In today’s crazy world the majority of SUVs never see an unsurfaced road. Let’s face it, the majority of them wouldn’t be suitable for that kind of driving in the first place. But if you do like heading off-road for fun and sport then there are a few very important 4x4 off-road accessories that you have to consider.
First, we should clarify what we mean by heading off-road. This doesn’t mean just heading into a grassy field to skid around a bit. What we are referring to is full on dirt tracks with rocks, boulders, fallen trees, rivers and steep inclines. Imagining going on a hiking trip with your car is the best way to picture it.
As already mentioned, you don’t want to be doing this with the majority of SUVs out there. This requires all-wheel-drive, deep tread tires and adjustable differential at the very least. You need a proper off-road vehicle designed from the ground up to deal with tough conditions.
But even once you have got yourself a vehicle designed for such demanding tasks you also need some accessories. And these probably didn’t come with it straight out of the showroom. On the remainder of this page you will find out about 5 of the most important things you have to invest in.
The number one item on this list of off-road truck accessories is a kit to help fix up tires. When you head off-road your tires will take a huge amount of punishment. They will constantly be hitting hard objects like rocks with quite a bit of force. And the more often that happens the more likely you will encounter a puncture or flat tire.
The constant impact can even be a problem for high-quality off-road tires. No matter how careful you are, it will eventually happen. In most cases though, these issues can be fixed quite easily. And you don’t always have to go straight for a spare tire.
The first thing you can do is to simply inflate the tire again. It could be the case that it’s not a puncture, just that the valve has not been able to handle all the impacts. Just like on your regular road car, tire pressure can and does deteriorate over time. Off road this is going to happen a lot more frequently.
So, when you’re in the middle of nowhere you need to have a reliable and powerful air compressor. The good news is that they are pretty cheap. And for less than $50 you will have a small machine that won’t even take up much space.
They work just like any standard air compressor and plug in directly to your cigarette lighter. Just make sure you buy one with a long enough power cord. 10 foot is usually enough for you to get to all four wheels. But if you want to be on the safe side then try and get something longer.
In more severe instances you could encounter small tears or punctures. Sometimes these can be detrimental. But if they are small enough then you should be able to keep going by using a tire repair kit. These usually involve a pressurized container that has a gas and sealant mix. As soon as you attach it to the tire valve it releases the sealant into the tire.
For small damage that can be enough to stop air from escaping at least until you can get to a professional tire repair center. Just make sure you don't delay getting to one.
Another one of those must have 4x4 accessories is a heavy-duty jack. And if you really want to be prepared then you should consider two of these.
The most obvious reason you will need this for is changing a tire. Or maybe even two. If you have ever had a tire problem then you know that without a jack you are pretty much going nowhere. Especially if you have a large and heavy SUV.
Now most cars and trucks will come with some sort of a jack included. But those types of jacks are only really suitable if you break down on the side of the road. You will need hard and even ground which is something you don’t come across too often when you’re off-road.
With a designated and heavy-duty jack, you need to look at the design and the amount of weight it can lift. First of all, you will want to focus on the design of the base plate. This is what will sit on the ground and is where it will need to be flexible to adjust to uneven ground.
You should always try and make the ground as even as possible for safety reasons. But with a flexible base you will be able to adapt to your situation a lot better.
If you have a very large truck that you take off-road, then your average jack will likely not be powerful enough. The lifting mechanism is usually not the problem. It’s more the total weight that it can hold up without facing the risk of collapsing.
You can even get hydraulic jacks that you can plug into your cigarette lighter or attach to your air compressor. These are convenient but will cost you extra. They could also break down, in which case a mechanical one would still be needed as a backup option.
Finally, you should always consider a backup option. This is not just because one of them could break down. Sometimes you might need to get underneath your vehicle to repair some damage and that is going to be a lot easier when two sides are lifted off the ground.
You should never head off-road without spare tires. When you drive on roads, chances of a flat tire are a lot lower. And if it does happen you can call for assistance if you didn’t have spare tire. But that’s not so simple when you are off track altogether.
If you don’t have a spare tire, or better yet two, then you could end up stranded for hours or even days. You would have to rely on someone to come to you with a spare so that you can get moving again. That would (a) be very costly and (b) is very time consuming.
Just because you managed to get far into the wilderness doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy or convenient for someone else to.
Most vehicles these days have at least one spare tire included. On proper off-road trucks, they are usually attached to the back of the car to make it easier to access. But we strongly advise that you consider getting a second one.
If you regularly head onto tough terrain then the risk will greatly increase for damage to be done to your tires. And when one has failed the others might fail very soon after. The reason is that all 4 tires are likely going to be taking the same battering over time.
It is also important that you keep all tires attached to the truck and the spares as the same type with the same tread. When you are driving in dirt or mud then you want to make sure that all 4 tires provide the same amount of traction.
Uneven distribution of traction will quickly result in wheels spinning or traction control kicking in. This can then quickly result in you getting stuck and your vehicle even digging in rather than getting out.
Of all the 4x4 accessories you can get, spare tires are probably the absolute most important ones. It’s the one thing that will result in you getting completely stranded and reliant on others to help you.
Next on our off-road accessories list is a powerful winch. Even when you plan your trip well you might find that there will be situations where you’ll need to pull yourself out of trouble. And being able to do that without calling for help is a lot more satisfying. Let alone less embarrassing.
The majority of winch systems will be securely attached to the front bumper and usually the chassis as well. The reason for that is that the bumper itself is just attached to the car with nuts and bolts. Those are not designed to be able to withstand a large part of your jeep’s weight.
So, when you invest in a winch system, make sure that it is securely attached in a way that allows you to pull the entire vehicle.
Winches are usually designed with different size motors. The motors are electric and power off the battery. That can drain the battery very quickly, so make sure you leave your engine running for this to be avoided.
It’s very important to buy a winch that is suitable for your truck. Yes, you can buy pretty decent ones for a pretty small investment. But if the winch motor is not strong enough to pull your truck then it basically is useless.
All winches will come with indications of their power output. So, make sure that you pick one powerful enough for the weight of your vehicle.
There are many different situations where you might need the help of your winch. For example, you could find yourself stuck in swampy or muddy ground where your tires are simply not getting enough traction. Another common situation is an incline that is just too steep, even if you gather a bit of speed. With a winch these moments of trouble will not be a major problem.
The final item on this list is a professional grade light bar. These are essentially sets of LED lights in a row that combined provide a very focused and intense light beam. Usually they range in size from about 20 inches all the way to 50 inches long.
And when you are driving off-road in the dark then you want to see a lot more than what your headlights can provide. These types of lights for trucks are very easy to install and are available for less than $100. For such a small investment, you will give yourself a huge advantage when visibility is poor.
But it’s not only darkness they can help with.
Everything from heavy rain to fog, mist and snow can have a huge impact on your visibility. When you drive on normal roads that is a big enough problem. But off-road it just makes it plan dangerous.
What light bars allow you to do is use extremely white light to penetrate further through the water and ice particles in the air. That helps you to avoid surprises forcing you to take different routes or even getting stuck in a situation that could see you stranded.
The great thing when you invest in a good light bar is that you can quickly switch between spot light and wide angle beam. This is convenient for two reasons. Firstly, there are times when you’re in the wild and want to be able to see anything that might be approaching you from the sides. Hitting a large animal in the dark is not fun.
Secondly, you can see far enough ahead to figure out if the direction you’re heading is safe and suitable. That can save you a lot of time and can reduce the number of times you have to reverse in poor visibility.
At this stage, you have a pretty good list of 4x4 truck accessories. There are many more things that you might need to invest in. But if you start with this list of upgrades then you’ll definitely be ahead of the game.
That goes for occasional hobby off-roading and competitive events as well. It will be so much more fun when you know that you’re prepared for the most common eventualities. Make sure you don’t suffer the consequences and embarrassment of getting stranded because you forgot to do some basic preparations. Happy shopping!
Hey, I'm Jeff, thanks for visiting my website! I have been obsessed with LED light bars ever since they came out and over the last couple of years I have been testing and reviewing LED light bars. If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch by clicking on our contact page.