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Can You Take a Stock Jeep Off-Road? | Off Roading Pal

Jeep wrangler is an indelible name among off roading enthusiasts. Customized wrangler’s off-roading capabilities are undebatable.

But really can we take a stock jeep wrangler for off roadings? Can a stock jeep wrangler beat tough terrains without any aftermarket parts?

Simple answer for those questions is yes, of course a stock jeep wrangler can do off roadings without installing any aftermarket parts. It has lots of capabilities even with factory configurations to do tough off roading activities like rock crawlings, mudding and many more.

In this guide let’s look at what are the capabilities of a stock wrangler as well as helpful tips to beat tough terrains with your stock jeep wrangler.


What is a stock Jeep

Stock jeep is a jeep that does not have any extra modifications or have not removed any factory parts from it. 

A modified jeep also can be converted back to a stock jeep, if there are no  permanent modifications done to it.

Permanent modifications with cutting and drilling the body may disable the ability of converting a jeep back to stock conditions.

How capable is a stock Jeep Wrangler?

As I mentioned at the start of this article stock jeeps have about more than 90% of off-roading capabilities with an experienced driver.

It can do wheeling, rock crawling, mudding, water fording and all the off roading activities without doing any modification to the jeep.

Jeeps come out from the assembly line with the Trail Rated batch. That means it is already engineered with adding relevant functionalities to hit off road trails. 

With aftermarket parts we can improve those stock off roading capabilities to do more extreme off roading activities.

Let’s look at a couple of off-roading capabilities stock jeeps embedded with according to different trims.

Jeep wrangler jk sports (2dr)

  • Ground clearance – 8.3″ (210mm)
  • Water fording height – 30″
  • Tires – 16″ tires 
  • Gearing – up to 3.73 (3.21 standard)
  • Extra features – Dana 44 rear, Dana 30 front , Trac lok limited slip diff. (Optional)

Jeep wrangler jk Sahara (2dr & 4dr)

  • Ground clearance – 9.7″ (246mm)
  • Water fording height – 30″
  • Tires – 18″ tires (All terrain tires)
  • Gearing – up to 3.73 (3.21 standard)
  • Extra features – Dana 44 rear, Dana 30 front 

Jeep wrangler jk Rubicon (2dr & 4dr)

  • Ground clearance – 10″ (254mm)
  • Water fording height – 30″
  • Tires – 17″ tires 
  • Gearing – up to 4.11
  • Extra features – Dana 44 rear, Dana 44 front , Electronic front sway bar disconnect, tru-lok electronic lockers

Jeep wrangler jl sports (2dr)

  • Ground clearance – 9.7″ (246mm)
  • Water fording height – 30″
  • Tires – 17″ tires 
  • Gearing – up to 3.73 
  • Extra features – Dana 44 rear, Dana 30 front 

Jeep wrangler jl Sahara (2dr & 4dr)

  • Ground clearance – 10″ (254mm)
  • Water fording height – 30″
  • Tires – 18″ tires (All terrain tires)
  • Gearing – up to 3.73 (3.21 standard)
  • Extra features – Dana 44 rear, Dana 30 front 

Jeep wrangler jl Rubicon

  • Ground clearance – 10.8″ (274mm)
  • Water fording height – 30″
  • Tires – 17″ tires (BF Goodrich M/T)
  • Gearing – up to 4.11
  • Extra features – Dana 44 rear, Dana 44 front , Electronic front sway bar disconnect, with stock 4:1 Rock trac transfer case this has 77:1 low range crawl ratio!!

I just put the above set of details to get an idea of what are the capabilities a stock jeep has.

Specially the stock jl rubicon can do most of the extreme off roading activities also without any modifications. 

Most of the other jeeps are just suffering from the losing traction due to stock tires. 

Those tires are not suitable because they don’t have strong sidewalls and tread patterns for off roading purposes.

But jl Rubicon is armored with a good set of mud tires and higher ground clearance.

With those two features this jeep can do extreme off roading activities also.

As I mentioned earlier it has 77:1 low range crawl ratio.

With such a crawl ratio and mud terrain tire set rock crawling is not a dream for a stock jeep any more!!

I think now you can understand what are the capabilities a stock jeep wrangler comes with.

If you have some other model apart from jl Rubicon, you may have to struggle a bit to get traction on dirt with stock tires.

If you are serious about off-roading you can change those stock tires with a set of good off road ready tires and you are good to go.

Tips for off roading with a stock jeep wrangler.

First tip is knowing your vehicle’s limits. Because, stock wranglers have low ground clearance compared to a lifted jeep.

So you have to be careful about that, when fording water crossings, crawling over obstacles like things.

Make sure to get the support of a spotter.

Finding the best possible line is one of the important factors that decide whether you may be able to cross that obstacle or not. 

Good spotter will support you to find the best line. It will save your vehicle from damages as a bonus.

With the correct line your tires will be able to find the needed traction to move you forward.

Try to gather some companions off road with you. Then you can watch them, how their modified vehicles tackle the extreme terrains. 

You can get their support to overcome tough situations.

You can reduce tire pressure (from few pascals if you have street tires/) for about 20psi if you have off-road ready tires. It will increase the traction on dirt.

How much water can a stock Jeep Wrangler drive through?

30″ is the safe water depth jeep company recommended a stock jeep can drive through.

But now the jeep company reduces that depth to 19″ as the safe water fording depth.

Actually jeep manufacturers don’t mention exact safe water fording depths for their different jeep models.

They just said 30″ as the safe fording depth for jeeps.

It’s a bit controversial among jeepers because you can see that these different trims have different ground clearances. So safe water fording depths also should be different. 

But anyway according to the newest guidelines 19″ can be used as a safe starting depth for water fording.

With a snorkel and extended axle vents water fording depth can be highly increased. (There are jeepers who water ford more than 30″ depth without lift kits. But you have to take the risk of hydrolocking or damaging to electronic components).   

It’s better to read the guide on how to avoid hydrolocking an off roading jeep , before going for your next adventure!!

But you should make sure that electronic systems and computer systems do not contact water during water fording.


Can a Jeep Sahara go off road?

Yes, jeep Sahara can go off-roading without doing any modifications to it. Sahara models come with an 18″ tire set. So it has a wider footprint than a Rubicon also. 

But if you are going with a stock jeep sahara, be aware about your ground clearance. 

Due to lower ground clearance, entry and departure angles are reduced.

Because of that make sure your vehicle will not damage when choosing the lines on trails.

Can a stock Jeep do the Rubicon Trail?

Yes, a stock jeep can complete the rubicon trail! Do you want proof? Watch the below video.

What is the biggest tire I can put on a stock jeep wrangler?

33×10 ” is the technically largest tire you can fit to a stock jeep wrangler. But some of the jeep trims need lift kits to put 33″ or larger tires. 

Here the 33″ is the height of the tire. 10″ is the width of the tire. Here height is not the only factor we should consider.

If the tire height is too large it will rub with fenders.

But if the width is too high the tire can contact the front suspension components.


So far I told you how capable your stock jeep wrangler is and what are the challenges you may have to face due to lack of some off roading components like low ground clearance and dedicated off roading tires. 

But with better driving skills,choosing proper lines and by avoiding terrains far from your vehicle’s capabilities, you can get lots of adventurous off roading experiences with your stock jeep.

If you think this guide may be helpful for someone else you can share this with them. You just have to hit a share button below.

Have fun and safe off roading!!


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