I used to be pretty clueless about what goes into taking a vehicle off-roading – but with 3 Jeeps sitting in our drive now, I feel like I’ve become somewhat of an expert of all things off-road. If you are looking to get started in your own off-roading adventures there are a few things you need to do first to make sure that you – as well as your Jeep – stays safe off road.
Invest in “Off-Road” Tires. Though most Jeeps come with tires that are slightly bigger than your standard vehicle, they are not made for off-roading. If you use your Jeep for day to day driving such as to work and such and only occasionally go off road, you may want to invest in some all-terrain tires. Also you will need to consider tire size – most Jeeps will accommodate tires up to 31′. If you plan to be an extreme off-roader, or this is your pleasure Jeep, you may want to try a 33 inch tire (and also invest in a lift – see below) to avoid trail damage to the vehicle and be able to negotiate larger off-road obstacles.
Suspension Lift Kit. A one to four inch lift kit is usually enough for off-road fun. Once you choice your tires, you need to get a matching suspension kit. (remember, you can always upgrade or downgrade later). You want to make sure you follow the instructions properly and gently try out your new gear before trying the hardcore off-road experience. There’s nothing worse than hitting a hole and then hearing your back hit crack against the rocks, but you also don’t want to be too high up that you are a ‘drifter in the wind’ and a tight turn would turn you on your side. Experiment a bit to find your perfect height!
Roll Bars. Roll bars aren’t just for looks – it’s a great safety feature for you and your Jeep. The roll bars can help protect you from injuries, and also add more strength and stability to your chassis. You can also get a roll cage if you plan on doing some extreme rock climbing.
Skid Plates. The last thing you want to do is be stranded off road in a place where even a tow truck can’t get to you. Skid plates help cover and protect your vehicle’s undercarriage from the rough terrain of the trail.
Have fun! Sometimes the weight of all you need to do to get your Jeep ready for off-roading can be a bit daunting. But have fun! If you can’t afford to do everything at once, take it easy on beginners trails, and go get muddy! Jeeps are made for fun!
This post was sponsored in part by Randall Dodge Chrysler Jeep.