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Dodge Ram 4x4 - Offroad Discussion All about Off-Road in here! From prep to execution! Let us know how you roll Off Road in your Dodge Ram Truck!


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  #1  
Old 02-15-2014, 11:46 AM
Dodgey Dodgey is offline
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I was offered a chance to go off-roading with a group of people next week and decided to take them up on the offer. I have never been off-roading with my RAM before and I have never really been off-roading. Since my tires are in need of replacement, I decided to replace the oriiginal Wrangler tires and get some BFG KM2 tires. I am also planning on gaining a few inches in front by adjusting the torsion bolts, followed by an alignment of course.

I never considered doing this all the time I owned the truck as it was bought mainly to tow the boat. But it occurred to me that the regular cab configuration with a short bed gives a short wheelbase that would be good for off-roading. Am I wrong on that idea?

Any tips anyone can give based on their experiences off-roading with their RAM?
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Old 02-15-2014, 08:24 PM
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A short wheel base can be good for offroading, but there are times (although few) when a long wheel base is better. The situation that immediately comes to mind where I want a long wheelbase is hill climbs and hill descents, I think it offers more stability (I could be wrong on this, if I am someone correct me).

Frankly, if you've got good tires, good enough ground clearance (you should...it's a truck after all), and working 4wd (not even necessary depending on the kind of offroading you're doing) you should be fine if you don't do anything extreme. And hey, if you get stuck, you've got your friends to help you get unstuck.

Oh yeah, the only thing I don't like about off roading my ram is that the trails I use tend to be narrow, and these trucks tend to be wide. The paint doesn't like it too much. So if that matters to you, just keep it in mind.
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Old 02-15-2014, 10:37 PM
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My "mid-life crisis" vehicle will not be a sports car... It will be a lifted, rusted, 4x4 with big knobby tires. Something that I won't care if I bang the fenders up and scrape the axles across nasty looking rocks.
I watch off roading videos on YouTube all the time... Looks like a lot of fun - but when I picture me doing it in my Ram... My heart jumps into my throat and I sweat. LMAO
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Old 02-16-2014, 12:58 PM
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yeah after the mud washed off from my latest offroading trip I wanted to cry. I have a tonnnnnnn of scratches from tree branches. Freakin narrow NJ trails
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Old 02-24-2014, 02:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksgries View Post
yeah after the mud washed off from my latest offroading trip I wanted to cry. I have a tonnnnnnn of scratches from tree branches. Freakin narrow NJ trails
Something I learned about 30 years ago. If your gonna be going through a lot of brush then get a container of cheap paste car wax and cover your vehicle with it. Doesn't look pretty but prevents scratches and is easily removed after the trip. And ya gotta wash the mud off anyway. I still love to go offroading at 60!
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Old 02-24-2014, 06:42 AM
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If I were to take my truck off roading... I'd spray the sides with a couple coats of plasti-dip. I watched an offroad video where they tested that exact thing, and it held up REALLY well!
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Old 02-24-2014, 07:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodgey View Post
I was offered a chance to go off-roading with a group of people next week and decided to take them up on the offer. I have never been off-roading with my RAM before and I have never really been off-roading. Since my tires are in need of replacement, I decided to replace the oriiginal Wrangler tires and get some BFG KM2 tires. I am also planning on gaining a few inches in front by adjusting the torsion bolts, followed by an alignment of course.

I never considered doing this all the time I owned the truck as it was bought mainly to tow the boat. But it occurred to me that the regular cab configuration with a short bed gives a short wheelbase that would be good for off-roading. Am I wrong on that idea?

Any tips anyone can give based on their experiences off-roading with their RAM?
Just remember to leave plenty of space between you and the person in front for those pucker moments.

Pull the fuse for your anti-lock breaks. Going down hill gets interesting in a hurry when one tire bounces over a rock, branch, or other object and the ABS kicks in. You will end up picking up speed instead of slowing down.

If truck starts to slid sideways in a down hill situation you are probable a little to hard on the chicken stick. If this happens accelerate gently the front wheels will help pull you straight, you will end up going faster than you want but, you will have some control.

Watch others with more experience when tackling obstacles, observe what lines work and what don't. Pay attention to how much throttle they are using, too much is just as bad as not enough.

Trail running is fun, can you damage your vehicle? Yes
Will you damage your vehicle? Maybe

Don't attempt anything you are not comfortable with, don't get talked into pushing you experience level. Enjoy the day.
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Old 02-24-2014, 12:13 PM
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You are in WA...where there is a fair number of trees...

Are you ready for pinstriping and some body damage in any event?

Are any of the people going also in a fullsize? If not, then there will be a problem regarding threshold of clearances and lines to take.

Do you TRUST anyone in the group that they could spot you when needed? (this means alot of different things to people)

Do you have recovery gear?

Are you familiar with the terrain you're going to?

Not having offroaded your rig before this is very concerning.

You don't want to be like this guy I recovered in a mud hole at our OHV park. I was the largest that could pull him out.




You don't want to be this guy either: http://www.ramforumz.com/showthread.php?t=166126

Sorry if this is strong, but would hate for you to have a bad experience. Foolsize wheeling rigs are no joke with them typically double the size/weight of typical rigs (e.g,. jeeps/toyotas/etc).





Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodgey View Post
I was offered a chance to go off-roading with a group of people next week and decided to take them up on the offer. I have never been off-roading with my RAM before and I have never really been off-roading. Since my tires are in need of replacement, I decided to replace the oriiginal Wrangler tires and get some BFG KM2 tires. I am also planning on gaining a few inches in front by adjusting the torsion bolts, followed by an alignment of course.

I never considered doing this all the time I owned the truck as it was bought mainly to tow the boat. But it occurred to me that the regular cab configuration with a short bed gives a short wheelbase that would be good for off-roading. Am I wrong on that idea?

Any tips anyone can give based on their experiences off-roading with their RAM?
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Old 02-24-2014, 12:54 PM
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Excellent advice here. In addition, you might try going down a small easy hill in 4 low with the transmission locked in first gear to get a feel for how much if any engine braking you will have. When you first try this you may feel like you don't have any but give it a chance, most vehicles do have enough to make a difference.
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Old 03-10-2014, 01:32 AM
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My main thought process when four wheeling is:
"as slow as possible but as fast as necessary"
Meaning that you go slow to maximize your control of where the truck is going and minimize damage both to your truck and to the terrain you are traveling on. But, sometimes momentum can be your friend and you have to give it some skinny pedal!

The one BEST four wheeling mod I have made to my truck is ROCKSLIDERS!!! Without them, my rocker panels would be beat so bad, I am not 100% sure that I would be able to open my doors, LOL! I have a crew cab shortbed 2500HD Power Wagon with Carli 3" lift and 37s. I go on tight Jeep trails with it, LOL!

Your truck's wheelbase is the best possible when it comes to wheeling a full size pickup!!! The generally accepted ideal wheelbase for a wheeling rig of any sort is roundabouts 102" so, you are not that much over it! (WAY better than my truck's 149.5" wheelbase! Longer than the overall length of an entire Jeep Wrangler YJ or TJ!!!)

One thing to be wary of is side hills- the forward biased weight distribution of an empty pickup will cause the light rearend to tend to slide down loose surfaces, especially on muddy trails!!! (this weekend I went wheeling and had to have the rearend of my truck winched sideways 3 times to keep my bedsides off trees! I am actually considering a rear mounted winch specifically due to this tendency!)

If you don't feel comfortable tackling an obstacle, don't be afraid to ask for help (in the form of a spotter) or to take a bypass route (if one is available), remember the old phrase- discretion is the better part of valor!

Memorize the terrain- with the big hoods that Dodge graced our trucks with, forward visibility is somewhat less than ideal so, always look well ahead and try to memorize the terrain that you are coming up to! My visibility of trail obstacles is such that I have 20 feet worth of trail in front of me I can't see so, I have to memorize 20 feet at a time in tough sections.

Picking your lines- (within reason) always keep your tires on the high points of the terrain. Doing so will keep you from dragging your rear differential, your rear shock mounts, your front lower control arms, and frame cross members, etc. Pick a line through the terrain that puts your tires on the high points but does not put you into a tippy situation.

Air down- if you have access to a way of airing back up, drop the air pressure in your tires some. This will help them to be able to conform to the terrain better, helping to give you more traction, and minimize damage to your tire and to the terrain you're wheeling on! I wouldn't go crazy low since you want to maintain some pressure since ground clearance is really going to be at a premium! (I drop to around 12psi BUT, I have 37s. If I were you, I'd likely drop to 20psi at the lowest, hopefully somebody that wheels a rig similar to yours will chime in as to what pressure they run) If you have no way of airing back up, then don't air down as your tires will not be safe for road travel at the lower pressures.

Do NOT wheel alone!!!!

Have fun!!! You are going to be amazed at what you and your truck can do!!!!

Last edited by Trail Whale; 03-10-2014 at 01:34 AM.
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