Those springtime April showers may bring May flowers; however, they also make driving the trails in your beloved off-road truck a little more challenging.
We’re all up for a challenge though, right? That’s what off-roading is about!
Whether it’s rocky trails that become more slippery or mud holes that get a little muddier, off-roading in your off-road truck while it's raining can be fun as long as you realize that it can also bring an additional element of danger along with the fun.
Put your skills to the test and enjoy your time on the trail even when it’s raining with these practical tips that enable you to avoid accidents and stay safe!
Air Down the Tires
Trails and climbing obstacles become significantly more slippery when it’s raining and smaller mud puddles become bigger, softer mud holes when they collect more water.
Safe passage through both requires more traction.
Airing down the tires on your truck or Jeep is one of the best ways to get that as it increases the size of the tire’s contact patch while making the tire more flexible.
Turn On Your Headlights
This one should be a no-brainer because of course you already know that even a light rain reduces your driving visibility no matter if you're on the street or trail with your weekend warrior.
Put your headlights on so you can see around you and everyone else can see you, too.
Another pointer that should be obvious is to slow down just like you do driving in the rain on the street.
Wet trails are more slippery, visibility is compromised, and negotiating trails as well as obstacles is going to be harder due to loss of traction.
Go even slower than you normally would on a dry day to prevent mishaps with the new aftermarket bumper you just put on your truck.
Stay Out of Deep or Moving Water
Even following the usual safety rules about not entering water without knowing what’s at the bottom and/or how deep it is, moving water during a rain is even more dangerous.
There’s no way to know how heavy the rain is upstream; seemingly gentle currents where you are could suddenly increase if more water flows your way.
Additionally, active rains can change the consistency of your favorite mud hole or turn hollows in the trail into new ones.
It’s much safer to just avoid standing and moving water with your off-road truck altogether while it’s raining.
Test Brakes Often
Wet brakes may not be as sensitive as they normally are when they are dry.
If you do go through any water or your off-road truck ends up soaked from a good rain, step on the brakes and test them out after you cross to make sure they are responding properly.
You can also dry the brakes out by driving slowly with light pressure on the brake pedal to create friction heat that will evaporate the water.
Know When to Say When
Most importantly, the best tip for safe off-roading in the rain with the off-road truck you've so lovingly cared for is to know your limits and when it’s time to call it a day.
Heavy rains, lightning and thunder, and large wind gusts are not conditions for good and safe off-roading as whatever the trail is like in lighter rain, it will only get worse in a heavy downpour.
If storms are expected, think twice about heading out; if you’re already out and get caught in a downpour, find somewhere to safely pull off the trail and wait it out, then make your way back home.
Rein It In for Safe Off-Roading in the Rain
There is no reason why you shouldn’t take your off-road vehicle out on the trail during a springtime rain; however, it should be a warning to slow down and practice safe wet-driving tips.
Compensate for reduced traction and visibility, use caution when negotiating obstacles, and know when it’s safer for you to turn back and try it again with your off-road truck on another day!