Trans-America Trail

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Bob Raff

Rank II
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Member I

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Wisconsin
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3700

Hello all!

Currently in the middle of planning a trip to complete the TAT! Vehicle is a 2016 4 door JK. If anybody has any tips, cool things to do or see along the way, or recommendations please let me know! The trip is slated to begin May 28th, and finish some time late June/Early July. We also then have to drive back to Wisconsin, and plan on stopping at a couple of parks the way back as well.

EDIT: I guess I should have included a few other things worth noting. I've done a fair amount of research on the TAT and all things related. I bought the maps and roll charts as a back up and am planning on using the GPS plots from Sam loaded onto a Garmin as the primary navigation.

As for the gear, here is what I have so far....

Jeep: Smittybilt SRC Gen 2 w/ 9.5k winch, Rhino Roof Rack w/ Backbone system. sPod 6 bank, ARB on board compressor, Front Runner tailgate table, Front runner interior rack, Trasharoo.
Soon to Come for the Jeep: CVT Roof Top tent, Full 2.5 inch suspension lift from Teraflex, couple LED lights, MaxTraxs.

General Stuff: Full compliment of tools, ARB recovery kit, ARB compressor kit w/ pressure gauge, ARB tire repair kit, and a basic camping kitchen (coleman stove, dry storage, 2- 5 gallon water jugs) and RTIC 75L cooler (no fridge/freezer in this trips budget :( ) Full Trauma Kit & Basic Med Bag. Extra fluids.

Monday I will be making a rear storage system and will be sure to get some pictures up of it.

I'm also wondering what spare parts I should bring with? I'm pretty mechanically inclined (heavy equipment mechanic turned Firefighter/Paramedic) and with a brand new Jeep I am not terribly worried about breakage. I have a general idea with fuses, clamps, bolts, etc. But that's about it.

Thanks!

Bob
 
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Dock Rocker

Rank IV

Pathfinder I

Are most of the roads passable in a jeep? I have purchased the Mississippi hill country loop from Sam and it's all passable in a truck. We did a few legs of it as time allows.

Some of the videos I have seen show some single track that would not be passable but I don't know if it was on the actual mapped TAT.
 

Bob Raff

Rank II
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Supporter

Member I

460
Wisconsin
Member #

3700

Yes, from what research I have done most, if not all of the TAT is 4x4 accessible. And if not, that's what makes it an adventure, you can always turn around and back track. I just recently watched a video of 3 stock Range Rovers do the entire trip.
 

Borderline Homeless

Rank V
Member

Pathfinder I

1,461
Longmont, Colorado
Member #

7459

Keep us up to date. This is a major goal for me also. I'm building a 2011 jeep jk for most overlanding trips with my son. But for this trip I'll be working on my 05 Excursion to bring the entire fam!!! Any info from your prep will be appreciated.

when chased by a bear, just have a fat friend with you! you'll be alright
 

smalldog

Rank IV
Member

Advocate II

I am planning to do the same thing, but maybe about a few weeks later (I am on the academic calendar). I also have a JKU 2016, and would love to hear your thoughts on campgrounds, gas storage, winch etc... I am leaving from NC and plan to meet family out at MOAB. How are you calculating miles per day?
 

Glenn

Rank VI
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Supporter

Advocate I

3,384
Connecticut
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3112

Hello all!

Currently in the middle of planning a trip to complete the TAT! Vehicle is a 2016 4 door JK. If anybody has any tips, cool things to do or see along the way, or recommendations please let me know! The trip is slated to begin May 28th, and finish some time late June/Early July. We also then have to drive back to Wisconsin, and plan on stopping at a couple of parks the way back as well.

EDIT: I guess I should have included a few other things worth noting. I've done a fair amount of research on the TAT and all things related. I bought the maps and roll charts as a back up and am planning on using the GPS plots from Sam loaded onto a Garmin as the primary navigation.

As for the gear, here is what I have so far....

Jeep: Smittybilt SRC Gen 2 w/ 9.5k winch, Rhino Roof Rack w/ Backbone system. sPod 6 bank, ARB on board compressor, Front Runner tailgate table, Front runner interior rack, Trasharoo.
Soon to Come for the Jeep: CVT Roof Top tent, Full 2.5 inch suspension lift from Teraflex, couple LED lights, MaxTraxs.

General Stuff: Full compliment of tools, ARB recovery kit, ARB compressor kit w/ pressure gauge, ARB tire repair kit, and a basic camping kitchen (coleman stove, dry storage, 2- 5 gallon water jugs) and RTIC 75L cooler (no fridge/freezer in this trips budget :( ) Full Trauma Kit & Basic Med Bag. Extra fluids.

Monday I will be making a rear storage system and will be sure to get some pictures up of it.

I'm also wondering what spare parts I should bring with? I'm pretty mechanically inclined (heavy equipment mechanic turned Firefighter/Paramedic) and with a brand new Jeep I am not terribly worried about breakage. I have a general idea with fuses, clamps, bolts, etc. But that's about it.

Thanks!

Bob
Awesome! Gearing up towards this goal ourselves (2 years till retirement). I think its all about preparation, look forward to seeing this develop and some rig photos? Sounds like a beauty :wink:
 

PentictonJK

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penticton
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2877

Sounds like a great trip I have a rig similar to yours and am also building it up for overloading, please do share some pics of the rear storage,
 

Bob Raff

Rank II
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Supporter

Member I

460
Wisconsin
Member #

3700

Gas storage is up in the air at the moment. I would love to keep it off the roof rack and lower to the ground. Like by the rear bumper. But not sure yet. If all else fails, it will end up being a single jerry can on the roof rack. I will be starting to figure out camping etc tomorrow. The paper maps just came in the mail yesterday. So ill be looking at those tomorrow. As for mileage, I am planning on an average speed of 30 mph, traveling roughly 6 to 7 hours per day. But this trip is meant to be spontaneous, and I am not setting any time restraints for day to day. Also I got a decent amount done on the rear storage today. Should be finished up by tomorrow. It is very, very simple, but effective. I'll be sure to upload some pictures tomorrow.
 

Bob Raff

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Member I

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Wisconsin
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Here are a couple pictures of the rear storage that I finished up today. Not sure how I feel about it yet. I am definitely considering purchasing a Smittybilt rear bumper with storage for 2 jerry cans (1 fuel, 1 water).



Front Runner Interior rack and tail gate table. The bottom silver is 2 camp tables by Coleman, then a Coleman stove. Plastic drawer to hold general camp supplies and some condiments. Dry food storage will be in the 2 wolf pack boxes on the interior rack. An emergency box of food will be stored on the roof rack in water proof box. A 70l cooler built by RTIC will keep all temperature dependent food food (and beer of course). 2-5 gallon jugs of water. Also bought the Nalgene caps to keep them sealed when traveling (the spouts on these like to break). The yellow bag keeps most of the recovery gear. Trauma bag is next to that.



Here is a shot from the other side. Both of the MTM boxes have spare fluids, jumper cables, etc. Considering not carrying as much fluid to condense 2 boxes into 1. Also everything that is in this unit is secured by straps. The unit itself will be secured to the jeep using the factory lashing points. All of the compressor stuff (air lines, tire gauge) along with the winch controlled is in a tan bag on the rack next to the window. 3 bag of tools are currently underneath the back row of seats.

This entire unit cost about $15o in materials to make myself. Its not very fancy, but gets the job done. Im not sure how many pounds the Interior rack is rated to hold, but like I said before, I really want to get the water off of that and lower the center of gravity. The rear bumper is just pretty pricey.

On this trip, the Jeep needs to hold myself, girlfriend and our 1 year old Lab. So far its looking like we will have just enough room. Clothes are probably going to be stored on the roof rack in a water proof container.

I just ordered the RTT today $$$$$!! Should be here in a week or so, def will get some pictures of it all set up.

Let me know what you guys think!!
 

Bob Raff

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Member I

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The storage setup itself probably only weighs 50lbs. As for the rest I have no idea. Fully loaded with food and water I would imagine 150 pounds.
 

Bob Raff

Rank II
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Member I

460
Wisconsin
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3700

The last few days have consisted of cursing out Google Earth and Garmin Base camp. But after hours of watching how to videos and problem solving. I finally have all of the TAT loaded onto my Garmin DriveTrack 70 LMT. Here are a few pictures of how have it set up

1st off I bought all of the .GPX files from Sam. He emails them to you. From there I uploaded them into Google Earth and combined a couple things, renamed files, etc. (probably could have skipped this, but I like organization)

Next I downloaded Garmin Basecamp.

From there I made a folder called Trans-American Trail.

Now to actually make these files transferable and readable by your Garmin GPS you have to convert it from about 15 different tracks to a Route. I choose to make 1 route= 1 state. So i have about 5 or 6 different routes on my GPS. When it finishes one state i just go to trip planning and click the next state.

Pictured below is 1 file from Sam (Oregon has 3 files total, I combined them all eventually). The first step is to combine all "tracks" into 1 track.



After you do that, convert the single track to a "route"



Depending how big the route is going to be, it may take a couple minutes to convert.




Now this file is ready to be transferred to your GPS. But in my case I did this 2 more times for the rest of Oregon, and then joined all 3 routes into 1 route.



There where some other bugs to work through, but other than that it went pretty well. I thought about doing a full write up/article on doing this with a lot more pictures. This is just the short and sweet version.

Here is the finished product as seen on Garmin Base Camp


To send them to the GPS you have to first connect the GPS, then right click on the file you want to send, then click "send to" then click on your GPS.

To access them on my GPS I turned it on, went to Trip Planner, and all of my files show up on there.


POINTERS:

1) I had to have my GPS plugged into the computer when making the routes. Garmin Base Camp comes with a pretty terrible map, and based on the GPS you buy it gives you access to more detailed maps. With the map Basecamp provides you can pretty much only see the interstates. Without the detailed maps the routes will just go line of sight, instead of following the waypoints.

Questions?? Ask away!
 
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dagen

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This is amazing. I am really excited for you @Bob Raff ! I'll be following your journey. I really hope to be able to do it myself one day.
Best of luck on your journey. I hope that it is smooth sailing!
 

Bob Raff

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I ended up going with the Mt. Bachelor Extended Pioneer Series from Cascadia Vehicle Tents. It is a 2 person tent with annex. And ok @Kies I will work on a write up tomorrow when I'm at work.
 
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Smatts

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Following! This is definitely a trip i'll be doing when I can make the time
 

Zheking

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I'd be interested in joining you on the East OK through West AR portion.

That would be very cool having different people from OB run different portions with you.