Going Off Road? 5 Car or Truck Accessories to Consider
Date Posted:25 January 2016
Melbourne and its surrounding cities have some of the best off-road, four-wheel driving areas in Australia. Less than an hour's drive away, Wombat State Forest and Lerderderg State Park both offer plenty of trails, tracks and crossings for adventurers.
But before you and your friends pack into the Jeep and sit behind the steering wheel, don't forget to outfit your vehicle for the trip. The following accessories, in particular, are must-haves for off-road journeys.
1. First-Aid Kits
Accidents happen, both in the car and out of the truck, on the road and off it. You could roll your ankle stepping out of your Jeep, or you could roll your Jeep as you pull off the road. In either case, you'll want plenty of medical supplies available until you can reach a hospital or care facility.
Your first-aid kit should include all the essentials, such as bandages, gauze and adhesive tape. But don't hesitate to add to your kit to suit your travel destination. You may want to include extra blankets, a waterproof tarp, spare clothing, a knife and some matches.
2. Winching Kits
Even the sturdiest, toughest four-wheel drive vehicles can land in a ditch when they go off road. And depending on your location, you might have to wait for hours before someone else comes along and provides assistance.
With a winching kit, you can use the local landscape to pull yourself out again, rather than relying on outside help. Simply secure the strap to a tree and use short, controlled pulls to free your vehicle.
Also, make sure your vehicle's battery has the capacity to power the winch, at least 650 amps. If you worry that your battery won't have enough power for the entire trip, bring along a spare, just in case.
3. Off-Road Tyres
All-season tyres are not the same as off-road tyres. Though your regular tyres work well for a daily commute, they won't give you enough grip when you travel through loose gravel or heavy sand.
Larger, taller off-road tyres give your vehicle extra height off the ground to clear steeper paths. And many off-road tyres come with reinforced sidewalls for added durability.
But even if you swap your current tyres for sturdier alternatives, don't forget that flat tyres can happen no matter which brand you use. Never travel off road unless you have a spare tyre or two for emergencies.
4. Off-Road Lights
Although you'll likely do a lot of your rock crawling and mud ploughing during the day, you never know when you may run into foul weather. Heavy fog and rain dramatically reduce your visibility, making off-road adventures all the more dangerous.
So invest in some exterior off-road lights to mount on your vehicle's roof or equipment racks. Many offroad lights come with hard plastic mounts that can take a beating while you explore Mother Nature's wilder areas.
5. Air Compressor
If you drive over a patch of soft sand or gravel, your tyres may spin continuously as they try to find enough grip to push you forward. In these cases, you may have to let out some of the air in your tyres to give your vehicle extra traction.
But once you find a smoother surface to drive on, you'll want to re-inflate those tyres as soon as possible. If you drive on under-inflated tyres, you'll compromise your vehicle's handling and increase the likelihood of blowing out the tyre completely.
When you have an air compressor on hand, you can quickly pump your tyres back up to the manufacturer's recommendations.
Enjoy Your Next Excursion!
With the above accessories your next trip will be smoother and safer, but remember that this list is far from comprehensive. Some parks and trail clubs require additional items such as tow straps, suspension lifts and roll cages to ensure your safety. Meet with a park official and ask for specifics as you plan your offroading adventure.