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Discussion Starter #1
So this is one place where they have **REQUIRED** AWD/4WD High Clearance vehicles and where a Jeep rental company rents their souped up gear for $200 per 12 hrs.

Now I'm not a spirited driver, at the same time don't wan't to baby my Subu driving on paved roads. What are those tiny things I need to take care to get a best driving experience.
 

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2012 limited, white, no moonroof or nav
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Most of the unpaved roads in and around Death Valley are "Cadillac roads". The possible exception that you will want to drive (If it is open) is Titus canyon. It is only open when it is relatively easy to get through.......But it changes with every significant rain event. The clearance of the OB should be sufficient.

I would carry water........Much more water than you think you might need. A few hours stuck will suck more moisture out of you than you can imagine. Other than that, a small shovel, a tow strap and a tire plugging kit, along with a 12v air compressor. If it is really rocky, you may want to air down, drop your tire pressure to 15/20 lbs. Do not drive at high speed until you air back up........Thus the compressor. Service stations are 50-100 miles apart in the Valley. (There are only two, in the Valley itself.) Have fun. Oh, and it will be fairly hot during the day, but the temp drops dramatically when the sun goes down, around 4:30, this time of year. Bring warm gear. Good luck.
 

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I echo 4wheeldog, we though we were being crazy and carried 8 gal of water for 3 people in DV. We had car problems and drank it all. I would take 2gal/person min.

Cell service can be spotty too, so make sure you have good shoes in case you need to hike a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So driving offroad/dirtroad/grave/rock road. Should the tires be inflated with more air or less air.
 

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We have been to DV many times with our '10 Outback. This time of year temperatures are moderate, so heat will not be a problem, but do carry water, food and simple tools. Cell phone service is non-existent except near Furnace Creek and Stovepipe Wells. There is no "requirement" for 4x4 in DV, just recommendations for the type of vehicle needed on given trails. Bear in mind that AWD, found on the OB, is nowhere near the capability of 4x4 found on a Jeep, transmission, clearance, or tire-wise, and the weakest link on the OB is its road tires. If you have a flat off-road, you are in big trouble, so drive slowly when the going gets rough. Be sure to check daily current road conditions on the DV website and definitely download the pamphlet "Backcountry Roads" which lists 15 off-road trails with recommendations for the type of vehicle required. The OB can easily handle "high clearance" such as Titus Canyon (we did this a month ago) and can do a good job on "4x4 recommended". It cannot handle "4x4 required" and in all cases you just have to use your judgement on what you feel comfortable driving. We have done most of the drives described in the pamphlet, and in many cases turned around when the difficulty of the road was beyond our comfort level. Be prepared for dust and dirt throughout the vehicle and the potential for brush marks on the outside in close quarters. The attached photo was taken about 2/3 of the way up Trail Canyon about 2000 ft above the Valley floor. We were able to go about 2 miles further before the going got too tough, but, as you can see, it was well worth the drive.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
We have been to DV many times with our '10 Outback. This time of year temperatures are moderate, so heat will not be a problem, but do carry water, food and simple tools. Cell phone service is non-existent except near Furnace Creek and Stovepipe Wells. There is no "requirement" for 4x4 in DV, just recommendations for the type of vehicle needed on given trails. Bear in mind that AWD, found on the OB, is nowhere near the capability of 4x4 found on a Jeep, transmission, clearance, or tire-wise, and the weakest link on the OB is its road tires. If you have a flat off-road, you are in big trouble, so drive slowly when the going gets rough. Be sure to check daily current road conditions on the DV website and definitely download the pamphlet "Backcountry Roads" which lists 15 off-road trails with recommendations for the type of vehicle required. The OB can easily handle "high clearance" such as Titus Canyon (we did this a month ago) and can do a good job on "4x4 recommended". It cannot handle "4x4 required" and in all cases you just have to use your judgement on what you feel comfortable driving. We have done most of the drives described in the pamphlet, and in many cases turned around when the difficulty of the road was beyond our comfort level. Be prepared for dust and dirt throughout the vehicle and the potential for brush marks on the outside in close quarters. The attached photo was taken about 2/3 of the way up Trail Canyon about 2000 ft above the Valley floor. We were able to go about 2 miles further before the going got too tough, but, as you can see, it was well worth the drive.
Excellent thoughts, thank you.
 

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2011 Outback Limited 2.5i/2018 Crosstrek limited
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...well....I don't see snow being a problem...lol
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Tires are my big worries, I am a slow driver but I beleive the Stock tires on Subaru are cant keep up. Can you tell me if I should have more tire pressure or less? to decrease the chances of tire damage.
 

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2013 Outback, 2.5i Limited w/ Moonroof
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I can't speak as to if decreasing tire pressure will reduce the risk of tire damage. What lower tire pressure does do, is increase traction.

Lower pressure increases the amount of tire area that is in contact with the road. On pavement, the bottom of the tire is pretty well in contact with the entire road. But in gravel or rocks, that contact area is decreased because of the gaps between the rocks.

Decreased tire pressure helps compensate for that, by allowing for a larger area of the bottom of the tire to be in contact with the road.
 

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I've been to Death Valley before I got my Outback and it is one of the places I want to explore. Good luck with your adventure and please share your experiences.

I would like to check out the Racetrack next time around.
 

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Road to the racetrack isn't terrible, but it's very rocky. If you go slow, and pay attention, it's not difficult. There's even AT&T cell service if you walk out on the playa about 3/4 mile on the south end. I spent the night out there a few weeks ago.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Road to the racetrack isn't terrible, but it's very rocky. If you go slow, and pay attention, it's not difficult. There's even AT&T cell service if you walk out on the playa about 3/4 mile on the south end. I spent the night out there a few weeks ago.

Where did you camp?
 

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Bag on the ground, next to the car. I really wouldn't call it "camping." I'm a nature photographer, the goal was to be there for sunrise without driving that road in the dark.
 

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I haven't been to DV myself, but whenever I plan a trip out in remote areas, I always try to get at least one more vehicle to go. Especially in places in harsh conditions like DV. Travel safe.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Assuming the worst case situation, !!f I get a Flat tire!! what should I do? move on with the Donut and fix the tire or change all 4 tires at a nearby shop.
 

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Yes be sure you let someone know where your going and don't deviate from that plan.

DV - is known for being very unkind to people who get lost in cars. I think it was like a year ago a family was found a few years after they went missing. All of them were found in and around the mini van all died of dehydration. Van had shredded tires

Get a spot device and let someone know where and for how long your going and stick to it. ;-)
 

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DV - is known for being very unkind to people who get lost in cars. I think it was like a year ago a family was found a few years after they went missing. All of them were found in and around the mini van all died of dehydration. Van had shredded tires
Yet, another reason why I'd never get a minivan. Only van I'd ever own (or a Ford for that matter) is a sportsmobile. Actually, I'd drive BA Baracaus (Mr. T)'s van as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yet, another reason why I'd never get a minivan. Only van I'd ever own (or a Ford for that matter) is a sportsmobile. Actually, I'd drive BA Baracaus (Mr. T)'s van as well.
I don't get your reasoning? in a circumstance where there is a flat, how does it matter if its mini-van or AWD?
 

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Yet, another reason why I'd never get a minivan. Only van I'd ever own (or a Ford for that matter) is a sportsmobile. Actually, I'd drive BA Baracaus (Mr. T)'s van as well.
I recall the report on it suggested that the tires they had appeared to be one of the big contributors to their demise. Last I checked the OB sported the same tires most Mini Vans are sold with ;-)

AWD is great but in most cases it simply lets people get in farther over their head before they realize they are in big trouble.

Before the days of Cell phones and GPS we stuck to the plan and made sure people knew the plan. That was back packing in country that is just as difficult to find missing people as DV. Sierras and Coastal range. General rule be prepared to walk out under your own power or assume that your part of the food chain if you can't walk out.

We walked out once 4ft of snow in first week of July - couldn't get back to the car so we hiked out the other side and thumbed a ride back to the ranger station we registered at going in. They had rescued two people up in the area we had gone and were in the process of trying to get our cars out. Spent another day getting our wheels down the mountain so we could drive home. 1 week planned trip in the mountains turned into 3 days of hiking across a mountain range and two days trying to get our transportation back to pavement.
 
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