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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok guys I need some advice... I got the news today that I am PCSing (being moved) from Germany to Fort Huachuca, Arizona. So with that said most of you know or could read in my signature... I own a 2007 Jeep Patriot FDI w/5spd and an RRO Lift installed. Its currently riding on 245/65R17's but I may be swapping those out for something a little less tall to get some of my torque back.

Over all I am happy with my 'Riot. It gets great gas mileage I am averaging 25-27 mpg. It looks nice. But my issue is I never dreamed I would be living in THE desert with all those trails and ability to go crawling so often. So my question is does anyone who lives in Arizona think that a Patriot FDI is capable enough for me to have fun with it in the desert? Eventually I would like to trade up to a JK, but I just can't see that being feasible after moving at least not for the first year anyway.

If any of you have photos of a FDI or even an FDII performing on local AZ trails with true stories I would greatly appreciate it. I have never been west of Texas but look forward to the new terrain and want to be prepared upon arrival!

Thanks guys.
 

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I believe you need to speak with "UA who" who is our local AZ resident if I am not mistaken. He has a FDII.
 

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Thanks for the promo there Kah.

Jim,
For offroading, you will love the Ft. Hauchuca area. It is remote high desert, with Coronado National Forest to the west that has some good trails.

Your FDI should do fine for most everything. I drove an old Nissan 4x4 truck without lockers for along time out here and thought it was a beast. Then went to a Wrangler Rubicon with lockers and found a whole new range of trouble to get into.

My family and I go out alot by ourselves for picnics, hiking, etc. and the little extra ability is a comfort mentally. But in reality, may not be required for most of what we do.

Shoot me a PM when you get down here and we can setup a trail run.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
sounds very cool UA who, I appreciate the incite as well as the invite... I am really looking forward to the new terrain and adventure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Trust me it's been of the beaten path. It just has not been in knee deep mud like yours! It's been dirty, its been muddy... however its harder here in Germany to legally go offroading.

For instance I do know where there is a great mud pit, however the trails leading too it are off limits to all types of automobiles and motorcycles. There are tons of trails through the national forest around where I live too but if the Polizei (sp) catch you on them you could very well lose your license and driving is something I enjoy! This is one of the great many reasons why I am very excited to not only be coming back stateside, but Arizona in particular!
 

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AZ offers some fantastic offroad adventures! I was out for 5 hours this morning and went places most people say a Patriot shouldn't go. You'll be glad your Pat is silver (mine too) because the cactus and thorny bush "AZ Pinstriping" barely shows up on light colors....

I found my limit this morning, it was the stock Wrangler SR-A's with 12k agressive miles on them. (Well, the low stall RPM of the torque converter that everyone complains about does suck, but it can be avoided with technique)The tires were fine in the deep sand (25psi) but when it came to climbing something REALLY steep, they didn't cut it. Twice I had to stop and back down a little, then attempt a new line. Good thing I have an RRO Lift in the box and a stack of Moab wheels in my living room just waiting for some new rubber...

To sum it up, a lot of the AZ trails are dry, sandy, dusty, rocky, populated with critters that are out to kill you (snakes, insects, plants) and it is HOT HOT HOT. I got a sunburn on my left arm this morning through my window tint. Bring a few gallons of cold water in a cooler and always start with a full tank of fuel. Air down the tires and have fun...
 

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To sum it up, a lot of the AZ trails are dry, sandy, dusty, rocky, populated with critters that are out to kill you (snakes, insects, plants) and it is HOT HOT HOT...
Totally agree. The only advice I'm qualified to give is: If you see some cute looking pigs roaming about (Javelinas) DO NOT get out of the car. You'll survive a snake bite but javelinas are just plain vicious if you startle them.:(
 

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To sum it up, a lot of the AZ trails are dry, sandy, dusty, rocky, populated with critters that are out to kill you (snakes, insects, plants) and it is HOT HOT HOT. I got a sunburn on my left arm this morning through my window tint. Bring a few gallons of cold water in a cooler and always start with a full tank of fuel. Air down the tires and have fun...

Well put there Captain.
Bring more water than you think. Drive carefully. Use sunscreen. :)

My wife and I take the kids out to the desert alot. Half the time just so I can have fun wheeling around in the Jeep. The other times we all get out and go hiking. We do it just to have opportunities to teach the kids how to be safe. 115+, no shade, and everything is thorny and dangerous. gotta teach 'em how to be smart.

Every year you hear a couple of people being stupid and dying out in the heat.
 

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Cindy and Captain,
Join the AZ MK group. We should get some trail runs together with all of us desert dwellers.
 

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Totally agree. The only advice I'm qualified to give is: If you see some cute looking pigs roaming about (Javelinas) DO NOT get out of the car. You'll survive a snake bite but javelinas are just plain vicious if you startle them.:(
PUMBAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!


Sorry... couldn't resist...
 

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If you see this:


Go the other way.
There are always more hiding in the bushes, and they don't like company!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
guys you are great... You all have already given me more information than I would have thought from this simple post. I completely feel ya on the weak clutch issue and am researching a better performing one now actually. But the wild life. I have lived in Texas and figured it would about the same until I started looking at houses. Holy cow man... sand yards? But Google Maps shows a hell of a lot of trails out there... and I smile. Guys I can't wait I am very excited! Thanks for the heads up on the critters. I would have guessed scorpians snakes, bugs, etc.. but the wild hogs thing really caught me off guard. I mean I should have assumed... I had them in texas, shoot they have them here in Germany... If you guys come up with any other tips please let me know. I appreciate all the information I can get.
 

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Jim,
The Javelinas are high-desert critters... which means anything between around SE Arizona. I've never seen one around Phoenix here.

Also, they are still pretty rare to see. You'll cross paths with coyotes way more often, and those guys will leave you alone.

By far though, the most dangerous thing for you when you're offroading is heat, and cactii. The small little versions of these:

group together. If you drive over some without seeing em, you are in for multiple flat tires. Nearly everybody I know has a small compressor and tire patch kits. And with our stock SR/A's being kinda weak, it makes it even more important.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Even more good information... the terrain I am currently running (when I get the chance) is not nearly fierce. I can see now I will probably want to re-replace my tires with something else as I am currently running my 245 Fusion XTI's which were great in the snow... but I have a feeling since they are also pretty light weight they will susceptible to punctures.

Not to mention add a puncture kit to my soon to be empty tire compartment... (full sized spare will go on roof rack)
 

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Jim,
The Javelinas are high-desert critters... which means anything between around SE Arizona. I've never seen one around Phoenix here.

You find them around South Mountain from time to time. My wife and I were hiking out there and ran into a sow with 3 piglets(?). lucky they were headed the other way and about 25 ft from the trail we were on, still made me nervous. I've heard of stories where they will mess up a grown person, especially protective mamas.
 

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What's the law on shooting those Javalinas? Most places are pretty lenient on wild hogs/boars. Just wondering.
 

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It's a game animal Dixie. You can hunt them with a permit.
 
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