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9 Must-Have Truck Upgrades for Your Next Off-Road Adventure

Any truck owner will attest to the fact that driving a truck is one of the great joys of life. People who drive trucks are a special breed and most harbor a special love for their truck of choice. Driving on neighborhood streets or high-speed highways is a lot of fun, but when one has the opportunity to go off-road, driving a truck is even better.

Although almost all trucks come standard with a number of features that allow for and encourage off-roading. However, that doesn’t mean they are ready for everything you may encounter out there. In order to tackle the toughest conditions, some truck upgrades may be necessary.

Minimal off-roading can be experienced and enjoyed with standard features alone. But, if you want to go deep – which you most likely do – upgrades can help you to feel adventurous, safe and ready to roll, no matter what types of obstacles you and your truck may face. You certainly don’t want to find yourself lost in the woods with a damaged truck and you don’t want to worry about flipping your vehicle and getting hurt, either.

You can’t enjoy off-roading if you are hurt or if you destroy your truck. Before you try to take on Hollister Hills, Moab, The Cliffs Insane Terrain or any other off-roading mecca, make sure you and your truck are prepared.

Nine Must-Have Truck Upgrades for Your Next Off-Road Adventure

Read on to learn about off-road truck upgrades any off-road enthusiast should consider, for both safety and ultimate adventure.

Tires

One of the most important truck upgrades for off-roading is off-road tires. Regular tires will not do the trick; you will put yourself in danger on them and you will spend more time fixing flats than you spend driving.

Off-road tires are heavy duty and are far less prone to flats than regular tires. They also provide much-needed traction which is accomplished thanks to deep treads and wider widths. Good treads will help you to keep your grip in rain, snow, and ice, as well as on rocks and other uneven terrain.

Wheels

Tires are great, but they are only as good as the wheels upon which they ride. Having high-quality wheels on your truck for your off-road adventures is very wise. When you are out there in the desert, you need heavy-duty wheels that can take a beating.

Also, a bent wheel can cause much further damage to your vehicle, and it may be something you don’t notice right away when scaling boulders. Putting the best off-road wheels on your truck is a good idea early on in your off-roading career.

Lift Kit

Another of the off-road modifications you should consider is investing in a lift kit to raise your truck higher off the ground. This sort of upgrade is a great way to keep your truck safe and running properly.

When off-roading, you will likely drive over rocky or uneven ground, so adequate clearance under your vehicle is crucial. Even just a few inches will make a major difference.

Suspension

Off-roading is bouncy by nature so having a good suspension installed is very important for both the comfort of you and your riders and for the health of your truck. Sometimes, suspension upgrades come with lift kits mentioned above. 

Adding better and stronger springs beneath your truck and ensuring the hardware you use is heavy-duty can be a big help to you out there on the trail. Many people who did not add this type of upgrade to their trucks have found themselves stranded or physically feeling terrible the next day.

Skid Plate

In order to keep your radiator, engine and other vehicle components you must install a strong skid plate. Even when a vehicle has been lifted, there is still a good chance that the underbelly will, at some point, come in contact with rocks or boulders. This can do massive damage in seconds.

Skid plates work as a shield against this type of damage. The life of your truck will be a great deal longer once you add one of these.

Grill Guard/Bull Bar

It’s likely that much of the time you will be following established off-roading trails that have been cleared for adventurers, but that won’t always be the case. As you plow through branches or inclement weather like ice and snow, you will want to make sure your engine is protected from the front.

A grill guard or bull bar will help to accomplish this. These powerful bars or covers will allow airflow to get into your engine but will keep everything else out. These are especially vital if you drive in areas with heavy brush or loose gravel

Winch

A winch is an off-road modification that will be a great help to you and to others you come across on the trail. This is a simple and usually cheap truck upgrade that will pay for itself in a short time.

A winch can be used to pull you out of a sticky situation and can be used to help others in peril as well. There are hundreds of uses for a winch when camping, doing construction or working on a farm, too. You’ll soon brainstorm a vast number of them yourself.

Lights

The standard lighting that came with your truck when you bought it is simply not going to be enough when off-roading. Brighter headlights and even a light bar on the roof can do wonders for your visibility both at night and in dusty, muddy situations when you just can’t see well.

Brakes

Certainly, off-roading is mostly go, go, go, but you will also want to have a good set of brakes installed in your vehicle as well. Your off-road tires and heavy-duty wheels will play a part in your stopping power, but it’s brakes that really do the trick.

Be sure to not only upgrade to the best brakes you can buy – you’ll need them when going down a twenty percent grade on a rock formation – but get them serviced frequently, too. A little dust can cause a lot of problems and don’t forget that your brake pads will wear down much more rapidly when driving off-road.

Happy Trails

Each and every one of these off-road truck upgrades will improve your off-road experience immensely. Some will keep you safe; others will keep your truck safe. It’s difficult to prioritize which of the upgrades is the best place to start, but some people recommend starting from the ground up.

Get new, off-road tires and high quality, heavy-duty off-road wheels, and continue onward and upward from there. Have fun and be safe out there.

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