4×4 Accessories: Getting Your Vehicle Ready for the Outback
The Australian outback features a varied terrain and somewhat unpredictable weather. That being said, if you are planning to explore it with a 4×4 vehicle, you’ll need some 4wd accessories too.
Packing a lot of gear can take up a lot of space in your ride which is why it’s best to get a roof rack. Unlike trailers, roof racks are 4×4 accessories that won’t require you to get tow mirrors and are more fuel efficient when it comes to stop start driving. If you want to add some space for your equipment and free some for your mates, this is the best way to do so.
Like roof racks, bullbars also add weight to your vehicle but they also provide protection from bushes, rocks and animal strikes. They should be placed on the front of you vehicle and are also a great place to mount lights, a winch and some aerials on. Make sure that the bullbar you get is airbag compliant and pedestrian-friendly.
In order to power all electronics such as your smartphone or even laptop, a power inverter is what you’ll need. This is a device that converts the voltage (12V) of the charge coming from your vehicle’s battery to 240V, so household devices can be used. If there are a lot of devices you want to power, you’ll also need a secondary battery and a dedicated deep cycle battery for your vehicle. For a more convenient set up, make sure you get a power inverter that connects to your 12V cigarette lighter port.
Recovery Tracks & Shovel
When your 4×4 gets stuck, one of the more important recovery 4×4 accessories are going to be a set of recovery tracks and a shovel. Recovery tracks are long plastic boards with a grippy surface that are put underneath the tire to provide better traction and allow you to make a safe and fast recovery. A shovel is going to make it easier to put the tracks under the tires especially when there is soft mud. You’ll need a full set of recovery gear in case you find yourself in a more difficult situation.
When travelling through all kinds of terrain, it’s important to have your tyres set at the right pressure. For this you’ll need an air compressor but make sure it’s portable and one that can fill up your tyres without taking too much time. Air compressors are 4×4 off road accessories that are simple to use and convenient too as you won’t have to tire your arm whenever you need to increase tyre pressure.
A quality communications device is essential for when, heaven forbid, you are lost or need help getting out of a hole. In this case, a UHF radio is the solution especially when exploring in remote ares. A UHF radio is also a good way to stay in contact with your friends when travelling across areas unknown to you.
When you need to pass trough deep water there is nothing worse than getting water in the engine. This can cause major damage and can even leave you stranded. A snorkel solves that issue since it is basically a long tube attached on the engine’s air intake, the purpose of which is to provide a cooler and dust free air. Since the opening of a snorkel is positioned high, there is no need to worry when going through deep water crossings.
Talking about water crossings, you’ll also need a differential breather. This is a tube that gets installed under your 4×4 and goes all the way up to reroute the air intake for your differential. This is the most critical point no matter how deep or shallow a water crossing is.
First Aid Kit
This may not be 4×4 specific, but a first aid kit is definitely a must no matter how careful you are going to be. A well stocked kit should have gauze, pain relief medication, antiseptic creams, antihistamines, safety pins, sterile gloves, bandages and personal medicine too.
When a tyre goes flat we all know what needs to be done and to make things easier make sure you always bring a jack. This way you’ll be able to lift your vehicle way more easily and get back on the road, or should I say off of it, in no time. For the outback conditions, make sure you get either a bottle jack, airbag jack or a high-lift jack with a base plate.