Anyone who has read my recent articles knows that it was only a matter of time before I took my poor, neglected Wagovan to the ORV park. That was this weekend.
The trip did not start well, with the Wagovan having some serious issues that I think I’ve figured out...
So against my better judgement, I made it to the ORV park, engaged 4WD, and crossed my fingers.
Honestly the little guy did alright... at first. It had rained recently, so the sand was pretty grippy and not very sinky. The locked center “diff,” low weight, moderate clearance, and solid rear served me well. When the going got rougher, I engaged the Wagovan’s “Super Low” gear, which kept me plugging along nicely.
However as we got further and further into the park we hit an extremely deep patch of sand and... that’s all she wrote.
I was stuck.
We tried rocking it, pushing it, pulling it, and sand ladders all to no avail. I did manage to let some major smoke out of my clutch, however.
Eventually, we used the Suzuki and the Jeep to pull it out and we were on our way again. I cut onto the river bed, thinking the rocky surface would be better for not sinking.
That was only sort of true. While I didn’t sink, all I could hear is rocks hitting the underside. It was... unpleasant. But pretty.
After that, we decided to do “the hill”. I’ve covered it before, but the hill is an incredibly steep and rocky hill with two ways up: hard and impossible. We took turns going up and eventually it was my turn.
This seemed like a very bad idea but...
Yeah. I did it. Twice.
Honestly the little Honda did better on the hills then it did on the river bed. The “Super Low” gear was just slow enough I could deliberately pick my lines without killing the car, in either sense of the word. I do wish it was slightly lower, but alas.
Due to recent rains, the impossible side was more impossible than usual. I don’t think I would have attempted it in the Land Rover. Naturally this meant the Renegade had to give it a go.
He made a valiant attempt, but couldn’t clear the large rock mid-way and eventually (very eventually) gave up.
We messed around a bit more, but with daylight almost gone, I opted for a slow, slow drive home, steaks, sweet potatoes, brussel(s) sprouts, and a whole bunch of wine.
The rest of the gang stuck around to see if the Renegade could kill itself (it did not) and to get some epic photos.
Overall I deem the trip a success. I do with the Wagovan had more clearance and more aggressive tires, something I plan on addressing soon. However, in fully stock form I am impressed with how well it did. Plus it gets way better gas mileage than the Land Rover...
(Nearly) All Photos credit to Taylor; Do not reproduce without permission