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Old November 17th, 2008, 12:20 PM   #1
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Default Brimy311's Guide to Southern Wheeling.

Southern wheeling guide.
**disclaimer**This should only be used as a guide to help plan your trip. This information is my personal experience and is in no way meant to be an end all guide.

When going down south to wheel for the first time, it can really be a shell shock. You will see stuff that you only hear about and you will wonder how they got a trailer to the top of a mountain. What they consider “roads” down south, we considered “farmers two tracks”. What we consider a good long ways, they considered it a holler. What they consider a bend in the road; we consider it a dangerous pass.

The south really gives truth to the “hold my beer and watch this”.

I am going to break this into two areas; Smokey Mountains, Ozark mountains.

Smokey Mountains. This is the Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina area.

Ozark Mountains. Missouri, Southern Illinois, Arkansas and Oklahoma.

Smokey Mountains.
If you are in a more populated area (Louisville, Lexington, Knoxville, Nashville) it really is not much different then here. However when wheeling in these areas you will run into true hillbillies; People that live on the side of a mountain in a school bus. This is when you should exercise your Mam’s and Sir’s. For the most part, people in this area are more secluded and don’t care to be bothered with your problems. If they don’t know your Grandpa, they don’t trust you! What I have noticed from this area is that when ever you ask for directions or about the trails, that they tend to be less helpful then your map. Take all recommendations from these locals with a grain of salt.

Ozark Mountains.
Compared to the Smokey Mountain area, these people are living on the ritz! Overall the people of the Ozark area are very friendly and very helpful. If you go into a corner store for a candy bar, it may cost you an hour of your time! Asking locals in these areas for directions and they will practically drive you there. You will get more of the southern hospitality here then in the Appalachians.

Cell Phones.
Almost every carrier does not work in these areas. Be prepared to make collect calls or have a calling card with you. You can often try the high spots in the mountains to get service.

Bring extra fuel!
Often you will get out in an area and will not have a spot to get gas or diesel. I carry five gallons of diesel with me anytime we go south. Often the gas stations will have limited access to those with trailers, especially two place ones!

Be sure to bring groceries with you.
Most of the trails are at least 30-40 minutes away from a Walmart (or Walmartsss as they call it).

Cash is your friend.
Carry cash and you can often barter with locals on costs of things. A lot of places out in the booneys don’t take American Express (or Visa/Mastercard for that matter).

If you break your rig, don’t leave it.
Or you may come back to find it without tires, shocks, and other stuff. The stories of vehicles getting stripped overnight in the hills is no lie! The places are open 24/7 and are not patrolled in any way. If you break your rig, be ready to spend however long it takes to take it with you. NEVER LEAVE YOUR RIG IN THE WOODS!

Be sure to have a trail map and a spare.
You will need to purchase trail maps or print them online. Don’t go into the parks blindly, as they are very huge! I recommend at least 2 maps, just in case it is wet out.

Let Garmin guide the way; GPS.
If you’re not confident in your navigation skills, bring a GPS and bread crumb your way.

Bring at least 2 gallons of water per person.

Spare parts.
Carry with you the stuff that you can quickly repair; Examples, Driveshafts, axleshafts, and locking hubs. You can leave some of the more obscure parts in your tow rig or at your campsite.

-Full spare set of Front axle shafts
-Full spare set of Rear axle shafts (if they are the same length, you can bring just one)
-Full size Spare
-(2) Ujoints for front axle shafts
-(2) Driveshaft Ujoints
-Spare rear Driveshaft
-Spare front Driveshaft
-Spare steering (if your running stock)
-Spare Fuses
-Crimp Wire connectors
-Mechanics wire
-Extra fluids

It sounds like alot to take, but anytime you travel and wheel you should consider bringing this stuff. You have to deside how far you are willing to drive and have your trip ruined in the first day. I leave almost all of my spare parts in the tow rig, but I am running chromoly stuff. I would carry the Driveshafts and front axleshafts with you. You can leave the steering and rear axle shaft/shafts in your tow rig.

In closing:
Blend in! Or at least do your best. Don’t point and laugh at half buried school buses and use your Mam’s and Sir’s when talking to people. If you’re not snooty or mean, the locals will also be nice to you.

Also check out the following: (coming in the next couple days)

Tellico Guide
Windrock Guide
Harlan Guide
Flat Nasty Guide

Additional Note:
Bring real tools with you, but don't pack them all onto the trail. You can bring floor jacks, 110v air compressors, 110v welders (or OBW) and stuff like this. You don't want to drive 6+ hours and have to go back home with little amount of wheeling.
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Last edited by brimy311; November 18th, 2008 at 11:49 AM.
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Old November 17th, 2008, 12:31 PM   #2
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this should be a sticky somewhere.
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Old November 17th, 2008, 12:35 PM   #3
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Great Brimy!

I will just add to bring some real tools, such as: (ordered from typical to more specialized)

Socket sets
Screw drivers
Pry bars
Other misc hand tools
Electrical tools
Floor jack
Jack stands
Impact wrench
Air compressor of some sort

I am sure I missed a few, but you get the gist.
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Old November 17th, 2008, 11:20 PM   #4
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This is an epic guide and is absolutely hilarious, but very very true.
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Old November 18th, 2008, 09:53 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Nuzzy View Post

This is an epic guide and is absolutely hilarious, but very very true.
LOL, we were looking for firewood in Harlan:

Us: Anywhere we can get some firewood?

Guy: (looking at us like we are retards) Well, you're in the f**king forest, ain't ya?

Us: OK, we just wanted to ask first.

Guy: You can borrow my chain saw if you like

Us: Ok if it has blood on it when we return in?

Guy: (holds up hand missing fingers) Well that don't f**king matter, do it? Hehehehehe

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