Subaru Off Road

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Old 09-10-19, 12:29 AM
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Subaru Off Road

Excited to do off-road. Is there any specific preparation or add ons I need to put to my Subaru Forester 2018 to be ready for an off-road. Or it's not really necessary? I know this is not a truck but find out that subaru can also be used in off-roading and I have one so might as well try it. Any Subaru owners here?
 
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Old 09-10-19, 02:45 AM
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What is your definition of off roading? how extreme do you expect to get?
 
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Old 09-10-19, 04:36 AM
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Keep in mind that you have a car... that happens to have all wheel drive. It is not an off road vehicle in spite of some plastic trim and roof rails. Driving slowly down a farm lane with potholes is one thing. Hitting the dunes or rock crawling is a totally different animal. Off roading can break $100'000+ custom made vehicles so you need to keep your expectations in line with the vehicle you have and the terrain you want to cross.
 
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Old 09-10-19, 05:56 AM
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Street tires will not get you very far off-road. Just a thought.
 
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Old 09-10-19, 06:01 AM
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And keep in mind [I get this fairly often] if you break down or get stuck most towing companies will not have equipment to get to you.
 
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Old 09-10-19, 09:53 AM
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Also keep in mind that off-roading is not just about equipment, but the knowledge and skill of the driver. It's no different than the people who go out and buy a million dollar super-car, and promptly wrap it around a tree because it was too much car for them to handle. Bigger tires and a lift kit might help you get further down the trail, but they can also help you get more stuck, in a worse spot, than if you didn't have all the modifications.

My advice? Learn to drive the car as it is now. Learn to drive it well. Discover its limitations, and your limitations. Once you find those limitations, make the modifications to the car and to your knowledge to allow you to go where you want to go.
 
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Old 09-10-19, 04:06 PM
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Just gas it up and go.

I'd never even test-driven a Subaru before but I bought a used OBW to support my hunting, camping and other caveman stuff based entirely on reputation. I don't go rock crawling but I do want to get to places you couldn't reasonably expect any 2wd vehicle to get you to. And my OBW is the most sure-footed car I've ever driven short of a military Hum-Vee. Where I live there's only snow enough to make driving dangerous about every other year but when it snows here, I have the fastest car in town. Without studs or tire chains.

When I first got it it had almost bald tires on it. I took it out driving through a flooded field, including up a grassy hillside with water flowing down it, and across a feed lot with mud up to the front bumper, knowing all the while I had a tractor on hand to pull me out when it got stuck. Except it didn't.

That was the day I christened it "the magic Subie."

The AWD that's in your Forester is the direct descendant of a system Subaru has been refining continuously since 1972. This video gives a hint of why their symmetric AWD is so good. If any one wheel can get traction, you'll keep moving.

So long as you're mindful of your limited ground clearance, you'll have to do something pretty stupid to get it stuck. I know that to be true because I've failed to get mine stuck in 11 years and I'm dumber than a wooden watch.
 
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Old 09-11-19, 05:54 AM
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We've had our 2012 Honda Pilot off road (water in bottom of doors off roading..).
The first things you need to get or have is safety gear to get yourself unstuck. As others mentioned, these are technically cars, yours being uni-body.
Second thing is to know the limitations and construction of your vehicle stock. These vehicles (my pilot included) have very, very little in the way of guarding around critical parts. You need to know how your AWD functions, and its limitations. I can't speak for the Subaru vehicles much, but the Honda Pilots and Ridgelines before 2016 had magnetic locking diffs which function as intended (get you out of trouble in your people mover) but can and do fail for off roading (Disengages over 20kmph, motor able to over power lock if dealing with diagonal slip, etc).

Above and beyond everything, these are (my Pilot included) pavement intended, people movers and not tow vehicles, offroaders, etc. The AWD on these is to keep you out of trouble and or assist when you do get into trouble.
 
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Old 09-11-19, 11:29 PM
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Thanks for the advice guys. I am planning to get an actual truck not sure if Jeep or Ford as I am really into off-roading. For now, just doing a baby step for my Forester and will install this skid plate ************on the weekend. Planning on just trying a beginner/easy trail and probably not thinking of extreme offroad trail. As for my driving skills, I feel like I am a smart driver as I will not try any exhibitions or scray parts that I know my Subaru can't survive.
 

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Old 09-12-19, 04:05 AM
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IMO Jeep Wranglers are the most capable stock 4x4s although most any 4x4 can be modified to make it ready for most any off road application.
 
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Old 09-12-19, 05:11 AM
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A few off-road "lessons learned the hard way":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-RAUAzd3Cc

 
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Old 09-12-19, 05:16 AM
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For off road you really want a vehicle with a frame not monocoque construction like most cars and modern SUV's. Jeeps, old Toyota pickup trucks, old Nissan Pathfinder (had one I used off road in Central America) can work pretty well. A full size truck might not be the best simply because of their size being a too much for tight trails.

When taking your Forester out plan for self recovery. What will you do if you get hung up or stuck? Long 2" heavy duty ratchet straps, cable come-along winch, choker strap to go around a rock or tree for an anchor point, some scrap pieces of lumber to put under wheels...

Also, bring a full size spare tire, especially if you'll be running lower air pressure in your tires. Rough trails can be pretty good at breaking the tire bead and giving you an instant flat. If you don't have a full size spare I'd keep the tires at highway pressure. You'll also want scrap wood to put under the jack to keep it from sinking into mud or soft sand.

Be mindful of driving through brush and tree limbs. You can drive through them but they can scratch your clear coat.
 
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