The R&R Tour Bus
My lovely wife Robyn modeling our new desert tour vehicle.
March 6th of 2012 I hopped into a pair of Polaris RZR XP 900s. We put somewhere around 10,000 miles (combined) on the two of them in about five years. We'd have guests come out here to Arizona and we'd take them out off roading and exploring.
The problem with that is most of the people that we sat in #2 had never driven an RZR, much less off road out in the desert. I repaired #2 fairly often. Flats, torn up suspension, abuse from lack of use knowledge. Something needed to be done about this.
Enter the 2017 RZR XP4-1000. A 1000cc four seat RZR. We could now take people out, not have them tear stuff up and actually have more fun.
It's easy to talk to the people in the car with you over the intercom instead of trying to get them to understand how to use the two way radios between rides.
It's simple enough.
Push the button, talk, release button, listen.
Repeat as needed.
Nope, not that easy for many. Putting them in the four seater with us let them play tourist and watch the world we were showing them go by.
Win-Win in our eyes.
I picked up the new XP4 on 9/14/16. Selling the two XP 900s paid for the new ride, for suspension upgrading by Shock Therapy and some other upgrades.
As I sit here typing, the old gal has 10,974 miles on her and she's ty-red. It's been driven in half a dozen states in everything from sand to mountains, desert to forest.
We've explored, toured, taken countless people out for countless rides showing them our beloved landscape we live in. It's been on its sides (neither time was I involved) and rolled once (yeah, that was me - it was slow...). We've been caught in monsoon downpours, snow, cold nights, a river and been able to get to amazing scenery views both during the day and after dark. The desert comes alive after the sun goes down in the summer.
It's brought us home every time with the exception of twice. First time was a belt issue that I could have fixed - I misread the CEL on the dash and thought it was something else. I could have replaced the belt on the spot and driven home but I was STUPID and didn't look at it. Easy enough though as it was only a few miles from home so a call was made and the rescue service (my wife) showed up. The second was when the engine went poof-ka-boom.
It had suspension upgrades within the first week or so of owning it, full Super ATV suspension components added (replaced pieces as old stuff wore out), has had the trans and front diff repaired/upgraded and on January 1, 2022 it rewarded us with the engine going from around 4,500 rpm to 0 rpm faster than I've ever heard an engine eat itself and I've heard quite a few go poof-ka-boom over the years. So that got replaced at 8400 ish miles.
In the UTV world, Polaris is pretty much known for being a 10K mile vehicle. Hammer on them and they wear out even faster. It's a shame that the material and build quality of their stuff isn't on the same level as the Japanese stuff. If it were, this would be a 30K mile ride. We've not abused this one either, just used it and used it well. It's 10K clock had run out.
Anyhow, I don't really have any pictures of any of the upgrades I added (aforementioned shocks & suspension) - lighting, mirrors, radio, front seats, a few windshields (tried different types) but I do find the CageWRX Super Shorty cage pix after it was installed (once again, a mod done fairly early in it's life as I do NOT trust the flimsy-flexy-flyer that the stock cages are.
Anyhow, since I'm back at the web page stuff and I'm chronicling the new XP's life, I figured I'd fill in a bit on the OGXP4 since I do have a few pix...
Cage stuff first, just because...
|CageWRX Super Shorty in place||Front view - bolt on half windshield||Two knobs hold it in place. It fits on the back of the cage for stowage|
Jack mounting kit
|Add a tad of Krylon||Spare tyrah rack and now jack rack back in its home.|
|Jack in place||Jack handle stowage||Clears the storage boxen by "that much" - which is enough.|
|All set to go from the top||All set to go from the side.|
Okay, some of the fun stuff now.
|Our usual faces.
This stuff's FUN!
|The RZR makes a great wheelbarrow when
the neighbor tosses out Stag Horn Cholla.
|Nature watering the Coral Pink Sand Dunes in Kanab, Utah for us.
This made for perfect duning conditions.
The day the engine died.
January 1, 2022 about 2:00 p.m. to be exact.
What does one do on the first day of the new year? Go off roading, of course.
A quick phone call was made to a couple of friends and off we went to pick them up. It was time to go get with nature for the start of the new year.
We'd done close to forty miles that afternoon. I went down some of our favorite trails and was enjoying taking it all in. We were just cruising along, leaving the off road area, when suddenly the engine went VROOOOOMMMMCRUNCH. Usually an engine dies by going VROOOOM Crunch, crunch, crunchy-crunch. They take a few seconds to stop turning as stuff breaks. Not this one. VROOOOOMMMMCRUNCH took all of a second or so.
BUMMER!!! I'm looking for neutral and a place to roll off of the narrow two track. We came to a clearing and stopped just short.
Quick use of the winch had the XP out of the trail and tied up like a horse. Walking time.
Fortunately for us the weather was grand, it was only about a mile hike out of the desert to the road and our buddy with us has a friend in the area. A quick phone call was made (fortunately there's service out there - now) to him and he did a fine job of playing Uber for us.
My wife and I headed back the next morning to retrieve it. I hoped nobody had dragged it off. There it was, still attached to the tree.
We hooked the winch line up to the pickup and out she pulled me.
|Happy January 1st everyone!||My view on Jan 2.|
Everybody says you can cross the Rio Verde here.
You can, I just missed the shallower area and found the hole before the rapids.
As the front end dropped into the hole (I'm thinking avoid the rapids - the water's moving quickly) I felt the front end get pushed to the left and then the engine made the dreaded gurgle of water ingestion. Oh shit, I know that sound and it's not good.
It died and the water pushed us over just a bit more before the front end settled in. My wife is starting to freak out a bit. She's grabbing anything that she doesn't want to get wet and in flight mode. I'm watching in curious amusement as I get really calm in "situations" so her reaction has my focus.
Next I check on Sarah and Gage, who have more miles in the RZR with us than probably everyone else combined. Gage has this frozen look. He's not sure whether to get out or sit there or?
"Uh. I think so."
"Cool, sit tight."
Sarah has a huge grin on her face and says "OH YEAH! This just got fun!". I love Sarah's attitude!
I've gotten out and wandered into the river to see how strong the water is flowing. It's moving - just at my limit of walking across it and I'm being REALLY careful. Water is DEADLY, especially moving water. I make it about 2/3rds the way across and realize we'll be good. We just need to get the Tour Bus to the other bank.
As I start back my wife has gathered up a couple of phones, a purse, some other stuff, is holding it all up above her head and heading my way into the deeper water and current. Ah crap...
I sped up to intercept her, told her to stop. She just kept coming across saying "I have to get out of here!" I met her, picked her up, sat her on the hood of the RZR and said "STAY." The look on her face was hysterical. Sarah was laughing and Gage was still in the back seat with the frozen look. All is good.
Sarah and I got the tow strap and winch strung out across the river, attached it to a tree and the wind button was pushed. We were on our way across the river - Robyn still on the hood, Gage in his seat.
We got it to shallower water where I could work on it. Robyn and Gage go to shore. Robyn's worried that we're spending the night and starting to gather wood for a fire. She keeps telling everyone that we have no cell service and how nobody's going to find us (it is pretty remote) and pretty much how we were screwed. Gage is helping Robyn, Sarah's asking what she can do to help.
Out came a few tools, I pulled the spark plugs, turned it over to get rid of the water in the cylinders, put them back in, hit the starter and it vrooooomed right to life. Cool. We let it idle while we gathered everything up and headed on home.
Another adventure in the books.
Lesson learned the next time we were at this location. I watched three UTVs cross. My mistake was not crossing on the rapids where the water was shallower. It moved faster but at that level it wasn't enough to move a 2000 pound UTV. I've been across it twice now.
|Sarah having a blast!||Me getting the winch set up.||Oopsie!||Missed the shallower stuff.|
Sleepy R&R Tour Bus
We climbed up to the top of a ridge to get a better view of the layout around Butcher Jones (near Four Peaks). It wasn't anything radical other than the little shelf at the top, which was about a foot tall. Hit it straight and the XP4 wouldn't have any issues going right to the top. It's a goat.
As we got to the top and over the lip, I turned slightly to the right. I'd not pulled forward quite enough as I couldn't see what was in front of me at all. I remember my wife, who's a great spotter, saying "you need to turn to the left a little more" just as I felt the back right wheel slip off the little ledge we'd just climbed up on.
As I watched my windshield view go from seeing ground to being filled with sky I realized we were headed over. It was slow motion. I had enough time to say over the intercom "Everyone keep your hands inside. Do NOT try to catch yourself, the seat belts will do that. Just hold on to the oh shit bar in front of you." and about that time the back thudded down.
The RZR slowly tipped over to the passenger side, the world went upside down and then one more quarter turn and we landed on the side and stopped. Whew - I was a bit worried that it was going to continue to roll on down the hill. Whew.
Not multiple sky, ground, sky, ground views.
Been there, done that and they suck.
We extracted ourselves, my brother got his Canned Ham X3 in position, a tow rope was tossed over the XP's cage and we righted it without trauma and drama. We carried on our adventure from there.
|Sleepy RZR||Me doing my Whack-a-Mole impression.|
We've had the old gal just over six and a half years now. We've seen so much stuff and been so many places. The pleasure it's brought us has been unmeasurable.
|That's our old XP900 behind us.||Slab City in SoCal.||Stonehenge AZ style?|
I've tried to take top quality care of it as much as possible but she's come to end of her life with us. I'm presently getting it serviced and detailed so I can place it up for sale. Hopefully it'll bring the same amount of joy to the new owners as it has us.
Let the new fun begin with the R&R Tour Bus Part Dos!Return Home