H2/H3 stock on Moab Trails

General Tech, Non Vehicle Specific

H2/H3 stock on Moab Trails

Postby GoldenSpike » Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:35 pm

Newbie here. Most of you probably don't care about my background, but the quick skinnie: I grew up going to Moab annually and enjoying the trails with a full size Jimmy, CJ7, two TJ variants, and a spacer lifted 31x10.5" ZJ ('94 grand Cherokee) with open center diff (which I successfully finished Golden Spike in by the way...maybe one day I'll post a pic of going through the crack, but that's for another thread).

Anyway, on topic. My oldest kid is going to be 4 years old in March, and it's high time I get back to my annual Moab Pilgrimage. Problem is, my goal is Golden Spike/Moab Rim difficulty without too many terrible modifications, plus I need to fit three car seats in the rear.

Long story short, the H2 seems the best fit, but the H3 might be a better option if you guys think I can squeeze three car seats back there. Jeep Rubicon 4-door is out, as they hold their value incredibly here in Utah.

So here is a quick list of questions and I'll leave it you pros to discuss:

1) Looks like the E-Locker is $845-875 for the H2 front and H3 Front/Rear. How hard are these to install? This is significantly cheaper than the ARB route, so I would am very interested in installing any lockers necessary to get locked both front and rear.

2) Tire Size. I hear H2 can fit 37"s on a stock lift. I'm good with that. I'd want a minimum of 35" on an H3. Can this be done without the adventure package? Or would I need to limit my search to only H3s with adventure packages? I'm not interested in massive lifts, as I'd like to keep my center of gravity as low as possible.

3)Freeway MPG. Most likely I will be pulling the camp trailer behind the 2500HD. This means I will be paying fuel for both the truck and hummer to get to Moab (Nearly 500 miles round trip). If the truck pace is 65mph on the flat (slower up grade), what MPG could I expect with the hummer? I'm guessing 13-14mpg with an H2 with stock 17" rims, and maybe 17 with the i5 H3 running 35"s. Am I being a tad too optimistic? I can get 16-17mpg all day with the Sierra 2500HD with 3.73s at 73mph, but I do have the 6-speed tranny and am about 1.5k lighter in weight.

4)Moab impressions between the vehicles. Many of you have gone and seen both on the trail. I took a sabbatical from Moab when the H2/H3 arrived on scene, so I have never seen one on a legitimate Moab trail. Which would be best?

5) Car seats. Are 3 even possible on an H3?

Sorry for the long first post, this is the result of lurking on this excellent forum and researching for the past couple of months.

Target date to return to Moab is 2014 or 2015, so I am in no hurry.

Thanks again!
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H2/H3 stock on Moab Trails

Postby frumaker » Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:18 pm

3 full size car seats in the back of an H3 is highly unlikely.


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Re: H2/H3 stock on Moab Trails

Postby Mark » Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:41 pm

Like already said not sure you can get three car seat in the back of an H3 but I personally prefer the H3. Absolutely nothing wrong with the H2, just personal preferences. I have run Golden Spike but not Moab Rim. This was in my '09 Alpha with Adventure package running 35s.

In regard to your questions:
1: All adventure equipped H3s will have the rear locker but if you can find an '09 or '10 it will come with the front locker as well from the factory.

2: Yes, you can fit 37s on a stock H2 or 35s on a stock H3, adventure package is not required.

3: Mileage will have a lot to do with how its equipped. The best mileage I have ever gotten in my Alpha was through the rockies headed to Moab at 16.5 but I am running 35s, winch bumper, Gobi rack and so on, a lot of additional weight. BTW, I wish it was 500 miles round trip for me, more like 4,500 :wall:
The six speed transmission in the 2500Hd definitely helps but you also have to keep in mind that an H3 is running 4.56 gearing unless it's an Alpha in which case it's running 4.10.

4: Having wheeled with both out there I think it all comes down to personal preference. Both will do great and both will have areas where they out shine the other but it will come down to which you prefer.

Good luck in your search as well as your return to Moab. Keep us posted and ask more questions if you have them.
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Re: H2/H3 stock on Moab Trails

Postby GoldenSpike » Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:38 pm

Thanks. My oldest qualifies for booster, so as of now it'd be booster/baby/toddler across the back bench. Not sure how it would work out, but slightly less real estate than full-frame car seats.

Good to hear good things about the H3, it would be roughly $40 less to get it to Moab @ $4 a gallon if my estimates are close. Not a deal breaker for the H2 by any means, but something to think about. Plus, there are a slew of H3s available for less money than an H2. Not as many with rear lockers, but if I can mount 35s" on a stock H3, I could budget the $1600 to install E-Lockers front and rear myself.

The official search won't begin until late in the year, but this vehicle is going to be my off-roader of choice for hopefully 10 years, so I'm going to be lurking and learning all I can in the meantime.

I'm leaning towards the H2 style-wise and for the optional 3rd row seat, but once I crunch ownership costs, the H3 becomes more and more appealing. I'm always a sucker for larger off-roaders, family would wheel the CJ and TJ while I've had two grands. My dream would be an H1, but the wife won't let me trade the 2011HD on a 90's vintage hummer (the only one we could dream of affording)..
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Re: H2/H3 stock on Moab Trails

Postby f5fstop » Fri Dec 27, 2013 9:46 pm

H3 with a front and rear locker can do Golden Spike...Mark did it. All those with the non-locker aluminum front diff were towed back (at least those I know who tried it in the early days).

I would not even want to imagine two car seats and a booster seat in the back of the H3. Besides, there is not that much room in the back end. Of course you can always get a roof rack or one of those racks that hang off the back of a trailer hitch.

H2s have done GS many times.

There is a bunch of Hummers that get together every spring and fall in Moab. (And Jeeps/Rovers/Raptors too.)

Wow, this is an old thread....did they guy change his mind?
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Re: H2/H3 stock on Moab Trails

Postby Mark » Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:16 am

f5fstop wrote:All those with the non-locker aluminum front diff were towed back (at least those I know who tried it in the early days).

Alec and Rich talked me into going and about a third of the way through Alec says you are going to be the first H3 I have been on this trail with that left on it's own power. Glad he said that after it was too late to turn back or I probably wouldn't have run it with him :lol: :lol:
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Re: H2/H3 stock on Moab Trails

Postby big2dabank » Thu Jan 02, 2014 3:47 pm

Front locker is not a necessity on the H2, I rarely ever use mine, because the traction control on the H2 and the H3 for that matter is very very good if you let it work and resist the urge to press the brake and do your own BTMing, as pressing the brake overrides the traction control. I only use the front locker when I have the kids in the rig to make the obstacles that much easier and it can just slow crawl some pretty difficult obstacles without any drama or wheelspin, its just like pressing the "easy" button. I have the SUT and have had to put three car seats in the back before with no problems what so ever. My H2 is pretty much stock, and only has a mild torsion bar crank, 37" Goodyear MTRs, Eaton front locker, and 4.56 gears. I upgraded my steering to the Kyptonite centerline and tie rods, so no more broken tie rods for me, but I used to cary spare inner/outer tie rods and a spare CV half shaft as they are the only parts I have ever broken on the H2 in almost 8 years. The half shaft usually is not an issue unless you break a tie rod while under acceleration and the cv rotates to its limits and grenades the shaft. If that happens, the half shaft can be changed out very quickly without dropping the lower control arm and also without even removing the wheel, just make sure you have the correct size axle nut.

Haha just noticed the date of the OP. Oh well....
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