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Discussion Starter #1
Finally had a chance to take the Rav on some unpaved roads and mild trail near Virginia City, Nevada (20 mins south of Reno) and it was really comfortable and capable off pavement, even over a few choppy/steep sections.

My 2015 Rav XLE AWD is mostly stock with exception of 235/65/17 Michelin Premier LTX tires, blacked out front grille, and a Yakima Loadwarrior rack.

Would love to go back to this area with a 4runner/4x4! So much terrain to see and a lot of it only accessible by dirt road/trail.

Anyone else taken their 4.4 softroading? Would love to see pics!


 

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That's ideal terrain for the RAV4.
How's the roof rack working for you?
 

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Any profile pix? Curious to see how those tires look on the RAV. Any issues with them?
 

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I've had the opposite experience. A year ago I drove up to Bodie State Historical Park near Bridgeport, CA. to tour the old abandoned mining camp. The last 3 miles are graded dirt with some washboard surfaces. Never again!

Maybe because my RAV is a 2014 LTD with a lower profile tires, but those 3 miles just about shook every filling out of my teeth.
I would have to pull over and allow every other car to go around me. The suspension would cause the car to practically dance unless I was going around 10mph or slower. Every 1" deep erosion rut cutting across the road surface felt like I was driving through a 6" deep pot hole.

Decent vehicle otherwise, but my 2014's suspension transmits every road imperfection right up through your spine.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
That's ideal terrain for the RAV4.
How's the roof rack working for you?
Overall, I like it a lot. It came down to the Rola (way cheap) versus the Yakima Loadwarrior (expensive!) and I went with Yakima due to lifetime warranty and the Rola supposedly has rusting issues. I put a lot of stuff up there year-round including surfboards so a cargo box was out of the question. Only complaint I have is that it can be noisy when driving over 70 when there are crosswinds. MPG-wise, seem to have dropped about .8 according to computer.

Curious to see how those tires look on the RAV. Any issues with them?
Nope, they're great! Quieter, smoother, less jarring. Hard to see at this angle but they fill out the wheel well a bit and look much wider than the stock skinnies from the front and back.

I've had the opposite experience...Maybe because my RAV is a 2014 LTD with a lower profile tires, but those 3 miles just about shook every filling out of my teeth...
Certainly wasn't as soft as the 4runner I rented and drove offroad in Utah last Fall, but the XLE (17" wheels) plus beefier tires ride pretty comfortable in most conditions for me. Have heard the 18's on the Limited can ride pretty rough.

I'd love to check out Bodie!
 

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That first pic looks like Toll Road.
I've taken both my RAV4 and my 4Runner up into those hills many times.
A word of warning, the trails can get hairy quickly, way too much for the RAV4. Mainly I'm talking about ground clearance, but any lingering snow or precip will turn that mud into a nightmare.
You may also run into lots of overgrown brush on what looks like main trails, I blame it on the popularity of quads, very little Jeep or 4x4 traffic these days.
I wouldn't take the RAV on what used to be, nice easy trails:
Goni (past the gravel pits)
Ophir
Jumbo Grade.

Have fun

This pic is at the McClellen Peak Hang Glider launch overlooking Washoe Valley. Top of Goni near Ophir.
 

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Ky mountain driveway (steep grade) with BFgoodrich K02 tires stock tire size ( sorry no pics) mud, rain, snow ,not very smooth surface but the tires make the difference . I think you will be able to do more than soft roading with K02 tires even in the stock tire size. I do.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
That first pic looks like Toll Road.
Yup, that's right! Second pic is from a road above/behind Virginia City. Totally hear you on the sketchiness factor, I didn't take the Rav on any of the trails the quads were going on and thankfully the trails were mostly dry that day.

Also, nice 4Runner Trail ��
 

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Nice! Did the rear wheels kick in at all or did the system stay FWD?
I realize you were not asking me, but I drive roads just like that very often and I can never tell when the rear wheels begin driving except in some turns when the vehicle is unusually tractable compared to my front-wheel-drive vehicle.
 

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Grip was very good. The slip indicator light flashed on a few times. I don't actually know if the rear diff ever kicked in.
 

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I'm pretty aggressive with my '13 Rav4. I'll take it almost anywhere in the Rockies where I can maintain ground clearance and traction. Rocks, mud, prairie, 2-track, steep hills, some water crossings with stable bottoms. My wife and I purposely bought it to fulfill about 90% of our offroading/outdoor needs and I'm pleased. I'm impressed with the AWD system & feel it kick in seamlessly while we're out driving. The only drawback is that the stiff suspension makes for a rough ride. The slick highway tires end up being the limiting factor in many situations. I considered upgrading to a more aggressive tread, but this vehicle is also our long distance travel "comfort" vehicle, so I'll probably stick with the quietest tires I can find.

I plan to upgrade to 235/65/17 or 235/70/17 tires to get a touch more ground clearance and a squishier sidewall. I also plan to cut off the excess stabilizer bar studs that stick down near the rear axle. I already caught one on a rock and tweaked it a bit. I'm glad I put the Curt receiver on the back: It serves as good protection--and early warning--for the rear end.

 

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I got a 1996 Toyota, T100 4x4 for off-road but it can't be tagged for the street without a lot of expensive repairs. So I have to stick with lite off-roading in Ravage.

 

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I'm pretty aggressive with my '13 Rav4. I'll take it almost anywhere in the Rockies where I can maintain ground clearance and traction. Rocks, mud, prairie, 2-track, steep hills, some water crossings with stable bottoms. My wife and I purposely bought it to fulfill about 90% of our offroading/outdoor needs and I'm pleased. I'm impressed with the AWD system & feel it kick in seamlessly while we're out driving. The only drawback is that the stiff suspension makes for a rough ride. The slick highway tires end up being the limiting factor in many situations. I considered upgrading to a more aggressive tread, but this vehicle is also our long distance travel "comfort" vehicle, so I'll probably stick with the quietest tires I can find.

I plan to upgrade to 235/65/17 or 235/70/17 tires to get a touch more ground clearance and a squishier sidewall. I also plan to cut off the excess stabilizer bar studs that stick down near the rear axle. I already caught one on a rock and tweaked it a bit. I'm glad I put the Curt receiver on the back: It serves as good protection--and early warning--for the rear end.


Nice pic! Need some off-road lighting on her though. ?


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