Six Keys to Having Fun with Your SUV

Want to get off the main track and explore the back country in your four-wheel drive SUV? See the sights one can’t see from the paved roads and freeways? Making your own trails? See places you haven’t seen before? Take a few minutes and determine what you need, what you can do, and what you shouldn’t do.


1. Do you need a lift kit and HUGE tires? No! While such things can prove useful and some men think that size counts, they are not necessary for you to enjoy a wonderful outdoor experience with your SUV.

2. Do you need a winch? No! But you may need is a hylift jack and a shovel! You won’t be making your own trails. It’s not environmentally friendly to make your trails and in many places the attempt can get you stiff fines and/or jail time!! Not exactly the original purpose of your four-wheel drive outing!!! The hylift jack will get you out of most places where you might get stuck with the aid of the shovel and perhaps a few handy rocks or chunks of wood. You will be driving on trails that are used by others and if you get in a really bad predicament, sooner or later someone will come along and help!

3. Some other tools I have found useful are a good hand “come-a-long” and a long tow chain or tow strap. A set of tire chains are good to have along too. Yes, you have four-wheel drive and it goes almost anywhere, but if you are out in winter and get caught in an ice storm, tire chains may be the only way you can get back to civilization.

4. What kind of trails will you be traveling? Rough, steep, mountain trails? Twisting winding trails with some steep hills and maybe a few streams? Swampy terrain with lots of water and mud? All these questions need to be answered before you leave for your day or weekend of four wheelin’ fun.

5. If your answer contains a possible water hazard you may want to take some precautions. Water on the distributor can ruin your day if you have no way to get it dried out. Take the necessary tools to remove your distributor cap (usually a Phillips and a flat screwdriver will get the cap off). Take a couple of shop towels and a roll of paper towels, a can of starting fluid, and a can of WD40 and a can of compressed air. With these items you can get your ignition system dried out. Usually (at least in my experience!), it takes15-30 minutes to get a “drowned” engine going again. If you don’t have the needed items to dry it out, it may take 1-2 hours.6. On any off-road outing, always tell someone where you are going, approximately how long you will be gone, and what routes you are taking. And take your cell phone! While some areas of the country won’t have service available, it’s still a great thing to have along! Have fun and be safe!!

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