Wednesday, February 8, 2023


Off-road toys. How do you use yours?

Do you own an ATV or other off-road vehicle?

This was a question recently asked in an poll.

Off loaded and ready to ride from a camp in the boondocks

Surprisingly, nearly 40% answered “yes”!  The reason I say surprisingly is:

  • Most people don’t associate off-road toys with an older demographic like many of the readers of this newsletter.
  • Many of you own large RVs. While large RVs, especially toy haulers, are well-suited to carry off-road toys, they are less able to access many areas where off-roading takes place.
  • A large percentage of newsletter readers prefer to stay in RV parks. While some RV parks offer easy access to off-road opportunities, most do not. Typically, camping in the boondocks offers better off-road options.

This leaves me and the editors of wondering: How are the 40% of you utilizing your off-road toys while RVing?

I will start the conversation by sharing how my wife and I use ours.

First let me explain what our vehicles are. I ride a motorcycle, which was manufactured as a dirt bike but has been modified to “street legal” status which includes a license plate, and is now legal to ride on or off road (aka Dual Sport) in all 50 states. My wife rides an on-demand four-wheel-drive ATV which has been modified to meet street legal status. It has a “restricted” license plate which allows it to go not only off road but on road in many areas. Having license plates on both vehicles allows us to travel from our campsite down conventional roads like forest service roads to access lesser roads/trails to the destination we are seeking.

The grasslands of North Dakota. How many people get to enjoy this view?

As I have shared before with the readers of the newsletter, my wife and I like to explore little-known and forgotten places. Many of these are located down abandoned railroad right of ways, old wagon roads or roads that are rarely, if ever, maintained. While many could be navigated with our tow vehicle, our off-road vehicles are much better suited to the terrain and more comfortable, allowing us to enjoy the drive.

Places we like to ride to include:

  • Forgotten ghost towns (not tourist towns like Virginia City or Tombstone)
  • Scenic overlooks
  • Old mining camps
  • Waterfalls
  • Remote trailheads to alpine lakes, slot canyons , etc.
  • Mountain summits with old fire lookouts
  • Geocaches at unique locations
  • Abandoned military installations
  • Unique geological formations
Ghost town of Rhyolite via historic abandoned rail line from Beatty, NV

Here are some secondary uses for our off-road vehicles:

  • Used as a second vehicle to drop at trailheads for through hikes. We have utilized this in many national parks, allowing my wife and me to hike from one trailhead and exit at another. This allows us to see more of the parks with less effort or needing to use a shuttle service.
  • We always have backup vehicles when traveling lonely secondary roads in our tow vehicle. If our tow vehicle breaks down or becomes stuck, we can off load the motorcycle and ATV and ride back to our travel trailer for shelter and plan a course of action to retrieve the tow vehicle.
  • They provide great transportation at large RV rallies as they are easy to maneuver and can be parked about anywhere.

    Author at FMCA Rally – More versatile than a golf cart!
  • Scouting out boondocking locations and/or road conditions to them.

Now it’s your turn. How do the 40% of you that own off-road toys utilize them during your travels? Do you use them to: enhance an activity like I have listed above, use them at off-road parks/areas for the sheer joy of riding, or something else?

Off-roading can be enjoyed by everyone!

Please share using the comment box below.

Your comments may lead to future entries about places to go, things to see and where to camp with off-road toys.



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1 year ago

For almost 10 years taking the ATV and now the RZR to AZ from CO for 3 months.
all over southern AZ. Trailer it behind our F350 with a large Lance or some other brand over head camper and has been great. The trailer has only been unhooked a couple of times. We can tow it anywhere, go to grocery stores, museums or wherever and always find parking for it. The camper has all the amenities, like toilet, shower, microwave, generator, fridge and a great bed to sleep in every night. Have met many other friends over the years doing the same so we meet every year at different locations like Quartzsite, Yuma, Wickenberg all on BLM or other public sites at no cost Even in PHX. We can park on streets in front of our friends or relative’s houses. Some places like Wickenberg or Quartzsite they let you drive all over town.

Rolling Coal
1 year ago

We’ll sometimes drag our highly modified Jeep TJ (lifted, locked & 35″ tires) behind the motorhome to explore the Oregon sand dunes or old mining towns in Nevada or California. Sometimes we’ll do Moab or the Rubicon trail. In 2018, we explored Whipsaw, the Hudson Bay Company trail established in 1847. Next on our list is to explore part of the Alexander McKenzie trail, created by the very first explorer to find the wet coast.

Tommy Molnar
1 year ago

We bought our first ATV’s in 2003. Here in NV the possibilities are endless, without paying a cent. We towed them on a second trailer behind our 25′ travel trailer. We hauled them everywhere and had a ball. Fast forward to 2017. We decided to sell the ATV’s and buy a well-loved side-by-side. But now we can’t pull two trailers anymore (length and weight) so we have to take two vehicles and two trailers. Wifey has to do her share of driving. We’re not as spontaneous with the RZR because of that. We have to plan trips around two vehicles if we want to take the side-by-side.

1 year ago

We tow a Jeep Rubicon, which can be on or off-road. We have gone Jeeping on old forest roads in the mountains. We’re looking forward to off-road adventures next year when we head West.

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