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I purchased my Z71 over a year ago and I love it, its done everything that I've asked of it.  With that being said, I haven't asked nearly as much of it as I thought I would when I made the purchase.  The evening I purchased the truck, I drove it home from the dealership with child-like day dreams of racing Baja, going 4-Lo straight up the steepest sides of mountains, jumping the grand canyon, doing 6 month long overlanding trips through South America, and plowing through mud fields that only a tank could make it out of.  Obviously, delusions of grandeur fly through your mind whenever you purchase a new vehicle that you've always wanted, and sure enough reality eventually steps in to say "slow your roll big guy, your about to hit that curb and pop a tire".  My delusions of infinite, unstoppable, feat conquering clashed dramatically with my reality that was solidly established a year into ownership, and that got me thinking about managed expectations.  To be honest, my real expectations were that I was hoping to get a week or two of back roads camping a year out of the truck, with the ability to get to my deer feeder in the fall without getting stuck in wet grass.  I was mainly tired of getting stuck on wet, flat, grassy sections of ground in 2wd that no truck should ever get stuck in.  My "hoped for"  expectations were having a truck that I could do some over-landing in with remote camping along challenging/exciting sections of 2 track that no 2WD would be able to access, providing just a little more privacy than most.  I feel like I have almost completed setting the truck up the way I would like it, and thankfully its not nearly as off-road oriented as I initially imagined it would have to be.  All in all it has been surprisingly capable with just a few minor changes and it turns out I'm not gonna need half the equipment or modifications that I thought I would need.

 

The key for me was to look at expectations honestly.  Factory setups will usually handle more than what most driver's will throw at it, but I wanted to believe I needed a lot more than what I really needed.  Once I actually had the opportunity to use the truck as I hoped, I realized I didn't need to change much at all on the truck.  A small lift, good tires, and some equipment storage options solved most of my needs, so I guess my ego just needed to have reality put it in check.  

 

With that being said, I think it would be neat to see what your initial expectations were for your truck and of those expectations, what have you accomplished and/or decided was irrelevant for your initial wants and needs?

 

 

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Expectations:

Gets me to work and back - Check

Efficient errand runner and dump runs - Check

Up to six people (5 comfortably) and luggage/bikes for family vacation - check

Handles camp site and fire roads - check

 

Never had dreams of wheelin the wheels off. Just wanted a comfortable ride that can handle family duty.  Honestly, with the tonneau, I kinda think of it as a big comfortable sedan that has 4wd and a huge-ass trunk. 

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2 hours ago, ChriZ71 said:

I kinda think of it as a big comfortable sedan that has 4wd and a huge-ass trunk

I'm starting to think the same, and I kinda like it that way :)

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On 7/26/2021 at 9:41 AM, Gangly said:

jumping the grand canyon

Are you sure about not wanting to try? Maybe we could start a Go Fund me page for you to sweeten the pot🤔😬

 

 

Edited by JimCost2014
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12 hours ago, JimCost2014 said:

Are you sure about not wanting to try? Maybe we could start a Go Fund me page for you to sweeten the pot🤔😬

 

 

I'd pull that parachute before the rockets ever kicked in :D

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The first time i took my 19 Z71 off road, she got stuck in wet mud/grass.    

 

As disappointing as it was to get pulled out by my buddies FX4 F150, I took the blow with my head up and went an ordered MT tires.   The next time through the same wet trail, the Z71 was pulling the FX4 out.  Moral of the story is tires make the difference.

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Done everything I wanted of it (white rim and other moab trails, alpine loop, various back country roads and river crossings in Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico). Kept it set up to still do truck stuff (towing and hauling) so didn't put too much emphasis on off road even though it has done more than most (kept most of rake especially for that). I even went down from an aggressive AT (Grabber AT2's) to a more mild AT (Cooper AT3 4s) as the more aggressive the tire the worse it is on the road (handling, braking, mpg, ride and noise) especially the noise as they start to wear even with regular rotations. Kept the tire P rated as it holds more than the truck can or is rated to and it rides better, has less an impact on mpg and I always air down off road so punctures haven't been an issue even on rocky tree rooted trails. I didn't buy 4wd to be a trail rig but I also didn't buy it for the image or to use when it rains, it has been a great tool and has done everything I have asked of it without a hiccup even in a mild setup (1.2" front level, 1 inch rear block, Bilsteins, skid plates and tires).

 

Tyler

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I’ve owned quite a few 4WDS. I worked on pipelines and electric transmission lines. Driven up hillsides I couldn’t walk. I can count on one hand when I couldn’t get through. In all cases it’s when the truck bottomed out. I’ve driven more pipeline miles than most people driven on highways. I’ve never installed a winch. I did carry a come a long just in case. Unless you’re a dare devil, a little common sense should be used.

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I am actually a bit disappointed with the 4WD capabilities of my 6.2L AT4. We have a coastal mountain property with long steep ascents on grass\gravel, and the AT4 with the OE 20" GY's struggles. As equipped it is not as capable and creates far more drama than my prior '16 Suburban Z71 with Nokian Rotiiva AT's on the exact same trails. I'm planning on getting better AT's in a couple of months, and have been relying on our old 2008 Range Rover for the more difficult stuff (i.e., no drama).

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I have a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon for those times I want to venture off road.  My Silverado is way too big for off roading.  Not to mention, I have no interest in getting it all pin striped.  My Silverado's primary mission is to tow my travel trailer. 

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I have owned nothing but 4wd since getting my 1995 Silverado 2wd stuck about 5x while duck hunting the first year I owned it (after everyone telling me either “you don’t need 4wd” or “you’ll just stuck further away from the road, help, etc, with a 4wd”).  Honestly I haven’t been stuck a single time with 4wd, mostly because 1) I don’t have unrealistic expectations of what it should/can do and 2) because I always swap the tires immediately to a good, aggressive all-terrain (except this AT4 that came with the upgraded GY Duratracs, wanted to try them out for a few years anyway).  Beyond that, I prefer a 4wd with more ground clearance than a 2wd, more for looks than anything.  This made the AT4 an easy choice for me.
 

 

Edited by RCF71
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Wild expectations are normal if you're younger. My first 4x4 was an Isuzu Trooper when I was 21 years of age (only because it wasn't sold in Mexico and I wanted something unusual from the U.S.) and I have done a lot of four-wheeling since then with the different trucks at the ranch. We had all, even the Dodge Ram Charger (2WD, not 4x4 though), Ford Lobo, Chevrolet Suburban, so I became pretty adept at four-wheeling. As for 4WD capabilities, this one seems similar to the others I've owned.

 

I bought this one because it was $10k off, a great deal for a first-year model, I didn't have wild expectations, I'm older. A lot of times, the roads are muddy here, so it's nice to have a 4x4 readily available. I'm curious to see if they've fixed a few issues I've had for the 2022 year, but I know I would not want to buy ones with twin-tube shocks.

Edited by Wiggums
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I mainly opted for the Z71 package (vs. just a standard 4x4) on my RST because it gave me dual bumper exit exhaust, the wheel-well liners / bed liner and the skid plates. I have never really intended to take my truck into an off-road park, or into anything wild when it comes to muddy terrain here in TX. I've learned my lesson with that expectation in the past. 😂 

 

But it sure performed awesome during our winter storm this past February. That's why I wanted 4WD. And the big win for GM trucks with 4WD is 4 Auto. It is just awesome. 

 

But yeah, the Goodyear Trailrunner ATs... I wouldn't trust them in much. Adding some beefier tires and I know the truck will do just fine in most low-to-moderate offroad situations. 👍🏼 

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Being fairly knowledgeable about what makes a vehicle off road worthy I wouldn't have expectations that these trucks can do much more than what comes stock......paper thin restricted LCA and UCA, avg componets, and a mushy rancho shock isn't really "offroad" capable.....no more than std 4x4 base model with Z71 transfer case....height helps a bit as well as tires....if you want a capable truck you have to build it yourself.......manufacturers sell marketing to general population who know nothing and though it's sad but true if it looks good thats more important.....TB vs a std LT with 2 spd case is almost nil....if you throw a set of good adj shocks on with some much bigger tires you will be way ahead of TB......actually you would have to do same to TB as well so you really don't gain much spending extra money on TB for offroad purpose.....but GM knows most have no idea and will buy these all day every day.....I would take a base level 4X4 and start there if I was gonna build a capable offroad truck.....

 

depending on what type of offroad I would put on a baja kit lower and upper UCA (4" lift with more up and down travel) with king 2.5 custom valved setup.... 5k or so (close as a TB upgrade over std LT) and that would be a good base to start....I probably wouldn't start with 50-60k truck to begin with....gotta beef up suspension and durability of componets if you plan on pounding it, dirt king or baja kit should get you thru most anything you would encounter if 4x4ing is your thing.....if you need more than you already know anyways so you would never expect much from stock truck

Edited by Dunn
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