Imagine this: you’re on the adventure of a lifetime, maybe you’ve finally made it to the stunning wild beaches of Esperance, you’re knee-deep in the Tele’ Track, or ascended to the highest peaks of the Vic High Country after hours in the mud. Your rig is bruised and battered externally, but lucky you’ve armoured it up with everything from bar work to bash plates. But what you haven’t accounted for is the toll a trip like this takes on your rig’s interior too. From the salt stains on the seats to the rub marks from a camp chair in the back over a thousand kays of corrugations, it’s easy to overlook the silent battering our vehicles interiors cop until the damage is done and your pride and joy is looking worse for wear.
That first time you notice damage is only edged out by the hit you take to resale when you go to trade it in on a newer model. It’s only five years old after all, surely it should look nicer than that eh? Today we’re taking a closer look at your options for armouring up your interior with the crew from Black Duck.
The Hidden Cost of Adventure
Off-roading’s a blast, but it’s no friend to your 4X4’s interior. Common battle scars include stains from that hastily-grabbed coffee, tears from gear rolling around in the back, stains from that servo ice-cream the tin-lids couldn’t possibly live without, and general wear from constant hopping in and out in muddy boots bringing abrasive material inside. And here’s a kicker – this kind of damage can really dent your vehicle’s resale value. Statistics show that well-maintained interiors can significantly boost resale prices. So, it’s not just about looking good; it’s an investment.
A scratch here or there won’t knock around re-sale value too much yet people are happy to spend thousands in paint protection. But stained and torn seats, rubbed-through carpets, sun-damaged steering wheels, and suspiciously browned centre console lids from the oils in our skins are all obvious touch points for prospective buyers and will drastically affect your re-sale to the tune of thousands. If you’re after maximum re-sale, or just want your rig to last a lifetime it makes financial sense to do something to protect it right?
Material Matters – Canvas and 4Elements
Choosing the right armour for your seats is crucial. If you’re self-proclaimed as “hard on the gear”, spend every waking minute dreaming of lifting a wheel and gnarly bog-holes, or you work in an industry that means you’re likely to get dirty on an average Tuesday (shout out to the tradies and miners out there) then it’s worth looking at canvas seat covers. You’ll lose a little on the comfort side as they’re physically stiffer, but short of replacing your seats with solid granite it’s about as durable as an interior can get.
If you’re after a balance between durability and comfort it’s worth looking at newer materials like the 4Elements kit from Black Duck (there’s a link below to their specs). Weaved out of 19.2 oz Cotton Twill material it’ll offer close to the same durability as a heavy-duty canvas cover but be softer on the back side, a little more water resistant, and easier to run through the washing machine when it does get dirty.
Don’t forget the details
There’s no question about it, when it comes to looking after your 4X4s interior your seats are where you should spend the bulk of your time and money for the best rewards. A set of canvas or 4Elements cover from Black Duck will make a world of difference in your rig, but they’re not the only points you need to consider. UV damage from the sun can turn your steering wheel and dash into a crumbly mess so eye off a cover for them. Your console lid is another huge touch point that will become damaged over time and can quickly and easily be protected with a matching cover in either canvas or 4Elements.
One of our favourite mods, although a little unconventional, is a picnic blanket. Hear us out here. Forget what they’re called, a picnic blanket folds up and can be stashed under a seat when not in use, then folded out to protect the cargo area if you’re throwing firewood in the back, used to stop a fridge or space case rubbing a trim, used as a separator to stop things like mountain bikes from rattling and clanging together when they’re in the back, or even thrown over the back seat when your four-legged friends are along for the ride. You can also use them as a picnic blanket too, I suppose.
To wrap it up, never underestimate the importance of looking after your 4X4’s interior. Whether it’s maintaining its condition for years of ownership for you; or preserving its value for maximum resale when you’re eyeing off that shiny new model. And when it comes to gearing up for your next off-road adventure, think of Black Duck SeatCovers as essential as your winch and recovery kit. They’re the silent guardians of your 4X4’s interior, ensuring you can focus on the fun stuff, knowing your vehicle is well-protected inside and out.