Year: 2017

Off-Road Basics

By Nena Barlow

This article originally appeared on

With all of the time we spend studying advanced winch rigging techniques, comparing tire composition, and ogling the latest navigation applications, it is easy to forget the fundamentals. Ignoring these fundamentals cause the majority of four-wheeling difficulties we see on the trail. The difference between an enjoyable trip and a catastrophic one can be as simple as these four things: knowing and using your Jeep’s 4WD system effectively, airing down the tires, picking a good line through the obstacle, and having a functioning jack. These few basics should be the foundation of every Jeep driver’s education regarding his or her specific rig.

Many people get into snags on the trail simply because they didn’t use 4WD at the appropriate time. It’s easier to shift to 4WD before you need it, rather than spinning and chewing up your tires, digging up the trail, and making your situation worse. It doesn’t make you less macho to use 4WD—it means you are smart, have mechanical sympathy for the rig, and are respectful of the trail. Though running in 4WD all of the time on flat, tractive surfaces is not good for your rig’s driveline and steering, it is important to recognize when a little better distribution of power will smooth out the trip. What about the infamous hot oil light? Using 4L is the solution. A basic guideline we teach is to use 4H whenever you start on an unmaintained road, and 4L if you are going less than 10-15 mph due to narrow, steep, or rough surface.

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Heads-Up: Tips For Better Trips

By Nena Barlow

This article originally appeared on

When venturing out on the trail, most of us take at least basic precautions to deal with some common trail mishaps. We carry tools, emergency supplies, and a first aid kit. But those things only work if you use the most important piece of equipment—your brain. The ability to pay attention, recognize problems as they develop, and calmly utilize available assets are the best tools you can have.

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How to Be a Trail Access Advocate

By Nena Barlow

This article originally appeared on

At some point while out exploring in your Jeep, you will come to a “Road Closed” sign on a trail. Maybe you just got into four-wheeling, and you decide you need to learn more about where to go. Or maybe this was a trail you have wheeled on since you were a kid, and suddenly there is a locked gate on it. Either way, it dawns on you that somewhere, someone is making decisions about the places where you get to recreate. How do you get a say in that?

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How To: Moab For First-Timers

By Nena Barlow

This article originally appeared on

Moab. You hear the name whispered in reverence throughout the Jeep world. If you are planning a wheeling trip Moab for the first time, there are some things you should know about visiting and driving the trails there.

First, there are some driving techniques that are specific to red rock country. The sandstone offers some amazing traction —we call it “sticky.” This exceptional traction means you will be able to climb surreal inclines and hang off of heart-pounding sidehills, but it also means that horse-powering your way up an obstacle is more likely to snap axles and grenade differentials than other terrain types that allow more wheel spin. It takes a lot more torque to break traction here, so slow and steady is usually the best first approach.

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Nena Barlow, Chris Mayne Rebelle Rally Team Announces Ram Truck Sponsorship

The Rebelle Rally team of Nena Barlow (Sedona, Ariz.) and Chris Mayne (Paris, France) today announced the team’s official support from Ram Truck for the 2017 second annual running of the all-female event. Ram Truck will be named the official truck of the Barlow/Mayne team -- Team 4 Corners – and provide the team with its entry: an unmodified 2017 Ram Power Wagon.

Barlow and Mayne will be aiming for a podium finish overall and a repeat win in the Bone Stock category, driving the Ram Power Wagon in the competition exactly as the model rolls out of the factory.

Nena uses Ram Trucks to guide 4wd trips and support her Jeep rental business in Sedona AZ, Moab UT and Georgetown CA.
Chris generously shares her experience and advice with competitors in last year’s Rebelle Rally.  Photo by Nicole Dreon

Nena Barlow will fill the role of driver, while Chris Mayne fills the right seat as a seasoned navigator.  Both women bring strong driving and navigating skills to the team, and could swap roles if necessary.

“I was very proud of the Bone Stock Award last year, and we are aiming for that one again,” said Barlow.  “The Ram Trucks are incredibly tough and capable, without any special equipment or upgrades necessary.  I want to inspire people to take theirs out to explore!”

Nena Barlow comes with more than 20 years of experience in the 4wd industry. She is the owner and operator of Barlow Adventures, a Jeep rental and 4WD training company, and certified by the International 4WD Trainers Association. Though considered well-known in the 4wd world, the 2016 Rebelle Rally was her first competitive off-road event.

Chris Mayne is a rally veteran on multiple continents, with last year’s inaugural Rebelle Rally under her belt, as well as 12 Rallye de Gazelles in Morocco and 2010 winner of the Rallye de Princesses in France.

Mayne, a communication officer for a major auto manufacturer, says: “Crossing the Atlantic for the first Rebelle Rally last year was a total challenge and the best opportunity to discover new horizons. No doubt this new Rebelle with Nena will bring its share of excitement.”

The Rebelle Rally is a navigation and four-wheel-drive event taking place this October and crossing the deserts of the southwestern United States. Last year, the inaugural year for the Rebelle Rally, Barlow competed in a 2016 Ram 1500 Rebel. She and teammate Kande Jacobsen brought home the Bone Stock award, for attaining the most points in an unmodified vehicle, and an overall third-place finish.

The Rebelle Rally is unique in the U.S. It’s not a race for speed, but rather a competition of precise navigation using only map and compass. It takes place over seven days and more than 1,000 miles on a top-secret route of back roads, across deserts and over mountains between Lake Tahoe, Nev. and San Diego, Calif. No GPS or any electronic navigation is permitted. Thirty-six teams completed the competition last year, with more than 40 expected this year.

To follow Team 4 Corners, visit:
Instagram: team_4corners

For more information about the rally itself, visit

About the Ram Power Wagon

The Power Wagon is the predecessor of every four-wheel-drive pickup in America.

Dating back to 1945, the Ram Power Wagon’s heritage holds a distinctive position in the Ram Truck lineup as the ultimate expression of engineering innovation and off-road capability.

The first generation served America’s military in the Second World War. When the G.I.s returned, they wanted a four-wheel-drive truck that would work as hard at home, as it did on the war-front.

The Power Wagon nameplate was initially produced from 1945 through 1980. Early trucks were based on the Weapons Carrier (WC) series of Dodge ¾-ton military-use trucks built during World War II. The Power Wagon went on to become a well-known civilian vehicle. The iconic truck was reintroduced in 2005 and now exists as an independent model in the Ram Truck lineup.

From the original, to the Power Wagons of the 1950s, the 1980s and the modern era of Power Wagons, the line’s 70-year mission has never wavered. That mission – quite simply – is to be the ultimate off-road truck.

What makes the Ram Power Wagon the segment-leading off-road truck is purpose-built hardware – everything from a 12,000-pound Warn winch to disconnecting sway bars, front and rear locking differentials, aggressive 33-inch tires and under-chassis armor that surpasses other pickups.

Power Wagon’s unique axle and off-road suspension package is designed to clear obstacles and translate its enormous power and torque to all-terrain traction.

Ram Power Wagon’s capabilities include 14.3 inches of ground clearance, 26 inches of wheel travel and 30 inches of water fording.

How to Avoid Common Winching Mistakes

By Nena Barlow

This article originally appeared on

A winch is a very useful piece of equipment to have, if you know how to use it safely. Though manufacturers will tell you that winches available to the recreational user are intended for self-recovery only, we all use them for far more than that. However, a winch can be dangerous if not used correctly, even for it’s intended purpose of self-recovery.

First, a winch is a static piece of recovery equipment, not a recovery point for kinetic pull. The difference is that kinetic recovery equipment is intended to handle shock loads, like kinetic energy recovery ropes, while static recovery equipment, like chains and winches, are specifically designed for slow and steady loads only. If you use your winch hook as a recovery point for a kinetic pull, you are subjecting the brakes on your winch drum to severe shock load. This risks winch brake failure or even drum failure. Only use frame-mounted recovery points for a kinetic recovery.

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The Proper Off-Road Driving Position

By Nena Barlow

This article originally appeared on

It seems like everyone is selling products hyping enhanced performance and reduced fatigue these days, but I can promise you that proper driving position increases effectiveness, efficiency, and your trail performance while reducing fatigue, and it works without expensive pills! Simple solutions are often overlooked. Drivers complain about discomforts of long days in the seat or ability to see obstacles on the trail. When we begin one of our 4WD courses with proper seating, leg and hand placement, it often conflicts with how our clients have been driving. However, most report by the end of the day that they feel more in control and less tired.

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Moab Summertime Special!

$295 24hr Jeep Rentals All Summer Long!

Explore the amazing 4x4 trails of Moab at a special discounted Summertime rate! 24 hr Jeep rentals are just $295 for a custom equipped, 2 or 4-door Barlow Adventures Jeep. Our Jeeps are top-of-the line Jeep Wrangler Rubicons, professionally modified for Moab's adventurous trails and back roads. Packed with convenient and comfortable features like automatic transmissions, air conditioning and satellite radio, our Jeeps will get you out there and back in style. Our experienced and knowledgeable staff will show you how to properly use the features of your Jeep, as well as give you some driving tips to handle any trail you choose. We speak Jeep, and can also provide service for our experienced wheeling friends.

All Barlow Jeeps in Moab come standard with:

  • 3" suspension lifts
  • 33-35" heavy-duty off road tires
  • Extra undercarraige armor
  • Automatic transmissions
  • Air conditioning/heat
  • Full hard doors for safety and comfort
  • AM-FMRadio/CD/MP3-compatible/XM Satellite Radio

$295 a day rate good at our Moab location only. Regularly $325 a day. Price good through September 4, 2017. 3 and 7 day specials also available!

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How to Take Care of Your Winch Rope

By Nena Barlow

This article originally appeared on

If you use synthetic rope on your winch, there are some things you should do to ensure the safety, functionality, and lifespan the winch rope. The number one killer of synthetic rope is abrasion, meaning things that rub the independent fiber strands down and weaken the rope. There are many ways we expose rope to abrasion, some that are not so obvious.

First and most obvious is rubbing the line on rocks and terrain while winching. Most of us know to use a blanket or winch sleeve of some kind to protect the rope from any direct contact with the terrain while pulling, but our ropes often pick up dirt and debris while in use. Small particles cause abrasion within the rope. Soak your rope in clean water from time to time, or especially after a particularly dirty recovery.

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Tricks for Better Off-Road Performance

By Nena Barlow

This article originally appeared on

Whether you are on a tight budget, skimping to save for any upgrade, or on an unlimited modification budget, the fundamentals are often underrated. Here are a few tricks that will only cost you a few minutes of your time to make your Jeep perform significantly better when you leave the pavement.

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