6 Things to Consider When Doing Off-Road Upgrades

After purchasing a new or used 4×4 off-road vehicle, the first thing one may want to do is customize it to their preferred taste. Beyond simple aesthetic changes, there are many performance, safety, rescue, storage, and comfort items one may want to consider for enhancing the overall user experience for drivers and passengers. These include suspension and gearing upgrades; heavy-duty tires and wheels; rescue, recovery, and storage gear; and an off-highway GPS navigation tool like onX Offroad.

Below is a list of upgrades you may want to consider that will improve performance and increase safety and comfort on your next off-road outing. Each brand is an Elite Partner participating in the onX Offroad Elite Benefits Program handpicked by the onX Offroad team. Users with an onX Offroad Elite Membership can take advantage of these exclusive industry discounts to purchase products from a group of ten trusted off-road industry brands.

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onX Offroad Elite members get access to exclusive discounts and services on the best brands in the off-road industry.

1.) Off-Road Suspension and Gearing

Upgrading the factory suspension and gearing on your 4×4 can significantly increase your vehicle’s performance, handling, traction, load-carrying capacity, and long-term durability. Suspension upgrades can help increase ground clearance, improve traction, and provide more confident control when navigating rugged terrain. Likewise, changing gearing to lower gear ratios can help tackle steep terrain easier, carry heavier loads, and deliver increased torque. Suspension and gearing products available from onX Offroad Elite partners include:

  • Fox Shocks is a leader in designing, developing, and manufacturing world-renowned performance suspension products for 4x4s to provide better handling, control, and comfort when off-roading and overlanding.
  • BDS Suspension engineers and manufactures high-quality suspension lift kits, leveling kits, and accessories for 4×4 off-road enthusiasts backed by a “No Fine Print” Lifetime Warranty.
  • Yukon Gear and Axle provides high-quality drivetrain parts using superior materials built to tolerances that exceed OEM specifications. Yukon manufactures high-performance products for off-road abuse so users can gear up and 4×4 confidently.

2.) Off-Road Tires and Wheels

Tires and wheels are among the most common initial upgrades made upon purchasing a new vehicle. Typically more associated with aesthetics than performance, off-road-specific tires, and wheels can help improve traction and increase durability by using materials designed to withstand the rigors of off-road. For example, thicker sidewalls make tires more puncture-resistant. Larger-diameter tires and wheels are a fantastic way to create a larger footprint for better traction, increasing ground clearance for better control when navigating rocky, steep inclines, and deep water crossings. Tires and wheel brands available from onX Offroad Elite partners include:

  • Falken Tires focuses on UHP (Ultra High Performance) products, including the Wildpeak off-road line used at racing and endurance events nationwide, including King of the Hammers. Falken Tires have gained a following in the off-road community and are trusted by the pros to take on the harshest conditions.
  • Method Wheels offers a range of high-performance wheels and accessories for trucks, SUVs, and other motorsport applications with a wide selection of designs, colors, and sizes to meet your vehicle’s visual and performance objectives.
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3.) Off-Road Recovery and Rescue

One of the challenges that make off-road adventures so exciting is the possibility of getting stranded in the backcountry due to a mechanical issue or getting stuck in mud, snow, or other rugged terrain. Because of these factors, it is imperative to carry recovery and rescue items such as hand tools, a winch, vehicle recovery boards, and emergency lighting that provide peace of mind and self-sufficiency in the backcountry in survival situations. Recovery and rescue items available from onX Offroad Elite partners include:

  • Warn Winches have been a longtime trusted source for winches, bumpers, mounting systems, rigging equipment, and 4WD hubs that allow 4×4 owners to head to the backcountry prepared and ready for what lies ahead.
  • Rigid Light is a leader in the LED off-road vehicle lighting industry, producing LED light bars, pods, rock lights, mounts, and more. Rigid is committed to providing top-notch innovative technologies, including patented hybrid optical reflectors, to project light further.
  • Maxtrax vehicle extraction and recovery boards are a safe, simple, and quick way for off-road drivers to remove themselves from sticky situations. Fiber-reinforced, engineering-grade nylon construction won’t break, crack, or stress from use.
  • Red Dog Tools provide off-roaders and overlanders with vehicle-specific tool kits. Each kit is designed for each make and model to help you get back on the trail to your destination quicker by providing the right tools for vehicle recovery.

4.) Storage Gear

Extra storage is another consideration when upgrading your new 4×4 vehicle. Added storage capacity, such as roof trays and racks, will help you carry rescue and recovery items, water and fuel, a spare tire and jack, storage boxes, and anything else you may need. Storage gear available from onX Offroad Elite partners include:

  • Rhino Rack makes vehicle roof racks, luggage boxes, and load-securing accessories that are as easy to use as they are durable. Rhino Rack uses the latest carrier technology to allow off-road enthusiasts to carry everything they need into the backcountry.
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5.) Overlanding Gear

For those who enjoy overlanding experiences, where the journey is as much the focus as the destination, and where self-sufficiency is necessary, overlanding gear is another consideration when upgrading a vehicle. These include rooftop tent setups, towable all-terrain camp trailers, and more permanent comfort and convenience items like portable power units, solar panels, refrigerators, awnings, and more that help make overlanding comfortable and enjoyable. Overlanding gear available from onX Offroad Elite partners include:

  • Roofnest aims to make camping accessible, convenient, and comfortable for outdoor enthusiasts with its durable, easy-to-use, hard-shell rooftop tents. Each Roofnest is made with lightweight and rugged materials to survive the most arduous overland journeys.
  • Patriot Campers designs rugged off-road camp trailers using superior quality components and manufacturing techniques that have made them a leader in the category. These camper trailers are designed to go anywhere you and your tow vehicle can take you.
  • Dometic products are designed for those who love the outdoor life, with a host of comfort and convenience products that make mobile living more enjoyable. Product segments include coolers, drinkware, mobile power solutions, and car, RV, and van camping solutions.

6.) Off-Road App and Map

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Our list of suggested upgrades wouldn’t be complete without a way to navigate and plan your off-roading trips. onX Offroad is your one-stop GPS navigation and travel planning App that can even be synced to your vehicle’s dash screen using Apple Car Play. onXOffroad will make your time in the backcountry more organized, efficient, and safe—all from the palm of your hand.

With an onX Offroad Elite Membership, not only will you have access to nationwide private land boundaries and be able to add ownership information to your maps, but you’ll also receive exclusive discounts from the ten industry-leading partners mentioned above.

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Dale Spangler

Dale Spangler is a lifelong motorcycle enthusiast introduced to two wheels at the age of eight and began racing motocross at 12. After chasing his dream of being a professional motocross racer through the mid-90s, he moved on to a career in the powersports industry, where he’s spent the last 28+ years as a marketing specialist, writer, and content creator.