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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I took my 2006 Tacoma DC 4x4 out on the Hodge Road exit on Interstate 15 just south of Barstow, California this weekend. I’ve only had the truck off-road at my job sites and Azusa canyon which is a crowded spot. This time I was off-trail and in the middle of nowhere. A few observations:

1) This business about being prepared is so true. I just got the itch on the way to Vegas, pulled off the highway and went froading. I had no water, and just some spare tools. In a word: Stupid. I got disoriented while I thought I was cutting over to Route 66 (which I used to do in my 2WD 99 Prerunner all the time when I was stationed out there) but I was trying a new route overland and off-trail, got mixed up and back at the 15 a few miles from the nearest exit and no way to get on the highway. I started getting thirsty and cursing myself for being so confident. At the very least make sure you have water!!!!!!! I made it out ok, in case you were wondering if I am posting this over a wireless connection out in the middle of the desert right now.

2) The truck handled superbly. Unlike the 2WD, I had great confidence going over, through, and around some pretty big bushes. The truck never stalled, hiccupped, or spun a wheel. I was going over virgin desert and the truck was just great. The long wheelbase was more of an asset in the desert, except that I put some custom pinstripes along the sides. Luckily, they all washed off. Oh, the braking did leave some to be desired but we all know that’s an issue with the Taco.

3) I really want a lift now, because hitting average sized ruts at speed would just catapult the truck and then bottom out the suspension. It is a Sport package, but the desert made it feel like an Off-Road package. I think the bigger tires would have helped this out too. I also want to put some brushguards and rockerguards on it but while I’m at it I might as well ask for a supermodel girlfriend and a beer tap in the break room.

Until this weekend, I was kicking myself a bit for buying this truck. I work in the People’s Republic of Santa Monica and the thing is a monster out here. But getting her out where she belongs helped me appreciate what a great truck she is.
 

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Glad you were able to get out. That is something I always forget to put on the list of things to haul with. That is bolt cutters or something to that affect. Not fun traveling all day and wham theres a gate/fence the road you need is right on the other side but no way to get there from here. I am not advokating cutting locks or fence but sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do. Just repair after ya get through.
Used to work on the Mojave NP and we hauled water in south of Kelbaker road in the Cowhole Mtns for the Bighorns. As you discovered that whole stretch(Apple valley - Baker) can be tricky. Very soft sand in some areas.

I took my 2006 Tacoma DC 4x4 out on the Hodge Road exit on Interstate 15 just south of Barstow, California this weekend. I’ve only had the truck off-road at my job sites and Azusa canyon which is a crowded spot. This time I was off-trail and in the middle of nowhere. A few observations:

1) This business about being prepared is so true. I just got the itch on the way to Vegas, pulled off the highway and went froading. I had no water, and just some spare tools. In a word: Stupid. I got disoriented while I thought I was cutting over to Route 66 (which I used to do in my 2WD 99 Prerunner all the time when I was stationed out there) but I was trying a new route overland and off-trail, got mixed up and back at the 15 a few miles from the nearest exit and no way to get on the highway. I started getting thirsty and cursing myself for being so confident. At the very least make sure you have water!!!!!!! I made it out ok, in case you were wondering if I am posting this over a wireless connection out in the middle of the desert right now.

2) The truck handled superbly. Unlike the 2WD, I had great confidence going over, through, and around some pretty big bushes. The truck never stalled, hiccupped, or spun a wheel. I was going over virgin desert and the truck was just great. The long wheelbase was more of an asset in the desert, except that I put some custom pinstripes along the sides. Luckily, they all washed off. Oh, the braking did leave some to be desired but we all know that’s an issue with the Taco.

3) I really want a lift now, because hitting average sized ruts at speed would just catapult the truck and then bottom out the suspension. It is a Sport package, but the desert made it feel like an Off-Road package. I think the bigger tires would have helped this out too. I also want to put some brushguards and rockerguards on it but while I’m at it I might as well ask for a supermodel girlfriend and a beer tap in the break room.

Until this weekend, I was kicking myself a bit for buying this truck. I work in the People’s Republic of Santa Monica and the thing is a monster out here. But getting her out where she belongs helped me appreciate what a great truck she is.
 

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Glad you were able to get out. That is something I always forget to put on the list of things to haul with. That is bolt cutters or something to that affect. Not fun traveling all day and wham theres a gate/fence the road you need is right on the other side but no way to get there from here. I am not advokating cutting locks or fence but sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do. Just repair after ya get through.
Used to work on the Mojave NP and we hauled water in south of Kelbaker road in the Cowhole Mtns for the Bighorns. As you discovered that whole stretch(Apple valley - Baker) can be tricky. Very soft sand in some areas.
Thats something to add to the off-road tool list, as that is pretty frustrating. Dont forget some wire to repair the fence, which might come in handy for other things and repairs. It seems that this can be caused by ranchers installing fences to keep their livestock in, or out, or perhaps its to keep predators such as coyotes out.

I saw a flick on Australia or Africa and they were discussing some of the fence work they have. Its basically close it behind you to keep the animals in their certain territories.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks to both of you for the suggestion. I guess growing up as a city boy I never even considered clipping the fence. It's probably only there to keep animals off of the 15 freeway and I guess it's better to clip it than to head back into the desert when you aren't sure about your route.

Anyway, it was nice to go out. Last week one of my buddies mentioned there was a scratch on my door and I just smiled. :)


-Matt
 
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