Should You Take the Chevrolet Silverado RST Off Road Off-roading?

The Chevrolet Silverado RST Off Road has the angles, but perhaps not the ground clearance, for serious off-roading. Read more here.
Written by Mary Alice Morris
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
The
Chevrolet Silverado RST
Off Road is ready to take on steep inclines and sharp dips, but its fairly low ground clearance—at least, for a pickup truck—could inhibit its off-road performance. 
Still, with plenty of engine options that all offer serious towing capability and a big payload thanks to the truck’s fantastic low-end torque, the Silverado RST is worth a double-take. Don’t dismiss it right away just because it doesn’t sit super high. 
Find out where the Silverado RST thrives and where it may need improvement before heading off-road with
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Can the Chevrolet Silverado RST Off Road actually go off-road?

It can if you’re choosy about what kind of terrain you take it out to. With its specifications, the Silverado RST ought to be able to tackle tight corners and turnarounds with ease and can handle some intense inclines. But it won’t be scrambling over any boulders or exposed tree stumps. 
The Silverado RST’s starting MSRP of $41,195 makes it competitive with its contemporaries regarding the budget, but will it hold up based on performance? That depends on what you want to use it for.
Check out the following off-road specs to see if the Silverado is right for you. 

Ground clearance

We’ll start with one of the Silverado RST’s weak points—its ground clearance. 
Ground clearance is the measurement from the lowest part of the vehicle’s chassis to the ground underneath. Basically, this tells you how high of an object you can drive over without it scraping the bottom of your vehicle. 
This information is handy for off-roading in rugged terrain because you’ll likely need to cross over uneven ground, rocks, stumps, shrubs, and more. That's why off-roaders prefer a ground clearance between 8.8 and 10.8 inches. That range gives you enough room to pass right over the top of rocks and other objects, without disturbing your truck’s center of balance too much. 
The Silverado RST has a 7.9-inch ground clearance—nearly a full inch short of the height most off-roaders recommend. However, it’s not an impossible figure to work with.
One benefit of a lower ground clearance is more vehicle stability and tighter handling. On the right type of off-road course, this could come in really handy—as long as you can avoid scraping the underside of your vehicle on a rock or some unfortunate animal. 
A couple of options to get around the low ground clearance are adding a skid plate to the bottom of your truck, getting an aftermarket lift kit, or swapping out your wheels for something with a bigger diameter. 

Torque

The Silverado RST shines when it comes to its low-end torque
Low-end torque tells you how much torque—that’s the amount of force produced to turn something on an axis—your vehicle produces in lower gears. A good range for finding the maximum low-end torque is between 2,000 and 4,000 rpm. 
This kind of low-gear power allows vehicles to climb their way out of rough landscapes. Torque also enables trucks to pull massive amounts of trailer weight. The slow but grinding pace of low-end torque is actually a pretty important performance measure. 
The Silverado RST gets up to 430 lb-ft of torque at 3,000 rpm

Tires

If you get the Silverado RST Off Road, you’ll have 255/70R17 tires, which means they’re wide enough for off-roading as long as the terrain isn’t too slick. 
Tires that are sufficiently wide can help generate enough contact pressure to enhance the vehicle’s traction, allowing it to pull through shifting ground like dirt, sand, or gravel. But they might not be the best for winter off-roading.
If you plan to go off-roading on the ice or snow, narrower tires are better.

Drivetrain

Off-roaders still debate over which is better when going off the beaten path—all-wheel drive (AWD) or rear-wheel drive (RWD). Each has its advantages and drawbacks. 
With AWD, you get power to all four wheels, allowing improved traction to help you climb up rugged inclines. The downside is reduced fuel efficiency and more wear and tear. 
RWD vehicles don’t get as much traction as AWD, but they offer superior control, stability, and power transfer
You should have an idea of which you prefer before buying, and know ahead of time that the Silverado RST Off Road is an RWD vehicle

Angles

Another point in favor of the Silverado RST’s off-road abilities is the angle measurements. Before off-roading, you need to be aware of your vehicle’s approach angle, departure angle, and breakover angle. Here’s how this information is useful:
  • Approach angle gives the maximum incline your truck can handle. Basically, it tells you how steep of an incline you can approach and take without hitting your chassis. 
  • Departure angle is similar to the approach angle, but it refers to the downward angle as you descend down a decline. It tells you how steep of a departure you can make without scraping the underside.
  • Breakover angle is the measure of the peak you can climb over without scraping or ending up high-centered. 
Despite a lower-than-desirable ground clearance for off-roading, the Silverado RST has a great set of angle measurements. Its approach angle is 31.8 degrees. The departure angle is 23.3 degrees, and the breakover angle is 23.4 degrees.
That means that even though it can’t drive directly over anything taller than 7.9 inches without interference, it can climb over and crawl down some fairly steep surfaces. Its approach and departure angles are comparable to the
Ford F250
Off Road. 

Off-road rating: Rough and Ready

Below is an explanation of the DIRT off-road rating system that
Jerry
used to rank the Chevrolet Silverado SRT Off Road:
Rating
Meaning
Description
D
Don’t Try It
Vehicles better suited to highway conditions
I
In a Pinch
Vehicles that can handle off-road conditions in certain circumstances
R
Rough and Ready
Vehicles designed for casual off-roading
T
Trail Boss
True off-road vehicles capable of tackling a range of terrain
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The Silverado RST Off Road gets a respectable Rough and Ready rating. It has some great qualities, but considering that it’s an RWD vehicle with a fairly low ground clearance, it’s probably built more for soft-roading than off-roading. Take it out on popular, well-used trails and excursions that don’t go down into deep gulches. 

The best off-road alternatives to the Chevrolet Silverado RST Off Road

Still not sure if the Chevrolet Silverado RST Off Road is the right truck for you? Check out these comparable alternatives:
Alternative
Model
Price
Description
Most affordable alternative
2022 Ford F150
$30,000
The Ford F150 has plenty of configurations to pick from, including a hybrid model. It out-hauls and out-tows the Silverado, and for a lower price.
Most stylish alternative
2021 GMC Sierra 1500
$43,800
The Sierra 1500 has everything the Silverado has, but with a little more style, plus an available carbon-fiber composite bed that’s not available with the Silverado.
Most expensive alternative
Ram 1500
$45,480
The Ram 1500 is making waves with its multi-function tailgate, posh technology suite, and the available Hellcat-powered Ram TRX.
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How to find affordable car insurance for off-road vehicles

There’s a lot to love about off-road capable vehicles, but one thing we’re not crazy about is the cost of their car insurance. It does tend to cost more to insure an off-roading truck or SUV than a car you just plan on using for the daily commute. 
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