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ddoyle43@msn.com

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Posts: 2
 #1 
I have been visiting the Saline for over 20 years and do so about twice a year.  The first four years I had Good Year Wrangler At's and had five flats.  The next five years I had used Dueler At's and experienced two flats. The last eleven years I've driven on B.F. Goodrich At's and have only encountered one flat.  I admit to being a slow and cautious driver, but I personally think the tire quality trumps most of the other factors involving tire failure.  I never have aired down, but do keep my tires in good shape and don't allow the tread to get thin.  Probably have had some luck also in missing those little sharp rattlesnake rocks.   
Salt Peter

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 #2 
Flats just happen. Sometimes the environment is more risky. I got a flat on the way out of North Pass just before Marble Canyon. It was pretty smooth. Can't remember if I was aired down or not. A rock got in just the right place and pulled out a knobby of the tread. That was my second flat. The first was a sidewall tear up in the Inyos along some black sandpaper feeling rock.
chrishaynesusa

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 #3 
I always wonder when I hear of flats, is if the drivers had aired down?
I watch videos of this area all the time and few appear to be aired down.
Salt Peter

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 #4 
Yep! What bobhuckaby said. The highway is open.
bobhuckaby

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 #5 
flags don't make a road, I think the phrase "rock garden" is being generous to the present condition for the valley end of steele pass, it is just riding in the wash.
I had 2 friends with Jeeps try to come in south pass for new years and they got stuck in the snow and gave up, then both had flats on the north pass (probably because of being late and pushing too hard on the sharp rocks in the  fresh road), but the north pass is awesome with less than 2 hours from pavement to the springs even though crawling across the bat road.
Bob from Tahoe
bikerjosh

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Posts: 39
 #6 
@ANOMIC, there should have been a pretty defined road with pink and green ribbons showing the way. At least that is what I found when leading a group from the Springs up through Steel Pass back in November.
Josh
ANOMIC

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 #7 
We went out 12/27-12/29 and the south pass was snowed in, lifted 4x4 trucks could not make it and had to turn around. North pass was very easy to get over, well graded and smooth.
We took Steel pass coming in and it is very rough, the last couple miles coming into the springs is pure rock garden. For the last section of the pass there was no trace of the trail and it's just a huge cobble wash now.

richard and mary

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 #8 
we are trying to find out about south pass road conditions.  we hope to come in on 12/20.  can anyone give us an update. we have an appropriate vehicle.
heroicbill

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Posts: 31
 #9 

I can’t speak for a trailer, but my 86 cab-over camper has made many trips to Saline since 2006.  The road has been hard on that old camper over the years, it’s always a surprise to see what I’ll find when I arrive and open the door.  Lots of things are loose now and there has been some damage here and there.  I had to add extra safe guards such as extra latches on the fridge and cabinets.  I think that Saline has definitely shortened the life of my camper, but to me it’s well worth it.

The biggest difference I see with a trailer is the un-dampened suspension.  The truck has shocks in addition to leaf springs plus a lot more weight to smooth out the ride (I hardly feel the washboard with the camper on there). 

As far as the turns and turning radius, I don’t think it would be a problem, I’ve seen plenty of trailers at the springs, and once followed a guy out with an older 25' RV

paul belanger

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Posts: 248
 #10 
PPP, IMHO, it IS folly.  I bring a small travel trailer to SV.  It is solely a fiberglass box on a many times reinforced metal frame, with habitually replaced leaf springs.  It has no plumbing, no loo, no tanks, no electrical wiring beyond standard trailer lighting.  Lost a leaf spring on the road once.  And I keep thinking the door will fall off. 

My feeling is that any RV with cabinetry/built-in plumbing/electrical/multiple water tanks/etc., is prone to massive breakage on Saline Road.  Also, I always thought it would be silly to buy a new rig and take it to Saline.  If one was to attempt it, might want to find a older, cheaper RV that seems in good shape, and throw it to wolves of the Saline Valley Road.  That way if it does fall apart completely, the money loss would be significantly less. 

OTOH, I have met some that have done it repeatedly.  I believe they typically allow 8-12 hours each way driving in to the valley to have any hope of not shredding their rigs.  I love driving the SV Road, but just don't have an extra 18 hours to be on it each time we go in.  Would rather spend that time in the pools.
 
As for negotiating the turns, I don't think that would be a problem.
Salt Peter

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 #11 
I have seen a full size 5th wheel out there at Palm Spring. When we arrived I thought outloud "how the hell did that get out here". I have also seen a Toyota Venza and some small two wheel drive cars out there too.

I have concerns about the "R-pod" you linked. The features listed on the site say nothing about off-road capability. The photo gallery also doesn't prompt any off-road ability but does show a rear fridge/cooler area filled with cans. Looks like a spendy tailgate wagon. What do these run price wise? If you already have the vehicle to tow a small 5th wheel such as the R-pod why not think about a slide in pop-up camper?
Professor PoopyPants
 #12 
I have quite a bit of experience driving out to SV in my Toyota 4x4 Pickup truck over many years around Thanksgiving period, but I haven't been there for a number of years now. I am seriously considering the purchase of a compact 5th wheel camper to take out there, towed with a 4x4 SUV. The 5th wheel i'm looking at is an R Pod RP-177: http://www.forestriverinc.com/TravelTrailers/rpod/default.aspx?page=floorplandetails&floorplanid=2897 The manufacturer claims it is built for off-road conditions, but I have concerns that it can take the Saline Valley treatment.

I am wondering if this is folly on my part, thinking I can make it to the springs and back via the North Pass with such a rig. Of course, driving slow is a must, but I am concerned about negotiating the winding section of the narrow slot canyon before you get to the valley itself, as well as the rolling sand dune passage on the spur off the main road leading to the springs. Have any others had success towing a fifth wheel of this size in and out without mishap, assuming reasonable road conditions are present? Any comments or advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

rhettv

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Posts: 1
 #13 
Just went through south to north on 6/22-23. 2001 Suburban w/4WD. Dropped the tire pressure 10psi when I left Hwy 190. Grapevine was roughest part. Got through fine in 4WD. Bottomed back end twice, but not bad. Road to springs ok. Road out was also not bad. I have taken my 2wd 89 Burb on roads in the area but wanted 4wd for the first time on roads this rough. Test run before bringing my wife out with me.

I tracked my mileage at salient points in the trip. From hwy 190 to 168 including to lower springs was 96 miles. 80 on day 2. Do not recommend that many miles in one day.
scott

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Posts: 6
 #14 
I was out at the springs from 6-8 to 6-13 came in and out the north pass which was in fairly good shape, though much worse than when I was out last July, took me about 3.5 hours from the pavement to the springs, but I take it slow, and I drive a vanagon...  On saturday it got up to 118, but that was the hottest day.  temps ranged from 105-111 in the day after that, and down to a low of 80-90 at night. fairly breezy the whole time, mainly from the south, but really from almost every direction in the end. There really wasn't anybody around to speak of, Lee was there of course, and on the 11th a group of 3 jeeps and a hummer arrived at the upper springs from steel pass, saw them last year in July as well, but that was it for other visitors.  all in all another great visit.


Salt Peter

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 #15 
What a great weather report. Must have been interesting out there.
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