Year: 2018

Preparing a Jeep for 1,000 Miles of Desert

By Nena Barlow

This article originally appeared on

The first year of the Rebelle Rally was 2016, and Emily Miller of Rod Hall Racing had put together an all-women’s off-road rally lasting seven days and covering more than 1,000 miles of desert roads. The competition would not be for speed, but for navigational accuracy using only a map and compass—no GPS allowed. I was asked to prep some Jeeps for that first Rebelle Rally and decided to compete as well, and I have ever since. Having completed our third year in the rally, we have fine-tuned an approach to preparing a Jeep for such an endeavor.

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Hi-Lift Jack Do’s and Don’ts

By Nena Barlow
This article originally appeared on

There are two common Hi-Lift jack misconceptions circulated among new Jeepers. The first one is that if they have 35- inch-or-taller tires, they have to carry a Hi-Lift jack with them. The second one is that they shouldn’t use a Hi-Lift jack because they are not safe. The truth is that a Hi-Lift is a very useful and versatile tool to have, no matter what size tires you own, and they can be unsafe if not used or maintained properly. Though I cannot go into all the possible ways to use a Hi- Lift jack in this short space, I will share with you the most common ways I use my Hi-Lift jack and a few key safety points.

First, what I don’t do with the Hi-Lift jack is change tires or work on my Jeep. I find an appropriately sized bottle jack or the factory scissor jack with a broad and sturdy base to be a far simpler option for tire changing. I also never use the jack for holding up a car to crawl under it—use jack stands.

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The Value of Old Jeeps

By Nena Barlow

This article originally appeared on

Ask any Jeep owner what the best Jeep ever made is, and the usual answer is the model they own. Some of us are lucky enough to own more than one. At last count, Rick Péwé owned 30. Owning old Jeeps can become addictive. I can’t keep count of mine, because new and old ones come and go every month. Though most of my Jeeps are late models for my business of renting and guiding, there are what I call “special-teams” rigs—ladies (all my Jeeps are girls) that aren’t expected to work for a living, but rather just put on special appearances. They’re not for day-to-day transportation. These special-teams girls range in vintage from 1942 to 1991, but I have been ogling TJs lately with a nostalgic eye.

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Ram Trucks Teams Up with Nena Barlow and Chris Mayne for 2018 Rebelle Rally

Teammates Nena Barlow and Chris Mayne working hard for 7 days of competition. Nicole Dreon photo.

Barlow and Mayne Rebelle Rally Team Pursuing Bone Stock Award for Third Time

Sedona, Ariz. – Ram Truck has announced its support of Nena Barlow of Sedona, Arizona and Chris Mayne of Paris, France to compete in the 2018 Rebelle Rally. Ram Trucks will be providing their team, Team 4 Corners, with a stock 2019 Ram 1500 Rebel truck.

The Rebelle Rally is an all-women’s navigation and four-wheel-drive event taking place this October through the deserts of the California and Nevada. There are currently two classes in the rally: Crossover and 4x4. The Bone Stock Award goes to the team who attains the most points in an unmodified vehicle, regardless of competition class. Barlow and Mayne brought home the Bone Stock Award and second place overall for 2017 in a Ram Power Wagon. In 2016, the inaugural year for the Rebelle Rally, Barlow competed with teammate Kande Jacobsen in a 2016 Ram Rebel, and brought home the Bone Stock award with an overall third place finish.


The Rebelle Rally is a competition of precise navigation using only map and compass. It takes place over seven days and more than 1,200 miles 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-five teams completed the competition last year, with more than forty expected this year.

The Rebelle Rally is organized by veteran off-road racer and trainer, Emily Miller. Miller was the first U.S. woman to compete in the long-running Gazelle Rally in Morocco.

Nena Barlow comes with more than 20 years of experience in the 4wd industry, and grew up exploring the Southwest. She is the owner and operator of Barlow Adventures, a Jeep rental and 4WD training company, and a certified Master Trainer with the International 4WD Trainers Association. Though a competitor, Barlow has also been providing technical 4wd training for teams competing in the Rebelle Rally, as well as offering rally-ready Jeep rentals.

Barlow chooses to compete with Ram Trucks because, she says “Ram Trucks offer unsurpassed 4wd capability in the truck world, comfort and efficiency for long overland trips, and a gross vehicle weight rating that is up to carrying everything I need to not only spend seven days in the desert, but also enough tools and equipment to offer support to other teams.”

Chris Mayne is a rally veteran on multiple continents, with the last two year’s Rebelle Rally under her belt, as well as twelve Rallye de Gazelles in Morrocco and 2010 winner of the Rallye de Princesses in France. Mayne is, literally, a rock star, having several albums produced in the U.S. and internationally. She can usually be persuaded to wow the crowd at the gala or campfire with some vocals. She says "In 2017, I could not have imagined the team would do so well for a first time together, but Nena and I really were on the same page. Sure Rebelle 2018 will bring new challenges, but WE ARE READY!"

Barlow and Mayne will be driving a stock 2019 Ram Rebel in the competition, exactly as the model rolls out of the factory. Once again, Barlow will fill the role of driver, while Mayne fills the right seat as navigator.  Both women bring strong driving and navigating skills to the team, and can swap roles if necessary.

Barlow says this 2018 rally is going to see even stiffer competition in the stock designation. “I am proud to have brought home the Bone Stock Award for Ram Trucks the last two years. The pressure is on for a three-peat! 1200 miles offroad is a great proving ground for any vehicle. This will show how tough, capable, and comfortable the Rebel is.”


To follow Team 4 Corners, visit

For more information about the rally itself, visit


About the 2019 Ram 1500 Rebel

The new 2019 Ram 1500 Rebel brings factory-engineered, off-road capability to the full-size truck segment with unique design cues and can-do attitude backed by Ram Truck engineering. Equipped with a factory lift, locking rear differential, 33-inch tires, tow hooks and other off-road-ready features, the Ram 1500 Rebel appeals to the truck owner looking for a less-beaten path.

The Ram 1500 Rebel is now available in both Crew and Quad Cab configurations with Ram’s Active-level four-corner air suspension and a one-inch suspension lift or standard coil spring suspension and a one-inch lift. Newly designed Bilstein shocks feature remote reservoirs to keep the shocks cool and work with unique rear suspension geometry to keep the tires in traction. Rebel also includes Hill-descent Control for more off-road prowess. Hefty tow hooks feature wide bumper openings to ease use and the underbody protection features skid plates on the transfer case, steering system, oil pan and gas tank.

Nena Barlow Named I4WDTA Master Trainer

25 July 2018, Stafford, VA. The Board of Directors announces the selection of I4WDTA Master Trainers. The Association counts among its members Certified Trainers that perform the best instruction and demonstration of Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) operating technique, daily and World-wide to recreational, commercial, and Government agency customers. They embody our slogan, “Excellence in 4-WD Training."

However, there are those among them that truly distinguish themselves and are deserving of the qualification and recognition as I4WDTA “Master Trainers”. They serve as an example for all of us, trainers and enthusiast alike, through their contributions that go beyond the exemplary performance we expect. Some of those contributions include the performance and conduct of continuing education; advanced certification in emergency care, rescue technique, and vehicle recovery practices; teaching advanced OHV skills at the recreational, commercial, and Government agency level; mentorship; environmental stewardship; trail advocacy; community volunteers at the local and state level; consultant to automotive and equipment manufacturers; authors and contributors to industry publications; adapt and develop emerging technology into 4WD training curriculum; provide advocacy, counsel, and explore new opportunities for the Association to advance the enjoyment and safety of OHV operation for the consumer and greater community at large.

We appreciate their commitment and leadership, and it is with great pride we make this announcement - please join us in congratulating I4WDTA members Nena Barlow and John Marshall as I4WDTA Master Trainers.

Rollovers: What To Do Before, During, and After

By Nena Barlow
This article originally appeared on

Roll, flop, dirt nap—whatever your favorite term for a Jeep ending up not on its wheels, rolling over is one of the biggest fears people have about four-wheeling. We can talk all day about good driving techniques to avoid rolling in the first place, but no matter how good you are, mistakes happen. It’s good to be prepared. Protecting the occupants is the number-one priority. Here are things you can do to help everyone walk away safely from a rollover.

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Overlanding 101: Eating, Sleeping, Pooping

By Nena Barlow

This article originally appeared on

The term “overlanding” is quite the buzzword these days. I would say the difference between “overlanding” and “camping” is determined by your primary intention for setting up camp: Are you setting up a camp to just squat around a fire and drink beer in one place all weekend, or are you exploring cross-country and you need a place to sleep each night on your journey? Whether you are “camping” or “overlanding,” the bottom line is that there are three simple things that one must do in the great outdoors: eat, sleep, and poop. Here’s a quick look at how I do it when I’m overlanding or camping.

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Barlow’s Pet Policy

All of us at Barlow’s are pet lovers, so we are committed to doing everything we can to be able to allow people to bring their pets with them. If you are considering travelling with your pet, please take the time to read all of the following.

We have a limited number of Jeeps available for guests who want to bring their pets with them in the Jeep. Advance reservations are strongly recommended, as these Jeeps do fill a long ways in advance for many dates. If a pet-friendly Jeep is not available on the day you wish to go, we can offer you alternate dates, or you can find other arrangements for your pet. We will not make exceptions as to which Jeeps allow pets, out of respect for our other guests.

If any pet hair is found in a Jeep that is not designated pet-friendly, a $150 cleaning fee will be applied. However, minimal cleaning fees will only be applied to our pet-friendly Jeeps if there is excessive hair throughout the Jeep, vomit, feces, etc. For our pets, we have seat covers to minimize pet hair and damage, and maximize pet safety and comfort. Under most circumstances, no cleaning fee will be applied to our pet-friendly Jeeps.


It is critical that guests discuss their pets with us in advance, because there are other circumstances of which pet owners must be aware:

  1. Hair and scratches takes much longer to clean so Jeep can be ready for next guest. Because many of our customers are sensitive, we have pets limited to certain Jeeps.
  2. Parks and archaeology sites. Pets are not allowed on hiking trails in National Parks or Monuments, and never at any historic or archaeological sites. We want to help you plan a day with trails you can enjoy with your pet.
  3. Safety and security. Our moderate and adventurous trails are not appropriate for pets, if they are not secured or accustomed to the bouncing and steep angles. We don’t want to see pets injured from being dumped off the seat on steep hills, or injure other occupants in their desperate attempt to find some way to “hold on.”

Note that smoking is not allowed in the Jeeps at any time, and often not on the trails due to fire restrictions.

Four-Wheeling Lessons From a Hellcat

By Nena Barlow

This article originally appeared on

I could say that the day spent at the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving was strictly for work, but, seriously, it’s just something I have always wanted to do. One can always learn new skills from other professionals. What I came away with, aside from a day of adrenaline-junkie-pleasing driving, was that the same skills we emphasize for 4WD training are just as critical for high-speed driving: where you look, smooth driver inputs and corrections, and constant focus.

Being accustomed to driving lifted rigs on a minimum of 35-inch tires, the first thing I thought while settling into the nearly ground-level seat of my assigned Challenger Hellcat was, “Wow! How can I see anything from down here?” The answer is the same as it is from the seat of the Jeep—look farther. On the track, this meant that as we headed into a 180-degree turn, we were looking almost 90 degrees to our left, at the exit of the turn where we would again start applying the throttle. Because if we were looking over the hood at the tire wall in front of us, we would not be able to execute steering input or the right amount of braking to result in a smooth turn.

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When Do You Lock Your Jeep’s Axles?

By Nena Barlow
This article originally appeared on

Ever since the introduction of the Rubicon model in 2003, the axle lock feature or “locker” has been a mainstream feature for anyone who walked onto a Jeep dealer lot. The continued growth in sales of Rubicon-model Jeep Wranglers (new and secondhand) will mean more new owners on the trails who may not fully understand when and where to best use the electronically activated lockers in the front and rear axles of the Rubicon model. Even for the experienced, a refresher and examination of our own thinking can be helpful.

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