Can you Off-Road in a Stock Pickup Truck?

Many Spartanburg-area pickup truck drivers enjoy taking their vehicles off the beaten path. The popularity of off-roading in South Carolina has led to a strong aftermarket modification industry providing performance-enhancing upfits to stock pickup trucks. Yet in today's trucks, many of these modifications are actually unnecessary. Almost all pickup truck manufacturers design their vehicles to be off-road ready from the start. And where needed, a few simple tricks can make a truck fresh from the dealership ready for serious adventure without extensive upfits. So which vehicles incorporate off-road features, and how can Greer drivers safely off-road a stock pickup truck?

At Benson Chrysler Dodge Jeep, our long experience with helping South Carolinians find exciting vehicles has prepared us to understand what today's customers need. Our authorized RAM service center can help drivers optimize their pickup truck's capabilities. Ask us about how to find the best add-ons for what your vehicle requires. We can also help you finance modifications and repair work performed at our dealership. Contact us for details.

Capability and Convenience

Pickup trucks have always been some of the world's most versatile consumer vehicles. Yet since they are built for a wide range of uses, many drivers feel that stock pickup trucks are not optimized to their true off-road abilities. Thus, drivers will often expand the capabilities of their vehicles with aftermarket modifications. Popular upfits include adding lift kits and underbody plating or using special tires and equipment.

Today's pickup truck manufacturers solve this problem by incorporating key off-road features across their lineups. And when customers need serious adventure, manufacturers offer a special off-road trim or variant in their lineups. The vehicle may come with special tires and underbody plates or locking differentials and a low-speed gearbox. For example, the 2021 RAM 1500 TRX uses 35-inch factory-installed tires and an electronically locking rear differential to help it tackle tough trails.

Many factory-derived trucks offer trail-focused add-ons as part of higher trim levels or additional packages. For instance, being able to activate a model's maximum towing capabilities often requires a special package. The Mojave edition of the 2021 Jeep Gladiator is designed with a one-inch front lift to increase the truck's approach angle. And the RAM 1500 Rebel includes four tow hooks as standard while offering four-corner active air suspension as an available add-on feature.

Important Off-Roading Tips

Even though a factory-based pickup truck is fully capable of off-road exploration, it is still a good idea to take certain basic precautions before going off the pavement. Since off-roading often involves travel on uncontrolled surfaces far from human civilization, a few key tips can mean the difference between an enjoyable drive and a frustrating hike.

Perhaps the most important tools an off-road truck can have are dedicated tires and a winch. Many newer vehicles have these features pre-installed from the factory. If not, the manufacturer may offer them as available add-ons. While these features may require simple installation, they often do not require extensive aftermarket modifications to the vehicle. Talk to your dealer to understand what your options are.

Many new vehicles use rear locking differentials which allow the engine to distribute torque among the different wheels more effectively. Others may include a special low-gear drive mode, which allows for safer hill descent.

Modern vehicle technology can also help drivers remain safe while having fun. The Jeep Gladiator Rubicon adds a forward-facing trail camera which gives its driver a clearer view of upcoming obstacles. And the RAM 1500 TRX includes an innovative Launch Control system, which monitors vehicle performance to provide maximum acceleration.


Believe it or not, off-road adventure in a pickup truck does not require extensive aftermarket modifications. Modern stock trucks already offer crucial features such as lifts, locking differentials and transfer cases. The diversity of modern vehicle lineups allows automakers to offer various trims, each optimized to a specific situation. And when adding basic tools such as a front winch can help keep the off-roading experience from going downhill, manufacturers will often install these basic pieces themselves. This means that today's pickup truck buyers can spend more time on the trails and less time in the shop.

Benson Chrysler Dodge Jeep is proud to assist Greenville drivers in finding the vehicle that is right for their needs. We offer many new, used and certified pre-owned models for Anderson drivers. Our finance and service centers can help drivers get and keep their favorite vehicles. Visit us at 415 West Wade Hampton Blvd. in Greer, South Carolina, or call us at (864) 334-7518 to learn more or to schedule a test drive.

  1. Benson Chrysler Dodge Jeep

    415 W Wade Hampton Blvd
    Greer, SC 29650-1538

    • Sales: 864-877-0161
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