Tag: vehicle prep

Winch Fairlead Myths Debunked

By Nena Barlow

This article originally appeared on fourwheeler.com.

When you purchase a new winch, it usually comes packaged with a fairlead. A winch with wire rope comes with a roller fairlead, and a winch with synthetic rope will have a hawse fairlead. We’ve talked before about good winching practices and winch rope care, but let’s talk about the pros and cons of your fairlead choices, and why you may want to switch fairleads.

Continue reading “Winch Fairlead Myths Debunked”

Preparing a Jeep for 1,000 Miles of Desert

By Nena Barlow

This article originally appeared on fourwheeler.com.

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.

Continue reading “Preparing a Jeep for 1,000 Miles of Desert”

Hi-Lift Jack Do’s and Don’ts

By Nena Barlow
This article originally appeared on fourwheeler.com.

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.

Continue reading “Hi-Lift Jack Do’s and Don’ts”

Overlanding 101: Eating, Sleeping, Pooping

By Nena Barlow

This article originally appeared on fourwheeler.com.

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.

Continue reading “Overlanding 101: Eating, Sleeping, Pooping”

How to Prep a JL for Rental Duty

By Nena Barlow

This article originally appeared on fourwheeler.com.

I won’t say I’m old, but I will say that I have been in the Jeep guide and rental business long enough to ride out the transitions between CJ, YJ, TJ, JK, and now JL. So far, other than waiting for the aftermarket to have time to develop the things we need for our typical trail use, the introduction of the JLs into our fleet has been relatively painless. As mentioned in my last article, almost every single thing that we had wished was better on the JK is better on the JLs.

What is required to make a factory Wrangler worthy of Barlow Jeep Rental status is less and less with each new generation. Barlow-worthiness is the ability to traverse the majority of the area trails without billable damage when driven by a novice to moderately experienced driver who will simply pay attention and drive slowly, with the intention to be safe and responsible. Our Jeeps are expected to traverse much of Arizona, Moab, and the Rubicon Trail, with minimal exertion.

Continue reading “How to Prep a JL for Rental Duty”

Heads-Up: Tips For Better Trips

By Nena Barlow

This article originally appeared on fourwheeler.com.

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.

Continue reading “Heads-Up: Tips For Better Trips”

How to Take Care of Your Winch Rope

By Nena Barlow

This article originally appeared on fourwheeler.com.

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.

Continue reading “How to Take Care of Your Winch Rope”

Tricks for Better Off-Road Performance

By Nena Barlow

This article originally appeared on fourwheeler.com.

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.

Continue reading “Tricks for Better Off-Road Performance”

Keep Your Guard Up!

By Nena Barlow

This article originally appeared on fourwheeler.com.

Something we see over and over again in the four-wheeling world are mishaps at the places one would least expect it. We get through a nasty obstacle, breathe a sigh of relief, and then get stuck on a small rock we didn’t even notice. Or we spend all day on a grueling 4×4 trail, get through without a scratch, then on the way home, slide off of the gravel road into tree. Or we just head out without much thought on a trail we have done dozens of times, don’t check the weather, and get stranded on the wrong side of a wash during a flash flood.

The common thread? We let our guard down after the perceived threat is past. The solution? Don’t take anything for granted—keep your guard up until everyone is safely home on the couch. The following are a few things to think about before, during, and after your trip to help keep everyone safe.

Continue reading “Keep Your Guard Up!”

New Jeep Build Shakedown Strategies

By Nena Barlow
This article originally appeared on fourwheeler.com.

We build at least a dozen Jeeps a year, mostly Jeep JK Rubicons. Most of our builds are mild to moderate, with a shortarm suspension lift, taller tires, and some extra skids plates and armor. All of the modifications have to fit and function perfectly together, or we don’t send it out. The last thing you want is to hear a grinding noise or feel your brake pedal go to the floor on your first trail run. Here are some things we check, how we check them, and how we make adjustments.

Continue reading “New Jeep Build Shakedown Strategies”