The 4×4 obsession hit Dave when he bought his 2008 Dual Cab Hilux and started heading out camping and offroading near his house in the Blue Mountains NSW. Dave’s Hilux is now a well setup tourer taking him all over Australia, here’s what he told us about the setup & how he uses it:
Why did you choose the Hilux?
Chose this model purely for it’s good reputation and the amount of aftermarket accessories out there for them is crazy. Not often you hear people complaining about their 05-11 luxy!
Where has it taken you and what trips do you have planned with the lux?
Living in a place like the blue mountains it’s really not far to go for a decent camping destination or even just a fourby day trip with the lads, so trips like that are pretty regular. Our latest trip was a month up in the Cape, we had 5 cars 9 adults and 4 kids. It was the best experience on any level anyone could have, it’s like another world up there, some of the spots we camped there was no one for hundreds of km and the spots were to die for, makes u really appreciate the country we have here. Trips planned are Fraser Island next year and 8 weeks up to east Arnhem Land and Simpson desert in 2019!
What exterior mods have you done and what’s connected to it?
For body protection I’m running an Xrox front bar, full under body protection from Bushskinz 4×4, steel rock sliders from Kinselas Kustoms in West Sydney, up top is a Rhino Rack Xtray with an undermount Stedi lightbar for crazy amount of light at night and Stedi camp lights both sides of the roof tray. At the moment I have a rooftop tent and a 3×3 awning which has lasted me many camping trips. Lightway LED driving lights mounted in the holes of front bar from Vicoffroad. Front winch is a Runva 11xp which has got me out of many hairy situations haha,
Can you explain your suspension and driveline mods?
So for suspension I’ve got a 3-inch lift in the front, Tough Dog shocks wrapped in King Springs & Superior Engineering sway bay re-locators. At the moment in the rear I’ve got a 2 inch lift held with Dobinson leafs, constant 300kg rating, and Tough Dog shocks, perfect for what I use it for. I’m running a rear E-Locker from Opposite Lock, tyres are Maxxis Bighorn 764 in a 265/75/16 size, but in the next few weeks going 33’s. Tyres are riding on ROH black trak sunraysia rims, the old alloy rims couldn’t handle Rocky tracks, had a few big splits and cracks in them.
What engine mods have you done?
In the engine there’s nothing crazy, just things like exhaust, secondary fuel filters, sleeve changeable Uni-filters and ARB air compressor for airing up. I’m running a DP Chip for the extra power, it came in handy for fuel efficiency and more grunt on the big trips, especially when towing one of the boys from Chilli Beach to Coen up in the cape which is bout 300kms haha. The Hilux also has a 128L Long Ranger fuel tank.
What interior mods have you done?
Inside is a GME UDF radio, volt gauges, and all lights bars and lockers are all turned on by rocker switches near the gear stick. I run Hema maps on a tablet.
Tell us about your rear setup
When I bought the car it had an empty aluminium canopy with both side and rear access which I originally kitted out for work. Soon enough I got a work ute and the Hilux became purely a play car so I changed it all and fitted it out to be setup for 4b’ing and touring.
Drivers side of the canopy has my built in 120ah deep cycle battery and fuse panels, compressor hoses, LED strip light, switches, fire extinguisher, gas bottle holders, recovery kit holders and a heap of storage with draws and shelves I made myself, which has 80L of water storage spots too.
The rear door of canopy has near full length of canopy storage with ceiling cargo nets and LED strip light switch, hi-lift jack holder too.
Passenger side of canopy has the kitchen setup I made with a 75L Evakool dual zone/dual lid fridge/freezer on an MSA drop down slide, fold down kitchen bench with extra slide out BBQ table which all folds up against a heap of pull-out draws that holds all cooking utensils and dry food. There’s also a nifty spot to store my 3 burner cooker and hot plate. Above that is a control panel which has battery volt gauge, all light switches for roof rack mounted camp lights and canopy led strip lights. All this makes for a real comfortable long trip camp.
What electrical setup do you have?
Secondary battery is canopy mounted and is charged while driving but maintained at camp by a fold-out 120w solar panel.
What is your favourite thing about the Hilux and would you change anything if you could do it all again?
I think the reliability of my rig is my favorite thing about it, it’s well looked after and ready to go anywhere for any amount of time at the drop of a hat, and to be honest I can’t fault it so I wouldn’t change a thing.
Do you have any future plans for your rig?
Only future plans would be going up a size in tires, and down the track do the same setup on a steel tray and canopy instead of aluminium for more strength and durability. A steel tray would also be heaps more convenient to jack up the rear of the car with a hi-lift jack.
Find Dave on Instagram @dja30hilx