If you are a Jeeper that likes to challenge yourself and crawl over rocks, listen up! Below we talk about a couple spots to go rock crawling in Florida, and we also have some tips to keep everyone safe and vehicles free of damage while rock crawling.
First Things First, What Type of Jeep?
Jeep Wranglers are definitely one of the best Jeep models for rock crawling because some of the trims actually special equipment specific to rock crawling. First off, all Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited trims come standard with 4WD and the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine that produces 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, which is plenty of power to help a vehicle’s wheels go over the steepest rocks. However, there is a lot more to rock crawling then an engine and 4WD and some Wrangler/ Wrangler Unlimited trims, like the Rubicon Hard Rock, Hard Rock, Rubicon Recon, Willys Wheeler W and more, have enhanced axle ratios, performance suspensions and other mechanical gear that is ideal for getting enough traction and power to the wheels when going over rocks.
Rock Crawling Prep
Gear up and be prepared for anything. Not only do off-road enthusiasts need to be concerned about having a Jeep Wrangler that can handle rock crawling, but drivers need to be prepared incase something goes wrong. We recommend the following items are in the Jeep before heading out:
- Guards to protect the vehicle from damage - grill guards and tail light guards are especially important.
- For crawling adventures bring a spare tire (full-size), tool kit for basic fixes along the way, a winch or tow rope in case there is trouble, and a first aid kit.
- Tire pressure and make sure the tires have no tears or holes.
- Fluids like oil, coolant, washer fluid and transmission fluid (just to name a few).
- The slower the better, it is called rock “crawling” for a reason!
- Use a spotter. The best way to make sure the best route over a big rocks is being taken is to have a friend outside of the vehicle as a spotter.
- “Air down.” Meaning, take some air out of the tires before crawling. Tires with lower air pressure have much better traction. According to FourWheeler, 10 to 13 PSI for a is a great starting place for an average-sized rig.
- The higher road, the better. It allows for better vision and help protect the vehicle's undercarriage.
- When descending from a rock use a low gear ratio to slow the vehicle and avoid pressing the clutch.
Where to Go Rock Crawling in Florida
Unfortunately there are no locations in South Florida to go rock crawling, but there are some good places just north of Ocala.
- Hard Rock Off-road park is an awesome (and affordable) spot for Jeepers to adventure. For a $25 entry fee, Jeeper have access to all the different trails and tracks including and excluding 4X4 vehicle spot. This track has very challenging rock crawling obstacles that are a must try.
- Ocala National Forest is also a great place to go. The forest has acres and acres of trails for all difficulties. The tougher ones are where off-roaders will experience rock crawling and steeper hills.
Need a new Jeep Wrangler to crawl in? Check out the Jeep Wrangler at NowCar here.
Photo source: Jeep Blog