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I have a latitude 4x4. How much off roading is feasible for my Renegade?
Clee, generally our 4X4,s are very capable and are limited by the drivers abilities. The driver is afraid of doing damage to an expensive new vehicle.
I was afraid of a few big obstacles and used the excuse that my JEEP was not capable. Only after I went on several training courses, did I understand the capability of my JEEP and then I was able to trust it.

I would advise that you trust your JEEP as it is more capable than you would imagine, and will go places that you would not take it. Join fellow Renegade drivers and do a little soft offroading without putting yourself under pressure.

If you are intimidated in any way by an obstacle, walk away.

I am sorry if I am not making any sense, but nobody can tell you exactly how capable your JEEP is. You need to figure that all out yourself.
Find your boundaries then explore them. Baby steps until you have figured it all out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Clee, generally our 4X4,s are very capable and are limited by the drivers abilities. The driver is afraid of doing damage to an expensive new vehicle.
I was afraid of a few big obstacles and used the excuse that my JEEP was not capable. Only after I went on several training courses, did I understand the capability of my JEEP and then I was able to trust it.

I would advise that you trust your JEEP as it is more capable than you would imagine, and will go places that you would not take it. Join fellow Renegade drivers and do a little soft offroading without putting yourself under pressure.

If you are intimidated in any way by an obstacle, walk away.

I am sorry if I am not making any sense, but nobody can tell you exactly how capable your JEEP is. You need to figure that all out yourself.
Find your boundaries then explore them. Baby steps until you have figured it all out.
That was the point of my post, I don't want to do anything to damage my vehicle. At the same time, I want to use my vehicle to get the most pleasure out of it that I can. Doing some off roading sounds fun. I have a Silverado that I use to hunt out of and do some off roading in the process. I am wondering if my 4x4 latitude can do most of the same? I really do think that it can. I just don't want to put my $25,000 daily driver in jeopardy of being damaged.
 

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I have a latitude 4x4. How much off roading is feasible for my Renegade?
... sure tires make the difference... and a suspension lift can help too...

;)
 

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That was the point of my post, I don't want to do anything to damage my vehicle. At the same time, I want to use my vehicle to get the most pleasure out of it that I can. Doing some off roading sounds fun. I have a Silverado that I use to hunt out of and do some off roading in the process. I am wondering if my 4x4 latitude can do most of the same? I really do think that it can. I just don't want to put my $25,000 daily driver in jeopardy of being damaged.


I think that your daily drive may surprise you. Spend some time on You Tube,
 

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Did you mean 4x2, not 4x4?

Isn't one of the big selling points of the 4x4 to go off road? I am curious to see how much my 4x2 Latitude with 18 inch wheels can do. It isn't a Trailhawk and it isn't a 4x4.
 

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The Trailhawk only has 8/10" of an inch more clearance than your 4x4 Latitude. In most cases your 4x4 Lat should go just about anywhere you want to take it. We bought a 4x4 Renegade Sport but the dealer had already added many of the options that come on the Latutude like back up camera and premium sound. I intend to add a full sized spare, jack (like the one in the Trailhawk) and probably General Grabber AT2 tires before I take it offroad.

We also own a 2008 Jeep Commander that is our primary offroader. I'm really hoping the little Renegade will be as capable as our Commander once we get it rigged out properly.
 

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The "main" trails I frequent are fine for any non-Trailhawk. One of my cousin drives his CRV out there with us. He is on a AWD drivetrain and his clearance is between a street car and a Renegade. He is also on street tires on the stock wheels. He just has to drive slower and pick all of his paths carefully.

If you have a capable Silverado, you can scope out the trails before you take the Renegade out.

I haven't had any issues with clearance in my Trailhawk unless I purposely drive over deep ruts and even then I've only scratched maybe 3 times.

I drive the Trailhawk in Auto Mode on the streets until I hit dirt. I could keep it in Auto Mode on the dirt as well, but I like to turn on 4WD Lock with Auto Mode. 90% of the trails are done like this. The only time I need to turn 4Low or Rock Mode on is when I go off the main trail to do some crawling. Most of the deep ruts and steep hills I run into the Renegade can handle in Auto Mode with 4WD Lock on. It is easier with 4Low, but it will handle it just fine with 4WD Lock. Between the 2 modes, it's just driving techniques.

Trailhawk 4Low and Rock Mode - You don't need speed. You can crawl up and over obstacles. You get more torque from a stop and at a crawl. Acceleration is decreased. You shouldn't be driving fast with these on. I'm not sure if the Renegade will limit your speed because I don't feel likely finding out and risk damage to the drivetrain. 15-20mph. I use it to crawl and climb so I get up to around 10mph.

Renegade Auto Mode and 4WD Lock - Again I use this on 90% of the trails. 100% if I decide not to play around, but how is that fun? But even without 4Low on I can still make it through deep ruts and steep hills. For the ruts the Renegade will like to get on 3 wheels but it will put the power where you need it and will push through with no problems. I don't have to speed through it and you shouldn't be cause you can slam your Renegade into the ruts/rocks. Just keep a steady slow pace and when you hit the ruts/rocks give it some gas to keep that pace through the obstacles. If you come up on a steep hill, start off with some speed and keep the pace. The hill will slow you down. Just watch out for any ruts/rocks on the hill. But most of these obstacles are avoidable, I've just been testing the Renegade and keep increasing the difficulty until I find obstacles that require 4Low and Rock Mode.

As for tires, even the Trailhawk's Goodyear Wranglers easily has limits. I occasionally spin the tires because of limited traction and fully aired tires. But the Renegades drivetrain does an excellent job shifting the power and getting me through. Don't hesitate and stop, just give it a bit of gas and let the car do it's job. The Sport, Latitude, and Limited shouldn't have any problems with there street tires, if they have 4WD Lock on. Again, my cousin has been out there with us in his CRV with street tires. The only concern I might have is the Limited's 18" wheels and lower profile tires. You're in more risk of punctures and rim damage because of the thinner tires.
 

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Generally, ground clearance and traction are the biggest physical limiting factors. Given that, with good wheel placement, you'd be surprised how capable most modern AWD systems are. Emphasis on AWD. It is not a true 4x4 and will never do the things that one is capable of. Vice versa, a true 4x4 can't really match on-road efficiency of a AWD system either. Again, these are all general notions. I'm sure there are special exceptions where a highly technologically advanced and specialty built AWD or 4x4 vehicle challenge these notions.

Anyway, think of your AWD system as a compromise between a dedicated road system and true 4x4 capable of plowing through deep mud and crawling over boulders. Also, think of it as a softer version of a AWD rally car system. With proper wheel placement and being mindful of ground clearance (having a spotter helps), there are lots of places you can traverse. Slow and steady is the game. Obviously, on dirt roads, you'll do just fine. Even a 2wd passenger car can tackle those. When you see large rocks or uneven ruts, you'll need to be more mindful of the physical limitations and pick your path more carefully. If you lose traction and get stuck, don't floor it and dig yourself deeper. Take a step back and re-evalutate what you can do differently to get through, or that perhaps it's time to turn around.

Liberal application of common sense is half the battle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The "main" trails I frequent are fine for any non-Trailhawk. One of my cousin drives his CRV out there with us. He is on a AWD drivetrain and his clearance is between a street car and a Renegade. He is also on street tires on the stock wheels. He just has to drive slower and pick all of his paths carefully.

If you have a capable Silverado, you can scope out the trails before you take the Renegade out.

I haven't had any issues with clearance in my Trailhawk unless I purposely drive over deep ruts and even then I've only scratched maybe 3 times.

I drive the Trailhawk in Auto Mode on the streets until I hit dirt. I could keep it in Auto Mode on the dirt as well, but I like to turn on 4WD Lock with Auto Mode. 90% of the trails are done like this. The only time I need to turn 4Low or Rock Mode on is when I go off the main trail to do some crawling. Most of the deep ruts and steep hills I run into the Renegade can handle in Auto Mode with 4WD Lock on. It is easier with 4Low, but it will handle it just fine with 4WD Lock. Between the 2 modes, it's just driving techniques.

Trailhawk 4Low and Rock Mode - You don't need speed. You can crawl up and over obstacles. You get more torque from a stop and at a crawl. Acceleration is decreased. You shouldn't be driving fast with these on. I'm not sure if the Renegade will limit your speed because I don't feel likely finding out and risk damage to the drivetrain. 15-20mph. I use it to crawl and climb so I get up to around 10mph.

Renegade Auto Mode and 4WD Lock - Again I use this on 90% of the trails. 100% if I decide not to play around, but how is that fun? But even without 4Low on I can still make it through deep ruts and steep hills. For the ruts the Renegade will like to get on 3 wheels but it will put the power where you need it and will push through with no problems. I don't have to speed through it and you shouldn't be cause you can slam your Renegade into the ruts/rocks. Just keep a steady slow pace and when you hit the ruts/rocks give it some gas to keep that pace through the obstacles. If you come up on a steep hill, start off with some speed and keep the pace. The hill will slow you down. Just watch out for any ruts/rocks on the hill. But most of these obstacles are avoidable, I've just been testing the Renegade and keep increasing the difficulty until I find obstacles that require 4Low and Rock Mode.

As for tires, even the Trailhawk's Goodyear Wranglers easily has limits. I occasionally spin the tires because of limited traction and fully aired tires. But the Renegades drivetrain does an excellent job shifting the power and getting me through. Don't hesitate and stop, just give it a bit of gas and let the car do it's job. The Sport, Latitude, and Limited shouldn't have any problems with there street tires, if they have 4WD Lock on. Again, my cousin has been out there with us in his CRV with street tires. The only concern I might have is the Limited's 18" wheels and lower profile tires. You're in more risk of punctures and rim damage because of the thinner tires.
Thanks for all the tips. I did get the 4x4 with the 18" tires, so that should give me a bit more clearance as well. I really am a bit nervous to get too crazy with this thing but I do want to try it out some to see exactly what it can do. I wish that there were youtube videos of non trailhawk 4x4s out getting dirty.
 

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There's a guy on another Jeep forum with a red FWD Patriot that regularly offroads his Pat and takes it places people think it shouldn't be able to go.

The tricks seem to be to turn off all traction control, keep momentum and don't be a slow crawling sissy.
 

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Thanks for all the tips. I did get the 4x4 with the 18" tires, so that should give me a bit more clearance as well. I really am a bit nervous to get too crazy with this thing but I do want to try it out some to see exactly what it can do. I wish that there were youtube videos of non trailhawk 4x4s out getting dirty.
When off-roading, it isn't the size of the tire that's important. It's how much sidewall you have. You want more than less (i.e. a 17" wheel with more sidewall vs 18" wheel with less).

More slidewall will give you a more compliant ride and help the tire beed stay on the rim once aired down when they are side loaded. Lower profile tires are not ideal for leaving the pavement.

The tricks seem to be to turn off all traction control, keep momentum and don't be a slow crawling sissy.
It depends on the situation. Not all call for more speed.
 

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We can't wait to get our Renegade to the Bighorn mountains. Took our 2009 Escape last year and pushed it pretty good on some steep, rocky hills and it did well. I expect the Renegade will do just as well and likely better.

I've already tried to get out Latitude stuck in a slippery 3 foot ditch on the property next to mine and it crawled out of that ditch like a pro. Neighbor said I'd have to pull it out with my Cherokee and was wrong!
 

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Excellent thread. Awesome tips.


This thread gives me hope in case the Trailhawk doesn't pan out and I get a Limited instead.

TS
 
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Excellent thread. Awesome tips.


This thread gives me hope in case the Trailhawk doesn't pan out and I get a Limited instead.

TS
If obstacle-free dirt road driving is all you'll be doing, the limited will do just fine. Otherwise, the TH gives you slightly more ground clearance, greater approach and departure angles, skid plates plus crawl ratio to go beyond the point where others turn around.
 

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I have a bunch of small youtube clips of me on the trails. The videos don't show how deep the ruts are though. In most of the descriptions, I note what mode I'm in. The only difference would be the .8" height difference.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0-bzo_oI_L_Y4NL5vyLCPA

It's a white Renegade Trailhawk.
 

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I have a bunch of small youtube clips of me on the trails. The videos don't show how deep the ruts are though. In most of the descriptions, I note what mode I'm in. The only difference would be the .8" height difference.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0-bzo_oI_L_Y4NL5vyLCPA

It's a white Renegade Trailhawk.
Where exactly is Bee Canyon? pools of water in SoCal... that's hard to imagine considering the draught we're having.
 

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I hope this works. Click the link to Google Maps and I put down points of interests.

Use my map as a reference and pull up another map in Google Earth Mode to see the Jeep Trail. You won't be able to make out the creek/stream though.

The lower entrance is easy to find. Pass the Ranger Station, then you cross a small bridge, and its the next left.

The exit is a little tricky, because you end up at some cabins with various little streets. Just stay on the main big street and it will lead you out. Pay attention to the signs the cabin owners put up. They usually say "private property" or something along those line to keep you on the main street.

There are a lot of people that come offroading with ATV, Bikes, and UTVs. So watch out for them around the corners. They come from the front and behind very quick. Pull over and let them by. If you run into someone else coming head on, the car driving uphill has to back up and find somewhere to pullover, if there is not enough space. If you are going slow and another car comes up behind you, please pull over and let them by. If you run into someone head on and they pull over for you, give them a finger count of how many cars are behind you, so they can stay pulled over until all cars come past.

https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zN-5Dt3kvxjM.kenuMpYnUMU4&usp=sharing
 

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