Planning on spending some quality time in the backcountry? Then, you better have given your off-road vehicle some care and attention in the last month or so.
After all, not all vehicles can withstand off-roading unless you’ve already nabbed one of those fancy custom vehicles. If not, you can always save your money and make some off-road vehicle modifications to have your vehicle ready for adventure time.
If you’re worried because you don’t even know the difference between your skid plates and your snorkel, don’t be. You’ve come to the right place.
Keep on reading for our full breakdown of the top nine mods that will turn your gentle vehicle into a well-prepared off-road vehicle.
1. Modifying Your off-Road Vehicle 101: Steel Wheels
Let’s start with the basics, then build our way to more custom-made modifications.
Steel wheels are a fantastic, low-cost alternative to conventional alloys that can resist the forces applied to them while off-roading.
Steel wheels are typically effortless in form and are most frequently found on police vehicles, who like them because of their weather resistance.
Although they may distract from the look of the vehicle, steel wheels provide much superior utility in any off-road situation compared to a standard set of wheels.
2. Get Off-Road Tires
After you’re one with the wheels, it’s time to tackle the tires.
Installing a pair of competent off-road tires is just as important as installing steel wheels. The advantage is, of course, mentioned in the name. Different tire compositions are designed to handle different situations, and the tread pattern on each of those tires is designed to handle a particular terrain.
A considerably more robust tire composition that improves durability under stress, as well as a more aggressive treading pattern intended to grip and retain everything from sand to mud to rock, are all advantages of an off-road specialized tire.
You’ll want to get some professional advice regarding the right type of tires for your vehicle, like Lefthandgarage.com.
3. Sign up for a Roof Basket
A roof basket’s vastly enhanced usefulness is not to be overlooked, as it may effectively almost quadruple the vehicle’s storage capacity, depending on the model.
A well-constructed roof basket provides safe and secure storage of items while clearing up cabin room for additional passengers or cargo.
4. Where’s Your Light Bar?
When you’re out in the woods at night maneuvering your car, ordinary headlights won’t cut it, and even improved bulbs won’t provide the range of projection required for complete vision in less-than-ideal conditions. This is when an additional light bar is handy.
Due to its high-intensity projector lights, a light bar may be mounted wherever on the vehicle where it is needed, although it is most often from the front of the roof or to the front bumper.
This is a must-have improvement for anybody who wants their off-road vehicle to be ready at all times of the day and night.
5. Come With a Tow Hook/Hitch
Things may become difficult when you go off the paved road, and that’s when a tow hook/hitch comes in.
Tow hooks are a low-cost modification that may save a vehicle’s and its occupants’ lives. They can be attached to the front or back of most cars through a frame mount.
If things get rough and there are no other options, the hook will prevent the vehicle from entrenchment and/or being hauled to civilization.
6. Install a Lift Kit
A raise kit guarantees that your vehicle’s ground clearance is enough, enabling it to navigate over the toughest sections of any path. It’s one of the most popular modifications to cars being designed for the less-traveled route.
When used in combination with a lift kit, a leveling kit may be beneficial for cars that need some suspension leveling but will not regularly carry large loads.
Because most standard suspensions, including trucks and SUVs, aren’t usually built to withstand prolonged off-road activity, the additional boost to the car’s suspension will also assist in long-term longevity.
7. Get Your Snorkel Ready
A snorkel is a required modification for people who want to get their off-road vehicle wet. It ensures that the vehicle does not stop working when partially immersed in water.
Like a semi-truck, a snorkel directs exhaust fumes out the top of the vehicle, ensuring that no water overwhelms the exhaust and leads the engine to malfunction.
Although this modification may not be appropriate for every off-road vehicle, it is something to consider if the component is currently available for your model or could be readily manufactured and installed.
8. Upgrade the Front Bumper
There are instances when you can’t drive around barriers outdoors, and the only choice is to drive right through them.
This is where an improved front bumper comes in useful. As it uses its expanded portions to deflect and break down any impediments in the vehicle’s path. This allows the remainder of the vehicle’s bulk to pass through safely.
This is another modification frequently seen on police cars, which employs longer front deflector fenders to protect the vehicle and its passengers.
9. Invest in Body Protection
Because most of the components are concealed and provide no aesthetic function for the vehicle, body protection is one of the most neglected upgrades for building an off-road monster.
While it’s true that buying body protection isn’t necessary if you’re looking for cosmetic value, it’s definitely necessary if you need to drive your car off the grid, over hazardous terrain, and risk being damaged.
When attempting to clear a barrier, the last thing you want to do is damage an essential underbody component due to a mistake in judgment.
Items like skid plates, pans, and crossbody members are high-quality protection that will keep your car stiff, protected, and in good working order.
Off-Roading for Beginners: Ready to Go
Your off-roading trip shouldn’t cause you unnecessary stress. And, with some planning and extra preparation, it won’t do so.
We hope that our guide has given you the essential ways to prepare your off-road vehicle for some time in the wild. If you really liked our article, you’ll want to check out our additional tips and advice, which you can find in our automotive section.