Honda CR-Vs are considered to be compact SUVs, but they have the potential to be serous off-road vehicles. Their compact size, four-wheel drive systems and adequate engines make them trail capable for those who want to occasionally have a good time, but still keep the vehicle ready for the work week. To get your CR-V trail ready, you'll need to install a few essential components to ensure the vehicle doesn't get stranded when you're out enjoying a day in the mud.
Install a brush guard to the front bumper. Trail riding means you're going to come in contact with brush and trees. The CR-V bumper is covered in plastic that is painted. A brush guard does just what its name says: it minimises the damage brush can cause to the front of your vehicle. This will give your CR-V an aggressive look and keep your CRV paint job looking good while on the road. CR-V bumpers can be purchased from SUV aftermarket suppliers and can be installed with basic mechanic tools.
Install a lift kit. Lift kits use suspension components to lift the bottom of the vehicle to allow for more clearance between the bottom of the vehicle and the ground. This also allows for more room in the wheel wells which will allow for bigger tires. This is beneficial because the CR-V was not meant for trail riding, so ground clearance was not a factor in the design. A lift kit is the only way around this. Lift kits are readily available from aftermarket specialists but can be difficult to install. If you are not qualified to install a lift kit, you should have a professional repair shop do it for you.
Install larger tires. With a lift kit installed the largest size you can go with are 225-65R15 tires. Larger tires help to increase ground clearance and often have more aggressive tread patterns that are designed for use on dirt trails and mud. This will help your tires gain traction where regular tires cannot. If your trail riding will include any mud, this upgrade is a must if you do not want to get stuck.
Install a winch. A winch is a motorised tow cable that is designed to be mounted to the front bumper or brush guard. It can be hooked to a tree or large obstacle so your vehicle can be towed out of the mud or any location where you are stuck. These can be somewhat costly, but if you plan on riding alone, a winch is cheaper than paying a tow truck to pull you out if you get stuck.