Friday, August 19, 2022


Drive the dirt trail without fear of getting stuck

By Bob Difley
There’s boondocking and then there’s boondocking. If boondocking to you is staying the night in a Walmart parking lot, this may not be for you.

But if you visualize yourself as somewhat of a desert rat or mud junkie – even if you actually haven’t driven your rig onto the open desert or down a muddy forest trail – I’ll bet you’ve fantasized about it.

OK. So maybe that is the extreme end of boondocking. On the other hand, think of how many beckoning desert tracks to unseen pristine boondocking campsites you’ve discovered and decided not to take your rig there for fear of getting stuck?

Then rethink that decision with confidence that if you do get stuck, you can get yourself out without too much trouble. Getting stuck could mean just a few feet of soft sand on an otherwise hard-packed dirt road, or a muddy low place on a forest road  – or even a soft spot where you decided to back in and turn around.

When I think of all the great boondocking campsites that I would have missed if I had been a bit hesitant … yet I never had to call for a tow and have gotten myself stuck several times.

The extreme guys, those 4-wheelers that will try anything and go anywhere, have developed methods of getting themselves out of situations, and one of those methods is a set of plastic tracks call MaxTrax that give your wheels traction when they need it. There are other brands and types also, but the MaxTrax are quite impressive in getting vehicles out of mud, sand and snow.

Though no RVer would go into such extreme conditions, just having these heavy-duty, quality escape tools in your rig will give you a great degree of confidence, regardless of how little mud or sand you encounter.

[Editor’s note: MaxTrax are available on Amazon, and here is another link to a variety of tire extraction products.]

##RVT814 ##RVDT1370


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2 years ago

I have two heavy duty rubber door mats. One goes on the ground at our entry door, The other for me to kneel on at my “basement” door. AND, to put under tires if I get stuck – dual purpose. Do not have much storage in my Class B. Learned this from my father when a kid and he prepared the car trunk for winters. Lying flat, they take up very little room. He also added a shovel, two concrete blocks for weight and a 50 lb bag of salt. Did not take up much room in a 1950 ford trunk.

Martin A
2 years ago

If you wind up needing a wrecker its likely your tow service won’t cover an off road tow, or winch out. If they will even respond.

2 years ago

DO NOT stand behind anything you put beneath your tires for traction when the vehicle begins to move. Ever, whether towing or not. The board or Trax can and will shoot out from behind the wheel as the vehicle/trailer moves. If it hits you the best you can hope for is a broken leg and I don’t even want to think of the worst. If you decide to try this, make sure everyone is standing far away on the sides of the vehicle, NOT behind it! I know this from experience. You don’t want to do it.

Dan Q.
2 years ago

This is what I use. Excellent quality. I keep 2 of these in my Jeep Wrangler pulling a 15’ travel trailer. I boondock most all the time.
Yaegoo Tire Traction Mats Tire Recovery Track Pad Roll Car Vehicle Tyre Traction Boards Tire Ladder for Snow, Ice, Mud and Sand (39.4″ / 100cm)

Riley Floyd
2 years ago

A favorite joke – 4WD just means you can get stuck in worse places….

4 years ago

In the article: “When I think of all the great boondocking campsites that I would have missed if I had been a bit hesitant … yet I never had to call for a tow and have gotten myself stuck several times.”

My question: Do you drive a 4wd or 2wd vehicle? Seems to me that it’s a lot easier to have that bold spirit if you’re driving a 4wd! But I like Val’s suggestion to use old rugs cut to size.

4 years ago

These fold up and have good reviews:
I haven’t used them: one of the items on my Father’s Day list.

Tommy Molnar
4 years ago

Always get out and walk your route before plowing into a ‘situation’. I’ve got a 12,000 lb winch on my tow vehicle but I NEVER want to use it for anything besides yanking tree stumps out of my front yard . . .

4 years ago

Sure, they only cost $324, and then they have to be stored.

I prefer to drive the 4 x 4 toad first to check out the proposed boondocking site.

4 years ago
Reply to  Robbie

Save your money and cut up old rugs about a foot wide and either in a roll or cut to whatever length you choose to do the job. Besides you have likely always hated that orange shag in the front room anyway. Enjoy the outdoors

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