Off-roading and overlanding can be fun hobbies for truck enthusiasts, but these activities can also be dangerous. Without the proper training and protective equipment, your vehicle can sustain damage on even the simplest off-roading trails. The difficult terrain can leave your truck with scratches, dents, and dirt on the paint, body, and especially on the underside of your vehicle. Fortunately, manufacturers have produced some handy tools and parts to help protect your vehicle in these conditions. You’re not ready to hit the trails until you know these eight ways to protect your truck while off-roading.
Never Go It Alone
Whether you’re an off-roading newbie or a seasoned veteran of the trails, you should never go on these trips alone. Your vehicle can get stuck or break down on the simplest trails, and you don’t want to be alone when this happens. Invite a fellow off-roading buddy with a compatible vehicle to travel with you. It’s always a smart idea to bring a trailer hitch and tow ropes as well so that one truck can help the other out in a pinch. If you have the right training and preparation, you don’t need to worry about getting stuck or breaking down. But if these events do happen, it’s always better to have another vehicle with you in case of emergency.
Choose the Right Tires
The size of your tires is one of the most important factors when off-roading. You’ll need heavy-duty tires that can hold up to the difficult terrain and obstacles that come with this outdoor activity. Additionally, the right tires also support the rest of your vehicle, including its suspension, undercarriage, and handling. These types of tires also have wider, deeper treads to provide more traction on slick, loose, and uneven surfaces and trails.
Lift Your Truck
While lifting provides aesthetic and visual benefits for your truck, it can also affect its handling and make off-roading more enjoyable. Installing a lift kit or a new suspension system can provide additional undercarriage clearance by raising your truck’s bed farther off the ground. Lifting systems often go together with bigger wheels, which will help provide more height. The added height makes it easier to avoid common off-roading obstacles, such as rocks and boulders, steep drops, and more. This helps protect the undercarriage of your vehicle and prevent dents, scrapes, and other damage.
Secure Your Overhead Belongings
If you want to camp, hike, or partake in other outdoor activities once you reach your off-roading destination, you might bring a selection of supplies on your trip. Many truck owners choose to fasten their extra supplies to the roof or rear bed of their vehicle to make more space in the cabin for passengers. However, if you don’t secure these external supplies properly, they could shift or fall during transportation, damaging your truck or other vehicles around you. Off-roading trails make for a bumpy ride, so you want to ensure these objects don’t move around easily. Always make sure to fasten your overhead and rear supplies to your roof rack or tonneau with durable straps and cables.
Add New Lighting Features
Being able to see clearly is crucial to your personal safety and your vehicle’s safety while driving. Off-roading at night and during other low-visibility conditions can be difficult and dangerous without the proper preparations. Many truck owners use light bars and other accessories to illuminate their paths while traversing the trails. Brighter lighting features can help you navigate even low-lit trails so that you don’t become stranded after dark.
Install Body Armor
There are many diverse types of body armor that can help protect your truck. Some manufacturers specialize in front and back bumper protection in the form of bumper bars and grills, undercarriage shields, and more. These pieces can help shield your vehicle from collisions with stumps, boulders, branches, and other natural obstacles you’ll encounter on the average off-roading trail. These installations are designed to take the hit while protecting your vehicle’s original paint and body.
Keep Your Vehicle Clean
Depending on where you travel and the weather conditions involved, off-roading can be a very messy activity. Your vehicle will often leave the trails with a fresh coat of mud, dust, and debris stuck to it. Some drivers view the mess as a badge of honor after an exhilarating trip, while others simply think it’s pointless to clean their truck when it’s bound to collect the same dirt during their next trip. However, it’s crucial to the quality of your truck’s paint and parts to wash this dirt and debris off as soon as possible. If you leave debris sitting on your vehicle, it could cause scratches, stains, and rust. Clumps of mud near the front of your vehicle and the engine can also restrict airflow and cause your vehicle to overheat. Always wash and detail your truck after every messy off-roading adventure to avoid damage.
Give Your Truck a Coating
Vehicle coatings can help protect your truck’s original paint job and keep it looking clean and scratch-free. A deep scratch or patch of rust from off-roading conditions can take the wind out of your sails quickly during your excursion. However, consider applying ceramic or wax coating to your truck before you leave. These protective coatings can make your vehicle more resistant to scratches, rust, and other common types of outdoor damage.
Where To Find Off-Roading Accessories
If you’re interested in outfitting your vehicle with some of these off-roading accessories, you might be wondering where you can find a reliable source for parts. At Trail Grid Pro, we have a wide selection of Toyota pickup accessories and other parts for a range of vehicles that are compatible with off-roading. Browse our selection by model or brand to find the exact parts you’re looking for. Whether you need lift kits, lighting additions, or other items, we can help you find the gear your vehicle needs.
Now that you know some of the many ways to protect your truck while off-roading, consider installing these protective accessories to avoid damaging your vehicle in the future. Browse these truck accessories and more at Trail Grid Pro. If you frequent difficult terrains and trails, these tips can help grant you some extra peace of mind during your next off-roading excursion.