What kind of off-roading can I do in a stock JLU Sahara?

mbartelt

Well-Known Member
First Name
Michael
Joined
Apr 8, 2020
Messages
61
Reaction score
90
Location
Carson City Nevada
Vehicle(s)
2018 JLUS
Fairly new to the Jeep world. I'm a good driver in the regular world, lol!
Just take it slow and pay attention. All you really need to do is be able to pick a decent line. Try to find someone experienced in your area to go trailing with. Your Jeep is far more capable than you probably realize.
 

Fsttanks

Well-Known Member
First Name
Tony
Joined
Jul 15, 2020
Messages
339
Reaction score
666
Location
Palm Springs Ca.
Vehicle(s)
2013 JKU / 2014 JK / 2020 JLUR
I have had my Sahara for a few months with no spare funds for mods like tires, lift, etc. so it is still all stock. I would like to do some light off-roading just to get a taste of what the Jeep is capable of. With stock 18" wheels and the stock All Season tires, what can I do and what shouldn't I do when it comes to off-roading? (I'm sure rock crawling is out of the question! lol) Also, if anyone has any SoCal spots where I can try this, I am all ears!
Your two biggest limiting factors are your driving skill and the Sahara factory plastic running boards / side steps. The running boards are easily damaged or ripped off even on moderate trails. Trust me I have seen it happen a number of times.

Another factor to be mindful of are the stock street “bias” tires. These have relatively thin side walls and on SoCal trails that tend to be “rocky” do not hold up well especially if not properly aired down. Again I have seen them take sidewall cuts punctures and need to be swapped out on the trail.

So my recommendation is to remove the running boards and make sure you air down your tires to at least 20 psi before starting out on the trail.

Note: Most Forest trails have a rating posted at the start. Easy, Moderate, and Black Diamond for Hard. Don’t go on the Black Diamond trails and be cautious even on the Moderate trails as many of these have become underrated after years of over use...... aka trails have been torn up by those that do not practice trend lightly off roading. Sadly that’s A LOT of Californians.
 
OP
OP
SoCal JLUS

SoCal JLUS

Active Member
First Name
David
Joined
Jul 20, 2021
Messages
34
Reaction score
13
Location
Los Angeles
Vehicle(s)
JLU Sahara
Your two biggest limiting factors are your driving skill and the Sahara factory plastic running boards / side steps. The running boards are easily damaged or ripped off even on moderate trails. Trust me I have seen it happen a number of times.

Another factor to be mindful of are the stock street “bias” tires. These have relatively thin side walls and on SoCal trails that tend to be “rocky” do not hold up well especially if not properly aired down. Again I have seen them take sidewall cuts punctures and need to be swapped out on the trail.

So my recommendation is to remove the running boards and make sure you air down your tires to at least 20 psi before starting out on the trail.

Note: Most Forest trails have a rating posted at the start. Easy, Moderate, and Black Diamond for Hard. Don’t go on the Black Diamond trails and be cautious even on the Moderate trails as many of these have become underrated after years of over use...... aka trails have been torn up by those that do not practice trend lightly off roading. Sadly that’s A LOT of Californians.
Easy Rated Trails sound like a good place to start. Want to get my feet wet, so to speak. Thanks for the advice, especially on the running boards! Now to find out how to remove these temporarily for trails. 🤔
 

Fsttanks

Well-Known Member
First Name
Tony
Joined
Jul 15, 2020
Messages
339
Reaction score
666
Location
Palm Springs Ca.
Vehicle(s)
2013 JKU / 2014 JK / 2020 JLUR
Your two biggest limiting factors are your driving skill and the Sahara factory plastic running boards / side steps. The running boards are easily damaged or ripped off even on moderate trails. Trust me I have seen it happen a number of times.

Another factor to be mindful of are the stock street “bias” tires. These have relatively thin side walls and on SoCal trails that tend to be “rocky” do not hold up well especially if not properly aired down. Again I have seen them take sidewall cuts punctures and need to be swapped out on the trail.

So my recommendation is to remove the running boards and make sure you air down your tires to at least 20 psi before starting out on the trail.

Note: Most Forest trails have a rating at the start. Easy, Moderate, and Black Diamond for Hard. Don’t go on the Black Diamond trails and be cautious even on the Moderate trails as many of these have become underrated after years of over use...... aka trails have been torn up by those that do not practice trend lightly off roading. Sadly that’s A LOT of Californians.
Easy Rated Trails sound like a good place to start. Want to get my feet wet, so to speak. Thanks for the advice, especially on the running boards!
If you want a nice starter run look at 3N16 up in Big Bear. It is the main “easy” forest road through Big Bear and just happens to be the road that connects two world famous trails John Bull 3N10 and Gold Mount 3N69. Two trails you will hopefully get to the point of running one day. 3N16 is also very scenic with lots of places to stop and just enjoy the outdoors.
 

wibornz

Well-Known Member
First Name
Ted
Joined
Aug 3, 2018
Messages
3,681
Reaction score
11,893
Location
lansing, Mi.
Vehicle(s)
JL Unlimited Rubicon
Occupation
Retired from Corrections....I have stories.
I would tell you that there are way more trails that you can do with a stock Jeep than there are trails that you can't do. Very rare that you need lockers, big tires, and a lift. You basically have to go look for those kind of trails. There are thousand and thousands of miles of seasonal roads, forest roads, and trails that you can do with a stock Jeep. The biggest thing hold anyone back is the lack of a plan or putting a plan together to go wheeling. Stop dreaming about it, load up the Jeep and go. Your Jeep is ready right now.

Just keep your ego in check and have the ability to tell yourself, hey maybe I should turn around or look for a different way if something looks to hard. Build your skill set and things that look impossible with a stock Jeep will soon just become another trail obstacle.


Go have a great time.
 

Cutterone

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2019
Messages
149
Reaction score
94
Location
NH
Vehicle(s)
2021 JLU Sahara Sarge 6sp
I did 3-5 trails at jamboree at Killington this year in my brand new 2021 Sahara Sarge 6sp, only non stock item was the Toyo OC AT3, and even then I stuck with 32's (275-65-17). No want for traction, but a running board took a hit, belly scraps, wheel rash. But I was amazed she made it thru. These things are no joke, however I'll be adding lift, sliders, and at least 33's before I attempt again, its mostly the breakover that was an issue most of the time...
 

CTMopar

Well-Known Member
First Name
Barry
Joined
Aug 4, 2021
Messages
133
Reaction score
174
Location
Connecticut
Vehicle(s)
06 TJ, 11 Ram 1500, 20 Cherokee Trail Hawk
I did 3-5 trails at jamboree at Killington this year in my brand new 2021 Sahara Sarge 6sp, only non stock item was the Toyo OC AT3, and even then I stuck with 32's (275-65-17). No want for traction, but a running board took a hit, belly scraps, wheel rash. But I was amazed she made it thru. These things are no joke, however I'll be adding lift, sliders, and at least 33's before I attempt again, its mostly the breakover that was an issue most of the time...
275/65r17 is a 31” tire not a 32”
 

Sean L

Well-Known Member
First Name
Sean
Joined
Mar 9, 2018
Messages
28,885
Reaction score
152,111
Location
North Carolina
Vehicle(s)
2018 Jeep Wrangler Sahara, 2017 Honda Accord Sport, 2003 Yamaha V Star 650 Silverado, 2014 Yamaha V Star 1300 Tourer
Occupation
Retired Marine, Construction Estimator
Vehicle Showcase
2
Very lightly modded Sahara owner here. Every time I take my Jeep out I am continuously surprised at just what it can do. The Limited Slip Differential and the Brake Lock Differential system are very effective traction aids, especially when you have the sway bar disconnected. I had the Goodyear AT Adventures at first and they gripped pretty well but I found that putting a wider tire with a more aggressive tread does wonders!

OP once you wear down those factory tires just put a set of 275/70R18 KO2s or a similar AT on and you will not be disappointed!
 

alksion

Well-Known Member
First Name
Josiah
Joined
Jan 3, 2021
Messages
1,442
Reaction score
1,585
Location
Brea, CA
Vehicle(s)
21 Rubicon 392, 21 Sahara Altitude
Occupation
Biz Owner
Your two biggest limiting factors are your driving skill and the Sahara factory plastic running boards / side steps. The running boards are easily damaged or ripped off even on moderate trails. Trust me I have seen it happen a number of times.

Another factor to be mindful of are the stock street “bias” tires. These have relatively thin side walls and on SoCal trails that tend to be “rocky” do not hold up well especially if not properly aired down. Again I have seen them take sidewall cuts punctures and need to be swapped out on the trail.

So my recommendation is to remove the running boards and make sure you air down your tires to at least 20 psi before starting out on the trail.

Note: Most Forest trails have a rating posted at the start. Easy, Moderate, and Black Diamond for Hard. Don’t go on the Black Diamond trails and be cautious even on the Moderate trails as many of these have become underrated after years of over use...... aka trails have been torn up by those that do not practice trend lightly off roading. Sadly that’s A LOT of Californians.
This! Some trails are so badly eroded the ruts and exposed rocks are more defined than ever before. I like what someone else said. If something looks challenging be comfortable turning back. Also take a look at a few of the off-road apps, see if there’s any information regarding how challenging it is.
 

Sean L

Well-Known Member
First Name
Sean
Joined
Mar 9, 2018
Messages
28,885
Reaction score
152,111
Location
North Carolina
Vehicle(s)
2018 Jeep Wrangler Sahara, 2017 Honda Accord Sport, 2003 Yamaha V Star 650 Silverado, 2014 Yamaha V Star 1300 Tourer
Occupation
Retired Marine, Construction Estimator
Vehicle Showcase
2
He probably meant 18 and not 17..... 275/65r18 are 32.2 inches which is the same as the stock Sahara tires, but 1 inch wider.
This is the size I wound up going with. Got my stimulus check and used it on a set of 5 Pirelli Scorpion AT Plus.

I would have gone with 275/70R18 if I had money left over for a taser to go with em. Otherwise I didn't want to drive for a while without recalibrating the speedo.
 

Steph1

Well-Known Member
First Name
Steph
Joined
Jul 21, 2021
Messages
94
Reaction score
70
Location
Quebec, Canada
Vehicle(s)
Jeep JLU Sahara, Audi Q5, Porsche 911
This is the size I wound up going with. Got my stimulus check and used it on a set of 5 Pirelli Scorpion AT Plus.

I would have gone with 275/70R18 if I had money left over for a taser to go with em. Otherwise I didn't want to drive for a while without recalibrating the speedo.
Jscan does the job well for a fraction of the price.
 

Sean L

Well-Known Member
First Name
Sean
Joined
Mar 9, 2018
Messages
28,885
Reaction score
152,111
Location
North Carolina
Vehicle(s)
2018 Jeep Wrangler Sahara, 2017 Honda Accord Sport, 2003 Yamaha V Star 650 Silverado, 2014 Yamaha V Star 1300 Tourer
Occupation
Retired Marine, Construction Estimator
Vehicle Showcase
2
Jscan does the job well for a fraction of the price.
I'll keep that in mind for next time. It'll be a while before these are ready to be replaced.
 
Advertisement

PSC Motorsports
 
Advertisement
Top