|4x4 Camping Getaways|
|4x4 Camping Getaways|
Wheel Leveler Ramps
Well after a long day driving, running around chasing the kids or after a bushwalk, there is nothing better than a comfy bed and a good nights sleep. An uneven bed can be uncomfortable and it can keep you up at night as you keep rolling to one side. A cost effective and easy solution is the wheel leveler. Drive up to the desired height, then use the proper chock for the leveler and it will keep the wheel in place and keep the trailer or caravan secure. The front to back level can then be sorted by adjusting the jockey wheel up or down. A simple Bubble Level or mini Spirit Level attatched to the frame will give you an accurate level reading.
Bring a Chainsaw along
A great must have whenever you are going for a drive or on a getaway is a chainsaw. It doesn't need to be an 80cc brut. Any petrol powered chainsaw will help you clear the path, not only for yourself but for anyone else that might be coming along. I'm sure the local Rangers will appreciate the clean up also. You can pick up a small saw for around $100 from most hardware stores. Axes and Tomahawks are actually really dangerous so i avoid using them unless they are the last resort. Chainsaws can also be dangerous, so brush up on your safety and cutting skills first!
Planning a trip to the snow this Winter?
Well unless the vehicle that you will be driving is a 4wd or an All wheel drive, then it is law to carry snow chains once you enter the National parks. Snow chains can be expensive to buy but there are plenty of petrol stations and stores down there that do chain hire.
Firstly make sure that chains are available in your tyre size before you plan your trip. Some chains will not fit certain size low profile tyres. Secondly practice fitting and removing the chains before you head up the snow. Snow chains must be a nice and snug fit. Too loose and they might damage your vehicle. Also keep speeds low and under 40 kmh.
There are two common chain patterns. the Ladder pattern and the Diamond pattern. Both will work well although the Diamond pattern will give a more constant and stable grip due to it's design.
We stumbled upon this at a Gold Coast market this morning. This soap is great for the camping / outdoors life we love. Just a read of the ingredients will give you the hint as to why it smells so good and tends to keep pests away like flies and mozzies! It is also useful for removing smelly fishy odours, dirt and grime. A handy tip is to hang the wet soap bar in a breathable gauze bag which will dry the soap quicker.
Ingredients include Coconut oil, neem oil, tea tree oil, blue gum eucalyptus, peppermint, citronella etc.
I have heard many debates on Auto Diff Lockers (Lokka, Lockrite etc) and how they are good and how they are not so good. Now being quite mechanically minded, I took it upon myself to study on how they actually work and how much benefit one could potentially have on a vehicle.
Basically they are a simple and effective concept and only a quarter of the price of an air or electro magnet locker. Dare I say they are an AWESOME little gadget that work unbelievably well! Think of it as a mega tight LSD centre. It replaces the small internal star gears or the LSD centre. It really should be called an Auto Unlocker. They are constantly locked in and only slightly unlock upon extreme pressure like turning on hard ground or driving on rocks so they are very forgiving on drivetrain like cv joints, axles etc.
I purchased one for the front of my patrol almost one year ago, and I am super happy with it! I guess the only disadvantage that I have found is the same as any locked diff. You will get understeer or wheel slip in muddy and slippery terrain, and you will be doing more 3 point turns, although i don't notice it in sand. They are great in the sand and on the beach. 4 wheels turning is alot better than 2 or 3 turning!
They are not recommended to be fitted in the front of vehicles with constant full time 4wd unless they have been converted to free wheeling hubs. Also they don't make them for the rear of some vehicles. Make sure you get an expert to fit it so they can set up the clearances properly.
I just lock my hubs once i hit the bush and leave it locked all weekend until it's time to head home. Sometimes I forget that there is any locker in the front at all. That's how good they are. Highly Recommended!
Suspension travel must work both ways. Flex out and tuck in. When you are working out shock absorber lengths, you need to measure the total travel (open and closed) of the old and the new shocks so that you can work out exactly how much more travel you will actually gain.
Here is a basic shock absorber example. 300mm closed length and 500mm open length equals 200mm of total travel. If the new shocks have a total travel of 205mm and are $1000 for the set, then it's hardly worth making the change to gain 5mm extra travel.
Obviously a raised vehicle will require a longer travel shock absorber which will have less inward travel due to the extra length but some brand shocks are terrible. Do some homework first before parting with your cash!
There are a few options in heights when it comes to high lift jacks. This jack shown here is a 60 Inch. If your vehicle has a 4 inch suspension lift or more, then a 60 inch jack will give you enough lift without running out of height.
The wheel lift adaptor is a great product and very useful for lifting both the wheel or the vehicle. The offroad base is mainly useful on sand, mud or soft ground where the jack can sink into the ground and become unstable.
Either way, high lift jacks are quite unstable so DO NOT get under a vehicle while it is up on a jack without secure jack stands and without chocking the opposite wheels! All that aside, it is a must for recoveries and tyre changes on both car and trailer in mud, sand etc!
Just when you think your diff and gearbox breathers are large enough or high enough, you find a deeper water crossing, then BAM. Water in the diffs or gearbox or both!
The diff breather in the pic below is the standard 2mm from a Nissan Patrol GQ, and the new 6mm replacement. I have also heard that in some cases, with sudden air contraction from a hot diff entering cold water, that too small breathers won't allow the air to flow in fast enough and water can get sucked in through oil seals. An oil seal is mainly designed to keep oil in. With older model vehicles, you must also check the gearstick boots. My Patrol one had a few tears in it and water found its way into the gearbox from that.
Water can also find it's way into your front hubs from the hub wiper seals. A quick way to check for water in the front hubs on a vehicle with king pin bearings, (Patrols, Landcruisers etc), is to remove one lower king pin housing bolt and see if any water runs out of the bolt hole. Starter motors hate water also, and there is no way to seal them up. Water will get in and must get out and dry up quickly. They can rust and corrode internally. My starter motor failed and needed work only after 18 months from new and 2 fresh water crossings.
The moral of the story is stay out of the water unless you need to cross through it or unless your vehicle is well set up for it.
So if you are wondering if you should buy an led light bar for your car, truck, 4wd, tractor, ride on mower etc, well the answer is YES. They are the best thing since sliced bread! Daylight at night. There are so many different types, sizes and beam styles, so you must FIRST work out what you want to see with it and where you will mount it. Roof mounts are great but the reflection off the bonnet of light coloured vehicles can be quite disturbing! Do you want to see 500m + down the road, or do you want to see 50m around your vehicle?
There are three basic beam styles. Spot beams mainly focus on distance which are great for highway driving. Flood or spread beams mainly focus on a wide shorter beam which are great for slower bush and track driving, and then there are combination beams which are both spot and flood beam.
Led light bar prices range from $50 to $1500+ but don't be fooled. You can purchase a great light bar for less than $200.
The 5 key points to look for are: The higher the wattage the brighter (200watts or more is great), A quality led chip like cree etc), PC (polycarbonate) lens, IP rating (IP68 is waterproof and dust proof) and make sure it has an aluminium body.
I actually enjoy camping in winter, and snow camping would be picturesque, but unless I had a decent heater I would give the snow a miss!
Hi guys and gals! I'm Pete. I am 36 years old and I am currently living in Toowoomba Queensland with my family. We own a 1992 GQ Nissan patrol wagon with the petrol 4.2 efi engine. It has a 4 inch lift and is running 33 inch mud tyres. Our camper is a modified 6x4 trailer with a rooftop tent.