My wife, Mrs B, and I have a motto: â€˜buy cheap, buy twice!â€™ How many of you when wanting to buy a new tent, for example, and, after seeing the range, you decide that you really want the $800 single-pole high quality canvas tent but you baulk at the price and decide on a cheaper non-canvas tent with numerous poles and a bucket full of guy ropes and tent pegs?
Youâ€™ve seen the advertisements on television; a four-wheel drive hurtling along a dirt track through creek crossings and muddy patches.However, what they donâ€™t show is being bogged and how to get out of it. No matter how good your driving skills are or how powerful your engine is or what tyres you have or if you have diff locks, you will get bogged down at some stage.
With Christmas around the corner many of us will be getting away for a break. My advice: get your vehicle checked and serviced now; donâ€™t leave it until the last minute. Ensure the tyres, wheel bearings, battery, radiator and air conditioner are checked and, if towing, donâ€™t forget to have the trailer tyres, wheel bearings and lights looked over too.
You want the most storage space and easy access to your gear while travelling, but need the car as a daily drive as the family taxi, for shopping and so forth. If you get it wrong, you will have spent a lot of money and it still wonâ€™t work for you.It took me a number of refits over the years before I got mine right. Why? I didnâ€™t really understand what type of off-road driving.
Last issue I began the discussion of how to prepare for the â€˜bigâ€™ winter trip. That article dealt with the vehicle and trailer aspect, but one of the most important considerations for a big tripis what to pack and how to ensure you.
Driving on dirt roads with ruts, washouts, rocky areas, bulldust, mud and corrugations scares many four-wheel-drive travellers. Some outback gravel roads receive regular grading while others, such as the Anne Beadell Highway or Canning Stock Route, havenâ€™t had a grader over them since construction or are self-made roads so there is gradual,long-term deterioration in road surface.
For many people the change from driving a four-wheel-drive vehicle on the bitumen to driving on sandy and muddy tracks is terrifying. A four-wheel drive can conquer most terrains; driver skills, or lack of skills, and confidence are most often the limiting factor. Sand driving is most likely a scenario that will be faced by most four-wheel-drive owners.
So youâ€™ve bought your four-wheel drive and now you want to set it up. If you purchased a new vehicle, you have a clean slate to work with. If you purchased secondhand, youâ€™ve probably got a number of accessories, such as a bull bar, spot lights and tow bar already fitted. Having these accessories will have saved you a significant amount of money, but you need to make sure they have been fitted correctly and are what you really want.
Donâ€™t be tempted to make do with a handheld radio while driving because it will be seen by the people in blue as the same offence as using your mobile phone and you know what will happen if you get stopped using that! Also handhelds donâ€™t have the antennae range and the battery power so soon youâ€™ll find yourself left out if travelling in a group.
So â€“ youâ€™ve decided to do a major four-wheel-drive trip to the Cape or Central Australia or perhaps the Canning Stock Route this winter? No doubt youâ€™ll be planning and gathering gear for months as the day of departure draws closer. Thereâ€™ll be a long list of food, clothing, maps and guides, and camping gear. Most importantly of all though, is the vehicle and trailer â€“ is it really up to the task of tackling a big road trip?
4WD tyres are one of the most important purchases you will make, and it can often be a confusing decision when you are trying to decipher all of the choices and the opinions that all of your mates have on tyre choice. This article looks at the choices available in tubeless tyres which are available in three main types: Highway Terrain (HT),All Terrain (AT) and Mud Terrain (MT).
The UHF radio enables you to keep in contact with people in your travel party and warn them of upcoming hazards if needed.On the open road the â€˜truckies channelâ€™ enables you to chat with a truck driver about potential hazards ahead and to make them aware that you want to pass.
Many of todayâ€™s four-wheel drive vehicles leave the factory with thin metal or â€˜plasticâ€™ underbody protection. While these may be suitable for city and bitumen road driving conditions, they are not suitable for off-road driving. Theyâ€™re really splash guards rather than serious underbody protection guards. Imagine driving along a sandy or scrubby track and hitting a hidden hard object, such as a rock or log.
Winter is coming! However this shouldnâ€™t stop you from getting out, but like I always say, be prepared for anything. Rain can turn our wide, brown land into mud very quickly, and it is important to know you have the gear and the knowledge to survive this as well as you could our searing heat.