What should I do to my first car?

I bought a '99 Honda CR-V for my first car. When I bought it I had no clue that overlanding was a thing but have always loved nature and hiking. I get my license next year and am saving up meanwhile to fix it up and add some mods. So far the only thing certain is some bigger tires. Contemplating between 215/75 and 225/75. Going for ATs 15". Other than that what are some must haves? What should I do to it having in mind it's my first ever vehicle? Keep in mind I live in the Balkans so mountains are everywhere.


Routine maintenance, then tires. Start taking it out, if you realize you need a lift, lift. I had a buddy with a mid 90’s civic, that thing went to places that make guys with 4x4s nervous. Go slow and focus on technique


I'm not sure about the EU model, but the US model of a 99 CRV you can turn the seats into a bed. The AWD in it (assuming it's AWD and not 2x) will take you some places, especially since it's fairly light. You really just have to worry about ground clearance. I doubt you would notice a difference between the 215s and 225s.


Yes you can turn it into a bed. Another thing is should I buy a lift kit? I'm worried about mileage. The thermostat is broken so we don't really know how economical it is. Rn it runs about 12 - 14 l/100 km ( US guys will have to convert that). Once we replace it we will see what it does and decide what size tires we should get. Would the width of tires affect it? Would the lift kit affect it? We are running it on LPG so fuel is a lot cheaper but still


Best thing for pretty well any new driver with a new-to-you vehicle, is go over the basics first (fluids, belts, battery, brakes, tires). Make sure those are all in good condition, then just go drive it. Learn what the normal noises are, how it normally handles, & where its limits are. Then look into things like lifts & upgrades as you find those limits.


Repairs and maintenance before mods my dude. No point having a "capable" vehicle that breaks down or strands you. Get it solid & reliable and only then work out what (if any) mods you might need.


As others have said, do basic maintenance first. Make sure the vehicles bones are in good shape and they stay that way. Then…don’t do any mods. Make sure you’ve got some basic emergency stuff: shovel, tool kit, tire repair kit, air compressor, ideally a full size spare, first aid kit, and maybe some traction boards depending on where you are going. But don’t do any serious mods besides a basic sleeping set up in the car if that is how you want to sleep (or just bring a tent). Then go out and use the thing. You will learn what you do and don’t want to do with the vehicle. What the vehicle can and can’t do. Then you can decide if and what to mod, or if the vehicle is fine how it is, or maybe if another vehicle entirely would be better suited to your needs. Over landing is great, and personally tinkering with and modding vehicles is half the fun. But don’t let all the internet influencers fool you into thinking you need all these mods to go out and enjoy nature. You don’t, and for us normal people on a budget mods should always be practical and fill a need. And you won’t find those needs until you get out there and actually use the thing.


This might be by far the most useful advice even tho it overlaps with most of the other ones. Thank you.


Best thing is some reliable all terrains, I like my falken wildpeak at3, but after that just see what it does in stock suspension and as you get more experience and hit harder trails you’ll know yourself what you need, if you don’t scrape and rub then maybe just a spacer lift will do, but if you find your self in certain situations where you get stuck or bump and rub more than you like then go higher. Always always have some recovery gear, check your vehicle for tow points, remember it’s all about the driver and not the rig, best of luck Virginia in the US has some awesome mountains and I saw some one in a Honda accord go down the trails (obviously not the best idea but you get it)


I'd put some good tires on it then save my money up for some backpacking gear and drive it to the trailhead to hike in instead of blowing it trying to make a low clearance vehicle into something it's not


You don't need much. For what they are, they are pretty capable and very fun to drive, especially if it's a 5 speed. But you do need to remember what they are: a compact SUV that was not designed for serious offroading. I have seen people give them big lifts and massive tires, but that is going to cost you a lot of money. I have a 99' that is bone stock that I've taken quite a lot of places. Enjoy it for now. Maybe invest in some tires or a small spacer lift. Some roof bars are also a good investment. But honestly just enjoy it for now.


Save you money for more trips instead of mods.


The joke around here is at the end of every trail/FS road is a CRV. My experience seems to be Camry for some odd reason, but still applies. CRV's are great. Focus on what you are doing (ie camping in the car, outside the vehicle, hiking etc) after maintenance as mentioned. US CRV's are pretty reliable. Assuming the same power train, the only thing I remember is issues with AC compressor for a few years.


Maintenance. Make sure it’s well taken care of. Get some good tires. Buy some budget camping gear at the Balkan equivalent of Walmart and go out and explore. No mods necessary.


Something that’s 4WD


The CR-V is.


Technically, AWD not 4WD, but it's a great softroader. My buddy used to beat the hell out of his off-road. It's a great car.


Xterra or Frontier. But I’m biased.


There's no reason you can't overland in a CRV. I would concentrate on making sure it has had all routine maintenance done first. Drive it around, explore, practice. Maybe purchase some very basic camping equipment. Once you practice, you'll learn what works and what doesn't. I have "overlanded" in a rusty old Volkswagen as well as nice Nissan's and Toyotas. Tires make the biggest difference for an upgrade, but skill goes a really long way. The best way to learn is to just do it.


The best overland vehicle is the vehicle you have! The CRV is pretty capable but it definitely has its limitations. The AWD “works” but it’s also passive and sometimes takes a bit too long to kick in unless you know how to work it. If you keep those limitations in mind and plan accordingly you should be fine. In regards to some must do’s: 1. Make sure your maintenance is up to date before any real mods. Change your timing belt (these are interference engines so a blown timing belt can be pretty catastrophic), change your ball joints, change out all your fluid, change your brakes. 2. Grab an air down tool and an air compressor. Airing down on the trail greatly improves your traction, ride comfort and helps prevent tire damage 3. Grab some basic repair tools such as a tire patch kit, tool set, some duct tape, JB Weld, zip ties, spare wire, spare fuses and maybe even a Noco Jump Starter 4. Grab some recovery gear such as soft shackles, kinetic recovery strap, some traction boards, and a shovel or garden hoe Now for the fun part. Mods! 1. My first mod was a 1.5in spacer lift kit and 1in wheel spacers along with 215/75. For the trails the CRV should be on I haven’t wanted more 2. Next up is an ASR Skid Plate. Im pretty sure it’s saved me from a busted oil pan on a trail I had no business on 3. Some aftermarket recovery points. These are next in my list. 4. A Prinsu style roof rack. I don’t think anyone makes one for these cars though. Im thinking about making one myself though for mine 5. Aftermarket light distribution box such as an Auxbeam Switch Pod if you plan on adding lights. 6. If you want to improve the AWD system you can try to get a rear diff from a 3rd gen CRV or a Honda Element. I would also upgrade it with a quick spool kit Now if you really want to get crazy in modifying (honestly I would just sell it and get something with actual 4x4 at this point though): 1. A sub frame drop kit 2. TruHart Adjustable Upper Control Arm 3. TruHart Lift correction lower ball joints 4. Land Rover Viscous Coupler Mod 5. And since we are getting wild, b16 VTEC head swap Another tip of advice, Overlanding can be as cheap or as expensive as you want, get out there and slowly start seeing what you need for your next trip. Also I bet you’ll be able to get most places you want to go with your CRV especially if you are using it to go get to hiking trails. I have a Jeep Wrangler and a 2001 Honda CRV. Guess which one I’ve been taking camping and to hiking trails? The CRV. I’ll only take the Jeep if I am hitting up 4x4 trails, rock crawling, or going into deep snow. The CRV is more fuel efficient, surprisingly rides better on dirt roads, and bed mode (if you know how to use it probably) comes in super handy spending a night at the trail head. Let me know if you have any questions. TLDR: Maintenance and proper planning for trips will take you a long way in Overlanding with your CRV.


Amm shipping on the skid plate from the US is 175 USD... any alternative? btw thank you by far you are the only one that truly answered my question.


Also what do you mean by recovery points?


Oh man, that’s brutal. You might be able to find a local machine shop or even be able to make on yourself for a fraction of that cost. That skid plate is a bent 3/16 aluminum sheet with a bend in it. And it’s hard points on your vehicle to pull you out if you get stuck. The factory strap down points could be used for a recovery but it’s not all that recommended. I would look into maybe adding a towing hitch and then adding a hitch mounted d shackle. Let me know if you have any more questions! Always glad to help


Don’t put a ton into your CRV other than making sure basic maintenance is taken care of and getting those ATs. Invest in camping/backpacking gear and get out there on some trail heads!!


Don't go too wide, it doesn't make much difference to traction and it increases the chance of rubbing and fitment issues. If you do a lot of road driving don't go too aggressive on the tread or it'll sound like your wheel bearings are going out lol the time. I've got khumo road venture at51 on my truck and they do quite nicely and are very quiet, they handle snow very well too


2000 crv here. Coolant lines, suspension check, rear differential service. All of those components are nearly 25 years old and I guarantee they’ve never been touched. I did all of the above + replaced most of the suspension, lifted it with a 2” HRG kit, bigger tires( they will rub if you don’t lift it or put wheel spacers on them), and SERVICE THE DIFF. If that thing isn’t working right you basically just have a FWD. The whole “car mods” thing can be a rabbit hole/money pit so get a clear vision of what you want out of the car, and where the end point is. Good luck with your CRV!


Nothing. You should do what all well to do while people do. Pay it off and drive it till it dies. Save your money so you can retire because by then you’ll be in the minority.