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4WD MODIFICATIONS & ACCESSORIES

Buying the right 4WD is critical and in this Buyers Guide, we highlight the strengths and weaknesses of new and used wagons, utes and heavy duty off-road vehicles. Also in the Buyers Guide are motorhomes and campervans. Many of the vehicles tested have video reports to let you see how they perform on and off road; and some also include tow tests. There are also suggestions for desirable bush modifications.

LATEST ARTICLES

BARS, WINCHES & SIDERAILS

Buying a Winch

Buying a Winch

Many people see a winch as a means of increasing the off-road ability of a 4WD. It’s an impression that’s easily gained by seeing how off-road competition blokes and gals go about conquering seemingly impossible obstacles, but that’s not how you should look at a recreational vehicle winch.

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Front and Rear Bars

Front and Rear Bars

You only have to see how serious 4WDs are dressed up for bush work to appreciate that out-of-the-box 4WDs are underdone for Outback travel and off-road driving. The most obvious addition that most people fit is a bull bar.

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DIY WORKSHOP

Upgraded rechargeable inspection light

Upgraded rechargeable inspection light

The ‘See Ezy’ rechargeable LED inspection light has proved popular in workshops, garages and at campsites for several years, and Narva has launched a new model with improved performance and functionality.

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Flooding issues with vans and campers

Flooding issues with vans and campers

We received an email from one of our OTA contributors, who has suffered flooding in his van, caused by a burst connection between the mains inlet and the pressure reducing valve. Here’s how to avoid that, followed by a drying-out procedure.

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ELECTRICS & LIGHTS

The Top 10 causes of a flat battery

The Top 10 causes of a flat battery

The consequences of a flat 4WD battery vary from annoying to life threatening. Today’s vehicles are packed with power hungry technology and, coupled with a change to driving habits post-Covid and post oil price shock, a flat battery is now quite common.

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Upgraded headlight range from Narva

Upgraded headlight range from Narva

NARVA has developed purpose-built LED globes to provide a super-powerful output for high-beam use only, as well as upgraded high-low-beam LED replacements and new halogen globes.

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GENERAL MODS

Al’s Project 75 Series

Al’s Project 75 Series

Our Outback Travel Australia restoration project, rebuilding and modifying a LandCruiser 75 Series tray-back, is an ongoing exercise. We continue to use it as latest bed for all sorts of gear.

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COMMUNICATIONS & NAVIGATION

Three words that make navigation easy

Three words that make navigation easy

You may not know it, but the piece of real estate you’re sitting in has a unique three-word code, developed for a free app called ‘what3words’. That code can be input into a navigation device or mobile phone, allowing a delivery to be made, without the driver’s need for a detailed address and access instructions.

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POWERTRAIN

The good oil

The good oil

We’ve been asked many times what’s the best oil type to run in new and older model 4WDs and it’s not easy to come up with a straightforward answer. First, here’s some background into all the confusing acronyms that surround the oil business.

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iDrive

iDrive

This device alters accelerator response without touching fuel injection computer ‘mapping’.

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STORAGE

Lightweight drawers

Lightweight drawers

We all know that weight is the enemy when you’re packing your 4WD or camper. Here’s one way of reducing weight while providing a great storage solution.

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SUSPENSION & BRAKES

Tough Dog Adjustable shock absorber test

Tough Dog Adjustable shock absorber test

Most 4WDs spend their time relatively lightly loaded around town and fully loaded on bush trips. Trying to make a fixed-setting shock absorber handle both damping tasks isn’t easy: hence, the adjustable shock absorber.

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Progressive rate bump stops

Progressive rate bump stops

Supple suspension gives great wheel travel and a comfortable ride, but load and road conditions can sometimes cause ‘bottoming’. There’s a procedure to control this undesirable situation.

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TECH TORQUE

Hydrogen storage issues being addressed

Hydrogen storage issues being addressed

Hydrogen fuel cells are touted as the best solution for electric 4WDs and RVs, because battery packs are just too big, too heavy and take too long to charge. However, hydrogen tanks are also too heavy and lack capacity. How about powdered hydrogen?

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Lithium Battery technicalities

Lithium Battery technicalities

Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4), also known as lithium and LFP, batteries deliver high energy and power density for mobile applications. They often have the best combination of performance, safety, cost, reliability and environmental characteristics for RV and marine applications.

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TRACTION AIDS

LOKKA auto-locking differential

LOKKA auto-locking differential

LOKKA is an automatic differential locker that can be fitted to front, rear or both differentials. This auto-locking diff centre has been manufactured in Australia since the 1990s.

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TYRES & WHEELS

Six tyre myths busted

Six tyre myths busted

No matter how many tyre stories we run we still come across many myths. With the help of Bridgestone, Kumho, Maxxis and Cooper Tyres, we conducted some real-world testing to dispel some of these tyre myths – hopefully forever.

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Tyre Pressure Monitoring

Tyre Pressure Monitoring

Outback Travel Australia has been evaluating different types of tyre pressure monitoring systems over the past 16 years and we wouldn’t go bush without one.

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