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I went out near Las Vegas to climb a couple peaks last weekend and took the XV up some dirt roads and it did fine. The first road was a severely damaged road up to Red Rock Summit, washed out in many places. We only went up about a mile or two before I gave it up and turned off to camp. Since the road had many pointed rocks embedded in it, I took it very slow straddling most of them. The only other cars we saw pass the entire road were lifted jeeps with 35" tires..

The second was a ten mile stretch of dirt road, washboarded in some areas with rocks and shrubs. Didn't take it too fast because I wasn't sure how well the low profile tires would take rock hits. Sand was ok as long as you kept momentum. Took recovery gear but didn't need it. I think I want to invest in some big scissor jacks instead of the standard hi-lift jack because there aren't many exterior points on the XV to jack up.

I think if more trips like this were coming up, I would definitely want to swap out the tires from 17" rims and 50 profile to more like 15-16" with 60-70 profile, keeping the diameter about the same. The higher sidewall should be more tolerant of rocks and you can de-air the tire for better grip in sand.
 

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Sounds like a good time. 8) The tire swap makes sense to me. Had 33s on 15x10 rim on my TJ and it was basically unstoppable. (Not suggesting for XV)! The biggest difference I feel between our XV and the Jeeps you passed is the power/torque and the rpm range needed to access. I've been finding that the Trek really has to have the rpms up and the gear just right, usually 1st or 2nd, or it will lose momentum quite quickly- especially on steeper grades. Some of the "roads" I travel are quite challenging. I've found the Crosstrek is quite the off roader as long as I play close attn. and don't try to just power through a given obstacle. More of a scalpel than a hammer for sure!
 

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HikingDrew said:
I went out near Las Vegas to climb a couple peaks last weekend and took the XV up some dirt roads and it did fine. The first road was a severely damaged road up to Red Rock Summit, washed out in many places. We only went up about a mile or two before I gave it up and turned off to camp. Since the road had many pointed rocks embedded in it, I took it very slow straddling most of them. The only other cars we saw pass the entire road were lifted jeeps with 35" tires..

The second was a ten mile stretch of dirt road, washboarded in some areas with rocks and shrubs. Didn't take it too fast because I wasn't sure how well the low profile tires would take rock hits. Sand was ok as long as you kept momentum. Took recovery gear but didn't need it. I think I want to invest in some big scissor jacks instead of the standard hi-lift jack because there aren't many exterior points on the XV to jack up.

I think if more trips like this were coming up, I would definitely want to swap out the tires from 17" rims and 50 profile to more like 15-16" with 60-70 profile, keeping the diameter about the same. The higher sidewall should be more tolerant of rocks and you can de-air the tire for better grip in sand.
There are rally wheels available that can clear the brakes and still have some decent sidewall. I too would consider getting some 15" wheels as the 17" wheels live a small amount of sidewall for off-pavement adventures.
 
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