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Over-estimating your experience or under-estimating the terrain in a place like Big Bend can result in serious injury or death. Use the information and advice found here wisely. Climb/Hike/Camp/Drive at your own risk.

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High Clearance?

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Offline EssBee777

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High Clearance?
« on: June 23, 2008, 05:44:03 PM »
Hello all:

I have a 2WD Honda CR-V crossover with stock tires. I think it barely qualifies as a high clearance vehicle. I did drive it to the end of Grapevine Hills Road. Someone warned me that I might not want to take this on the back roads such as River Road, Pine Canyon, etc.

I have had off road driving experience back in the days when I owned a real 4 wheeler, but I don't want to trash my vehicle. If I have to change a flat, well I guess I can deal with that.

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Offline RichardM

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Re: High Clearance?
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2008, 06:11:03 PM »
It all depends on the current weather conditions. River Road has been recently reworked courtesy of the National Guard, so barring any recent rains might be just fine for your CR-V. People have driven to Pine Canyon in much lower vehicles, but of course, that doesn't mean it was a good idea. As always, check in with the rangers at the visitor center for the latest conditions and advice. Expect them to be very conservative, because they really don't want to have to come get you after you break down. :icon_smile:

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Offline Casa Grande

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Re: High Clearance?
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2008, 08:43:01 AM »
Hello all:

I have a 2WD Honda CR-V crossover with stock tires. I think it barely qualifies as a high clearance vehicle. I did drive it to the end of Grapevine Hills Road. Someone warned me that I might not want to take this on the back roads such as River Road, Pine Canyon, etc.

I have had off road driving experience back in the days when I owned a real 4 wheeler, but I don't want to trash my vehicle. If I have to change a flat, well I guess I can deal with that.


The 2WD is not necessarily the problem here as much as it is clearance and the quality of the tires.  I would not attempt Black Gap, River Road, Pine Canyon, Juniper Canyon or Old Ore (although from the north section to about McKinney Spring would be OK, and recommended).  You should be good on Glenn Springs Road. 

Try lowering the pressure in your tires as well, it will help.  Make sure you have a full sized spare and I would recommend bringing along tire plugs and a 12V air pump.  But, as Richard says, check in with the Ranger Station and ask about the conditions of the road and pay attention to the forecast.  You are getting into the rainy season, things can take a turn for the dead worst if you aren't paying attention.

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Offline mountaindocdanny

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Re: High Clearance?
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2008, 09:58:13 AM »
Conditions do change, but I've done Pine Canyon in a 2WD CRV without a problem. Take it slow, because the stock tires are pretty thin walled.

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Offline mule ears

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Re: High Clearance?
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2008, 05:49:59 AM »
I have a similar question.  I am heading out in December, flying into San Antonio and renting a car.  For the trip I have planned I need to set a cache near the Terlinqua Abaja turnoff from the Old Maverick Rd. (or maybe all the way back near the campsites).  Can I get a passenger car down the Old Maverick Rd. the 3 miles  from the Santa Elena end to the turn off to TA or do I have to rent something more high clearance?  From pictures I have seen it looks like it can be done.  It is a matter of car rental cost and gas mileage (more on both accounts for a higher clearance vehicle).  I know the conditions do change but in general in Dec. what do you think? 
Thanks, Mule Ears
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

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Offline trtlrock

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Re: High Clearance?
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2008, 08:14:15 AM »
IMO 2WD is fine the entire length of Old Maverick including turning off to the TA campsites & going all the way to the camping cul-de-sac.  Main annoyance on Old Maverick is the washboarding.  Of course, any precipitation could change things dramatically...
John & Tess

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Offline RichardM

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Re: High Clearance?
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2008, 08:20:54 AM »
The road to the TA campsites was in a lot worse condition than Old Maverick when we were there in November 2005, but it was probably still driveable by most passenger cars.  We were in a 2WD Chevy Blazer and didn't have any problems.  There were a few ruts and one narrow section where you definitely didn't want to meet any oncoming traffic, but otherwise it wasn't too bad.

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Offline mule ears

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Re: High Clearance?
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2008, 08:51:14 AM »
IMO 2WD is fine the entire length of Old Maverick including turning off to the TA campsites & going all the way to the camping cul-de-sac.  Main annoyance on Old Maverick is the washboarding.  Of course, any precipitation could change things dramatically...

Quote
The road to the TA campsites was in a lot worse condition than Old Maverick when we were there in November 2005, but it was probably still driveable by most passenger cars.  We were in a 2WD Chevy Blazer and didn't have any problems.  There were a few ruts and one narrow section where you definitely didn't want to meet any oncoming traffic, but otherwise it wasn't too bad.

Thanks guys, that is what I had thought and yes, the last time I was on Old Maverick the washboarding was go bad that we turned around coming from the Study Butte end.
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

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Offline trtlrock

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Re: High Clearance?
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2008, 09:23:37 AM »
If anybody watches Top Gear they may remember an episode where the three guys each took a different old British Leyland beater through a series of fairly torturous tests.  One of the tests was a suspension test on a track specifically designed to torture the suspension.  Each of the drivers had a strainer filled with eggs suspended above their heads, and they were graded on how many grams of egg remained in the strainer (instead of dripping all over their heads & faces) & how many pieces of trim fell off the car.  The answers were:  a) not much, and b) lots.

This test could've been performed on Old Maverick Rd...
John & Tess

"...and I'll face each day with a smile, for the time that I've been given's such a little while..." - Arthur Lee

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Offline mountaindocdanny

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Re: High Clearance?
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2008, 10:07:28 AM »
As per RichardM the only part where you would need to exercise caution is going to the TA sites. The road winds around through some clay hills and I've been through there when its been pretty rough. Worse case scenario, you could get out and scout and if it's too rough just pack the water the rest of the way to your cache site.

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SHANEA

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Re: High Clearance?
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2008, 12:26:58 PM »
If anybody watches Top Gear they

I wish I could get Top Gear.   :icon_frown:

Where / how do you get Top Gear?

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Offline uh_clem

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Re: High Clearance?
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2008, 01:59:29 PM »
If anybody watches Top Gear they

I wish I could get Top Gear.   :icon_frown:

Where / how do you get Top Gear?

It's on BBC America. I have it on Dish Network's Top 200. Mainly on Monday nights but it comes on other days as well. That episode that trtlrock mentioned was on last Monday night.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2008, 02:20:17 PM by uh_clem »
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Offline trtlrock

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Re: High Clearance?
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2008, 02:33:49 PM »
If anybody watches Top Gear they

I wish I could get Top Gear.   :icon_frown:

Where / how do you get Top Gear?

yep -- Ch. 264 on DirecTV is BBC America
John & Tess

"...and I'll face each day with a smile, for the time that I've been given's such a little while..." - Arthur Lee

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Offline RichardM

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Re: High Clearance?
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2008, 02:51:28 PM »
yep -- Ch. 264 on DirecTV is BBC America
Ch. 188 on AT&T U-verse here in Houston....not that I ever have time to watch it. Most of our recorded stuff these days are Scooby-Doo episodes for my daughter. :icon_rolleyes:

There are lots of Top Gear clips available online.
http://www.topgear.com/content/timetoburn/sections/videos/
http://www.bbc.co.uk/topgear/

P.S. :offtopic: :icon_smile:
« Last Edit: June 25, 2008, 02:53:38 PM by RichardM »

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Offline Undertaker

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Re: High Clearance?
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2008, 03:36:44 PM »
Check with rangers always.  High Clearance = While driving down road check rear view, if leaving a large amount of oil or transmission/differential parts behind you, you are NOT HIGH CLEARANCE.  :eusa_think:
Visiting BB since 1966, nothing like being lost and finding heaven.

 


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