Community Poll: 9 Recovery Board Setups

3rd Gen Tacoma With MAXTRAX MKII Recovery Tracks Mounted To Prinsu Roof Rack With Prinsu Mounts

Trail Tested Recovery Boards For Off-Roading & Overlanding

Welcome back to another community poll. This is a column interview Q&A with independent owner-submitted feedback from the overland community – centered around one topic. Each owner has thoroughly tested their products through off-roading or overlanding and gives us their honest opinion review of their set-up.

Navigating off-road terrain can be both thrilling and challenging. While pushing the capabilities of your vehicle is part of the allure, the possibility of getting stuck is almost inevitable. Off-road recovery boards are one of the simplest and safest tools you can use in these scenarios.

Whether you’re an experienced trailblazer or a newcomer to the off-road scene, arming yourself with the right tools can make all the difference. We’ll go over seven recovery boards that provide peace of mind to tackle any expedition with confidence.

Note: The builds listed below are in no particular order

1. Justin Ocheltree: X-Bull Gen 3.0

3rd Gen Tacoma With X-Bull Gen 3.0 Recovery Traction Tracks

Recovery Boards

  • X-Bull Gen 3.0 Recovery Traction Tracks

Tell Us About Your Boards

I decided to go with the X-Bull recovery boards because I was looking for a budget-friendly option that was still of good quality. These boards were able to give me just that.

I have the boards mounted to the top of my Tacoma on the Prinsu roof rack. I’m using a DIY system of four bolts that slide in the tracks of the Prinsu roof rack and butterfly nuts. This allows me to access them quickly if I ever need to.

I like that these boards are more budget-friendly compared to other brands. Honestly, I never felt comfortable spending upwards of $300+ on recovery boards when I knew I could get something similar for a fraction of the cost. Even though these are a lot less expensive, they are still incredibly strong and flexible.

2. Josh Hunger: MAXTRAX MKII

3rd Gen Tacoma With MAXTRAX MKII Recovery Boards

Recovery Boards

  • MAXTRAX MKII Recovery Tracks

Tell Us About Your Boards

The first reason we picked the MAXTRAX boards was because they were recommended by people we trust. We also liked that they have a thin profile and an aggressive pattern for grip. We knew that these would be the perfect option for our adventures.

They are mounted on the Sherpa Animas 36 roof rack on a homemade mounting bracket made of aluminum bar stock and MAXTRAX mounting pins. This keeps them secure and easily accessible.

We have used these boards a handful of times for different reasons. For example, we use them to level our rig for camping on uneven ground. We have also used them to help recover other vehicles in soft sand and mud. Any time we don’t have to break out the winch, it’s a win. You can also use them to make small bridges by stacking them together over small washouts or deep ruts to make them easier to cross. They are super versatile.

We like how easy they are to stack and use and that they’re easy to recover from the mud or sand with the straps tied to the handle. With a quick spray of water, they are clean enough to mount back up.

3. Bryan Byers: Rhino USA

3rd Gen Tacoma With Green Rhino USA Recovery Traction Boards

Recovery Boards

  • Rhino USA Recovery Traction Boards

Tell Us About Your Boards

I decided to go with Rhino USA because they came with a limited lifetime warranty. This was important to me because in case something were to happen to them I knew I could contact Rhino and get everything situated.

I really like the integrated handles for easier carry. When stacked, these boards are taller than most boards, which I like when trying to level my truck for camping. They are also really easy to mount. Currently, they are mounted on my Prinsu roof rack.

Typically, I use them to level my truck when I have my rooftop tent deployed. However, I have also used them while off-roading and to get sedans out of muddy areas.

4. Jacob Reinmann: Maxsa 20333-OD

3rd Gen Tacoma With Green Maxsa 20333-OD Heavy-Duty Escaper Buddy Traction Boards

Recovery Boards

  • Maxsa 20333-OD Heavy-Duty Escaper Buddy Traction Boards

Tell Us About Your Boards

When I was first looking for recovery boards, I knew I wanted an affordable but durable option. The design, color, and great reviews pushed me to buy the Maxsa recovery boards. I love these traction boards, they match my truck almost perfectly and they are fairly simple to mount.

They are currently mounted on the MOLLE panels on the sides of my Cali Raised LED overland bed rack. I use a long hex bolt, nut, washers (two on each side), and secure everything with turn knobs. All parts can be bought from your local hardware store.

While I have not had to use my boards yet with my truck, I did use them on my buddy’s truck. He was stuck in a deep ditch with his front end in the dirt. We placed them in the front and with the help of a little tug, we were able to get him out.

Overall I’m super happy with these boards!

5. Fernando Rauda: MAXTRAX MKII

3rd Gen Quicksand Tacoma with MAXTRAX MK II Recovery Boards

Recovery Boards

  • MAXTRAX MKII Recovery Tracks

Tell Us About Your Boards

I went with MAXTRAX boards because they are well-known and arguably the best in the business. I did research on different boards and loved all the testing people do with these boards and how well they hold up.

My favorite thing about these boards is that they are slim and have a low profile when mounted. I also think that they are super durable and have nice color options that will fit anyone’s build. Currently, my boards are mounted to my Prinsu roof rack for easy access should I need them.

I have only used my boards once to help a Jeep on 40s get out of a 3ft deep snow. We tried digging and winching but the MAXTRAX did the trick.

6. Nicholas Gonzalez: MAXTRAX MKII

3rd Gen Tacoma With Reed MAXTRAX MKII Recovery Tracks Mounted To Prinsu Roof Rack

Recovery Boards

  • MAXTRAX MKII Recovery Tracks

Tell Us About Your Boards

I selected MAXTRAX boards because they seemed to be the industry standard. They are tried and true across the world so I felt comfortable spending that much money on recovery boards. Also, at the time of purchase, there were not all the competitors as there are today.

I really like these boards for numerous reasons. They are very durable and of great quality. You can select numerous color types (should customers have accent colors to accentuate their build). They can serve numerous purposes, including:

  1. they can be used for recovery (most commonly in loose sand, snow, and mud) to extract a vehicle that is stuck and unable to move further from its current position
  2. they can be used as a shovel to remove snow or sand from around the tires
  3. they can be utilized as a “bridge” if stacked accordingly to cross large gaps in the trail
  4. they can be utilized to level a vehicle on varying terrain. If you’re utilizing a tent mounted to your vehicle the vehicle will need to be level in order to get a good night’s sleep.

I am currently utilizing a Prinsu roof rack with Prinsu MOLLE panel inserts in the roof rack. The locking pins made for the MAXTRAX are what keep them mounted to my truck and also protect from sticky fingers (theft).

I’ve only ever utilized them for leveling my truck or to help other vehicles. I live in Southern AZ so haven’t experienced much snow where these would likely be more commonly used. My truck is very equipped but it doesn’t hurt to have extra tools in the bag.

7. Grant Shabacon: MAXTRAX MKII

3rd Gen Tacoma With MAXTRAX MKII Recovery Tracks Mounted To Bed Rack Using Prinsu Mounting Pins

Recovery Boards

  • MAXTRAX MKII Recovery Tracks

Tell Us About Your Boards

I was drawn to this brand because of my genuine love for its history and unique character. What really appeals to me is how these traction boards have never let me down, no matter the situation. I went ahead and mounted the MAXTRAX onto my Tacoma using Prinsu MAXTRAX mounts positioned on the side of the bed rack; it just made sense. As for putting them to the test, I’ve had the chance to use them multiple times, especially in snowy settings where they’ve truly come in handy.

8. Austin Bender: ActionTrax

3rd Gen Tacoma With ActionTrax Recovery Trax

Recovery Boards 

  • ActionTrax Recovery Trax

Tell Us About Your Boards

I opted for the ActionTrax boards because I wanted to support a friend’s (@omegaoverland) website. This was a great decision because they ended up being amazing and work great.

Currently I have mine mounted to my roof rack so they are super easy to access but also somewhat out of the way. Just a bonus it looks aesthetic. And they’re so easy to mount with lots of different options.

I have used my recovery boards a handful of times, from helping tourist visitors stuck in the snow on Mt. Charleston (Las Vegas), to getting my Prerunner up steep loose gravel climbs. Recovery boards are a must for any adventure vehicle!

9. Kelly Burgess: MAXTRAX XTREME

3rd Gen Tacoma With MAXTRAX XTREME Recovery Boards

Recovery Boards

  • MAXTRAX XTREME

Tell Us About Your Boards

The MAXTRAX recovery boards have been a great addition to my build. I specifically chose this brand because of how reliable MAXTRAX is as a brand and also because I loved how many color options they had. They also do a great job at what they are designed for.

Some of my favorite things about these is they come with lifetime warranty so no matter what happens I know I’ll always have recovery boards. The Xtremes also have replaceable Alloy “teeth” and they offer lots of different mounting options and can be stacked together very tight, making mounting to my truck a breeze.

Currently they are mounted with Expedition Essentials MK2 recovery board quick mount on my bed topper. The setup requires a fairly simple mod for use with these boards and it requires some 3/8 spacers and slightly longer bolts.

But they are in the perfect spot for me to grab them in case of a recovery. I’ve only actually used them in the snow so far. We had a vehicle very close to the edge of the road with a steep drop off. Applied tractions boards and a winch and got it back to safety.

Super happy with the purchase!

Final Thoughts

Tacoma With Recovery Boards & RTT On Bed Rack

That wraps up this week’s Taco Tuesday!

Recovery boards are something everyone should invest in if they plan on doing any off-roading. You never know when you or someone else could get stuck. For beginners, recovery boards are much safer to use than recovery straps or winches. I have been on a handful of trips where recovery boards saved the day!

Do you have a favorite brand or color? Comment down below!

Next week, we will be covering aftermarket head units. If you would like to submit, use the link above!

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