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Off-Roading and Ground Clearance: A Guide

a truck driving down a dirt road

If you’re looking to take your vehicle off the beaten path, then you need to know about ground clearance. This essential spec determines how well your vehicle can handle rough terrain. In this guide, we’ll explain what ground clearance is and how it affects off-road performance. So, whether you’re a seasoned off-roader or just getting started, read on for all the info you need!

What Is Ground Clearance?

Ground clearance is an important factor to consider when off-roading. It refers to the height between the ground and the lowest point on the vehicle, and it can be the difference between getting stuck and making it through.

A vehicle with high ground clearance will have a better chance of clearing obstacles, while a vehicle with low ground clearance is more likely to get hung up. When choosing a vehicle for off-roading, it’s important to consider both the terrain you’ll be driving on and your own driving style. If you know you’ll be tackling some tough obstacles, opt for a vehicle with plenty of ground clearance.

But if you’re more of a fair-weather driver, you can probably get by with less. Either way, it’s important to be aware of your ground clearance and how it can affect your off-roading experience.

What Is Approach Angle?

This is essentially the steepest angle between the lower part of your front bumper and the terrain. A low approach angle will cause scraping and possibly damage the undercarriage when trying steeper climbs. A good approach angle is just as important as your basic ground clearance.

What Is Departure Angle?

This is the same as your approach angle but refers to the back of your vehicle and the lowest descent angle you can handle. A low departure angle carries the risk of catching your rear end on terrain and causing damage.

What Is Break-Over Angle?

A break-over angle is the lowest point of your chassis, in between your wheels. Striking this is very bad as it can damage important vehicle components. Increasing tire size will increase this angle.

How High Off The Ground Should I Be?

This is an important question to ask before heading out – and to figure out the best answer you have to figure out the type of off-roading you will be doing. This mainly depends on the terrain you’ll be on. You could be crawling through the sand, dirt/mud, forest ground, and much more.

The best ground clearance for you could be completely different for someone else.

The Verdict

One of the most important aspects of an off-roading vehicle is ground clearance. A vehicle with high ground clearance will be able to navigate over obstacles without getting hung up and will be better able to deal with rough terrain. In addition, high ground clearance can help to prevent damage to your vehicle’s undercarriage. When planning your next off-roading adventure, be sure to choose a vehicle with plenty of ground clearance. It might just make all the difference.

Come Test Ground Clearance with Kauai ATV!

If you’re on Kauai and are looking to get out there and adventure through the wild – visit us at Kauai ATV! We have some of the best Polaris RZRs and are well-equipped to show you a good time. Thank you for reading, and we hope to hear from you!

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