You are planning to go for an outdoor adventure and your friends advise you that you should get yourself a four-wheel drive. You are at first hesitant but then oblige because you know that your friends are outdoor enthusiasts.
You are now ready to go out and have fun with your compact 4-wheel drive SUV. Now here is the thing, your experience may not be that enjoyable if you are a first timer. In fact, whether you are a star or a newbie, it is very crucial to have some basics when you are behind the wheel.
First, let me point out you have made a wise choice opting to go for the 4WD for your trip. With electronic systems installed in your car such as Hill Descent Control and ABS and the general capability of modern vehicles, even those with little or no experience off the beaten track can take on the superficially challenging terrain without having to sweat.
Now, before getting yourself on the road, it is imperative to ensure that you and your ute are well prepared. With this fact, here are five tips for 4WD beginners:
- Understand your route
Your vehicle might have the capability of cruising almost all terrains, but when you are getting yourself to the unknown, it is advisable to do some research first and understand the destination that you intend to go. It does not matter whether you have driven the road recently, there is a possibility that it is different from the last time you were there.
Most 4 by 4 tracks are not regularly maintained, and this can render them impassable and kill your fun. You should confirm whether there is mobile network coverage and if not, you should equip yourself with communication gadgets like the satellite phone and a UHF radio.
These are the most recommended phones! From left to right you have the Iridium 9575, the Inmarsat pro and the Iridium 9555.
- Understand your car well
Not all 4WD cars are suitable for all terrains. If you know that you will be cruising on dunes and rocky terrain, you better have the right vehicle and accessories for your adventure travel. Conduct thorough research on the terrain and ensure you have the right vehicle.
Are you planning to have an RV camping in South Australia? Have this in mind: while some beaches can be accessed with any vehicle, some are suitable only for 4WD and skilled drivers. You may need a RAM mount being the most recommended mounting solution, in your vehicle in order to secure phone well during your off-roading adventure.
- Be prepared for any hitch
In some instances during your off-roading adventure, you might meet another outdoor enthusiast like you who needs help to get out of mud or any kind of trouble; and in some cases, you might be the one needing assistance. Helping one another is an essential part of the 4WD life community. If you want to make your 4WDing experience more thrilling and keeping any hitches at bay, here are some essentials that you should have:
- Get yourself a 4WD winch in case you get stuck in the mud
- Carry a shovel in your boot because you may need it to dig out around your wheels when stuck
- Communication gadgets such as satellite phone and UHF CB Radio.
You will need a UHF CB Radio to communicate to your fellow off-roaders or just in case of any emergency in a place with no cell phone network coverage.
- Do not overload your car
Over Excitement can make a newbie 4WDer assume their car has the capability to cruise through the rough and muddy terrain can carry the entire family and whatever they can think of. Well, you are wrong. Low weight is ideal for a successful and trouble-free outdoor adventure. The slight addition of weight could imply the difference between a thrilling camping experience and a long troublesome night.
- Know the local rules and regulations
Yes, you have identified your 4WDing destination , but do you know the rules? What is the speed limit? What do you do if you spot a beacon? Or, let’s say you have decided to explore the beaches in South Australia. I know that 4WDing on the beach is fun, plus, you can enjoy fishing in various spots. Do not assume that the rules are the same everywhere. For instance, in NSW, the speed limit is 20km/h within 100 m of pedestrians; or 40km/h in any other time. Be on the lookout for any signage such as a beacon as you cruise through beaches since there may be other rules that you are not familiar with.
Stay safe while enjoying your caravanning by adhering to these simple but crucial tips for 4WD beginners. I don’t want you to regret buying your 4WD SUV, but I want you to actually become an ambassador for the same. Follow this guide and get yourself out of troubles.
Thank you for reading and for any advise or products mentioned in this blog. Get in touch with us at Electric Bug so we can steer you in the right direction.