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Knwilson 10-01-2011 06:55 PM

Basic Off-Roading Questings
Hi all,

We recently took delivery of our new 2011 WK2 Overland 4x4 w/ the Hemi and I am excited about hitting some trails here in AZ. I found the following site with a ton of links to some local trails with some basic info and a trail rating system for each:

I have a couple of questions before I begin my adventures though and though I would ask...
  1. Bases on the difficulty rating system used on this site, what would be considered passable with the stock Overland setup? 2.0-3.0 was my initial thoughts with the stock 20" wheels and tires...
  2. Does anyone have an "off-road kit" they take with when heading out? I was thinking about things tire deflator, air compressor (to refill), tow straps, etc... Looking for the best recommendations I could/should put toghether in a tool-box or something to through in before heading out.
  3. I noticed the jeep came with N2 filled tires, is there any harm with re-filling with regular air or should I completely deflate first? Seems like a crazy questions, but what's a noob to do? :-)
  4. What tire presssure would you recommend for AZ desert trails? I found 18-20 PSI for beaches is the norm (assume this would apply to washes around here), but what about compacted rocky hills?
  5. Any thing else I should know???
Overall, I am just looking to get out for some day trip adventures with the wife. I have been reseaching like crazy and am getting a bit nervous. All the off-road stuff I have found and have not seen any JGC out on the trails let alone a $40K Overland.



Skier95746 10-03-2011 01:16 PM

Re: Basic Off-Roading Questings
Yes, based on those ratings I wouldn't start with anything above a 2 until you are comfortable with your rig and possibly consider different wheels/tires.

In terms of an off-road kit, a tow strap, first aid kit, water, basic set of tools, shovel, and perhaps a portable air compressor should be considered fundamentals - along with a partner. I wouldn't recommend going out by yourself - especially if you haven't done much off roading before.

Nitrogen is put into the tires since it is heavier than air and will therefore not deflate as quickly over time - no issue putting normal compressed air into them. Deflating your tires for improved traction makes sense, but I'm not sure how much you'll want to decrease the pressure of the stock Overland tires - they have pretty narrow sidewalls and I'd worry about denting a rim.

Hope that helps

Knwilson 10-03-2011 04:21 PM

Re: Basic Off-Roading Questings
Thanks for the response. I don't plan on anything too crazy for the first several outings, but thought I would check with you all first as a sanity check...

Thanks again,

1200RT-P 10-03-2011 06:27 PM

Re: Basic Off-Roading Questings
my biggest concern while offroading is communications should you become injured or too stuck to continue. you're not always going to have cell service when the shit hits the fan.

BHHJEEP 10-03-2011 08:34 PM

Re: Basic Off-Roading Questings

Originally Posted by 1200RT-P (Post 493670)
my biggest concern while offroading is communications should you become injured or too stuck to continue. you're not always going to have cell service when the shit hits the fan.

Two words. Homing Pigeons. :p

BHHJEEP 10-03-2011 08:35 PM

Re: Basic Off-Roading Questings
In all seriousness Let someone know where you are going, What time you are leaving, and when you expect to be back.

nek121328 10-03-2011 09:12 PM

Re: Basic Off-Roading Questings
Check out the SPOT Locator @ myspot, I used mine frequently.

JRoll1ns 10-03-2011 10:44 PM

Re: Basic Off-Roading Questings
My experience is this. The Overland is a highly capable Jeep from the factory with one exception. Tires. I took my Overland summit up Rollins pass with only a grand on the odometer. Anybody in Colorado can tell you it is not a difficult trail by any means. However, I got to the top, by keyhole pass and encountered and area that still had snow across the trail (this is in August). I pulled up on the snow and decided very quickly that I should not proceed, and backed down. After studying the situation I decided that I would attempt to go around the snow pack. I pull forward to go around the snow pack and I got this bad feeling like... back the >>>> up, so I did. However, I was on a soft shoulder caused by the melting snow. The front passenger tire could not grab any traction and started to slide. I knew I was in trouble when I went to get out of the Jeep to evaluate the situation, and as I put weight on my exiting foot the driver rear tire proceeded to come off the ground about 8 inches. I got back in and managed to "slide" the jeep to where all four wheels were on the ground when I got out, albeit it was leaning pretty hard. Did I mention my wife was pissed at this point. Anyways, luckily for me some guys in a couple of atv's and a family in a Jeep Wrangler 4 door saw the whole thing take place from down the mountain. They hauled ass up to where I was and convinced my wife to climb out of the Jeep (She wouldn't listen to me). It took three guys hanging off of the driver side while one guy operated the winch to get my WK2 off of the side of the mountain in one piece. The only damage was one popped tire (passenger front). Unfortunately my balls were so far in my throat that I can't remember the names of the people that helped me. I am forever in debt to them. The point being is that we all agreed that if I had some 18's with some decent off road tires, I would have had enough bite to back myself out. It was trying to do it. The limited slips were working and everything it just didn't have the traction. So my advice is to wait and get some good AT tires then wheel for all your hearts desire.

jefferson.oz 10-04-2011 04:13 AM

Re: Basic Off-Roading Questings
Yep stock road tyres the biggest issue, even on my local state forest fire trails when a little wet the tyres struggle even on a moderate incline, my previous 4wd was the same until I put AT tyres on, the difference is amazing, gives a much more confident feeling, have you climbing mountains in no time....I'm saving up for a set of 18's and tyres now trips off road.... Good luck!

moosehead 10-04-2011 10:32 AM

Re: Basic Off-Roading Questings
+1 to a good set of AT tires on 18" rims, especially for the desert. otherwise, the rocks will slash your tires easily and ding those bad azz Overland rims.

Also a good idea to stow away tow straps, have front tow hooks, skid plates, gloves, inflator. Winch, axe, shovel, and high lift are really only needed if you go aggro. Best advice is to stick to known intermediate or easy trails and stay conservative.

Anecdotal entertainment:

MikeD 10-04-2011 10:43 AM

Re: Basic Off-Roading Questings
I agree that the tires aren't great but I was less than impressed with the air suspension on my Overland in the highest setting, felt like it was so full of air it was riding on fixed rods. I had taken my FJ off road and the articulation was amazing, the Jeep just lifts a wheel up and transfer's all the weight to wheel on the ground.

seanster 10-05-2011 08:32 AM

Re: Basic Off-Roading Questings
Good for you for getting out there! I did Ouray, CO this summer and it was amazing. Amongst the FJs and Wranglers were WK2s, Rovers, and the amazing V10 Touaregs.


-Shoes for the occasion! Personally, I wouldn't go anywhere near a trail with 20s. 18" max, as others have stated.

-Go with a buddy or small group with experienced 4x4 folks. You and your wife will learn a lot and they'll be prepared to help you if necessary.

-Your Overland is loaded with gizmos. Let them do the work. Like piloting a plane, trust your instruments. Your rig is more than capable to handle most of the stuff out there.

-Do not go alone.

-The higher the setting with air suspension, the more compromised the ride will be. Highest setting is for extreme situations, not necessary for most of the trail. Use only when necessary.

-Be prepared for an overnight, just in case. Plan for the worst, hope for the best.

-Be sure to check your spare. Never assume it's fully functional from the factory. Also, know how to remove and use the jack. I'm always amazed at how many people don't know where their jack and spare are.

-Take your time in the rough stuff. You'll get tossed around a bit, that's normal. Your body may even ache after a long day of ORing. You'll be tense, try to relax and, again, take your time.

-Wave/nod/acknowledge other 4x4s. In case you go missing, someone may remember you.

-UPHILL has right of way. However, there are exceptions. Use common courtesy.


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