THE $10,000 BUILD

4 x 4 Australia - - Gear -

NEW tyres, a sus­pen­sion kit, bar work, driv­ing lights and a UHF have started to trans­form your ve­hi­cle into an im­pres­sive tour­ing rig, but there’s still a long way to go to max­imise its load-carrying ver­sa­til­ity, ex­tend its tour­ing range and im­prove its off-road ca­pa­bil­ity.

With a $10K bud­get you’ll be able to af­ford ev­ery­thing we’ve men­tioned above and have enough leftover for a heap of other gear, but you’ll still need to get your pri­or­i­ties sorted be­fore you start spend­ing more cash. If you’re go­ing to be trav­el­ling long dis­tances with the fam­ily then you’ll need to carry a fair bit of gear, so de­pend­ing on what ve­hi­cle you drive you might need to fit a roof rack, a canopy and a cargo drawer sys­tem, per­haps con­sider fit­ting a lon­grange fuel tank and some wa­ter stor­age.

A de­cent set of roof bars will cost $300-$400, and on top of that add $200$300 for a roof bas­ket. Al­ter­na­tively, a com­plete roof rack sys­tem will cost around $1000. Don’t for­get to fac­tor in ac­ces­sories such as jerry can, a hi-lift jack, and shovel hold­ers and an awning. This will still leave plenty in the bank for a set of stor­age draw­ers, which range in price from as lit­tle as $600 to more than $2000, de­pend­ing on qual­ity and fea­tures. A drop-down fridge slide is a very handy fea­ture (adds an­other $800 or so) and a fridge bar­rier (around $450) will al­low you to max­imise the use­able space around the fridge.

A canopy is the most ob­vi­ous way of trans­form­ing a ute into a use­ful tour­ing ve­hi­cle and these can range in price from $2500 to $4000. Ac­ces­sories and op­tions in­clude air vents (to pres­surise the canopy and keep dust out), pop-up or slid­ing win­dows, win­dow screens, roof racks sys­tems and more. So if you’re on a tight bud­get, you might have to be a bit picky.

If you haven’t al­ready blown the bud­get, the safest way to carry ex­tra fuel and to ex­tend the tour­ing range of your ve­hi­cle is by fit­ting a long-range fuel tank. Set aside $1000-$1500 for a qual­ity tank de­pend­ing on ve­hi­cle ap­pli­ca­tion or, if you’re just about out of cash, you can al­ways carry a cou­ple of jerry cans ($30-$60 each), which can be safely car­ried on your roof rack with jerry can hold­ers ($40-$70 each).

Week­end war­riors who don’t need the load-carrying ca­pac­ity or tour­ing range of out­back tour­ers won’t need to spend their cash on racks, canopies, fuel tanks and the like, so their money could be bet­ter spent on fit­ting a cou­ple of diff locks if they aren’t in­cluded by the fac­tory. There are plenty of op­tions on the mar­ket, in­clud­ing air lock­ers and elec­tronic lock­ers, and you can ex­pect to spend up to $1500 per locker once fit­ted. Once it’s all locked up, your four­wheel drive will be able to tackle some se­ri­ously tricky ter­rain, so you’ll want to set aside some money to spend on un­der-ve­hi­cle pro­tec­tion ($300-$500).

No mat­ter what four-wheel driv­ing you’re in to, you’re go­ing to want a por­ta­ble fridge/freezer to keep drinks cold and food fresh, and you’ll be look­ing at around $700-$1400 for a de­cent 40-litre unit and up to $1700 for a 60-litre unit.

You’ll need a dual-bat­tery sys­tem to power the fridge and other ac­ces­sories, and ba­sic set-ups (in­clud­ing iso­la­tor, wiring loom, bat­tery tray and deep-cy­cle bat­tery) will cost at least $1000 but will en­sure your start­ing bat­tery al­ways has plenty of crank­ing power to get go­ing in the morn­ing. Por­ta­ble dual-bat­tery sys­tems are an­other op­tion, and these will also cost around $1000+ once you’ve sourced a qual­ity deep-cy­cle bat­tery and rel­e­vant wiring loom/iso­la­tor. Strictly speak­ing, al­ter­ing or adding to the elec­tri­cal sys­tem of a ve­hi­cle is a job for pro­fes­sion­als.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.