First Time Off-Roading? How To Prepare Your Truck

Berry Mathew

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First Time Off-Roading? How To Prepare Your Truck

Figuring out your initial off-road loadout should be relatively easy, because there are a few things every driver needs. You should start a survey of your vehicle’s current specs, though, to make sure you are buying an upgrade when you upgrade. A pre-owned vehicle may even have some existing upgrades, allowing you to skip ahead in your plan.

Know Your Vehicle

Before making a big investment in something like off-road tires, you need to review what you already have. Some trucks have off-road options installed off the line, in which case some of the entry-level aftermarket parts might only be a refresh and not an upgrade. If your truck already has an off-road shock kit or other upgrades, that could also allow you to a lift with a more modest kit setup, saving some money.

Necessary Upgrades

There are a few must-have upgrades for most drivers, and even those with factory installed off-road options can find higher tier performance parts for an upgrade. The thing to remember is that in each of these areas, there are several options for size and performance.

  • Wheel and tire upgrades
  • Suspension upgrades, including lift
  • Truck bed and cargo protection
  • Brush guards and grille guards

You do not need to go to the biggest or toughest option, you need to go to the one that will stand up to your overlanding style. They make a two-inch lift because not everyone needs an eight-inch one. Understanding your current ride height and off-roading goals should be the first steps you take when lifting a truck. The other upgrades listed work the same way.

Wheels, Tires, and Lift Kits

These three upgrades need to be coordinated for most off-roaders because the size of the lift upgrade constrains the size of the tire upgrade. At a certain point, if you want to go even bigger on tire diameter, you just need more space under the vehicle. For most activities, a moderate tire size and modest lift will work. Two inches of lift with a good, terrain-specific 35-inch tire is a setup that can tackle most of the things you find on an average trail. For really challenging terrain or competitive events like rock climbing, you’ll probably need to push things further.

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Safety Upgrades

Brush guards and tonneau covers might be less exciting than your suspension upgrade, but they are no less necessary than a good set of wheels and tires. Brush guards, bull bars, and grille guards all help protect your vehicle’s body from damage on the trail. Bed protection also helps keep your cargo secure and protects it from the elements, so it is necessary on the road and off.

Once you have these basics figured out, it’s a good idea to specialize your accessories a little. Adding the right light bars can help you see what you’re doing in camp at night, and there are plenty of creature comforts to support your trip that you can consider as well. Check out your options today, and start planning for the upgrades you need to see your dreams come true.