Planning for KOH as a spectator.

mrlentle

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Hi folks.

A group of 4 of us are heading over from New Zealand next year to check out KOH. Because we'll be in rental vehicles of one sort it another we'll be a bit restricted as to what we can access and what we can tow. Any suggestions please in regard to the best approach for sourcing an RV (or 2) and then a vehicle to use around the event? Am I better off renting a Jeep or something or are we likely to be able to hire a UTV or something at the event? I've come across one firm who'll tow their caravans out to the site for you and set up which means we could just rent a 4x4 vehicle for moving about but there may be better options out there.
Any suggestions welcome - I reached out for advice when we came over to the mint a couple years back and all you folks
 

Dave Cole 4454

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I will help you sort KOH if you help me sort New Zealand when we come over in August for the first ever New Zealand Ultra4 race ;)

I messaged you.

Dave
 

Soupy

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For posterity, if other peeps find this thread later in life. There is an airport in Palm Springs. There is a nice care rental depot that services all the major car rental companies. in 2017 there was not a single 4x4 to be rented. I worked a contract in Palm Springs for 6 months. I checked every two weeks. The closest to be had was a 2 wheel drive Jeep Grand Cherokee. For 2019 KOH I flew into Las Vegas, rented a 4x4 Jeep Wrangler for $23 / day. And drove the 4 hours to KOH.
 

mrlentle

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For posterity, if other peeps find this thread later in life. There is an airport in Palm Springs. There is a nice care rental depot that services all the major car rental companies. in 2017 there was not a single 4x4 to be rented. I worked a contract in Palm Springs for 6 months. I checked every two weeks. The closest to be had was a 2 wheel drive Jeep Grand Cherokee. For 2019 KOH I flew into Las Vegas, rented a 4x4 Jeep Wrangler for $23 / day. And drove the 4 hours to KOH.
@Soupy This is the sort of info I'm looking for. Thanks!
@Dave Cole 4454 I didn't expect a message straight from the top - PM sent and super interested on helping out at Ultra4 in NZ.
 
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Soupy

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I will also add... As a spectator you want to have GPS. At the least, on your smartphone. Download the course maps from the race site. They will not be available weeks or months in advance. Maybe days. It helps keep you off the race course. The race is not any better 10 feet from the race course than it is 75 feet from the race course. 75 feet is a whole lot safer. If race tracking equipment like Racing Trax or YBtracker is used. Down load the app and use it. Again, it'll keep you off the race course. It will also help you scope out where you want to be during the race. Or help you move around safely while the race course is hot. Spend $50 and get a cheap Beofeng ham radio if you don't have anything. It will help you stay connected to the race, and a good way to find your friends when you get separated. That silly paper map they give you. Keep it, you will need it before the weekend is over to orient yourself. Everything in the desert is farther away from you than you thought.
 

mrlentle

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I will also add... As a spectator you want to have GPS. At the least, on your smartphone. Download the course maps from the race site. They will not be available weeks or months in advance. Maybe days. It helps keep you off the race course. The race is not any better 10 feet from the race course than it is 75 feet from the race course. 75 feet is a whole lot safer. If race tracking equipment like Racing Trax or YBtracker is used. Down load the app and use it. Again, it'll keep you off the race course. It will also help you scope out where you want to be during the race. Or help you move around safely while the race course is hot. Spend $50 and get a cheap Beofeng ham radio if you don't have anything. It will help you stay connected to the race, and a good way to find your friends when you get separated. That silly paper map they give you. Keep it, you will need it before the weekend is over to orient yourself. Everything in the desert is farther away from you than you thought.
All good info. In regard to the radios - I have a few of the Baofeng/Wouxun radios about already but obviously set up for the NZ used frequencies. Are there standard fq's that are used in the US for racing? I'm assuming the likes of the Weatherman is always on the same frequencies? What about competitor channels?
 

Soupy

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I'll use the term "standardized" loosely. Usually every race has a channel for all race teams to communicate to the race organization. Or a communications relay like Weatherman. Generally it stays the same. But occasionally it varies. Best to check the race website before each race. I usually leave the night before the race to search for this type of info. It also causes me to see any late updates to the race. I can assure you no race organization wants any late changes, but dry lake beds that are not dry, helicopter crashes and the sort happen and BLM / military will issue a late change the race organization has to respond to.

Competitor channels are not hidden, but are not published any where. If you are interested in a particular team, you have to seek them out and ask if you can monitor their channel.
 

isdtbower

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A few companies bring out trailers and motorhomes for rental. I would suggest that. They place them very close to the hammertown gates so you can walk in easily.
 

ProfessionalPitMan

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I will also add... As a spectator you want to have GPS. At the least, on your smartphone. Download the course maps from the race site. .

Good call! For this last years KOH, I downloaded GAIA GPS on my Android phone and while the people next to me were bitching about not knowing where anything was, I had full GPS files of the race course that someone had posted. It was extremely helpful even though I know that desert pretty well. I had rented a 2WD Silverado and it did fine most places, but finding 4WD would make it more fun getting to some of the places in the dark and not have to worry about getting stuck.
 

Charlietuna

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If history is any indicator, weather can and will be a bitch...rent the Jeep (or other enclosed 4x4) wherever you can find one. It's nice to crawl back into a heated vehicle and drive around instead of an open cab Rzr or similar.
 

Charlietuna

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Oh, and take up Dave Cole 4454's offer...he can probably show you quite a few tricks regarding KOH. I hear he has an inside track to those things. ;)
 

mrlentle

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Oh, and take up Dave Cole 4454's offer...he can probably show you quite a few tricks regarding KOH. I hear he has an inside track to those things. ;)
Thanks Charlie on both counts - I've been in touch with Dave and the enclosed vehicle thing isn't something I'd though about - just access to places.
 

isdtbower

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Vegas might be the cheap ticket compared to LAX, Orange County or palm springs. It is not a bad drive from Vegas and you definitely have more choices in rentals. The drive from Vegas will also initiate you to the landscape around Johnson Valley. Speeeding on the two lanes will get you lit -up, as we say here. Top would be a 4x4 rental and a on-site trailer rental. Food in Hammertown looked pretty decent with reasonable, if any, waiting lines. A quick trip to a grocery store before or after checking out the trailer will make life easier and on your own schedule. It was COLD this year, but we have been in shorts. Layers are the key to clothing. With a good jacket or wind breaker. Nights usually are close to freezing. Budget -up if possible. Save on the airfare and budget for making life fun and easy out there. Volunteering for a day early might get you into a place where you wouldn't go naturally. Cheers.
 

johndjmix

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Foodin hammertown is good. Big daddy’s (or whatever it was called) that catered most of the food spots there was on point. I’m almost willing to say their biskets and gravy were some of the best I’ve ever had.

—John
 

mrlentle

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Vegas might be the cheap ticket compared to LAX, Orange County or palm springs. It is not a bad drive from Vegas and you definitely have more choices in rentals. The drive from Vegas will also initiate you to the landscape around Johnson Valley. Speeeding on the two lanes will get you lit -up, as we say here. Top would be a 4x4 rental and a on-site trailer rental. Food in Hammertown looked pretty decent with reasonable, if any, waiting lines. A quick trip to a grocery store before or after checking out the trailer will make life easier and on your own schedule. It was COLD this year, but we have been in shorts. Layers are the key to clothing. With a good jacket or wind breaker. Nights usually are close to freezing. Budget -up if possible. Save on the airfare and budget for making life fun and easy out there. Volunteering for a day early might get you into a place where you wouldn't go naturally. Cheers.
Last trip I got return for 960 nzd (about 6-700 usd) per person to LAX which was super cheap but not optimistic I'll get that again though who knows? We enjoyed the drive from LA through to Vegas last time and stayed in Barstow for a night just to break it down a bit. Either way the drive is great in the states - your roads are really good compared to here and everyone we meet is super friendly. Definitely taking on board the temperature comments and food too. The coldest I've camped in crewing for racing was -18F which was an experience I'll always remember (taupo 1000 a few years back). Certainly doesn't scare you off but makes you aware!
 

Soupy

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That was the general range of temperature at KOH this year. It can be cold if you are not ready for it. -18F is a different cold. That's colder than a witches tit in a brass bra!
 

BarrelRoll

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El Monte RV in vegas has been good the couple times we used them. The south location is on the edge of town on the way to hammers, grab groceries ect. before stopping there, the other location is closer to the air port. Vegas is cheap and easy for flights.

Tent camping isn't a great idea unless you have an awesome tent, you'll have at least 1 50mph + wind storm so an RV or something enclosed is the way to go. My buddy camped in his Kodiak Canvas tent this year and it survived, we have a spring bar and I'd trust it as well. A $50 walmart tent will be junk the first time the wind blows

You'll want wheels to get around, either a side by side, true 4x4 suv, or a real truck (2wd 1/2 ton pickup will go to all the common spectator spots). Some people have rented u-haul pick up trucks. The Vegas airport has 4x4 mini trucks for a decent price.

I personally am not a spectator and if I'm at a race I'm helping out on a team. You might be able to find a team that needs help, it's a different experience than spectating but can be a ton of work and not much of a party.
 

51rcr

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bring all weather clothes. Talked to some Aussies and they got ans switched the cards in there phones. i think verizon has the best coverage so you may want to check what other companies like straight talk ect use for towers.
 
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