The Road Legal 4WD Association started as a regional 4x4 club called Wrangler Riders in Southeastern Wisconsin. Over the course of 8 months, we’ve opened up multiple riding areas and have over 150 members. While that was a great start, we wanted to share our offerings beyond Wrangler Riders.
In 2018 We changed our foundation name to the Road Legal 4WD Association in order to offer our education and chapter/club resources beyond one club. We’re here to help clubs start, gain access, make events, grow, connect and expand. Wrangler Riders will remain as a chapter of the RL4WDA, but it is run as it’s own entity (non-profit) that we provide services to.
The RL4WD site offers clubs, drivers and families a community to learn and connect with.
Our mission is to highlight what the RL4WD vehicles can do through social gatherings, training workshops, trail rides, seminars, meetings and online education.
From stockers to stacked, we aim to develop riding opportunities for the entire RL4WD community.
We are a membership driven organization. During our events there needs to be at least one valid member in each vehicle. We are family friendly and geared around building a community. Membership is important as it pays for this site, our trails and our Chapters.
The Road Legal 4WD Assoc. is based out of Wisconsin. We're set up as a non-profit as are the Chapters. People are free to make Chapters outside of Wisconsin as well. Our initial focus is to get more people connected through chapters within Wisconsin so we can get a trail and park network set up. Wisconsin has many thousands of trails for ATV/UTV, Snowmobile, Biking & Hiking, but it lacks a RL4WD trail and park network. We're changing that. In the few short months we've been active, we've set up a few riding properties for members, set the tone for a public registration program, mapped public and private trails, and developed systems to expand trails. When we have enough members, chapters, and riding areas, we'll be involved in drafting a state wide public RL4WD registration program in Wisconsin (since there isn't one).
Beyond Wisconsin we offer RL4WD clubs and chapters a wealth of resources. Here are a few examples.
Universal Membership - One membership for riders allows them access to all chapter and club events, tickets, site information, profile, achievements, points and more. This membership is a co-op program that is shared with the local chapter and it aids in reducing rider membership fees for multiple clubs.
One Community - Chapters, clubs and businesses all have their own pages, domains, stores, ticket program within RL4WD.com. The site tracks everything for members and clubs while providing exclusive pricing on products and services from our business members.
Regional Cooperation - When we can all work together, we win. Local chapters and clubs are encouraged to work together on events, objectives and projects. This way, one chapter or club doesn't burn out but members get a plethora of activity to choose from.
Education - Our site, chapter and clubs are all focused on teaching people how to safely enjoy the outdoors in their RL4WD. We host online and on-site classes on everything from basics of trail use to advanced recovery techniques. We also train Elders, Trail Guides and Trail Ambassadors to keep trails managed and growing.
Grants - Besides the bountiful resources, events, trails and education, we also provide trail grants to our chapters and clubs. Grant funds are earned through membership fees, advertising, sponsorship and grants that the main foundation receives.
Our trails and parks are being built for vehicles that comply with local and state laws for road use. This is an important function as many of our riding trails are forced to be connected using roads instead of trails (especially in densely populated areas like Eastern Wisconsin. It's common to have a Chapter host a ride at one property that then connects and opens to other properties for that same event.
Here's some samples of how we build trails.
While there are many forums for things like Jeeps, there isn't any RL4WD community online that blends events, Chapters, education, maps right alongside peoples own media, blogs and posts. So that's what we aimed to achieve. You'll see all the fun things going on by clicking the members tab.
We aim to help connect the RL4WD community through events, education and Chapter connections. Together, we can expand and maintain RL4WD trail and park access.
Here's an example of a riding camp complete with workshops an training.
Another short example of riding exercises used to build driver knowledge. This is a go at your own pace process. We never force anyone to do anything beyond what they're comfortable doing.
Four season fun! Chapters and clubs host events year round. From gathering at small meet and greet events, to full on regional trips. One of the best parts of riding trails in a RL4WD is the fact that their designed for all the elements! This means it's rare that an event gets cancelled.
Elder History - Elders are the folks who volunteer within a Chapter. Elders are to be respected (hence the name) as they are the ones making everything happen within Wrangler Riders. Elders can be Trail Guides (after training), folks who'll register and inspect vehicles, ones who'll volunteer to run food, marketing, website, social media and just about anything else within the RL4WDA. You'll be able to quickly identify an Elder by their verified badge on their profile and community. If you'd like to become an Elder get a hold of your local Chapter or club and see what they need help with. Together, we make events awesome!
History of the Board - The RL4WDA advisory community consists of dedicated individuals focused on making RL4WDA succeed and thrive. The advisory community consists of a private community of Chapter and club leaders, high-ranking members, and industry professionals who vote on important issues and grant submissions. The advisory community became an official part of the RL4WDA upon the discussions at the first Annual Meeting in January of 2018.
History of the Founders - The founding members program was our startup campaign where people would join for $250 for the first year. It gave us the seed money to launch our website and marketing which quickly got the word out about what we have to offer. The founding members are commonly asked about directional goals of the organization and will serve as a voice to the advisory board going forward. The Founding Membership program ended Dec 31st, 2017 but those who participated will have the founding member badge on their profiles indefinitely.
History of the Director - Ryan Harden We started in 2017 in Sheboygan, WI when Ryan and Jessica Harden sought to join a Jeep Group in town. Unfortunately, there were no active clubs and upon further investigation, we found that there were few actual RL4WD specific organizations and no statewide trail network.
For more than 20 years Ryan has been helping motorsport clubs, tracks and facilities start, grow and maintain recreational opportunities across the US. Ryan started with his involvement in the Lakeshore ATV club back in the 80’s. He then got picked to join the National OHV Youth Vision team for National 4H. From there, he started working at the National OHV Conservational Council (NOHVCC) and began teaching for the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America in the late 90’s beginning with the ATV Safety Institute and then also becoming a coach for the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. In the early 2000’s, Ryan was awarded for being a top Midwestern instructor, teaching hundreds of people a year about their vehicles and how to ride safe. During this time, Ryan also became a Master Trainer for Tread Lightly in 2003 to help build a stronger network of informed, ethical recreationalists. His college education consists of degrees in Marketing and Business to Business Marketing.
In 2002, Ryan became a commercial lines insurance agent for National Motorsports Insurance Agency. It’s here where he helps people across the country build insurable & sustainable tracks, trails, parks and clubs to this day. He’s also heavily involved in the Wisconsin ATV / UTV Assoc. run by his father, Randy Harden, the international Trail Patrol Ambassador program run by his brother, Adam Harden, and is a board member of the National OHV Informational Services (NOHVIS) group. He also is a member of the Wisconsin Off-Highway Motorcycle Assoc. and is getting more involved with the Wisconsin OHV Assoc., now that the Wrangler Riders have formed as a non-profit.
Here's an video of our first event. We had no idea if anyone would even show up. It was amazing to get a parking lot full of Jeeps! There are millions of Wranglers and alike RL4WD vehicles on the roads today and it's why we formed as there wasn't a local active club.
We look forward to serving the RL4WD community and thank all who help make this a positive part of their recreation!
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