Off-Roading In Texas

by Amanda Poe @NomadOffroadTX

Texas is the land of opportunity for off-road enthusiasts of all kinds. From the forests of east Texas to the plains of west Texas, and everything in between, we have a wide array of terrains and obstacles right here in the Lone Star State. Whether you’re looking for a day trip, or a whole weekend of adventure, here is a list of some of the off-road destinations within easy driving distance of San Antonio. 

Barnwell Mountain Recreation area in Gilmer, Texas

Distance: 6 Hour Drive

Advantages: There are trails of all kinds, most of which are well marked and accurately graded. This makes it a blast for off-roaders of all experience levels. For more experienced off-roaders, there are some very technical obstacles to test not only your rig, but also your patience. We make regular trips to Barnwell and always plan to stay for a minimum of three days. They make long weekend stays very easy by allowing visitors to camp anywhere in the park. This means there’s plenty of spots to set up camp, even on busy weekends. 

Disadvantages: Be prepared to detail everything. The park is in east Texas, so it is full of red dirt and red clay. You will take home more of Barnwell than you can imagine.

Insider tip: Maps of the park are not provided at the gate – they must be purchased. I highly recommend purchasing a map if it is your first trip.

Overall Rating: 9 out of 10. 

Hidden Falls Adventure Park in Marble Falls, Texas

Distance: 2 Hour Drive

Advantages: This is a beautifully maintained park with breathtaking views of the gorgeous hill country. There are plenty of technical trails for more experienced off-roaders, all of which are very well marked and graded. There is very little dust here since it is mostly rocks and hills, making it easier to ride doorless on nice days.

Disadvantages: This is a small park with very few “easy” trails. Vehicles with unmodified suspension will have great difficulty finding enough trails to occupy the weekend. On crowded weekends, the “easy” trails are sometimes backed up to the trail entrance with long waits to access the trails.

Insider tip: During rainy season, add an additional diamond to all trail ratings. A trail that is rated at a two diamond when dry, quickly becomes a three diamond when wet because of the rocks and inclines. 

Overall Rating: 6 out of 10. 

Northwest OHV Park in Bridgeport, Texas

Distance: 5 Hour Drive

Advantages: With more than 25 miles of 4×4 trails, there is enough in Northwest OHV Park to entertain most off-road enthusiasts. This park is also on the easier side, making it more fun for off-roaders of all experience levels. With more than 75% of the park being accessible by a mostly stock 4×4 vehicle, there is plenty of fun to be had by all. For Jeep drivers, the whole park is also a part of the Jeep Badge of Honor program. Simply checking in anywhere in the park will get you one of the coveted badges.

Disadvantages: First, trails are not well marked, nor well graded. Less experienced off-roaders should take the trails slow and be prepared to make plenty of U-turns. Second, there is no camping in the park. Long trips will require hotel stays in town. Third, there is no night wheeling allowed. The park closes at 7pm and all vehicles must be out of the park by close, save for 2 or 3 sponsored night rides a year. 

Insider tip: This park has no running water, one port-a-potty style restroom, and no place to purchase refreshments of any kind. Visitors should pack accordingly for their trip. However, the park is very close to the small town of Bridgeport, and there are several good local spots in town to grab some food and drinks. 

Overall Rating: 5 out of 10. 

Big Bend National Park in Presidio County, Texas

Distance: 5.5 Hour Drive

Advantages: This 1,200 mile national park is home to hundreds of miles of off-road trails and otherworldly scenery. While most of the actual off-roading at Big Bend is not any more difficult than your typical fire road, a trip here is not for the faint of heart. Make no mistake – this is some of the most remote terrain in the US. Off-roaders should pack plenty of emergency supplies. However the scenery makes it worth every second.

Disadvantages: First, all 1,200 miles of the park are remote, uninhabited nature. This means the wildlife in Big Bend rules the land. Visitors who camp in the park should keep an eye out for wildlife of all types. Second, temperatures in the park can very drastically from day to night. Visitors should expect more than 20 degrees of temperature variance from day to night. In both these situations, visitors should prepare accordingly before making the trek. 

Insider tip: The best trails in the park are Old Ore Road, Black Gap Trail, Glenn Spring Trail, Paint Gap Trail, and River Road Trail. As you are riding trails, be sure to stick around the park at night at least once. The best views of the Milky Way can be found in the middle of the park, far off the beaten path.

Overall Rating: 10 out of 10. 

What Can A Lift Kit Do For Your Truck?

RAM Lifted Truck

No matter how old we are, when we get a new toy, we want to play with it. 

We want to customize it. 

We want to make it uniquely ours. 

Lift kits are one of the most popular and practical customizations you can make to your truck. But how do you know which lift kit is right for you? 

In this article, we will cover the different types of custom truck lift kits, the pros of each, and what to consider when choosing the one for your rig. Read on to find out more. 

Body Lift Kits

Body lift kits are the easiest way to add height to your rig. They raise the body of the truck away from the base, without altering the suspension system. 

Pros

Body lift kits are significantly cheaper than suspension lifts. Installation is relatively simple. It does not require a lot of additional modifications or component upgrades. 

Since none of the OEM components are impacted in a body lift, handling and ride quality remain unaffecting. However, body lift kits can provide the space required to accommodate larger wheels and tires

If you spend most of your time on the pavement, a body lift kit might be the best lift kit option for your truck.

Suspension Lift Kits

A suspension lift kit does more for your truck than simply making it look cool. It involves a complete overhaul of your existing suspension system.

For this type of lift, your truck requires new coil springs, coil spacers, leaf springs, and torsion bar keys. Depending on the height of the lift, it might also involve additional parts and modifications.    

Suspension lift kits are the best truck lift kits for off-roaders and overlanders. This is due to the wide range of advantages they provide for driving off the beaten track.

Pros

If you are an avid off-roader, suspension lift kits are better for your truck in the long run.

They provide the ground clearance required to avoid damaging your undercarriage on obstacles, such as rock and ruts. The increased height also creates more space under the wheel well to accommodate larger tires, as well as improve wheel articulation.

Suspension lifts offer greater maneuverability and handling This is vital when maintaining control over rough terrain and in poor road conditions. 

Most people prefer the aesthetics of a suspension lift to a body lift. This is because there is no visible gap between the truck body and the suspension system. Instead, the vehicle appears as one seamless, towering beast.  

Choosing the Right Custom Lift Kits

The decision of whether to get a body or suspension lift kit for your truck depends on your desired result.

If your primary concern is the appearance of your vehicle, then a body lift is the logical choice. It will boost the height of your truck without impacting handling and maneuverability.

Enhancing the functionality of your vehicle can only be accomplished with a suspension lift kit. This type of lift is also better suited to those who spend a large portion of their time hitting the backroads. 

Things to Consider

Once you have determined which type of truck lift kit suits your personal needs, there are a few other details to ride out.

You’ll have to decide on a height for your custom truck lift. Keep in mind higher lifts require changing more components to maintain the vehicle’s functionality. Extreme lifts also have a greater impact on balance and handling. 

Getting a lift kit for your truck will affect your gas mileage. By adding heavy parts to your vehicle, your engine is forced to work harder to compensate. Larger tires, often associated with lifts, will also increase ground resistance, lowering your overall MPG. 

One of the most important things to consider is how you are going to install your custom lift kit. Performing the upgrades yourself requires extensive knowledge. You must know your truck inside and out, how to install the kit, and what other components might be affected. 

Due to the high probability of something going wrong or the need for additional modifications, professional lift kit installation is the recommended method.

San Antonio Truck Lift

Whether you’re looking to improve your truck’s appearance or increase its ability to handle the unbeaten track, there is a lift kit for you. Both body and suspension lift kits have their own pros and cons. The only thing that really matters is what suits your budget and needs. 

For professional truck lift services in San Antonio, look no further than OUTLAW Off-road Performance. Our well-trained staff is ready to tackle all your off-road vehicle needs. Contact us today to set up an appointment for your custom truck lift.