If you are interested in an adventurous off-road experience with you four wheel drive vehicle, below you will find some general information and tips for leaving the pavement behind.
Before providing general tips and safety precautions, it is important that you familiarize yourself with this basic off-roading terminology:
· 4x4 High: the all-purpose four wheel drive mode that is most commonly used. In contrast to two wheel drive, with four wheel drive all four wheels are engaged and powered by the powertrain. Furthermore, “high” refers to the gear ratio, which indicates that the gear is unchanged from the ratio used in two wheel drive.
· 4x4 Low: in this mode, a lower gear ratio is used, which gives higher torque to the wheels and lowers the maximum speed. This mode is useful in slower off road situations, rock crawling, and for getting unstuck.
· Locking Differential: this is the speed at which the wheels turn. In the majority of standard 4x4 modes, the wheels spin at different speeds to compensate for the rough terrain. When the differential is locked, the wheels all move at the same speed. Locking differential is useful for advanced off-roading and for getting unstuck.
· Approach Angle: this is the maximum incline angle that a vehicle can climb or descend without the body or suspension coming into contact with the driving surface.
· Wheelbase: the distance from the center of a truck’s front wheel to the center of the rear wheel on the same side of the vehicle.
· Wheel Travel: the maximum distance that a wheel can move up and down. The greater the travel, the more capable the suspense system and the better on and off road traction.
· Rock Massage: when you attempt rock crawling without taking proper precautions.
Once you are familiar with the above terminology, you will then need to gather the essentials for your off road adventure. These items include:
· A full tank of gasoline
· A tow rope that is rated heavy enough for your vehicle
· A spare tire and the equipment to change your tire
· A portable air compressor
· Navigational aids
· A first aid kit
· A mobile phone
In addition to these essential items, it is also highly recommended to bring:
· A high lift jack
· A vehicle mounted winch
· A shovel
· Spare tanks of water for radiator and fuel
· Two way radios for communication
· Fire extinguishers
Once you have prepared everything you need, you will then need to decide on which type of off-roading experience you wish to partake in. Some varieties include:
· On the Trail: this type of off-roading is best if you are a beginner as you will mainly drive on gravel, dirt, and grasslands with your four wheel drive vehicle. You can find these trails in most state and federal parks.
· On the Dunes: for intermediate off-roaders, driving on the dunes is slightly more challenging because of the sandy terrain. Since it is difficult to gain traction on sand, you will need to deflate the air pressure in your tires to 15 and 20psi, which will allow the tire tread to spread more and grip the surface. Also ensure that you maintain momentum when you drive on the sand and do not slow down unless it is necessary. If you feel the vehicle getting stuck while moving, turn your wheel left and right repeatedly so the tires gain better traction.
· In the Mud: another adventure for intermediates is mud driving, which follows many of the same principles as sand driving. For instance, as with sand driving, if you feel the vehicle getting stuck while moving, turn your wheel left and right repeatedly so the tires gain better traction.
· For advanced off-roading drivers, you could try river runs and rock crawling -- but only if you have a great deal of experience.
With these tips in mind, you will have a safe and thrilling off-roading experience.
If you are seeking accommodations while taking part in your off-roading adventure, Ayres Hotel has a wide variety of first-class hotels throughout Inland Empire.