Jeep Gladiator: Let’s Go Off-Roading

Jeep Gladiator Lake

I’m not rugged or outdoorsy. I don’t like to camp, and I never go hiking.

I’m scared of a lot of things that would be considered adventurous. You’ll never find me zip-lining or cliff diving. I’m just not that kind of gal.

I have only ever gone ‘off-road’ driving once before in Detroit at the Chrysler Proving Grounds with a pro driver at my side guiding me through the trail.

When I booked the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon for the week in January, I asked for permission from Jeep Canada (I live in Canada) to take it off-road. ‘Sure,’ they said, ‘just no damage please and go do it with someone experienced’. YES. Such a key thing for off-roading – even IF you’re experienced (more on that later in my tips below). I asked this only because I “wanted” to take the Gladiator off-road, but I was still afraid. I knew that I couldn’t possibly drive this cool, fun and capable Jeep without putting it to the test off-road!

Related: Jeep Gladiator: Yes, this is the 2020 Jeep Truck

Gladiator In Snow

We went off-roading in January! ? Connie Peters

Tips for Off-Roading Beginners

If you’ve ever wanted to go off-roading but don’t know where to start, the right car is key. And the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon trim is very capable. So if you’re looking for a new off-road adventure vehicle, the Jeep Gladiator is worthy of almost any trail you could throw its way – including mud, water, snow, and rocks.

Gladiator Articulator

Just look at the front axle articulation. ? Connie Peters

Go with Someone, Don’t Go Solo.

And by solo, I mean your ride – go with two or more cars for safety. This is in case someone gets stuck, breaks down or gets lost. If you have more than one car, you can tow or help with repairs if necessary, plus if you need to abandon one on the way, you’ll have someone to take you back to safety.

Related: Just the Jeep Truck Facts: What You Need to Know About the 2020 Jeep Gladiator

Gladiator In River

We crossed a few creeks on the trails! ? Connie Peters

Need Some Company?

But what if you don’t know anyone who can go with you, or has an off-road capable vehicle? There are plenty of groups online dedicated to off-roading, especially Jeep enthusiasts! Look around on Facebook or Meetup and join some local Jeep groups, the sense of community in the Jeep world is real! My Jeep Wrangler-owning-friend even told me that there is a secret greeting that Jeep owners give each other when driving past one another on the road. Join a group and go with someone else on your off-road adventures. Making new friends is always a good idea.

Gladiator With Friends

Fun day off-roading with friends! ? Connie Peters

I have a friend with a Jeep and plenty of experience with off-roading, so I asked him and his wife to show us the ropes and lead the way. We had an epic day following along all over the Fraser Valley, BC with these two!

Gladiator On Lake

We made it down the mountain to Harrison Lake. ? Connie Peters

Know Your Vehicle’s Capability and Equipment

If you are planning to go serious off-roading on remote roads with rock, water, mud, and potentially steep inclines, you’ll want to be SURE your truck can handle that, and you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the equipment available to you.

The Jeep Gladiator Rubicon is fully equipped and fully capable with these off-road must-haves:

2H, 4L, and 4H Drive Modes

This is the difference between 2 wheel drive High and 4×4 High ON-road conditions or Low for off-road driving.

Electronic Front Sway Bar Disconnect

Pressing the Sway Bar button in the Gladiator automatically disconnects the electronic sway bar to allow for better articulation over large obstacles and big uneven surface driving.

Gladiator Interior

The interior is entirely functional. ? Connie Peters

Locking Front and Rear Differential

The front and rear electronic locking differentials help maximize power delivery to all four wheels for increased traction, thus maintaining momentum on tough terrain.


Branded FOX aluminum-bodied 2-inch-diameter shocks transform the performance of Gladiator by using race-proven damping control to provide a comfortable on-road ride and predictable off-road handling in even the toughest conditions.

Off Road+ Button

You’re communicating to the vehicle that you’re going off-road so that it can automatically make throttle and transmission adjustments for you at the touch of a button.

Digital Off-Road Pages

Gladiator Rubicon offers digital off-road pages.? Connie Peters

Off-Road Digital Pages

Pitch and roll digital imagery along with temperature gauges on display on your touchscreen.


You can even wash the camera at the touch of a button! ? Connie Peters

Trail Cam

The forward-facing TrailCam aids in off-road Navigation. Helpful gridlines display the path in front of the tires to help you pick the best line for any obstacle and an integrated washer lets you clean any mud splatter from the camera with the simple push of a button.

Tow Hooks

Standard off-road necessities like heavy-duty forged front and rear tow hooks are perfect for helping less capable trucks get out of trouble.

Skid Plates

High-strength steel skid plates help protect key components like the fuel tank and transfer case from damage caused by challenging trails.

Go Prepared

This means snacks, water, a first-aid kit, blankets, a change of clothing, appropriate footwear and layers for the weather and then tools and extra safety equipment.

Our seasoned off-roading friends who took us into the mountains and trails near Harrison Lake, BC carried extra fuel, an air compressor, and even a chain saw. Believe it or not, the chain saw came in handy when we approached multiple downed trees on the trails and he was able to clear the way without issue.

Gladiator In Snow

We had a day filled with adventure! ? Connie Peters

Put your Tire over the Largest Obstacle

So now you’re on the trail and you’re with a friendly group of off-roaders all sticking together. Fun! Now, the basic rule of driving over obstacles such as large rocks, logs or bumps, is to put your tire on the obstacle as that’s the way to take your vehicle over it without damaging your undercarriage.


Just look at that front-wheel articulation! ? Connie Peters

Get Out and Look Before Going Over an Obstacle

If you can’t see what is on the other side of an obstacle, like a cliff, rock or hillside, get out and go have a look to see before you drive over or through it. This holds for puddles too, if you can’t see how deep it is, it’s likely best not to make it straight for that puddle as you won’t know what to expect and you could quickly get stuck.

Related: Jeep Compass Trailhawk versus Jeep Cherokee Overland

Jeeping With Friends

We stayed with Jeep friends all the way. ? Connie Peters

What Will the Jeep Gladiator Set You Back

So there you have it, the Jeep Gladiator is not only a functional pick-up truck but is also highly capable and full of adventure for off-road fun.

Starting at USD $33,545 for the Sport base trim and topping out at USD $45,370 for the Rubicon base trim plus plenty of options that can boost this price significantly and quickly.

Jeep Gladiator

Look at that side profile! ? Connie Peters

The model I drove was a CAD $52,495 base plus options including freedom panels hardtop, tonneau bed cover, safety group, automatic transmission, a trail cam, trailer package, leather seating, cold weather package and LED lighting and UConnect ending up at a whopping CAD $69,040.

I got 16.9 average L/100 KM which equals about 13.9 MPG over the week and approximately 500 kilometers I put on the Gladiator.

I Overcame My Fears and Truly Enjoyed My Adventure in the Jeep Gladiator!

If it wasn’t for our experienced off-road friends, we would not have had the adventure we had in the Gladiator. I was grateful for the experience and can see how truly capable and exciting this truck can be.


We listened to some harder metal and classic rock in the Gladiator when we went on our off-road adventures!

A Girls Guide To Cars | Jeep Gladiator: Let'S Go Off-Roading - Gladiator

Connie Peters is a mother of 3 girls in suburban Vancouver, Canada and has been an online entrepreneur since... More about Connie Peters