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I wheeled my H2 quite a bit and have only been off road in the H3 Alpha a handful of times so I don't know that I am ready to make that comparison yet. I will say that I have been very pleasantly surprised at how well I like the H3 offroad. Wasn't exactly sure what to expect but the H3 is a very capable and fun off road vehicle. Not sure yet but I think Muddy may be right. So far I can't find much to pick on the H3 about that 35" tires wouldn't solve.
2006 Alpha open top
1998 H1 Open Top
1994 H1 HMC4
1992 H1 HMC4
2005 H2 SUT
2008 H3 Alpha
Depends what you're doing -- they essentially have the same ground clearance, and after 2008, have the same water fording (24inches) capability. The H3 is a little more nimble because of it's smaller size and can make really tough turns in the woods. I think they're pretty even -- but both excel in certain (relatively) small areas.
The only reason I would give my H2 a nod over my H3 Alpha is that it has the rear differential air system. Some areas like where we were last Saturday at Kinzalow's I used the rear air lift system more than once when fording creeks with large bolders or 2 foot plus drops in elevation. The Alpha is a seriously capable off road truck. I am taking it to Rausch Creek this Sunday with Trey, Muddy and a few others on the forum. Just a slight node to MY H2 because of the rear air system.
It also has a lot to do with driver ability. IMO the H3 with rear locker and aggressive tires can handle itself on the trails. Yes the engine can be a little under power at times, but the smaller size and tighter turning radius is a plus.
Slate Blue '07 H3 Owner, THCI member and Driving Academy Graduate For Off Road Use Only & '08 Boulder Gray Metallic H3 Alpha for the street
I have wheeled with them both and agree that driver ability plays a huge part (as always) but I might give the h2 the edge until gm gets rid of the low-hanging rear shock mounts (I think there might be an aftermarket fix for them?). I also know several guys who run 37's on their unlifted h2's...but both are great off-the-shelf wheelers.
I've never been off road with an H2 so I can't really compare. But I have been off roading for while now at work and at play. Owned an 85 Jeep CJ7 and loved it, but I haven't found anything that I did with it that I can't do with my H3 and I can do it in more comfort now It's unfair comparison for me to compare to work because I'm simply more willing to do things with the Army's HMMWV (H1) because I don't have to pay for the repairs if I brake it