Off Roading in your Rover can take you to new highs, literally! The off road hobby, if done correctly, can be safe and fun. It can reward you with new experiences and friendships that can last a lifetime. However. to be able to keep your off roading experiences all positive, you should do a little work before you head out there on the trail. If you don't, you can not only have a bad day, but you can come away with many thousands of dollars in needed repairs to your Rover. The purpose of this article is to give you the basics on what ECR feels your Rover needs before you head out and tackle the trails with your local club, or your buddies. Everyone has an opinion on what comes first for off road gear, and these are ECR's opinions from off roading for the last 20 plus years. We aren't talking about your local logging road ride that your dealership puts on, a stock Land Rover can handle that, we are talking about some real off roading, not hard core, but some moderate off roading that will give you a challenge. We are not suggesting this is all you need. We are suggesting that this is where you need to start. To prove what works, we are going to take a bone stock 1995 Defender 90 and set it up the way we think it should be set up, then take it on an off road event that is mainly for large lifted vehicles (like Jeeps with 35" tires), and we will still do well... or will we?
REPAIR: OF SOUND MIND AND BODY
If you ask most folks what is the first thing they want to trick out their off road rig, they will usually say they want a winch or set of lockers. Those items are great and are very helpful and sometimes required off road, but for the purposes of this article we need to back up a few steps and start from the true beginning.
This is our test subject, a 1995 Land Rover Defender 90 soft top that we purchased from Copley Motor Cars in Boston. It has about 80,000 miles and is in good shape. This article focuses on this Defender 90 (or D90) but you can apply all these things to your Range Rover Classic or your Discovery in the exact same way. So now that we have our D90, we are ready for the trail ride, right? Wrong.
The very first thing we need to do does not involve our Rovers North catalog of bolt on goodies, or a call to Safari Gard for a Stage III suspension (although that would be cool). No, the very first thing you need to do is go over your Rover from front to back and make sure that everything is safe, and operating in top condition. We can't tell you how many times we have been out on the trail when someone's charging or cooling system blows up. Mind you, trail failures do happen, and the good news is that on the trail everyone will help you out as much as they can, but nothing ruins an off road day more than taking a Rover into the woods that you know already has a problem lurking. We have even been to events where people knowingly went into the woods with a bad battery, no spare tire or some other problem. Not only is this incredibly stupid, it can make it so your entire trail group misses out on a day of fun while your dead Rover blocks the trail. Do yourself and your trail buddies a favor and make sure the mechanical systems in your Rover are top notch before you head out. If you can't fix the needs of your Rover yourself, enlist your fellow club members or your favorite Rover specialist to do it for you. Your first step to off roading is not a trick bolt on, it is getting your Rover up to snuff mechanically and structurally if need be.
In our case, our "new" D90 was said to have been "recently serviced", but in fact we found a number of flaws that had to be addressed before this D90 could see a trail. The clutch master had been installed by someone who did not know what they were doing, so the freeplay was not set correctly and the shaft had been damaged making the clutch fully engage about half an inch off the floor. We also found that a number of the fluids were way overdue for replacement and that just about every filter on the D90 looked like it had been in use since the 1930's. The shocks were blown and most of the tie rod ends were bad. That sounds like a bad list, but it really isn't for a nearly 10 year old Land Rover. The only bad thing is that the words "recently serviced" bring up images of these problem not being present, so be sure if you buy a Rover that you have it gone over before you buy it to make sure you know what you are getting.
So our D90, now known around the shop as "The Banana", got a bunch of replacement filters thrown at it, a new clutch master, the brake fluid flushed, every fluid drained and replaced, a full tune up and a few light bulbs replaced. Now we are ready for the trail right? Well... yes and no.
If you are going to run around on easy logging roads or do a dealership event, then yes, you are nearly ready to go. If you plan to follow a bunch of folks on a real trail ride, then no. You are not ready.
CONSIDER THE HUMAN FACTOR AS WELL AS YOUR ROVER:
So if you are doing an easy trail you are ready to go.... "So lets go" you say... "Not so fast" we say. Have you considered the human factor? Do you know where you are going? Do you have a map of the area in case you lose the group? Do you have the right clothes for the day? What happens if your trail ride runs long and goes into the night? Do you have the right clothes for that? Do you know the weather for the day and into the night? Do you have enough gas if the ride does run long? Enough water? If you are going out alone did you let someone know your trail plan? If something happens to your Rover and you can't fix it, can you physically walk out?
"Can you physically walk out?" Can you? This can mean anything from do you have a heart condition that means you can't walk out the 15 miles you drove in, to did you bring the right footwear to do so.
There are 1000 things to consider, and the best way to plan is like a Boy Scout. "Be Prepared" is their motto and you should use it too.
REAL WORLD:Winter Romp a few years back. This event started off on a sunny and warm February day in Maine. Two groups left for two different trail rides, an easy trail ride and a harder core group. We were in the hard core group. We went out and blasted around on some trails and had fun in snow that was nearly waist deep. See the image above taken on that trip and remember those are 35" tires an a D90 that was lifted 4 inches. As the day pressed on we planned where we needed to be and when. As the sun fell we were out of the woods and looking for the other group that was supposed to meet us for dinner. We planned our day correctly. The "easy group" did not. After some hunting around we found a few Rovers and asked the driver's where the group was.They told us there we coming behind them but they had lost sight of them. We won't get into convoy rules here, you'll learn that later, but basically if you are on the trail make sure the guy behind you is doing OK, that keeps the group together from nose to tail. These guys had headed out and left the group behind so they could get dinner (stupid idea) and a number of rigs in the group got stuck out in the woods. We took a couple of capable rigs and went in after the group that was now helplessly stuck because the snow had changed from a packed slush road, to a granular snow/ ice slip-fest due to the fast dropping temperatures. We got everyone out, having to leave one Discovery in the woods who had installed his snow chains incorrectly and wrapped them around his axles. This process however took until long into the night (I personally got out of the trail at 2:30AM). There were small children in this group that were now hungry and tired, girls with open toed shoes that were on the edge of frost-bite as the temperature quickly dropped to under 10 below zero. This type of fiasco happens when trail leaders, or lack thereof in this case, make the wrong choices. It can happen to you, and it will if you off road long enough. The guys from ECR that went in that night to get those rigs out of the woods had the ability to move around when everything else was stuck, winch people that needed it and if need be both of the ECR rigs at that event had the gear on board for the drivers to sleep out there in total comfort with all our winter camping gear on board including snow shoes, sleeping bags, food, water and more. This is an extreme case, but in that situation how would you have done?
One more human factor to consider here: Do you trust who you are following out on the trail? Can they help you, or will you end up helping them because you are the only one really prepared?
Common sense. Remember to engage your common sense before you engage your differential lock, it really is that simple.
PROTECTION: PREVENT DAMAGE
The second step in getting set up for a trail ride is a lot more fun. It actually involves modifying your Rover! So what should you get first? A winch? How about some differential locks? What about a roof rack? Big lights have to be the way to go? Yup, those products are all cool, but they aren't what you really need. What you really need is to keep the first step in mind. Is your rig mechanically sound? If it is, then you need to keep it that way, and that means protecting it from harm. Right now, go out to your Rover and lay down in front of it (assuming your wife isn't driving it at the time). Now look from the ground up and what do you see first? What would hit the rock on the trail first? Yup, your tie rod. One foot wrong on the trail and your tie rod gets yoinked backwards causing an instant and massive toe out condition (front wheels pointing 2 different directions). This means until you fix it you are a dead duck. Yes, it can be trail fixed, but wouldn't it be easier to make it so that problem can't happen?
The answer to protect it comes in various forms. You can get a lot of skid plates that cover nearly everything under your Rover to protect its soft underbelly from harm or you can selectively guard the weak parts. We like to selectively guard the weak parts as it retains the maximum ground clearance, and it also makes it easy to keep things clean and work on system on the trail if need be. The minimalist approach also will never hang you up on a stump or log like some of the large blanket skip plates. The purple arrows point to the ECR ROX tie rod guard. This works on any Range Rover Classic, Disco 1, or Defender.
It surrounds the tie rod and protects it fully. You can even jack up the vehicle from the guard because it is that tough. With this unit, or one like, it your tie rod is now safe in case you make a mistake off road. The ECR ROX tie rod guard also allows you to run your stock sway bars if you so desire. To install this type of complete protection on a Discovery 1 or Range Rover Classic you will need to relocate the steering stabilizer to the front of the vehicle, like a Defender. The good news is that many kits to do this are available as simple bolt on's from various companies. We offer a full line of ECR ROX stabilizer relocation kits for all our Rovers.
In regards to sway bars: If you are doing modifications for off road, you probably are going to remove them. You can install disconnects if you desire as well, but as a sway is designed to limit the vehicles ability to roll, it stops off road articulation in the same way. You'll need to remove them or at the least install disconnects. Sway bars have no place on an off road Rover.
As you lay under your Rover you have also likely noticed that the front differential is sort of "out there" as well. It too is a magnet for rocks waiting to tear open the weak sheet metal case. If you smash this area you'll likely damage the front ring gear or worse, so it needs protection. The axle case is strong, but the gear cover is not. Some of the blanket skid plates cover this area in one shot, it works, we just don't like that approach (personal choice). Our way of protection this weak spot is to install a differential guard. There are a number of manufactures of diff guards and all work quite well. Most of these units bolt on, but we have seen quite a few fall off on the trail, so we always tack weld them into place. The weld can be easily ground off if you ever need to remove the guard. The image above shows Ian tack welding the front differential guard onto The Banana.
This shot shows the differential guard after we got back from off roading with the Jeep guys on one event. The blue arrows point to lots of scars from rocks on this guard even though our trail spotters were doing a great job. If this guard wasn't in place our D90 likely would have suffered some real damage, maybe even a blown up from end.
You can install these guards for the front and the rear, and at around 100. each it is cheap insurance that you should not be without.
The other items that needs some beefing up for the rigors of off roading is the steering drag link, or the steering arm. This is the arm that goes from the steering box drop arm to the RH steering knuckle, see the yellow arrows above. This rod sticks pretty far forward and is not made of strong material. Here again you can cover it with a skid plate, or do something strong in its place. The image above shows the ECR ROX heavy duty drag link installed, there are numerous other manufactures as well. As you can see this unit took a lot of abuse on the off road trip we went on, but it is still straight and true. A stock rod would not have fared so well and once damaged would have limited the Rover's turning ability on the trail.
There are many skid plates on the market to cover everything under your Rover, but you don't need to cover everything. Part of driving off road is learning about where to place your vehicle for the best performance on the trail. If you just skid plate everything and drive full bore ahead you won't have learned anything.
Most of the changes we make to an off road Rover are done because we see the same parts broken over and over and over at off road events. One such part that always takes it hard is the tail pipe. No one considers where the tail pipe is when they try to back out of a mud hole or rock field off road. In some cases this means tailpipes that are folded over, broken off or even squashed flat blocking off the exhaust. To combat this we have cut as much of the tail pipe off The Banana that we can to give it a fighting chance off road. Its a simple trick that will cost nothing, but it can save you a lot of hassle.
Another things that we see damaged over and over are the stock factory trailing arms. One rock in the wrong place and the stock units bend giving and interesting cocked rear axle effect as you try to drive your Rover home. There are a number of places that supply heavy duty rear trailing arms, and depending on your suspension set up these arms may even be required when you install a suspension. The arms have various functions when you do a large lift, like locating the axle and rotating the pinion angle, but for the purposed of this article we are talking about weakness issues. In the image above you can see the pencil thin stock trailing arm has been swapped out for a Safari Gard Stage II/III unit. These are very tough and bolt directly into the stock location without issue. They also give us another benefit by correcting the trailing arm bushing angle. This reduces stress on the bushing and allows for more articulation as the bushing is not pre-loaded like it would be with the stock arm in place, The arms are rusted because they are from an old Rover we had around. We don't have sponsorship from any of these companies, so if we can grab it used, we will. We also don't want sponsorship, because if a product sucks, we want to let you know.
From a protection standpoint with this gear installed you can now off road with a lot more confidence that you can drive your Rover on your favorite trial, then drive it home, without damage. There is always more that you can do to make your Rover better and better, but these items (especially the tie rod guard) are items that we feel are the basics.
RECOVERY: GET ME OUTTA HERE
Off roaders get stuck. If you haven't been stuck you aren't trying hard enough. Push the limits of your Rover and you'll get stuck, but that is all OK. What is not OK is if you don't have anyway to get your Rover "unstuck". What we mean by that is recovery points. If you don't have them, get them. Every off road rig needs a safe place to attach a winch cable or strap from another vehicle to remove you from the mess you got yourself into. Those little factory tie down points on your Rover's frame are for shipping it on a tow truck, they are not designed for yanking you out of the mud, or off that stump. NEVER use the factory shipping points for anything off road.
In the back of your Rover you likely have a Class III trailer hitch. Many companies sell a slide in recovery point that is a cheap and effective way to add on a rear recovery point that will stand up to straps and winches. Simply slide it in and pin it as you would a trailer hitch and you have a safe and secure point for most off road recovery operations. Never use a trailer hitch tow ball for any sort of winch or strap recovery. Above you can see the recovery point we installed on The Banana. Quick and cheap insurance to allow us to be pulled backwards out of a mud pit should the need arise.
In the front of The Banana we installed an ARB winch mount bumper with an Warn 10,000 winch. For the purposes of this article we aren't going to focus on that, as a winch/bumper is nice and it does offer some better front end protection and the ability for The Banana to self recover, but you don't really need it to get started off roading. What the ARB bumper does afford us for this project is recovery points.
The bumper has two recovery points securely bolted in place that will allow The Banana to be pulled as required in case it gets stuck. There are many ways to get good and safe recovery points. There are bumpers, hoops that bolt through the front frame horns and more, but you want to make sure you have a safe and secure recovery point on the front and rear of your Rover before you head out, and the factory does not provide any recovery points on a Defender, Disco 1 or Range Rover Classic, so even if you see one of those shipping tie downs or hoops sticking out, that is not a recovery point. Those points are for tow trucks and for shipping, not for recovery. Getting stuck is part of the hobby, with the proper recovery points you will make sure you buddies can help you get unstuck safely and without damage to your Rover.
It is always nice to have some recovery gear as well, a strap and a couple of shackles. If you need help getting out of a tough spot it is enough to ask your buddy to pull you out, don't make him rifle through his rig to find recovery gear to pull out your truck. Your fellow club members will be happy to lend out some gear the first time you go out, but most of them will lose patience if you continually are borrowing recovery gear, it is expensive and easily lost. If you are the guy on the trial that is always begging for a recovery strap or a shackle to borrow you might become the butt of some jokes at your expense, or you might not get invited out next time. It is better to what... Yes, that's right "be prepared".
TRACTION: WITHOUT IT YOU ARE LOST
Off roading is all about traction. That is what makes place like Moab, UT so fun. The terrain offers great traction so that amazing things can be done with a vehicle. Here in New England we have this stuff called mud, other stuff called moss, wet leaves, broken tree branches and a long laundry list of other items that all conspire to make us loose traction. To fight back we need a tire that can bite in through the mud, over that log and dig down though that moss. So you need a soft and aggressive tire that has a wide footprint to distribute the weight of your Rover over as wide an area as possible. Yes, now we know that some of you will bring up what we call the Camel Trophy debate. You say, "I run tall skinny tires because the they work best. The Camel Trophy guys ran them and they did amazing things." In response we offer three points.
#1. The Camel Trophy guys got there tires for free and they took a military approach about it. Same tires for all the vehicles eliminates issues with spares, etc etc.
#2. I have personally spoken with a number of Camel Trophy veterans and they have all said they wish they had a nice tough wide tire as it would have made things a lot easier.
#3. In regards to the "goes down through the mud" debate. In most mud that creates a problem it is deeper than the height of your tall skinny tire. One of my mechanics likes to say, "Would you rather walk across a mud bog in ice skates or snow shoes?" Think about it.
Tires are a very personal thing. Like "the right wine" or "the best presidential candidate" no one can tell you what the best tire is. For our customers we never select a tire. We make suggestions based on what they say is most important to them. So for your tires you will need to do your research and consider all the factors: wear, ride, noise, off road ability, how much you actually use it off road, sidewall strength, price, etc etc. The only thing we will offer you in this text is consider that no one has ever made a tire that does both the on street job and the off road job perfectly in the same tire. Each step you take towards off road ability is a step you take away from on road ability. Where you end up in the balancing act is up to you.
For our uses here in New England, driving mostly street, but not wanting to give up any capability in off road performance, we always go to the Super Swamper SSR. This is our tire of choice for serious dual duty trucks.
TRACTION AND SUSPENSION: ALL MIXED UP
This is were the fun begins. What tire size do you want to run? Maybe you just want a stock tire that has better traction. That works, but it won't increase your footprint or ground clearance. Maybe you want huge tires? Huge tires present huge issues though. You may need body trimming, large lift kits, maybe even drive shafts. All those parts are great, but it all costs $ and every inch you go up costs about twice what the inch before cost. The dilemma is that your selected tire size and suspension size must match. The mix of tire size and suspension are dependent on each other. A 1" lift with desire for a 36" tire won't work, and a 3" lift with a 30" tire is just as silly. Here again, no one can tell you what you should and shouldn't do. It would be like telling you what type of food you like, it is all just opinion. The only thing we can offer is advice. If you are just getting into off roading, start off small (but not too small) and see how you like it. If you love the hobby and want to take it to the next level you will not have emptied your piggy bank on a new 3" lift with a 3 link and all kinds of other tricks on something that might not fit your needs. The flip side of that is if you spend a grand on a new set of off road tires and then find out on the next trail ride you want to go to a bigger tire, you will have wasted money on those smaller tires. So after you balance the checkbook, balance where you feel you want to be off road.
So as The Banana sits patiently with no suspension in it (see above), we will opt for the suspension we would also suggest to you, the new comer to off roading. We call it a Stage 1. That really has no meaning other than it sounds cool. What it is is the blend of parts that make everything work together well. It offers a little over an inch of lift and keeps most of the stock parts in the suspension.
This set up will allow us to run our tire of choice, the SSR 32x11.50 and have it all be matched well together. As we said, we can't tell you what tire or size to choose, but we can tell you why we selected the tires we did:
#1. Traction the SSR is one of the best traction getters out there.
#2. On road manners. For such a good off road tire we are amazed at how well and how quiet it is on the road.
#3 Long lasting. The SSR is soft, but on our last set of 35" SSRs we got over 40,000 miles from them.
#4. Toughness, unlike a BFG, stumps, sharp rocks and pointy sticks are shrugged off by the ultra tough sidewall of the SSR.
#5. With a 32x11.50 we can run the stock Rover steel rim to keep the bead retention good when air'd down and it is right on the edge of the ability of the stock 3.54 gearing so we can get away with not plunking down the cash for a 4.11 gear swap yet.
We can also tell you why we chose the Stage 1 suspension.
#1. It is simple and cheap to install.
#2. It offers a moderate lift without raising the center of gravity too much.
#3. It changes, but will not kill the road manners of your Rover
#4. It is likely the suspension you would choose as you start out into the hobby.
Remember we are doing this to show you the basics, not what the extremes are.
Stop buying heavy duty springs for everything! Over and over and over we get calls with "I just put in OME (Old Man Emu) heavy duty springs and now my ride is rough, my truck handles poorly." Well dah... that is because you likely just installed the wrong parts. In the USA the words "Heavy Duty" are synonymous with "High Quality". Some Madison Avenue advertising agent figured that out years ago, so no matter what the product, you for sure do not want the standard one, you want the "Heavy Duty" one. Well in buying a suspension spring you likely do not want the heavy duty.
Here is an example for a Range Rover:
The OME760 offers about 1" of lift for the front of a stock Range Rover. A good choice if you have no winch or heavy front bumper, maybe a little light.
The OME761 offers 1.25" of lift and carries an extra 50 to 110 pounds. This is a good choice for most applications.
The OME751 offers 1.5" of lift, but it is set up for an additional 110-250 pounds. That means you better have a really heavy front bumper and winch hanging out up there.
So most folks look at the lift and say, "Ok, I want the most lift I can get, so I want a OME751 as it offers 1.5" of lift". Wrong. The only reason you would want a OME 751 is if you have a huge bumper, large winch, etc etc. The spring is designed to carry extra weight. It needs the extra weight to make it flex correctly. If you put on OME751 on a Range Rover without all that heavy gear up front, you will get lift, but you will loose articulation off road as you have no weight to make the spring work. You'll also be tossed around inside the rig on the trail like a rag doll. You will also loose on road handling as the springs will have no give and it will input a short choppy/ bumpy feel into your cabin. Flex is the key to a coil suspension, not lift. Lift is nice, but a flexible suspension will out drive a stiff lifted one 7 days a week. A better set up would be to go with a medium spring and use a small lift block. This would keep your suspension flexible, and give you your desired 1.5" of lift.
So consider your real needs and do not always buy "Heavy Duty" just because it says so on the box.
Above you can see that we have installed our new OME751 springs as we have a large ARB bumper and a Warn 10000 winch and we carry the Hi-Lift jack up there too. The fit is simple and the front end requires no other modifications. We also installed a set of Bilstien shocks to help with the road handling of our lifted rig and we tossed out the sway bar.
In the rear we have installed the OME764 units as we rarely carry much weight in the back and we want max articulation and flex, not max load carrying ability. Again we went with the Bilstien shocks for a nice simple and affordable suspension set up and we tossed the rear sway bar. The Stage 1 requires another part though. The yellow arrow points to our top spring retainer. Without the sway bar and with the lift, if the springs were not retained they could pop out of the spring pocket at the top under maximum articulation. Some suspension companies use this as an advantage and offer a "drop out" that allows the spring to fall out, and then be guided back into place, and that is an option for you to consider.
Another thing to consider is shock length and articulation. In the front axle of a Rover the suspension moves very little (unless you do some major mods) so you can typically install the stock type shocks without issue, even with the lift. In the rear it is a different story. The rear axle does move, or articulate, a lot. The factory length shocks are now inadequate for your raised suspension, they are too short. You can solve this problem by getting a different shock with the different dimensions, or you can install a simple drop kit. This basically relocates one end of the shock to compensate for the needed length. The ECR ROX drop kit can be seen above, all it does is relocate the lower mounting point of the shock. Different shocks or something like this drop kit is very important for your lifted Rover, don't leave it out, or you will have wasted a lot of articulation, and off road you need all the articulation you can get. Most lifted Rovers we see come in for service have left this step out and they are loosing valuable articulation, not to mention wearing out shock bushings faster by pulling on the shocks at full extension while off roading.
UFOs: NOT SOMETHING YOU WANT TO SEE OFF ROAD
One last point before we wrap up this project and take to the trail. We talked about the recovery gear you need, extra water maybe, rain coat, etc etc. All this stuff needs to be stored in your Rover, and we don't mean just tossed inside. We mean stored and secured. A couple of times off road we have seen loose shackles and tire irons go flying around inside the cabin and come out through a window. Luckily no one's head has been in the way when these things came out the windows. The lesson should be taken before a UFO hits you in the head, strap everything down, and NOT WITH A BUNGEE CORD! A bungee cord is great to tie down your coat, or maybe your tree strap, but your tool box, cooler or anything else that is heavy should be tied down with a static strap, like a ratchet strap or a motorcycle strap. I know a fellow off roader with a nice big scar on his left cheek (face not butt) from when a metal ended bungee could he had in his rig let go and snapped him in the face. Take a lesson from our buddy scarface, no bungee cords unless the object is soft and you wouldn't really mind if it hit you in the head.
Above you can see that we have installed our recovery equipment tool box and some extra winch rope into The Banana, but notice there are no bungee cords. We will use bungee cords on our off road trips, but they will hold down our rain coats and soft bags with extra clothes in them, not tool boxes.
So there it is, The Banana, set up for mild to moderate off roading. Safe, secure, capable and ready to go play with some pretty sound piece of mind that we will come back in one piece and won't embarrass ourselves in front of other off roaders, and we didn't break the bank. One last item for you to chew on... Look at The Banana, do you see a roof rack, any extra lights, diamond plate all over it? No, you don't. Why? Because you don't need any of that stuff to go off road. If you like the look of that stuff that is great, but sometimes you should remember this: K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid). Smart upgrades are better than flashy ones any day.
These types of upgrades can all be done one at a time as your budget allows. We did them all in one go here at ECR to make the article work correctly, but don't feel for a minute that you need all this stuff to enjoy the off road hobby. If you want to try some moderate trails you should have most of it, but to explore back country roads you really need to only follow step one, making sure your rig is mechanically sound and won't leave you stranded, and take your common sense with you. If you are out alone with the family without a winch, maybe you shouldn't try to cross that big mud bog. You get the point. Now get out there and have some fun getting dirty. That is exactly where we are headed with The Banana.
What do we suggest for getting into off roading with your Defender, Discovery or Range Rover?
#1. Get your rig fixed up and running in top notch condition.
#2. Protect the vulnerable sports so that your Rover stays in top notch condition.
#3. Be a Boy Scout (or girl scout) and be prepared.
#4. In case you need help, have safe recovery points.
#5. Come up with the best tires and suspension set up for you.
#6. Go back and double check #3.
#7 Go have fun!
TRAIL READY? HOW DID WE DO?
For a brief run down of the event go here. The short version is that we held up the Rover name with flying colors. We did the entire day without having to winch, get out the Hi-Lift or having any straps or ropes pulling us anywhere. The Banana ran perfectly and came back without any problems or damage.
Here is shot of The Banana on Sunday morning after the Saturday event. A little dirty from some of the mud holes, although most of the mud washed off in the heavy rain we drove back through on Saturday night, but none the worse for wear.
A few steep stream crossings meant that we plowed a little dirt compared to the bigger rigs at the event, but because we had our protection set up properly the worst thing we have to do to The Banana now is clean off the mud and dig the dirt out of the Hi-Lift jack.
We hope to see you out there on the trails on our next trip.
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East Coast Rover Co.
21 Tolman Road
Warren, ME 04864