Feature Friday: 10 Recovery Board & Mount Setups For 4Runner

5th Gen 4Runner With MAXTRAX MKII Recovery Boards Mounted On Expedition Essentials RBQM On Custom GFC RTT Panel

Example Recovery Boards & Mounting Solutions To Keep You Prepared For Your Adventures

This Week’s Topic: Recovery Board Setups

We’re back with a brand new Feature Friday! Last week, we covered dash mount setups for the 5th Gen 4Runner. This week, we’re back to look at various recovery boards and the different ways you can mount them.

As more and more people are starting to adventure out into the wilderness this summer, encountering stuck vehicles or getting yourself stuck is almost inevitable. It’s crucial to be prepared with the necessary recovery gear.

In this article, we’ll explore popular board options and several ways to mount them.

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Recovery Board 101

3rd Gen 4Runner Window MOLLE Panel w/ Recovery Boards
Photo credit: @danadams_photography

Recovery boards, aka traction boards, are tools commonly used for off-roading. They help give vehicles enough traction to get unstuck in difficult terrain such as loose sand or snow. They are typically made of durable materials like reinforced plastic or metal and feature a series of ridges or cleats for tires to grip onto.

There are a few ways you can use your recovery boards:

  • Traction: When a vehicle gets stuck, recovery boards are placed in front of or behind the tires. The ridges on the boards help create grip for the tires, allowing you to get unstuck.
  • Floatation: Recovery boards can act as floatation devices in deep mud or sand situations. The boards distribute the vehicle’s weight over a larger surface area, preventing it from sinking further and helping it “float” on top.
  • Maneuvering: They can be a valuable tool when you’re off-roading and come across an impassable obstacle such as a small trench. They enhance traction by creating a grippy surface and providing a flat platform to navigate challenging obstacles.

Recovery boards are lightweight, portable, and easy to use, making them an essential tool that you should always have on your adventures. It’s important to note that they have varying weight limits, so choose the appropriate boards based on your vehicle’s weight and the terrain you expect to encounter.

Remember, using recovery boards requires some knowledge and experience. It’s highly advisable to familiarize yourself with their guidelines, safety precautions, and proper technique to avoid damage to your vehicle or injury to yourself and possibly others.

Now, let’s take a look at 10 different boards and mounts.

1. Michael Cabras – (@cement_rnr)

5th Gen 4Runner With Ecotechne Hood Rack & Maxtrax MKII

Setup 

  • MAXTRAX MKII Recovery Boards
  • Ecotechne Hood Rack

Tell Us About Your Setup 

My recovery boards are mounted on a hood rack from Ecotechne. I’ve gotten a lot of comments about my hood rack; I chose this mounting method not only to stand out but to easily access my recovery boards.

MAXTRAX stands behind its product and is willing to replace its recovery boards free of charge if it ever cracks or breaks. That’s why I went with their recovery boards. I’ve used my recovery boards in snow, sand, and mud at least a dozen times, and they’re still in great shape!

2. Rich Teixeira – (@bigtextrd)

5th Gen 4Runner With Rhino USA Recovery Boards On Gzila Recovery Board Mount Tubular Clamps XL

Setup

  • Rhino USA Recovery Boards
  • Gzila Recovery Board Mount Tubular Clamps XL
  • TRD Pro Rack

Tell Us About Your Setup 

I went with the Rhino USA Recovery boards because of my budget and their quality. These boards are half the price of the competition with similar workmanship. They have a good amount of pliability and plenty of knobs molded into the surface to increase traction. If you’re wheeling without a winch, recovery boards are a must.

I’ve heard others say the factory TRD rack is “useless” and that’s not true. Gzila had mounts for both my boards and my 6.5ft awning. Mounting them on the rack made them more accessible versus having them in the car.

My only complaint is that the Rhino USA pins use a threaded knob to secure the boards, which need to be run in several inches.

3. Mark Mollat – (@ofrd_adv)

5th Gen 4Runner With Maxtrax MKII Mounted On Prinsu Maxtrax Mount On Prinsu Roof Rack

Setup 

  • MAXTRAX MKII Recovery Boards
  • Prinsu Maxtrax Mount
  • Prinsu Roof Rack

Tell Us About Your Setup 

I bought MAXTRAX boards because they were the original in the market and had a design I preferred over competitors. Before purchasing, I researched mounting options and found that Prinsu had mounts specifically for MAXTRAX, which was perfect because that was the roof rack that I have.

The mount is solid, has a locking mechanism, and allows for quick and easy access to the boards.

4. Sean Migone – (@mig_rnr)

5th Gen 4Runner With MaxTrax MKII & MaxTrax Extreme Recovery Boards Mounted With UpTop Overland Recovery Board Mounts On RTT

Setup 

  • MAXTRAX MKII Recovery Boards
  • MAXTRAX Xtreme Recovery Boards
  • upTOP Overland Recovery Board Mounts

Tell Us About Your Setup 

There’s absolutely no better brand than MAXTRAX for recovery boards. They are the industry leader. I have both the MAXTRAX MKIIs and a set of MAXTRAX Xtremes. The Extremes have replaceable metal teeth.

My recovery boards are mounted to my roof on my RTT with the upTOP Overland Mounts. They are easily accessible and out of the way when I’m not using them. I have them locked with Master Lock cable luggage combination locks, so I don’t have to worry about losing a key. They are locked via the holes in the MAXTRAX pins on my mounts.

My MAXTRAX boards have never failed me. I’ve also used them to recover others on the trail but mostly use them to level out my rig when camping. I couldn’t be happier with the recovery boards, how I have them mounted, and the ability to easily grab them when needed.

5. Albert L. – (@4rthegram)

5th Gen 4Runner With GFC RTT & Custom Recovery Board Setup

Setup 

  • MAXTRAX MKII Recovery Boards
  • Expedition Essentials RBQM Mount
  • Custom Window Panel for GFC Platform RTT by @jr_customscncfab

Tell Us About Your Setup 

Although pricey, MAXTRAX seems to be the gold standard for recovery boards. With it being crucial recovery gear, I wanted to get something I could rely on. When shopping around for a mounting solution, I really liked how fast the Expedition Essentials RBQM was to use, and its compact design was a definite plus.

I already had plans to make custom exterior window panels with @jr_customscncfab for my 4Runner’s GFC Platform RTT, and this opened up a unique opportunity to integrate the RBQM design into the window panel itself. It also allowed us to ditch the backplate that the mount comes standard with. Support your local fabricators!

My boards are mounted on the driver-side rear window of my 4Runner. I originally had them on the passenger side, but I decided to move them for better blind spot visibility.

The way I have the boards mounted makes it super easy to access them. I love being able to take my boards on/off the truck in a matter of seconds. It helps move things along in a recovery situation (not that you should ever rush this) and makes it convenient to load up when heading out on an adventure.

Honestly, the boards haven’t been in any extreme situations yet. I’ve used them for a decent amount of snow recoveries (both on and off the trails) and a couple of times to help with ground clearance. I’ve also helped strangers in the city get unstuck from the snow a few times. Some people don’t exactly have the best throttle control, so I probably should have gotten the Xtreme boards with the replaceable studs. However, those boards are even more expensive, thicker, and heavier. In the future, if I ever end up needing to create a makeshift bridge, the Xtreme boards are probably the way to go.

6. Tyler Bowen – (@_tylerbowen_)

5th Gen 4Runner With Bunker Industries Traction Boards Mounted On Modified Ecotechne Hood Rack

Setup 

  • Bunker Industries Off-Road Recovery Boards
  • Modified Ecotechne Hood Rack
  • Misc. Cable & Hardware

Tell Us About Your Setup 

I chose to go with the Ecotechne hood rack in order to utilize my hood and maximize storage space on the 4Runner. Having my boards at the front of my vehicle readily available allows me to use them in less than a minute.

I also chose to go with the Bunker Industries traction boards because of their jack lift base in the center and reasonable pricing. I have used these recovery boards to pull myself out of mud and sand and as a jack base for a few minor trail repairs. These boards have held up great with no warping, even with the additional weight. They will remain a key part of my recovery setup for years.

7. Ian Amo – (@fun2see_island)

5th Gen 4Runner with MAXTRAX MKII Recovery Boards mounted using MAXTRAX Mounting Pins to a Sherpa Equipment Window Panel
Picture By: @danadams_photography

Setup 

  • MAXTRAX MKII Recovery Boards
  • MAXTRAX Mounting Pins 
  • Sherpa Equipment Window MOLLE Panel

Tell Us About Your Setup 

I picked all of these brands because of their quality, reputation, and reliability. As an added bonus, they look really good too.

My recovery boards are mounted on the rear passenger side of the Sherpa Equipment Company window MOLLE panel. My setup lines the pins up perfectly, making the boards easily accessible with some threaded knobs.

I haven’t had to use them personally, but I let a fellow wheeler use them to overcome an obstacle, and they held up nicely.

8. Jonathan Rendon – (@mgm_t4r_pro)

5th Gen 4Runner With Bunker Industries Off-Road Traction Boards On Prinsu Non Drill Full Roof Rack

Setup 

  • Bunker Industries Off-Road Recovery Boards
  • Prinsu Non-Drill Full Roof Rack

Tell Us About Your Setup 

I chose to run the Bunker Industries Off-Road recovery boards because of the price and variety of colors as well as my fellow Crüe member highly recommending them.

I have them mounted on my Prinsu roof rack using four carriage bolts and the pre-drilled mounting points. They are secured using threaded knobs. With a few quick turns of the knobs, my recovery boards are ready to be used.

I’ve had to use my recovery boards numerous times, from getting myself out of a rut to helping others out of the sand. Based on my experience, I would highly recommend these recovery boards.

9. Anthony Bower – (@project_poor_runner)

5th Gen 4Runner With Maxtrax Xtreme Recovery Boards Mounted On Stealth Brackets On Gobi Stealth Roof Rack

Setup

  • MAXTRAX Xtreme Recovery Boards
  • Gobi Stealth Brackets
  • Gobi Stealth Roof Rack

Tell Us About Your Setup 

I chose the MAXTRAX Xtreme recovery boards for their replaceable metal tooth design, which enhances their capabilities and longevity. They last longer than other recovery boards with plastic teeth that can melt and break off during wheel slip.

I have them mounted on the driver’s side of my 4Runner’s Gobi Stealth rack via Gobi’s MAXTRAX mounts. They can be accessed quickly and easily during recovery and stowed away outside the vehicle.

10. Dave Medina – (@t4rdave)

5th Gen 4Runner With MAXTRAX MKII Recovery Boards On Prinsu MAXTRAX Universal Mount

Setup

  • MAXTRAX MKII Recovery Boards
  • Prinsu MAXTRAX Universal Mount
  • MAXTRAX XTREME Mounting Pins
  • Prinsu Non-Drill Full Roof Rack

Tell Us About Your Setup 

I chose these brands because they are widely recognized and highly recommended within the 4Runner offroad community.

My recovery boards are mounted on a Prinsu roof rack using a Prinsu universal mount with MAXTRAX pins. The recovery boards are extremely easy to mount and unmount with the mounting pins – it only takes seconds! I have not had to use mine yet, but I did help someone on a trail who had the same boards.

MAXTRAX has a great warranty and is said to have amazing customer service/support. Prinsu’s roof rack is made of aluminum, so it is extremely durable and lightweight.

Final Thoughts

Bunker Industries Traction Boards On Modified Ecotechne Hood Rack

That wraps up this week’s Feature Friday!

Seeing the variety of mounting solutions people have devised for their boards is fascinating. Whether it’s a DIY approach or bought off the shelf, there are numerous ways to securely and easily attach recovery boards to your 4Runner.

Stay tuned for next week, where we will cover all things upper control arms!

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SR5P(peasant)
SR5P(peasant)
11 months ago

USActiontrax are worth a look

@in_a_4runner
@in_a_4runner
11 months ago

Hello Marie,
Great write up, Please consider these as well, GP’s MaxTrax Mounts.

https://gp-factor.com/collections/maxtrax-mounting-solutions

They are just great and was alternative to mounting them to my GOBI Rack along the side or on top when real estate was hard to come by when you have so much gear to haul up with Roam cases or Root Top Tents up top as see below.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CsxEH26pjcJ/
https://www.instagram.com/p/Cs2BGg8J89N/

As always, I liked the reading and sharing with the community, Thank you kindly!

Last edited 11 months ago by @in_a_4runner
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