Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Water Off-Road Tips

"Be Prepared" is the Boy Scout Motto I like to follow. Especially in my Jeep out on the trails - careless driving can be costly. 

One part of being prepared is to know what to do in all situations and what to avoid. "Go Anywhere, Do Anything" is the Jeep Motto. Well, the "Go Anywhere" part can be in the sand, water, mud, rocks and I'm sure I'm missing some others as well. 

Being prepared is knowing the do's and don'ts before you go out and hit the trails. So, today I will start with water obstacles. My experience of driving in the water is limited - a few trails at Rausch Creek where the rain water or melting snow has filled up some low lying areas.You always see folks plowing through the water with it splashing off to the sides. Well, I tend to roll through the water very slowly. You never know what lurks below the surface.  Like here in this video the last time I was on the trails.  

A few other tips I learned...

Roll through the water slowly because there could be hidden rocks and holes in your path. 

Watch the vehicle in front of you as they will help you see what could be in your way. 

Know your Jeep's capability. Jeep has some videos of their vehicles water-fording... Click here 

How deep should you go... well each vehicle is different. I tend to air on the side of caution. I don't like go higher than my bumper. Water can damage the engine, transmission, electronics and differentials. 

Like with any type of off-roading never go alone. You might need someone to pull you out of the water. 

Once out of the water be careful of your brakes. Use them lightly until they dry out.  

I bet there is still a lot more for me to learn about water obstacles. Just as there is a lot for me to learn about rocks, mud and sand. I believe we can help each other learn by sharing our do's and don'ts or our Top tips.

Do you have Top tips for off-roading in the water? Please share them! 


--Conformal Coating on sensitive circuit boards to protect against water and moisture.

--Go fast enough to create a wave in front of your vehicle ( but not too fast )

--If you're crossing a river do it downstream ( diagonally )

--If your engine drown ( sucked water ) never try to start it again unless you have taken out the spark plugs and purge the water inside the cylinders. I've seem people destroy their engines that way. Important: unless you have a snorkel be sure it isn't too deep.

--Send the higher rig first, if he goes to the other side he can pull you out of trouble.

--Be careful of nesting birds in snorkel.

--Keep the intake out of the water, keep the engine running, and send your sister onto the hood to let out the winch when you get hung up and need keep the Jeep running. 

--something to add for the TJ's with auto's.  The breather hole for the trans is about 2/3 the way the bell housing.  so that needs to be address if you want to go deeper.

--all "vents" need to be extended. I extended my tranny and both axle vents. No faster way to ruin the tranny or axle seals and bearings than putting water into them!

--never go alone,  make sure every electronic thing is protected, SNORKEL! If Water is all you tend to go threw, Drive slow! You never know whats under that water, Have the bigger rig go first to help pull you out, The right tires for the trail! People often forget that not all tires are the same! High side wall tires do wonders in thick mud and river crossings.

  - Simple Living! - Enjoying Life! - The Jeep Life! 

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