Want to know the only reason Rough Country lift Kits Suck?
It’s simple: It’s because they are the best, but it’s not what you think.
Reasons why rough country lift kits are so popular:
- Rough Country has been selling lifts since 1986.
- Rough Country arguably has the most user friendly online website compared to competition.
- Rough Country makes lift kits at a reasonable price.
- Rough country has established itself as a one stop shop.
- Their lift kits are designed, installed, and tested in house!
Reasons why Rough Country lift kits get a bad name:
- Low prices
- Simplistic design
- Low quality
How are Rough Country lift kits the best?
Compared to other lift kit manufactures, Rough Country’s sales on average are exponentially higher than the competition.
$169,000,000 Yearly Revenue
$6,000,000 Yearly Revenue
$15,000,000 Yearly Revenue
$23,000,000 Yearly Revenue
$13,800,000 Yearly Revenue
$3,200,000 Yearly Revenue
How did Rough Country get on top?
Not only does Rough Country cater to thousands of suspension shops around the world, but they sell directly worldwide to you, and to me.
Combine this with a website that would allow your 2-year-old son the ability to order a lift kit for his Tonka truck. They have a recipe to smash sales.
What does a cool website or off the chart sales/revenue have to do with whether Rough Country is good or not?
The theory is simple, Rough Country is disliked because their parts are easily accessible.
Meaning either Joe with his buddy Bill drinking a beer on Friday night is installing the lift kit, or a professional suspension shop is installing the lift kit.
This alone leaves the quality of the parts and the quality of the install up for question.
Why do people say Rough Country’s parts are cheap?
Rough Country has the ability to make suspension parts in mass quantities. Yes, some of these parts are not American-made. The company tries hard to source, and make a lot of the parts in the United States.
Just because a Rough Country lift kit is less expensive compared apples to apples. This does not mean it is not a good product.
Note: You cannot compare apples to oranges here. A leveling kit will not have the same outcome compared to a 3” suspension lift.
Why do people say a Rough Country lift kit is unreliable?
It’s up for debate if the product is unreliable, in my experience, I have had expensive Rubicon Express lifts, Clayton Off-road lifts, full custom 4-link systems, and Rough Country lifts.
You must design your suspension for the application. I would never set an expectation of a custom 4 link system with air shocks driving on the highway at 65MPH.
Just like you should not set the expectation a Rough Country suspension kit will kill it in Johnson’s Valley, CA.
A Rough Country lift is meant for driving on the road and giving you a taste of hardcore off-road. Rough Country’s lift kits are for cruising down a dirt road, hitting the dunes, Light/medium rock crawling, and all the mudding you desire.
All of these things will also be impacted by the installation quality. It is important to note if a lift kit is not installed appropriately. The kit will be extremely unreliable! You cannot just have a control arm bolt falling off on the highway because it was not torqued incorrectly. Wreck into the wall and then blame it on the lift kit.
Rough Country Lifts are too simple
To me a simplistic design is good! For my on-road vehicles, I do not want complex suspension setups leaving me waiting on parts for 2 months, because I cannot find a Heim joint in the country.
I just want the ability to call up Rough Country and have them overnight a new control arm.
What is an alternative to Rough Country?
The best alternative is Zone Offroad. Actually, I prefer the Zone Offroad combination lift over Rough Country’s 4″ suspension lift on my TJ.
In my opinion, Zone Offroad has nailed the quality, price, and suspension design for us wanting a great on-road and off-road experience. It’s definitely worth checking them out before ordering a Rough Country lift kit.
The problem with Zone Offroad is they do not have a large selection for different makes and models of vehicles, and they do not have the same level of customer support.
If you have a 97 to 2006 Jeep TJ I recommend going with the 5.25-inch combination lift kit offered from Zone Offroad. This kit will combine suspension and body lift to give you the absolute best ride on the street and most articulation off-road.
For many years the Old Man Emu suspension lift for a TJ was regarded as the Holy Grail for on and off-road kits. Zone Offroad expanded on this idea and made it even better.
What suspension kit for a Jeep is the best for off-road?
First, let me ask you two questions:
- Or extreme?
Hardcore suspension kit for a Jeep.
The best suspension kit for the hard-core off-road user is going to be the Clayton off-road kit. Typically these kits will come with parts to give you the ability to stretch the rear end or the front end of the vehicle.
Stretching the vehicle is important especially with a jeep because it was originally designed with a short wheelbase, typically 93 to 94 inches long. This presents itself as a problem for stability once you get onto the rocks. Stretching is an easy way to fix the stability issues along with going with wider axles.
Extreme suspension kit for a Jeep:
Extreme suspension typically does not come in a kit from a manufacturer. The design will either make use of a three-link setup or a four-link setup. You will also replace your factory leaf springs, or Coil springs with either coil-overs, ORI struts, air shocks, and sometimes combining them with extra bypass shocks.
The best place to start your three links or four-link journey is on pirate4x4.com, The next place to go is Barnes4wd.com to begin learning about the different parts within a four-link setup.
Unfortunately, with these systems, there’s no guaranteed package that will fit your exact needs.
It is important to look into Rough Country further. We must give them a lot of credit for their impact on the off-road community over the last few decades. They have been an instrumental company pushing off-road innovations.
It is also important to note that no specific kit is the end-all-be-all. The quality of a kit typically boils down to the quality of the installation, and the fitting the solutions to the application.