If you own a Jeep, then sooner or later this little voice in your head is going to suggest you take it off-road. That’s what it was meant for, right? Most of you will listen to this little voice and hit the trails. Equipped with the essential gear, knowledge, and upgrades, then you can have some serious fun rockcrawling.
If you own a Jeep, then sooner or later this little voice in your head is going to suggest you take it off-road. That’s what it was meant for, right? Most of you will listen to this little voice and hit the trails. Equipped with the essential gear, knowledge, and upgrades, then you can have some serious fun rockcrawling. The reverse of that is if you decide to crawl up some rocks with your fresh off the factory floor Jeep without understanding a few of the basics about rockcrawling. Having a little bit of knowledge, and the right parts can make the difference between a great day out, and an expensive lesson.
Basic Jeep Rock Crawling Moves, Tips and Tricks
Trails come with ratings. For your first rock crawling experience, choose a lower rating with plenty of bypasses which allow you to get out of the way of more experienced drivers, or allows them to get around you. One of the other basic moves is to let some of the air out of your tires (aka “airing down”). You don’t need as much air when you are rock drawing and airing down gives your Jeep a wider footprint for improved traction. Aim at 10-13psi (depending on your rig). Crawling is slow, which is why it’s called crawling. Taking obstacles too fast will almost always guarantee a bad time. Most rockcrawling moves can be made using less than 2,000 rpms. For your first crawls, make sure you take a spotter. Spotters are typically passenger who can help you see what is in store for you by getting out of the vehicle and guiding you as take on the next obstacle. When going down an incline, make sure that you gear down instead of just stomping your foot through the brake, and ease up on pressing the clutch.
When you are faced with several options, go for the high road every time. For example, if you come up on a rock section, look for the tallest most visible rocks and place your tires as high up as you can in that section so that your undercarriage has clearance. This gives you, and your passenger, a better way to see what’s coming up, too.
Rock Crawling Upgrades for Your Jeep
To know a Jeep is to love a Jeep, so understanding what the various components do and how they can help you manage to stay safe and tackle a pile of rocks is important. Having a general understanding of how the various parts on your Jeep works is crucial to making sure you have given your Jeep all it needs to tackle the task. Basics have got to include rock sliders, heavy duty steel bumpers, skid plates, and a winch. Carrying spare tires is a good idea, as is carrying spare axleshafts, wiring, hubs, and u-joints. If you go with bigger tires, or you decide to lift your Jeep, then you’ll have to take that into consideration when going off-road. Lockers are a very good investment as well because they essentially give power to all four tires, regardless of which one has traction. Selectable lockers are worth every dime you will spend since it can give you reliability through obstacles that otherwise might not be a good idea.