged from 12 MPG when off roading along the White Rim to 23 MPH on the highway flats. This was hand calculated and confirmed via EVIC, which was pretty close. Add the fact that my speedo is a bit off due to the tires and I'm thinking I can add another MPG in there. The Jeep and tires handled everything just fine. From the dry, red dirt of Moab to the sharp, wet rocks of the San Juans. No slipping or sliding anywhere. I don't think the Jeep particularly likes sudden deep holes, though. Lot's of thumps when the rear wheels drop into holes. This was mostly in OR height 1 and obviously noisy in OR height 2. Other than that, the only regret was driving the White Rim with the windows down. I think it's absolutely ridiculous to be out there in the great oudoors with the A/C on. Unfortunately, that red dust gets everywhere. EVERYWHERE. My interior had a layer of red dirt. Our first night at a hotel was spent detailing the interior. It's back to looking spiffy now.

comnjeep 07-20-2012 10:49 PM

Re: Road Trip in my 2012 Overland
Sweet trip. Those moon and sun pics look just like mine ffrom there. Got the moonrise and sunset at the same time... White crack... I biked there once. Sweet area. I took the rim about 15 yrs ago in my k5 blazer alone. It was very silent and so incredible. The only thing human i could here was morman radio! I think i know every spot you mention. The river road is heading towards the colorado? Or green? I biked that. It was soft sand back then. Id also add this time of year is definitely quiet out there due to heat and the lack of water. I was going to bike the whole rim but couldnt carry the minimum 2 gallons per day needed so i drove it. Awesome place. Awesome pics. Thanks.

a990dna 07-21-2012 04:18 AM

Re: Road Trip in my 2012 Overland
Camera and lens specs please....

Awesome photography, you should copyright and sell these to Jeep...


Cherodude 07-21-2012 07:43 AM

Re: Road Trip in my 2012 Overland
Great trip! Thanks for the pics.

bit50 07-21-2012 11:31 AM

Re: Road Trip in my 2012 Overland
Awesome trip and thanks for sharing

chibianh 07-21-2012 05:30 PM

Re: Road Trip in my 2012 Overland
awesome trip! love the pictures!

PeterM 07-22-2012 12:53 PM

Re: Road Trip in my 2012 Overland
Truly great pictures, must of been a great vacation. Love the blacked out look of your WK2. Just wondering where you gas up when you are miles from anything.

comnjeep 07-22-2012 11:01 PM

Re: Road Trip in my 2012 Overland
I'll try to answer that. The white rim, for example, is pretty remote and most people do it in 2 or 3 days so they can hike and bike and be... But it's only 106 miles, iirc. So even if you drive side trips daily and take 3 days, you will leave there with a half tank of gas, no problem. Surprisingly, when you're going offroad like this, you get good mileage too. You go about 30-35 often, and can get 20mpg (no stoplights!). Out west, though, you should really never let the tank get less than about 1/3. I love my V8, but the V6 wins here, hands down.

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