Dreaming of a life on the road? Or just a week away? Whether you’re preparing for the big lap of Australia or just want to get your 4×4 on the road for a short get away; if there’s difficult terrain involved, read on to prepare for a safe and smooth trip.
Let’s talk about the essential gear you’ll need to turn your car from basic 4×4, to ultimate touring vehicle.
If you’re going to be off-road regularly, you should think about upgrading your vehicle suspension through the addition of an air suspension kit such as Airbag Man or by upgrading with a lift kit.
Why would you need to improve the suspension of a vehicle designed for off-road?
- Increase ground clearance
- Improve ride quality
- Improve steering, handling and braking
- Increase load carrying capacity
Bullbars, side rails and underbody protection are essential to protect the fragile structures under the bonnet, from an impact or from rock damage.
Many of the most spectacular 4WD tracks in the country are also the most challenging. Failing to properly protect for vehicle could land you out of action.
Vehicle recovery gear
Rated recovery points, recovery boards, snatch straps, potentially a winch depending on your activity… this is all essential gear, particularly if you are travelling alone!
Don’t 4WD on remote or unknown beaches without recovery boards. A snatch strap is a relatively inexpensive aid that could quickly get you out of a world of trouble.
You never know when you will come across a stranded traveller who needs some help. It’s always best to carry as much recovery gear as you possibly can fit.
Standard tyres just won’t do if you’re going to be on the road a lot. Off road tyres have deeper tread and are designed for the harsh terrain. You should be travelling with two spares.
Changes in terrain and wildlife can pose significant hazards when travelling in low light conditions. Spotlights and a light bar will provide much greater visibility at night, dawn and dusk.
Battery systems and solar
Perfect for 4WD touring, you simply derive power from your solar setup to run your devices, appliances and campsite lighting. You will need a deep cycle battery for serious touring. Your vehicle’s starter battery will not be adequate.
Communications and safety
When going into remote areas, it is essential to have a reliable communications setup. Mobile phone coverage in remote parts of Australia is patchy at best and non-existent at worst. UHF CB radio, aerial and a satellite phone should form part of your setup. All touring 4×4’s should also carry suitable first aid kits. When you are so far from help, you need to take accountability for your safety.