Consumers’ tastes have shifted towards trucks and SUVs mainly due to the higher performance of these cars, better viewpoint, more legroom and storage space. In addition, these vehicles can navigate different types of terrain from wet and muddy to icy and snowy roads better than sports or regular cars. If you’re planning to go on an off-roading trip, having the right vehicle is important as well as thorough planning. Here are simple tips to get the most of your experience and to ensure that you and your party stay safe.
Prepare Your Vehicle
It does not matter whether you are going on a vacation or an off-roading adventure, it is vital that your vehicle is well-maintained. That means checking and changing the motor oil, radiator coolant, brake fluid, wiper blades, filters, and brake pads. Tires must be inspected for wear and tear. If you’re going off-road, you must have the right tires with the pressure set correctly. For trails or crawling, tire pressure is lower, requiring the least amount of energy that is also good for fuel economy. For example, if you’re driving on sand or mud, the tires’ treads can hold on to something or the surface. Thus, handling performance is better. In contrast, high tire pressures can cause bouncing and loss of traction. Do remember to inflate the tires once you get back to the highway.
Another important factor to remember when off-roading is to rationalize your load. Being overweight puts a lot of stress on the vehicle from its chassis and suspension to wheel bearings and the engine. It affects the performance of the vehicle especially if you’re getting out of a deep rut. Hence, it is recommended to follow the weight allowances suggested by the manufacturer. It goes without saying that you must also be familiar with the manual of the vehicle you’re driving because the info in it can be very useful.
Training and Emergency Preparation
Another thing that you must do before you go off-road is to enroll in a training course. It is not only beneficial for you, but also for the vehicle. A good quality driving or recovery course will teach you the basics of off-roading. Scoping out the route, testing water depths, and checking the weather are some of the things that you will learn. Behavioral concerns will also be addressed such as aggressiveness or refusal to turn around when an obstacle is too difficult to overcome. Hence, it is also imperative that you are prepared for an emergency because off-roading is not only about adventure and fun, it is also about survival. Put together an emergency kit, warm clothes, blankets, food & water, flashlights and even radios for communication.
Off-roading is a fun and enjoyable activity. Preparing your vehicle, training, and an emergency kit can enhance your experience and keep you safe.