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Land Ops - The Off Road, Navigation and Amateur Radio Search Club

Land Ops ARC
 Expedition communications, overland navigation, teamwork challenges

Vehicle Suitability

  • 13 Sep 2018 8:37 AM
    Message # 6667776

    I need to know some basic information on your activities and trips to see if my vehicles are suitable for what you do.

    Just how technical, terrain wise, do your trips get?

    I have a self built mobile command post, affectionately called the rover. It's a repurposed 1978 Dodge Kary Van which used to be a mobile CSI lab. We've installed a bucket load of radios, computers and other goodies. It has a generator on board. The sucker is NOT a 4x4 and weighs just north of 9000 pounds. It's built on a Dodge B300 1 ton chassis.

    I have taken the thing a lot of places, some where I probably should not have gone. Let's just say Moab is a great proving ground. It has always gotten me back. We always travel with a support vehicle that drags a small trailer with generator (8 KVA). Hauls antenna equipment and whatever else. That support vehicle is a 1988 Ford F250. Again, not a 4x4 but has plenty of ground clearance.

    If there is any kind of a road or track I'll usually give it a go. Deep gullies, wadis, or the like are a non-starter however. Tried that last year. Ugh! It's not a rock crawler.

    I used to live in SoCal (Moreno Valley) and am now in Utah. I would love to get out there and participate in one of your longer trips next year. I just don't want to die doing it <grin>.

    Spent 20 years in military tactical comms and love the stuff.

    I'd very much like to get your collective opinions.

    I'll post some pictures in a bit.



  • 13 Sep 2018 10:54 AM
    Reply # 6667993 on 6667776
    Jim Biram (Administrator)


    I look forward to seeing some photos of your van...sounds like a beast!

    Answering your question is a bit tough, as you know that driver skill is quite often the deciding factor on whether a vehicle gets through an area.  When planning a typical Op, there are usually two teams, and we usually try to put less capable vehicles on the easier of the two trail routes.  On an overland "recon" trip, we will sometimes break into two groups to explore areas as possible locations for trips, so one can never be sure where they end up.

    On our recent trip to Monache Meadow, we had a vehicle pull a popup trailer, and it suffered a little damage on the trail...and I recall some overhead branches that might have caused some issues for a tall vehicle, which I presume your van is.  But not everyplace we go to has these types of challenges.

    Bottom line is that we would love to see you on one of our outings, and, we are always looking to find members who want to start chapters in other parts of the country.  Colorado is a great place, with miles of trails of varying difficulty, and can be a fun playground for some LandOps style offroad adventures.

  • 17 Sep 2018 11:00 AM
    Reply # 6673224 on 6667776
    Deleted user

    Charles, I agree with Jim. Most of our ops can be accessed by a regular vehicle but once on the op, higher clearance really helps.

    I would love to see some pictures.

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