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Recent Posts

Our new camping kettle

Campfire camping kettleFor years and years, we’ve had a basic stainless whistling kettle that we’ve taken camping. It works fine, except for one thing; you cannot avoid spilling hot water when pouring. Now, looking back, I have no idea why we put up with it for so long. Continue reading here.

 

 

Projecta Dual Battery Monitor Review

Dual battery monitor by ProjectaIf you've got a second battery in your 4WD, and you want to keep an eye on the voltage you can't go past the Projecta Dual Battery Monitor.

We had one installed in our 80 Series Land Cruiser for several years, and really rated it. I've just had another one installed in the back of the Dmax Canopy, to keep an eye on both batteries. Continue reading here.

 

Tyre size; you can go 50mm above the biggest tyres in your model range

Isuzu Dmax with bigger tyresThe question of 'how much bigger tyres can I fit' on your 4WD comes up regularly, and one of the most overlooked pieces of information is what the law is, and what the consequences are of running a vehicle that has tyres bigger than they are allowed to be.

VSB 14 states that you can increase the tyre size by 50mm. What it doesn't tell you though, is that in some cases you can actually go more than this. Continue reading here.

 

The Dmax gets a GVM Upgrade

Isuzu Dmax Suspension GVMBefore buying the Dmax, I sat down and made a spreadsheet covering the accessories and modifications that I wanted to put on the 4WD, as part of building it into a comfortable, reliable and mildly capable tourer.

A GVM upgrade was never on the cards, but I've ended up with one.

About 2 months before our big 3 month trip up north I was getting into the swing of building the Dmax, and was thinking about the weight of everything in it. I made a decision to visit the local tip to check what it weighed. With just the winch, bull bar, aluminium Bull Motor Body canopy, a 45kg battery in the rear, baby car seat, a full fuel tank and myself in the vehicle it came back at 2380kg. Continue reading here.

 

Dmax electrical upgrade, and a brilliant mobile auto electrician in Perth

Ute electrical boxLong before I purchased the Isuzu Dmax, I joined the Dmax and MUX Facebook groups. Model specific groups are by far the best way to find out what goes wrong with different vehicles, along with how best to spend your money and more.

One of the things that continually popped up on my feed was auto electrical work done by a bloke called Stephen Hunter. With our 3 month trip looming up quickly, I came up with a plan of what I wanted, and bought a heap of components. These came from eBay, Goodchild enterprises and a couple of online stores. Continue reading here.

 

We've headed north; 3 months with a 4WD, camper trailer and toddler

Kalgans Pool with the GVM UpgradeIt's been a completely mad last couple of months, with nearly every spare minute spent on getting ready for a massive 3 month, 16,000km trip through the Kimberley, Northern Territory and Coral Coast.

By the time this post comes out, we should be at our first nights stop - some 900km north of Perth.

We've done a heap of work getting everything ready - the complete Dmax build has been done in a little over 4 months, along with several upgrades to the Camper trailer and getting a fair bit of new gear up and running. Continue reading here.

 

Camping with a tent isn't always quick

Oztent in the KimberleyWe purchased an Oztent several years ago, and absolutely love it. You may know them as the ’30 second tent’, which is pretty well true, once you have the bag on the floor.

However, what I’ve come to realize when camping is that the moment you choose to use a tent, you are not going to win any races.
Even if your tent only takes a minute to set up, there are plenty of other things that you have to setup in order to complete the camping experience.  Continue reading here.

 

Timing the tides and waves; the day I got it wrong

Port Gregory Beach drivingI've long had a huge distaste for getting any salt water on my 4WD's. I've seen the damage it does to metal in a very short period of time, and would do anything possible to stay away from the waves rolling in on a beach.

Of course, beach driving is a part of 4WDing, and whilst you can avoid getting salt water on your car if you drive carefully, some salt spray is inevitable and nothing is better than washing your vehicle after each beach run. Continue reading here.

 

Is it worth fitting bash plates/underbody protection to your 4WD?

Dmax bash plates by Bushskinz

One of the first things that made itself onto the mod list for the new Dmax was underbody protection, or bash plates. The reason for this is simple; there are some very expensive, vulnerable and low to the ground bits of gear underneath the Dmax.

I never had anything fitted on the 80 series Land Cruiser, but that was a totally different beast. The chances of hitting anything vulnerable on the 80 was much less likely, given it had a lot more clearance, and things seemed to be tucked away better (with exception to the differentials, which you are always careful of anyway!). Continue reading here.

 


Camper trailer pantry build

Camper trailer pantryThere's always room for improvement, and we've been ironing out a few little shortcomings that we've found with our Outback Deluxe Camper trailer. One of these is easy access to food, cleaning gear and general bits and pieces. Over the years our camping process has become much easier, more comfortable and enjoyable, and this was another little step in the right direction. Continue reading here.

 


Easter at Walpole

It had been 7 years since last visiting Walpole, and both Sarah and I missed it badly. Walpole's such a tranquil and beautiful area, and we both have very fond memories of it. There's something about the trees, and the amazing water/beach around where the ocean and inlet meet that is truly magic.

A few months back, we rushed into booking a few remaining camp sites at the Coalmine Beach Caravan Park over Easter. Normally we'd much rather stay out of a caravan park, but when its Easter time, you have limited annual leave and a little baby the last thing we wanted to do was drive around trying to find somewhere to camp.Continue reading here.

 


Happy Easter from 4WDing Australia

Just a quick post to say we hope everyone had an amazing time over the 2018 Easter break!

We headed down to Walpole and had a fantastic time. Last time we visited Walpole was  7 years ago, and we've been wanting to head back ever since. The whole region is just stunning, and absolutely worth a trip away. Continue reading here.

 


Matching trailer tyres and wheels to your tow vehicle

4WD boat trailer wheelsWhere possible, its a good idea to have your trailer wheels and tyres the same as your tow vehicle. They don't have to be exactly the same, but having them interchangeable is well and truly worth while. This applies to everything you'd take off the beaten track; camper trailers, boats and caravans. Continue reading here.

 

 


Lake Argyle; a truly magnificent place to visit

Lake Argyle 4WD TrackIt wasn’t long after turning onto the road that heads out to Lake Argyle that I knew we were in for something special. Lake Argyle is the second biggest freshwater body, and largest man made lake in Australia. You can look at it on a map and see its big, but until you actually get out there and see it for yourself, its impossible to fathom. Continue reading here.

 

 


South West WA; the ultimate weekend escape

We are super lucky to have the south west of WA only a few hours away from our home. The Margaret River, Dunsborough and Busselton area is home to some of the best beaches in Australia, incredible natural produce and amazing 4WD tracks. In the warmer months especially, the South West is our go to location to spend a weekend away.

There's so much to see in each of the locations in the south west; you can stay anywhere and have an incredible time. Continue reading here.

 


The Dmax 4WD build up

A few months back, we replaced our 80 Series Land Cruiser with a 2016 Isuzu Dmax. The Dmax has big shoes to fill; the Land Cruiser was a tough tourer that went just about anywhere you pointed it. It did it with a sense of flair that I will miss, but there are a few things I won't miss, and its all a compromise one way or another.

No matter what I do to the Dmax, it will never be as capable as the 80 Series, and I'm going to have to accept that. Instead, I'll focus on building it into a 4WD that does as much of what we want from it as possible. I don't believe there's such thing as the perfect 4WD; you have to compromise in one way or another for everything, but you can strive to get it as close to your requirements as possible. Continue reading here.

 


Is your 4WD really insured?

Dmax build upAre you 100% confident with your 4WD insurance? When you head down to the beach, a 4WD park or some remote 4WD track are positive you are covered should it all go wrong?

If you are like a lot of Australian 4WD owners, you've probably never thought a whole lot about 4WD insurance. The dreaded bill arrives and you get the money together to pay it without much further thought.

What would it mean for you if your 4WD was involved in a bad accident, and your insurance company wriggled their way out of a claim? Wouldn't you be absolutely horrified to find out that you aren't covered for beach driving, or entry to 4WD parks? Continue reading here.

 


We are going to the Northern Territory!

Gibb River RoadTo say I'm excited would be a massive understatement. We've both wanted to head back to the Kimberley and even further north for some time, and now its booked in!

In May, we are heading away with our Isuzu Dmax and Camper trailer for 12 weeks. I've taken long service leave, annual leave and even some unpaid leave from work, and we are heading north with our nearly 2 year old boy.  Continue reading here.

 


Ebay solar panel sizes; how to avoid getting ripped off

Ebay solar panel scamEver wondered why your eBay solar panel doesn't produce anywhere near what it should do? Maybe you've been scammed like a heap of other people, by false advertising sellers on eBay.

I'm in the market for another 12V solar panel, for the top of our Dmax's Canopy. I've bought a couple over the years, and each time I'm in awe of how much cheaper they've become. However, what I've discovered just recently, is a lot of 12V solar panels being sold on eBay are falsely advertised. Continue reading here.

 


Our Dmax gets a canopy

Camper trailer and 4WD to the NTI had a pretty good idea of how our Dmax would end up when we purchased it. The only one we could get came with the normal wellbody, or tub, which I knew had to come off.

How you set up the tray part of a ute for touring is extremely important. Weight, functionality and comfort are areas that you need to think about. I removed the tub, and replaced it with a second hand chassis mount Bull Motor Body. Continue reading here.

 


Jarrahdene; brilliant bush camping in the south west

Enjoying Jarrahdene, Margaret RiverThe south west of WA has some of the most stunning country Australia has to offer. From pristine Karri and Jarrah forests through to world class beaches, local produce, caves and stunning rivers there's something for everyone, and now you can camp to your hearts content!

The DPAW (Department of Parks and Wildlife) have just completed their newest camp ground, called Jarrahdene, and its spectacular. The camp sites smack bang in the middle of a brilliant forest, and has a lot going for it. Continue reading here.

 


Solar shower bags; do they actually work?

Camping showerHaving a shower when you are camping takes comfort to a totally new level. I'll never forget the first time we boiled a big pot of water over the fire and used a cheap 12V shower pump to have a shower after a days motorbike riding in the freezing evening at Broome Hill.

Nothing beats a shower in the bush, even if its only 1/10th as good as one you'd have at home!

Since then, I’ve tried a number of shower arrangements. Every style has their own pro's and con's, but one day when walking through a camping store I spotted a couple of the black shower bags for about $10 each. Given the price I thought lets give these a crack, so two were purchased to trial. Continue reading here.

 


What's the standard tyre size on your 4WD?

Tyre placard DmaxChanging tyre sizes on 4WD's is relatively common practice, but there's a few things you want to consider before doing it. Knowing what the standard tyre size is for your 4WD is imperative when making these choices. If you've bought a vehicle second hand, how do you know whether the tyres on it are the standard size? Continue reading here.

 

 


What's the purpose of 4WD modifications and accessories?

Spare wheel carrierThere is no end to the list of 4WD modifications and accessories on the market today. You can convert independent suspension to a solid axle, fit portal axles, remote reservoir shock absorbers, air tanks and 240V power. The only limitation is how deep your pockets are!

That said, what's the purpose of 4WD modifications and accessories? Why do so many people spend a small fortune doing their 4WD up?Continue reading here.

 


Corrugations in your 4WD; what to do about them

Corrugations and pressuresA substantial amount of Australia is connected by gravel roads. If you've done much gravel driving you would have heard of corrugations. They can be absolutely terrible both from a comfort and potential damage perspective. Continue reading here.

 

 


Why everyone should carry a spare radiator cap

Radiator cap spareDespite costing a mere couple of bucks, your radiator cap is one of the most important parts of your 4WD. They do not last forever, and can 'let go' without much notice. Not a whole lot of fun if you are in the middle of the bush.

The cooling system for your 4WD's motor plays a massive role. It regulates the motors temperature by allowing it to warm up as required and then stay under a certain temperature. If its not working properly, the results can be devastating and extremely expensive. Continue reading here.

 


Is a catch can important on a modern turbo diesel?

HPD Catch can Dmax

If you own a modern turbo diesel without a catch can, you'll probably look back in the future and wish you'd fitted one. You can get a variety of different brands and models of catch cans for $150 - $450 installed, and they play a hugely important role for your motor. Continue reading here.

 

 


Steep Point Fishing

Cobia Halco LureAsides from being an incredible adventure and the most western point of Australian mainland, Steep Point is very well known for its fishing. So much so that it's often referred to as the best land based fishing in Australia.

In July of this year we spent 9 nights camped at Shelter Bay, lapping up the turquoise water, isolation and unbelievable fishing. Continue reading here. 

 

 


A new turbo for our new Dmax

Isuzu Dmax SX dual cabI arrived home late one night, to see our new 4WD parked on the driveway. A 2016 Isuzu Dmax, purchased from Victoria and trucked over. Shiny, relatively clean and only 31km on the odometer; an undriven demo.

The Dmax arrived with no number plates, so I arranged a permit to drive to take it over the pits, and booked it in. 2 days later I jump in the vehicle to drive it for the first time, and head to the pit inspections. Not even 750 metres down the road a little icon appears on the dash; the check engine light. A few phone calls later and the vehicle passed the pits, and was booked in with Isuzu in Maddington for diagnosis and rectification. Continue reading here.

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