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Old 11-30-2012, 07:57 PM   #1
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off-roading tips for a beginner?

got my first jeep this week and am super psyched about the nice wide 33s and everything else i'll be putting on next week. i've got some people who are eager to help me learn how take full advantage of all my new rig's capabilities, but i'd like to ask everyone here if they have any resources on what to do in certain situations.

things i know so far i learned off the jeep.com website and a few other places (may have left some out but they're references i can always go back to before heading out on the trail):
-best way to not get stuck, slow easy movements and don't stop.
- check water depth before entering
- take hills straight up and down and downshift, not coast with the clutch

some of the stuff i want to know is like how many people really let air out of their tires and under what circumstances...

i plan on doing anything other than beach cruising with a buddy jeep for now but will have a winch and plan on getting a folding shovel and maybe some other tools depending on the situation.

I know this is asking a really broad question but i haven't been able to find any decent threads here or links online. I also know it's got a lot to do with feel and one of things that's better shown than told, but as i'm starting with very little... what can you guys tell me? right now i'm most concerned with safe wheeling and not so much things like getting the most mud on my doors or any of the stuff that makes it really fun.

thanks in advance!

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Old 11-30-2012, 08:15 PM   #2
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Wheel with another vehicle atleast as capable as yours.

Dont be afraid to ask for help. If you feel uncomfortable and would like a spotter, ask somebody. Dont try to be macho and end up looking like a fool.

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Old 11-30-2012, 08:15 PM   #3
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Go with experienced friends and have at least one good tow strap between you.

Don't do anything your gut tells you is stupid.

have a CB or FRS radio to talk to the others with you. The radio makes it both safer and more fun.

Your Wrangler is plenty capable as is. Just take it easy, enjoy the ride & be amazed at where your Jeep will take you.
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:25 PM   #4
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yeah, i honestly do appreciate that advice, but i'm really looking for technical tips. i come from a sailing background and those things apply in that arena as well. i have no ego when it comes to asking for help or taking it easy.

but as i've been sailing with people i trusted to make good judgement calls and was let down, i'd like to know a little more so i don't have to rely on a select few with a little more aggressive attitude when it comes to wheeling.

when someone says "don't worry about it!" i tend to worry...
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:49 PM   #5
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Find a local JEEP or 4X4 club and go with them, ask questions, and don't try to BS them. Most will be very helpful
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:51 PM   #6
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Safely learn the limits of your Jeep, best to figure them out on your time than when something goes wrong and your slipping the wrong way and about to tip.

Dive technically, not fast and crazy. Sometimes you need speed and agression but most times if you think and look you can do it and save the pounding on your pride and joy.
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:59 PM   #7
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be around people who know much more then you. ask questions. if there was an offroad simulator we could all jump in on the internet it would be great. but i don't think one exists. and besides the physics would be off from real life. i suppose you could watch youtube and learn what not to do.
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:10 PM   #8
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you are mostly on sand? I've never done too much sand wheeling due to lack of power. But I do crawl on rocks and usually air down to 11 psi or so.

Watch the throttle too. To much bouncing and to much juice will break stuff fast.

And the only way to really know is to just go and see what it will do. Experience comes from being behind the wheel.
You will love testing and building your driving skill with your jeep!
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:15 PM   #9
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Also a full sized short handled shovel will fit under the seat and be way more usefull than the folding type... but that's just my preferance.
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Old 12-01-2012, 07:36 AM   #10
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Check your state link, there are usually off road training courses in the spring. Michigan has at least 2 or 3. There are also classes on vehicle recovery to learn proper towing & winching techniques.
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Old 12-01-2012, 05:22 PM   #11
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thanks guys. i sold a rubicon to some people that are high up in the houston jeep people group and am looking to forward to hanging out and riding with that group.

most of the terrain around here is forest trails and beach but i'm not so into thinking about what giant rocks will do to my baby so guess i got a good spot.

most of this advice jibes with my natural instincts so i can't wait to get out there. i might just be a born jeeper.
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:43 AM   #12
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learn from your mistakes. you will make some. take it easy and watch those with more experience. no shame it getting out to spot a line. dont be to aggressive and remember than u can use your sidewalls to get a bit of extra bite by rocking the steering wheel back and forth. i like 4lo in 2nd for most situations. avoid using the clutch in the mud if at all possible.
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:56 PM   #13
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when coming off obstacles, go SLOWLY. A majority of the damage ive seen, both to my own rig and others, is from coming over or down off of obstacles, where the weight of the jeep is providing significant downward force. If you creep along, you have the opportunity to make adjustments and/or back off of something before too much damage occurs to drive shafts, diffs, control arms, etc.

That, and there is no shame in stopping, getting out, and walking something before nosing in!
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Old 12-03-2012, 01:15 PM   #14
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Momentum is your friend. In almost all cases when traversing anything slippery or loose (mud, sand, wet rock, etc) stopping will be the death knell. But don't let that force you to keep going if you feel it will lead to an unsafe situation. Again, as told, this is something learned by experience.

Presuming you're unlocked, if you find yourself with both axles spinning freely apply slight brake while under throttle. It can add enough resistance to distribute some torque back to the static tires. Not a "cure-all" but it may make enough of a difference depending on the situation.

Power hopping is a big no-no, especially with the D35. If you're climbing a hill, lose momentum, and begin bouncing, let off the throttle! That is exactly how you snap an axle shaft.

If on a sidehill be very cautious when turning. Turning uphill can very quickly lead to a rollover. Sadly yet more experience needed to learn correctly.

Don't let your pride get in the way of safe navigation. We had a local guy roll his brand new JKUR by pressing the edge of the trail because he didn't want to scratch his paint on rosebushes on the other side. Instead of just scratches he ended up with a crushed hard top, bent doors, and plenty of scratched paint.
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:51 PM   #15
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Where are you located? I'm in San Antonio
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:25 PM   #16
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Momentum is your friend. In almost all cases when traversing anything slippery or loose (mud, sand, wet rock, etc) stopping will be the death knell. But don't let that force you to keep going if you feel it will lead to an unsafe situation. Again, as told, this is something learned by experience.

Presuming you're unlocked, if you find yourself with both axles spinning freely apply slight brake while under throttle. It can add enough resistance to distribute some torque back to the static tires. Not a "cure-all" but it may make enough of a difference depending on the situation.

Power hopping is a big no-no, especially with the D35. If you're climbing a hill, lose momentum, and begin bouncing, let off the throttle! That is exactly how you snap an axle shaft.

If on a sidehill be very cautious when turning. Turning uphill can very quickly lead to a rollover. Sadly yet more experience needed to learn correctly.

Don't let your pride get in the way of safe navigation. We had a local guy roll his brand new JKUR by pressing the edge of the trail because he didn't want to scratch his paint on rosebushes on the other side. Instead of just scratches he ended up with a crushed hard top, bent doors, and plenty of scratched paint.
Lol. Love the sig especially on this thread.
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Old 12-03-2012, 10:59 PM   #17
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HA! That's what I'm talking about. Stuff that isn't obvious or will keep me out of danger that's been learned through trial and error by others. Keep the wisdom coming!

If things work out right, I'll be heading out to an ORP with Houston Jeep People Sunday. I'm picking up my post mod jeep tomorrow evening and can't wait to get that sucker into 4wd.

Thanks again guys!
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:50 AM   #18
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HA! That's what I'm talking about. Stuff that isn't obvious or will keep me out of danger that's been learned through trial and error by others. Keep the wisdom coming!

If things work out right, I'll be heading out to an ORP with Houston Jeep People Sunday. I'm picking up my post mod jeep tomorrow evening and can't wait to get that sucker into 4wd.

Thanks again guys!

Thanks for inquiring!! I loved all the info and will hopefully get to the point soon where I can use it too.

Thanks to you all for all the advice.
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:20 PM   #19
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thanks for this thread great advice
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:35 PM   #20
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thanks for this thread great advice
Apply to a advance life saving coarse, have first aid kit, fire extinguisher, spare tire that is close or same size as the rest. Water sanitizer pills, tow rope, rug, comealong, high lifting jack. Some dirt tool. I pesonaly like my e-tool. And small tool kit. When you go out have a overnight bag with food and water. As far as driving and airing down if you have a way of getting air back into the tire sure it will save your back and give you more traction, save the sidewalls from some punctures. But if you can't get air back in after leaving the trail within reasonable distance like five miles. Just air out if your need more traction. Or your tire can overheat and pop if driven at highway speeds. And in your tool kit have duct tape, bailing wire and several hose clamps. Don't think everyone is your friend out there. I have ran into drug runners while doing a run from ridgecrest to Vegas and there was gun fire between us.
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:55 PM   #21
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I have ran into drug runners while doing a run from ridgecrest to Vegas and there was gun fire between us.
really? Thats kinda scary haha
And bring a gun!
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:21 PM   #22
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really? Thats kinda scary haha
And bring a gun!
Yea it was. We notice something wrong it was two escalades. One may have broken down and some guys in ranchero clothes waved us down. It was dark so they were close by the time we noticed they just didn't belong there I already had my 9 ready and I was riding shotgun in a Cherokee. When we got close he pulled a gun and we just started shooting at each other. We drove off as fast as he could drive the other escalade or suburban followed after we got a lead we stoped and I got out my 308 took one shot and they stopped. And we drove off and camped way off the trail that night no camp fire and firewatch that night.
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:34 PM   #23
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Yea it was. We notice something wrong it was two escalades. One may have broken down and some guys in ranchero clothes waved us down. It was dark so they were close by the time we noticed they just didn't belong there I already had my 9 ready and I was riding shotgun in a Cherokee. When we got close he pulled a gun and we just started shooting at each other. We drove off as fast as he could drive the other escalade or suburban followed after we got a lead we stoped and I got out my 308 took one shot and they stopped. And we drove off and camped way off the trail that night no camp fire and firewatch that night.
Dam talk about a adrenalin rush man, glad your okay
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:17 AM   #24
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I think it's safe to say there are no pistol packing drug runners at most off road parks.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:01 AM   #25
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I think it's safe to say there are no pistol packing drug runners at most off road parks.
Ya never know
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:12 AM   #26
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The Boy Scout said it best, be prepared!
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:22 AM   #27
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The Boy Scout said it best, be prepared!
Ohh great, now I got everybody packing. Well you know what they say. Victims that shoot back live longer.
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:05 PM   #28
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I think it's safe to say there are no pistol packing drug runners at most off road parks.
Plenty of marijuana growers like to grow their crops up in the mountains away from prying eyes. I've stumble upon a couple before, and I have heard of people being shot at that have done the same. Regardless of drug dealers you're out in the wilderness where large, wild animals abound. Better to have and not need, and all that...
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:10 PM   #29
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Yea it was. We notice something wrong it was two escalades. One may have broken down and some guys in ranchero clothes waved us down. It was dark so they were close by the time we noticed they just didn't belong there I already had my 9 ready and I was riding shotgun in a Cherokee. When we got close he pulled a gun and we just started shooting at each other. We drove off as fast as he could drive the other escalade or suburban followed after we got a lead we stoped and I got out my 308 took one shot and they stopped. And we drove off and camped way off the trail that night no camp fire and firewatch that night.
holy shit man thats crazy
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:18 PM   #30
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Plenty of marijuana growers like to grow their crops up in the mountains away from prying eyes. I've stumble upon a couple before, and I have heard of people being shot at that have done the same. Regardless of drug dealers you're out in the wilderness where large, wild animals abound. Better to have and not need, and all that...
Dont get me wrong, Im a staunch 2A supporter, and I have several out of state licenses. That said, I dont consider my firearms a "must have packed" item for any offroading I do, and the thread itself was geared towards tips and techniques for those new to offroading! How to hold a zero with a 308, or having a 45 vs a 9 just didnt enter my mind here

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