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theMike
November 6th, 2007, 12:50 PM
For those of you that prefer to pull your gear/parts/tools behind your rig when exploring offroad, look no further than the Adventure Trailer (http://www.adventuretrailers.com)trailers. I searched for about 6 months for the best choice and am very glad I chose the Chaser model since the trailer is was everything I had hoped for and more. I didn?t buy it for this reason but It was the conversation piece wherever we went. It?s built for anything one could throw at it. All the offroaders I dealt with were very excited about seeing it on the trail and extremely impressed with the strength of it when it got rolled on the trail (story later on in the post). The trailer weighed in at 2100 lbs (2700 max rated) fully loaded for all of my adventures so far.

I won?t get too far into the trailer options since the company site does it well itself, but it has 19 gal of water, 10 gal of gas, 45l fridge/freezer, 1500W inverter, dual series 31 sealed batteries, and an expedition king+ size expedition tent. I will say that my trailer is about as loaded as they come (only passed up on the expedition type of gear that I already have or don?t need). My family was planning on using the trailer for a little late year travels up to the Grand Teton and the surrounding area. We planned on receiving the new trailer in time to try it out for a couple of weekends before heading backwoods for a week or more. Best laid plans?..

Production delays caused my trailer to be deliverable AFTER our last vacation of the year. Needless to say this was very disappointing so we were going to cancel the order and replace it next spring. With that plan in motion, it was arranged for me to use a rental/loaner trailer that was almost exactly equipped as mine will be instead of cancelling my trailer order (only older, different color, and smaller tires). This way everyone was still happy and there was no additional cost involved to me.

We ended up scrapping our Teton plans and instead planned 3 different trips over the span of 4 weeks. Glenwood Springs, CO, Ouray/Silverton/Telluride CO, and then finally Moab. Each trip was farther away with longer durations than the last.

We started out going to Glenwood Springs to do a trail called The Ellis Jeep Trail (http://www.traildamage.com/trails/index.php?id=168). We didn?t know if we would do the entire trail or not as it is known for lots of deep mud. Since we ended up heading that way alone we though we would go as far as we were comfortable then head back for some other trails in the area.

The 1st night on the trail was spent on a 10k? peak before the muddy areas. About 30 seconds after I pulled the Jeep into the spot for the night, it started to thunder and lightning. Since we were on the peak and the thunder and lightning were happening simultaneously, we decided to hang out in the Jeep until it slowed down a bit.

I had a small break in the electricity (even though it continued to rain) to unfold the tent and warm up some dinner under the ladder supported area of the tent. We then entered the tent with dinner in hand to not exit again until morning. It rained, and rained, and rained. It was nice since we stayed completely dry and had a great tent heater.

The next morning it stopped raining and everything was covered with pine needles. They were everywhere and I expect to find them months from now in cracks and such.

http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd72/MVandG/HPIM0425.jpg

Since the trail was known for mud I knew it wasn?t a good idea to continue so I packed up camp to return the way we came. While I was doing this, my wife walked down trail to return with an opinion that it wasn?t that bad and that she would like to check it out. I agreed with the known option of turning around when we needed to.

Before we knew it we had passed through all the spots that I thought could have been known as difficult but proved no problem with my Jeep w/trailer in tow. Right near the end of the muddy section was one particular hole that proved more of a problem than first thought.

As the rear of the Jeep entered a hole it slid violently to the right and slammed into the wall of the hole. In that hole was apparently something very sharp and hard as it sliced right into the sidewall of my MTR. Well, that tire was dead. In the process of changing it out I couldn?t help but notice that the Jeep was no longer centered over the rear axle. I though I might have lost a track bar bolt or something simple like that. I wish that was all it was.

http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd72/MVandG/HPIM0440.jpg
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd72/MVandG/HPIM0434.jpg

All I can come up with is that the extended track bar bracket for the Jeep lift, combined with the tong weight of the trailer and that short violent weight shift stressed out the bracket so much it gave way. It didn?t come completely off but rather ripped the bracket just above the axle weld so that there was only about a quarter inch of metal remaining on both sides of the original bracket still attached to the axle.

A short field fix was all I could do to get to a repair facility in Glenwood Springs. Fortunately the bracket held because it was also the bracket for one of the control arms.

http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd72/MVandG/HPIM0450.jpg

It was fixed up and at my request was gusseted up for additional strength. Due to the repair efforts we headed out later than expected so we literally just found a spot for the night up in the forest.

http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd72/MVandG/HPIM0475.jpg
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd72/MVandG/HPIM0474.jpg

Trip 1 of 3 was now completed without further incident. We headed home for a 2 day regrouping/repacking the Jeep/Trailer setup. That trip was just a couple nights to shake down the unit and get a better feel for things.

Off to the Ouray, Silverton, and Telluride CO mountains. This particular area is known as the Jeep Capital of the World (Not to be confused with the 4X4 Capitol of the World). This was a no incident and no problem trip so it was absolutely awesome! We didn?t pull the trailer as much as I had hoped to but it was still a good time. Again, lots of interested eyes gazing at the trailer.

http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd72/MVandG/HPIM0517.jpg
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd72/MVandG/HPIM0786.jpg

Trip 2 of 3 completed. Now a quick two days of work then off to Moab for about a week. This is going to be more of a trail run with friends than a wheeling or exploring trip. We spend 3 days on the White Rim trail with the trailer then one day on Hell?s Revenge (trailer left behind).

http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd72/MVandG/HPIM0893.jpg
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd72/MVandG/HPIM0895.jpg

Part 2..... (http://www.colorado4x4.org/vbb/showthread.php?t=109415)

theMike
November 6th, 2007, 12:52 PM
continued from Part 1.... (http://www.colorado4x4.org/vbb/showthread.php?t=109414)

Every group we passed wanted to check out the trailer.

http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd72/MVandG/HPIM0938.jpg

This is where things got interesting. If you know of the White Rim you are probably wondering how on earth anything weird can happen there. Well a fluke really.

In the middle of nowhere was a puddle of water/mud right in the center of the trail. Most were going around it since it would be a real sticky, throw everything around, kind of mud. I went around the puddle on the left side. There was maybe a 6-8? incline on the side of the road that the Jeep and trailer were going to ride on to go around the mud. The Jeep went around then the trailer followed. In the center of this small incline was a bolder. When the left trailer tire hit this bolder it bounced the trailer over on it?s side in a right tumble.

http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd72/MVandG/HPIM0977.jpg

We tried to roll it back over manually but 2100 lbs all pivoting on one tire proved too hard for us men!

http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd72/MVandG/HPIM0980.jpg

We used a synthetic winch line to wrap the trailer and pull it on its wheels. You can also see the bolder that the left tire hit. Also note that the trailer didn?t roll forward after it started to roll over. Even though I was driving very slowly forward it flipped real fast!

http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd72/MVandG/HPIM0983.jpg
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd72/MVandG/HPIM0986.jpg
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd72/MVandG/HPIM0988.jpg

Nothing inside the trailer seemed to move at all. I am pointing to the cooler in the left rear that leaked when it was inverted. After the fender impacted the ground the tent then took the full weight. As a result of this:

Damages:

Right fender got tweaked a bit.
The riser support brackets for the rack got pushed/bent toward drivers side.
The rack rails on the top of the roof were pulled and bent by the riser brackets.
Lid is a tad pulled as a result of the riser/rail getting pulled.
Tent cover got one scrape/hole in the front upper corner.

Not Damaged:

Trailer Tub
Lights
Tent

We were back on the trail within a minute or two of righting and checking the trailer over. The rest of the Maob part of the trip went great.

On the way home though was another story. The left wheel bearing ate itself. $100 and 160 miles later it was as good as new.

http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd72/MVandG/HPIM1083.jpg

After getting home 4 hours late, cleaning up the ?loaner?, the Jeep, and the gear, and waiting for a week, my trailer was ready to ship to me.

There was nothing lacking in the ?loaner? trailer. It was an earlier design and since the trailers have been upgraded and improved though. These items aren?t on the company web site but was rather emailed to me by Mario (AT President).

1- Upgrade to Paint Locked surface treated sheet metal body panels vs. conventional cold rolled sheet
2- Improved air spring mounts with lengthened gussets and ?? steel vs. 3/16? steel
3- One piece tailgate frame vs. four piece
4- 10 gauge battery charge wiring vs. 14 gauge
5- Rancho RS 9000 shocks with .710 thick piston rod vs. the Rancho RSX with a .625 thick piston rod
6- Waterproof electrical butt splice connectors used on tail light and brake wiring vs. conventional insulated butt splices
7- Trailing arm pivot rod mounting plates thickened to 3/8? vs. ??
8- New proprietary camber and toe in adjustment feature vs. none
9- Pivot rod material changed to 165,000 psi Stress Proof steel vs. 85,000 psi cold rolled steel.
10- Lid bulb seal upgraded from 5/8? x 3/8? to 7/8? x ??
11- Rivets upgraded from aluminum to stainless steel
12- Lock and Roll coupler is zinc plated for corrosion rather than painted
13- Neoprene is now used between the fender and body to reduce coating abrasion from grit
14- Roof rack system has been upgraded from Surco to the Thule product line with nationally available accessories

Lots of little things that make a huge difference in the durability of the product. Anyway, I am not the most patient of individuals so I was constantly calling Mario about updates and such on my trailer. He was happy to send me pics of my trailer in the build and ship process.

Frame/suspension wiring was first to be done

http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd72/MVandG/New%20Chaser%20as%20Delivered/P1010042.jpg

Now the body assembly

http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd72/MVandG/New%20Chaser%20as%20Delivered/P1010040.jpg
Just about done

http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd72/MVandG/New%20Chaser%20as%20Delivered/P1010046.jpg

Part 3.... (http://www.colorado4x4.org/vbb/showthread.php?t=109416)

theMike
November 6th, 2007, 12:54 PM
Continued from Part 2.... (http://www.colorado4x4.org/vbb/showthread.php?t=109415)

Just about done

http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd72/MVandG/New%20Chaser%20as%20Delivered/P10100623.jpg

Built and ready for shipping

http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd72/MVandG/New%20Chaser%20as%20Delivered/P1010085.jpg
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd72/MVandG/New%20Chaser%20as%20Delivered/P1010064.jpg
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd72/MVandG/New%20Chaser%20as%20Delivered/P1010063.jpg

Pallet custom built for each trailer for shipping. They build pallets like they do trailers. VERY STRONG!

http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd72/MVandG/New%20Chaser%20as%20Delivered/P1010089.jpg
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd72/MVandG/New%20Chaser%20as%20Delivered/P1010088.jpg
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd72/MVandG/New%20Chaser%20as%20Delivered/P1010087.jpg
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd72/MVandG/New%20Chaser%20as%20Delivered/P1010093.jpg
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd72/MVandG/New%20Chaser%20as%20Delivered/P1010092.jpg

Packing was done perfectly. 3 days later it arrived at the FEDEX Freight depot completely unharmed. FEDEX placed the pallet in the middle of the parking lot, I unpacked it, added air to the suspension then drove it away.

The completed setup. the trailer is actually sitting a little low compared to the Jeep. That's my fault as I don't have the correct amount of air in the trailer air bags. When it's correct, the trailer is exactly the same height as the Jeep (Both running 35 MTR's on 15x8's)

http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd72/MVandG/New%20Chaser%20as%20Delivered/HPIM1099.jpg

The trailer will be used almost weekly next year with plans to maybe run the Rubicon and explore the Mohave next spring. The big plans right now though is a 3 week expedition to Baja Oct/Nov 08 (just before the 08 Baja 1000). Dates are booked and now for the planning??

collkid
November 6th, 2007, 02:56 PM
THATS SO BAD ASS!

What did it cost you? if you don't mind me asking?

theMike
November 6th, 2007, 03:48 PM
Including 6 Scepter cans, matching tires and rims, dual batteries, 45L Engel fridge/freezer, inverter, electric brakes, etc etc etc....Over 12k. It's a lot but you get what you pay for, expecially for specialized equipment. I know now I will NOT have to worry about the trailer in any expeditions.

The basic trailer is $3999. Go to Adventeruretrailers.com and you can price everything out via an Xcel or PDF file.

collkid
November 7th, 2007, 01:30 AM
wow that is a Fair amount, but it seems like if you use it a lot then it might totally be worth it.

As it is unbreakable it looks like, + its BA