5 Awesome Accessories every 4X4 Owner needs
Broadly speaking, 4X4 drivers come into one of two categories:
- those who restrict their driving to suburban, city centre and gentle on-road conditions around major towns:
- those who take their vehicles off-road in the outback and really put them through their paces.
If you come into the second category, then there are a few things by way of accessories for your 4x4 that might be considered to be somewhere on the spectrum of “highly advisable” to “downright essential”.
Let’s consider those here – they might be useful if you’re thinking about a gift for anyone owning and using their 4x4 in demanding conditions.
It’s true that in recent years, these have been controversial in highly urbanised environments where, arguably, they are simply not needed.
However when you are in the outback, they may be seen as being essential and could make a difference between life and death for you and your passengers.
They should be very familiar to most Australians and were originally designed to protect vehicles from the consequences of impacts with animals. However, they are equally important when you are off-road in terms of offering additional security from accidental impacts with trees, stumps and other obstructions.
They are also very useful in terms of providing a strengthened base for securing other accessories to.
This is one of those accessories that you might not use for several trips and then suddenly discover on the next that it can make the difference between an enjoyable expedition and one that turns into a fiasco.
The most obvious example is if you are trying to pull a vehicle that’s become stuck, out of a hole or a pocket of mud etc. They can also be essential for retrieving people who may have fallen down a steep embankment or similar.
Many 4X4 drivers who do not have a winch have found themselves in the position of wishing they had and subsequently going out to buy and fit one as fast as possible.
It doesn’t matter how carefully you drive your vehicle off road, sooner or later you are going to go down a ditch or a big hole. A variation on that theme is when you misjudge something and ground the bottom of the vehicle on a lump sticking up in the middle of the track or countryside.
The biggest risk in such situations is, of course, that these accidents and bashes have a very serious effect on components of your engine that project downwards.
Bash plates protect those parts of your engine from such impacts and that can prove to be a very useful investment.
Remember, fixing severe damage to the transmission, sump, and fuel tank (etc.) can be extremely detrimental toyour bank balance.
There’s not a lot that needs to be said about these devices.
Of course, if you enjoy sitting in your vehicle trying to drive whilst you have cases, boxes and kit piled up on your lap, then don’t bother getting one of these.
On the other hand, if you like to take your home comforts with you and have a bit of extra space in the driving cab, roof racks can be seen as essential.
Driving through streams or flooded rivers and waterholes might look great on TV but you’ll see the other side of it if you get halfway across and your engine conks out.
A snorkel moves the air intake up to the area somewhere at or above cab height on your vehicle. That should help protect your engine from flooding and enable you to traverse a lot of water obstacles that might otherwise be a showstopper in terms of your progress.