1989 Trooper Build

#46
PART 1 of 3

Trip report for the 8th annual Relic Run and 3rd annual Retro Ramble.


These events are a unique opportunity to take a step back in time and camp and explore the way our fathers did decades ago. All the 4x4's are 1989 and older and all the camping is done in the spirit of the 60's, 70's and 80's.
June 16: We met at the Silver Sage in near Vernon, UT early in the morning. After a quick fill-up with gas, some brief introductions and instructions we were on our way. Who knew it would be 3 days before we would pass a car again.

Now that we all had our CB's on the same channel we were on our way. For the first day we followed a path along the Historic Pony Express Trail in Utah's west desert. Our first stop was at the pet cemetery. The rather obscure cemetery was established by the brother of the famous gunman Porter Rockwell. As with most years, my oldest daughter Clara becomes a surrogate older sister for the many young kids on the trip.



For lunch we stopped at the popular Simpson Springs. Simpson Spring was an important pony express station because it had ample amounts of water, which is rare in this part of Utah.




After lunch we set out for Fish Springs. On our way we had to dodge wild horses and antelope. When we got to Fish Springs the kids got an opportunity to call all the friends on the local pay phone. Fish Springs itself was surreal to say the least. The miles and miles of blue lagoons of water in the middle of the desert are a welcome site to all the migrating birds that make this place the temporary home.





Next we were off to see something a little more out of this world. We made a short drive over to Wilson Springs. Wilson Spring are a bunch of hot springs located about 5 miles north of Fish Springs. Much like other hot springs like those found in Yellowstone, they develop colorful mats, but be careful where you step because it is very soft and the mud is very stinky. Our fearless leader, Kurt Williams, found out the hard way when he sunk up to his knee after stepping off a pallet. Over the years hippies have hauled in old buses, tubs and much more.






Stinky feet and all we moved on to our next stop which was an old abandon mine. At one time this was a major operation but times have changed. It also provided a great opportunity for a lineup shot of most of this years participants vehicles.






Finally we made our way to one of the most remote cities in the lower 48 states, Callao, UT. We setup camp just outside of town at the CCC camp. This campground was built by the civilian conservation corps back during the great depression. This campground if free to the public, has a couple dozen camp spots and includes a few picnic tables and fire pits but the biggest luxuries are the trees and small creek. The trees provided much needed shade and a place to put a hammock while the creek provided a place to rinse off after spending all day in the dirt.The one downside is the lack of a outhouse or port a potty.
For dinner we had classic hors devours from the 70's and shared stories late into the night. Day one was considered a major success. Not only did all the classic 4x4's preform like they did decades ago, the weather was fantastic, it was partly cloudy and around 80F. That's a huge relief because most of the rigs did not have air conditioning.
I got a chance to try out my vintage camp kitchen and 40 year old Eureka tent. I love this tent. It was handed down to me from my father and I have spent many memorable nights in it.









 
#47
That looks like great fun and a chance to travel Utah with some great rigs. I had followed this and even considered coming down but I don't know why I thought my 89 Trooper was not old enough. Next year I will plan on it. I like the aspect of keeping the camping old and simple, I was 2 weeks old when I went on my first camping trip 67 years ago in a home made camper on a 1948 Ford PU so this is right up my alley. Thanks for the report. Dave
 
#48
That looks like great fun and a chance to travel Utah with some great rigs. I had followed this and even considered coming down but I don't know why I thought my 89 Trooper was not old enough. Next year I will plan on it. I like the aspect of keeping the camping old and simple, I was 2 weeks old when I went on my first camping trip 67 years ago in a home made camper on a 1948 Ford PU so this is right up my alley. Thanks for the report. Dave
Your in luck, next years event will be in your back yard. While the trip is put on by Expedition Utah the event will be held near and around Cody, Wyoming. Here is a run down of the schedule. Also 1989 vehicles do qualify for the combined events like this year and last year. I am guess next year will be combined as well. Relic Run covers all vehicle 1979 and older while Retro Ramble covers all vehicles 1980-1989.

I want to announce the dates for next years RR/RR.
We are currently planning on August 04 - 08 of next year. Our plan is to base camp at a 'secret lake' in the Beartooth range north of Cody Wyoming. The itinerary as of now is as follows:

Thursday night - host everyone at our house for the meet and greet. Folks can either camp on our lawn, motel it in Cody, or camp nearby. If there is enough interest, I can get tickets to the Cody Night Rodeo and we can all head down there (about 5 mins from our house).

Friday morning - depart our house for the lake. A leisurely and scenic drive up the Chief Joseph scenic highway to the Beartooh Highway towards Red Lodge. Lot's of sightseeing along the way. We will get to the lake mid-day. There is some mild four wheel drive down to the lake where we will set up camp. Friday night dinner and campfire.

Saturday - a number of options...1. a drive trip to explore Daisy Pass and Lulu Passes, stay at camp and hike around the lake, a more technical 4WD trail to another lake further down to fish, stay at camp and canoe and fish the lake (I will supply two canoes and gear, and endless Brook trout). Saturday supper will be provided by Amy and I (or our hired caterers as we stink at cooking )

Sunday - break camp with options...continue over the 'Top of the World' highway into Red Lodge, go back towards Dasiy and Lulu passes and head into Yellowstone via Cooke City and the northeast entrance, or...If folks really want to make a trip of it, I will offer to guide folks down the Morrison Jeep Trail and back to Cody via the Clarks Fork Canyon. The last option is a steep, super tight switchback trail with lots of rocks and might not be the best for folks with marginal vehicles and definitely not for long wheelbase rigs.
 
#49
That sounds like a great schedule, would more than likely meet up at jct Chief Joseph Highway. Although that date is around the time the Sheridan 4X4 club would do the MJT so there would be a chance that I could meet at the secret lake. Dave
 
#50
Love your whole set up. I actually started looking for a Trooper for camping etc. I went with a Mitsubishi Montero for parts availability. Can you tell me the make and model of that folding camp kitchen table? That is a good piece of gear.
 
#51
Love your whole set up. I actually started looking for a Trooper for camping etc. I went with a Mitsubishi Montero for parts availability. Can you tell me the make and model of that folding camp kitchen table? That is a good piece of gear.
I have owned several Montero's over the years and I currently own 2 Mitsubishi turbo diesel pickups. I owned a 1991 and 2000 Montero and loved them both but part availability seems to be better for these first gen troopers in some ways than it was for the first gen Montero. Both of my Montero's were dead reliable as well as my current Isuzu. I actually looking for a Montero but this Trooper came up for sale and I could not say no. I have been very pleased with it so far.

To answer your other question the Camp Kitchen is made by Coleman. I bought it for our adventure because it is a high quality unit and it fits the 80's era. They were the deluxe camp kitchen. It is all aluminum and even has a chess board on top. It take about I minute to setup and take down but it is very sturdy. I bought mine off eBay. I see them on eBay every now and then and usually they are in great shape.
 
#52
While not a common upgrade for an off-road vehicle, tinting the windows on my first gen Trooper has been a high priority since I bought the vehicle. This vehicle is like a giant solarium in the summer sun. On most days the AC is adequate, but when the temps get over 95F the AC struggles to keep those in the 3rd row cool. I went with full on limo tint for most of the vehicle. Not only is it cooler on the inside, the vehicle looks much nicer on the outside.


Before



After





 
Last edited:
#54
The round eye LED headlight conversion is complete. I added the LED KC Hilites, a new black front bumper and black bumper ends, to go along with the new switch. The new LED light are crazy bright. I really like how it turned out. Now I need to change the back bumper to mach the front.



Where did you get the round fog light switch. That looks factory!
 
#57
This brings back memories. I bought a new 89 Trooper in 1988 (four cylinder five-speed). It was the middle trim package in a charcoal gray/bronze color. Inexpensive, solid; I loved that thing - great for trips. Take the back seat out and you could put a ton of camping gear back there (including one of those Coleman camp kitchens mentioned previously) AND it would flat-tow my 46 Willys CJ2A. And I liked the 70/30 back door. My ex-wife got it in the divorce in 96.

I considered getting myself a new Trooper after the divorce, but by then Isuzu had made the Troopers too fancy and expensive. I considered a new Isuzu Rodeo (1996), but it just didn't have the "expedition flare" the Trooper had. Or the storage capacity. And I was heading out to grad school. So I sold my 56 Willys truck (that hurt the most), and traded in my 2WD 1990 Isuzu pick-up, and bought a new 96 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 to tow my flat fender to grad school.

But if I ever came across another Trooper II cheap I'd consider buying it just for the memories and as an expedition vehicle project.
 
#58
My first 4x4 was a 1986 Trooper, 4 cyl, 5 speed. I loaded it up with three people, two huskies, all our camping gear and it took it like a champ. Felt very solid in winter snowstorms too. trooper.jpg trooper1.jpg
 
#59
Great thread, thanks for sharing. My earliest camping memories all include an old Isuzu Trooper my dad had. Learned to drive it in 4 wheel low on empty forest roads. Takes me back just seeing the pics.