Top 7 Truck Mods for Off-Roading
Do you have a vehicle you want to take off-road and explore with, but know it’s far from ready? The truth is making modifications and upgrading your rig is a necessity to your vehicle before it can handle those tougher off-road situations you will cross. Even 4X4 vehicles, trucks, and SUVs that state “OFF-ROAD ready” need modifications to conquer those extreme trails. I know taking your baby off-roading for the first time is super exciting but there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind when modifying your vehicle before leaving the pavement. Here in phase 2 of what to do before going off-road, we will talk about 7 changes to consider when upgrading a car, truck, or SUV to be off-road ready.
1. Tire upgrade- Upon upgrading your tires, just remember size and grip matters. Depending on where your adventures take you, having the right set of tires is critical! With that being said, don’t forget a spare tire or two. The topic on tires could go on FOREVER, so when it comes to matching your “off-road tire” with your desired off-road adventure, knowing the different tread patterns a tire has can be a vital piece of information. Here below are the 4 most popular known types of tires for off-road and their tread pattern, with a brief description on how they work.
- All-terrain tires- AT tires generally have a more aggressive tread pattern, containing larger tread blocks. This allows the tire to gain more traction on unpaved surfaces.
- All-season tires- These tires feature a symmetrical tread pattern and circumferential grooves for a good wet weather grip. These tires are also known to deliver a comfortable ride and easy handling on the highway.
- Mud tires- This pattern allows for more traction in soft terrains like deep mud and sand, while giving the tire a more rugged appearance.
- Snow tires- Also known as winter tires, snow tires have a tread design with larger gaps than those on conventional tires, increasing traction on snow and ice. This feature works to expel snow and slush buildup from the contact patch (a portion of the tire that is in actual contact with the ground surface).
2. Lift Kits- Along with a proper set of tires, a vehicle’s ground clearance is one of the main limiting factors to off-road travel. Increasing ground clearance by adding a lift kit allows your ride to tackle bigger and better obstacles without bottoming out and causing damage to the under belly of your pride and joy.
3. Suspension/Shocks- Your suspension and shocks play a critical role on and off-road. A suspension system is responsible for keeping the car in control and smoothing out the drive. It also maximizes the friction between the tires and the road to provide steering stability and good handling. A vehicles shocks help stabilize your vehicle's movements, enhancing control when you turn, brake, accelerate or encounter uneven road surfaces. Therefore, stock shocks aren’t the best when handling the extremes of off-roading. So before hitting the tails, upgrade your stock shocks to an aftermarket shock of your choosing for a better off-road performance.
3. Under Body Protection- If rock crawling is your thing, then you will want to protect the underside of your vehicle from being shredded by the sharp, jagged edges of the rocks you’re driving over. Shock guards, LCA skid plates, Fuel tank skid plate, and front skid plates will help keep these more vulnerable components undamaged. To learn more about these components click here!.
5. Bumper- We all know that adding a low pro bumper with or without a bull-bar will make your SUV or truck look so much more BADA$$. But that’s not all, having a bumper also provides a handy location to mount spotlights, light bars, and even a winch. Bull-bar bumpers have enough strength to knock through soft terrain in case you need to clear a path to your destination, which should keep your front-end damage free. A bumper with a bull bar also plays a part in protecting the vital parts of your vehicle like the radiator.
6. Winch- A winch my not be an essential off-road accessory, but we believe it to be a very important tool for any off-roading vehicle to have on deck, as you never know when you might need it. Aside from its ability to pull you out of any deep ruts, or over mud-filled obstacles, a winch can also become useful when your off-roading with friends or other fellow off-roaders. If they become stuck, you will have the ability to help them without hesitation.
7. Roof Rack- Roof racks have nothing to do with the performance of your vehicle off-road, but a roof rack allows for added gear storage options to save valuable interior space. Recovery gear, camping tools, and other bulkier essential gear you may need along the way. Taking a prolonged or even a weekend trip, you never know what you may need. Carrying more accessories is always a good thing. Especially when those accessories are safety features or extra cans of gas.
Everything from all-terrain tires, different skid plates, upgraded suspension, lift kit, bumpers, winches, roof racks and so much more are all wise investments for anyone looking to get into the off-road lifestyle. Let us know what you think is a necessary off-road upgrade in the comments. Stay tuned for phase 3!