By Jose Alvarado
Those of us that are lucky enough to live in Southern California are surrounded by hundreds of miles of off-road trails. Some of the trails in this part of the country are very unique to this region and many come from all over the world to visit these trails. One of the most famous trails in Southern California is the Cleghorn trail or commonly known as Cleghorn. This trail is located just outside of San Bernardino, CA on Interstate 15 off the Cleghorn exit. Once you get off the freeway the trailhead is right there. I will be the first one to say that we are extremely spoiled to have this level of trail so close.
On April 6th, 2019 The TrailChasers decided to take Matt’s newly acquired Nissan Frontier Pro 4x on its maiden trail run. Out on the trail that day was Cody in his Tacoma, Matt in his Frontier, Joe and his son Justin in their JKU and myself, Jose, in my FZJ80 Land Cruiser.
Unlike normal California weather, it had been raining non-stop for two weeks prior to us getting on the trail and that made for a moderate trail run, to say the least.
The further we headed up the trail, the more and more rutted out the road became. Cody phrase of the day became, “This trail was not like this last time I wheeled through here.” The rains had definitely changed the trail's landscape. Besides Cody’s Tacoma, all the other rigs are stock. Matt’s Frontier is completely stock all the way to the factory mud flaps. Joe’s Jeep and my Land Cruiser are stock, except for the 33” tires.
With Cody taking the lead, (I am not sure why he is always leading since he himself will admit he has zero sense of direction) we continued further up the trail at a moderate pace since we had another event to get to later that day.
The first major obstacle was a bypass with a steep climb and very deep holes. Our stock rigs would definitely get stuck. We surveyed the situation and decided to forego the bypass and continue on.
At this point I took the lead in my Land Cruiser to show the guys what a 25 year vehicle can do. We continued to press on with haste and we accomplished the goal of the day - put Matt’s truck through its paces and see what upgrades are needed. I think it is safe to say that new tires are in Matt’s near future. The tires that came on the Frontier are more of an all-season tire rather than an all-terrain tire.
Another thing that needs addressing is clearance. The Frontier could use a 2” lift to level out the slight rake that comes from the factory and also to clear 33” tires. I am sure Matt is combing the internet to find the suspension options for the Frontier. We were all impressed on how well the Frontier did in stock form. Although the Frontier’s current iteration is long in the tooth, the truck is a solid platform to build a serious off roader. It has all the baseline options you would want in an off road vehicle: 4WD, rear locking differential, and aftermarket support to really take the Frontier to the next level.
Matt's biggest take away was that comparing it to the Renegade, when you give the Frontier gas, it actually goes. He loves the Frontier's power and torque. He also discovered a new noise coming from one of the shocks that was not there before. I guess we gave the Frontier a proper TrailChasers trail run.
Next, we visited our friends Syndicate Off-Road at their first meet-and-greet at Jeep of Redlands. We arrived ready with recorder in hand to start interviewing members of Syndicate Off-Road and pretty much anyone that would talk to us.
None of us had eaten since the morning so when Cody and Matt saw that there was free food, they did not hesitate to partake in the festivities.
After the food was devoured, Matt and Cody were able to get some quality interviews that will make for great show content. They interviewed members of Syndicate Off- Road and also members from a sub section of the club, Syndicate Yotas. Matt and Cody also got to interview a past guest and friend of the show from Air Down Off-Road clothing company.
From hitting the trail in the morning and then walking around the meet-and-greet it was awesome seeing all the built rigs that were showcased. A day spent with family and friends and on the trails is a win in our book. Unfortunately, all good things come to an end and once we got some interviews in the can, and we walked around the event, said good bye to each other and continued to enjoy the rest of our weekend. Until next time, we are the TrailChasers.