Off-roading is a deep, very muddy rabbit hole. If you’re new to it, there’s a lot you can learn, and more still to learn, especially with regard to modifications. A modified truck or SUV is an insanely common sight on the trails for a reason. If you’re into the game, it’s best to educate yourself on the best mods, and which ones to skip. Owners often modify their trucks, and should you want to make changes to yours, these are the best.
A skid plate for your truck is a great place to start
Surprise, trails are just that: trails. They’re often full of low to the ground debris that makes traversing them fun for some, and a nightmare for others. A boxer keeps their hands over their face for a reason, and your truck or SUV should do the same. That’s exactly why the first thing you should do when modifying a car for off-road use is put a skid plate on your car, and hopefully keep the skids out of your pants.
Moreover, they’re usually on the cheaper side to fit. Heck, you can order a Toyota 4Runner with a sick “TRD” skidplate right from Japan. Though, the parts may not be overnighted. This one is under $500 buckaroos shipped. It’s a (relatively) cheap, effective way to get on the trails and make sure your truck can stay there.
Adding a roof rack increases backcountry usability
Speaking of staying there, you’ll likely want to take a few things with you on an off-road excursion. Sometimes, those things may not fit in your truck or SUV. No worries, simply throw it on the roof like that deer your dad bagged when you were a kid. However, there’s a better way to do that than just some ratchet straps and a few scratches in your paint.
A roof rack is definitely the most versatile mod on this list, and simply can’t be left out for that reason. They’ll be on the pricier side, with a roof tent easily coming up on $1500, but well worth it for the ability to sleep in it. Or, you can get a basket on up there, and haul around all the shovels, bags, jerry cans, or children you want (please don’t put kids in a roof basket).
Tires are the best mod for your off-roader
Finally, that leaves us with one of the best mods for your off-roader: tires. You won’t really be getting anywhere without a good set of off-road tires, but they’ll certainly be the most expensive item on this list. Expect a good set to run you around $2100. That said, it’s easily the best thing you can do for your ride, full stop. If you throw all three of these relatively cheap mods on your potential off-roader, you’re sure to be 99% of the way to an excellent off-road rig.