Does the future of off-road capable vehicles look bleak? - JeepForum.com
 5Likes
  • 1 Post By bbacus
  • 1 Post By Finulanu
  • 2 Post By bobjp
  • 1 Post By jeepkid03
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 15 Old 09-24-2017, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
Finulanu
Registered User
2003 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 276
Does the future of off-road capable vehicles look bleak?

Hi all. Iím hoping to spark some discussion on a topic we all obviously care about and have a passion for. I used to be a regular visitor of the forums when I had a Jeep and my last thread got no response, so I donít know how active this forum still is.

The topic of discussion: Is this sort of hobby for the enthusiast a dying one? When we look back 10-15 years ago, options were more plentiful regarding vehicles coming off the factory floor with less tech, nimbler for trail use, lighter, and equipped with solid axles and naturally higher ground clearance. It seems as the years have marched on, our once beloved OHVís have become encumbered with tech, wider and heavier body styles, and more highway friendly suspensions (i.e. less models with solid axles or independent suspensions). Now, I know this is a Jeep forum and most here are Jeep enthusiasts, but the Wrangler has been the only OHV to survive its roots longer than any other. The Pathfinder, 4Runner, Samurai, Xterra, Defender, Grand Cherokee, FJ Cruiser, XJ/Cherokee, etc. have all suffered a fate of ceased production or become something unfamiliar with what they once were. Granted, we will soon be blessed with opportunity of shopping for some revived names with off-road capability as a potential. The upcoming Jeep pickup and soon to follow the Bronco and Ranger; Nissan has also decided to survive the Frontier for a while longer. While we can count on another generation of Wrangler and sub models/variations, how much longer will it be before manufacturers give way to total modernization? Utilitarian, no frills OHVís are becoming less common. The more modern and tech heavy some vehicles become (the 4Runner and GC come to mind), the harder it is for aftermarket suppliers to accommodate their bloated designs that are incompatible with accessories like lifts, bumpers, and purpose-built equipment for the trails.

I feel the inevitability of 4-wheeling and OHVís going the way of the dinosaurs. Perhaps not in my lifetime, but there will come a day where the market simply wonít be there. The demand becomes scarcer for trail ready suspension, more stripped-down interiors, and interchangeable parts to modify and equip to our vehicles. Thoughts?
Finulanu is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 15 Old 09-24-2017, 01:37 PM
bbacus
Registered User
1999 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Middleton
Posts: 278
Dead is the word. Fed regulation is another word. Most of the changes you mentioned were brought on by CAFE rules and emissions rules.

That being said I would guess most truly 4wheel drive vehicles will be gone very soon; including pickups as we know them.
puppybreath likes this.
bbacus is offline  
post #3 of 15 Old 09-24-2017, 04:17 PM
Devil15
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 150
4 wheelers and side by sides also seem to be becoming very popular as a replacement. Which doesn't help.

Sent from my SM-G930T using Tapatalk
Devil15 is offline  
post #4 of 15 Old 09-24-2017, 06:11 PM
Fourtrail
Registered User
1974 CJ6 
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Illinois
Posts: 1,988
Facebook and Instagram has killed the forums...

Ohv's from car factories are soon to be a thing of the past, ride, comfort and price have killed the utilitarian options. That said, SXS's are picking up the slack. I see more of those out than I ever saw ohv's on a weekend at the offroad parks. That and the new generation seems to be more about going fast than poking along enjoying the trail and the scenery.

80 CJ-5, 74 CJ-6, 56 CJ-5
Fourtrail is offline  
post #5 of 15 Old 09-24-2017, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
Finulanu
Registered User
2003 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 276
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourtrail View Post
Facebook and Instagram has killed the forums...

Ohv's from car factories are soon to be a thing of the past, ride, comfort and price have killed the utilitarian options. That said, SXS's are picking up the slack. I see more of those out than I ever saw ohv's on a weekend at the offroad parks. That and the new generation seems to be more about going fast than poking along enjoying the trail and the scenery.
Interesting. It's been 7 years since I've even seen what the off-road community has become where I'm from in CO. That said, it just seems like the norm now to go out, buy a Rubicon, throw a ton of money at it barely hit the graded dirt roads. I've seen it more as a status symbol in my home town than have a true, purpose driven Jeep/OHV. It hadn't really ever crossed my mind that social media gutted the forums. I still think online forums provide a greater depth of learning and sense of community. Maybe it's just me, but it sure does seem like this one in particular is a lot less active?
puppybreath likes this.
Finulanu is offline  
post #6 of 15 Old 09-25-2017, 05:46 AM
bobjp
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 2,047
Are there fewer offroad vehicles overall? Are there fewer offroad vehicles per capita? I don't know.


The Wrangler is more popular than ever, and the aftermarket for offroad components (on any 4x4) is bigger than ever. Chrysler, Ford, and GM have made more investment in offroad geared vehicles in the last few years than they have in a long time. Granted, the large majority of Wranglers and other offroad vehicles are never used offroad, but all of these companies stand a lot to lose if offroading goes away.


Side x Sides are huge, not just picking up the slack. Are four wheelers and motorcycles any less popular? Honda, Yamaha, and Polaris stand a lot to lose too.


Where I'm from, the DNR is the one building the trails (for Side X Sides, Four Wheelers, motorcycles; they don't do **** for Jeeps except increase the sticker price.). Two years ago they doubled the price of ORV stickers. They are raking in the money.


So you have big businesses, small businesses, and a government entity that want to keep offroading alive because of money.


Ultimately, offroading will go away, but I think the biggest threat is construction and sprawl. Stop building freeways right up to these wild rural places with the expectation that they will remain wild and rural. You can't have your cake and eat it too.
Indy and puppybreath like this.

97 TJ sport.
bobjp is offline  
post #7 of 15 Old 09-26-2017, 09:58 AM Thread Starter
Finulanu
Registered User
2003 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 276
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobjp View Post
Are there fewer offroad vehicles overall? Are there fewer offroad vehicles per capita? I don't know.


The Wrangler is more popular than ever, and the aftermarket for offroad components (on any 4x4) is bigger than ever. Chrysler, Ford, and GM have made more investment in offroad geared vehicles in the last few years than they have in a long time. Granted, the large majority of Wranglers and other offroad vehicles are never used offroad, but all of these companies stand a lot to lose if offroading goes away.


Side x Sides are huge, not just picking up the slack. Are four wheelers and motorcycles any less popular? Honda, Yamaha, and Polaris stand a lot to lose too.


Where I'm from, the DNR is the one building the trails (for Side X Sides, Four Wheelers, motorcycles; they don't do **** for Jeeps except increase the sticker price.). Two years ago they doubled the price of ORV stickers. They are raking in the money.


So you have big businesses, small businesses, and a government entity that want to keep offroading alive because of money.


Ultimately, offroading will go away, but I think the biggest threat is construction and sprawl. Stop building freeways right up to these wild rural places with the expectation that they will remain wild and rural. You can't have your cake and eat it too.
Well said. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't ever entertained the idea of buying one of those SxS--they seem like a lot of fun. Anyway, I appreciate the responses, but I'll let this thread die now. 100 views and 5 responses; this forum is dead.
Finulanu is offline  
post #8 of 15 Old 09-26-2017, 01:35 PM
222Doc
Web Wheeler
 
222Doc's Avatar
2012 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Lake Havasu City
Posts: 7,315
Garage
What is harming the real off road community. For one its a lot smaller than most think since to most owning something with letters JEEP on it makes them one of them, so sales are not the issue. Basically there are two types of off road in the USA. Public lands/Federal and private. Private meaning Pay off road parks. Out west here with as much land as there is that is owned by State and fed it has become a point the only real ones keeping these trails open are club members of mostly jeeps or similar. Few people that own jeeps use them off road or much. Fewer people belong to a real jeep club or are involved in the trail effort. If it was not for those few much of what people run on now would be gone. i started wheeling in 1975 as a driver was luck to have the Rubicon as dang near my back door. before that my friends dad was in Hi lows of Tahoe and we walked the Rubicon back then as his personal road builders..

the entry of side by sides/atv etc. has made the situation worse in reality for the trails in Federal and State lands. I have seen trails that for decades been not much issue, now do to noise and the speed/dust they create. They tend to make bypasses when they cant make the trail. Far from...."tread lightly".

Home of the Parker Desert Splash

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
222Doc is offline  
post #9 of 15 Old 09-27-2017, 06:03 AM
vadslram
Registered User
1990 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: VA Beach
Posts: 7,700
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devil15 View Post
4 wheelers and side by sides also seem to be becoming very popular as a replacement. Which doesn't help.

Sent from my SM-G930T using Tapatalk
That is exactly what is killing road-able off road vehicles!
I was in Kodiak this spring and while there are many 4WD trucks, they are used almost exclusively on the road and when they go off road they use the Kawasaki, John Deere, Yamaha, Polaris, I even saw a Kubota UTV. I swear there were more UTVs on the island then licenced cars, Some houses had 1 truck a 4 off roaders parked in front. They don't need a license, they don't have to be inspected, they are lighter and use less gas and if you do abuse them and they break. You already trailer-ed them in so you can still get home.
vadslram is offline  
post #10 of 15 Old 09-29-2017, 10:56 AM
Indy
Registered User
 
Indy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Viera
Posts: 3,455
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobjp View Post
Are there fewer offroad vehicles overall? Are there fewer offroad vehicles per capita? I don't know.


The Wrangler is more popular than ever, and the aftermarket for offroad components (on any 4x4) is bigger than ever. Chrysler, Ford, and GM have made more investment in offroad geared vehicles in the last few years than they have in a long time. Granted, the large majority of Wranglers and other offroad vehicles are never used offroad, but all of these companies stand a lot to lose if offroading goes away.


Side x Sides are huge, not just picking up the slack. Are four wheelers and motorcycles any less popular? Honda, Yamaha, and Polaris stand a lot to lose too.


Where I'm from, the DNR is the one building the trails (for Side X Sides, Four Wheelers, motorcycles; they don't do **** for Jeeps except increase the sticker price.). Two years ago they doubled the price of ORV stickers. They are raking in the money.


So you have big businesses, small businesses, and a government entity that want to keep offroading alive because of money.


Ultimately, offroading will go away, but I think the biggest threat is construction and sprawl. Stop building freeways right up to these wild rural places with the expectation that they will remain wild and rural. You can't have your cake and eat it too.
Wrangler sales are down actually. 2015 was the height. But since almost no jeep sold today will see anything but pavement that doesn't really reflect much. Some of the builds on newer vehicles are really impressive looking, but that's all they're built to do, look impressive.

Once they're 10-15 years old they'll get picked up by someone actually looking to use them. Dropping 60k on a vehicle, throwing 20k in mods at it and then banging it up on the trail is insane IMO. That kind of money (for me) would be a nice daily driver that I want to keep looking nice, because it costs more than a house in certain parts of the country.

Besides,

Off roading is hard work, I think that alone will continue to lead to its decline as years go by. Bunch of pansies...

I'm the only gay eskimo.
Indy is offline  
post #11 of 15 Old 09-29-2017, 08:31 PM
XJ2Timer
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Temple, TX
Posts: 816
Amateur radio is another hobby that is on hard times.
Internet and smart phones have taken a huge bite out of it.

It's not just CAFE and emissions regulations that have had an impact on off roading.
Safety regulations on everything from vehicle stability to pedestrian impact to air bags have changed vehicles.
Plus too many people are used to just pushing buttons these days and letting technology do everything for them.
They have no real interest on really learning how to drive or handle a vehicle and discovering just what it can do.

Technology can be great but people ought to learn how to do things for themselves, manually, before giving up control to electrons.

1st one- 1989 Cherokee Laredo. 12 great years
2nd one- 2001 Cherokee Limited. Got it before they were gone.
XJ2Timer is offline  
post #12 of 15 Old 09-30-2017, 12:27 AM
Devil15
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 150
^So true. I work on new cars in a dealership. They are nice, they just lack character. Whether it's a fusion or an f150, they all feel the same comfortable with all the creature comforts. There isn't anything wrong with that it's just that there's no connection to the vehicle.

Sent from my SM-G930T using Tapatalk
Devil15 is offline  
post #13 of 15 Old 10-02-2017, 01:07 PM
jeepkid03
Winning
 
jeepkid03's Avatar
2000 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Storrs
Posts: 6,247
A lot of it has to do with regulation and the misinformed green movement.

Many people think off-road enthusiasts are terrible environment hating, tree chopping A-holes. The videos posted on Youtube of people in lifted trucks driving through protected areas intentionally certainly doesn't help. We used to have one or two legal off-roading spots in CT. Partiers in lifted trucks who trashed the place got them shut down. Now if I want to drive anywhere with a difficulty greater than a gravel road I have to travel quite a distance.
vadslram likes this.

-Josh

My 0331 Head Swap How-To Thread:

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


Build Thread:

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
jeepkid03 is offline  
post #14 of 15 Old 10-03-2017, 05:34 AM
vadslram
Registered User
1990 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: VA Beach
Posts: 7,700
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepkid03 View Post
A lot of it has to do with regulation and the misinformed green movement.

Many people think off-road enthusiasts are terrible environment hating, tree chopping A-holes. The videos posted on Youtube of people in lifted trucks driving through protected areas intentionally certainly doesn't help. We used to have one or two legal off-roading spots in CT. Partiers in lifted trucks who trashed the place got them shut down. Now if I want to drive anywhere with a difficulty greater than a gravel road I have to travel quite a distance.
Another instance of jackwads ruining it for the rest of us.
vadslram is offline  
post #15 of 15 Old 10-06-2017, 10:04 AM
bbacus
Registered User
1999 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Middleton
Posts: 278
Even the OHV's will be impacted by future regs. Their shear numbers have promulgated many land use changes/restrictions. All vehicles, unless federal regulation are altered, will have to meet higher mpg requirements by 2027. I personally don't think we will have a true Jeep Wrangler at that point. In name only perhaps, but many more changes to come. It's also true that the extreme majority of all 4x4 vehicles rarely see any dirt, but for those who want it, it's nice to know that it's there if you do get in a bind on or off road.
bbacus is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the JeepForum.com forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid e-mail address for yourself.



Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome