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						Live The Adventure'

Members' Rigs: Mike Fissel

I have been wheeling for over 40 years now. While the majority of my rigs have been Jeeps (I'm on Jeep #36 now and in 2002 had 10 at one time) I did loose my way 3 times and bought a Ram Charger, a Full Sized Bronco, and a full Sized Blazer -- all back in the 70s and 80s. However also owned a Jeep at the same time as the others.

Since then it has been all Jeeps and nothing but.

Being from the east coast, most of my wheeling has been on rolling hills and mud but 18 years ago I moved to Arizona. Before that I made two trips to Moab, UT and I knew then that someday I would move West, find me a cowgirl, and spend my spare time wheeling.

Rock Crawling got boring and expensive after a while and it seemed that no matter how much money one would spend, you could always end up breaking the expensive stuff. The southwest had so much to offer in history and trails. There was more than rock crawling here, did anyone else feel the same way? Well there were others like me and Jeep Expeditions was born in late 2006, although we really didn't know it until after our 1st trip in 2007.

My 1st trail rig with Jeep Expeditions as the planner and trip leader of our first trip on the Devil's Highway was a 1982 Jeep Wagoneer Limited. Also referred to as the Jeep SJ or FSJ (Full Size Jeep). Its big, its heavy and it gets lots of looks. I called it the "War Wagon" (I like John Wayne movies) but my friends all called it "The Beast". The beast pretty much goes where the little Jeeps go, only getting more AZ pinstriping. And being 25 years old, it had its quirks but mile after mile the few "bugs" I encountered were fixed and gone........'til the next one showed up :-)

From the custom roof rack by TTsFabworks, to the 7" SOA/rear and shackle flip front lift also from, the 35 BFG mudders and custom bumpers front and rear it was the ultimate "old farts" toy to me. Now add Detroit and ARB lockers, 4.56 gearing, a 12,000 lb winch and its ready for most trails.

On the top we have a 2nd spare tire in case the one on the rear isn't enough, a Wilson Trucker 5000 CB antenna, a dual band Ham Radio antenna, Sirius Satellite Truckers antenna, Garmin external marine GPS antenna, shovel, MaxAxe and a HiLift jack. Did I mention that I had the roof Rhino Lined with about 3/16" of protection. It looks like a vinyl roof, cuts down on the noise and protects the roof from nicks and dings.

Inside we have a custom stereo/MP3 system, a Kenwood D700A Ham radio, Yaesu FT-60R for back up, Cobra 29XL CB, a Jotto Desk with a Panasonic Toughbook CF29 loaded with high resolution Topo Maps of the entire southwest and medium resolution Topo maps of the entire country plus National Geographics National Parks Topo, Delorme Street Atlas 2007, Garmin City Maps and Topo, and more. On the dash sits the Cobra Radar Detector (not sure why, with the gearing we can't go over the freeway speeds here in AZ), Sirius Sat Radio receiver, Garmin 276C Chartplotter with Topo loaded and connected to both the Ham radio and laptop.

It was all protected by an alarm system, the club, and Smith and Wesson!

The 1963 Wagoneer Rhino/Gladiator grill, faux horn covers, and headlights added to its uniqueness.

All good things come to an end an a few years later I was made an offer I could not refuse and the once stock Beast that I bought in NM, went back to NM.

This picture was taken on our Sedona, Arizona Expedition in July 2008


Jeep Expeditions is the PREMIERE Jeep Exclusive Expedition/Overland Adventure CLUB Anywhere!

Jeep Expeditions is a non-profit corporation registered in the State of Arizona.  

The state recognizes us as a fraternal organization,  we prefer to say we are a club.  Our members and volunteers are dedicated to the exploration of   this great land  for the educational value, historical value,  scenic beauty, the geology, paleontology, the camaraderie of people who share the same interests and to escape the confines of civilization if only for a few days. Our organization and members adhere to the standards of "Tread Lightly" and "Leave No Trace".

Jeep Expedition Members enjoy adventures that vary in length from one day, a weekend, long weekend, week long, two weeks and like our Arctic Expedition in 2011, a full month. Don't worry, most of our trips are one day and two day trips. We are Family Friendly and we have a number of members who bring their friendly "Jeep Dogs".

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