As much as you might have paid for it, the truth is your 4×4 for is never 100% ready for the road in its straight-out-of-the-factory condition. There is always something that will need tweaking and upgrades are probably lurking in the back of your mind. After all, you probably plan to expose it to harsher conditions than the urban go-to-the-mall kind of car.
No one will judge you for wanting more from your 4×4. You want it to be tougher and meaner and this not only takes a toll on your credit card balance, but it also requires time. So it is best to plan ahead on your upgrades. This way, you can tackle the improvements one by one. Join me as I breakdown some of the essential aftermarket off road accessories for unforgettable adventures.
The towing capacity on your vehicle is only as good as the towbar. So, make sure you get one that is ADR approved to ensure safety on the road. Another thing to look out for when shopping for a tow bar is the complete package you are buying. Some come with a tow ball, tongues, shackles (D), a wiring harness. If there is no description of the offer, make an extra effort to determine what is included. It will save you a ton of headaches down the line.
Also, make sure to check the owners manual to make sure you are within the maximum towing capacity and your new tow bar is fully compatible with your weight distributions systems.
Heavy Duty Roof Rack
A roof rack significantly increases the amount of storage your 4×4 offers. If you want to go camping with your vehicle, a roof rack is usually a must. If your vehicle supports only one type of roof rack – the one that comes from the manufacturer of your 4×4, then your options are fairly limited. You go for the roof rack that is compatible with and that’s it.
But there’s is a chance you can shop around for universal roof racks, and this can provide with a different type of performance. What you want from this four wheel drive accessory is reliable handling of payloads carried on the roof of your vehicle. And since you’re into off-road adventures, go for a heavy-duty option that can stand the beating from the elements. Not to mention all of the different loads you intend on mounting on it.
Make sure the set includes at least 2 bars with rubber. More is also good, but not crucial. This is an aftermarket product so you need to check if the maximum load (should be in the hundreds of kg) is within the capacity of your roof. And last but not least, study the measurements closely. Nothing is more revealing of your recklessness on the road than a roof rack that is actually wider than your roof.
Increased visibility can go a long way in improving your off-road adventure. That being said, a light bar is certainly one of the most popular off road accessories. Apart from the considerations regarding the output of lumens (should be in the thousands), you should also check the voltage as this directly correlates with the amount of power you need to get top performance.
Again, heavy-duty, waterproof, dustproof and shockproof design will increase the lifespan of the product. The type of bulbs should preferably be LED, so you can’t make a mistake there. Just make sure you measure carefully. Light bars may come in sets of three to four separate fixtures that need to be joined together. You want to make sure they are mounted on a compact and safe position on your vehicle. There is some space to improvise a bit, but be mindful not to allow this accessory to make mounting other future upgrades impossible.
UHF CB Radio
Channels of communication are paramount when you are off-road, camping, fishing or working in a remote team. As much as we are addicted to smartphones and the internet, the outback doesn’t offer the same signal reception as the rest of the populated areas. That’s the reason you need an ultra-high-frequency radio.
The bandwidth on these gadgets allows communication within line of sight. It doesn’t travel beyond hills but can penetrate foliage and vehicle for reception. Go for a decent set that has automatic squelch control and can scan for channels. If it is able to save up to 80 channels, then you are looking at a good set. Nowadays they are also adjusted to serve more than one function.
Apart from having backlit displays, keypad locks, and hands-free capability, a UHF CB radio can also double as an LED torch. Make sure you check the battery capacity on these things to ensure getting the best operating time. Don’t forget to make sure that the radio complies with the Australian standards. If it comes from overseas, you might need to up spend extra time and money before you can legally use it.