Looking for advice from seasoned adventurers

Glapin

New member
Hey fellow LR lovers,

I posted this in the adventure planning section as well, but thought that I might get some better response from those who share the same love/hate relationship with our Land Rovers.

As the title states, I'm looking to you seasoned vets to help me plan a trip. I've been scouring the forum and the interwebs and have roughly planned my stops. Here's the pertinent info. Traveling in a mildly built LR3 with wife, 7 and 4 year old and my trusty service pooch. We're heading out there 1 july and expect to be in Cardiff on 13 July. I'm a fairly well versed off-roader and have a full assortment of recovery equipment that I really hope I don't have to use with the family aboard. We're starting our trip from Louisiana and highwaying it straight to family in Santa Fe, that's where the adventure will begin. (I hope)

I've downloaded some trails from Santa Fe up in to Colorado off Gaia and planning to stop in Durango. I will list the areas we're currently planning to stop over in each night.

Durango
Ouray
Kayenta
North Rim
Prescott
Palm Springs
Cardiff

Cardiff is our final destination for a few days before we highway it back to Louisiana and the grind.

Thanks in advance annnndddddd. . . . . GO!
 
Last edited:

amcjen

Member
I don’t see a specific ask, so I’ll give some suggestions.

First, regarding the LR3. How many miles do you have on it, and has it been maintained well? I ask only bc all of our LR3s are currently getting up there in age and mileage, and you don’t want a major issue when doing a trip like that. For instance, I am currently cooking my EAS compressor desiccant in the oven on 350 for 30 min while I write this, bc it was time to do a front/back/center valve block and compressor rebuild and want to make sure all the moisture is out of the desiccant dryer. I don’t need EAS failing while hundreds of miles in the Nevada desert this summer.

A general good maintenance schedule is here: I’d make sure you’re at least up to date on these. https://www.roverparts.com/maintenance/

And for the trip itself: have you considered doing some or all of the backroad discovery route (BDR)? I know it’s often targeted for motorcycles but the Colorado BDR site says that most parts of the trek (save one area) is intermediate 4x4 friendly. I’ve not driven/ridden it but pretty sure it will include some of the best backcountry views in the state.

Whatever you end up doing, post pics here! I love seeing LRs in the wild!
 

Glapin

New member
I don’t see a specific ask, so I’ll give some suggestions.

First, regarding the LR3. How many miles do you have on it, and has it been maintained well? I ask only bc all of our LR3s are currently getting up there in age and mileage, and you don’t want a major issue when doing a trip like that. For instance, I am currently cooking my EAS compressor desiccant in the oven on 350 for 30 min while I write this, bc it was time to do a front/back/center valve block and compressor rebuild and want to make sure all the moisture is out of the desiccant dryer. I don’t need EAS failing while hundreds of miles in the Nevada desert this summer.

A general good maintenance schedule is here: I’d make sure you’re at least up to date on these. https://www.roverparts.com/maintenance/

And for the trip itself: have you considered doing some or all of the backroad discovery route (BDR)? I know it’s often targeted for motorcycles but the Colorado BDR site says that most parts of the trek (save one area) is intermediate 4x4 friendly. I’ve not driven/ridden it but pretty sure it will include some of the best backcountry views in the state.

Whatever you end up doing, post pics here! I love seeing LRs in the wild!

Thanks and your concerns about the rig mirror my own. I’ve had it since a certified lease turn in from Land Rover. She’s in good working order and I just did a coil/strut conversion (don’t bash me LR purists 😬)

I’ll definitely look into the BDR.

Appreciate it.
 

Ray_G

Explorer
We had a similar adventure planned for this summer in our LR3 but life got in the way. Assuming closing goes well in a week, it will be worth it and we'll re-attack next summer. Suffice it to say I'm still envious.

As unpopular as it is in certain arenas (especially the book of Faces), you've likely sorted the thing that will give you the most issue by switching to coils.

Beyond that I'd do a good baseline of servicing; in particular ensure you've done your transmission filter/fluid. Consider brake pads before you go just to not worry about those. I wouldn't worry about bearings assuming they've been done at appropriate mileage. Assumption is your coolant bleeder tee has been replaced, if not-do so.

Lastly, make sure you've got good tires.

Things that I believe would be essentials:
-A fridge. Life on the road for that long is dramatically better with a fridge. My wife continues to refer to ours as the single best investment we've ever made.
-IID tool
-Microstart or some other small jump box
-Onboard air of some flavor (even if it's just a small compressor with alligator clips
-Tire patches/plugs
-Small amount of spares, mostly I'd have brake light switch, extra bulbs, fuses, and then the usual assortment of tapes, jb weld, etc. All of my version of that fits into one of the little cubbies in the far back.
-Small but focused tool kit-the things you'll need for the trip but in as small a package as you can manage.

Have fun!
r-
Ray
 

Glapin

New member
We had a similar adventure planned for this summer in our LR3 but life got in the way. Assuming closing goes well in a week, it will be worth it and we'll re-attack next summer. Suffice it to say I'm still envious.

As unpopular as it is in certain arenas (especially the book of Faces), you've likely sorted the thing that will give you the most issue by switching to coils.

Beyond that I'd do a good baseline of servicing; in particular ensure you've done your transmission filter/fluid. Consider brake pads before you go just to not worry about those. I wouldn't worry about bearings assuming they've been done at appropriate mileage. Assumption is your coolant bleeder tee has been replaced, if not-do so.

Lastly, make sure you've got good tires.

Things that I believe would be essentials:
-A fridge. Life on the road for that long is dramatically better with a fridge. My wife continues to refer to ours as the single best investment we've ever made.
-IID tool
-Microstart or some other small jump box
-Onboard air of some flavor (even if it's just a small compressor with alligator clips
-Tire patches/plugs
-Small amount of spares, mostly I'd have brake light switch, extra bulbs, fuses, and then the usual assortment of tapes, jb weld, etc. All of my version of that fits into one of the little cubbies in the far back.
-Small but focused tool kit-the things you'll need for the trip but in as small a package as you can manage.

Have fun!
r-
Ray

Cool, thanks for the tips. Great minds think alike. It just came out of the shop with all fluids, trans, diffs, T-case, and engine being replaced. Tires are new with a new, full size spare, and tools and spare parts mirror basically what I've put together. I've got a dometic dual zone running off a GZ lithium Yeti as eating out all the time gets expensive. Full assortment of recovery gear including a portable compressor and the hidden winch is getting installed next weekend. The route with chosen is getting closer to complete and most of our lodging/camp sites are getting locked in.

Thanks again
 

rgallant

Adventurer
I will just add beyond your truck, have a good reliable contact who know your route and set some check in times. My rule of thumb is always call my wife when I fuel up, she can generally track me via APRS but that is not 100% in Pacific Northwest so that is why I call. If I miss a call on a given day and I have not pinged via APRS she calls for help.

You have your family and I am sure you will have an outstanding trip but accept stuff can go wrong through no fault of your own. So have someone you check in with, even if it is a on one of these 2 days thing.
 

Glapin

New member
I will just add beyond your truck, have a good reliable contact who know your route and set some check in times. My rule of thumb is always call my wife when I fuel up, she can generally track me via APRS but that is not 100% in Pacific Northwest so that is why I call. If I miss a call on a given day and I have not pinged via APRS she calls for help.

You have your family and I am sure you will have an outstanding trip but accept stuff can go wrong through no fault of your own. So have someone you check in with, even if it is a on one of these 2 days thing.

Good call brother,

I plan on bringing my sat phone as well, as I know comms work in the opposite of how badly you need them. I have folks that I know throughout the trip so I will set some phase lines and check in times. We're never venturing too far off the beaten path, but I know things can go down hill quick and I don't want to take that chance with the family in tow.
 

LR Max

Local Oaf
Buy a few spare brake light bulbs and a spare brake light switch. These are common failures. I had my switch fail on my out west trip. 15 minutes in a parking lot. Back up and running.

Check the rear driveshaft. Carrier bearing do tend to die. Would rather deal with that a month in advance than on the road.

If your coolant bleeder "T connector" is original, either go ahead and replace it or throw a spare in the back.

X2 on micro start jump box and ID tool. The ID tool saved us on our trip out west.

Check and recharge your AC. I think this will be obvious but it gets HOT AS CRAP driving out there. Also swap your cabin and vehicle air filters. Cheap insurance as it can get dusty AF out there. I did bring a spare engine air filter, but didn't need it.

Sunscreen. This is for real. Get the spray stuff and throw it in the back. Also on the highway, I wear one of those Columbia Fishing shirts. You just sit there, baking in the sun. Covering your arms will save you great discomfort. The sunscreen is for when you are on trail with the windows down. Re-apply every 3 hours. Or not. You do you.

Throw in a bottle of windex/window cleaner. The bugs on I-70/I-40 are for real. Also convenient to have a cleaner in the car. The 2nd row door cup holder holds a windex bottle quite nicely. Also I recommend new wiper blades and topping up with RainX windshield wiper juice. It'll make life easier. FYI, wiper blades off of Rock auto are STUPID cheap. Just get 2 sets and I typically destroy a set on an out west trip.

Get 3x rolls of quarters for car washes. We had super bad mud build up in the wheels and had to pull over twice to blast it all out. Having quarters in the console made life easy. Also throw in a roll of gorilla tape and a roll of painters tape. Just in case. Sometimes plastic bits work themselves loose. Slapping a bit of tape that won't murder your paint will make life easier. Also throw on two coats of wax on the car before going. This will help get junk off of the car afterwards and protect it. Or not. Whatever.

For my out west trip last year, when we stopped for fuel, I did a full check under the hood. This year, I just did it once a day. Once a day checking everything provides a good piece of mind.

Buy these books:

https://funtreks.com/

I have Moab and Colorado. They basically bring so much win, I cannot begin to describe it. They have Cali, etc. WORTH IT. I know Gaia is great, etc but these books in front of you make all the difference.

Get ALL of the fast USB chargers. We were always charging a phone, radio, lantern, whatever. If you can standardize cords or at least USB charging devices, it makes life that much easier. My ham radio couldn't charge off USB, but we barely used it so it was fine.

Speaking of Electronics, if you don't have bluetooth in your LR3, buy one of these:

https://www.amazon.com/Kinivo-BTC480-Hands-Free-Multi-Point-Connectivity/dp/B06Y2D1ZX8

I've had mine for a year and a half and my friend has the previous version for a few years. The cords are long enough to reach the rear AUX port and 12v charger. WORTH IT if music off your phone is important to you. It is VERY important to me, so however that works out for you. Super easy to swap connections to another phone, etc. Sound quality is great for the aux port and hands free actually works pretty good.

Ouray/Telluride/Silverton, I would do on the return trip. They still have CRAP TONS of snow. Last week, the snow drifts were still 20ft tall. So I doubt the trails will be open/passable. But by the end of July, you might have a bit more luck. Try to do AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. Also if you are staying in Ouray, and camping, cut the crap and camp at the Ouray KOA. Its super nice there. Also shower house FTW. Also all the restaurants in Ouray are pretty mediocre (please note I live in ATL, our food here is premium, so I'm a bit spoiled). Either way, the food there will be overpriced, ok-ish, and vastly inconvenient. Before arriving in Ouray, get all the food beforehand and try to cook/prepare on your own. It'll be A TON easier and quicker. Also if you can hit the trails by 8-9am local time, YOU ARE GOLDEN. Everyone else is still waiting at the one breakfast place to get a table while you are shifting into low range. After lunch, the trails can get crowded, but it is what it is. The trail heads get crowded around 11am or so. But you'll be ~2 hours on down the trail by the time the tourists show up.

In Colorado, when descending trails covered in loose rocks, like shale, USE HILL DESCENT CONTROL. It makes life a ton easier. But otherwise, I was in low range, rock mode, HDC off, either in Drive, or manual mode. Usually in manual mode, cruising in 2nd gear or whatever was needed.

Costco or Sams club card will save you BIG $$$. Sams club if you drive in I-40, Costco is on I-70. However that works out for you. On I-70, there is legit a Costco every 300 miles or so...right there in your range. My LR3 was getting 16-17 mpg out there and back. For my Colorado trip, I did not pack a spare fuel can. I did in Moab, and we did use our spare fuel. However we picked extremely long off road routes. In Ouray, just gas up before hitting the trails. Saves you a lot of headache. Spare fuel is such a hassle, avoid if you don't need to. For Colorado, you don't need it. Fuel in Ouray is expensive but easier than spilling 5 gallons on my boots. Also down by Silverton on US550, there is a decent Shell station.

Its weird, I'm used to driving junk, but this LR3 has been a champion for cross country trips. They are extremely comfortable and pretty darn reliable.

For driving out there and back, I recommend 2 drivers per vehicle, at least. Swap out as needed. For the first day, I try to do at least 15 hours of driving then crash at a hotel. After 15 hours, everyone is pretty toast. Driving back, allow extra time due to time zone changes. Also if you can avoid traversing Denver and I-70 in Colorado, that'll save you many headaches. Both obstacles are miserable. At least check google maps/waze for updates but typically on I-70 west of Denver, the interstate is blocked by ____ (insert today's vehicle ruining everything) and holding up traffic. I-40 was far more relaxing but I don't know your route, so however that works for you.

As mentioned before, you do you, but these are the details I've found to make it a bit easier. I've done two cross country trips with my LR3 and its been a pretty darn awesome vehicle for the job.

Anyway, there ya go. Enjoy.
 

Glapin

New member
@LR Max Awesome details brother. I'm tracking on most but definitely got a few extra from you. Thanks!

@WOODY2 Las Olas was my favorite and right across from one of my favorite surf spots!
 

nwoods

Expedition Leader
If you are going to Prescott, I highly recommend running Smiley Rock trail. It's up Mingus Mtn on the way to Jerome
 

nwoods

Expedition Leader
Also, I highly recommend you alternate nights camping with nights "in town". The wife will appreciate it, and when Momma is happy, everyone is happy, right? I did a similar trip a few years back. Best vacation ever:











 
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