Taking a four-wheel-drive vehicle into difficult terrain is a recreational activity that continues to grow in popularity. While modern 4WD vehicles come with off-road equipment that once could only be imagined, that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few other optional extras to take on your next 4WD adventure.
Snorkels fitted to diesel engines not only enhance efficiency, but help you take your 4WD through flooded creeks where you would otherwise be stopped short. Indeed, if fitted correctly, you should theoretically be able to cross your vehicle through water to roof height, though this is inadvisable and should be tried only in an emergency. Other advantages of a snorkel include cleaner air through dust filtration and cooler engine operation. However, before fitting a snorkel to your 4WD, contact an engine specialist such as Hi Tech Diesel for advice on the best product.
Front protective bars
A protective bar at the front of a vehicle is considered by many 4X4 enthusiasts to be the must have accessory. Going by a variety of names, such as roo bar in Australia or bull bar in the United States, these were once heavy constructions that protected vehicles from front end collisions with animals, trees and other objects. Today, they come in a range of light-weight materials, shapes and sizes, with many sporting accessories of their own such as infra-red sensors, storage spaces and ultimate lighting systems.
If you are travelling into the unpopulated wilds, it’s always best to be prepared for the worst. A recovery kit is the ultimate accessory if you’re stuck in a gully or creek bed. The kits come in a range of sizes; from basic pulley systems to help drag your vehicle from its resting place to deluxe packages that include pulley blocks, snatch straps, tree trunk protectors, extension straps, drag chains, bow shackles and rigger gloves.
Personal locator devices
Should the unthinkable happen and you become hopelessly stranded through breakdown or accident, it may be necessary for authorities to launch a search. A personal locator will help them pinpoint your exact location. These come in a range of prices and are invaluable if you’re stuck and someone needs to know where you are.
Tyres and wheels
All new and used 4WD vehicles come equipped with at least five wheels and tyres but they aren’t always to the standard your need. Some manufacturers cut corners and provide tyres that only meet the requirements for on-road use. If you’re going on an adventure, ensure your tyres can handle the off-road tracks you are negotiating, and consider adding a second spare tyre to your vehicle. These second spare accessories can be bolted to the rear of the vehicle, next to the existing spare tyre and rim.
Tyre pressure monitoring system
Once you have the perfect tyres, ensure they maintain perfect pressure with an electronic tyre monitoring system. Sensors attached to each tyre valve send real-time messages to a monitor in the car or via Bluetooth to your smart phone. Visual and audio alerts also warn of slow leaks and punctures.
There are literally hundreds of gadgets and devices available to make your 4WD trip more exciting, enjoyable and safe. Check them out and make sure you don’t get left behind.