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Discussion Starter #1
I had been debating getting a set of those plastic recovery boards for winter use, but over the weekend we camped on some state forest land and had some close calls busting through sandy areas. So I think I may get some sooner than later. I can't bring myself to get some of the $300 ARB or Maxtrax since I hope to never use them and there are a ton of $50-$150 options on amazon.

Anyone have any of these things? Advice or recommendations on ones to seek out or avoid?

Here is one pair for those that may not know what I am talking about

 

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Discussion Starter #3
Have the hatchet. My floor mat was like $70 and covers both front seats and walk through, so would be a pain to get out and back in (covered in sand/snow) if it's not damaged. Don't have an entrenching tool but looks like I can get one for about $25. So while your solution would work, I am not sure it is advantageous vs spending $50-$70 on something that would certainly work better than probably destroying my similarly priced mat ( rubber mats are pretty slick when wet, have used them several times in a pinch on other vehicles), plus most of these boards can be used as shovels and have studs that I am sure would grip better than a nearly smooth mat.
 

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I think you are asking the wrong crowd. Try this forum

 

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I think you are asking the wrong crowd. Try this forum

I have had a mental note to get something like this for a while but have always balked at the cost. The expense always had me thinking of a DIY solution like what was posted in the 1st post of that thread. A snippet:

"my dad always used 2X6 and 2X8 boards with rubber conveyer belting bolted to the top side using carriage bolts, with about a foot of the belt hanging off each end. Simple, but affective. And heavy, I'll admit. Anyways, the belting hanging off the ends allows a slipping tire to grip and pull the board underneath itself in slick conditions. The nuts on the bottom side allow the board to bite into things like rocks and tree roots. Or you could flip it over to allow tires to grip it that way. You can buy the rubber belting at most farm supply stores. Look in the section that deals with baling hay and round bailers."

I'm never going to go onto tough roads with my PM (the ones that 4x4-ers seek out for fun). But what I am concerned about is a common gravel road that gets hit with a sudden rainstorm; maybe a section that is on a hill. It may not be axle-deep mud but it's now slippery.

I could see a converted PM, laden with full water tanks and a string of batteries--perhaps situated at or near the back of the van and thus taking weight off the drive wheels at the front--having a tough time.

I have zero off-road experience and I wonder if a pair of DIY traction boards will help in this scenario.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have had a mental note to get something like this for a while but have always balked at the cost. The expense always had me thinking of a DIY solution like what was posted in the 1st post of that thread. A snippet:

"my dad always used 2X6 and 2X8 boards with rubber conveyer belting bolted to the top side using carriage bolts, with about a foot of the belt hanging off each end. Simple, but affective. And heavy, I'll admit. Anyways, the belting hanging off the ends allows a slipping tire to grip and pull the board underneath itself in slick conditions. The nuts on the bottom side allow the board to bite into things like rocks and tree roots. Or you could flip it over to allow tires to grip it that way. You can buy the rubber belting at most farm supply stores. Look in the section that deals with baling hay and round bailers."

I'm never going to go onto tough roads with my PM (the ones that 4x4-ers seek out for fun). But what I am concerned about is a common gravel road that gets hit with a sudden rainstorm; maybe a section that is on a hill. It may not be axle-deep mud but it's now slippery.

I could see a converted PM, laden with full water tanks and a string of batteries--perhaps situated at or near the back of the van and thus taking weight off the drive wheels at the front--having a tough time.

I have zero off-road experience and I wonder if a pair of DIY traction boards will help in this scenario.
Agreed. I like that DIY option. I need to track down this conveyor belt material and price it out. At $70 as he estimated, it put it right in the middle of the cost of the amazon options. May be more durable though.

Another thought I had today was this: I currently use aluminum ATV loading ramps for my bed platform and I could remove them and use them in a pinch, but I think I may keep an eye out for a single one for a decent price, then cut it in half.
 

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Here's a cheap DIY hack I have had a lot of luck with over the years. Get some sturdy 2x6 or 2x8" wood. Cut a pair of 4 or 5 foot lengths. Cut a cross hatch pattern on both sides of the boards with a table saw, skill saw etc. Diagonal pattern is best. Cut the rest into 8-10 inch lengths.
You have your traction boards. You can also put the short boards under the traction boards for leveling ramps.
If you destroy them getting out of a jam, toss em in the evening fire..
And all that money you saved not buying those $200 + fancy traction boards.
You can spend on beer!
Ha!
 

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I went with these. Lifetime warranty, made in the USA, quick email replies to my question, and they fold for more compact storage. The also can be used for different height levelers as well, so not just for emergencies.

 

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Well I have a good amount of off road experience and have been stuck and involved in numerous extractions over the years. I have also had a chance to test lots of gear and see what really works and what is theory sold by companies. In reality nothing beats experience and practice of using your gear. In the past I used shovels, saws, and rocks to get traction when stuck, but now we have technology. Pre-Made tacks are grear but the reason MAXTRAX are recommendead is that almost all other will break and crack when used to include the TREDS, Smitty Built and numerous other copies, but they will still extract you. One of the most useless tools I ever purchased was the ARB Bushranger and several of their other extraction products. Sand ladders were the predecessor to all of these in the past AKA aluminum aircraft matting. These can be very dangerous in practice, look up old Camel Trophy videos to get some ideas of the dangers, Ray Mears even does a good little series about vehicle extractions. For 2WD I would carry a snatch strap so someone else can pull you out, good shovel, MAXTRAX, or truck claw for sand and mud. That should really be all you would ever need. Airing down your tires prior will also help tremendously from getting stuck, Andrew St Pier White has a good video series on this.
 

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I think I’ll get a pair of these to put up on the side of my 4Runner desert explorer vehicle w/the lift and oversize tires.
61Mpr24GizL._AC_SL1000_.jpg IMG_0456.jpeg
The reason is they are the most outrageous color and everyone will notice them and think I’m a knarly dude. This is the best reason to have stuff like this hitched to the vehicle. When I go into that sandfilled wash and loose traction I will not get them down of course as they would probably not work or worse yet get broken and scratched up. Instead I will just pull out the long strips of carpet I have carried for 15 years and stuff them under the tires and drive off.
 

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Discussion Starter #15

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I had been debating getting a set of those plastic recovery boards for winter use, but over the weekend we camped on some state forest land and had some close calls busting through sandy areas. So I think I may get some sooner than later. I can't bring myself to get some of the $300 ARB or Maxtrax since I hope to never use them and there are a ton of $50-$150 options on amazon.

Anyone have any of these things? Advice or recommendations on ones to seek out or avoid?

Here is one pair for those that may not know what I am talking about

I fortunately have not need them but I got the GoTreads which fold up and take less space than many of the other recovery boards. They seem very well built and get strong reviews. I also agree one hundred percent to also get a good, real, recovery strap and carry folding shovel.
 

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One option is to cut rolled asphalt roofing into 2 ft x 6 ft strips. Have two of them. Easy to store in your van. Great for traction when you need it. If they are damaged, replace with new ones for the next time.
 

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One option is to cut rolled asphalt roofing into 2 ft x 6 ft strips. Have two of them. Easy to store in your van. Great for traction when you need it. If they are damaged, replace with new ones for the next time.
Interesting. Asphalt roofing would have great traction for the tires for sure. Traction is what I would worry about when using 2x6 or 2x8 boards, even with grooves cut into them. Would roofing not tear easily? They are easily cut with a knife.

I could see marrying asphalt roofing with plywood (for strength) and sliding a pair of them under my solar panels. (Just theorizing.)
I would store them outside like this as I worry anything made from asphalt would have a smell.
 
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