Are Rough Country Lift Kits Good? Expert Opinion

are rough country lift kits good expert opinion

If you’re looking to lift your truck, Jeep, or SUV and give it an aggressive off-road look, a Rough Country lift kit is likely on your radar. As one of the most popular options for lifting vehicles, Rough Country lift kits offer an affordable way to get increased ground clearance and run larger tires. But how does the quality and performance compare to premium lift kits? Let’s take an in-depth look at the pros and cons of Rough Country lift kits to see if they’re a good choice for your next project.

What is a Lift Kit?

A lift kit is an aftermarket suspension modification that raises the ride height of a vehicle like a truck, Jeep, or SUV. Lift kits give your vehicle greater ground clearance and allow you to run larger tires and wheels for improved off-road performance. There are several types of lift kits available:

  • Coil Spring Lifts – Raise vehicle by installing taller coil springs in the front and sometimes rear suspension. One of the most common types of lift kits.
  • Leaf Spring Lifts – Add lift by installing thicker or taller leaf springs in rear suspension. Common for trucks.
  • Torsion Bar Lifts – Replace front torsion bars with bars that adjust ride height. Used on independent front suspension systems.
  • Body Lifts – Raise body of vehicle above frame using spacers between body and frame. Cheapest option but limits tire size.
  • Long Arm Lifts – Replace front control arms with adjustable long arms for maximum suspension articulation. Used on 4×4 rock crawlers.

No matter the lift kit type, the goal is increasing ground clearance and allowing for larger wheel and tire packages. Lift kits also give your vehicle a more aggressive off-road stance.

What Brand is Rough Country?

The company called Rough Country specializes in manufacturing affordable suspension lift kits and off-road accessories for trucks, Jeeps, and SUVs. Based out of Tennessee, Rough Country (RC) has been producing lift kits and upgrading suspension systems since 1996. They are known for making very affordable products targeted at the entry-level off-roader looking to lift their daily driver.

Types of Rough Country Lift Kits

Rough Country offers just about every variety of lift kit for most popular off-road vehicles:

  • Coil Spring Lifts – Their most popular option uses taller springs up front to lift the suspension. Also replaces shocks and sometimes adds a rear lift block or longer shackles.
  • Leaf Spring Lifts – For trucks, installs add-a-leafs or taller leaf packs in rear for increased ride height.
  • Torsion Bar Lifts – Front torsion bar lifts help level out stance on independent front suspension vehicles.
  • Long Arm Lifts – Extended control arms, track bars, and coilover shocks for maximum articulation on Jeeps.
  • Body Lifts – Basic and inexpensive lift spacers for all truck and SUV applications. Great for fitting larger tires.

No matter the vehicle, Rough Country has budget-friendly lift kits up to 6 inches for a wide range of applications from daily drivers to hardcore rock crawlers.

Pros of Rough Country Lift Kits

There are many benefits to using a Rough Country lift kit on your truck or SUV:

  • Affordable Pricing – The most budget-friendly lift kits on the market. Perfect for new off-roaders.
  • Easy to Install – Most install without major modifications. Bolt-on kits for inexperienced mechanics.
  • Improves Appearance – Lifted stance looks great and allows for larger wheel/tire packages.
  • Increases Ground Clearance – More clearance for off-roading obstacles and daily driving.
  • Enhances Off-Road Performance – Articulates better with improved approach/departure angles.

For Jeep Wrangler owners looking to upgrade from stock without breaking the bank, a Rough Country kit is a very popular first mod. Most kits are designed to work with the factory suspension geometry and bolt up without issues. For other vehicles like trucks, installing a RC lift kit is a great way to add ground clearance and fit larger tires easily.

Cons of Rough Country Lift Kits

While Rough Country is one of the top selling lift kit brands, there are some downsides to running their budget kits:

  • Quality Not as Robust – Their products favor affordability over premium components and materials.
  • Can Affect Ride Quality – Cheaper shocks and springs may cause a rougher ride on some kits.
  • Limited Warranty – Most RC lift kits only have a 1-year warranty. Premium brands offer longer coverage.
  • May Require Other Modifications – To remedy vibration issues or bump steer concerns after installing lift.

For serious off-road enthusiasts planning to push their vehicle hard, a more premium lift kit brand might be a better choice over Rough Country. The cheaper components may not hold up well under hardcore use. The limited 1-year warranty also means you’re on your own after 12 months if parts fail.

How Much Lift Should You Get?

how much lift should you get

Choosing the amount of lift for your Rough Country kit depends on a few factors:

  • Tire Clearance – Make sure to get enough lift to clear the larger tire size you plan to run. At least 2 inches for most 33″ and 35″ tires.
  • Performance Goals – More lift allows for better off-road clearance and approach angles. But too much can affect stability on the pavement.
  • Budget – More lift means a more expensive kit. Find the sweet spot for your goals and budget.

A 2-3 inch Rough Country lift kit is recommended for most daily driven trucks and Jeeps looking to fit slightly larger tires. Go with a 4-6 inch kit if you really want maximum clearance for off-roading and don’t mind a rougher ride.

Comparing Rough Country to Other Brands

How does Rough Country stack up against the competition from other brands? Here’s a quick overview:

  • Pro Comp – Similarly priced lift kits. Pro Comp focuses more on higher lift heights. Quality is comparable to Rough Country.
  • Skyjacker – Offer reputable mid-range options between Rough Country and premium lifts. Good balance of quality, performance, and value.
  • OME – Old Man Emu makes high end suspension lift kits. The gold standard for quality and performance. But very expensive.
  • Rubicon Express – Another good mid-level option. Rubicon Express lift kits are known for ride quality and easy installation.

While not as refined as premium suspension lifts, Rough Country kits offer unmatched value for budget-minded truck and Jeep owners looking to upgrade their vehicle’s off-roading performance.

Expert Reviews of Rough Country Lift Kits

To get an unbiased opinion on Rough Country’s lift kits, let’s see what the experts and consumers have to say:

“I installed the 4″ lift kit on my 2012 Wrangler JKU and have been very happy with it. My main goal was fitting 35″ tires and this kit did exactly that. For light to medium off-roading it has held up well. Just don’t expect it to perform as good as a premium long travel kit.” – Matt, BleepinJeep Reviews

“Overall this was an affordable lift kit that lifted my truck and allowed me to put on larger tires, which is exactly what I wanted. My main complaints would be that the front shocks started leaking after about 8 months, and I had some noise from the torsion bars up front after installing. But for the price I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.” – Alex, The Curious Trucker

“Rough Country makes very affordable off-road products that appeal to the average 4×4 owner. For mild off-roading and adding aggressive looks, their lift kits work well for the price. But we see a lot of their components fail regularly under heavy off-road use. We usually recommend looking at Rubicon Express or OME for paid off-road rigs.” – Chris, Dirt Lifestyle

Consumers seem to agree that Rough Country lift kits are a solid value for the money. They reliably add lift and allow larger tires at the lowest cost. Most negative reviews focus on lack of longevity and performance compared to premium brands. But for the average weekend wheeler, a RC lift kit is a popular first upgrade.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some of the most common questions about Rough Country lift kits:

Does installing a Rough Country lift kit void my warranty?

No, a RC lift kit will not directly void your factory new vehicle warranty, but any parts damaged or wear caused by the lift kit would not be covered under warranty. Always keep your stock parts.

Do I need a new driveshaft with a RC lift?

It depends on the amount of lift and vehicle. You may need to upgrade to prevent vibrations, but many 2-3″ kits work fine with a factory driveshaft. Measure carefully first.

What tools do I need to install a Rough Country lift?

Most kits include all necessary hardware. You’ll need basic hand tools like wrenches, sockets, pry bars, jack stands, etc. An impact wrench makes quick work of removing bolts.

Should I get a body lift or suspension lift?

For maximum off-road clearance, a suspension lift like a coil or leaf spring kit is better. Body lifts simply raise the body but don’t improve wheel travel as much.

How much does it cost to have a shop install my RC lift kit?

Most shops charge around $500-800 for install and alignment on a basic coil spring lift kit. Front and rear kits run $800-1200 for labor.

5 Tips for Getting the Most from Your Lift Kit

5 tips for getting the most from your lift kit

To maximize satisfaction and performance from a Rough Country lift kit, keep these expert tips in mind:

  • Take time to properly install all components to avoid issues down the road. Follow instructions exactly.
  • Have your truck or Jeep aligned immediately after lifting to prevent uneven tire wear.
  • Inspect and re-torque suspension bolts after first 100 miles to ensure proper lift kit function.
  • Upgrade any other worn suspension or driveline components like ball joints to complement new lift.
  • Adjust your driving style for the additional height. Drive slowly over obstacles, take corners wider, and allow for increased braking distance.

Careful installation combined with sensible driving practices will help a Rough Country budget lift kit provide years of improved off-road performance. Pay attention to all installation steps and break-in procedures to get the most bang for your buck.


For truck, Jeep and SUV owners looking to upgrade their vehicle’s off-road performance on a budget, Rough Country makes some of the most popular and affordable lift kits on the market. While their kits may not offer the same polish and refinement as premium brands, RC gives you excellent value for money. As long as you’re not planning to conquer Moab trails at high-speed, a Rough Country kit can be a great choice for the casual off-roader looking to add ground clearance and fit bigger tires. Take the time to properly install a RC lift kit and be realistic with your performance expectations, and you can get years of enjoyment driving around with a more aggressive stance.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *