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See you out there.
Hey mate, where are the pictures of Brunswick 4×4?
They are on facebook. I am working on adding a photo album to this site as well.
Hey there, I’ve been a lurker around your website for a couple weeks. I really like your writing and your whole site! Keep writing!
well done for creating this site – a great resource
that said, it is worth keeping our amazing state as secret as possible… it is a little too special to spoil.
take nothing but photographs and leave nothing but foot prints
Thanks for the comment :). You are right; WA is an amazing place. I guess having a four wheel drive helps to get to all of those special places!
Great Website Aaron!!
Awesome blog mate! heaps of good tips and ideas for making the most of our great state.
Do you know of any good lakes for fishing that isnt too far from the metro area?
Waroona and Logue Brook Dam both have trout and redfin perch in them, which is a lot of fun. Dwellingup River has the same, along with most of the smaller rivers and larger water bodies in the south west. Harvey has a lot of fishing too!
You need a fresh water fishing license to do any of that, but there is plenty of fishing around.
Let me know how your fishing expeditions go!
What are the species of wild duck you have pictured?
I have a couple that keep freturing to my pool a few times a year.
I’m not too sure. They are the standard ducks you see around metro Perth. We get them in our pool too.
Just wondering if you know any good places to go around Perth (less than 3 hours drive) where we can go camping, wake-boarding, 4WDing, fishing etc? I see Logue Brook and Waroona are now both closed to waterskiiers/wake-boarders. Any ideas?
Unfortunately, there aren’t very many places where you can do all of this, especially close to Perth. My only real suggestion would be Lake Jasper, in Pemberton. It is a bit more of a drive, but you can do everything you want there. It’s not too far from the coast, so you can fish off the beach, four wheel drive in the dunes and the many tracks, wakeboard and camp to your heart’s content! You should be able to get there in around 3 and a half hours. Some of the sand is very soft, so let your tyres down. What vehicle and boat do you have?
I have enjoyed looking thru your website and found it very valuable. However, i have one question, do you know of any tracks where one with a compact 4wd can have have fun? I have been to Lancelin(fun) several times but need a variety. Maybe a few hills, mud (season in mind), rocks etc. If you know any that one can gather up some friends (compact 4wd) and have a day out, would be highly appreciated.
There are a number of places around Perth – Mundaring, Julimar, Wilbinga, Dwellingup etc. Have a read of the posts. Mundaring and Brunswick have some serious four wheel driving where you will damage your vehicle if you don’t have some solid modifications. Let me know how you go!
Lucky bay web site
it is a wonderful place however i was their for this Easter and the population went from about 22 people to about 5000 yes that’s right. When you put places like this for people to visit it might be wise to tell them to take a portable toilet as you can imagine the state of those wonderful white sand hill with everyone having good cheer ?? and the toilet paper. This special place will not be around much longer if those that camp and ride their 4×4 all over the hills and vegetation are not careful,
The once quiet beaches offered sanctuary for families to wounder the reef and sheltered bays that offered safe protection to fish and explore the ocean. With visits from dolphins, seals, and the odd walrus, know the beaches are highways for fast spinning 4x4s whilst the bay is full of jet skis racing and doing their thing. The nights are no longer for fishing they have given away to parties and bottles broken every were lets hope lucky bay survives and the next generation will be kind to its environment.
Regards long term camper of lucky bay
I am disappointed to hear about this. It sounds just like Wedge Island (with people doing things they shouldn’t, which eventually led to camping being banned) ! I will modify the post to include portable toilets – people need to take a bit of responsibility for their actions. As for jet ski’s and that, people need to ride sensibly too – there are a lot of people that snorkel around the reef and I would hate to hear of an accident.
Please look after what we have to enjoy!
i been looking around for a place to camp an i spotted your page .. i was hoping you could give me some tips/info/advice on camp areas around Dwellingup .. i got 6 people who wanna go camping but half haven’t gone before wanted to find a place where yu could still sleep in a tent an cook over a fire an not feel out of place being surrounded by people wit their tvs an huge caravans.. so i wanted to know are there goods spots around that arent extreme camping .. but still allow camp fires an have showers an toilets, has activities specially good fishing. but arent like some others ive seen that have full golf courses or tv connections, movie rooms or 4 star cabins to stay in….. wanted to spend 2-3 days camping out .. Thankyou
Dwellingup is an amazing place – you will have a great trip down there. I only really know of the camping in the national park. The facilities are limited to a drop toilet in most. If you want anything above that you would have to camp closer in to town. What sort of set up do you have? Baden Powel is probably the most used camp site, but Yarragil is my favourite if you can get it. I believe you have to pre book (and it costs a few dollars each night to camp there), but any of the major campsites in Dwellingup are close to the river. Fishing is good almost anywhere, but island pools and just below Bobs crossing is good. You need a fresh water license to fish in Dwellingup though. Fires are permitted at most camp sites, and if there isn’t a designated fire place if you ask the ranger they will usually give permission to make your own up, providing you do it sensibly.
Have a look at http://www.dec.wa.gov.au/content/view/397/96/#top for some more information.
Have a great trip
Great website you have.
My current vehicle is a petrol engined 1990 Hilux 4×4 ute with a 3″ lift kit (so I was told by the previous owner), she has done about 345,000k’s. The reason I bought it was I had just moved from sunny Melbourne to Perth looking for work and I wanted a cheap reliable 4×4. At the time the Hilux I bought was the only one around at the price I could afford.
My main complaint with the single cab is finding somewhere to hid the street directory and other bits and pieces (call this lack of internal space) and the noise.
I need a tray or ute to carry my tools around as I’m a contract fitter.
I’m considering buying a early to mid 1990’s dual cab or space cab body, possibly with a diesel engine (turbo’d?) and solid axles, this will be a project vehicle as I also want to fit it out for some long range desert trips……..maybe the Simpson?? I’m also into sailing and scuba diving so I need carrying capacity for my gear at different times.
The only other alternative I can think of is a Troopy.
I’d like to swap ideas around before I committ to starting this project and would appreciate any help or tips you can give me.
I believe all space cab (or extra cab) hilux’s that were made before 1997 were independent front suspension. How serious is your four wheel driving going to be? If you don’t plan on running huge tyres and a big lift kit, independent front suspension (IFS) is fine. If you want a solid axle and diesel, it really only leaves you with the 2.8 litre engine, which is one of the most reliable engines put in Hilux’s. Finding one in good condition is difficult these days, especially one with a turbo. You can put a turbo on, but a lot of people don’t recommend it if the engine has done a few kays. The 2.8 isn’t a power house in stock form, so don’t expect to win any drag races! You could look at transplanting the engines, although I don’t know if this is a feasible option.
If you don’t mind going IFS, you can get a decent 3.0 litre diesel and modify it to an extent that it will easily handle desert trips.
Troopies are great vehicles too, but they aren’t cheap for something with lower kilometres. They are also a bit top heavy, but I guess there are advantages and disadvantages of both vehicles.
I have similar hobbies to you, and if I had to do it again I would probably look for a tidy 2.8 diesel hilux dual cab, with the basic mods already done (bull bar, spotlights, turbo, side steps, canopy, rear bar etc) and purchase it. You don’t need anything too over the top for long trips, but you want something that is going to be reliable. I’d set it up with a rear drawer system in the back, roof racks, rear lighting, 2 inch lift, some decent all terrains and a long range tank, and you would be fairly well set unp to tackle almost anything. Take your time and do a heap of research, and you will eventually come across a great car. If you aren’t in a hurry, you will save the most money. Shaun from 4×4 Action spent nearly 3 months looking for his dream 60 series, because of all the ‘junk’ that exists.
Hopefully that is a bit of a help!
Let me know how you go
I have just found your website and thought you might be able to help clear something up.
It has been made very clear on the net that the Wedge Island inland track through the firing range from Lancelin has been closed to the public full stop, but I keep coming across people who have been up there recently who are telling me that its still open and they have been through there?
Can any one add anything to this or are this people full of it or confused?
Thanks, cool website by the way
The road is technically ‘closed’ but people continue to use it. I would say it’s likely you would be warned or fined if caught using it.
Cool website you have.
Just wondering if you organize a camping trip, or form a camping club, esp for family with kids. I’ve been camping all around place, but in a Caravan Park…just to be sure it is safe. but always want to camp at the national park as it close to nature and more adventurous I guess. But, main problem is, I don’t have any other family who share the same interest, as well as I am concerned on the safety issues.
So, can you let me know if you or anyone you know organizing this kind of trip…esp next coming Easter.
Have a look around for some four wheel drive clubs in Perth – there are a few. The http://www.perth4x4.net/forum/ forum is a good place to meet people with the same interests. I’d jump on http://www.4wdaction.com.au/forum first – there are some great guys on there from Perth who would love to meet some new members.
We are very lucky in Australia to be so safe. In the bush you won’t have any issues with safety, but its always better to go with friends and people that share the same interest.
I am sure you wont have a problem meeting some awesome people who share the same love of travelling in WA
I’m just wondering in relation to Wilbinga Beach, where you say you come to the signs & ‘parking’ area – is this where you camp?
& if so, is it ok to get there with a 2wd? & how much further is it to the beach??
Sorry for all the questions!
I don’t think there are any signs – its just a clearing where people drop their motorbikes off and deflate/pump their tyres up.
It isn’t where you camp – most people camp on the beach or just behind the first dune, which is at least 1km away. I wouldn’t go in there with a 2WD; its too easy to get stuck.
Ok thanks for that. Can you think of any camping spots that are close to the coast that you don’t need a 4wd to get to? Would prefer not to have to stay in a caravan park that’s all.
Sandy Cape is accessible for a 2WD, and it isn’t quite a caravan park. Other than that, there really isn’t much near Perth, as everything from Lancelin through to Jurien is banned. Going south everything I can think of within a few hours would require a four wheel drive.
Best of luck
Couple of mates and I are looking to head up to Sandy Cape. I have heard that the shire has gone through and made new graded roads all the way south of the camp grounds and a lot of the old sandy tracks and camp sites you see on google maps are no longer accessable.
Do you know if this is true? If so, have you had any reports of what the camp spots are like now? Cheers and great web site, keep up the good work!
Unfortunately I haven’t been to Sandy Cape for quite some time. Your best bet would be to call the shire – they are usually helpful. I would make sure you are camping in the designated camp sites too, or you might cop a fine from the ranger. Alternatively, drive a bit further and visit Lucky Bay – its every bit as good.
Yes, the only fred you know:->
Thinking of chasing some mulloway this weekend. Let me know if you want to join.
Where would you recomend? I would like to stay on the beach preferably, head south and of course 4wd access. Lookiing for some nice gullies and groins where the surf breaks a bit further out.
Smiths Beach is supposedly good for Mulloway, but it isn’t 4WD country! There are a few locations in between Smiths and Augusta that are accessible only by four wheel drive – maybe give that a go?
I love the photo that is at the centre of the page (between the photos of the car and the camper). Can you tell me where it was taken?
You blog/site is fantastic – thanks.
That was taken down at Walpole, where the inlet meets the ocean (out from Coalmine Beach Caravan Park). It was taken on a cheap point and shoot camera too, with no editing!
It is certainly a gorgeous place
Take it easy
hi Aaron i am the proud owner of the white hilux you have a picture of on your site, just letting you know the suspension is still going strong, been up the mundaring powerline tracks a few times and on the dunes up moore river, your right 2.4 never stops going although theres alot of oil leaks that need attention lol
That’s great mate. I loved my 2.4 – just sold it and bought a Land Cruiser. I have many great memories from it!
Have a good one
Hi, love the site. I live in Brisbane and I am looking for someone to make a PVC/Aluminium Canopy for a new BT50. Ant recommendations?
I would suggest chucking a post on the 4×4 Action forum – there will be locals in Brisbane who can help you out!
Best of luck
Im planning a trip for the weekend down south during the Jan period. Having gone through your web page Dwellingup seems to be a lovely place to visit. There is a picture on the Dwellingup page ” View from the top” where is this camping spot located? Im planning on leaving Perth on a Friday, straight to Dwellingup for a night, moving on to Honeymoon Pool for another night and Sunday back up to Perth. Any other suggestion on where to visit on the way through? I do have a 4×4, however new to 4×4 driving.
That shot was taken at the top of the hill where most of the downhill mountain bike tracks are. Access to the area may have been closed off; apparently a number of 4WD tracks have been closed. However, just enter into Dwellingup, and turn left whenever you can around Nanga Mills and you will be heading in the right direction. Dwellingup has some four wheel driving, but unless you actively look for it all the main tracks are reasonably good condition gravel. Both Dwellingup and Honeymoon Pool are well worth a visit, just bear in mind that it can be unpleasant camping when it is extremely hot. I’m not sure I’d go down there if the forecast was for 40 degree plus days!
That’s a decent trip planned out, but you may find you like Dwellingup enough to stay a second night. There is heaps to do there.
Best of luck, and have fun!
Just emailed you with some info.
Love your site and it relates well to our activities too.
What email address did you use? I haven’t seen anything just yet. Thanks!
Dear 4WDing Australia,
am Askar kartiwa the President of Indonesia Off-Road Federation (IOF),
is expecting you and other country’s 4X4 association willingness to meet
at Australia Auto Aftermarket Expo (AAAA) in Melbourne, Australia on
the 16th to 18th of April 2015, in order to discuss the possibility of
forming an ASIA PACIFIC 4WD CONFEDERATION.
Thanks for visiting the website. We are not part of any association; this is an information based blog for 4WDing in Australia. I’d be happy to know more about what you are trying to set up though!
Dear Aaron, thanks for your reply. Will you please to inform me if
there any association which related to 4WD off-road in Australia.
Regards, Askar Kartiwa.
We really admire your blog and the passion you manifest for travelling and camping.
Honestly, nothing comes to mind mate. Sorry! Are you looking for clubs, or companies?
Thanks for the visit. I like the website; but see there are no sites in WA! I’d be happy to do an article in the future, if you can provide me with more information. How long has this been running for?
Hi I have a ex Telstra service vehicle – Mazda B2500 Single Cab 4×4 turbo diesel – heavily modified for around Aust travel. The only aspect of the vehicle I am not happy with is the engine torque. unfortunately it cannot be chipped. can you offer any assistance in improving engine power ? you can view this 4×4 + all its mods on my web site – outbackwanderers.com.au I would appreciate any assistance you can offer. Thanks. Glenn..
I’ve had a bit of a look at your vehicle. Unfortunately, I’m no expert when it comes to these things. I can see you’ve changed the exhaust, and fitted an intercooler. Have you had the diesel pump looked at? Are they standard size tyres? I’d imagine you are carrying quite a bit of weight, and its not exactly aerodynamic. When do you need the torque; is it just at higher speeds?
Beyond this, the only thing I can think of is fitting a different turbo, losing some weight and improving the aerodynamics. The engine is not hugely powerful though, and is probably just about at its limit without spending a reasonable amount of money
Looking for some info on getting my Nissan Patrol TL-i exhaust done. 5.6 ltr v8
Do you have off the shelf exhausts or are they custom built
We don’t sell any products. There should be off the shelf options though; have you contacted Beaudesert, or other aftermarket exhaust shops? Where are you located?
Hi Aaron, I have checked some of your posts regarding youcamp.com. a few weeks ago they upgraded their site but a fair few of the previous camps have dropped off. I assume it takes some time to get the property owners to re upload their details, but I am very keen to head down to Wedge Tail Eagle Retreat this weekend, would you be able to send me a link to them.. or their email address. I have googled it and its a bit depressing… links to a Hospice care in NSW
Shame about that. I will have to work something out. Give her a call – her facebook page is at https://www.facebook.com/Wedged-Tailed-Eagle-Retreat-204725659431/, with her number on it.
We are a small Australian company who manufacturer water bladder tanks, these allow you to store and carry drinking water.
Our 4WD / Camping customers love our Tanks and always offer to pass on how great they are.
As a small Australian company it’s always good to get the word out about great products especially as they are very useful to all the outdoor adventures out there, so hope you don’t mind me posting here.
We offer free shipping Australia wide and weekly specials too, see our Website for more details http://www.packatank.com/ Thanks Pat
Thanks for popping buy. Glad to hear of your company and products; I’ve just been looking into bladders recently; might be in touch!
Best of luck to your business
Hi I was wondering how i can make a booking fro steep point camping site? Do they have a number
They do – ring 08 9948 3993
I am newly immigrated to Aus from Canadia and my wife and I dream of 4WD touring this incredible land. We are looking at a 1998 series 80 with 255K km. The oil is filthy black and log book says last changes were 242K and 211K. 31,000km between oil changes, even if synthetic, is a long time. is the engine stuffed?
Is it the petrol motor or diesel? The service interval for a petrol is 10,000km and diesel is 5,000km. Is there a chance its been serviced in between and not recorded? If it is diesel, the oil goes filthy black after about 1500km anyway, due to carbon build up. How is the rest of the car? Is it priced well?
I wouldn’t completely rule it out, but would definitely be careful with it. Best of luck.
Hi Aaron ,
Iv been going through your website and has some great info on it …. I am planning a 2 week 4wd camping trip with some of the boys should be 3 cars all up ……we are looking to go next month driving from Perth straight to Esperance and following the coast line right back up to Perth .
I noticed you stayed in a lot of camp sites can you simply not just camp on the beaches or is this not allowed .?
Also what kind of recommendations would you have for places to see in that time frame think we have 11 days to be exact.? rough plan is to hit Esperance and surrounding beaches straight up followed by Brema Bay , Albany , Denmark , Busso/ Marg River / Perth
Any information or suggestions would be much appreciated .
Israelite Bay you can pretty much camp wherever you want. The rest though, are all designated national parks or caravan parks (duke of orleans). I guess you could camp on the beaches east of Esperance, but not sure if you’d get in trouble for it; maybe ring the Esperance ranger? I wouldn’t do it west of Esperance unless you had confirmation it was ok to do so.
Are you doing anything east of Esperance, or heading straight back to Perth?
We did 3 nights Israelite Bay, 3 at Thomas River, 3 at Duke of Orleans, 2 at Stokes National Park, 2 at Bremer Bay, 2 at Waychinicup and 4 at Parry Beach.
In general, the closer you get to Perth the busier and more touristy it gets, so maximise your time on the southern coast. Bremer Bay, the Fitzgerald National Park, Walpole, Albany and both sides of Esperance are epic.
Hi Aaron, was just wondering how or who I can find out info on the condition of the Holland Track for Easter in 2 weeks time.
The Land Cruiser Club of WA manages the maintenance of the Holland Track with Track care and the DPAW. You could contact them – http://tlccwa.org.au/home/adopted-tracks/holland-track/
Otherwise, have a search on Facebook – there were a few posts early on in March, but there’s been some rain since then. I’m sure if you ask on one of the pages someone will have done it recently. Come back if you can’t get any information and I’ll poke around
Ive just bought a Discovery Spoert HSE 180, looking at taking it to Preston Beach South of Mandurah WA. Looking for some advice (tyre pressure etc) going on the beach or am I crazy to take a Discovery Sport on the beach?
The beaches vary a lot from week to week; if its in good condition (which it should be), I reckon you would have a fair crack at it. Having big rims makes it pretty hard to deflate properly, but I’d go down to 20 – 25 and see how you go. Go with someone else if possible, and make sure you have rated recovery points. Other than that, Maxtrax or Treds work very well.
Sixteen years ago I made landfall in a small port called Townsville, Australia on a five day liberty and I have been infatuated with the place ever since. I have always wanted to return to the continent and put my Yankee 4×4 skills to the test in the rusted dirt of the Outback. Having grown up in the woods of very northern Maine I came up with a natural skill to overland years before I moved to the American southwest. My father was a forester who spent weeks at a time at work in the woods. Unlike many American off roaders, my brother and I learned at a young age things like two spare tires is actually one, and one spare tire is truly none. We learned to drive a “standard transmission” truck on dirt long before we could legally drive on the street. Mostly we learned that it could be a day or two until the next log truck comes by so “for Christ sake stay out of the loose gravel on the side of the road!”
I have a dream and not in the vanity that T.E. Lawrence speaks of. My vision is of a global 4×4 event connected via the internet, HF HAM radio, and a love of overland trekking. For those with the open eyes of dangerous men contact me for more inspiration.
Nice to meet you. Sounds like you’ve had a lot of fun! A global 4WD event would be amazing
LOOKING FOR GEARBOX FOR 1995 HOLDEN RODEO 4WD DIESEL WITH 2.8L DONK THINK SAME BOX UPTO 2005
We don’t sell anything here mate. Best of luck
Hi I am looking for a 3″ dump pipe for my 80 hdt and notice that you do mone.
Can you send more pics of the one you produce and price inc shipping to UK.
We don’t sell anything mate. Try some of the Australian 4WD groups on Facebook
I have a 1996 GQ 4.2 diesel that was very saggy when bought 2nd hand in 2000, so I had a more capable suspension fitted with all the necessary parts extended, even a longer drive shaft. In the end this raised the vehicle 5″ and I also fitted 33″ tyres to it. The vehicle sits perfectly on the road and is quite capable off road. All this work was done in late 2000 by an engineer, and I believed it to be legal on the road at the time.
When did the regulations come into effect in Qld, and if it was after my mods were done do I need to have the vehicle inspected or reassessed? It has been through Roadworthy since the mods and passed so does this make it legal?
Unless you got an engineer certificate with the suspension, your vehicle won’t be legal. If you did get a certificate, make sure it covers not only the big suspension lift, but the larger tyres too.
I can’t see how it would pass a roadworthy without an engineers certificate.
Without an engineers certificate (or some paperwork from the people who did the install) you’d have to get it re-engineered, and to be honest I think its probably too tall to touch.
Hi need some help. I called around many places but no one can help. I need a sort of undercover protection or at least protecting the auto trans and main oil sumps for my Hyundai Getz. I do so frequent offroad driving and just want that extra protection. I am not doing 4X4 off road driving just the seldom dust road driving. The car is very economical and comfortable to drive I just want that that extra peace of mind when not driving on the tar roads. I am in the Melbourne area but open to suggestions nation wide.
You’ll have to get something custom made mate. Any fabrication/sheet metal shop would be able to help you out
I recently bought a D-MAX and am looking at Toyo Open Country AT2 tyres but in 245/75R16’s. 1.. are you still happy with the Toyo’s and 2..the bigger size you got or wish you had bought a smaller size?
Also any reason you didn’t consider the BushSkinz Aluminium underbody protection? I know they are dearer than the the steel ones but at 15kg, considerable lighter.
Happy with the tyres overall, but they did wear quite a lot over our trip up north. I prefer the bigger size as it gives a fair bit more clearance, but it does come at a cost of more fuel consumption and less power, and I feel the vehicle works harder towing too.
When I got the bushskinz bash plates they didn’t have an ally option. I would have considered it for sure. Just remember if you do get hung up on aluminium it will stick to the rocks, or gall much more than steel would. I’d probably still go ally though
My wife and I want to travel West-Australia, beginning in Perth. We bought a Car wich came from Sydney (didnt knew while buying) and now we have to do the car inspection. We allready tryed to pass it; but the xrox bull bar is now too high, cause the car is liftet (Toyota Landcruiser Prado 1999). They say there are too sharp edges under it and also the tyres aren’t covered enough. Does someone has expirience how to fix? I thinked to pull some foam over the sharp edges and mount mud flaps in front of the wheels. May this be enough? We will be in Perth from Dezember 25th and the next inspection is at January 7th.
Thanks a lot for answer!! Joerg and Marlis
Hey Joerg and Marlis,
Any distributor who sells the Xrox bars should be able to supply you with little in fill panels that can be bolted on. The reason it isn’t legal is because too much of the tyre is exposed at the front.
Best of luck
Hi reading your article on catch can also looking at fuel water filters what do you think of water watch 2018 ranger 3000 kms round Australia trip thanks Leon
Anything that stops water and detects it is a good thing. I would ring Western Filters or Mann and Hummel and have a chat about your specific requirements.
Best of luck
I saw you mentioned the distance from Karinjini to Millstream (250km) but how long approximately is the drive time? I understand road conditions, weather, traffic all play a part but we are trying to determine how much we can fit in that day and how much is just driving. I tried to leave this comment on that page but don’t think it went through, sorry if it doubles up.
We left Karijini, and went to Tom Price, did Mount Nameless 4WD track, then Millstream for lunch and arrived at Cleaverville (near Karratha) in the late afternoon. I can’t give you much more than that, as it will vary a lot depending on what you’ve mentioned. We took the mine road (do the online test)
Safe travels mate
Thanks for all the info you’ve posted! Its been a big help as I am planning a month long trip with my gf in June-July coming from the States. We are big on beaches and forests and plan to spend 2 nights in the Margaret River and Pemberton areas (1 night each) before making the grand journey north to Darwin. We really would like to get off the beaten path but not get in trouble with our rental company which we are getting a 4WD Toyota Hilux from. Any tracks you can recommend that shouldn’t give us issues? Hopefully you can post this for any other adventurous tourists to refer to!
I’d be finding out where you are allowed to go, as a first step. There’s lots of places you can explore that are not too far off the beaten track but that have a lot less tourists. Look at places like Warroora station, Francois Peron National Park, Karijini, Cleaverville, Yardie Creek, Exmouth Gulf at Wapet Creek, Barn hill. You should be able to do the Gibb River Road (after May – when it opens), Litchfield and Kakadu.
Set your own pace, but often its better to see more of less, than a little of lots.
Have a great trip
I need a dif lo5vk for my nissan Navara 2wd? Is this possible?
Possibly, depends on the diff it runs. I would start with contacting the likes of Terrain tamer
All the best
Have you reviewed or use any 4wd map apps? Am after one for the iPhone or iPad so interested in any feedback before committing $. I live in WA and go on all the types of tracks you have on the site.
We use a mix of Hema Explorer, Google Maps (satellite), Wiki Camps and Ozi Explorer. Honestly, I’ve not found anything amazing yet, but by the same token never really needed anything that great either
All the best mate
Hey Aaron, excellent website really helpful and informative. I was trying to find a link to your 80 series and everything you have done to it but I cant seem to find one? Do you have all your 80 series mods and specs
Hi there, we are planning to do the Canning Stock Route and want to know if any access to purchase fuel between Wiluna and Billiluna. We are being told different things & thought you might know the right answers. Many thanks in advance.
You can get it from Kunawariji & Cotton Creek if you want to deviate
All the best
Hi, Thanks for a really informative and helpful site! We’re currently trying to reduce and streamline our camping equipment. I noticed in one of your blogs somewhere you had a picture of some nesting square pots/pans. What brand? Where from? Do you find their volumes big enough for a family with growing kids? (Our kids are currently still all in primary school). Any other general pros/cons? Thanks.
It could have been the Smartspace pots, or maybe the Tefal Ingenio. I would start with the burner maximum recommendations; we went with the Smartspace ones as the square size fitted better on the burners.
We haven’t used ours for long enough to give an accurate review, but it seems pretty good so far. They hold more than enough for a family
All the best
First of all, love your website and your posts. Keep it up!
I’m 20 years old (single), keen to do more 4WDing. I don’t have a 4WD and would like to seek your opinion on what I should buy and what to look out for.
I have a daily driver as it takes me 40minutes to work. So I don’t know whether I sell my car and but a 4wd and use it for everything or keep my other car and buy a cheaper 4wd (say around 15k) to go bush bashing and beach driving.
Honestly don’t really have a budget. Max is 30k but I’d like to see what you think is reasonable.
I’ve looked everywhere at reviews etc and I think I’m down to a few options.
LandCruiser Prado, LandCruiser, Isuzu Dmax or Holden RC.
Be sick to see your opinion on what I should get (brand, year model, kilometres and the price for that).
Should I buy a 4WD that hasn’t gone off-road and throw more money at it? Which I’d be keen to building process.
Lastly, I love the ideas of rooftop tents but soon as I saw your post on ozents it’s got me curious haha.
I like the prados for comfort but don’t know how practical they are. (Door swing).
Welcome to the world of 4WDing! It’s pretty hard to know what you want when you first start off, but try and match the vehicle to your requirements as best as possible.
Sometimes its good to start with a cheaper vehicle to see what you enjoy and like/dislike about it, but don’t sink too much money into it that you lose a lot at the end of ownership.
If you aren’t intending to do any real serious 4WDing, there are heaps of options – Pajero’s, Prado’s, Pathfinders, Challengers, Dmax, Rodeo’s, Hilux’s etc. I would avoid anything with too many kilometres unless you just plan on keeping it for a year or two, and the more modern the better economy it will get (in general).
It’s pretty easy to work out whether its worth having a second vehicle or not. We wrote a post about owning a second car and the finances behind it recently.
Nothing wrong with a rooftop or an Oztent; they both have their pro’s and con’s. Neither are perfect.
A rear swinging door isn’t the end of the world; you can have a little table that folds down from them pretty easily, although I do prefer a tailgate arrangement.
All the best in your hunt for the new toy
Thanks for the reply Aaron.
I shall check out that post.
If you were in my shoes as a 20 year old. Keen to drive in national parks and beaches. What car would you buy if you had 30k to spend but don’t have to use it all.
Like what model, kilometres and price?
Re the max Tyre size article in particular the Dmax quoted. I am having disagreement with a Tyre store in Qld saying 265 75 16 is illegal in Qld for dmax.
Is your info based on a particular state regulations?
VSB 14 states that you can go 50mm bigger than any tyre size in the range. So long as there are no structural, brake, suspension or driveline changes between the models there is no reason why you can’t go 50mm bigger than any of the models in the same year range as your Dmax.
I sent an email to the department of transport here in WA and spoke to a couple of engineers and they all agreed. If QLD uses VSB 14 then you should be fine, but I would ignore the tyre shop, and speak to the transport authority. While the tyre shop is probably trying to do the right thing in my experience not many of them actually know what they are talking about when it comes to running the right pressures, legalities and so forth.
All the best
Was just wondering are campfires allowed at the old Pumpfreys bridge campsite as it can get quite cold this time of year.
Yep, in season (so long as the shire allows it) you can have camp fires. It does get pretty cold there!
All the best
Whoever is revving vehicles ALL NIGHT LONG FRI SAT SUN NIGHTS ON THE TELEPHONE LANE MUDPIT STOP!!! you are keeping residents awake ALL NIGHT THIS IS NOT COOL!! Police have been informed!!! and will be called every single night until you stop!!!
I think you’ll find people are revving their engine due to being stuck, and trying to get out. Given the proximity to houses people ought to have more respect, but in reality its no different to driving loudly around the streets.
All the best
I have been reading through your build up D-max – I’m thinking of upgrading also on my D-max to 265/75/16 tyres and noticed you had fitted alloy rims for a weight saving. Could you please advise the weight saving per 16″ D-max rim alloy vs steel.
I can only presume it is sufficient to warrant changing and clearly the offset (+33) is not a problem with these tyres and rims.
I went with the alloy ones as I preferred the look, the weight savings and I could get them for very cheap. The standard offset is +33, so I stuck with that. From memory going up tyre size and swapping to the aluminium rim was about 3kg more weight. It would have been quite a bit more if I’d stuck with the steel ones.
All the best
Hello again Aaron,
I am following on from your reply dated 22 July 2020, to my comment on your “Towing Capacity, a simple guide to keep you legal” subject. My Prado, fully loaded for towing has
GVM = 2620kg unhitched (manuf. GVM = 2990kg) and my Caravan, fully loaded has
ATM = 2670kg (includes tow ball- 230kg) unhitched (max. towing capacity = 2500kg).
When considering the fully laden GCM weights: Prado (2620kg) + Caravan (2440kg) = Total 5060kg, compared to the manufacturer weights Prado (2990kg) + Caravan (max. towing capacity – 2500kg) Total = 5490kg.
Considering the above, caravan ATM weight is over the limit and is illegal, so if I transfer 170kg from the caravan to the Prado, is this then become legal???
Prado will then have GVM = 2790kg (under the manuf. GVM of 2990kg) and the Caravan then will have 2500kg which is the ATM weight towing capacity limit of 2500kg.
Look forward to your response, thank you.
Your reply is very confusing by the way you’ve written it. Your GVM, GCM and ATM are set figures. They do not change, and your actual weights are not referred to as them. It’s just a case of whether you are under them, or over.
If I am correct, you are saying the following:
Prado weighs 2620kg plus the tow ball weight of 230kg. Toyota specify the GVM of 2990kg?
Caravan weighs 2670kg including the tow ball weight of 230kg?
Maximum towing capacity of the Prado is 2500kg?
What is your GCM? This is set by the manufacturer and has nothing to do with your vehicle weight or towing capacity.
What is the ATM on your trailer? This is on the name plate, and is the maximum your van can weigh. Again, its not relevant to your towing capacity or anything else.
What is the maximum tow ball weight on your vehicle? This will be on your tow bar, and also in your owners manual.
Once I understand this, I can give you more information.
I would suggest you have a visit to your local Pedders suspension, with your van and car loaded up, and they can weigh it all, and explain it to you
All the best
Thank you Aaron.
Following on from my email yesterday, sorry to be confusing but as you can see I’m having difficulty understanding these weights when considering the legal requirements.
The manufacturer (set) figures for both my Prado and Caravan are as follows:-
Prado: GVM = 2990kg, Towing capacity = 2500kg, Tow ball download = 250kg
Caravan: ATM = 2900kg, Tare = 2055kg, Max ball loading = 350kg, Load carrying cap. = 845kg
GCM – (Prado) 2990kg + (Caravan) 2900kg = Total 5890kg.
The actual weighbridge weights when fully loaded, are as follows:-
Prado = 2620kg (unhitched)
Caravan = 2440kg (unhitched)
Tow ball download (caravan) = 230kg (unhitched)
Hopefully this is what you require to determine my legal status, however I will follow up with a local Pedders suspension dealer as soon as possible.
It can be quite confusing to understand.
You’ve given me some good information, but your GCM is still not correct. You will need to get this from your owners manual, or from Toyota. It’s not the total weight of your GVM and Caravan ATM. It’s a set figure from Toyota, which will be something around the 5 – 6 tonne mark. You should also be able to get it from redbook, as detailed here – https://www.4wdingaustralia.com/4×4/a-simple-towing-guide-for-keeping-your-4wd-and-trailer-weight-compliant/
Your GVM is just legal in the current state. Your total weight is 2620kg plus the tow ball weight of 230, taking it to 2850 (50kg under the GVM)
Your ball loading is fine, as its under the 250kg maximum. Be wary of this as it will change if you load the van up differently (more weight further forward, or by removing weight from the rear)
Your Caravan can weigh a maximum of 2500kg, including the tow ball weight. If its 2440kg, you have 60kg to spare.
You will also have axle weights to comply with, so the rear of the vehicle is not dramatically heavier than the front. Again, these figures will come from Toyota, and a weigh bridge will tell you if you are OK in this area.
The next thing is your GCM, which you’ll have to find the figure of. If it is above 2620kg + 2440kg (5060kg) then you are also good to go.
Hopefully that’s clear enough
However, now I am confused even more. Why is the tow ball weight added to get the GVM of the vehicle and also added to the caravan maximum weight (ATM)???
The tow ball weight is in the calculation twice, added to the vehicle and the caravan!!!
The tow ball weight is considered as part of your vehicle weight. GVM is looking at the total weight of your vehicle. The Caravan transfers the tow ball weight onto your vehicle, and therefore it is considered as part of your vehicles weight, and must be under the manufacturers GVM.
Tow ball weight is also considered as part of your ATM. The ATM is simply the total weight of your van. It has nothing to do with the tow vehicle at all.
When you look at GCM, you ignore the tow ball weight – it is simply the weight of your car, and the weight of your van (which includes the tow ball weight) together. In this way, you are only adding it once.
All the best
4 of us aged 52-58, plan a 8days self drive from Perth to Broome in slightly relax way, wish
to visit Pinnacle, pink lake, Geraldton, Jurian Bay, Carnavon, Coral bay, Exmouth & Karatha.
Any suggestion of the itinerary & accommodation please!
What you’ve suggested covers some of the nice places, but you could easily spend more than 8 days.
I prefer the areas 5 + hours north of Perth, but it depends on the time of year you are going.
All the best
Hi Aaron. Is there any need to upgrade dmax suspension from factory standard for most trips around australia these days?
That depends on what you want to use it for. If you are carrying a decent load, you will need to do something with the suspension. If you are wanting more travel, or better heat dissipation from extensive corrugations, you’ll also need to do something. Lots of people leave it alone, and that would be my advice until you need to change it.
All the best
I am interested in doing a trip on Carson River track. Cost, times and so on.
Today, there’s only one way you can do it – with Just Over the Hills. Jed from Explore WA also does a joint tour with them.
You’ll find all the information you need here – https://www.justoverthehills.com/tour-booking
All the best
Hey Aaron – I love the stories and articles – BRILLIANT. And I like what you’ve done with the Bull Canopy – I too have just bought a used Bull Canopy – do you have any photos of the shortening process for it to fit on your dual cab?
Thanks. We are happy with the Bull Motor Bodies canopy too. I don’t think I took any photos of the shortening, unfortunately. It was pretty straightforward though; drill some rivets out, cut some big ones off, trim the channel underneath and the aluminium profile, and then drill holes and rivet the bumper back on again.
All the best
Hey, I have notice some vehicle is already at its gvm and some do know their gvm but only base on their calculations. But where can we get to a place to weigh our vehicle. Because I think it’s important to really know the actual weight rather than calculations alone. It’s a good turning point to some people to think about their setup and what’s not really needed to carry.
You can take your vehicle to a heap of different weigh bridges, and there are a lot of local mobile weighing services that come to your house and do it there (or nearby where more space is available).
We are getting our setup weighed this week to see how it all sits
All the best
this is a bit sureal
I just went on line to check springs vs coils for my replacement DMax
I have a 2011 Dmax single cab replacing with new SX Cab Chassis DMax
to tow the caravan I have ordered to pick up in March 2022, Recon Elite R2
Regards Steve, just returned from WA
In Port Stephens NSW
Congratulations on the new R2. I’m sure you’ll have lots of fun with it. The Dmax is a great vehicle too; I’m sure you’ll have many years of good service from the two.
All the best
I have a slide on camper on my BT 50 extra cab. I am carrying about 1 tonne. Does this change recommended tyre pressure for driving in sand
In general the rear tyre pressures should be higher than the front when you are heavily loaded, but you can generally tell by how the tyres are bulging. The heavier the vehicle, the less air you should have to let out to gain a bigger surface area. I would still start at around 18 PSI and go down as needed, but watch your speed and cornering amount
All the best
In your comprehensive list of Hybrid vans you did not mention Long Haul and their T-Rex range of hybrids. Do you know anything about the quality of these hybrids. They are fairly economical so I wouldn’t expect them to be as tough as the high end hybrids. I’m particularly interested in the T13 hybrid.
Thank you for any information
I had never heard of these, and there are a lot of new manufacturers that keep popping up each day. These look identical to the PMX, MDC and Ezytrail hybrids (all made in China). You’ll find they will be similar, but not the same in quality as each other brand and model.
Chinese built hybrids are generally heavier than the Australian made alternatives, and lots of people seem to be happy with them, with a few that are not. I don’t have any personal feedback on the brand you are looking for. Keep looking for owner reviews, and get something you are happy with
All the best
I have just read your story on flipping tow bars and am intrigued by your use of the term ‘barn doors’ on Prados and Pajeros. Have you ever looked up the term ‘barn doors’? I do not recall seeing ‘barn doors’ on Prados or Pajeros or any other vehicle with a swinging rear door….. and in fact, I think that ‘barn doors’ would be illegal on any vehicle. The correct term would be swinging rear door actually.
If a ‘barn door’ was used on these vehicles, there would be no problem opening said doors with a flipped tow bar.
The term barn door is used extremely often when referring to vehicles. The split is not always 50/50 either. Sometimes its 60/40 or even 70/30 in terms of space used, and it absolutely can impede on the hitch, like your full size swinging doors do. You’ll find if you look the term ‘barn door’ up in relation to vehicles it covers any door that opens sideways, instead of up and down.
Have a great evening
We are a family group looking to come to Dirk Hartog Island Camping for 7 days.
There would be three x 4 wheel drives with campers attached, 6 adults & 5 children under 13
I look for ward to hearing from you
Thanks for your comment. We’ve written about Dirk Hartog Island, but to contact them you need to email their email address, or give them a call.
All the best on your trip!
Hi Aaron, How are you? After reading your newsletters I think I might finally be in with a chance at having someone understand and know 2x weight measurements for my 1997 40th Anniversary 80- Series. (October 1997 Build) It’s a Petrol and Automatic. (BTW, I find your articles very informative and interesting and appreciate them being well-written grammatically. They are good reading!) I understand the pros and cons behind Diesel versus Petrol; just so happens we have a Petrol and it’s automatic so my wife will drive it. I cannot find anything online anywhere, even after contacting my local Toyota Dealer directly, around GVM and GCM for our 1997 Cruiser. I know we cannot tow like a diesel. This is fine, however apart from knowing we can tow 2.5t braked know nothing else about it’s GVM and GCM. This information simply is hard to find. Back in 1997 Dialup Internet ruled, hence it may have restricted information at the time being uploaded to the net. (As compared to now) Can you point me in the right direction to finding out this information please, without taking up too much of your time? I’d really appreciate it. Regards, James (Sunshine Coast QLD)
Thanks for the comment, and I’m glad you’ve found the posts useful.
According to Redbook (look up 1997 auto, 40th anniversary petrol 80 series), your vehicle is 2183kg kerb weight, 2960kg GVM and 6160kg GCM. Interestingly it also says 3500kg towing capacity, which is likely a mistake, but you might find its actually 3000kg?
Toyota will have the information; they have to by law if it was sold in Australia. I’d consider trying another dealer if you aren’t satisfied with the above
All the best mate
Thanks Aaron! I really appreciate your reply and will chase up another Toyota Dealer just to be thorough. The wife and I love our 80 Series, and there is a real community around these cars. Your 80 Series versus DMAX is a great story, as this is what we would swap to in the future. Regards, James
The 80 is certainly an amazing bit of gear, and if its still doing you proud then you are onto a winner. The Dmax is decent, but keep an eye on new vehicles coming out too; they keep improving and I’m sure there will be some really good 4WD’s in the next couple of years.
All the best
I have an update on the 80 Series’ towing capacity (braked) further to my posts from yesterday. I contacted Redbook yesterday by email, and they kindly replied today. I had a lingering question around Redbook’s online stats for the 80 Series. I wanted to share now with readers, as it’s important people understand what an 80 Series / Petrol / Automatic can legally tow. Below is a snip (the important bits) taken from their reply email to me received today. Thanks, James
“Our Research team have investigate your query and advised that, for some reason, the towing capacity for the 97′ 40th Anniversary models were incorrectly set to 3.5t when every other variant of the 80 series is 2.5t. They have now amended the data for the 97′ 40th Anniversary models back to 2.5t (this is supported by the documentation). The updates should appear on the public website in a few hours.” Redbook
Thanks for following up. I did think it was unusual to be higher than 2.5 tonne. Good of them to make the change so quickly!
Just read up on your Novated lease on the Isuzu. I’ve enquired to do the same with a new 4×4. Intention is to put a slide on Camper. These come in at anything between 650 and 900kg dry, so a 1000kg payload doesnt leave much room for beer (or the missus).
As soon as I mentioned my intention to upgrade the GVM, I was told that they wont allow it. So its either buy the vehicle outright or settle for a smaller camper and shorter trips.
How did you do it? Is it a special Leasing Co?
In regards to Cracked inner guards and DPF problems Bannister Law is now investigating. I’ll post the link here in case anyone affected can sign up.
Very interesting mate. I wonder if they are looking at the turbo issue too!
Thanks for your fantastic website and info.
We are planning an 8-week Kimberley trip from SA in 2023.
Our friends have an Isuzu Mux towing a Lifestyle R2, and we have a 2.0 Ranger towing a Drifta DOT WUHT. Both have modified/lifted suspension and we have done a fair bit of outback/remote travel (eg. Lorella/Simpson/Gammons etc).
1. Do you have any feedback, experience or advice on considering the following tracks with trailer/hybrid to get to and from WA:
• Tanami Track
• Great Central Road
• Anne Beadell Highway
In 2005 on a trip around OZ, we missed out on doing the Gibb River Road (GRR) as it was still closed due to late cyclone flooding. We are keen to do it earlier in the season for more water and, hopefully, fewer crowds. But we are concerned we may miss out again due to the road or side-tracks/stations not opening in time.
At this stage, we’re planning to start GRR in mid-May and head North to South (it looks like we may come across the GRR Mountain Bike challenge at some point).
2. In your experience, do the side tracks and stations usually open by mid-May? (our other option is to make our trip clockwise which sees us starting a week or 2 later and travelling South to North). I contacted Broome and Kununurra tourist centres, but they weren’t helpful regarding the previous opening dates for side tracks.
3. Do you advise making bookings for station and National Park campsites for this time of year?
4. Any preference for Nth to Sth versus Sth to Nth travel on GRR?
5. What would be your top three campsites (hybrid accessible) along the GRR?
6. Any thoughts on Millstream-Chichester – is it a must-see or should we spend more time at Karijini?
Cheers for all your insight.
(Ps: Love the website. Would be great if you added a search bar with so much awesome info)
Thanks for your kind words. Sounds like you’ve got an amazing trip planned!
I wouldn’t expect any issues with any of those tracks, but haven’t personally completed any of them. I hear they are well travelled and providing your tyre pressures, speed and gear are up to scratch its all good.
In regards to the Gibb, you are at the mercy of mother nature, and it pays to be a bit flexible as things open at different stages every single year. I would have thought mid May things would be opening, but its hard to guarantee that.
West to East is generally considered the more picturesque drive, but we’ve done it both ways and its spectacular regardless.
There’s a few places you should book, but the majority of spots don’t require it along the Gibb. If you plan on doing any of the Ningaloo Reef area or Broome, then that’s a whole different ball game with things getting very busy.
Top 3 sites along the Gibb; that’s a hard question, with so many spots being absolutely magic. If you can get a private site (1 – 5) at El Questro they are the pick of the bunch in that station. It’s expensive, but the station is incredible. We really enjoyed the Mornington area as well, and Kalumbaru is supposed to be spectacular.
Karijini is amazing, but the North/East side of Millstream is beautiful too (head to George River Gorge; such a great spot).
There is a search bar on the sidebar – if you are viewing on mobile its right at the bottom. On desktop its under ‘Recent Posts’
All the best on your trip
Good luck with getting away. Hope all works out ok for you both. Backs are tricky things.
You had a video on compressors recently. I can’t find it now. Could you provide a link please.
Thanks for that. I don’t think we had a video on compressors – maybe someone else?
All the best
Hi Ian, just read your review on the Enerdrive inverter, great read. I am considering adding a 2000w inverter to my set up so I can run a small coffee machine. I was looking at the Enerdrive unit for around $1200 when I stumbled upon the Itechworld website. Their 2000w inverter is around $560. I thought I would get your opinion on Itech since they are a Perth based company. Any advice would be gladly accepted. Thanks, Rob.
Enerdrive is considered a premium product, and are priced accordingly. I would recommend you have a look at the Renogy options; great priced and a well known brand.
All the best
Hi. Looking for some advice. Our son took his 4WD off road, attempted to drive through a hole on the track that had water in it and mis-judged the depth. He got the car bogged and ended up with water inside the car which has damaged the electrics/ computer. It’s a 2012 Navara, comprehensively insured with a popular company (not a specific 4×4 policy). Are you aware of anyone successfully making a claim? Our mechanic has tried to trouble shoot various things over the last 6 weeks and suggests it may be a right-off. Thanks
Sorry to hear about your son’s predicament. This is really common, and certainly a learning curve to walk the water before you drive through it! If water has gotten into the electronics and computer, insurance will usually write the vehicle off. If you just get the carpets and that wet sometimes its recoverable, but any deeper on a modern vehicle and you can be in trouble really quickly. If its salt water, this almost guarantees it will be written off.
As I said, this is quite common, and most insurance companies will cover it. I had a good mate do exactly the same thing a few years back, and he was stressing for days whilst waiting for an answer from his insurance company. You could download the PDS for the insurance that you have, and start there, but absolutely approach the insurance company in the mean time; you can be in for a lifetime of troubleshooting and ongoing repairs with a vehicle that has been sunk.
All the best
Having a look at your Pender Bay review. What campsite number did you have? U mentioned it was the larger one. Looked like u had 3 vans in there, which we are needing.
We had C16. It was one of the larger ones for sure.
Hopefully you can get a booking; they are really hard to come by these days
Hi I brought a 2017 dmax three months ago and three weeks in a squiling noise started happening took it to the dealer they could not find anything it has gotten worse its coming from under the Ute somewhere not the engine bay have you any ideas of where i could look the Ute has done 115000 KS the mechanic checked the front break hubs and said its safe to drive im at a stand still of what to do any help would be much appreciated
If its a squealing noise when you are driving at higher speeds, its likely to be dry hub seals. This can be remedied with spraying it with lanolin, or you can get it pulled apart and re-greased. I would suggest you take it to a different mechanic.
All the best