The premise of the Road Legal 4WD Association is to build trails, teach people how to ride said trails, and to preserve the trails we have. We went with the Road Legal part for a few different reasons, mainly, because in order to connect Slow Speed Trails (the main trails we focus on building), we need to use roads in order to connect these trails to make full adventure routes and tours.
Keeping vehicles Road Legal also means local laws on lifts, tire size, noise, and alike are met BUT we don't want to make that standard because each state has different laws pertaining to what's allowed.
As land masses get divided, sold off, etc. It'll be increasingly important that rigs be road legal to connect smaller sections of trails. The beauty of Slow Speed Trails is they can be short yet take a long time to traverse. This makes them ideal for smaller county parks, smaller private parcels of land, etc. Without the roads, we can't connect them. Overall, this type of trail system is feasible but without the backbone of having the roads, it won't work well.
Sure, as some states do, there could be 4x4 trail permits for temp road use to connect trails, I get that but after seeing how this law was put into action by the ATV/UTV community in Wisconsin (so so many road routes going nowhere), I don't want to be involved in a system like that.
Ok that being said, we do have our private riding parks and trails and we've had non-licensed 4x4's on the trails. These vehicles were insured and still met road legal laws, they just didn't have a license plate. Being that at those parks and trails, no road use was needed, it wasn't a big deal. If we went to dinner, those folks just hopped in with someone else, it wasn't an issue.
I'm not against the non-licensed 4x4's, they have their place in the 4x4 world as the most capable machines, but that means they fall outside the realm of being road legal in most cases. I'm not saying we want to build rock bouncer trails or tractor tire type trails, RL4WDA isn't about that as we can't keep those types of trails sustainable without a huge amount of work and expense. The Road Legal part keeps us building trails most can enjoy in a sustainable way. The road legal part keeps us representing the largest segment of 4x4s that pay for said trails, but that doesn't mean that the non-road legal folks can't join us if their rig is built with the same tire sizes, weight, noise, and widths that the rest of us have to abide by.
While we concentrate on the Road Legal side, we're not against the non-road legal vehicles, again as long as they're built with specs that keep trails from getting damaged or closed. Many of our trails have trailer parking so if a rig isn't road legal and is trailered, ok no prob. Tech will look for insurance, tire size, width, and weight like normal (what's allowed depends on the location).
Since 99% of the 4x4's built are road legal, that's who we represent, but we're not here to turn away the non-road legal rigs as long as they are insured and follow specs. Most places you're talking about a 40" tire or less, quiet exhaust, 90" or less width and under 5k lbs (just rough numbers here). Just about everything fits in that scope of 4x4. What doesn't will likely wreck the trails.
So to recap, we want to keep building Slow Speed Trails that are fun to drive on, take time to complete, are safe, have no dust, no noise, and can be put just about anywhere. Rigs being licensed for road use is usually needed to connect these trails on public and some private properties. Most 4x4 clubs are made up of road legal rigs as the majority anyway. That's my opinion on the matter anyway. I feel that we can still help these clubs in most cases, even though we concentrate on the road legal stuff most often. Rigs that can serve as both recreation and transportation are ideal for being able to hit a route or tour of trails.
As long as a 4x4 club is all about keeping trails sustainable and not wrecking what we're building, I'd think they'd be welcome here. We have some really great folks in those clubs and together, we can do more.
Road Legal 4WD Forums
The forums of the Road Legal 4WD Association, members, chapters and clubs.
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