When you're heading off-road 4WD-ing with your mates or a planning a camping trip with the kids, the most important thing is to be prepared!
When it comes to accessories for your 4x4, there are ‘must haves’ and then there is 'nice to have’, so it’s best to start with the important items first.
Before we get stuck in, it's essential to consider the daily role of your vehicle as well as where you intend to take your 4x4 off-road. Are you wanting to improve driving and handling? Performance and efficiency? Will you be predominantly using your vehicle off-road, towing or carrying heavy loads? Or do you just need a reliable and capable touring vehicle for those family camping trips away?
Another important factor to consider is the overall weight of your vehicle, or the GVM. Overloading a vehicle can be extremely dangerous as well as illegal, so it pays to also take into account the GVM as well as the possibility of load carrying or towing when fitting after market 4x4 accessories. This may have an effect on the order in which you fit your accessories and ultimately what you can fit and carry. At 4WD Solutions, we offer GVM Upgrades for a range of vehicles, you can learn more here.
If you're new to 4WD-ing, have just purchased your own 4x4 vehicle or you're curious to know what the Top must have accessories to have when heading off-road are, then this for you!
- Vehicle Protection - Bull Bar, Under Vehicle Protection, Recovery Points, Winch and Recovery Gear – For self recovery on steep tracks, bog holes and rivers. Think of vehicle protection accessories as an insurance policy for your vehicle.
- Snorkel and Diff Breather Kit - For water crossings, protect your investment!
- Suspension - For more better ground clearance over obstacles like rocks and fallen trees and for safe carrying of the extra weight of fuel and/or gear.
- Driving Lights – For improved visibility when driving at night or in a low visibility.
- Quality tyres Mud Tyres or All-Terrains - Better traction & handling, greater puncture resistance
- Spare Tyre and Tyre Accessories - (Tyre Inflator, Deflator, Puncture Repair Kit) - It's important to reduce your tyre pressure when heading off-road as it improves traction and enhances how the suspension works, improving the comfort of the occupants of the vehicle. You'll need to Inflate again too.
- UHF, HF Radio or a Satellite Phone - A great way to communicate with other 4x4 Drivers in your convoy and an essential tool in emergency situations. Again being prepared is the most important thing!
- Portable Fridge/Freezer or Chilly Bin - To keep food fresh and drinks cold for longer periods.
- BBQ plate, or Portable Gas Cooker - Keep the bellies full! If you don't have a portable cooker or a Kitchen Slide the ARB Fire Pit is a great choice as it provides your cooking plate and fire in one! Don't forget the cookware, cutlery and plates.
- Tool Kit, First Aid Kit & Fire Extinguisher - Safety is number one always, be prepared with these three essentials!
- Suitable Clothing, and Sufficient Food/Water - For the duration of your trip. Always check the weather before hand.
- Tent/Swag & Sleeping Bag - For those overnight stays or long weekend adventures.
- Dual battery system / power pack – For back up engine starting, running fridge, lighting and charging other electronic devices.
- Rubbish Bag or Track Pack - Leave no trace. The Track pack is a great re-useable option to keep your vehicle & campsite clean and organised by providing versatile storage for smelly rubbish, recyclables and dirty/muddy or wet clothes and shoes
'Nice to have'
- Vehicle Protection - Side Steps & Rails, Rear Bar Protection
- Air Lockers - While your four-wheel-drive is designed to receive power (drive) to all four wheels, power can only be delivered to a maximum of two wheels at any one time without the assistance of a differential lock like ARB Air Lockers, providing power to all four wheels with the flick of a switch.
- Air Compressor - Provide many advantages when exploring the great outdoors. Whether for inflating tyres and camping accessories, running air tools, activating Air Lockers or even re-seating a tyre onto a wheel.
- Weather Proof Luggage Bags - Keep your gear protected from the elements!
- Roof Rack/Roof Bars or Roof Box - Free up space in your vehicle. Great for swags, tents, equipment and lighter bulky items.
- Drawer System and/or Cargo Barrier- For organised and safer packing of the cargo area of the vehicle.
- Kitchen Slide - From the campsite to the worksite, the roadside to the trackside or riverside – no matter where you are, imagine the convenience of a fully contained kitchen out the back of your 4WD.
- Portable Fridge/Freezer - The perfect way to keep cans and fresh food cold for longer.
The trick is to carry the right gear and accessories for the area you're travelling to.
What accessories will make your off-road adventure safe will depend on how far off the beaten track you travel and how safe you want to feel. Remember, many accessories for your 4WD are just like an insurance policy, ensuring that you and your vehicle can return home safely from any adventure.