Forum User Name: Melanie Hoit
Chat with Melanie
"I was born in Tennesse. Lived most of my life in Atlanta Georgia. I have 3 wonderful children, Katie 26, Drew 20 and Alexis 19. I have always loved being outdoors camping, fishing, riding my 4 wheeler, and of course 4 wheeling. I bought my first jeep when I was 30. It was a CJ7. From there our family has owned about 14 jeeps some stock but most of them modified. We moved out to California in 2008 and discovered rock crawling. I have traveled to some great destinations to wheel and feel blessed to get to see things that most people will never get to experience all because of a 4 wheel drive vehicle. I have made great friends and created some great experiences. I accidentally got in the business through a friend and have established even more great relationships with those that love the sport as well."
Occupation: Dealer Concierge for Rancho Performance Suspension
Birthday: March 11
Vehicle Name: Inky
Questions & Answers with Melanie
Q: What is your favorite food?
Q: What is your favorite food?
Q: Do you have kids?
A: I have 3 kids. Katie is my oldest she loves to hike but is also into fashion, my son Drew is in the business working with Savvy Off Road. He hopes to purchase a 4X4 vehicle soon, my youngest is in cosmetology school ready to graduate in November, she also loves the mountains and go off roading. She told us (she was about 4) that she was going to move to the mountains when she grew up and she was not going to have a mailbox. I asked her why she would not have a mail box and she said so she would not get any bills.
Q: Do you have any pets?
A: I have 2 dogs. I have a yellow Lab and his name is Hershel. Hershel is very sweet but he maybe 1 fry short of a happy meal. Second dog is a Blue heeler. His name is Blu. He is a rescue. I now know why he needed rescue (there should have been a disclaimer included with him).
Q: Do you take your pets off-roading?
A: I take Blu off-roading with us.
Q: What are your off-roading goals?
A: My goals are to attend 4 events a year. Get more knowledgeable so that I can also teach. Attend one of Nena’s classes. Maybe participate in ReBelle one day……
Q: Is your whole family into off-roading?
Q: Are you usually the driver or co-driver?
A: I do a bit of both.
Q: How old were you when you first started wheeling?
A: I was over 30 😉
Q: How often do you get to go off-roading?
A: Currently, not as often as I would like because of my schedule but I’m working on that.
Q: How did you get started in the offroad world?
A: I just bought my first jeep. We started modifying as we bought different ones and joined a off road club in Tennessee.
Q: Where is your favorite place to wheel?
A: You actually can't go wheeling there anymore, but my favorite place was always Tellico Plains.
Q: Do you belong to an off-road club? Which one? What is their motto/mission?
A: I do not currently belong to any off-road clubs.
Q: Do you have any wheeling traditions?
A: We have wine and cheese every time that we go out, also we always make sure to have tons of fun!
Q: Do you look up to anyone in the industry?
A: Yes. Larry McRae. Several reasons come to mind. I think he did a really good job with Poison Spyder. Great product, marketing and innovation. His fight. Unbelievable. Most importantly the man that Larry is. When he posted a April Fools joke on Facebook and he meant it as a joke but I think people forgot what day it was and thought his business venture was true but it was April Fools. He handled that situation like very few people would have. Completely full of integrity. It spoke volumes about the kind of man he is. The Off Road Community is very fortunate to have a man like him in the industry.
Q: What is your most memorable offroad moment?
A: Going wheeling in Ouray. It just had some spectacular views, fresh air and the friends. Unforgettable!
Q: What was your first wheeling trip?
A: It was over 20 years ago on the Tellico Plains.
Q: What was your longest wheeling trip?
Q: What was your favorite wheeling trip?
A: My favorite wheeling adventure was to Ouray, Colorado.
All About the Ladies:
Q: How do you feel as a woman in the offroad industry?
A: We are definitely in the minority but I believe that is changing. More women are buying jeeps, in particular the JK. The JK can now be the soccer mom vehicle during the week and the off road vehicle on the weekends.
Q: What changes have you seen in the offroad community since you began wheeling?
A: There are more active clubs and a lot more modifications. More is available now with the addition of dealers and the internet.
Q: Give us a story, any story, about educating, guiding, empowering ladies in the offroad, past or future:
A: Just being out there wheeling and talking to the participants, attending events and representing a company. A woman being a face in the Off Road Industry. We become an influence to the young women that are at the events or trails. It is so exciting to see more women and their daughters participating instead of just tagging along with their husbands, boyfriends or dads.
Q: Do you have any advice for ladies wanting to get started in off-roading?
A: Get educated and pay attention when wheeling always something new to learn. Save up for good equipment as you can afford it. Stay safe.
Melanie's Vehicle Inky:
"Inky is a 98 TJ that does not operate as a daily driver vehicle, but is for off-roading only!"
Q: What is the best mod you have done to your vehicle?
A: Lifting it.
Q: Do you work on your own vehicle?
A: I do more so now, but originally no.
SPEC SHEET ON Inky
|Vehicle Type: 98||Jeep TJ|
|Tire Make / Size:||38|
|Wheel Make / Size:||Walker Racing Non-polished Bead lock 8 on 6 1/2|
|Front Suspension:||3 link suspension|
|Front Shocks:||King Travel coil over|
|Front Bump Stops:||“Rock Stumper”|
|Rear Suspension:||King 2.0 x 14 Travel Coil over Shock|
|Rear Bump Stops:||“Rock Stomper”|
|Front Axle Housing:||Dynatrac 60, ARB & 5 38, JK Brakes|
|Front Differential / Locker:||ARB|
|Front Brakes:||The Brake Man 4 piston calipers & wave rotors|
|Front Steering Components:||Genright CrMo Hi Steer Kit|
|Rear Axle Housing:||Dynatrac 60, ARB & 5 38|
|Rear Brakes:||The Brake Man 4 piston calipers & wave rotors|
|Rear Steering Setup:||Cooler Kit, 4 Pass Power Steering|
|Engine Manufacturer:||Jeep OE (no mods)|
|Engine Horsepower:||Jeep OE (no mods)|
|Transmission Make & Type:||98 TJ OE|
|Transmission Cooling System:||Griffin|
|Transfer Case(s):||Atlas II 5.0|
|Front Driveshaft:||JE Reel|
|Rear Driveshaft:||JE Reel|
|Fuel Cell or Tank:||Genright crawler tank|
|Body / Interior:||Cage to frame Tie in kit, behind the seat “X” bar, Dash “V” bar kit, harness bar kit. SpiderWebShade|
|Body / Body Panels:||Genright rocker guards,Mini Boatside w/side bump bars,corner guard set stretch wheel TJ w/fuel bezel aluminum,Tube flares, Hi-fender rear|
|Body Modifications:||Stretch TJ, Body Mount Lift Kit|
|Skid plate / Material:||Steering box skid, Flat belly skid|
|Steering Column / Wheel:||PSC steering box, pump w/Rock Jam|
|Seats / Harnesses:||Master Craft Baja RS|
|Lights Interior / Exterior:||Tail Light Combo, Flush Mount, LED|
|Winches - Front / Rear - Brand & Capacity:||Warn PowerPlant|