Add to your off-road excursions with a Jeep adventure package
If you have an urge for off-road driving, and you’re searching for a Jeep that can fulfill your desire to cross mountain terrain, ford streams, or find that wild vista, you have a number of options. You can start at the top of the price range. You can configure a build that seems to work via the company’s website, or wrangle at the dealership in person.
There are other, more affordable options to choose from. Some companies produce off-road-ready adventure packages that are ready to roll. These are usually recent years’ models that have been outfitted for the tough driving conditions you have in mind, and they’re designed to provide the fun you crave with far less damage to the wallet.
Jeep formerly offered packages as options with certain models, but now seems to be folding the features into standard builds. The Off Road Adventure II package included items such as the Quadra-Drive II four-wheel-drive system, electronic rear limited-slip differential, skid plates, and off-road rubber. The add-ons would run you about a thousand dollars on top of steep new-model prices.
Lately the company has been moving toward a simpler, inclusive “Trail Rated” badge to highlight their best new model off-road performers. The badge means Jeep has certified the model through a series of grueling tests in the categories of maneuverability, traction, water fording, articulation and ground clearance.
Even the company’s best models have limitations the car commercials don’t show you. If you read the Jeep’s off-road guide, you’ll find cautionary advice such as not to straddle rocks, to crawl through rocky terrain at 1 to 3 mph, to travel straight up or down the hills you encounter, and to drop tire air pressure when you ride through sand.
The takeaway: Use your common sense and try to know as much about the trail you’re headed out on as you can.
Alternative packages can usually take on the same challenges at a fraction of the cost of the latest models. Many feature the Jeep Wrangler JK with a variety of optional extras. One package includes larger 4-inch lift kits, 17-inch Drakon Wheels, and 35-inch Baja ATZ tires.
Others include added bull-bars, grille guards, Hurricane flat fender flares, and even a winch for recovering an unfortunately stuck Jeep.
Of course, you could buy each feature and add to a base vehicle, or have the work done, but the DIY course would likely set you back and cost you in time and worry about what could go wrong. You don’t want to be held back by a part falling off in the middle of your trip, or relying on one that fails and leaves you lost in the wilderness. Safety and peace of mind come first when you might not be able to call a tow truck or emergency roadside assistance in a lonely location.
Responsibly, Jeep advises that you take care of the wilderness you ride out in search of. You should leave nothing behind, observe all postings, and avoid fragile trails. The company points toward very detailed tips for safety and good practices at treadlightly.org, a nonprofit that advocates for recreational ethics and stewardship of the great outdoors.
You should be able to focus on what you’ve come for, the enjoyment of getting away from it all, communing with nature, seeing the stars packed in the night sky as no city or suburb dweller can. When you’re contemplating camping, fishing, hiking, or just plain off-road driving, you have a lot of ways to go, and a range of options, so to speak. All you have to do is get out there and enjoy it all.