4x4 Accessories – Buying Tips
When you are looking at those catalogues of 4X4 accessories, the first thing that is likely to strike you is just how much choice there is.
There is a vast range of accessories available and in a brief article of this size, we can’t possibly go through and discuss each of them in detail. What we can do though is to make 5 general observations that you may find useful.
- Concentrate on what’s important
A lot of 4X4 accessories are fantastic but can probably be described as “nice to haves” rather than essentials.
Okay, having a plug-in device to print emergency birthday cards and another that’s a wonderful lace-making machinemight one day prove to be invaluable when you’re out in wild country. However, they might not count for much if, for example, you’ve lost a wheel and don’t actually have an appropriate jack with you!
So, think about your priorities and spend your money on the accessories which might one day prove to be critically important.
- Bull bars
While some city-folk think these are a great decorative item, out in the countryside these are absolutely essential.
They are often imperative in order to guarantee protection to your vehicle and its passengers. Furthermore, keep in mind that they can be extremely useful by way of providing a solid stable platform to bolt additional equipment to such as lighting and winches etc.
A few tips to think about when selecting bull bars:
- make sure they don’t affect the warranty on your vehicle;
- check with your insurance provider as some may see this as a major modification to the vehicle concerned and something that might put your cover at risk unless you’ve cleared it with them first;
- they are ADR compliant;
- go for those that are legitimate rugged devices designed for the great outdoors, rather than largely cosmetic extras designed for those who want to look tough on city centre roads;
- get them professionally fitted.
- Roof Racks
The advantages of having a good roof rack should need no explanation here.
They can turn your off-road trip from something that’s a personal comfort endurance test too far into something that, at least once you stop driving, involves a degree of home comfort.
Be sure that the loading factors of your vehicle won’t be adversely affected by the roof rack when fully loaded. Fitting them isn’t usually rocket science but it’s important to be careful and thorough, as a botched job might result in your possessions being spread all over the road or the countryside.
If you are determined to really push the envelope when taking your vehicle off-road, then it might be sensible to consider some form of suspension upgrade.
There are various ways of going about this and the solutions are not as expensive as they once were.
- Lighting Upgrades
It’s a little known fact that a large percentage of 4X4 crashes in Australia, off and on the road, are attributable to drivers failing to see animals or other obstructions such as trees and stumps.
One solution to this is to ensure that you have powerful lighting upgrades installed, so that you can see a considerable way ahead in poor lighting conditions.
Having decent lights can also help to considerablyreduce eye strain.
The new LED lights are highly regarded in this respect, both in terms of their luminosity and their energyefficiency.