The Road Legal 4WD Association focuses on building trail access for full-sized, road legal 4x4 type vehicles that fit within the definition of what we term Road Legal Four Wheel Drive machines (RL4WD). 

 

Right now, we're still honing this in before we help form public registration policies but so far we're at - 

A RL4WD is defined as being road-legal within your State/Providence and being under 90" (229cm) wide and 190" (483cm) long while coming in with a weight of under 6,500lbs (2,949kg). Exhaust needs to be under 100 dB at 2K RPM when measured at the exhaust tip and/or loudest part of the machine. 

 

Why only RL4WD's and not all 4x4's?

The vast majority of 4x4 vehicles on the road today that are more trail oriented machines, would likely qualify as a RL4WD. Our main focus is to gain land access, build trails and parks, and educate people on how to safely ride on those trails. 

So why not all 4x4's? Because some of the extreme duty machines are a detriment to gaining land access. Sorry, but it's true. Trying to open trails for big machines past most street laws limits the types of trails we can build. We want slow crawling trails that are fun and challenging, not wide open, fast and swamp trails. A super lifted, highly modified machine on tractor tires will get a park closed down in many, many cases. How do we know? Because the folks running this thing also run National Motorsports and we insure riding parks all over the nation. Year after year, time after time, the parks that cater to mudding, swamper machines get shut down. A local community can close a private riding park and fast! Not making this stuff up folks, communities do not want irresponsible, loud and unethical parks in their area. We could go on and on about how those parks and machines seriously hamper our ability to get more places to ride. But let's keep this article moving shall we?

 

Why Road Legal?

Large acres of land are becoming more and more rare. With smaller parcels being the norm, we need to move from one trail to the next using road routes. By keeping machines road legal, we avoid a lot of permits and legislation needed for road access. We want to see our trail systems connect all over! 

 

Sound Limit?

Yes, stock road legal machines are super quiet. If you can't see us crawling through the woods and you can't hear us... as far as the local community is concerned, we don't exist! That's a good thing when folks can't hear us playing around. Again, sound has been a major reason why trails and parks get closed down. Sure, we could have gone with some fancy measurement at the end of a property and brought in sound engineers, but really?? Why? Download a sound meter app on a smartphone and do the measurement... it's easy to do! We want the usergroup to be able to self-admin and these are some ways we can do that. For the most part, with a smartphone and a tape measure, anyone can determine if a vehicle falls under a RL4WD definition. 

 

Building trails for RL4WD's is far easier than for big 4x4's. By keeping RL4WD's smaller, we have far more opportunities to get more trails. If you have a comment on this article, feel free to post it below! 

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Proposal - changing defined RL4WD types.
Need - To better describe what types of trails are built for what vehicles.
When - ASAP so I can finish the trail siging program.

This shift is more for trail building over trail use. We want a deverse...

Proposal - changing defined RL4WD types.
Need - To better describe what types of trails are built for what vehicles.
When - ASAP so I can finish the trail siging program.

This shift is more for trail building over trail use. We want a deverse set of trails and by better designing the types of vehicles, we can narrow in on expected vehicle types.

The problem this year was when we had the light trucks at the homestead. This caused a bunch of damage to the trails and we don't want that to continue. HOWEVER, a lot of the trails we scouted for public use would be just fine rolling a full-sized truck on them. If approved, this would then re-value the directory so people could search not only the types of trails but also the recommended vehicle types.

Here's the draft -

The Road Legal 4WD Association defines different types of vehicles based on how trails are built. Because there are so many different types of RL4WDs on the market, we've classified the vehicles to aid drives to reduce the risk of trail and vehicle damage along with keeping trail users safe.

We're building these specs to identify what vehicles fit on regular and slow speed trails. Please carefully consider the common specs over the max specs as trails are designed with the common specs in mind. Even if your vehicle fits within these common specs, vehicle, and trail damage can still result without proper knowledge and training. Trail guides have the right to refuse trail access to any vehicle or driver even if the vehicle meets the defined specifications.

Exhaust - All RL4WDs must have a muffler with the spark arrester in it to prevent forest fires. Exhaust must meet legal sound requirements. If a vehicle is too loud for trail use, trail guides have the right to refuse entry. Vehicle noise is an important aspect of keeping trails. Many times, if people can't see us or hear us, we simply don't exist, and that's a good thing.

2 Door SUV - The 2 door sport utility vehicle (SUV) is the smallest of the 4x4s out on the trails. Their narrow wheelbase and tight turning radius are excellent for narrow, one-way trails. While the vehicle doesn't have to have only 2 doors or be an SUV, it needs to adhere to the following dimensions.

Specs: Road-legal within your State/Providence.
Common Specs - Under 72in (229cm) wide, 140in (432cm) long.
Max Specs - The vehicle is to be under 90in (229cm) wide, 170in (432cm) long.

4 Door SUV - The 4 door SUV is usually longer and heavier than the 2 Doors. It will feature a wider turning radius and may be more difficult to maneuver through tight trails.

Common Specs - Under 75in (229cm) wide, 180in (432cm) long.
Max Specs: Road-legal within your State/Providence and being under 90" (229cm) wide and 190" (483cm) long.

Light Truck - The light truck is the 2nd largest of the trail vehicles we make trails for. It typically won't fit around corners designed for the SUVs without body or trail damage. Light truck trails will usually be much wider and have a thicker trail base to accommodate the added weight of the vehicle.

Max Specs: Road-legal within your State/Providence and being under 90" (229cm) wide and 250" (635cm) long.

Full Size - The Ful Size RL4WD is the longest and heaviest defined for trail use.

Max Specs: Road-legal within your State/Providence. Max allowed Road-legal width within your State/Providence. Max allowed length without a trailer within your State/Providence.



RL4WD Clearance Levels

Clearance levels are used to determine what level obstacle can generally be crossed. This is only a guide and is not a definitive answer to what vehicles can traverse what level trails.

Low Clearance - Defined as vehicles with 15in (38cm) or less of underbody clearance. Usually acceptable up to level 3 obstacles before trail or vehicle damage is common.

Mid Clearance - Defined as vehicles with 16in (40cm) to 25in (63cm) of underbody clearance. Usually acceptable up to level 6 obstacles before trail or vehicle damage is common.

High Clearance - Defined as vehicles with 26in (66cm) to 40in (101cm) of underbody clearance. Usually acceptable up to level 8 obstacles before trail or vehicle damage is common.

Max Clearance - Defined as vehicles with more than 40in (101cm) of underbody clearance. Usually acceptable up to level 10 obstacles before trail or vehicle damage is common.

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Comment was last edited 1 day ago by Ryan Harden Ryan Harden
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Ryan,
Put together very well, with specific requirements should make it pretty easy for a person to interpret.
Thanks for putting this draft out there.
Should the trail classifications be added as well? That way people can taylor their riding...

Ryan,
Put together very well, with specific requirements should make it pretty easy for a person to interpret.
Thanks for putting this draft out there.
Should the trail classifications be added as well? That way people can taylor their riding experience...
Keep up the good work and dedication.

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Ya I'll link to that page and the upcoming trail signs page.

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