Nate’s Trip to Bantam


Tammy’s Engine Update


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Main Topic

  • Bantam trip report

    • What is Bantam?

    • Trip out, and day 1 (Friday)

      • Got started a little later, but its roughly a 4:30 drive, so we weren’t in too much of a rush.

      • I am always super paranoid about tops when towing, because of maneuvering the trailer. I had bought a Garmin RV 795 GPS to try to see if it helps with these things.

        • Either it did in fact account for trailer parking during the trip, or we were just very lucky. Because we had no problems.

      • Friday night at the event is the Butler invasion.

        • We were on the fence on whether we wanted to attend because it was fun last year, but the traffic getting into butler was just horrendous.

        • They supposedly improved that, but we were still worried about it

        • We ended up getting to the event grounds late enough that we didn’t see a reason to head to the invasion

      • We went to the hotel

        • I met a guy from Skyjacker in the lobby

        • The hotel was giving away ducks, the kids each grabbed one.

        • The pool in the hotel was right across the hall from us, which the kids loved.

    • Day 2 (Saturday)

      • The pancake maker at the hotel was not working right, to my daughters disappointment.

      • We decided to the vendor thing in the morning

      • My wife and kids are all about the little shop-booths.

        • They picked up some rubber ducks.

        • They were super excited to leave a duck on every jeep they saw. I helped them understand that a lot of these jeeps sitting round the vendor area arent a person’s jeep, but owned by a company, and it wouldnt mean as much to leave a duck on them. So we went over to the jeep show, which are just average folks jeeps on display, and they had a blast looking at all the neat jeep builds

      • I didnt really stop and talk to vendors, except the ones who I had connections with. I saw folks like quake led, a number of tire vendors, affordable offroad, skyjacker. One made hard top hoists and storage solutions. And a flip-back freedom panel motification. They had a guy there that seemed like he just flipped open and closed the freedom panels all day long.

      • There was a JET ENGINE on display for some reason.

      • Terry from the JLPod was there, with Oracle Lights. We ended up buying some tail lights for the JKU from him.

      • We also came across a local fire company who was selling raffle tickets for a 2024 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, This thing was beautiful, and the proceeds of course benefit the fire co. So we bought one.

        • This jeep had a $78,000 sticker price!

      • After lunch we hit the on-site trails.

        • We hit all the trails thaty they’d let us (there are.. 6 iirc we did 5). Their green and blue trails are SUPER easy in my opinion. Comparing them to off-road park trails in the area, i’d call all of them green. The biggest challenge was tire placement for some rutted trails, a little mud, one or two slightly technical obstacles.

        • That being said, events like this sometimes have to lower the bar a little. Bantam attracts all skill level of jeep owners, some of them are pretty green when it comes to off-road. So generally the trails have to be strictly rated for vehicle capability, and cant really account for driver skills. Or thats how they feel.

        • We were cut off at blue because the LJ is on 33’s.

        • We did two trails on day 2, then came back and did the other three on day 3.

      • I think it was after the trails, we went over to the swap meet, and I picked up twp YJ grills. Why would I need two YJ grills? Well, i’ll tell you.

        • Bench project…

        • Everyones going to hate me for this, but i want to try swapping the LJ’s grill to a YJ grill. I will likely need a hood too, and ill probably ditch the factory fenders and replace them with something custom.

      • We also visited the Metalcloak CTI trailer

        • The LJ Scored a 580, which isnt amazing, but the suspension isnt all that custom, so i’ll take it.

        • Im glad I had this opportunity because I’d love to get it re-tested once Ive got those new axles under it (and new suspension).

    • Day 3 and return trip (Sunday)

      • Day 3 was basically finishing up the trails we didn’t do on day 2, and then hitting the playground. We did hit the vendors first, because my daughter saw a cute little dress at one of the vendors booths that she really wanted.

      • The playground was a ton of fun. They have 5 different lanes, for different skill sets, including a mud pit. I did everything but the mud pit.

      • The 35″+ lane…

      • The teeter-totter

    • Overall

      • The Caddy gave me a little bit of an uneasy feeling. I feel like the “Can i really tow with a 15 year old cadillac escalade” experiment is going to end soon. Its served its purpose, but the thing is nickel and diming us, and now i;m worried that its coming up on a transmission issue.


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