Anything that goes behind your Chinook, flat, trailer, toys.
October 19th, 2017, 12:56 pm
The Chinook served well as tow vehicle then base camp to explore some old mining roads in our new toy, a Honda Pioneer 500 SxS. The combined tow weight of 1,500 lbs hardly fazed the Chinook, unlike the driver who became rather frazzled backing into blind spots.
The Honda is like a mountain goat with low gearing, high clearance, narrow profile, tight turning and 4x4 traction. Better than our old Jeep Rubicon for gnarly trails, that’s for sure. The mining roads challenged us with deep ruts, sharp limestone boulders and steep drop-offs. To add spice, the trail was heavily overgrown and camouflaged by tall grass making it hard to pick a line at times. Cactus and assorted spiny brush threatened occupants and tires at every turn.
So much for the Honda’s pristine finish after the Arizona off-road detailing shop completed a nice pinstripe job. I was more worried about the transmission handling shock loads charging over boulders to maintain sufficient momentum to summit steep outcrops. After the adrenaline rush we were rewarded by sweeping vistas and marveled at the tenacity of miners who scrabbled into these hillsides so long ago.
This first foray towing the little Honda has emboldened us to plan more adventures into rugged and interesting places. What better than returning to a comfortable Chinook to plan the next day’s adventure.
- Arriving at base camp
- Heading off for distant hills
- At the summit
October 19th, 2017, 1:15 pm
I'm envious! Before I got my Chinook I would always look for unimproved roads to take and even some pretty rough roads to take with our 4 x 4 Navigator. We did Capitol Reef in Utah and later went up Schaeffer Road near Moab (where I managed to blow out the right front air bag). More recently we took a BLM road near Joshua Tree and wound up stuck on a rock with over $1500 worth of damage. So, my wife says my off-roading days are over and now that we have the Chinook I'm even more cautious about any unimproved roads. Having a 4 x 4 ATV would be great for exploring the roads that we can't do in the Chinook would be a nice set up!
October 19th, 2017, 3:20 pm
Great set-up Ted. I too am envious. When we had our Tioga 24' motorhome we towed a Jeep Wrangler. I loved the ability to get off road a bit. We are considering towing our Jeep with the Chinook.
Paul, we were in Capitol Reef NP on 9/11. The Ranger informed us that a "plane" had struck the WTC. No radio or TV in Capitol Reef so we though a Cessna. We did Jeep roads in Arches and Canyonlands as well.
October 19th, 2017, 3:56 pm
That's a cool idea I never thought of. I considered a small motorcycle (200cc or so), but decided I'm no longer comfortable riding two wheels on pavement -- and I wanted a vehicle to also serve as an errand buggy of sorts. Heck, I'm practically afraid to drive a truck the way (seemingly) everyone is on the phone, or watching a movie while behind the wheel
So I went slightly opposite and am towing a small AWD wagon, but I still think about that small trail motorcycle... I never knew that what you have existed! I may add a trail bicycle but not sure yet. Even just having the car is fun for "bombing around" places I maybe could take the Chinook, but don't choose to (and some I couldn't). Plus after I work the Chinook back into a nice boondock, I like to let it just sit and enjoy the scenery for awhile
It's always fun to read about (and see) other people's ideas and how they make things work. Cool "mod"!
PS: Sman, I can see where you would have thought Cessna. I mean, that's conceivable at least. I was on a boat in Canada with no comms to speak of. My crewmate came back from the marina bathroom (which inexplicably had a radio playing in it all the time) with the news. Later that day we went to a television shop and of course that was all that was playing on all of the screens.
October 20th, 2017, 7:07 am
Sounds like fun. Eventually, I'd love to get a SxS so that the wife doesn't have to concentrate so much on driving and can enjoy her surroundings. She likes her dirt bike, but she hasn't been riding for years like I have, so it takes a lot more work for her.
Here's what a good weekend looks like with Harvey the RV
October 20th, 2017, 11:03 am
Its SOOO expensive to read these posts! Plus now I have to convince my wife that while we shouldn't sell our boat, which we only used 3 times this year, we really do need an ATV.
Steve, glad you got to see Capitol Reef but sorry you got the 9/11 news there. We encountered only one other vehicle on the entire loop. Visited in late March so the river you drive through at the beginning of the road wasn't very high. I drove our Navigator across the river alone, leaving my wife on the bank in case things didn't go well, and then returned to pick her up once she was convinced we wouldn't be swept away in the current. The loop is amazing and I hope they never pave it so its preserved the way it is.
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