Sponsored

Florida to Georgia mountains and back

KevinC

Well-Known Member
First Name
Kevin
Joined
Feb 6, 2021
Threads
6
Messages
131
Reaction score
244
Location
Central Florida
Vehicle(s)
2020 JTR Sting Gray
Occupation
Paramedic
After a lot of planning I finally decided it was time for a tent camping trip. The end of October seemed to still have mild weather in North Ga., so I packed up the Gladiator and went up for a week. 500 miles one way pretty much I75 North. This post will be about the Jeep and my gear. I will start with the Jeep first for those that don't care about reading about camping gear.

1. 2020 Gladiator Rubicon. 3.6, auto, leather, Customer package 24R. Kenda Klever R/T 35x10.50x17 on stock rims.
With the JT loaded with about 250lbs of gear in the bed, I averaged 18mpg on the road trip, there and back. I kept the speed around 72-74mph on the interstate and varied using the cruise control or not. The transmission would down shift to 7th on every incline/hill encountered on I75 with the exception of two hills it went into 6th. The shift points were smooth and I wouldn't even had noticed if I wasn't looking at the dash. Flat roads it stayed in 8th.

2. Vehicle Information Center/ Offroad pages/Offroad+. I used to always say I'm old school and don't like all this technology they are putting in Jeeps, but some of this tech was vital on this trip. It was nice to monitor temperatures and volts as you are driving. The most important thing was the TPMS. Leaving Florida and 90 degrees, by the time I hit Dawsonville Ga it was in the 50s. My tires went from 32psi down to 24 the next morning. Without the TPMS I would not had known and would have drove home that way. I kept them at 24psi while I was camping as I didn't drive much on pavement, but aired them back up before the trip home.

3. Seats. The leather seats are comfortable for long distance trips. I have read numerous posts complaining about them, I like them. I have taken many a trip in a 2015 Toyota Tacoma and the JT is far better. I had no pain that I normally would on long trips. The most notable would be stopping to get gas and exiting the truck, no stiffness or pain. The heated seat/steering wheel were a lifesaver. On mornings that was cold or after finishing up a hike/getting rained on, to be able to hop in the JT, start it up and turn on the heated seat/steering wheel, it really warmed up my core and hands. It was almost as nice as a hot shower.

3. Offroad. 1st gear and 4lo is where the Rubicon outclasses every competitor on the market. The 4to1 transfer case gives you a low range torque that can't be matched. When you need low speed and throttle control, this is the ticket. That is also it's downfall. 4lo and 2nd, 3rd or 4th gear and you feel it's turning to many RPMs, it just feels like the engine is being overworked. It is a trade-off. 4hi takes away your lockers (unless you have programmer) but works a lot better on the trail when you need to go more than 2mph. With 4.10 gears, 4hi and 1st gear still gives you a low enough ratio to navigate some tough trails. Activating the Offroad+ button gives you even more options that without researching you may not even realize you have.

4. Kenda Klever R/T 35x10.50x17 Load Range D. I got these for less than $200 a tire. I wanted to keep my stock rims and didn't want my tires sticking out past the fender flares. Not many options right now; hopefully tire companies will realize there is a need for this size. But who cares, these tires have exceeded my expectations. On the road they are quiet and ride smooth as any A/T tire I've owned. They balanced well. In the rain (Florida) they performed better than or just as good as any other tire I've owned. Off the road they really shine. Georgia red clay will turn your tire into a cheetah slick. The Kenda's tend to clean out pretty easy with the wider voids. They grab rocks well in climbing and aired down to 18psi, float well in soft sugar sand. I haven't gotten any chunks taken out, they seem to wear good (12k miles) and they have kept my JT sides free of rocks chips. Overall very pleased with them.

5. Load out. I've never camped with a truck. I have always driven a 2dr. Jeep. This was new territory for me and didn't realize how much space I had. I tried to load everything in the bed and keep the back seat open in case I ever do a trip with passengers. I was able to accomplish this, all the while trying to not take stuff I knew was not needed. I was able to take some firewood and a medium propane grill and full size tank. If you take those two items out of my load, I would have had plenty of extra room. But, if you have the room, why not use it.

Offroad2.jpg


Offroad1.jpg


Loadout2.jpg


Loadout1.jpg
Sponsored

 
OP
OP
KevinC

KevinC

Well-Known Member
First Name
Kevin
Joined
Feb 6, 2021
Threads
6
Messages
131
Reaction score
244
Location
Central Florida
Vehicle(s)
2020 JTR Sting Gray
Occupation
Paramedic
Camping post.

1. Magellan Outdoors Pro SwiftRise 4-person Hub Tent. I got this tent for less than $200. It is a competitor of the Gazelle brand. It may not be of better quality but for the price I decided to give it a try. The size of the tent in its case will not fit length wise in the bed, you will have to lay it in diagonally. Set-up and tear down can be done with one person in less than 5 minutes. The top is mesh, it has numerous side panel windows that open to mesh screens. I would say this tent is designed for warm/insect type climates. If you open all the windows, you are basically in a screened porch. It comes with a rain fly for the top. I installed this as soon as I set-up. knowing it would probably rain and to keep it somewhat warmer. It worked keeping a good steady rain out even with some good wind gusts lifting the fly. To me this tent is the perfect size for one person that needs to live in a tent for weeks at a time. I was able to keep my cot up, have a chair inside and have a hard plastic storage chest to act as a table/stool/computer stand. I still had plenty of floor space for storage. It will work with two people, you just will have to use it for sleeping only, IMO. I had to pack up in the rain so everything was wet on the trip home. The next day I was able to set everything back up to dry it out with ease. That is what I like so much about these stye of tents. Overall A+

2. Coleman folding sleeping cot with pad. Not a bad little cot with just enough padding I didn't have to take my Klymate air mat. I used a 32 degree plus sleeping bag and poncho liner (woobie) to sleep in. It got down in the 40s at night and I may have gotten cold if I wasn't wearing US Army ECWS Gen4 waffle top/bottom and socks. I slept comfortable every night and could down grade my cover if I got to warm.

4. Igloo 52 qt. BMx cooler. This is not a Yeti. It was less than $100, but performed well enough that in 6 days of using it I only had to add ice on day 3. I think the initial use caused the first batch of ice to melt quicker. Once I added ice on day 3, I saw no more ice melting for the next 3 days. Very happy with this cooler.

Camp1.jpg


Camp7.jpg


Camp4.jpg
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
KevinC

KevinC

Well-Known Member
First Name
Kevin
Joined
Feb 6, 2021
Threads
6
Messages
131
Reaction score
244
Location
Central Florida
Vehicle(s)
2020 JTR Sting Gray
Occupation
Paramedic
Hiking

Did this trip more as a physical challenge and spend some time alone and give myself a opportunity to think about some things. We all have done it I guess, it was time for me to do it, considering all that has went on in my life the past 18 months.

Started with a camp site outside Dawsonville Ga, within walking distance of Amicalola Falls State Park. I did all the trails inside the park up to the falls with my Mystery Ranch 3day assault pack with 35lbs of weight.

Went to Dahlonega one day to visit some friends at 5th Ranger Training Battalion, Camp Merrell and to tackle NC97 off road trail.

I hiked the Appalachian Trail Approach trail up and back in the rain. I met someone who just finished a thru-hike of the trail, starting in Maine. Started out May 1st and finished Oct. 29th.

Went to Ellijay and ate some apples.

Went to Helen and drank some German beer and had the Zombie Pizza at Big Daddy's.

Couple notes:
Merrill mid-length hikers are still the king.
Mystery Ranch packs are the most comfortable I've used.
Poncho Liner (woobie) is still the greatest Army invention ever.
Moisture wicking shirts are critical to staying warm this time of year.
If you have room to take a propane grill, do it. It makes meals so much quicker and easier, One less thing to worry about at the end of the day.

Porkchop2.jpg


Falls1.jpg


Ap Trail8.jpg
 

steve68

Well-Known Member
First Name
Steven
Joined
Aug 23, 2019
Threads
3
Messages
334
Reaction score
256
Location
Orlando FL
Vehicle(s)
20 Gladiator, yes
Occupation
Rocket Builder,
Nice read, I made this trip in 21' stayed in Clarksville, and a horse farm/wine tasting place, it was great, did all the falls on the east side, winery tour, out to dinner a couple time, great trip, not any real trails,

Went again in 22' after Christmas before new years, Stayed in Blue Ridge, New Hampton, nice place, terrible terrible beds, rode the scenic Rail way to TN. Note: Blue Ridge is packed now, the restaurants were packed, places were packed, the locals were over whelmed, might not be going back, but it was after Christmas, and EVERYONE wants out of Florida... On to Braselton to Chateau Elan, great grounds, great food, great wine, Got out before the NYE, headed back to FL....

I'd love to camp but my passenger/navigator lives in the lap of luxury, Did a lot of wheeling/camping north of Longmont CO. in the mountains

Definitely will make more trips,
 

Trout Safari

Well-Known Member
First Name
Marc
Joined
Dec 12, 2021
Threads
19
Messages
365
Reaction score
727
Location
NH
Vehicle(s)
JTRD
Build Thread
Link
Occupation
Self Employed
Camping post.

1. Magellan Outdoors Pro SwiftRise 4-person Hub Tent. I got this tent for less than $200. It is a competitor of the Gazelle brand. It may not be of better quality but for the price I decided to give it a try. The size of the tent in its case will not fit length wise in the bed, you will have to lay it in diagonally. Set-up and tear down can be done with one person in less than 5 minutes. The top is mesh, it has numerous side panel windows that open to mesh screens. I would say this tent is designed for warm/insect type climates. If you open all the windows, you are basically in a screened porch. It comes with a rain fly for the top. I installed this as soon as I set-up. knowing it would probably rain and to keep it somewhat warmer. It worked keeping a good steady rain out even with some good wind gusts lifting the fly. To me this tent is the perfect size for one person that needs to live in a tent for weeks at a time. I was able to keep my cot up, have a chair inside and have a hard plastic storage chest to act as a table/stool/computer stand. I still had plenty of floor space for storage. It will work with two people, you just will have to use it for sleeping only, IMO. I had to pack up in the rain so everything was wet on the trip home. The next day I was able to set everything back up to dry it out with ease. That is what I like so much about these stye of tents. Overall A+

2. Coleman folding sleeping cot with pad. Not a bad little cot with just enough padding I didn't have to take my Klymate air mat. I used a 32 degree plus sleeping bag and poncho liner (woobie) to sleep in. It got down in the 40s at night and I may have gotten cold if I wasn't wearing US Army ECWS Gen4 waffle top/bottom and socks. I slept comfortable every night and could down grade my cover if I got to warm.

4. Igloo 52 qt. BMx cooler. This is not a Yeti. It was less than $100, but performed well enough that in 6 days of using it I only had to add ice on day 3. I think the initial use caused the first batch of ice to melt quicker. Once I added ice on day 3, I saw no more ice melting for the next 3 days. Very happy with this cooler.

Camp1.jpg


Camp7.jpg


Camp4.jpg
Great set up. Love the Oriental carpet in the tent.
Sponsored

 

Sponsored

 
Sponsored
Top