Team Tuesday 2018: Kaleigh & Teralin

“For anyone reading this and contemplating whether or not to join…DO IT!!!  You will not regret it. In fact, you’ll cherish it as one of the best opportunities you ever came across. Make it happen, find a way,” Teralin Petereit, 2017 Rebelle & 4×4 class winner.

Teralin Petereit and Kaleigh Hotchkiss weren’t lifelong friends before they decided to take on the Rebelle together. In fact, they had just gotten to know each other and only met a couple of times before they teamed up in 2017. But with similar goals and a passion for adventure, the two turned one epic journey last year into a future of many more. Welcome back Team # 125 Kaleigh Hotchkiss and Teralin Petereit!

Kaleigh is a financial controller for a hospital and calls Tucson home. Recently married, she’s a self-proclaimed “crazy cat lady” who would rather read a book than do almost anything else.

Kaleigh is also the most winning Rebelle to-date, with back-to-back wins in 2016 & 2017 in the 4×4 class. With experience in off-road and camping, Kaleigh initially thought before her first rally in 2016 – “How hard can it be?” Harder than she thought! From physical fatigue to mental fatigue, Kaleigh’s gone through it and states when you want to throw in the towel by Day 5, that’s when having the right teammate will make all of the difference so you can hold each other up through the difficult moments.

“The Rebelle is something I consider a once-in-a-lifetime event. Not only is the event itself incredible, it’s something I look forward to all year long. It’s the whole package – great competitors and staff, beautiful scenery, amazing teammate, exciting challenge, fun driving, the perfect vehicle, and at the end of the day, an adventure I can really be proud of and will never forget.

Teralin lives in Hurricane, Utah where she is a Sales Manager. With her and Kaleigh living in different states, they aren’t able to spend much time together in person, but keep in contact all year long and mention the Rebelle is a constant topic in their daily conversations (we’re flattered!) Teralin states the Rebelle equals their week of freedom from the world, and she’s looking forward to this year with a better understanding of what to expect, as 2017 was her first year competing. As well as very much looking forward to returning with Kaleigh.

“I couldn’t have a better teammate. We work really well together from the beginning stages of fundraising, all the way through to competing. It’s so fun to be able to enjoy the journey, fill it with laughter, but be able to have a competitive spirit and really work as a team. Having Kaleigh as a teammate and a friend is what really made the Rebelle mean so much to me this past year.”

And along with the challenge of the Rebelle, there’s also those moments of fun thrown in.

“One morning Kaleigh and I accidentally switched helmets. In all seriousness I turned to her saying how I thought I had lost weight because my cheek pads weren’t as tight as when we started. As I was saying this I saw my name on her helmet and realized what had happened. For whatever reason…we laughed until we cried for way, way too long. I think we were dehydrated and delirious, but it made for a great memory!”

Teralin also mentioned she’s a Toyota girl but has a news flash for us – she’s fallen for Kaleigh’s Jeep. “The Jeep and I are now friends. Apparently, it’s a Jeep thing.”

Team Tuesday 2018: Kaleigh & Teralin2018-10-02T03:25:10-08:00

Vehicle Build: Kaleigh Hotchkiss’s Rebelle-Winning Jeep TJ

What goes into building a winning Rebelle vehicle? We asked two-time Rebelle 4×4 Class winner Kaleigh Hotchkiss to find out! Check out the story on her 1999 Jeep TJ Build that took the highest score in our 2017 rally:

Early in 2014, I decided I wanted to buy a Jeep as a weekend toy for camping with my dog. Within a couple weeks of searching, I found a 1999 Jeep TJ Sahara 4.0L automatic and at the suggestion of some friends, I asked Ryan Miller to come along with me to take a look. The Jeep was the definition of a rust bucket, but everything seemed to work, and for camping and easy dirt roads I figured it would be fine.

A couple years passed and I ended up doing a lot more in the Jeep than just camping. With very slight modifications, the Jeep had done several trails throughout the state, Moab, Glamis, and more. (Side note- Ryan stuck around too after that fateful night at the car dealership, we ended up dating and are now engaged to be married in 2018!) In October 2016, I came home from winning the 2016 Rebelle Rally and decided that not only would I be participating in the rally in 2017, I wanted to bring the Jeep. By then the frame had cracked and all the stock components had taken a beating – I knew it was time to start making some serious changes. I wanted a Jeep that was very unassuming and as close to stock-looking as possible. But I also wanted it to be overbuilt, with serious protection and quality parts. I wanted it to drive like a Cadillac on the highway, fly around in the dunes, and still be able to rock crawl on Arizona trails.  I had a long list of “wants” and not a lot of time or funds to get it all done.

I started reaching out to some of my favorite companies and scouring Craigslist, Facebook, and even scavenged in our friends’ garages. We collected Jeep parts from across the country, going as far as Oklahoma for a set of hard doors. We wanted to keep the “old” Jeep running as long as we could but in the meantime we started building.

  • Gathered a HP D30 front axle and rear D44 axle. Had axles straightened, welded on Artec Industries trusses and axle armor along with spring plates, trac bar mounts, knuckle gussets, AR skid plates, tube sleeves, and diff covers with the help of Chris at Lost Industries. Installed Carbon Off-Road chromoly axles front and rear, Motive 4.88 gears, ARB air lockers, along with all new bearings, ball joints, and Powerstop brakes. On the rear axle a special protective “tube” for Terratrip sensor wiring was installed. Axles then got powdercoated. 

  • Used an old transfer case and engine to mock everything up along with a freshly rebuilt AW4 transmission.
  • Cleaned up the frame and cut off all the old brackets. Installed new Artec body mounts and lower link mounts along with Next Venture upper link mount caps and trac bar mounts (including changing the front mount to double shear). Made a transmission mount crossmember to go with the Next Venture flat belly skid plate and sleeved the frame for the skid plate mounting bolts. Plated the shock mounts and added gussets to the spring buckets front and rear. Applied internal frame coating and had the frame powdercoated.

  • Made new short arm links with 2.25” aluminum and large Summit Machine billet flex joints on the lowers, and 1.75” aluminum along with JK size billet flex joints on the uppers.
  • A LOT of cleaning – all the carpets and seats were shampooed, duct work and dash were thoroughly cleaned. While a lot of the parts were “recycled,” everything was cleaned, painted, and shined.
  • Custom designed front winch bumper with steering box skid, flat belly, corner guards, tailgate support, and sliders, all by Next Venture Motorsports. The corner guards and tailgate support were powdercoated to match the white body paint.
  • Designed a roll cage to mimic stock cage but with an A-pillar, spreader bars, roof tubes, corner gussets everywhere and frame tie-ins from front to back. The cage was then powdercoated white to match the body.

At the end of June 2017, I attended a Rebelle Rally training with Nena Barlow in Flagstaff which we decided would be the last run for the “old Jeep.” It was time to start disassembly of “old Jeep” and assembly of “new Jeep.”

  • Connected the frame to the axles using ADS 2.5” smooth body reservoir shocks with clicker adjusters, the new aluminum links with Summit joints, 3” progressive rate springs, Metalcloak trac bars, and Howe steering.

  • Installed engine with all new gaskets, seals, water pump, pulleys, starter, alternator, ignition system with Next Venture lifted motor mounts. All new hoses, radiator, thermostat and housing. McGhie Offroad Racing provided a complete Borla stainless exhaust system.
  • Installed transmission with new cooler and all new wiring for the AW4 tied into the TJ wiring harness – this swap could be a whole write up of its own but suffice it to say, was the most complicated and stressful component of the build.
  • Rebuilt and installed the transfer case with a 6-pinion planetary, wide chain, steel shift forks, 2-lo kit, and JB Conversions super short SYE along with rebuilt/new driveshafts using all Spicer and Neapco components.
  • Hung the fuel tank from the frame via a Savvy aluminum fuel tank skid. Ran all new fuel lines, brake lines, and air lines throughout the chassis.
  • Cleaned up all the body parts and inside coated all the channels in the tub, doors, fenders, tailgate, grill, hood, and windshield frame and then painted everything. Coated inside and underside of the tub with smooth Duraback coating. Installed the tub onto the frame and installed the cage along with the frame tie-ins, floor plates, sliders, corner guards, dash, and rest of the interior, including AC.

  • Installed Terratrip with redundant wheel probes and remote driver display on custom mounts.
  • Mounted the Warn M8000 winch wrapped with a JM Rigging Supply winch rope finished off with Factor 55’s Fairlead 1.0 and Flatlink E. JM Rigging Supply strap, soft shackle, SPA shackle, and sling, a Warn snatch block, and a set of TREDS complete the list of recovery equipment. Mounted the onboard Viair air compressor and tank to operate the ARBs as well as provide air when needed on or off the trail.
  • For safety, a first aid kit was acquired from Black n Blue First Aid, mounted up a pair of fire extinguishers, threw in a fluid spill kit, and made a quick disconnect whip mount for the dunes.
  • A spare for nearly every part on the Jeep was made or gathered and neatly packed in the Jeep in waterproof toolboxes to help save room and stay organized.
  • Finishing off the build was a brand new set of Cooper tires and Raceline Avenger beadlocks.

No stone was left unturned – from new windshield wipers to WeatherTech mats to “new car scent” air fresheners, the Jeep feels better than fresh-off-the-lot. The result? Not only did My partner Teralin and I win the 2017 Rebelle Rally, the Jeep never had a glitch. Not one hiccup, sound, smell, or concern. It took all our spare time, patience, and pennies but I am very proud of what we accomplished in such a short period of time in our little two car garage (technically we moved twice during this time frame, so the work was done in 3 different two-car garages!), while also working full time jobs, selling a house, buying a house, and getting engaged. Ryan is a genius and taught me more than I ever thought I could learn about Jeeps. But we couldn’t have done this build or competed in the rally without a lot of help from marketing partners and friends including:

  • ADS Racing Shocks
  • Be Tini Spirits
  • Next Venture Motorsports
  • ARTEC Industries
  • Carbon Off Road
  • Summit Machine, Inc.
  • JM Rigging Supply
  • Moab 4×4 Outpost
  • Quickloader
  • Factor 55
  • Lost Industries
  • Black n Blue First Aid
  • McGhie Offroad Racing
  • 4 Wheel Parts – Tucson
  • And our helping hands: Sam Verbridge, James Linville, Derek Crase, Bernie Stewart, Dan Foor, Jordan Azlin, and Brian Turner

-Kaleigh Hotchkiss, 2016 and 2017 Rebelle Rally 4×4 Class Winner

Vehicle Build: Kaleigh Hotchkiss’s Rebelle-Winning Jeep TJ2018-06-18T18:23:02-08:00

How to be Successful at the Rebelle Rally

We have completed two Rebelle competitions and we’ve already had someone win it twice!  Meet Kaleigh Hotchkiss.  Despite being new to navigation before last year’s rally, Kaleigh, of Team #125 took the 1st place trophy home in 2016 and 2017 with consistent daily results in each rally. Last year Kaleigh teamed up with driver Charlene Bower through the Ladies Offroad Network Challenge, taking the win in a 2016 Jeep Rubicon. This year Kaleigh teamed up with Teralin Petereit to form Team Blondetourage. Piloting a 1999 Jeep TJ together in this year’s rally, Kaleigh and Teralin had met up in person just a handful of times before they decided to be teammates. But it was their shared goals of wanting to learn as much as they could, improving on what they already knew, going on a grand adventure, and having some fun that really solidified them as a team. Not only did Kaleigh’s team win twice, but the level of accuracy of her team also increased as well. Winning with a total of 815 points and an 80% accuracy in 2016, Kaleigh and Teralin took home the gold this year with a total of 1177 points and a 93% accuracy.

So what does it take to be successful at the Rebelle Rally? We asked Kaleigh for some of her rally tips to find out!

How did you study navigation for your first rally?

Prior to the 2016 rally, I had never done any navigation before so I wasn’t really sure where to start. I started by reading “Be Expert With Map and Compass” by Bjorn Kjellstrom. That provided me with a good basic understanding of what land navigation really entails. From there, I used YouTube to find videos about anything navigation-related that I could find. I also viewed the online Rebelle training two times and did the attached exercises. A few weeks before the rally, I attended a Rebelle training course which really helped solidify the things I had studied. I think a lot of women shy away from the event thinking they don’t know enough or don’t have enough time to learn. But let me be an example! I didn’t know the first thing about navigation when I found out I would be competing in 2016 – but within a couple of months of studying in my living room, I was able to go on and win!

What skills helped you win the Rebelle?

I think it is evident to anyone who understands the premise of the Rebelle that you have to have an understanding of map and compass navigation. However, I think that there are other additional skills that helped us win. One thing is being able to stay consistent throughout the event. It can be long and exhausting but it is important to have your head in the game at all times. This is where having a teammate you can trust is of upmost importance. When I got defeated or exhausted, Teralin would step in and keep me back on track and vice versa. There is no room in the event to lose focus, even for a short period. Second, and on a related note, is managing time well. Even when we thought we had all the time in the world, we never stopped pushing ourselves to keep moving. You never know when that extra 10 minutes might come in handy later in the day. We didn’t stop to eat, we didn’t stop to take photos, and we made sure the car was always organized so we didn’t waste time finding things we needed. This extra time helps take the pressure off of you when you need to spend the extra time to triangulate for that difficult black checkpoint. Plus if you get back to camp first, the showers are clean! Finally, we had a great “3rd teammate.” We did not have any vehicle issues which really made a difference – we didn’t have to waste any time or precious energy fixing the Jeep. It is important to spend the time and money to protect your vehicle components as well as drive in a way that protects your car.

What specific navigation advice do you have for future Rebelles?

Make sure you know how to plot points really well. If you plot a point incorrectly, then you may spend hours looking for something that doesn’t exist. Also, if you ever feel like you aren’t sure where you are – kindly ask your driver to stop the car and take a few seconds to get reoriented. It will save you time in the long to not drive in the wrong direction (trust me, I say this from many, many experiences!).

Any non-navigation related advice?

DON’T OVERTHINK IT. I know it can seem overwhelming – it is a big endeavor! But use your energy (and money) for the important things. A good example is shoes – I know people agonized over the most appropriate boot for the rally. My teammate wore Nike tennis shoes all week and was perfectly happy. Wear things that make you happy when you see them. Use navigation tools that you can trust and that you understand. Find out what candy your teammate likes and keep it handy. Stay hydrated and have fun!

How to be Successful at the Rebelle Rally2018-04-09T19:52:34-08:00

Team Tuesday: Kaleigh & Teralin

What do you get when you combine a Financial Controller and a Sales Manager who passionately off-road, spend time outdoors, love their pets, and both happen to be blonde? Team Blondetourage, #125! Please welcome Kaleigh Hotchkiss and Teralin Petereit on today’s Team Tuesday!

Kaleigh was born and raised in Tuscon, Arizona, where she currently resides today. A career-oriented woman, Kaleigh career’s is super important to her, and takes up most of her time. So when she has that precious free time, she loves to spend it outdoors! From going out in the Jeep and camping (a tried-and-true stress reliever for her), to seeing new places off-roading and traveling, reading as often as she can, and just spending time with her family, boyfriend, and pets, Kaleigh definitely has a recipe down for her time to unwind.

Kaleigh, navigator of the 2016 winning Rebelle Rally 4×4 class team, is coming back for a second year in a row! She only met Teralin a couple of times, but knew they would make a great team with similar goals – to go on a grand adventure and have some fun along the way! Together as a team, as they began training, planning, building the Jeep, and just getting to know each other, they found getting “ready to rally” is half the fun!

So what draws Kaleigh back this year? With the event so fast-paced, she felt it was difficult to really “soak it all in” in just one year, so she’s coming back again to meet new Rebelles, see new things, and experience the rally from a different perspective.

“The other 51 weeks of the year, I sit behind a desk and crunch numbers, but this one week of the rally, I get to be free of all other responsibility and just focus on one thing – the rally. It’s a chance to just clear your mind of everyday worries and be with a group of brave, smart, and tough women on an amazing adventure together.”

Teralin is from Mapleton, Utah, and she’s currently living in the Moab area. As a Sales, Teralin’s job is done (for the most part) at home on the computer – so when her work is done, her hobbies taker her outside! She loves trying new things and a little bit of everything, with her latest ventures taking her rock climbing, kayaking on the river, hiking, and of course wheeling! And as a “crazy dog lady,” bringing her dog, Mr. Blue, out for a swim or hike is always on the agenda.

This is Teralin’s first Rebelle, and she is ecstatic that she’s entering into a navigation rally. Putting all of her technology behind and putting her skills to the test are a huge component of what she’s looking forward to during the competition, along with having a challenging experience like this alongside so many incredible women.

“I’m excited to compete with Kaleigh – we have different skills, experiences, strengths and weaknesses, but we have a common love for the outdoors, off-roading, and our dogs – what else do you need?! I’m also really hoping to make lasting memories, friendships, and learn and grow along the way.”

Team Tuesday: Kaleigh & Teralin2017-05-24T01:31:57-08:00