Summer is officially upon us and it’s finally time to dust off our off-road vehicles and hit the trails! Whether this is your first time taking your ride out or your 87th, the following tips for off-roading this summer can help you have the most fun while remaining safe and taking care of your off-road truck, SUV or Jeep. In this article, you’ll find tips for how to handle the different types of terrain you may come up against this summer, such as sand and mud along with St.George off-road parts that you will need before you head out on all of your summer off-roading adventures.
Before You Leave
Having a solid plan is essential before you leave for your off-roading trip. Knowing what you’re up against in terms of what type of terrain the trail possesses, the weather and what your off-road vehicle can handle is just the tip of the iceberg. Some things you’ll want to “check off” before you head out include:
- Research the trail or trail area that you plan on exploring. Online trail sites usually will provide difficulty rating and what to expect on the trail. Additionally, past trailblazers will often leave comments and photos of the trail and when the best time to explore it is. Knowing what your up against before you get there is vital to your safety.
- Get a multipoint inspection before you go. A multi-point inspection is a service performed by a local dealer or mechanic that requires them to check various key areas on your vehicle in order to see if you need a tune-up. Most mechanics will check the basics like tires, shocks and struts, belts and hoses and fluids. Expect to spend around $100 or more depending on the make and model of your vehicle and area of the country you live in.
- Let someone know where you’re going and when they should expect you back. One of the rules of trails is never going somewhere without telling another person where you’re going. Even with today’s technology, there’s no reason to chance getting lost in the middle of nowhere. Additionally, don’t travel alone.
Sooner or later, everyone gets stuck out on the trails, because of this, it is critical that you are equipped with the correct St. George off-road accessories and parts. Apart from lift kits, off-road tires and lighting some indispensable off-road accessories for recovery situations include:
- Jump Starter and Power Bank – If your off-road ride dies out on the trail and needs a jump, you want to have a backup plan. Truck Gear’s Jump Starter and Power Bank supplies enough power for your jacked-up vehicle as well as providing power for your GPS unit and cellphone.
- Tire Repair Kit – On many trails, jagged rocks reign supreme and even the best off-road tires have been known to get punctured. Keep a tire repair kit in your vehicle at all times along with a spare tire just in case.
- Traction Ramp – If you happen to get stuck on the trail and no vehicles are around to save you, a traction ramp is a priceless off-road in accessory to have on hand.
- Winch – Another indispensable recovery gear accessory for off-roading in St. George is the winch. A winch can be mounted to either the front or rear bumpers and is used to pull a vehicle out of a “sticky” situation by tying a cable or chain to a tree or rock. Furthermore, a winch can be used to pull out another off-roader if they get stuck.
How To Handle Various Off-Road Terrain
How you drive your off-road vehicle and what kind of vehicle you have will play a role in how well your vehicle handles the trail. Basically, you’ll need to have a basic knowledge of how to handle terrain such as, desert roads with gravel and boulders, sand, mud and even driving through water. Below are some basic off-roading tips that will keep you safe on the trails, beach or anywhere you plan to take your off-road vehicle:
- Trails with packed dirt and gravel – General tips for driving on these types of trails include, keeping your thumbs outside of the steering wheel (that way you don’t break one if you go over a bump according to this article) and making minor steering corrections. Essentially, pay attention to the trail and don’t overcorrect.
- Beach Trails or Sand Dunes – Before driving on a beach, make sure it is legal to do so. There will most likely be signs nearby, or you may need a permit before driving on the beach. You’ll also want to lower the air pressure in your tires to around 15 psi. When driving in sand, keep your momentum going, but don’t go faster than 25 miles per hour. Make sure to research the tides if your driving on a beach, high tides can make beach riding more difficult and potentially dangerous If your tires begin to sink move your steering wheel back and forth to gain traction, making sure not to move too quickly.
- Muddy Trails – Driving through muddy areas and in water is similar to driving on the sand. Make sure to drive at a constant, slower speed and if you get stuck gently steer from left to right. If you know you will be going to a trail that is known for being muddy, one off-road accessory in St. George, you must have is mud tires or all-terrain tires.
For more information on essential off-road accessories in St. George contact Red Desert Off-Road today. We will help make sure you have the right gear and accessories to keep you safe out on the trails.