We may not like to admit it, but in stock form most 4X4s are going to be more than capable of getting you out and about for a weekend camping trip. But if you’re reading this, you’re not most 4X4ers. Your adventures have endless dirt roads. They lead you to remote camp sites. And take you to some of the most visually stunning, and technically challenging terrain in the country. Your needs are different to everyone else’s, and these are the 4X4 accessories you can’t live without.
1. The mighty 12V Fridge
If you’re ducking up to the local beach to sink beers and eat oysters with some mates, a simple esky might get you out of strife. But you’re going to struggle buying fresh ice in the Simpson Desert. If you’re planning on adventures any longer than a day or two you’re going to need a 12V fridge. They’ll let you eat better, for longer. And most importantly you’ll always have a cold beverage waiting for you after pitching camp for the night.
2. The Bullbar
We’re not trying to start a fight here. But if your 4X4 doesn’t have a bull bar, it’s simply not setup for being off-road. Now the actual type of bar you get will depend on your needs and your 4X4. If you’re pushing close to your GVM and need to keep weight down then plastic or alloy or good options. If you’re after a do-it-all for protection and mounting other 4X4 accessories then steel can be an option. And if you’re rarely heading to the outback then a sleek hoopless bar could be what you’re looking for.
Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a seasoned veteran, tyres are one of the most important 4X4 accessories you can buy. The actual size you spec up will typically come down to your wants. The bigger the tyre, the more easily it’ll roll over undulating or challenging terrain. The tread pattern is something that doesn’t really factor personal preference into the situation though. If you’re punching out big kays you’ll want an All Terrain. If you’re driving through technical country where maximum traction is the goal then you’ll want Mud Terrains. And if you’re somewhere in between, then a hybrid or aggressive all-terrain will tick the box for your needs.
4. Traction boards
This one is a relatively new one to our hit-list of 4X4 accessories, but it’s one we’re happy to stand by. A set of traction boards should be fitted to any 4X4 that might see solo adventures. The reasons are pretty simple. A winch won’t help on the beach, they won’t help in the desert, and depending on what’s around, they might not help in the mud either. But a combination of a winch and traction boards? You’ll be hard-pressed to find terrain you can’t conquer.
5. A roof rack
When you’re hitting the road for that lap of a lifetime it’s not difficult to fill your 4X4 to the gills. Storage drawers up the back are fantastic to organise your storage. But to add more you’re going to need to add a roof rack, it’s as simple as that. We’ve been running the Rhino-Rack gear for a few years now and love loading it up with other 4X4 accessories like awnings and light bars, but also find it great to stash larger kit like spare tyres, swags, and recovery kit.
6. 12V Power
It’s been said for yonks that any 4X4 worth its salt needs a dual battery system, but that idea has been turned on its head recently. What you really need, is power. If you’re running a fridge, on board air, camp lighting, or even just need to keep your sat phone charged up in the outback a reliable source of 12V power is a non-negotiable. Dual battery systems are still great for this. But don’t be afraid to think outside the box, or in it as in this case. Gear like the Redarc GoBlock allow you to get all the benefits of a dual battery system, in an easy to carry versatile platform.
7. Driving Lights
If you’re heading out past the black stump it’s inevitable you’ll find yourself travelling at night. It’s just the reality of driving through places where camp sites can be hours apart. A quality set of driving lights are going to give you far more vision, allowing you to travel safer, and with less fatigue from straining your eyes. They’ll also help you spot any wayward kangaroos standing off to the side of the track. If spotlights save you one animal strike they’ll have paid for themselves.
8. Reliable comms
Whether you’re heading out solo, or in a convoy that’ll stretch from one coast to the other, reliable comms are a must have. They can be used for a spotter to assist in technical terrain, backing up in tight spaces, or even scanning to give you a heads up of oncoming traffic. Should the worst happen, a quality vehicle mounted UHF will allow you to call for help through the use of repeater stations as well. Every 4X4 needs reliable comms, it’s as simple as that.
9. 12V winch
We’ll be honest here. Our 12V winches have been used just as much for lugging heavy things around the yard as they have for actual vehicle recoveries. But the reason we fit them never changes. Peace of mind. When you’re off the black top, your 4X4 isn’t just a bit of fun, it’s your lifeline back to civilisation. Having a 12V winch fitted to your 4X4 means you can self extricate yourself from most situations and get back on the road without too much fuss.
What’s under your 4X4 and how it’s performing is integral to knowing if you want your rig in tip-top condition. Just because it’s out of sight, definitely doesn’t mean it should be out of mind. In terms of your 4X4’s performance, nothing is more important than a well sorted and reliable suspension setup. There’s a dizzying array of aftermarket stuff available, all with their own pros and cons. If you want a reliable tourer, this corner definitely has to be your first port of call when it comes to accessorising your rig. Whilst you might be able to skimp in other areas, when it comes to suspension it is definitely a case of getting what you pay for.