Monday, March 19, 2018

A Family Wheeling Day in Maryland

Discovering Off-Road Adventures in Maryland

For the longest time I didn't think there were any legal places to wheel in Maryland. Gary from the Northwest Jeepcast pointed me to a fantastic resource:, which is currently rolling out trail guides for all 50 states and US Territories.

My Jeep and I at the Frederick Watershed

The Frederick Watershed Adventure

One of the gems I discovered on this site is the Frederick Watershed, just 45 minutes from my doorstep. What makes this even more exciting is that my family, who usually find a million reasons to avoid joining my Jeep escapades, were on board for this one.

My Jeep 

Family Fun in the Frederick Watershed

Our adventure took us to the Frederick Watershed, a 7,000-acre oasis just 15 minutes outside Frederick, Maryland. This forest paradise features over 11 miles of gravel, dirt, and slightly rocky roads with a charming creek meandering through. The technical rating? A beginner-friendly 1 to 2, meaning it’s mostly dry dirt roads, shallow water crossings, a few ruts, and gentle grades up to 10 degrees.

Looking behind my Jeep at a small lake. 

I navigated the entire route in two-wheel drive, but I can imagine the added fun (and challenge) if rain or snow kicks in. During winter, these unplowed gravel roads turn into a snow-wheeling wonderland.

My Jeep with the creek below

A Perfect Day for Wheeling

Sure, these trails might not qualify as hardcore off-road destinations, but they offer a fantastic way to spend a few hours exploring nature. My family and I had a great time, with my youngest son already asking for more day trips. We got our tires a bit muddy, explored creeks, and captured some stunning videos of my Jeep against the beautiful forest backdrop.

My son checking out the creek.

More Trails to Explore

But the fun doesn't stop there. Maryland has more to offer! The  Greenridge State Forest, and several scenic dirt roads in Frederick, Maryland, await our exploration. Rural Roads in Frederick, Maryland.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Jeep Tire Carrier Seized Up Fix

Solution for Jeep a Stuck Swing Out Tire Carrier 


My Jeeps rear bumper with tire carrier

Tire Carrier Problems

A few years ago when I went to get something out of the back of my Jeep. To my dismay, I couldn't open the spare tire carrier. It would not swing open, so I had to get my son to help me push it.

On my Barricade Trailforce HD Bumper with Tire Carrier the swing arm attaches to a post which is attached to the bumper. It seized up. Somehow I needed to pull the swing arm off the bumper and re-grease the post. It was not budging! 

PB Plaster 👉 Buy Here

PB Blaster tire carrier post

Steps to Free Up The Swing Arm

Rusted tire carrier post

Remove the allen-head bolt and top cap from the post. Using PB Blaster spray the post thoroughly. Let it sit for a couple of minutes, then spray again. Do this several times, then one more just for good measure.

using hammer on my tire carrier post

Using a dead blow hammer, tap the swing arm where it connects with the post. I used a cloth so I wouldn't damage the paint. My tap was not gentle. 

Tire carrier swing gate

In between hammer blows I would push the swing arm back and forth. I continued this process many, many times. I would say 10 to 20 times. It still would not budge. So I called my friend Henry for some help. He had a super gi-normous pry bar he said he could bring over. However, I needed to wait until the next morning.   

My friends 5 foot pry bar

The next morning with the 5 foot pry bar it came right up. So I would say the PB Blaster and hammer blows helped loosen it up. The proper leverage to pull the swing arm straight up from the post made a big difference. 

58" Pry Bar 👉 Buy Here 

Jeep Momma Tip - At least twice a year do some preventative maintenance by re-greasing your post if you have a spare tire carrier that swings. 

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