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Old 09-17-2016, 11:06 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Open letter to Jeep

Here's a letter I just sent off to Jeep about their latest 'trail rating' adventure on the Rubicon:



Chrysler Corporation
1000 Chrysler Drive
Auburn Hills, Michigan
48326

September 17, 2016


Hey Chrysler,

The story goes that Jeep drove two brand new, absolutely stock, Grand Cherokee Trailhawks through the world famous Rubicon Trail this past summer:
Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk Edition Tackles the Rubicon | Expedition Portal

What an accomplishment! I only wish I had a Subaru Forester handy to follow you down the trail to show how easy your crew made the trail. As rumor has it, you had a bunch of professional Jeepers Jamboree ‘rock rollers’ ensuring that the Cherokee never had more than a four inch obstacle in its path.

Having been involved in Rubicon trail maintenance for more than 15 years, this year I noticed a change in the east end of the Rubicon Trail, specifically Cadillac Hill, after your Grand Cherokees drove the trail. In my 31 years of Jeep ownership and experience on Cadillac Hill, I’ve never experienced Cadillac Hill so easy.

Now, I understand that some rock stacking takes place during a trip through the Rubicon Trail. I even threw a few rocks for myself on the Fordyce Trail this summer during Sierra Trek. But when your crew literally throws the larger rocks off the trail and over the cliff that changes the trail for everyone forever as those rocks are never going to be replaced.

It’s sad enough that Jeep has used the Rubicon name for years and has never done anything to support the maintenance efforts on the Rubicon Trail. But the complete opposite has now happened; you came to the Rubicon Trail and literally paved it for an advertisement plug and walked away from any responsibility of not having followed the time honored and respected motto of Tread Lightly!

As far as I’m concerned, you have lost credibility in the OHV world with your vehicle, by your actions on the Rubicon Trail and your inactions in regards to maintaining the Rubicon Trail.

Would you like to see Jeep as an actual player in the OHV world? Would you like to see current OHV users talk positively of the Jeep/Chrysler Corporation? Would you like to start Jeep back on a path to the glory days that Bantam and Willys started? Yes? Good! Here’s some advice:

Work with the clubs, groups, organizations, individuals and agencies that have been working for decades to ensure year round access to the Rubicon Trail for all types of OHV users.

Build a model without the wood insets and automatic climate controls and with a solid front axle under it, even if it’s just a limited run of a special “Rubicon” edition with $1000 of each sale going to the maintenance and future preservation of the Rubicon Trail.

If you aren’t willing to make those changes, contract a ‘builder’ in the Reno or Sacramento area to build 500 Rubicon Editions by taking a stock Grand Cherokee and letting the builder modify the vehicle to really make it honestly “Trail Rated” with a solid front axle, lift kit, larger tires, etc. Detroit did a lot of this back in the 60’s and 70’s with muscle cars. Again, I would expect a donation with the sale of each vehicle to go to the Rubicon Trail.

Bottom line, it’s time Jeep steps up and does something to payback for what Jeep has benefitted from regarding the Rubicon Trail and those who built, drove and loved the Jeep product for decades.


Doug Barr
www.TheOtherRubicon.com
Currently owned Jeeps: ’85 CJ-7, ’84 CJ-7, ’47 CJ-2A
Previously owned Jeeps: ’87 Wrangler, ’52 Willys PU, ’83 CJ-5, ’89 Cherokee, ’98 Cherokee
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Old 09-17-2016, 12:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simple Man View Post
Here's a letter I just sent off to Jeep about their latest 'trail rating' adventure on the Rubicon:



Chrysler Corporation
1000 Chrysler Drive
Auburn Hills, Michigan
48326

September 17, 2016


Hey Chrysler,

The story goes that Jeep drove two brand new, absolutely stock, Grand Cherokee Trailhawks through the world famous Rubicon Trail this past summer:
Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk Edition Tackles the Rubicon | Expedition Portal

What an accomplishment! I only wish I had a Subaru Forester handy to follow you down the trail to show how easy your crew made the trail. As rumor has it, you had a bunch of professional Jeepers Jamboree ‘rock rollers’ ensuring that the Cherokee never had more than a four inch obstacle in its path.

Having been involved in Rubicon trail maintenance for more than 15 years, this year I noticed a change in the east end of the Rubicon Trail, specifically Cadillac Hill, after your Grand Cherokees drove the trail. In my 31 years of Jeep ownership and experience on Cadillac Hill, I’ve never experienced Cadillac Hill so easy.

Now, I understand that some rock stacking takes place during a trip through the Rubicon Trail. I even threw a few rocks for myself on the Fordyce Trail this summer during Sierra Trek. But when your crew literally throws the larger rocks off the trail and over the cliff that changes the trail for everyone forever as those rocks are never going to be replaced.

It’s sad enough that Jeep has used the Rubicon name for years and has never done anything to support the maintenance efforts on the Rubicon Trail. But the complete opposite has now happened; you came to the Rubicon Trail and literally paved it for an advertisement plug and walked away from any responsibility of not having followed the time honored and respected motto of Tread Lightly!

As far as I’m concerned, you have lost credibility in the OHV world with your vehicle, by your actions on the Rubicon Trail and your inactions in regards to maintaining the Rubicon Trail.

Would you like to see Jeep as an actual player in the OHV world? Would you like to see current OHV users talk positively of the Jeep/Chrysler Corporation? Would you like to start Jeep back on a path to the glory days that Bantam and Willys started? Yes? Good! Here’s some advice:

Work with the clubs, groups, organizations, individuals and agencies that have been working for decades to ensure year round access to the Rubicon Trail for all types of OHV users.

Build a model without the wood insets and automatic climate controls and with a solid front axle under it, even if it’s just a limited run of a special “Rubicon” edition with $1000 of each sale going to the maintenance and future preservation of the Rubicon Trail.

If you aren’t willing to make those changes, contract a ‘builder’ in the Reno or Sacramento area to build 500 Rubicon Editions by taking a stock Grand Cherokee and letting the builder modify the vehicle to really make it honestly “Trail Rated” with a solid front axle, lift kit, larger tires, etc. Detroit did a lot of this back in the 60’s and 70’s with muscle cars. Again, I would expect a donation with the sale of each vehicle to go to the Rubicon Trail.

Bottom line, it’s time Jeep steps up and does something to payback for what Jeep has benefitted from regarding the Rubicon Trail and those who built, drove and loved the Jeep product for decades.


Doug Barr
www.TheOtherRubicon.com
Currently owned Jeeps: ’85 CJ-7, ’84 CJ-7, ’47 CJ-2A
Previously owned Jeeps: ’87 Wrangler, ’52 Willys PU, ’83 CJ-5, ’89 Cherokee, ’98 Cherokee
X2 on your letter! we just got off the trail this last Wednesday! I have a major built tj on 39 stickies and am not buying into their stocker taking the path that we just did without throwing tons of rocks. we never threw one rock......you play the trail as you find it. the old saying goes. you build the rig for the trail......not the trail for the rig! again, great letter to jeep, hope they read and understand what you are saying.
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Old 09-17-2016, 02:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Great letter. I too, came off the trail Wednesday the 14th- had a little problem in Little Sluice. Long story short, I was at Soup Bowl for a day and saw some brand new Colorado's come through. Stock height, stock fare- looked like one had an offroad package on it. Had 3 guys out front that were pretty yoked, stacking n tossing stones from what I could tell. Behind and scattered around were cameramen and engineers I assume.

Bottom line, as you said, is run it how you find it. Just like me, run what I brung and had a failure. That's life. That's the Rubicon Trail.

Just like you implied, Rubicon Rated from the factory doesn't mean shit to me.
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Old 09-18-2016, 04:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Great letter Doug.

I came up Cadillac on Saturday and wondered...where did the rocks go?
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Old 09-19-2016, 07:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simple Man View Post
Here's a letter I just sent off to Jeep about their latest 'trail rating' adventure on the Rubicon:



Chrysler Corporation
1000 Chrysler Drive
Auburn Hills, Michigan
48326

September 17, 2016


Hey Chrysler,

The story goes that Jeep drove two brand new, absolutely stock, Grand Cherokee Trailhawks through the world famous Rubicon Trail this past summer:
Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk Edition Tackles the Rubicon | Expedition Portal

What an accomplishment! I only wish I had a Subaru Forester handy to follow you down the trail to show how easy your crew made the trail. As rumor has it, you had a bunch of professional Jeepers Jamboree ‘rock rollers’ ensuring that the Cherokee never had more than a four inch obstacle in its path.

Having been involved in Rubicon trail maintenance for more than 15 years, this year I noticed a change in the east end of the Rubicon Trail, specifically Cadillac Hill, after your Grand Cherokees drove the trail. In my 31 years of Jeep ownership and experience on Cadillac Hill, I’ve never experienced Cadillac Hill so easy.

Now, I understand that some rock stacking takes place during a trip through the Rubicon Trail. I even threw a few rocks for myself on the Fordyce Trail this summer during Sierra Trek. But when your crew literally throws the larger rocks off the trail and over the cliff that changes the trail for everyone forever as those rocks are never going to be replaced.

It’s sad enough that Jeep has used the Rubicon name for years and has never done anything to support the maintenance efforts on the Rubicon Trail. But the complete opposite has now happened; you came to the Rubicon Trail and literally paved it for an advertisement plug and walked away from any responsibility of not having followed the time honored and respected motto of Tread Lightly!

As far as I’m concerned, you have lost credibility in the OHV world with your vehicle, by your actions on the Rubicon Trail and your inactions in regards to maintaining the Rubicon Trail.

Would you like to see Jeep as an actual player in the OHV world? Would you like to see current OHV users talk positively of the Jeep/Chrysler Corporation? Would you like to start Jeep back on a path to the glory days that Bantam and Willys started? Yes? Good! Here’s some advice:

Work with the clubs, groups, organizations, individuals and agencies that have been working for decades to ensure year round access to the Rubicon Trail for all types of OHV users.

Build a model without the wood insets and automatic climate controls and with a solid front axle under it, even if it’s just a limited run of a special “Rubicon” edition with $1000 of each sale going to the maintenance and future preservation of the Rubicon Trail.

If you aren’t willing to make those changes, contract a ‘builder’ in the Reno or Sacramento area to build 500 Rubicon Editions by taking a stock Grand Cherokee and letting the builder modify the vehicle to really make it honestly “Trail Rated” with a solid front axle, lift kit, larger tires, etc. Detroit did a lot of this back in the 60’s and 70’s with muscle cars. Again, I would expect a donation with the sale of each vehicle to go to the Rubicon Trail.

Bottom line, it’s time Jeep steps up and does something to payback for what Jeep has benefitted from regarding the Rubicon Trail and those who built, drove and loved the Jeep product for decades.


Doug Barr
www.TheOtherRubicon.com
Currently owned Jeeps: ’85 CJ-7, ’84 CJ-7, ’47 CJ-2A
Previously owned Jeeps: ’87 Wrangler, ’52 Willys PU, ’83 CJ-5, ’89 Cherokee, ’98 Cherokee
On the letter... I completely disagree with your misguided rhetoric and targeting.

Little plug for you though:

From: The 'Other' Rubicon
Dated: August 29, 2016

In part, "now there are rumors that even more rocks will be split, removed, dealt with, etc. on Cadillac Hill; during the dark of night with no formal permission or discussion. Does Placer know? FOTR? RTF? TNF?"

So, you had it on a solid enough rumor to post it on 8/29 but then act surprised and lay the blame on Jeep? What about the event contractor?

This has been going on for years, trail vandalism is okay...sometimes. Hell, the county is panties deep into it now.

I would hate to see Chrysler donate to the Rubicon Trail, it would only serve to create another "trail saver" monster beholden to the cash and power. The money needs to be cut off - every cent of it.
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Old 09-19-2016, 07:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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On the letter... I completely disagree with your misguided rhetoric and targeting.

Little plug for you though:

From: The 'Other' Rubicon
Dated: August 29, 2016

In part, "now there are rumors that even more rocks will be split, removed, dealt with, etc. on Cadillac Hill; during the dark of night with no formal permission or discussion. Does Placer know? FOTR? RTF? TNF?"

So, you had it on a solid enough rumor to post it on 8/29 but then act surprised and lay the blame on Jeep? What about the event contractor?

This has been going on for years, trail vandalism is okay...sometimes. Hell, the county is panties deep into it now.

I would hate to see Chrysler donate to the Rubicon Trail, it would only serve to create another "trail saver" monster beholden to the cash and power. The money needs to be cut off - every cent of it.
what the f*** are you talking about?
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Old 09-19-2016, 08:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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what the f*** are you talking about?
Ask a specific question, I will be happy to give you a specific answer.

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Old 09-19-2016, 08:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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To be clear, though the locals likely get my redundant messaging...

Cliffs:

OP criticizes corporate influence, but asks for more corporate influence. Of which will come in the form of cash that will then be matched by grants submitted by the county and converted into helicopter loads of rock used to solve problems that don't exist. Leaving the problems that do exist to be left for another grant... that currently doesn't exist, but high salaries do exist, so someone better do something about creating another problem that doesn't exist to justify positions that are funded by taxpayers.
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Old 09-19-2016, 09:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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But when your crew literally throws the larger rocks off the trail and over the cliff that changes the trail for everyone forever as those rocks are never going to be replaced.
I'm currently interested in this specific part. What location was this? I only have 1 place in mind that fits this.
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Old 09-20-2016, 03:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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But when your crew literally throws the larger rocks off the trail and over the cliff that changes the trail for everyone forever as those rocks are never going to be replaced.

I'm currently interested in this specific part. What location was this? I only have 1 place in mind that fits this.

The specific example is a rock/boulder just below V-Rock. Last year someone split it in half (top/bottom) and removed the top half.

People say it was done in the name of 'safety' as those with wide tracks got very tippy taking the high side line and some people were even trying to drive around the low side and almost going over the edge. Over the top was a sketchy option.

This year the lower half has disappeared altogether.





Quote:
To be clear, though the locals likely get my redundant messaging...

Cliffs:

OP criticizes corporate influence, but asks for more corporate influence. Of which will come in the form of cash that will then be matched by grants submitted by the county and converted into helicopter loads of rock used to solve problems that don't exist. Leaving the problems that do exist to be left for another grant... that currently doesn't exist, but high salaries do exist, so someone better do something about creating another problem that doesn't exist to justify positions that are funded by taxpayers.
For the record, I've been enjoying summers and winters at my family's cabin at Tahoe for more than 50 years. So, I'm sort of a local.

Yes, I am asking Jeep/Chrysler to step up and support the trail and those that maintain it. Absolutely, cash will be an acceptable donation to the organizations that get things done. That doesn't mean they will have influence on what happens to the trail. Maybe a naďve statement; maybe wishful thinking; but if the users stay involved and work with the agencies, we will have the say of what happens to our trail.

Problems have been fixed with rock, problems do exist that rock can fix and problems will surface that rock will fix. I don't want the trail paved but with the Cease & Desist on the Tahoe side and the Clean-up and Abatement on the El Dorado side, rock fixed the issues and kept the trail open.

Grants are written. They are public knowledge PRIOR to being approved. We, the users, the taxpayers, the funders of OHV grants, have a say if we don't like how those grants are written. (Let me plug myself here) I have first hand knowledge because I made it happen, that users have an impact on grants. The Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit got 17 negative comments from OHV users and CA State Parks took notice over the Basin's OHV grant for a mountain bike trail. The Basin didn't get the grant.

If grants request unjustified or exorbitant salaries, we must be vigilant and comment on those line items. If we want the trails fixed but don't want to see the large government agencies get those salaries, we must volunteer to perform those duties.


Quote:
This has been going on for years, trail vandalism is okay...sometimes.
Wow.


.
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Old 09-20-2016, 03:48 PM   #11 (permalink)
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So to be clear, you don't like the rock stacking that they did, and you want more money from them so they think they have a right to the trail resulting in more rock stacking?

Or do you want their $$$ to do the opposite of what they already did?

I also don't agree with you wanting them to make even more vehicles to go wheeling, stock, out of the box.

Build it to wheel it, or stay at the mall.
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Old 09-20-2016, 03:51 PM   #12 (permalink)
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If the trail is too easy, run it in 2low. If it's still too easy turn off your locker. Making 1000 straight axle jeeps is the most asinine thing I have ever heard of. The expense to do that would be astronomical. Crash testing, emissions testing etc. jeep has every right to use the trail as you do. They can spend money on it or not. It's equal access. The jamboree paves the crap out of the trail every year.

I hope jeep files this rediculous letter in the trash.
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Old 09-20-2016, 04:21 PM   #13 (permalink)
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jeep has every right to use the trail as you do. They can spend money on it or not. It's equal access.
I take a slight issue with this.


Jeep has benefitted greatly from badging their vehicles with the trail name.

the least they could do is use some of that to financially support the ongoing fight to keep the trail open.

to be fair to them, I have no idea if they already do or not.


Quote:
The jamboree paves the crap out of the trail every year.
I have run the trail in between jamboree weekends. before any unstacking/unpaving happens. there is plenty of difficulty to be had. a stock grand cherokee would not have made it through.
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Old 09-20-2016, 05:28 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I was on the hill the day the Grand Cherokees went up and I did not see any large rocks get moved up there by V-Rock. I did see a bunch of stacking, but nothing like you are suggesting about moving large boulders from the trail. Mostly rearranging rocks that were already in the trail (which by the way are generally kicked out after a few vehicles). I was also on the trail the weekend before and noticed that the rock obstacle below V-Rock (aka Little V-Rock) was much easier than it had been in the past. So if that is your complaint you might have targeted the wrong offending party because from what I saw it was already like that before the Grands went through.
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Old 09-20-2016, 06:49 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I was always taught to build the vehicle for the trail, not the other way around.

Rock stacking is fine as the snow and vehicle traffic are going to move stuff around anyways but rolling bigger rocks off the trail is completely the opposite of treading lightly. If these were "professional" rock stackers, they would know that. Seems to me that they just hired some 300lb gorillas to push rocks around and they got carried away in some areas.

The OP brings up something important with what is happening to the trail though. Seems like all of the most difficult obstacles are being modified one-by-one.

And I also agree that Jeep should pitch in in some meaningful way to keep trails open nationally, but especially this trail since they profit off the Rubicon name.

Can someone who was involved in the Jeep sponsored trip chime in? I find it unlikely that nobody on here had any involvement.
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Old 09-20-2016, 10:36 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I would start with JJUSA and Pearse Umlauf.

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Old 09-26-2016, 11:34 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Great letter Doug.

I came up Cadillac on Saturday and wondered...where did the rocks go?
we exited yesterday and at the big turn on caddy a large, new rock dead center of trail. was fun to navigate. And in the trees just below OP is another big one that is forcing a go around-- and that rock was not there on Thursday last week when we went in down caddy.
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Old 09-27-2016, 04:09 PM   #18 (permalink)
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This is the rock now absent




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