Trail Guidelines

Be kind, your actions speak for all RL4WD users. Make sure everyone you meet remembers us as good people, it goes a long way in developing relationships. Be mindful of youthful passengers (future riders) and set a good example.

Never drink and drive. Do not be on any mind-altering substances while operating a RL4WD. Obey all local traffic and trail laws.

Never leave anyone behind. Keep the vehicle behind you in sight. At intersections, wait until the vehicle behind you sees which way you're going before making a turn. 

Stay on marked trails and don’t cause erosion. Always cross water at bridges or designated areas with prepared bottoms (NEVER rut up an ecological waterway). Protect the environment in which we recreate, if we don’t the trail will close. Don’t cut switchbacks or make shortcuts. Use 4-low in sensitive areas where rutting damage can occur.

Trails usually cross or connect using DOT roadways, as such all vehicles need to carry road registration and liability insurance.

Bring the right gear for you and your vehicle, making sure it’s safely secured. Always carry a functional/current fire extinguisher and keep it within drivers reach. We highly recommend a spill kit and spare vehicle fluids as well.  All vehicles should have a functional, undamaged roll cage. Carry a first aid kit. Firearms need to be safe and secure (where allowed). 

Leave it better than you found it. If this is a Wrangler Rider sanctioned event, picking up garbage or other trail maintenance may be worth event points if properly documented (take pictures and write a story of your adventure!).

Do not attempt any trail beyond your skill level. While the vehicle may be capable of the trail or obstacle, it can take years to become experienced enough to do things safely. Trust your gut, go to workshops and training sessions prior to big adventures. Practice like-obstacles in a controlled environment before heading on a big ride.  

Trails can cause vehicle scratches and/or damage. Spotters are not liable for your vehicle, you are. While aid is there to assist, it’s your ultimate decision to follow and execute any path of travel your vehicle is on.

If your vehicle is not fit for the trail or is not running properly, do not bring it on a trip where breakdown is likely. 

Do NOT peer pressure someone to do something. Do not poke fun of someone for bypassing a trail or obstacle. Help new riders learn the ropes of trail riding, check egos at the trailhead.

Always use the buddy system. Never go out alone. Let someone know where you’re going and when you expect to return. Have a CB (most common), HAM or Beartooth communication device for off-grid communication between vehicles.

If using aftermarket lighting systems at night, be mindful of oncoming traffic and rear view viewing of vehicles in front of you. Dim or shut off your aftermarket lights to avoid blinding people, especially for oncoming traffic.

Know before you go! Always contact the local trail chapter or club. Get the most current trail conditions and have a good map and backup map. Get local emergency numbers to the area you’re going to and have them in your vehicle in the event of an emergency.

Upon completion of your trip, remove an invasive species (plants, seeds, etc.) before leaving the area. Pay special attention to your undercarriage.

Always inspect your vehicle after adventuring on a trail.


Think of any others? Post them below in the comments!


Rig Items To Consider. Amazon links for review and data research. 

Fire Extinguisher Holder -

First Aid Kit -

Shackle Receiver -

Ham Radio - Yaesu FTM-400XDR - 

Handheld Ham Radio - Yaesu FT-3DR - 

Cobra C75WXST Handheld CB Radio -

Recovery Kit -

J.T. Brooks Automatic Tire Deflators PRO -

Tire Repair Kit -

Winch -

Oil Spill Kit -


RL4WD Risk Management Guidelines


RL4WD Risk Management Guidelines For Members, Chapters, and Trail Ambassadors

The Road Legal 4WD Association is comprised of multiple chapters throughout the USA. Our common values are safety and education in everything we do. Our members, friends, family safety are our top priority.

All adults in a rig must be a free or paid member of and should have a profile on this site. Trail Ambassadors and Chapters may opt to make rides and events specific to paid members, experienced members, etc. but anyone with a valid RL4WDA membership card should be able to sign up and pay for an event or trail ride as they are part of the Universal Membership program.

All vehicles must be DOT compliant for legal road use according to state and federal law. All vehicles must have valid liability insurance with limits that exceed local state law requirements.

Vehicles must have DOT compliant restraints and roll bars / cage / OEM top. Vehicles without a top or roll cage will not be allowed to participate in any chapter function. All vehicles shall be in proper working order and have a legal exhaust system and need to be checked by a chapter volunteer before an event begins.

All vehicles must contain an ABC automotive fire extinguisher along with front and rear tow points. Vehicle recovery and first aid kits are required for hosts, Trail Ambassadors, and guides while being highly encouraged for all vehicles.

All events must have trained volunteers on site to be considered a RL4WD sanctioned event.

Chapters are encouraged to be a non-profit club entity. Chapters are required to keep a separate banking account and expenditures should be appropriate based on the operational procedures and bylaws set within the chapter. 

Under no circumstances shall a chapter or guide host a timed or wheel to wheel competition without prior approval and insurance from the Road Legal 4WD Association. These events will require additional special event risk management and special event insurance.


Chapter Hosts - The organizers of the Chapter will be required to take the Chapter Training online as well as in person (when possible). The chapter hosts are responsible for keeping a copy of the event waivers indefinitely if needed in an incident. Chapter Hosts will be required to document any accidents, injuries or vehicle damage and fill out a report of what happened. A Chapter Host will then need to send in the report along with the waiver for all parties involved within 7 business days.

Trail Ambassadors - Trail Ambassadors will need to complete the online and/or on-site training and certification courses. Online refresher courses will also be required online every 24 months. Must pass a criminal background check. 



All private trails should be scouted prior to an event (where applicable). A chapter should identify and sign or eliminate any safety hazard on the trails such as sharp objects and excessive brush. 

Any trail with deep mud should be avoided. We advocate for ethical trail use and preservation. Excessive deep water or mud can cause severe damage to Road Legal 4WD vehicles as such, no RL4WD event shall traverse these types of trails unless an act of God caused it during an event and it must be crossed/can’t be avoided.

Do not cut switchbacks or take shortcuts. All water crossings should be at designated points that have a prepared rock bottom (best to route over a bridge when possible).

Vehicles should be in 4WD low at all times to prevent trail damage and accidents that involve any type of speed.



Trail Rides - A ride with a group of RL4WD vehicles that have lead and sweep drivers and Trail Ambassadors or guides that may be needed for technical help through more difficult terrain.

Meet & Greets - A function where members congregate and are not driving trails. Please refrain from alcohol use during a sanctioned RL4WD event. 

Education Classes or Workshops - A volunteer-run class for a local chapter that trains drivers for trail riding. These small sessions may also be part of a trail ride.

Car Show/Show & Shine - An event that is hosted by a local chapter in a show type setting. Additional risk management and insurance will be required before a chapter can host these types of events.

Any other competition type event will need to be approved and insured before it can be advertised as a RL4WD event.