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Max number of passengers on Rubicon trail?

Daniel.Lee

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Dec 3, 2018
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This question is for people who have done the Rubicon trail.

Is it comfortable enough in a TJ to take 3 or 4 passengers on the Rubicon trail? I’m going to sign up for the Jeepers Jamboree with my buddy as my co-passenger but don’t know if I should invite another person or two.

Thanks!

Dan
 

Stevemack

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I think only you can really answer this. Now, disregard my response if you have a lot of trail experience. My answer is geared more towards a newer wheeler.

Without knowing anything about your jeep, you need to figure on space for tools, spare parts(don’t be THAT guy that breaks 15 min into the trail and now your trip is ruined because you didn’t bring spares of stuff) maybe a cooler for chow and hydration, etc, etc...

Can you fit all of that and carry 2extra people in the small back seat? Sounds challenging to me. And consider the extra weight of your passengers and gear and how it will effect your suspension...

Sounds like a cool trip by the way...
 

Stevemack

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As an example, here’s my trail load out..
Top Shelf-
Top left action packer: fluids, spare hardware and other small parts, some tools
Top middle: recovery gear
Top right: cooler

Bottom left: spare axles, spare steering
Bottom middle: larger spare parts and rest of tools
Bottom right: first aid/trauma kit(in front of gas can)
Spare fuel and a spill kit in the ammo can...

I can only bring a front seat passenger....lol

8FEA6C22-8594-427C-AC92-021539190A6E.jpeg
 

RubiconMike

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I agree with what Stevemack said.

I've done the Jeepers Jamboree many times (I was even a cameraman for Rick Russell's "Crawling the Rubicon" video #18), you are in for a hell of a good time!

As a reminder, you will be driving a difficult trail for pretty much an entire day or more, and then you will be tent-camping at the Rubicon Springs camping area. You will need to carry everything you need to camp (clothes, tent, sleeping bags, snacks, cooler, tools, etc.) - the Jamboree supplies excellent food, but you need to carry everything else. From the looks of your icon, you have a standard (short-wheelbase) Jeep. If you take four people, you will need to keep your back seat in, and find a way to carry the above gear for four people. Personally, I don't know three other people I like that much. :)

Most of the people I've seen on the Jamborees have just a driver and passenger, pull the rear seat like Stevemack above, and load all their gear in the back. That's what I would recommend, especially if it's your first time. Make sure everything is secure - you can see how Stevemack has everything strapped down.

I have an unlimited, and to make room for two 85lb German Shepherds, I loaded everything on two racks on the back.

IMG_3116.jpg
 

RubiconMike

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Addendum: Part of the service Jeepers Jamboree supplies is excellent repair and support on the trail. If you break, they will tow you to a repair facility and helicopter in the parts if they have to. All repairs are done for the cost of the parts, the labor is free. (At least that's the way it was, I have not done the Jamboree for several years).

Stevemack has an awesome set of tools and spare parts as part of his trail rig, which is ideal on a normal Rubicon run without the support of the Jamboree. If you don't have that level of preparedness, don't worry, the Jeepers Jamboree is the easiest difficult trail you can do.
 
OP
Daniel.Lee

Daniel.Lee

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So maybe 4 passengers is too many ... but my girlfriend really wants to tag along in addition to my buddy. Maybe I can install racks on the top or on the back like RubiconMike did in order to carry all of my creature comforts. I'm a "yes man" kind of guy and I always try to make things work no matter the circumstances. I just wanted to check in with you guys to see if I was insane to think that I could take 2 others with me. I'm new to wheeling and don't have the knowledge, experience, or intuition to know what's possible and what's not.

So it seems like the most significant drawback when it comes to having a rear seat is that my carrying capacity is greatly reduced, which can be solved by installing racks on the vehicle. Additionally, RubiconMike makes a great point about the service that the folks with Jeepers Jamboree provides. If they have a repair facility with tools and parts.... that's less stuff I have to bring along with me.

As far as comfort in the rear seat on the Rubicon Trail....will my rear passenger regret coming on the trail? I've sat in the rear seat of my TJ around town (not as uncomfortable as I thought it would be) but I'm not sure how it is on something as challenging and rigorous as the Rubicon.

Thoughts?
 

Stevemack

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Who is the smaller framed person? The GF or the friend? They get the back seat...lol Also keep in mind, a lot of the times my passenger(usually my 12yo daughter) goes wheeling with me, she’s out walking and rock climbing most of the time with the other kids from the club. She’s only in the seat in between the obstacles that are really far apart. I’m not sure if that is something that could be considered on the Rubicon Trail, but maybe it wouldn’t so horrible for a smaller rear seat passenger if they use the walking method...lol

I didn’t even factor in camping gear in your equation. I think with smart packing, taking only the absolute necessities and an exterior rack system, either tire carrier based or roof rack based, it can be managed. I was not aware of the type of trail support that would be available to you at this event. That’s awesome.

I would identify what would need to brought. Then start gear layout and loading multiple times way in advance of the trip, with your passengers to get it right, and safe. Lash everything down.

You know what they say, Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance....

Good luck. Make sure to share your gear loading trials and tribulations as you prepare..
 
OP
Daniel.Lee

Daniel.Lee

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Billiebob, that was an idea of mine that I had last night. I could take both my passengers down to Hollister Hills just south of the Bay Area and take ‘em for a test run and see if my girlfriend is still down to go, haha.

SteveMack, that’s what I was thinking — if I’m rock crawling, my girlfriend, who would be in the back seat could get out and hike through the obstacles. She loves hiking and the outdoors anyway!

I will definitely do a gear layout and optimize the configuration prior to the trip... by the way, are you military?
 

bobthetj03

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I took my adult daughter with me in 2014. We went with a local group, so no support like the Jamboree has. No rear seat, and basically the entire back filled with gear. We spent 2 nights on the trail.
Dad.jpg

Can the Jamboree actually get everyone thru to the Springs in one day?

A buddy that went on the trip with us had a unique set of bags that he strapped on the spare tire for all his gear. He also removed the passenger front seat and had his wife and young daughter travel in the back seat, which allowed for more gear storage where the front seat was.
21.JPG

When I do the trail again, and I will, I will camp at Buck Island Lake first night, then hit the Springs second day. Just makes for a more relaxed trail ride for everyone.
 
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Daniel.Lee

Daniel.Lee

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Absolutely Dan!! No Army of One or Army Strong jokes from me and you promise not to say anything about my crayon eating habit....deal?
Of course! I won't say anything about the acronym for MARINE either!

Muscles
Are
Required
Intelligence
Not
Essential

Haha, all jokes aside...thanks for your service!
 
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Brianj5600

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I've never done Rubicon, but have been on some pretty tough obstacles. I can tell a difference between the hard top vs bikini on off camber sections. IMO a roof rack should be for overflow, not primary storage...or is Rubicon easier than people make it out to be?
 

Mr. Bills

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Here is a shot of my '83 CJ-7 on the Rubicon Trail circa 2000. The small Con-Ferr rack mounted to the roll cage behind the front seats was used to carry relatively lightweight gear and did not impact handling.

Rubicon2000-1.jpg
 
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bobthetj03

vibrajeep
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The only way I'd even consider taking more than 2 people would be if I could carry 90% of my gear on my Jeep trailer, and dragging a trailer thru the Con is not for the weak minded or courteous to others that have to wait behind you. The trailer would need to be built to handle the same abuse your jeep will endure.
20150501_160749.jpg
 
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