• Quick Tips to Start Your Overlanding Journey

    Overlanding got its start in the Australian outback as a way to journey into the wilderness while always having everything a person needs to survive. Fast forward to today, and Overlanding has become something of a personal statement. When your vehicle is modified for an overland adventure, it stands out with an extra bold stance and added clearance to accommodate beefier tires.

    Here are some quick tips to get your vehicle ready for an overland journey.

    Start With the Vehicle

    Overlanding is all about the journey. But it’s hard to enjoy that journey in the wrong vehicle. Popular options that can easily be raised a few inches include light trucks and SUVs like the Toyota 4-Runner and crossovers such as the Subaru Crosstrek.

    Black Subaru Crosstrek outfitted for overlanding in the desert
    Image courtesy of Black Rhino Wheels

    Give Yourself Some Clearance

    Even adding just two inches to your vehicle’s suspension can make a big difference. Of course, people will notice as you drive around town. But more importantly, you’ll be better prepared for off-roading and outfitting your vehicle with the remaining necessities, including gear, food, and a roof-top tent.

    At Les Schwab, we have suspension lift kits in stock for most vehicles. When we install it, we’ll double-check the suspension, brakes, shocks, steering, and alignment. You know, the important stuff. We’ll even perform a retorque and check the alignment to ensure your lift is done right.

    Do You Need Bigger Wheels and Tires?

    Once you’ve lifted your vehicle a couple of inches, you can choose to keep the same height tires on the vehicle. However, you could be missing out on some added clearance and traction. Upgrading to a bigger wheel and tire package will allow you to choose beefier off-road tires for your vehicle, which are designed for taking you off the beaten path.

    Off-road tires typically have larger voids between the tread blocks. Those voids allow the tires to dig into dirt, sand, and rocks, giving you more traction. Plus, the thicker tread blocks in off-road tires can better withstand cuts and punctures.

    Les Schwab Tip: We can help you pick the right combination of off-road and highway capabilities to meet your needs.

    Items You’ll Need

    Once you’re ready for an overland adventure, you’ll want to outfit your vehicle with all the necessities. This includes a tire-patch kit and air compressor, a spare tire that is mounted to the top or back of your vehicle, a jack, plenty of food and prep tools, water, a roof rack, and possibly a roof tent.

    Why a roof tent? These popular options allow for easy set up after a long day of driving off-road. Plus, they don’t take up precious cargo space on the inside of your vehicle, where you’ll be storing food, sleeping bags, and clothes. You could also bring along extra flashlights, a portable generator, and a first-aid kit.

    Les Schwab Tip: As with any outdoor adventure, always pack out what you pack in...and more.

    Get Your Overland Lift Done Right

    The pros at Les Schwab have been lifting trucks, crossovers, and SUVs for years. Stop by today and we’ll show you all of your options, including the perfect wheel and tire packages for added style and off-road attitude.

    Schedule an Appointment
  • It’s Not Just Hype! Lift and Leveling Kits Add Height and Heft.

    The vehicle you drive says a lot about who you are. If you’re happy with the way the front end on your F-250 sits 2-inches lower than the back, or you’re content owning a standard Crosstrek or Jeep, you’re all set. But for those who want a more customized, personal look and some added ground clearance for off-road and overlanding excellence, lift and leveling kits are the way to go. Especially with Les Schwab standing behind every lift and leveling kit we install with a full parts-and-labor warranty.

    What’s the Difference Between Lift and Leveling Kits?

    Lift kits increase the height of both the front and back of a vehicle, giving your crossover, SUV or truck a more customized look. Most options allow you to raise a vehicle anywhere from 2 to 4-inches. With certain vehicles, there are options that offer up to 6 to 8-inches of lift.

    A leveling kit is designed to raise the front of a truck so that it’s level with the back, eliminating the nose-down look (also known as the factory rake). Many new trucks are designed with a rake to ensure they are level when hauling heavy loads.

    Leveling Kits vs. Lift Kits

    Depending on what you want to accomplish, a leveling kit allows you to eliminate the nose-down look of most trucks and allows for a larger wheel and tire, while a lift kit gives your vehicle more clearance, a heftier look, and the option to install even larger wheels and tires.

    What Should You Choose?

    That depends on what you drive, what look you’re going for, and how much lift you want. Some of the more common options include:

    Truck and SUV Leveling Kits

    If you’re driving a full- or mid-size truck or SUV, a leveling kit can add a nice, rugged stance to your vehicle. This option is quick, easy, and affordable. Just tell us what you want, and we’ll show you all the options.

    Toyota Pickup with level kit installled
    Image courtesy of Tuff Country

    Overlanding Lift Kits

    It’s all about the journey, right? It’s also about how you look during your daily commute (even if you’re not driving a truck). Adding just a little more height to your offroad crossover or SUV will give it an extra bold stance and added clearance to venture further into the wilderness. Stop by your local Les Schwab and we’ll show you all of your customization options, order everything you need if it’s not already in stock at the store, and get it installed.

    Two different Subaru's set up for Overlanding
    Images courtesy of TSW

    Full-Size Lift Kits

    When you’re ready to take the plunge and dominate the road as well as your worksite, nothing says rugged and hard-working like a truck that’s been lifted 4- to 8-inches depending on the application. Once you get that done, you’ll have the option of choosing bigger tires and wider wheels to showcase your ride.

    Ford pickup with8
    Image courtesy of Fabtech Motorsports

    Les Schwab Takes Care of All the Details

    When we install a lift or leveling kit on your vehicle, we’ll double-check the suspension, brakes, shocks, steering, and alignment. We’ll also perform a retorque and recheck your alignment a few miles down the road, just to ensure everything is perfect.

    Get Your Lift and Level Done Right

    Giving your vehicle more clearance and a better stance is an easy update when you know what you’re doing. The pros at Les Schwab have been lifting and leveling trucks, crossovers, and SUVs for years. Stop by and tell us what you want to do to your vehicle and we’ll show you how to get it done.

    Schedule an Appointment