Ryan: I'm Ryan from extremeterrain.com. And in this episode of "Throttle Out," we're going to show you what it's like to go wheeling out here on the East Coast, and also out here on the West Coast. So like I said, this video is going to be all about comparing wheeling on the East Coast versus wheeling on the West Coast, and here we are on the East Coast at our local off-road park. This is Rausch Creek Off-Road Park. You guys have seen this in videos past. This might look a little bit different to you because of the snow on the ground. It's about 20 degrees out here in the dead of winter, and that's definitely going to be a little bit different from what we're going to encounter when we're out there on the West Coast.
What we are going to point out to you as far as the major differences between East and West Coast are, one, the way that the Jeep Wrangler is set up. And this Jeep Wrangler is the one we're going to be showing you on the East Coast. This is a two-door setup with a 3.5-inch Rock Krawler lift and 35s. Out on the West Coast, I'm going to be in a four-door. But otherwise, similarly set up, 3.5-inch lift and 35s. So those Jeep Wranglers are pretty similar, but we're going to point out to you some of the changes you may want to make, how you may want to set up your Jeep Wrangler if you're wheeling on the East Coast versus the West Coast because of some of the different terrain you're going to encounter.
And because that terrain is different, you're also going to be needing to use a few different techniques in the East Coast versus the West Coast. Here on the East Coast, we're going to have a lot more water than we're going to have when we do get out on the West Coast, out in the desert. I definitely want to show you guys how you set up your Jeep Wrangler a little bit differently for cruising through some water, or even just hitting some deep mud pits. Finally, the big thing is the visual thing that I've already touched on a little bit. Everything is going to look a little bit different out here than it does out on the West Coast. So let's hit the trail and I'll show you what I'm talking about.
So out here on the East Coast, we're just cruising down a little bit of a fire trail. This is a real light trail, basically, just a dirt road with a couple of bumps in it. Here, you can see we've got snow all around. We have a bunch of leafy trees out there that are completely bare. The terrain is also a little bit different. You tend to have a little bit more of a clay-like soil out here versus the more sandy stuff that we'll see out on the West Coast. And the rocks, when we do get to them, are going to be a little bit different as well. These are smaller, more jagged rocks that tend to be a little bit more slicker than what you're going to encounter on the West Coast.
So this is something that we're not going to see a lot of on the West Coast, I'm sure, being out in the desert. This is water and being in the winter, it's really more of an ice skating rink. But we are going to hit this. It looks like it's going to be fun. The ice isn't too, too thick. So let's see what happens.
Ryan: That was a little bit thicker ice than I actually expected it to be. We made it about halfway through the hole before we dropped down on the left side first. This is one of those areas where you're going to want to set up your Jeep Wrangler a little bit differently, East Coast/West Coast. If you are going to be hitting a lot of water like we do here on the East Coast, you're most likely going to want a snorkel, especially if you're going through some deep water. We've got another puddle here. I'm not sure exactly how deep this one is. It's definitely a little bit longer, so I'm going to want a little bit more wheel speed going into this one to make sure we make it through the other end.
Ryan: It's not that you have to be going straight through some really deep water. Like you saw, as we dropped down, it got deep for a second, and then we came back up again. So if you're going to be going through water, a snorkel is definitely a good idea to keep you from doing some serious damage to your engine.
This is Beaver Creek Trail here at Rausch Creek Off-Road Park. This is a Black trail, and I wanted to get out and actually walk you through some of the terrain because I think this is a very stark contrast between what you see here on the East Coast and what we're going to encounter on the West Coast. As you can see around me, there are a lot of small, more jutting rocks, something like this right here. And what that does is it just kind of comes out of nowhere at you and it's going to poke up, and it gives you something to get hung up on. And it's just something that you have to be navigating constantly.
This rock is also going to be a little bit slicker than what you're going to encounter on the West Coast. So when you do come up to a sheer rock face, a big boulder, even one of the smaller, jutting rocks, you have to be a little bit more careful about ensuring you have good traction before you can go ahead and climb over that. Now, traction is definitely going to have to do with you as a driver, technique, throttle control, having a good spotter to make sure you're picking the right line. But it's also going to have to do with the way that you have the Jeep Wrangler set up.
If you are going to be consistently running these types of trails with these jutting rocks, having some armor on the underside of the Jeep Wrangler is definitely going to be a good thing. It's going to give you some peace of mind, allow you to conquer those trails without having the possibility of doing some serious damage to your rig. All of that being said, if you have a good spotter, you can go ahead and still have a lot of fun on these Black trails out here on the East Coast. So that's what we're going to do. I'm going to hop in the Jeep Wrangler and show you what I mean.
Ryan: There's definitely some serious jagged rocks. Without a spotter, this would not be possible. But we're having a lot of fun out here, actually.
Ryan: I can tell you that running this Black trail with this Jeep Wrangler outfitted as it is, is definitely something that's doable with a good spotter. But we definitely wouldn't be tackling any Red trails today with the Jeep Wrangler set up how it is. So that's going to do it for us out here on the East Coast. Now, we're going to hop on a plane and go somewhere that's a little bit warmer. And the next time you see us, we'll be on the West Coast.
We just rolled up to the famous John Bull Trail up here in Big Bear Lake, California. And already, this is drastically different from what we're used to on the East Coast out at Rausch Creek. The terrain is completely different. Everything from the trees to the rocks, even to the ground, we have this sandy soil out here that is definitely going to be a little bit slicker. But the rocks are going to be a lot grippier. We just hiked up the trail to see what we're getting ourselves into and even just walking around in the boots, you can tell that you grip a lot better to the rocks out here. So I cannot wait to get in the Jeep Wrangler and see how much better it climbs.
It has been pretty much fully outfitted with everything that you would expect to see on an off-road Jeep Wrangler. We're running a set of 35 Falken M/Ts on this Jeep Wrangler. This does have a factory Dana 44 with an ARB air locker up front. It's running a Currie RockJock 40, so this has the CV joints up front. It's definitely going to be a very, very strong axle for us. And you really need all of those drivetrain upgrades because out here, you are gripping. Those tires are going to grip and if you get into a sticky situation, you're going to start breaking things. So you definitely want to be upgraded. The whole driveline is upgraded.
So this is running a Currie 4-inch lift to support those 35s. You're going to have a ton of articulation. It has some manual disconnects. We're all disconnected, all aired down, and ready to hit the trail. So let's get this thing out there. I'm really excited. I've never actually wheeled on the West Coast. I am native to the East Coast. So to see the big differences, I cannot wait. Let's get out there.
Even just getting up to the trailhead out here, out west, is definitely different from getting to the trails at Rausch Creek. You have those black, dark, dust roads, essentially, and there are puddles everywhere even if it hasn't rained in a while just because of the way the ground is. Out here, we're out in the desert. There is not a lot of rain that happens out here. It is that loose, powdery, dusty soil that we talked about before. And on top of the terrain difference, just the scenery is so, so different.
We're up here at about 8,200 feet. You get different microclimates. Here, you have some very drought-resistant trees. It's very, very dark. What you get over on the other side, you do get a little bit more moisture, a little bit more rain. So you have an entirely different look and feel to the whole area.
Heading up to our first major obstacle, like I said, this is John Bull Trail, so we are running a Triple Black Diamond. This is going to be some pretty serious stuff. But with how grippy the rock is, I'm really excited just to be able to point the Jeep Wrangler at it, nice, easy throttle control, and just climb up, which is a little bit different than what you might see on the East Coast. But out there, if you do have a slippery situation, a muddy situation, sometimes you just need a little bit of wheel speed. Sometimes you've got to back up and you've got to use some momentum, and you've got to bump over stuff because the traction is just not there. Here, we shouldn't have that situation, so definitely excited to do something a little bit different.
Ryan: Also, out on the East Coast, we've got a lot more jagged rocks, so a little different type of armor that you need out here. This is a lot of big, rounded, bouldery stuff.
Man 1: Park.
Ryan: So we got about halfway up this obstacle. Even though these rocks are super-grippy, there's a lot of this really loose sand. So running into a little bit of a situation with that. Luckily, have locks, ARB air lockers, both front and rear on this Jeep Wrangler. So going to go ahead and lock it up, and we'll be able to pull right through this obstacle.
Ryan: I've seen some pretty gnarly stuff up here. I definitely know why this is a Triple Black now. This is a really cool trail. We've got a great spotter out here telling us exactly where we need to go.
Ryan: Definitely, teeter-tottering on three wheels there.
Ryan: Nice, easy throttle control out here. You don't want to slip. You want to keep the tires from slipping on these rocks. You want to keep the differentials from getting hung up on these rocks. That's going to be a similarity, whether you're East Coast or West Coast. Definitely, clear the diffs so the rocks keep the tires on the big stuff.
This is absolutely beautiful scenery up here, beautiful terrain. And this is something that you would never see up at Rausch Creek, this giant rock formation, and that's all part of the scenery. And those rocks are really what make it so different from being a lot grippier, and this technical type of terrain that we're running out here is pretty much nonstop. When you're out on the East Coast, you may have a Black trail that has a stretch that's not a whole lot, and then a big obstacle. Here, it's miles and miles of technical trail, [really in] that technical mindset. And you are picking your line, and you're wheeling hard the entire time.
Ryan: And that sound right there is exactly why you want to install a set of rock sliders on your Jeep Wrangler, and that's going to be whether you're on the East Coast or on the West Coast. Right here, we came down on the slider and we have protection. If we didn't have this, it's going to push this rocker right up into the door. It's a very, very expensive repair, you can't open and close the door properly. It will definitely ruin your day. But because we have this slider installed, we're going to be able to just keep cruising down the trail. You're going to make a little bit of noise, a little bit of that scraping sound, but you're not going to cause any major damage. So because we are armored up, I'm going to hop back in the Jeep Wrangler and finish running down the trail.
Ryan: So this is going to be another great example of why you need armor. If you're slid sideways onto a rock, it's wedged right between the differential and the rear shock mount, so pretty well-stuck. And if we had a winch, we could probably pull ourselves through this. But a lot of the times, out here on the West Coast because the rocks are so grippy, the way that you get yourself out of a situation like this is to use a farm-style jack, jack the Jeep Wrangler up a little bit, stack another couple of really grippy rocks underneath those tires, give yourself just enough lift to get over whatever obstacle you're hung up on, and then get back down the trail.
So again, a little bit of a difference between East Coast and West Coast. A farm jack, unless you're using it as a winch, isn't going to help you if you're stuck in the mud or if you're completely high-centered on those big jagged rocks that we have out on the East Coast. But out here on the West Coast, that farm jack is going to come in a lot more handy because of the type of terrain that we're wheeling in.
Man 1: Awesome. Nailed it.
Ryan: I knew the second I got in this Jeep Wrangler this morning that we were going to have an absolute blast today. The entire interior is covered with dust, but this thing has been a beast. The suspension has handled awesome. It's su