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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

MY15
just looking for suggestions for mods for gravel roads (other than tires). Anything else I should consider?
im probably getting falken ATs but wondering if anything else would be practical.

essentially just want to be comfortable and not worry about getting stranded on backroads, forest service roads etc.

even skid plates seem excessive for this application?

thanks for your input!
 

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Tires would be your best investment. I would recommend A/Ts at least. I would also purchase an air compressor. Lowering your tire pressure gives the tire a larger footprint and it will make the ride smoother. Just don't take them lower than 15psi.
 

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Hi all,

MY15
just looking for suggestions for mods for gravel roads (other than tires). Anything else I should consider?
im probably getting falken ATs but wondering if anything else would be practical.

essentially just want to be comfortable and not worry about getting stranded on backroads, forest service roads etc.

even skid plates seem excessive for this application?

thanks for your input!
tires are the weak link off road and you have enough ground clearance. i would not add skid plates or any other weight for your uses. and i never lower air pressure.

i go offroad quite a bit. the crosstrek is very capable as is even with stock tires but AT tires (not jeep tires) are recommended
 

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2018 Orange Subaru Crosstrek Limited
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i don't use them. you're ok without flaps with OEM-sized tires, and flaps are fugly
You might be right about OEM-tires and flaps but my first beautiful rock chip on side of car came when I installed the new Falken AT Trail tires. They can and do grab the occasional rock and give it a toss. Didn't see that with the OEM Falkens. The flaps do look a bit dorky.
 

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I do not think skid plates are excessive for that application. I have had skids on my Crosstrek since 2015. Admittedly I have only been glad to have them twice in that time. Both times were dirt roads in a forest after a storm (read as trees/branches down). You still have to be aware of what you are doing/what the Crosstrek can do. However, my decision not to turn around was definitely impacted by having the skids. After 7 years, mine have several scrapes on them but nothing huge.

Ultimately I do not think they are an absolute necessity for where you want to drive, but I also hesitate to call them excessive. More of nice to have IMO.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You might be right about OEM-tires and flaps but my first beautiful rock chip on side of car came when I installed the new Falken AT Trail tires. They can and do grab the occasional rock and give it a toss. Didn't see that with the OEM Falkens. The flaps do look a bit dorky.
rock chips are something I want to avoid for sure.
are good deflectors a thing these days? They seemed to be everywhere in the 90s. love to avoid hood and windshield chips s well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I do not think skid plates are excessive for that application. I have had skids on my Crosstrek since 2015. Admittedly I have only been glad to have them twice in that time. Both times were dirt roads in a forest after a storm (read as trees/branches down). You still have to be aware of what you are doing/what the Crosstrek can do. However, my decision not to turn around was definitely impacted by having the skids. After 7 years, mine have several scrapes on them but nothing huge.

Ultimately I do not think they are an absolute necessity for where you want to drive, but I also hesitate to call them excessive. More of nice to have IMO.
Something to think about. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
tires are the weak link off road and you have enough ground clearance. i would not add skid plates or any other weight for your uses. and i never lower air pressure.

i go offroad quite a bit. the crosstrek is very capable as is even with stock tires but AT tires (not jeep tires) are recommended
I feel like the stock geos might be not tough enough in regards to getting a flat. Will def get ATs of some sort.
 

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Butchin' Moderator
2018 Orange Subaru Crosstrek Limited
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rock chips are something I want to avoid for sure.
are good deflectors a thing these days? They seemed to be everywhere in the 90s. love to avoid hood and windshield chips s well.
You have touched a Subaru nerve mentioning "windshields." If the experience of folks at the forum is accurate then windshields appear to be easily damaged, There are many posts on this site and I won't attempt to sum them up but there are a number of owners who look forward to Subaru admitting that the windshields may crack without any obvious reason. Speaking for myself my windshield never cracked but a very solid pine cone took it's life punching nearly completely through my windshield once and I was surprised...yes, that's the word...to be visited by it. Subaru has optical sensors that produce the EyeSight System and when the windshield is broken, cracked or damaged in certain places it must be replaced. My windshield replacement would have cost $1,200 were it not for insurance. Many on this site feel that the windshields on Subarus are easily and expensively damaged. You may search for this kind of information at the top right where the three little white bullet holes are lined up.

There is also discussion about whether a hood edge deflector is a good thing. I'm not sure. EyeSight enters into the discussion as well and there are those on the Forum that insist we read and grok a massive tome in the glove compartment called our "owner's manual." It appears that placing objects in front of the EyeSight cameras (located adjacent to the rear view mirror facing forward through the windshield) might interfere, limit or cause EyeSight to fail in some fashion. I for one find that asking foolish questions on the forum far more amusing than finding easy answers in the manual so I suggest you ask away. I don't know if a hood edge deflector works and maybe there are those on this site who can help.

There's lots of posts about mud guards. Some feel that they are dorky looking. I for one find the stone chip annoying. Again, the triple bullet holes above will lead you to a wonderland of help and it becomes an esthetic question I guess but I'm getting them.

Last, you unintentionally mentioned paint chips and there's quite a bit of information on paint on this forum as well. My orange Crosstrek was purchased because I can stand the car on it's tail in the city and people think it is a large traffic cone but orange may be a color with problems, perhaps pitting easily, chips, and blobs and there is a Subaru Technical Service Bulletin about this exact problem.

Of course sift through what you hear on the forum. Ignore folks like me and look for experience that matches your own as you learn. I've really enjoyed the advice I've received on this site and they seem like a bunch of good eggs although on occasion with quite thin shells. Some of them have large, swollen Subaru filled brains and are worth listening to.
 

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Something to think about. Thanks
LPAventure Front Bar and Skid Plate. Is it worth it??? Positives, Negatives etc. - YouTube

watch this video and perhaps others he's done about his crosstrek. rick lost 1.5" ground clearance after adding skid plates and bars to his crosstrek. i follow rick on youtube and i followed his "upgrade" path. he talks about his crosstrek being front heavy and how he got tired of driving the car off road because of the scraping, and in the end he even admitted that the KO2s (jeep tires) were noisy.

if you drive on asphalt 99% of the time i would really think hard about modifying your crosstrek unless you are after "the look". it's a slippery slope, imo. like i said earlier for your stated use (and mine) the crosstrek is excellent as is especially if you install AT tires.

eventually rick bought another jeep
 

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Just my .02
KO2's are extremely heavy and imho overkill for our cars. They are an LT tire after all, but they are pretty bulletproof and I have run them for years on every 4x4 Ive owned. I intend to replace my factory geolanders pretty soon, but this time will go with a much lighter option, such as the newish Falken Wildpeak. I agree with earlier posts though that a good set of AT tires will do wonders for our cars.
 

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I agree with everyone else: Falkens Wildpeaks (or similar) in close to stock size and stop there for "mild" mods.
Skid plates pay for themselves if you need them even once. A busted oil pan or CVT pan is very expensive. I don't necessarily think you need the rear diff skid plate at all. So if you think you'll hit anything, get skids.
The next step up is slightly taller tires with a replacement spare tire.
The returns diminish very quickly after that: rock sliders, locking rear diff, all sorts of other expensive stuff like roof top tents and whatnot...

I left off wheels and mud flaps because those are cosmetic mods.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks everyone.

confirmed what my thoughts were…just replace stocks tires with falken or similar at stock size and done.
mybe look at mud flaps, can’t imagine I’ll scrape on rocks to need skid plates….wife wouldn’t let me drive over anything that might scrape the car, As I said it’s just for gravel service roads and forest roads Etc. Want to explore bc backcountry.

anyone got a full size spare and where did you mount it? I like the look of it on a hitch. thoughts On options with swing arm? Or elsewhere to mount one?

my thinking now that Subaru is putting out a wilderness edition on the outback is to wait until they launch it for the croastrek in 2023 (I heard) And grab that. the outback is too big for my needs I think.
 

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anyone got a full size spare and where did you mount it? I like the look of it on a hitch. thoughts On options with swing arm? Or elsewhere to mount one?
Check out by build thread, I have a Rigid Armor hitch mount spare.
I've also seen people put them on the roof or just throw them in the back. I didn't care for those options. There are also swing out hitch mounts such as the Wilco.
 

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Thanks everyone.

confirmed what my thoughts were…just replace stocks tires with falken or similar at stock size and done.
mybe look at mud flaps, can’t imagine I’ll scrape on rocks to need skid plates….wife wouldn’t let me drive over anything that might scrape the car, As I said it’s just for gravel service roads and forest roads Etc. Want to explore bc backcountry.

anyone got a full size spare and where did you mount it? I like the look of it on a hitch. thoughts On options with swing arm? Or elsewhere to mount one?

my thinking now that Subaru is putting out a wilderness edition on the outback is to wait until they launch it for the croastrek in 2023 (I heard) And grab that. the outback is too big for my needs I think.
here you go again :cool:. for mild offroading you don't need a full size spare. that's why you bought AT tires.
 
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