Light bars, 24-inch rims, gaudy paint colors, lowered 4WD vehicles, and other trends make some enthusiasts angry. I don’t understand why, they aren’t trying to make you buy the same parts and they don’t have the same goal that you have for your vehicle.

Some of the trends most hated on by “real off-road” people.

  • Lights before lockers
  • Oversized wheel combinations
  • Colored accent lighting
  • Color matched bumpers etc.
  • Lowering a 4WD vehicle
  • Carolina squat

Breaking down each item let’s look at both sides of the argument. Some people like the way light bars look, they can be had inexpensively, they project a rugged image, and in many cases are used as additional illumination at night. The counter-argument is that you should always get lockers first. This was a more realistic saying when lightbars cost thousands of dollars and weren’t available on Amazon for pennies on the dollar. You will spend several thousand dollars getting lockers and having them installed by comparison. No one knows you have them unless you go off-road and even less will care you have them.

A hot trend in the wheel market is going big. 20-inch wheels are not longer considered big. People are now putting 24-inch wheels on their trucks and Jeeps. It’s a style that not everyone likes. Let’s face it not everyone is taking their 40K+ Jeep off-road. They don’t need tall and tough sidewalls to traverse rock-strewn trails. Some people do. The owners that buy these wheels are intending to take their ride off-road so let’s leave them alone.

Another aesthetic modification is color matching accessories. A costly endeavor that seems like a waste of money to some, is what makes others happy. This writer thinks that some of the combinations look pretty darn good. Interestingly the money spent on the paint matching often results in a more durable finish than what we get on general aftermarket parts. Even if you don’t color match stepping up the finishing game on these parts can pay longevity dividends.

Not every 4WD vehicle needs to be super tall and hard to climb into. For those that are shorter, or medically inhibited a shorter yet still capable 4WD vehicle is the answer. They want the extra safety that 4WD provides in bad weather and don’t want or need to clear 40-inch tires.

Carolina squat – higher in the front and lower in the back lift. I racked my brain to defend this one. I got nothing. Maybe some things really are just a fad without a redeeming quality. What are your thoughts? Any trends I missed? Can you come up with a defense of the Carolina squat?

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William Connor

As the Editor, William is responsible for all the good, the bad, the ugly and the indifferent that happens at 4WAAM. William brings a wide range of experience to this role. He also wields a freely shared...

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