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Old 10-04-2019, 09:13 AM #1
notoriouslyKEN notoriouslyKEN is offline
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Offroad Consulting 101 Class @ AOAA w/ pictures

A few weeks ago, I took the 101 Class offered by Offroad Consulting @ Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area (AOAA) in PA. I had no idea what to expect when rolling up to AOAA, but the place was huge. There was a large parking lot where people were offloading their dirt bikes, 4 wheelers, and side by sides. If you live near by and haven't been there, I'd highly recommend checking it out for a day.

I have a completely stock 2018 TRD ORP and one of the selling points of the class is that it was made for completely stock vehicles. The class ran from 8:30am to about 3:00pm. There was about a dozen jeep wranglers, one gladiator, and one tundra in the class. Every single vehicle there was modified in some form outside of my 4Runner. All of them had AT tires while I was still rocking the stock Duellers. I did feel a little out-of-place initially, but that feeling quickly went away on the trails. Basically, how it works is that the instructor gives all vehicles in the class a radio. Then as you drive through trails, he explains the different obstacles and basically everything about 4wd (Hi vs Low), traction controls, differentials, sway bars, etc. Our instructor was very knowledgable and I was surprised about how much he knew about all the different vehicles.

First half of the day was basic offroad trails with a few rocks and puddles. A low key introduction to the trails that allows you to get familiar with your vehicle. We took a break for lunch (they do have a food stand there) and then after that went to the more difficult sections that included water fording, off-camber situations, rocky and muddy terrains, very narrow trails (I had to tuck in both side mirrors to fit in a few spots) and steeper inclines/declines so you could learn your approach, departure and break over angles (I did scrape the stock running boards breaking over one hill, but they are fine).

If you are new to offroading, I'd recommend checking out one of these 101 classes as it was a ton of fun. Overall, I feel I learned a lot about offroading and am much more comfortable with my vehicle. I was surprised at how well she performed in her stock form as she had no problem keeping up with the jeeps. Here are a few pictures the instructors took of me throughout the day.






The water fording was the only thing that I was super nervous about. I had my brother-in-law with me, who had just months prior hydro-locked a 2019 Ford Raptor while trying to drive through water. The instructor was warning everybody about the dangers and what you should try to feel as you enter the water. It was nerve wracking, to say the least.










Anyone else attend this class? I think I'm going to sign up for the 201 class at some point in the future. It would be nice to see some more Toyotas represented.
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Old 10-04-2019, 09:46 AM #2
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Nice. If I lived near PA, I would definitely do this. Great pictures as well.

On a side note, what rack do you have?
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Old 10-04-2019, 09:56 AM #3
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So on that pic where your 4Runner was tilted, what did they say about how to determine when that tilt is too much and you are going to flip without having a tilt meter?
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Old 10-04-2019, 10:17 AM #4
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Very cool! I bet you learned a lot. My wife and I took the BMW performance driving training and it is invaluable. Even the basics can be critical on the street. The key is getting out there and experiencing the trail in your own vehicle.
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Old 10-04-2019, 11:36 AM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scionicboom View Post
Nice. If I lived near PA, I would definitely do this. Great pictures as well.

On a side note, what rack do you have?
Rack is from Southern Style Offroad. I really dig it.

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Originally Posted by mteolus View Post
So on that pic where your 4Runner was tilted, what did they say about how to determine when that tilt is too much and you are going to flip without having a tilt meter?
Basically it was just learning to feel the vehicle and where the limits are. An inclinometer would be a great addition to the vehicle if you will find yourself in precarious situations often. I am not, but I think it would be a cool toy in the 4Runner. I looked prior to this trip but, I haven't found one that I like that blends into the stock console.
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Old 10-04-2019, 01:41 PM #6
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I just downloaded an app called Off-road Inclinometer. Pretty cool. You can set up your phone on your mount regardless of whether it is level or not and hit ZERO and it will be set. Another app I used to have wouldn't do that. Not sure what the maximum tilt is on a 4Runner but they have 30 degrees by default.

Found this short topic. Seems like you have to tilt it quite a bit, probably much more than you would think. Tilt topic
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Last edited by mteolus; 10-04-2019 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 10-04-2019, 01:55 PM #7
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Ken - it looks like you were in water deep enough to cover your rear diff vent; unless you have extended it like some other members here have. There are a couple of threads describing how they did it. Pretty simple and cheap mod. As I remember one member extended theirs up to the fuel door and another up into where the jack is stored. At any rate, if your vent is stock, I'd check your rear diff fluid to see if there is water in it.
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Old 10-04-2019, 03:22 PM #8
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My Runner is the very first truck Ive ever owned (Im 41) so this type of class would be AMAZING!!!!! The moment I bought my truck I started to build it up so it would be as capable as possible for anything I could dare throw at it. AWESOME PROGRAM AND NOW IM ON THE HUNT TOO!
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Old 10-04-2019, 03:47 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyrv9 View Post
Ken - it looks like you were in water deep enough to cover your rear diff vent...
It is not extended. That is something that is on my to do list. The instructor did mention that the valves on the differential are designed to prevent water from entering and mentioned that people seem more paranoid about it then necessary. He mentioned brief baths would be very unlikely to contaminate the diff. With that said, the kits are affordable, so it seems like cheap insurance.

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I just downloaded an app called Off-road Inclinometer....
Doh! I didn't even think about using an app on the course to measure tilt. That would have been a good idea...
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Old 10-04-2019, 04:03 PM #10
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It is not extended. That is something that is on my to do list. The instructor did mention that the valves on the differential are designed to prevent water from entering and mentioned that people seem more paranoid about it then necessary. He mentioned brief baths would be very unlikely to contaminate the diff. With that said, the kits are affordable, so it seems like cheap insurance.



Doh! I didn't even think about using an app on the course to measure tilt. That would have been a good idea...
Seems like the old app I used was by ShittyBuilt or something like that. This new app I just found seems pretty good. I'll be using it and I'll let everyone know if it is any good.

Here is a link to it
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