"PIGPEN" 2018 forester light build and fun adventures

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Smileyshaun

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Well I finally bit the bullet...after a lifetime of tinkering and fabricating rebuilding and spending to much time in the garage I bought a brand new vehicle . With life ever changing as it is, kids in school, Orchestra and sports ,fiance , saving for a house , planning a wedding , ect ect I just don't have the time to maintain a vehicle and keep modifying stuff to a daily driver.
The requirements for the new ride were, reliable , fun to drive , some offroad ability , room for gear and good mpg . After a bit of test driving some different rigs I landed a good deal on a 2018 Subaru forester premium 6 speed manual . I already knew I liked the car because the fiance has the same thing just a 2017 . I almost went for a auto for the x mode but I really can't stand a cvt transmission or any auto for that matter with a 4 cyl , i just dont like that disconected feeling from the vehicle and having so much of the driving dictated by the computer . Its actually amazing how hard it is to find a manual transmission anymore and sadly this is the last year they will offer a manual trans forester anymore . The only modifying that will be done to it is a skid plate and a 1" lift.
The other big reason for going new is I want what free car time I have to go into finishing my jeep not tinkering on my daily driver .

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Smileyshaun

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gotta say I'm impressed with the under the trunk area storage room . Fit my strap , shackles, first aid kit , tools, gloves , jumper cables , tire repair kit and some other misc items
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Graeman

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I really enjoyed reading your articles on the Tahoe. Good luck with the Subaru and glad you see that you bought a manual transmission. The CVT is not up to off roading on anything more than a graded road. I have seen and read countless articles about how the vehicle will just sit there on an obstacle and do nothing, now you can do something about it and go much further than a cvt thought possible. Thumbs up! That is sad to hear that they will no longer make the manual transmission available for the Forrester.
 

Smileyshaun

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I really enjoyed reading your articles on the Tahoe. Good luck with the Subaru and glad you see that you bought a manual transmission. The CVT is not up to off roading on anything more than a graded road. I have seen and read countless articles about how the vehicle will just sit there on an obstacle and do nothing, now you can do something about it and go much further than a cvt thought possible. Thumbs up! That is sad to hear that they will no longer make the manual transmission available for the Forrester.
well I still have a build going on for my jeep that should be quite entertaining and strange . the manual is awesome
 
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Smileyshaun

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Sunday funday

started the day off lazy as possible , sleeping in , making a nice breakfast and finally getting out the door at 11 .
took a drive up mount hood and around to the end of the Barlow road . on the way up there I turned around in a parking lot and forgot I'm not driving a rig on 35s and clipped a curb ..... this is why I can't have nice things 20180722_114246.jpg hdr_00805_0.jpg hdr_00811_0.jpg hdr_00810_0.jpg
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so far I really like the car , rides great on the road and on gravel roads. Offroad I have to slow down a little more then I'm use to I don't have a ton of rubber to soak up the bumps anymore . best part is the mileage the fiance regularly gets over 30 mpg and after a few tanks I'm hoping to get close to the same . with the tahoe I'd be lucky to squeeze 250 miles out of a tank of fuel .
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Wawa Skittletits

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Congrats on your new Subaru! One word of advice would be to ditch the steel shackles and opt for some soft ones because the OE recover points have their limits. We've seen instances where they fail and even with a damper on the line you're better off without the added weight in the equation. Its just safer and your Subaru will appreciate carrying around a few less pounds haha.
I really enjoyed reading your articles on the Tahoe. Good luck with the Subaru and glad you see that you bought a manual transmission. The CVT is not up to off roading on anything more than a graded road. I have seen and read countless articles about how the vehicle will just sit there on an obstacle and do nothing, now you can do something about it and go much further than a cvt thought possible. Thumbs up! That is sad to hear that they will no longer make the manual transmission available for the Forrester.
I don't know where you got your information regarding CVT's off road but I can assure you that it simply isn't true. At least for Subaru's it isn't... and I know because apparently it would shock you to see where I don't even hesitate to take mine. It acts no different than a regular autotragic off road and the addition of X mode is a widely misunderstood huge bonus only available with a CVT.
 

Smileyshaun

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I think maybe what that other guy was referring to is when the cross tracks first came out the CVT in it was for a better word absolutely horrid I watching a few videos and they even tried it myself cuz I thought they were neat little cars it wouldn't drive over a curb from a dead stop if you tried because the CVT would pretty much just stall out but as with anything it got vastly improved upon and yeah the CVT in the Subaru now is probably the best out of any manufacturer I've seen and the X mode was really impressive the amount of things you can make it do to where it almost acted like a transfer case low range
 

Smileyshaun

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Sunday funday

In a attempt to escape the 100 deg heat (I'm a Oregonian 85 is to hot for me ) the fiance and I were going to head down to the coast but at the last min changed direction and decided to head down the Columbia river gorge and up over mount hood to find a shady place by a creek to hang our hammocks and enjoy a cool mountain breeze .
First stop was to grab some waters and she almost walked out with a unicorn but decided against it.
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Next we stopped on our way up the mountain at the Gorge white house. They have some really amazing ciders , decent wine , you pick fruit and flowers great place to make your lady happy. We did a taster flight , decided on a realkt good cherry cider and got a growler to go .
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The great thing about having no real plan is it doesn't matter where you go as long as you enjoy the drive . Saw a sign for Cooper spur lodge and remembered there's cloud cap road that travels up the mountain a bit to a historic cabin so that's where we headed. I guess a lot of other people had the same idea to escape the heat because there was a ton of people up there driving entirely to slow for my liking .
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we made it to the top and decided there was way to many people so we turned around and headed to a spot a little further down the hill that had way less people and wandered around for a bit . couple of old cabins, the a frame I've snowshoe up to in the winter to stay in it was a lot of fun and I need to do it again hdr_00819_0.jpg hdr_00815_0.jpg 20180729_130124.jpg

We headed our way back down the hill and with a quick look at the tablet i found a couple of roads that looked like they might make good hammock hanging spots so on we traveled . Every spot seemed to have campers in it so many people, yuck, found one spot with a great view but out in the sun not the best for relaxing .hdr_00823_1.jpg

There was another road heading up hill that came real close to a trail i had saved on the tablet a while ago. It was rather washed out with a lot of loose rock but the subi just kept chugging along . After a bit more wandering we came to a dead end , no creek but it was dead quiet and made a great place to enjoy our cider .

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We enjoyed our cider and some quiet time then it was time to head home , thankfully there was a little spur trail heading to that trail I marked a while ago , bit steep for a subi but made it fine with plenty of clearance and no scraping. A bit more bumpy road driving , a stop at DQ and we were home by 6. Great day out with the lady who I am thankful likes wandering down gravel roads almost as much as me. Traveled about 200 miles and on a plus side I got 28 mpg on the trip . 20180730_075037.jpg hdr_00827_1.jpg
 

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Smileyshaun

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spent a week with the family at the oregon coast doing alot of relaxing, very little technology (other then the asteroid and ms.pacman arcade games in the garage ) lots of reading, some surf fishing and general beach activities . Had to caravan both the foresters to fit everybody but still had a great time . now i really want my own beach cabin . 20180812_091606.jpg 20180812_091614.jpg
my favorite travel companion

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getting sand in a fishing reel is a pain

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horrible cell phone pic but there was some amazing sunsets
 
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Smileyshaun

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Sunday funday

Took off in the morning to tackle Bennett's pass and loop around to the abandon schoolhouse in friend then make our way back home via part of the Barlow road and back over mount hood .
( would like to share my gia gpx file but can't figure out how)


as always any trip over Hood requires a stop at our favorite coffee house .
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on up over the mountain we went soaking up the morning mist and cool temps ( it's been hot )
Stopped at the beginning of Bennett pass( fs rd 3550) to air down the tires and take in the view. I'm still playing around with tire psi to see what's best for back road exploring , makes it a little harder having small tires .

We kept wandering our way up the road watching the fog get blown in every direction . Normally there are some amzing views along the road but today it was just fog and we were perfectly happy with that. It’s been a hot dry summer so we were cruising with the windows down and enjoying the 45 deg temps .
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I love the little bit of eeriness fog gives to something so simple as a dead tree

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being so dry out the drive is very easy other than slowing down for some bigger rocks and ditches but once the rain starts up this drive would be a bit more of a challenge with all the soft fluffy dirt that makes up a good portion of the road.
We took a right onto cold springs road (road 4420) with a couple of big bumps to drive around it was a fun little section . Our original plan was to head up to flag point to check out the firewatch tower, but with minimal visibility it wasn't worth the effort . A bit of pavement driving lead us to the next section of trail taking a left onto fs road 2730 . For a while we were wondering if it was a completly abondoned road with the amount of overgrowth going on but it eventually opened up with a couple of bypasses that where a bit of a challenge for the subi not scraping or bashing into anything . We made it with only minimal scratching to tbe front bumper , but when reveiwing the go pro video it looks like I’m buckling the front bumper on some obstacles so that may need to be addressed after I sell the tahoe
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We turned left onto Shellrock road that has to be one of the dustiest roads I've ever been on and I think has lead to the name of the subi .... Pigpen, I have never seen a vehicle create such a dust cloud behind it . saw a cool abondoned house but it was behind a gate so I didn't get to close for good pics .

After a short bit of pavement we came to the town of friend abandon schoolhouse , neat little spot to look around and write lovey things on the chalkboard ( fiance won't go inside...it creeps her out ) ...because it’s haunted!
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After our short break we headed down Clark mill road , another dusty bumpy road with a few spots that would be a little tough uphill in the rain . The road kept wandering it's way along the creek area then climbing back up a bit opening up to a bit more barren landscape, came across what use to be a house and all that was left was the fireplace
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The road continued to wind around the hills eventually coming to a creek crossing that I'm sure during the spring runoff could be a small challenge but at this point in summer the challenge was going fast enough to make a splash .
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The road ended shortly after the creek and we wandered our way through ty valley and looped ourselves around to the start of the Barlow road to find a nice quiet spot to relax for a bit , have some lunch and a bit of adult time before heading back home over mount hood .

All in all it was a nice day of driving around , did around 180 miles and used less then a 1/2 a tank of fuel . I will need some skid plates and a small lift with a smaller rim and a little more tire in the future but still really happy with the car .
My laptop is on the fritz so hopefully soon I'll get some pics off my camera and go pro
 
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Smileyshaun

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not sure what brand this mount is but it is simply awesome, absolutely no shaking and no permanent holes . I have another one just like it in my last two vehicles but the suction cup eventually wore out it's made out of some super sticky material that has an extra lever on it to make sure it's fully suction to the window it's actually really hard to get off and move 20180829_095045.jpg 20180829_094531.jpg
 
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