Many advertisements and YouTube channels show you what an off-road vehicle should look like. People believe that only vehicles that look like heavy tanks and ones that can be driven faster are capable of off-roading. But this is not true. Even a standard vehicle can be driven off-road by doing some modifications in it. You also have to take care of the speed while driving a standard vehicle off-road.
What makes a vehicle good for off-roading is a debatable topic. For some people AWD is enough whereas some people prefer 4WD. You can choose the one depending upon your lifestyle and preference. Apart from this, below we have mentioned some characteristics that will help you decide whether your vehicle is off-road capable or not. Let us have a look at these factors one by one:
Tyres are that part of the vehicle that remains in contact with the road or ground while driving. Therefore, it is essential for you to pay attention to what type of tires you choose. Also focus on the pressure that you are applying on them while driving. If you are successful in determining these points, then you can know if your car is capable of off-roading or not.
If you need a vehicle that can handle all kinds of terrains, then we suggest you choose the one that has a good set of mud terrain tires or all terrain tires. They are more tough tires than the highway terrain rubber tires. They are less prone to getting damaged by sticks or stones present in your way of off-roading. But remember that the tires that are specifically meant for off-roading don’t work really well on the streets.
2. Ground Clearance:
For a vehicle to be great at off-roading, it should have a good ground clearance. It is one of the most important factors that helps you know if you can drive your car off-road. More the ground clearance, the better it would be. If the ground clearance is so low, then your car can get stuck in the irregularities available on the terrain. To give you a better idea on ground clearance, we have some examples: Subaru XV – 220mm, Hyundai Tucson – 172mm, and Nissan Navara – 226mm.
The distance between the underside of the car to the ground must be at least 9 inches for off-roading. If your car doesn’t have this much clearance, then you need to put resources into a lift kit for improving its ground clearance. In actuality, lift kits help you in increasing the ground clearance by allowing you to mount bigger tires in your vehicle. Check out highcountryoffroad.com to know about the best vehicles for off-roading.
Here is another characteristic that you want to know about before taking your car off-road. An off-roader that looks tough but if it doesn’t have any great initial minimum torque, it is of no use. Torque is generally defined as the ability of the vehicle to do work. Greater the torque means the vehicle can easily glide through big rocks. Therefore, you should choose a car that has more torque.
4. Protection For Vehicle’s Underbody:
It doesn’t matter how much ground clearance your car has, if its underside is unprotected and can get damaged easily. Various components of your car such as the transfer case, differential, and gas tank can get punctured and torn if they come in contact with debris, stumps, or big rocks present on the way of an off-road. To tackle such issues, you should have a great set of skid plates. Rock rails are also a best option if you often travel to places that have sharp and big rocks.
For a vehicle to be great at off-roading, it should be light in weight. Lighter the weight, better it is for off-roading. Lighter cars can easily overcome all the obstacles coming in its way. Less weight also helps in establishing better control over your car. However, there are only a few ways that can help you reduce the weight of your automobile. For example if you are driving a Jeep Wrangler, you can remove its hardtop and doors to reduce its weight. In case you have another automobile model, you can consider removing its unnecessary accessories to make it light in weight.
6. Focus On The Visibility:
You cannot have fun while off-roading if your automobile doesn’t have good lighting. Your four wheeler must have been equipped with LED lights both at the front and back so that you can easily ride through thick greenery and dark off-roads. There are a variety of premium LED lights available in the market that can be useful for you to modify your standard automobile. Many people do not realize the worth of lighting until they actually need it. If you are going on a long off-road journey, you should consider modifying it with good quality LED lights.
7. Get A Winch:
What would you do if your automobile got stuck in the middle of an off-road? To bring your vehicle out of such troubles, you must have a good winch with you. It can be very helpful for you especially when you have no partner with you. Get a winch kit that includes a tree trunk protector, shackles, a snatch block, and pair of gloves. It is an additional point in this post to share a tip that will be very useful for you while off-roading.
To Sum Up
There are many characteristics that you need to look at to determine whether your vehicle is capable of off-roading or not. It should have a good ground clearance so that it does not get stuck anywhere due to obstacles in the path. An automobile that has mud terrain tires or all terrain tires is considered the best for off-roading. If at all possible consider removing the unnecessary accessories from your vehicle to make it lightweight so that it can ride smoothly over the big rocks.