You have your 4wd and you are ready to take it off road to explore the bush, go camping or do some day trips but not sure what modifications and supplies you need to make your journey safe and enjoyable?
From our experience the below modifications/purchases is what we would spend our hard earned cash on and most items are under $500.
Recovery points and equipment
Without recovery points on your 4wd, it is more challenging to rescue your car if you are bogged in sand, mud or snow. Having a basic recovery kit is also essential, at minimum, a snatch strap and rated bow shackles. It is courteous for the stranded person to roll their own snatch strap through the mud.
UHF two-way radios can be useful in lots of ways. It can be used to call for help or communicate between vehicles in a recovery situation. It can also make a long drive in a convoy more enjoyable. It gives you free communication between cars to get directions, tell jokes or share useful or useless facts!
We have travelled with a cheap compressor but when it overheats and shuts down while re-inflating your tyres, it can get frustrating. With a fast, reliable air compressor, you are more likely to lower your tyre pressures and explore tracks off the side of a road.
Basic tool kit
We like to carry a small tool kit including spanner set, shifters, hammer, assorted screw drivers, socket set, vise grips, assorted pliers, multi meter, cable ties and duct tape. We have used all these tools at some point, from changing a split heater hose to replacing brake pads in a caravan park. Spare belts, hoses, hose clamps and fuses are also a good idea.
Dual Battery system
This is the most expensive item on our list and it is a must if you plan to run a fridge overnight. You could get away without it if you were just day tripping, but it is one of the best investments for camping.
Tyre plug kit
These kits can be very cheap, but very handy. We have plugged tyres several times on our own cars and other peoples. Punctures from nails and screws, for example, can be plugged in minutes, sometimes without losing much tyre pressure.
In our troopy we had a 55 litre tank on board, it is a modification we are yet to do in our current car. Having easy access to water can be great for lots of purposes like washing fish bait off your hands, topping up your radiator or making an emergency coffee.
Long Handled Shovel
A shovel can be used for many things, call of nature, making a fire pit, even bush cooking as a hot plate. Most importantly it can be used when bogged to dig your car out. It can also be used as a base plate to stop your jack sinking into mud or sand.
Carrying a repair manual for your car is good to refer to in case of mechanical failure. Even if you aren’t mechanically minded, if a problem occurs, someone else may be able to use the book to help.
First Aid Kit
Carrying a basic first aid kit will inevitably be used at some point, the more you go bush, especially with kids.
4wd necessities for extreme off-roading
Other things like maxtrax, hi-lift jack, bull bar, snorkel, spot lights, larger tyres, suspension up-grade, diff locks, winches, are all good mods/purchases, but not essential to get you out in the bush or touring. I would consider all of these items depending on where you are going and your budget. The simpler you make tasks, the more enjoyable going off-road will be.
See you out there on the tracks!
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One thought on “10 essentials for 4WDing on a budget”
When it comes to off-roading I think that having a winch should be high up on the priorities list. I agree that it depends on how adventurous you are going to be, if you are just driving down a dirt road then you may not need it. However, if the weather is bad or you know the road won’t be well maintained then it might be good to have so you can get unstuck if something happens.