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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Green Machine's journey (link) through Canyonlands National Park Utah got me into thinking about a CR-V convoy adventure through the White Rim road loop. While he only did Potash Road and Shaffer Trail, I've been thoroughly investigating the difficulty and requirements for the White Rim trail. According to the tourist information for this trail, "Four-wheel drive is a must, but most SUVs can navigate this route". While CR-V's lack the 2 speed, granny gear transmission, it seems 4-wheel drive is only necessary in a few areas. More than one Honda Ridgeline has made this journey. The ridgeline only has higher clearance as an advantage, but the longer wheel base (122" vs 103") somewhat augments that advantage. Pics of Ridgeline at Canyonlands off-roading:

ROC_WR.jpg

Video of a Ridgeline heading down Murphy's Hog Back:

I have found Subaru's also capable of this loop:

I have made this loop in a stock 1979 Jeep Wagoneer that had lousy ground clearance due to sagging springs and remembered that it was the Maze district that was limited to 2 speed transfer boxes and not White Rim road.

Here's what I think will be needed for 4WD/AWD versions of CR-Vs to make this pass:
  • All-terrain tires, preferably large enough to increase your stock ground clearance another 1/2" inch or more
  • Transmission Cooler - slow hill climbs mean more slipping and also less air-flow through the radiator
  • Portable air-compressor - some sandy and low traction areas benefit from reduced tire pressure
  • Full Size Spare - this is for just in case, and to avoid expensive $1,000+ retrieval of your broken down V
Only other gear needed would be whatever you travel with for camping, and 1 gallon of water per person per day (the ~100 mile loop can be done in a day but is more enjoyable if done in two or three days). Skid plates would add an extra measure of certainty but I think can be done without if careful in navigating the terrain.

Anyone else filling the off-road itch? I tested my 2007 V with nearly bald street tires on damp/mud dirt inclines and was surprised at how capable the real-time 4WD turned out to be. Had I been equipped with proper all-terrains, I'm sure I would have been even more satisfied. I'm getting new tires on my V in the coming weeks if I can get a group together later this year or around May 2015, we'll head to Moab, Utah for the ultimate CR-V offroad experience. Who's with me?

One more vid to wet your tongue, this is of Murphy's Hog Back, which is said the be the most difficult climb of the White Rim road:

More information about White Rim Road, camping availability/reservations etc: http://www.nps.gov/cany/planyourvisit/whiterimroad.htm
 

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Discussion Starter #2
This is a great video covering many scenic areas of the route
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
This is a video of a trip up and back down hogs back (jump to 5:20 to see the journey up and down hogs back).

Other than being steep it doesn't look too bad or rough even.

From this view/camera, the backside of Hog's Back doesn't look too intense either:
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Shaffer Trail, where the off-road journey begins (2WD passable up and down) to reach the turnoff for White Rim road. Amazing views as you drop down into the red rock canyons through these switchbacks. My dad has taken a '47 Ford sedan up/down this road so as intense as it may look, it's really something most any passenger car can achieve. Am I convincing anyone yet to make this trip with me??? ;)

 

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Clearly you have done your homework on the White Rim Road!

I wonder if the 5 speeds would have an advantage over the automatics for the low-speed uphills? My understanding is that the gen1 1st gear ratio is the same as some dedicated 4x4 ratios, lower than that of the automatic CR-Vs. In my experience with my CR-V, been very happy with how well it manages to crawl along over rougher terrain when in 1st gear, makes up for the lack of torque. Even in the roughest sections on the Potash Rd, seemed like I never had to touch the clutch to climb my way up some rocky areas. But in the case of this route there never was anything all that steep or long to deal with. I also give a lot of credit to my All-Terrain tires, don't even think the AWD hardly ever kicked in at all while in Canyonlands because of them.

Honestly, I am finding the hills in San Francisco to be way more challenging for the 1st gear due to how damn steep they are. Crawling my way up to a mid-hill stop sign behind a row of cars becomes impossible without some playing around with the clutch once the speed drops too low. Man, I do wish my AWD were still together, it would definitely be a help...

I would love to see some old CR-Vs complete the White Rim Road! Hell, if I were local to the area I would absolutely want to join this! I am really curious about taking a CR-V down it, the videos make it seem pretty doable. Even with the longer uphill sections, it seems like a fairly steady pace cane be maintained, no larger rocks to be avoided. Hope some others show an interest. For all the warning on the signs and whatnot for the milder Potash/Shafer Trail route, there really wasn't much to be concerned about. The official recommendations are definitely overly cautious so as to keep people from driving their Sebring rentals into the canyon. Even with my lower ground clearance from all the crap I have loaded up, I don't think there were many spots that truly had me nervous. FWD with moderate clearance and All-Terrain tires probably would be enough.

I know on the Facebook page for off-road CR-V interest there is a dude from northern Arizona with a lifted first gen 5 speed (https://www.facebook.com/groups/575952869165899/). Joshua Stowers is the name, posted pics of his green Honda not too long ago. Might be worth trying to message and see if there is any interest?
 

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I guess I would add that bringing a shovel along never hurts either! Though I don't think the sand was ever that bad on trail from what I could tell, guess the White Rim Road would be similar?

Being my idiot self, I had to push things a bit while in Capital Reef National Park. Was looking for a free BLM campsite nearby, ignored my better judgement to not drive down a trail that leads into a dry stream bed. The stream bed itself was fine to drive on but my decision to pull up onto the sandy bank wasn't so great. Eventually bogged down in the sand from the lack of torque, knew enough to stop gassing it so as not to dig myself any deeper. About 6-8" of sand deep on the tires. Full size shovel to the rescue! Dug out the front tires a bit, placed some large flat rocks to get some traction, got moving again and b-lined back into the much more solid stream bed. Found a much more established campsite further up the road.

Fun to think about now but definitely yelled at myself then!
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
A shovel would certainly be a useful tool, glad you mentioned it. I intend to start a Moab CRV build thread once I get my new tires to hopefully build more interest in this adventure. As for manual being better, it's hard to say. Automatics can slip the disks to gear down, but would generate heat and thus the need for more cooling for the fluid. The worry with manuals is if the incline is more than the gearing can handle power wise, they can't go any slower. I would just suggest anyone with a manual wanting to join should first test their limits (driver and vehicle) in your local 4wd venues.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
More video of that previous Subaru wagon going through White Rim road

 

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A shovel would certainly be a useful tool, glad you mentioned it. I intend to start a Moab CRV build thread once I get my new tires to hopefully build more interest in this adventure. As for manual being better, it's hard to say. Automatics can slip the disks to gear down, but would generate heat and thus the need for more cooling for the fluid. The worry with manuals is if the incline is more than the gearing can handle power wise, they can't go any slower. I would just suggest anyone with a manual wanting to join should first test their limits (driver and vehicle) in your local 4wd venues.
Very good point. Off road driving on 4 wheels is new to me so it is interesting to learn what possibilities the CR-V has. For the duration of my trip I am just going to leave the drive-shaft off and continue in FWD, but definitely planning to get the u-joints replaced and get the AWD functioning again, start exploring places local to where I settle. Very tempted to give the ole' Honda a mild lift as well, maybe 2" in springs and another 1" in tire. Being new to the West, it is totally awesome to me that so many great off-road sites exist for various levels of vehicle ability.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Wrangler A/T Adventure tires!

I can check off one of the items of my Moab CR-V build: A/T Tires! :cool:



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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Moab CR-V Build

I'm just going to turn this thread into my official build thread since it's already a place holder promoting the trip to anyone who wants to join. Here's my list of desired mods to complete before this trip and whether they are complete:

Required Items
  • All-Terrain Tires (On/Off-Road) [Completed]
  • Transmission Cooler and manual fan
  • 1.5" OME Lift Springs (part #2535 front, 2536 back)
  • KYB GR-2 Struts (FR #339261, FL #339262, Rear #341492)
  • Full size spare tire (preferably matching the same wheel and tire as full set)
  • Transmission fluid replaced (drained/filled x 3)
  • Camping reservations for 1-3 nights (late spring or late summer are best times)

Optional Items
  • Front skid plates over oil/tranmission
  • Roof cross bars and rack
  • Fog/Rally lights
  • Rock sliders/nerf bars

This list is subject to change as I continually evaluate the trip's needs etc.
 

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VERY WISE ADVICE! Also a portable winch wouldn't hurt either.....

Tire pump, to lower & raise tire pressure.

I guess I would add that bringing a shovel along never hurts either! Though I don't think the sand was ever that bad on trail from what I could tell, guess the White Rim Road would be similar?

Being my idiot self, I had to push things a bit while in Capital Reef National Park. Was looking for a free BLM campsite nearby, ignored my better judgement to not drive down a trail that leads into a dry stream bed. The stream bed itself was fine to drive on but my decision to pull up onto the sandy bank wasn't so great. Eventually bogged down in the sand from the lack of torque, knew enough to stop gassing it so as not to dig myself any deeper. About 6-8" of sand deep on the tires. Full size shovel to the rescue! Dug out the front tires a bit, placed some large flat rocks to get some traction, got moving again and b-lined back into the much more solid stream bed. Found a much more established campsite further up the road.

Fun to think about now but definitely yelled at myself then!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Nice looking V Civiceg94! Do you know what areas of Moab you plan to visit?
 

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The white rim trail was one. But i was reading one needs a permit to get into the trail. Theirs is another where i wanted to see the arches also. And i cant remember others i read about. Am also on hondatech and expeditionportal.com great place to plan adventures
 

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Discussion Starter #17
White Rim does require the permit, but you can get that at many of the ranger stations before going in. However, it usually can't be done in a single day by 4x4 vehicles, and so you either have to come back out or get reservations for the limited camp sites available. No camping is allowed otherwise. If you get reservations early enough though, it shouldn't be a problem.
 

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I read where people done it in one day. But also they were saying its a very scenery route. Why do it in one day. Which makes sense. The jeep still needs a rack. And i need camping equipment. I already have a shovel a tire lever and a 2 gallon air compressor. On broad
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yeah, if you keep a steady pace it can be done. But you'd not have much time for enjoying the views, like you said. I'm still lacking a lift and some other gear, but I may end up going without the lift. I just need to call and see what dates they have open for this fall or late summer. I got the hi-lift jack though :) I can either take my full size shovel or get a shorty. When were you thinking of making the trip, and where are you coming from?
 

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I was thinking of a hi lift jack but i dont have any point on the crv to jack from. I have a short shovel a long shovel just going to take up space. As of what date i have planned dont know yet maybe next year or so. Its a little delyaed because i just recently moved in with my girlfriend. Ill be coming from NYC so i have a big drive. Ahead of me. And i need to teach my girlfriend to drive stick shift to help on the drive
 
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