When? December 4th-6th, 2019
Destination: Joshua Tree National Park
Temp: Raining day 1 – 60 & Sunny Day 2
Vehicle Configuration: 2019 TRD PRO T4R
Purpose: Content & Testing
Thought of the hour: Peaceful & Beautiful!
We are beyond ecstatic to welcome our new T4R rental rig to the fleet! She is absolutely stunning and makes camping that much better! If you are considering renting the T4R, read further for more info.
The purpose of this trip was to try out the rig, test all the systems, get some new content for our website and get accustomed to the new FSR High Country 80’ Tri-Layer rooftop tent. We weren’t sure what to expect when we first purchased this tent, we just knew we wanted a large RTT to help sleep more people than the Tacoma/Tepui setup and boy did we accomplish that! The King size mattress makes it so you can comfortably sleep 3-4 people, with a 5th person if there are children involved. This is one of the largest tents on the market and it definitely will sleep the family in style, no doubt about that! The tri-layer material helps keep it warmer, or cooler depending on the season. The thick material is such higher quality than the Tepui and Smittybilt tents we are used to. We’re stoked that we’ve been able to establish a new relationship with the great people at FSR and will be looking to upgrade all our tents with their models in the nearer future.
The T4R is the coveted TRD Pro model, so it comes stock with all of the desired luxuries and systems. The leather heated seats provide the ultimate comfort for those longer, colder adventures. The back seat is large enough for 2-3 adults, or 3 children for the family and even reclines for travel naps. If you have a smaller crew, the backseat folds down flush so you can load in all the gear for your trip. Storage is limited and definitely something to consider when looking at this rig, as it doesn’t have a truck bed for storage like the Tacoma. Packing light and compact is a must! We always recommend taking advantage of all our rental gear, as we can outfit your trip with the best, most compact gear to have you camping in style. Our Rola hitch mounted storage pod helps solve any storage needs for the T4R and is highly recommended if you have more than 2 campers or are in need of bringing a lot of gear. If your plan is to get off-the-grid more than usual, the T4R 4×4 systems are not lacking! With on the fly 4×4 high, low range 4×4, A-Track, traction control, crawl control and multi-terrain select, this rig is ready to get you wherever you want to go! Just remember, we don’t allow any extreme off-roading in our rigs (read our FAQ for more info on this).
Enough about the Rig, let’s talk about our trip a little more…
We left San Diego on a cold and rainy day, hoping that the weather would clear by the time we hit Joshua Tree National Park. Thankfully it did just that. The journey to the park was interesting, as people in Southern California can’t drive in the rain! There were multiple cars spun out on the I15 freeway. We took it nice and slow as to not hurt our new baby
We entered the park in the early evening, just in time for the weather to clear and the clouds to look amazing as nightfall approached. We didn’t have an exact plan on a campground, but given there are 9 in the park, we figured we would be ok mid-week. We scoped out Hidden Valley, but there was too much going on for us there. This is one of the more popular campgrounds and was quite crowded despite being a Wednesday night. We continued further into the park checking out each campground along the way. By the time we reached Jumbo Rocks campground it was almost dark outside. We figured it was best we stop there given this would be the first time opening up the new FSR tent. We found an epic spot with an asphalt pad. This isn’t normally what we would opt for, but given the ground was super wet this turned out to be a great call. This campground was very clean with pit toilets, trash dumpsters and even propane bottle disposal bins (awesome!). We quickly setup camp and got to relaxing! We tried to get some good photos, but it was just too dark, and the campsite wasn’t very conducive of good shots unfortunately. We cooked up some miso glazed salmon and asparagus and chilled by the campfire, while taking time to enjoy our beautiful surroundings. We slept like babies in the new tent. It did get pretty cold and some stuff was slightly frozen upon waking up, but we stayed warm and toasty in the tent with our 20 degree down sleeping bag.
The next morning, we awoke to the sun shining, clear skies and absolutely gorgeous scenery. We made some quick oatmeal and coffee for breakfast, then packed up and hit the road for some exploration. We drove around the park doing some exploring and taking some photos, all while looking for our next campground spot. Given we didn’t get good photos the night before, that was number 1 priority for the day! We checked out Belle campground, which was amazing, but it had quite a few campers already. We decided to head to the next and final campground option, White Tank. This is one of the smallest and most remote campgrounds in the park. There are only 15 sites and it’s all first come first serve. No vehicles longer than 25-ft are allowed and for good reason. It’s definitely tight and doesn’t have a ton of room, but it’s absolutely stunning! Most of the sites are surrounded by large boulder style rocks and the arch rock trailhead is right out of the campsite. We carefully selected our campsite for proper photo taking and hoped that mother nature would cooperate. Luckily, she did! We were able to get some great shots and finish out the trip in a beautiful place, with not many people around; just like we like it! We grilled up a nice rib-eye steak with some stuffed mushrooms and sat around relaxing and enjoying being outdoors. Then we called it an early night as we had a long drive back to San Diego in the morning.
Regardless of your camping style, we’ve got a rig that will work for you and your adventure goals. Please reach out and discuss which vehicle is best for your trip plans if you are uncertain on which to book. We will help make sure you’re in the right rig and have an epic vacation!