Building a truck to handle both your daily commute and your off-road hobby can be a real challenge. From knobby tires to winch bumpers and everything in between, there is always that constant balance of need versus want, and it inevitably leads to compromise. It's tough enough when you destroy your rig on the trail, but when that same set of wheels must get you to the office on Monday, you can find yourself in a real bind. Hey, we're all for cycling, carpools, and saving the environment, but when you have to get a ride with your significant other because the doors on your truck no longer open, then it might be time to rethink your truck's double-duty status.
The best piece of advice we have for those thinking about transforming their daily driver into a weekend wheeler is to be realistic. If you wheel with guys that have moon buggies and you want your '97 Isuzu Rodeo to be able to go everywhere they go and still be in one piece, then snap out of it! Daily drivers don't have to look good, smell nice, or inflate your ego, but they do need to be reliable. Peeling your oil pan open on a rock just to show the buggy guys that you're hardcore too isn't really going to seem as smart an idea when you have to bum rides from your buddies the next week.
We're not saying that you can't do tough trails or even smash things up a bit. The reality is that as long as your 4-by is safe to drive on the road and gets you to and from everywhere you need to go, then it's cool by us.
Over the years we've run into the question of how to make a daily drive/weekend warrior better without wrapping the truck in a giant exoskeleton. Here are just a few of the parts, ways, and tips that you can make your workhorse and play toy one in the same.
The Million Dollar Question
It's the one thing we are repeatedly asked about: What are the best tires for my rig? Everybody wants the same thing-tough sidewalls, great ride, low noise, perfect in all conditions, tread life that will outlive the owner of the vehicle-and the best part is they need it to be cheap. Guess what? We still haven't found those tires, but today there are more all-terrain and mud-terrain tire options than ever in the history of off-road tires.
For our money a radial mud-terrain is a safe bet. And if you're looking for us to test a few out, you're in luck. Keep your eyes peeled for a mud-tire.