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RedBolt 09-19-2011 03:56 PM

Off Road Virgin
My dirty little secret is that I purchased the Off Road Adventure II package because I wanted the 18" wheels and that was the only way to get the 18s with an Overland. I understand I am in the minority for preferring the 18s, but I have been very happy with my decision. I got the 4x4 for the occasional trip up north in the winter and the V8, well, because it felt better than the six to me during the test drives. The ORII package was only $275, which gave me the 18s that I wanted, and the fact that it came with a full set of skid plates that would protect my undercarriage against the occasional freeway flotsam was bonus. I had never considered buying the ORAII package to actually go off road.

But for the last ten months as I open the driver’s door, I see the "Trail Rated" badge staring at me. It beckons me to take my shiny vehicle to where Jeeps are meant to tread – and not to worry about getting it a little dirty. This forum has not helped. I read the adventures of the true off roaders and I am I confronted with the forlorn fact that I am using only a tiny percentage of my Jeep’s capabilities. I know that my Jeep is ready and capable to go off road, but am I?

So I have made my decision. I live in southeastern Virginia and I am only about an hour away from the Outer Banks of North Carolina where driving off road on the beach is allowed. Now that it is after Labor Day, the crowds are gone and there are still a few months of good weather before the winter gloom. OK, moosehead, AAAA, phisch, rangersplash85 and the rest of you serious off roaders: you can get off the floor from laughing now. I realize I am not braving the Rubicon trail and this may seem like child’s play to you, but for me, it will be my first off road experience and I want to make sure it goes right. (God, now I sound like a girl on prom night…)

Surprisingly, my wife is totally on board with the idea, and wants us to go to Corolla to see if we can catch a glimpse of the wild horses. We will probably go sometime in October.

I have read everything I can about beach driving, watched endless YouTube videos on the subject and I am a regular follower of the Oregon Inlet Idiots Facebook page ( I certainly don’t want to be featured in their next photo spread. I am fairly accomplished in snow driving techniques and I imagine driving on the sand, while not the exactly same, is not completely different, either.

Of course I plan to air down to 18 psi before entering the beach, keep momentum, don’t spin tires, etc. And I have an air pump for when I exit, but I wonder if there is anything else I should bring with me? Recovery straps, shovel, special tools? I don’t want to make this harder than it has to be but I do want to be prepared. I don’t plan on doing anything outrageous, but I also don’t want to find myself stuck five miles away from the nearest civilization with no options.

Any advice?

2011 Overland 4x4 Hemi
Blackberry Pearl
Off Road Adventure II
Technology Package

Cherodude 09-19-2011 10:16 PM

Re: Off Road Virgin
Great post and don't be shy about asking. Yeah, there might be chuckles but we all had our first off-road experience one day.

My advice for sand: keep up your momentum. Always easier to keep moving than to restart if you bog down.

Good luck!

Deception 09-19-2011 10:44 PM

Re: Off Road Virgin
Let me know how your experience goes, I'm on the same boat and would like to experience the same thing.

netcoolery 09-20-2011 12:02 AM

Re: Off Road Virgin
RedBolt - Great decision. My #1 piece of advice for any serious off-roading is go with someone else (preferably experienced.) That might not be so critical for sand - but it's always more fun to share good times regardless.

You would be surprised at how capable your JGC is - but should feel under no particular compulsion to push the envelope or do anything you're not 100% comfortable with.

Before you set out, you might want to spend a little time with the manual, practice getting into and out of 4WD LO and so forth.

Have a great time!

rovinrail 09-20-2011 11:43 AM

Re: Off Road Virgin

Originally Posted by RedBolt (Post 487087)
My dirty little secret is that I purchased the Off Road Adventure II package because I wanted the 18" wheels and that was the only way to get the 18s with an Overland.

Funny. That's exactly the same reason I got it... I've had enough experiences with big wheels to appreciate having more tire-- it's nice not to have to worry about every 1" change in elevation, or scraping on a curb because you drove into it at an angle instead of straight-on.

bromhead 09-20-2011 03:27 PM

Re: Off Road Virgin
+1 on the 18 inch wheels.
While we are in the minority, i am a proud member. I don't see the appeal of a very capable 4x4 suv with 20in wheels....I am happy with the on road performance of the wk2, but if that performence was so important to me that the 18in wheels were a liability, i would have bought an A6 or 5 series instead...but to each his own. I guess if you were really committed, you would have the 20's and a set of 18in with mud terrains on them! I'm too lazy...

lkvanbelle 09-20-2011 03:49 PM

Re: Off Road Virgin
same hare 30+ years of michigan winter without 4wd, shiny new summit, my son and his buddies go out with quads. They agreed to humor the old man and I get to tag along, second weekend in October going Mt. Morris in mid-Michigan. They tell me there are trails there where I can bust my off-road cherry. lol

will report when I get back. Good luck in the sand:thumbsup:

4.8HO 09-20-2011 04:41 PM

Re: Off Road Virgin
Check these out. They should get you out of trouble!

Kevlars 09-25-2011 10:37 AM

Re: Off Road Virgin
I would highly recomend Rock Rails -- not for the beach and sand of course but for general protection ... I went down a hill and the gravel was loose and the rock rail landed on a rock ... scratched the hell out of the bottom of the rock rail (as it is suppoes to) but the Jeep is solid and no damage.

Have fun and just remember constant gentle throttle control ... followed by big grins.


AAAA 09-26-2011 09:39 AM

Re: Off Road Virgin

I am indeed honored that you would put me in the list of serious off roaders, but I am concerned that I may have inadvertently given you the wrong impression. Being an honest guy I want you to know that I am actually a serious "ashalt pavementer".

Yes, I discussed replacing the Latitude Tours, but went with LTX M/S2's rather than A/T tires. Yes, I had front axle and transfer case skid plates attached, but for largely the same reason you have skid plates plus blasting through piles of snow. Yes, I did do some of the Rubicon trail, but that was on a 4 wheeler!

My off roading has never been more than dirt roads or open fields. Of course my imagination goes much farther.

danielmkraft 09-27-2011 02:48 AM

Re: Off Road Virgin
Start easy. No need to Go nutz your first outing..... That being said, I drive offroad daily for work, and I can tell you with the utmost confidence that your GC is more capable than you are.
That being said, wouldn't hurt to have a friend with some experience(and a winch) to tell you "Go for it!!!!!" to build your confidence.
Also, if you plan on doing weekend trips, invest in quality recovery gear. A "deal" on a strap may bite you when you try to use it the second time.... Get with the more experience guys/gals in this forum for some suggestions.
Tread lightly and be safe.

Kreso 09-27-2011 03:22 AM

Re: Off Road Virgin
Rule No1: Never go alone

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