What you really need: Guide to 4WD Touring Mods

At the 4×4 show one year an exhibitor was handing out a full A4 page list titled along the lines of “What you need for touring.” We don’t disagree with anything that was on the list, but what you actually “NEED” to get out there isn’t such a big list. So here’s out list of recommendations starting with what we believe is most important.

Firstly however, remember a stock vehicle is more than capable of getting you up the beach or tackling some dirt tracks. If you’re planning more consistent or remote trips a few mod’s can make life easier and safer.

Front Protection/Bullbar
Our top recommendation is to fit a bullbar. It only takes one Roo, even a small one to go straight through your radiator and not only end your trip but leave you stranded.

Factory tyres are usually a highway tread and not recommended for any outback travel. Fit a set of good quality light truck tyres which will have stronger sidewalls and will be more resistant to punctures. You’ll also need a tyre deflator to drop pressures when hitting the sand or dirt.

Recovery Gear
Never leave home without a basic recovery kit, even if you’re not going to remote areas you can’t rely on someone else having the gear to help you out. Snatch strap, shovel, tyre repair kit are the basic essentials. If you’re doing remote solo travel add a winch, snatch block, extension strap, a few bow shackles and a set of recovery tracks.

Stock suspension may not be able to stand up to the punishment of outback dirt roads or even a long slog though sand tracks. Stock suspension also won’t be cope well once you’re all loaded up with camping gear and other accessories.

UHF Radio
Mobile reception in Australia can be sketchy, if you’re broken down or in a predicament fellow 4WD’ers who are likely to be on the radio will gladly answer your call for help. You can also easily communicate if you’re in a convoy.

A snorkel is just as important where it’s dry as to where it’s wet. If you’re doing any sort of water crossing a snorkel is worth the expense to ensure you won’t be risking it. If you’re heading to the outback, a snorkel is still a worthwhile addition, it’ll keep your intake up high and out of the dust.

Water Storage
You can never have too much water. Consider fitting a water tank if you have the room or mounting a couple of jerry cans somewhere.

That’s it for the “needs”, you really don’t need every accessory in the shop to get out there. The following are other mods & accessories that’ll make your life easier or depending on the type of travelling you’ll be doing are highly recommended.

Long Range Fuel Tank or Jerry Can storage
If you’re going remote, consider upgrading your fuel tank to a long range unit. If you just want to take a little extra fuel for safety Jerry Cans are a good option. You may need to look at a rear bar or roof rack to carry them.

Underbody/Side/Rear Protection
Depending on the places you’re going and the tracks you’re likely to tackle, some extra vehicle protection should be added. Underbody protection is a worthwhile start for any low clearance 4WD.

12v Fridge/Freezer
If you’re going remote you won’t find much ice in the outback and if you’re at the beach on a hot summer day don’t expect your ice to last. A dual batter system is a must if you’re running a fridge.

Dual Battery System
A second battery can safely provide power to your fridge, lights and other accessories without the risk of your starting battery going dead.

Roof Rack & Awning
A roof rack will give you plenty of extra storage space. You can keep your rear view clear and easily get to your packed items. An inexpensive addition to a roof rack is an awning which you will love, even for a quick stop beside the road during the Aussie summer.

Spot Lights & Auxiliary lighting
Driving lights/spot lights are a must if you’re going to be doing any night driving. Also consider attaching camp/work lights around the vehicle especially if you might do any night offroading.

Think there’s more that belongs on the list? Leave a comment below.