4wdriving Australia

VEHICLE REPAIR MANUAL FOR 4WD CAMPING IN THE OUTBACK

If you are thinking about travelling and camping in your 4WD in remote areas, you are probably put off by the idea of breaking something. Here is a look at some of the essentials that will help you make that journey happen. This applies to all vehicles and not just 4WDs.

VEHICLE REPAIR MANUAL

If you are not a mechanic, 4WD in remote areas might seem quite daunting. In fact, most newer travellers won’t take the risk.

A vehicle repair manual, otherwise known as a service manual, is one of the greatest assets you can have when heading out in the outback. I wouldn’t hit the beaten track without one. Even if you are like me and don’t have loads of experience with mechanicals. A repair or service manual will help you troubleshooting problems and finding a fix in a difficult situation.

If you are lucky enough to find some help, a carton of beer goes a long way to getting the help you need. The big advantage of having a vehicle repair or service manual around is how much your wallet will take a hit. Even those with loads of experience will be happy that you’ve got one with you and they’ll do a better job for it.

Some other simple basics that will help you when travelling 4WD and camping outback…

A WINCH

It’s always a great idea to have a winch when you are travelling 4WD. You want at least 80 metres of cable. In a bind, it’s amazing how helpful small trees can be. When winching out of sand and loose surfaces, let the vehicle roll out (don’t drive it).

JERRY CAN HOLDERS

Jerry can holders attached to your vehicle are great for carrying jerry cans. Steel jerry cans are great for carrying fuel and plastic jerry cans are perfect for carrying lots of extra water. Plastic jerry cans only have a limited life in the hot sun in Australia. Always check them for integrity before heading offload.

Having your own extra water is especially convenient even when there is a natural water source around because you don’t have to think about purifying it.

WATERBAG

A waterbag you can attach to the front of your vehicle with a non-scratch handle is a great old-fashioned way to keep your water really cold while you are on the move. There is nothing like the ice cold water available when you stop after a considerable drive. Because water bags have a leather backing, some don’t like the taste. If you can’t get used to it, simply add something to flavour your water. Powdered cordial or even a squeeze of lemon is a great way to add some flavour and vitamins while you out in the sun.

SPARE PARTS AND ACCESSORIES

There are some spare parts and accessories you always want to carry.

• A complete set of radiator hoses
• A complete set of distributor points and spark plugs if you have a traditional engine
• Fan belts
• A fire extinguisher

AVOID ROLLOVERS AND KEEP GEAR SAFE ON YOUR ROOF

Most vehicles aren’t really designed to carry a load on the roof. Use roof racks to carry light weight stuff only and wrap them correctly with tarpaulin. Always have your last flap of tarpaulin facing backwards so that it doesn’t catch air as you’re driving forward. Boat straps and tie-downs are then finally used to keep everything secure on your roof rack.

 


Is there anything you can add from your experience? Share with everyone else in the comments section below.

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Martin White
martinw@dinga.com.au

Martin is huge on everything outdoors and is even bigger on driving and technology. He loves boats, new stuff and writing about it.