Off Roading: How to outfit your car to handle any road
Are you hoping to set off in a new off-road adventure with your existing car or truck? While trucks and SUVs are the best vehicles for off-road trips, with a few minor adjustments any car can be made ready to hit the trails. We’ve got a list of the 5 best changes you can make to your existing vehicle to get it ready to handle any road you face!
1. Change your tires
The most important decision you’ll make when turning your car into an off-road vehicle is the type of tires you choose. The tires are the only thing that separates you from the ground and the ground is going to get pretty rough when you’re off-roading! Invest in a good pair of all-terrain tires that are ideal for all types of landscapes such as mud, sand and even snow. Not only will all-terrain tires give you better grip, they’re more resistant to punctures as well.
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2. Lift kit
If you’re going to be off-roading, your car can’t sit anywhere low to the ground. If your car sits too low, you risk damaging all of the components that are underneath your car. A lift kit will lift your car up off the ground by just a few inches but it can make all the difference. Remember that the suspension your car comes with from the manufacturer is made for driving in cities or on highways and won’t be enough for the rough terrains you’ll encounter off-roading. Thankfully, many lift kits come with heavy-duty suspensions and bushings required for off-roading.
3. Skid plate
Skid plates are protective plates that are either bolted, clamped or welded onto your car. Skid plates protect the underbelly of your car from all sorts of flying debris while off-roading. Nothing will ruin your good time faster than finding out your fuel tank is leaking thanks to a hole caused by a stray rock! Skid plates aren’t just good for off-roading, they’ll protect the underbelly of your car all year long from damage.
4. A puncture kit
A must-have before heading out on any off-roading adventure is a puncture kit. Yes, even if you have AAA or another form of insurance. The last thing you want ruining your day is having to wait 5 hours for the tow truck to come. Even then, in many prime off-roading locations you might not even find cell phone service to call!
That being said, it’s important to be prepared for an eventual flat tire, and you will get one sooner or later while offroading. Invest in a portable air compressor that you can keep in the trunk. A plug kit costs as little as $50 and it can save your life while on the road. Keep these two in your car and you’ll never fear another flat tire again.
5. An emergency kit
Almost 50% of Americans don’t have an emergency safety kit for when a disaster strikes. You don’t want to become another statistic while off-roading. Make sure that your car or truck is always equipped with a first aid kit. Other important emergency equipment to always keep in your car is a shovel and material to give your car traction if you get stuck like sand or kitty litter.
If getting stuck becomes a frequent problem for you, invest in off-road traction aids. While they can run on the pricey side, they’ll be indispensable in getting your car unstuck from nasty road conditions.