Nothing beats the thrill of driving a vehicle through rough and rugged terrain, but customizing your ride comes in a close second. Tons of aftermarket tools and devices are available to enhance nearly every 4-wheel drive (4WD) vehicle. Wondering which ones to get? Here are the top accessories for drivers looking to take their next off-road adventure to the next level:
When it comes to 4 Wheel Drive Accessories, bull bars consistently rank high on the list. Besides looking cool, bullbars are also a protective device. They act as a buffer during a collision, protecting both the driver and the vehicle’s frame. Bullbars take the brunt of the damage, and in many cases, the driver can leave the scene safely.
Bullbars also serve as a mounting point for winches and accessories. They are sturdy enough to support other accessories, such as UHF antennas, lighting, and sand flags. It’s also possible to attach a winch. Even if a driver doesn’t want to mount anything to the bar, installing one will still increase the vehicle’s resale value.
A well-balanced suspension makes for a smoother ride. Many components make up a vehicle’s suspension, including shock absorbers, springs, linkages, and tires. Although a base model 4WD vehicle might have a satisfactory suspension system for city roads, there are still many ways to improve it.
Suspension modifications are extremely popular with off-road fanatics. Driving on rocky trails and unpaved roads requires smooth handling. Off-roaders like to stock their vehicles with plenty of extra fuel and water. Those taking their 4WD vehicle for a camping trip also pack loads of tools and gear. Heavy loads put the suspension under extreme pressure, and it will start to deteriorate with time. A failing suspension can turn into a dangerous situation. A higher-grade suspension lets the vehicle carry heavier cargo without compromising the ride.
Roof Rack Storage
Speaking of camping, where do off-roaders store their gear? The top of the vehicle is a prime location. It’s surprising to learn how much it can hold. The roof provides additional storage capacity for bags, bicycles, or even a canoe. However, without a rack, it’s just wasted space.
Roof racks mount directly to the vehicle, and there are different options available. The most basic model consists of two bars running parallel to each other. Others feature crossbars and baskets to hold even more cargo. Before installing a roof rack, make sure the 4WD vehicle is strong enough to support it.
City roads have plenty of streetlights, but rural trails are often dark. Drivers who can’t see clearly are more likely to get into an accident, and animal collisions are some of the most dangerous. Between July 1, 2019, and June 30, 2020, insurances companies received over 1.9 million animal collision claims. Most of these accidents were nonfatal, but hitting a deer can wreak havoc on a vehicle.
Installing aftermarket lighting is one way to improve a driver’s line of vision. Rock lights attach to the wheel wells and illuminate the undercarriage. LED light bars can flood a specific area with enough light to see hidden obstacles or lurking animals. When the weather gets bad, upgraded fog lights increase beam output. They work well in fog, snow, or heavy rain.
Take Off-Road Driving to the Next Level
Off-roaders take pride in their vehicles. It’s no wonder why so many 4WD owners invest in aftermarket upgrades. Before planning your next off-adventure, be sure to think about which accessories will improve your ride the most.