Getting Started / 101

Get Ready for Your First Time

Your first real off road experience should not be alone. Always go with another vehicle if you are going very far off the highway. If you not a real car guy/gal take your rig down to the local repair shop and tell them you what you are planning to do and ask them to look for obvious issues.

Always check the fluids, belts and hoses before going out there. Look around the underside of the vehicle for signs of oil leaks near the transmission, engine, axles and brakes. Grease the suspension points, they will move more than they normally would and will appreciate the attention even if it's weekly. Don't forget to grease the drive shaft u-joints too, especially around water crossings. If you have a quad or side by side rig service the chain too. Make sure you take some extra water, food and clothes and a basic tool kit along. Always go with a full tank of gas. Get a tow strap and jumper cables and leave them in your vehicle. Go with a club or group of friends and have fun!

Tips

Order your new vehicle with limited slip differential both front and back if available, if not available , consider your intended use or other vehicles with this available option.

Most vehicles get stuck not because they lose traction but because they drag the bottom of the vehicle on the trail surface. Larger tires will help to clear the first set of obstacles that will stop your vehicle. Likewise, lifting springs and body lifts help to a certain extent too. If you plan to do any serious off roading, a quality suspension kit is well worth the effort.

Keep the driver's side closest to obstacles so the side you can't see has plenty of clearance.

Carry an emergency tool kit. These are items we take along on every trip. Tire gauge, tire repair plugs, wire ends, ties and cutters; electrical and bailing wire, tape, socket set, wench assortment, channel lock pliers (lg & sm), hammer, knife, multi-bit screwdriver, super glue, air compressor, hand cleaner, spray carb cleaner, stop leak and jumper cables.

Carry additional fluids, belts and hoses ( keep the old ones and carry them along) and plenty of water.

Ruts

If your vehicle is narrower or wider than the ruts; try to keep one side in the rut and the other on top of the main grade, this gives you more ground clearance than if you slipped in with both tracks.

Sand

Lowering air pressure will help your tires float across the sand; 8 to 10 PSI is a good place to start. Be sure to carry a air compressor to re-inflate your tires to recommended pressures before driving at highway speeds. Momentum is key in sand. Treat sand like bottomless snow.

Traverse large objects like rocks by driving with one tire actually on the obstruction. This allows for greater ground clearance than straddling the object.

Carry a first aid kit and fire extinguisher at all times.

Beginners Checklist

  • Tire gauge
  • Tire repair plugs
  • Air compressor
  • Wire ends
  • Ties and cutters
  • Electrical and bailing wire
  • Duct tape
  • Socket set
  • Wench assortment
  • Channel lock pliers (lg & sm)
  • Hammer
  • Knife
  • Multi-bit screwdriver
  • Super glue
  • Hand cleaner
  • Spray carb or brake cleaner
  • Stop leak
  • Jumper cables