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Old 12-16-2020, 03:23 AM #1
fubarovich fubarovich is offline
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help/opinions needed for road trip preparation

Hi folks. Life sucks right now and to help clear my head I'm planning a solo road trip with just my dog in my 2019 4runner ORP (currently 15k miles on her). I plan on leaving Chicago mid January and setting aside 1-2 months to do this. My drive will look something like this Chicago -> NM -> AZ (Tuscon, Phoenix, Sedona, Flagstaff, Grand Canyon) -> Vegas -> Seattle WA. If everything checks out I will make Seattle my new home and have my crap shipped there from Chicago, and if not I will need to plan my return drive at a later date. I plan on stopping at various national parks and offroading spots along the way, spending a up to a week in some areas (airbnb/hotels). What I really need some help with is planning the types of supplies/tools I need to bring.

Currently at minimum I think I will need:

Gas can (not sure what size)
Air Compressor
Sleeping bag
Cooler
Basic tools (metric wrenches/socket set/ratchet)
High quality flashlight
Possibly snow chains? - never had to use before.

I'm currently running stock wheels and tires. I dont see myself replacing the wheels any time soon but I'm not sure if proper all terrain or even off-road tires are a must. One possible option is to keep stock rubber on until I get to the more interesting parts of New Mexico and find a Costco out there to do a quick swap.

If anyone has tips or ideas on what I should bring and what to expect in terms of weather I'm all ears. Thank you very much

Last edited by fubarovich; 12-16-2020 at 04:04 AM. Reason: title change
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Old 12-16-2020, 07:21 AM #2
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More experienced folks will chime in surely...but my own 2 cents suggests:

ditch the tires NOW. The stock tires are fine for driving to the grocery store and back, do a little research for what works for you, but get yourself some more robust and capable AT-rubber before you embark on this quest. when you get to those regions where you will have that urge to leave pavement and use some of your T4R's capabilities, you'll be glad you did.

get some recovery gear. if you plan on leaving pavement, have a few odds and ends that will assist you if you get stuck somewhere; ie. a small shovel, good cooler, tow/snap strap

have a solid plan...know where you are going, and when you will be there, when you'll be leaving and moving to the next. and let somebody know of that plan...and if you can, allow somebody the ability to track your phone as you travel...going solo, you never know if you might need emergency help.

Lastly, stop as often as you see fit...nothing beats stopping and taking in the views that are sure to become available to you while you are out there discovering our wonderful countryside.

I wish you safe travels sir, and enjoy the trip...ive done similar, road-tripping my Runner after purchasing, and i can tell you it is a wonderful experience.
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Last edited by mnofpeace; 12-16-2020 at 07:23 AM.
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Old 12-16-2020, 10:11 AM #3
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Adding to @mnofpeace as he has some spot on suggestions. Definitely bring some extra gas just in case. Last summer we ran into an issue in Nevada where there were several gas stations closed in a row on our route. With 60-80 miles between gas this became an issue quick. I would use a NATO jerrycan like this for safety...

Wavian Fuel Cans | The Finest Steel Jerry Cans In The World — Wavian USA

Off-Line Mapping (Gaia, Old-School Hard Copy Map, etc) for when you are in areas where there is spotty reception. We plotted our expected route ahead of time and having the GAIA maps was super helpful.

-Water
-Lithium Jump-Starter or similar (in case of dead battery)...I have NOCOGB40 and it works well.
-chargers for devices
-Zip Ties
-Duct Tape
-Cash
-Headlamp (so you have light hands-free)
-Tire patch kit
-Warm Sleeping bag/Blankets just in case.
-Open Mind and Positive Attitude


We did 8,000 mile road trip last summer and 7,000 mile the year before. Along with several 1-2K mile trips in between (we have to travel long distances to get to anything interesting to us living in S. Florida). These are the things we have found most useful.
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Old 12-16-2020, 10:26 AM #4
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Dead on suggestions. Tire deflators to air down if needed..
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Old 12-16-2020, 06:54 PM #5
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Aside from your obvious food/sleeping amenities I would suggest:

Gas & Water containers, Lithium booster, Physical map (never know how cell reception will be & also can highlight your route & waypoints), headlamp, solo recovery gear; tow strap & recovery boards at minimum.
You're rig is new enough that you shouldn't have to worry about much maintenance or extra fluids. Get an oil change, do a thorough pre-trip check and enjoy the hell out of what sounds like an awesome experience!

Keep your head up. It may suck at times but life is precious & you only get to live it once!
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Old 12-16-2020, 08:57 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fubarovich View Post
Hi folks. Life sucks right now and to help clear my head I'm planning a solo road trip with just my dog in my 2019 4runner ORP (currently 15k miles on her). I plan on leaving Chicago mid January and setting aside 1-2 months to do this. My drive will look something like this Chicago -> NM -> AZ (Tuscon, Phoenix, Sedona, Flagstaff, Grand Canyon) -> Vegas -> Seattle WA. If everything checks out I will make Seattle my new home and have my crap shipped there from Chicago, and if not I will need to plan my return drive at a later date. I plan on stopping at various national parks and offroading spots along the way, spending a up to a week in some areas (airbnb/hotels). What I really need some help with is planning the types of supplies/tools I need to bring.

Currently at minimum I think I will need:

Gas can (not sure what size)
Air Compressor
Sleeping bag
Cooler
Basic tools (metric wrenches/socket set/ratchet)
High quality flashlight
Possibly snow chains? - never had to use before.

I'm currently running stock wheels and tires. I don't see myself replacing the wheels any time soon but I'm not sure if proper all terrain or even off-road tires are a must. One possible option is to keep stock rubber on until I get to the more interesting parts of New Mexico and find a Costco out there to do a quick swap.

If anyone has tips or ideas on what I should bring and what to expect in terms of weather I'm all ears. Thank you very much

3400 miles.
Change oil prior to departure.
Agree with ditching stock tires, they are not the best for winter conditions. (My choice is Cooper AT3 4S, does-it-all-well)
To bring:
Extra quart of oil
Large dog food container
Extra extra water, it's dry in AZ year 'round.
Shovel, since you're offroading
Extra clothes incl blankets

Weather: quite variable. You'll likely see it all in this trip so be prepared, especially crossing the Rockies in the winter.

But have a great trip! I mapped it out and have driven a lot of those main roads, looks like fuel shouldn't be too much of a problem, so a 5 gal can should be enough.
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Old 12-16-2020, 09:10 PM #7
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3PMSF rated tires have served me well. PM me if you want any dining (albeit limited) or outdoor recs in NorCal. Enjoy!
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Old 12-18-2020, 08:33 AM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fubarovich View Post
.......
I'm currently running stock wheels and tires. I dont see myself replacing the wheels any time soon but I'm not sure if proper all terrain or even off-road tires are a must. One possible option is to keep stock rubber on until I get to the more interesting parts of New Mexico and find a Costco out there to do a quick swap.

If anyone has tips or ideas on what I should bring and what to expect in terms of weather I'm all ears. Thank you very much

You don't need to change your tires. Since you will be on the highway most of the time "offload " tires will be loud, tiring and likely a reduction in fuel "economy".
One of those 4 hose spider-like air down hose things might make it easier to get all 4 tires air pressure lowered and raised but depending where you go you might not even need to do that based on my experience. Those things are expensive so since you have the time it might not be worth the hassle. You should have a hand pump and an electric pump imho

I would get a Coleman dual fuel stove and a gallon of Colman fuel. The 2 burner one that can run on gasoline and a few pots and pans, utensils, a cooler from a Marine shop like West Marine a 5 gallon water container. If you will be out and away by yourself I would also consider acquiring a simple 18" barreled pump shotgun, simple bag to transport it in and a few packages of 00 Buck. Snuggle up with it at night. Take a class if you dont know how to use one. All of the romanticism aside some of the places you want to go offloading and camping have a pretty high crime rate and a single person with a truck filled with goodies is an easy target. If you stay in a hotel you will need to empty your truck every night or risk smash and grab type issues.

You should have a basic set of tools and a tool box.

A few lighters. I prefer Zippos. a small can of Zippo fuel. Take some news paper to start a fire.

A tent. Get a big one that is easy to put up. Sleeping in your truck imho is a better idea if you can get comfortable. Throw your gear in the tent.

A folding chair a folding table

Laundry soap, dish soap, paper towels, a roll of big garbage bags, good toilet paper, Antibiotic cream, band aids, ibuprofen, large clothing bags to keep your dirty cloths separate from your clean cloths.

LED flash lights batteries and or a Coleman Lantern.

You might want to consider a single NATO 20 liter fuel can. Dont use the plastic crap. This might not be necessary and could be more of a liability

Spare glasses, work gloves, safety glasses, sun glasses

A MacBook or iPad and a GSM iPhone with unlimited data. Have someone you know use "find my iPhone" in case you disappear.

Boots, flip flops, boat shoes, belts

A cowboy hat or a wide brimmed hat like a plantation hat

Cold weather gear. Its winter. I like motorcycle rain gear pants and jacket.

Check your route. Some place will require "snowflake" tires to drive through the mountains in winter.
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Last edited by RichinRidgewood; 12-18-2020 at 09:03 AM.
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Old 12-18-2020, 02:32 PM #9
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thank you

Thank you to everyone that replied, I really appreciate you guys! Amazing info here.
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Old 12-19-2020, 01:59 PM #10
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If you run a tire with a snowflake symbol you most likely wonít need snow chains, If there are mountain pass check points theyíll typically let you through with the proper tires. Donner Pass is generally the worst pass you might experience on this trip and Iíve been let through with all season tires and no chains in a heavy snow storm.

If youíre planning on visiting National parks, check to see which entrances are closed for the winter. Pretty sure the east entrance of Yosemite near Lee Vining is closed during winter and thatís the one youíd take if youíre doing Vegas to Seattle.

Iím from Seattle and for some reason still live here so if you have any questions about the area hit me up. And by area I mean Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Oregon since I try to get out of this place as much as possible.


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Old 12-19-2020, 08:51 PM #11
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I see a bunch of great ideas. By patch kit I would go with the plug kit, have used these many times and they're inexpensive. Extra batteries, extra water, toilet paper, typical camping gear, clothes for any expected weather, energy bars. The list goes on and on.

And I would bring enough cash to handle minor repairs like replacing a tire, multiple gas station stops with non-functioning card readers and my personal favorite your favorite flavor of EDC little buddy and extra ammo.
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Old 12-19-2020, 09:08 PM #12
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If you're planning on using Google Maps at all, remember that you can download the areas you plan on going to directly to your phone. That way you won't have to worry about having a cell signal to have access to your maps. I guess there would be something similar for Apple users, too.
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Old 12-21-2020, 09:43 AM #13
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If you really want to get away from it all...I suggest a couple of days in Death Valley National Park in Cali.
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Old 12-22-2020, 12:36 AM #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ascole View Post
If you run a tire with a snowflake symbol you most likely wonít need snow chains, If there are mountain pass check points theyíll typically let you through with the proper tires. Donner Pass is generally the worst pass you might experience on this trip and Iíve been let through with all season tires and no chains in a heavy snow storm.

If youíre planning on visiting National parks, check to see which entrances are closed for the winter. Pretty sure the east entrance of Yosemite near Lee Vining is closed during winter and thatís the one youíd take if youíre doing Vegas to Seattle.

Iím from Seattle and for some reason still live here so if you have any questions about the area hit me up. And by area I mean Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Oregon since I try to get out of this place as much as possible.


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Doesnt sound like youre very fond of PNW, any particular reasons? I honestly have never been there before, this trip is to find out if i can grow to like it, hopefully love it. thanks
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Old 12-23-2020, 01:32 AM #15
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Doesnt sound like youre very fond of PNW, any particular reasons? I honestly have never been there before, this trip is to find out if i can grow to like it, hopefully love it. thanks

Oh donít get me wrong, I absolutely love the NorthWest. I was born and raised here and have spent most of my life here; Itís Seattle Iím not fond of.
My unhappiness with the city is all personal opinion and experience; you should come here and decide for yourself.
Also, thereís a ton of nice areas to live outside of the city that arenít affected by the happenings in Seattle. If you need any info on the area feel free to PM me; Iíve spent countless years exploring both the Olympics and Cascades and obviously Seattle.


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