A Guide to Choosing 4×4 Awnings
With the summer school holidays lingering, so has that camping trip you’ve been meaning to take the kids on but have been putting it off because you need a bigger tent. Camping space can be a bit of an issue especially if you have a big family and can’t all fit in the tent or caravan. If you’re a big-time camper or an avid caravanner then it is probably a good idea to invest in 4WD awning. It is a great way to significantly improve and expand the living conditions by turning it into a dining area, sleeping area or storage area. Depending on how often you camp or do outdoor activities will correlate to what type awning and how much it is going to cost you. 4WD awnings are extremely practical, easy to install, store and setup, and offers great protection from the sun and rain. Where are awnings mounted? Most awnings are mounted using an aluminium back plate that will attach to your vehicles roof rack, and is stored in a zipped-up PVC cover when not in use. Most 4WD awnings will utilise telescopic aluminium poles that have a twist and lock function. Depending on your type of awning, identify which poles must be placed vertically and horizontally and twist and lock them into place. Your horizontal poles are usually housed within the backing plate. Most awning sets will also include a number of ropes and pegs, it is always a good idea to peg your awning down if you leave it overnight in case the wind picks up. Recommended types of awning Side awnings They are arguably one of the most practical, quickest and easiest to install and setup awnings available on the market. Side awnings are usually placed on the longest dimension of your vehicle with a long rail mounted to your roof rack where it will act as a base for all other components. A second rail will usually have the legs attached to it which need to be pulled out along with a pair of struts that need to be clipped onto each end of the bar. The struts allow for stability and also prevent the awning from flapping about in the wind. If you are looking for a side awning, the Sunseeker by Total 4x4 covers over 4 square metres and is the perfect set for picnics, camping and lazy days on the beach. Batwing awningsA lot larger than your standard awning, they are designed to cover a huge space due to its long wings that extend out. This type of awning is a lot larger than others and the base requires to be mounted securely to your roof rack. At the back end of the base is a huge hinge that supports the entire awning, this is where the ‘wings’ are attached and will need to be placed towards the rear corner of your vehicle. Like the side awning, the batwing utilises a similar design, making it easy-to-use and can be packed up or setup within minutes. It is the perfect awning type for extra storage space, sleeping area or dining with its large 270-degree shade covering 11 square metres. Rooftop tent awningSimilar style to the Eezi Awn, this awning utilises a rooftop tent for sleeping, mesh windows and doors, and a step ladder for easy accessibility. The bonus of having a rooftop tent means you are elevated from any creepy crawlies that lurk below and escape the heavy rains. With a little more than just a couple of telescopic poles, the Open Sky awning will cost a little more and may be harder to setup depending on your experience.
A Method to Misfuelling Madness
Going to the local servo and refueling your car can seem like a mundane task, we almost do it autonomously but what happens when we accidentally misfuel our car? Misfueling your vehicle can be quite a costly mistake and extremely damaging to your vehicles internals. Here is a quick guide on what happens to your vehicle and what steps to take if you have accidentally misfuelled your car:What happens when you misfuel? Accidentally putting in the wrong fuel into your vehicle can be quite disastrous, it’s like your dog gobbling down a family block of Cadbury chocolate. Petrol engines use thinner unleaded petrol that is ignited through the spark plugs resulting in torque and acceleration. Diesel is a much thicker, heavier and oily liquid that uses glow plugs to ignite with heat compression. Combining diesel and unleaded petrol creates a potent liquid that courses through the internals of your vehicle, and if left unnoticed can result in the replacement of the fuel pump, filters, injectors and fuel tank. What do I do if I have misfuelled and drove off? At this point, you probably would’ve heard the wild noises coming from your engine as it has begun its descent into madness.Find somewhere safe to stop and turn the engine off immediately. Contact your road-service provider or towing service so that your vehicle can be transported to a mechanic.What to do if I have misfuelled but haven’t started the car?Do not start the engine. If you’re at the fuel pump, put your car in neutral, lift the handbrake and get some assistance in wheeling your car over to the parking lot. Contact your road-service providers so that they can come and drain the fuel tank, clean the fuel pump and replace any necessary filters.Prevention is the key You are more likely to put petrol into a diesel tank as opposed to diesel in a petrol car as the nozzle simply does not fit, however it can still happen. The cost of misfuelling can range anywhere between $600 to a maximum of $25,000 depending on when you realised you have misfuelled your car.This is why prevention is the key. Purchasing a misfueling cap can be the difference in going on holiday this Christmas or forking out a small fortune to fix your vehicle when you could have easily prevented it.The SoloDiesel cap replaces your current fuel cap and is designed to prevent any narrower petrol nozzles from being inserted by simply blocking it before it enters the fuel neck. The innovative design allows you to refuel faster and correctly by utilising a flap system that opens when the nozzle is inserted and closes the moment it is removed enabling proper pressure regulation. Find out more about the SoloDiesel misfuelling cap.
WA’s Top 5 Beach Accessible 4WD Tracks
WA’s Top 5 Beach Accessible 4WD Tracks Recently we explored the local 4WD off road tracks ranging from Mundaring Powerlines to as far as Wellington National Park exposing some of the muddiest, wettest and diverse range of terrain Western Australia has to offer. In this article we take it to the sands and explore some of the most stunning 4WD accessible beaches along the coast of WA.1. Tim’s ThicketApproximately 70kms south of the Perth CBD and roughly 15kms south of Mandurah is Tim’s Thicket which is a small secluded beach just passed the dunes as well as a connecting 4WD track. Before entering the track you will have to lower your tyres pressure to prevent getting bogged in the sand. The track stretches for about 2kms south until you hit a small limestone reef which is only passable during low tide so if the tide has come in we recommend turning back. Passing the reef in low tide will eventually link back to Yalgorup National Park and back to where you started. Keep in mind that 4WDing is prohibited in the dunes and is only permitted on the beach and that no other vehicles are allowed including dirt bikes, 4 wheelers or buggies. 2. Preston BeachFurther south of Tim’s Thicket and approximately 60kms south of Mandurah lies Preston Beach which eventually also connects to Tim’s Thicket to the north creating a nice little scenic route. As the track is on sand it is recommended to deflate your tyres to prevent getting bogged. If you are taking the route south you will eventually hit Myalup, Binningup and eventually exiting at Buffalo Road. Same laws and regulations as Tim’s Thicket apply at Preston Beach. 3. Margaret RiverIf you are heading down south with the family these school holidays or just a getaway over a long weekend then Margaret River has some great scenic 4WD beach accessible tracks to visit while you’re there. One of the more popular 4WD tracks is Hamelin Bay Beach, famously known for stingrays coming up close and personal but be wary that the sand is extremely soft so deflating your tyres is a must. There are some easier firm sandy tracks available which include Joey Nose, 3 Bears Track which takes you from Cape Naturalist to Sugarloaf Rock in Yallingup, and North Point which is accessible off Caves Road. 4. WilbingaHeading into the opposite direction and approximately 70kms north of Perth in between Two Rocks and Guilderton is Wilbinga just north of Yanchep. It is currently the only 4WD accessible beach track in this area as Two Rocks and Yanchep are now off limits due to council regulations and new housing developments. The entrance to Wilbinga is a sandy track opposite Military Road located half way between Guilderton and Two Rocks. The track can range from firm to soft, and flat to hilly so make sure you are well equipped for each terrain and it would be wise to travel with a buddy – you do not want to get bogged out here. 5. LancelinAs we head further north, approximately 127km north of Perth we eventually arrive at the famous sand dunes of Lancelin. There are signs of conditions of entry so make sure to read them before entering and note that the dunes are open for 4WDing between 8am to 7am. The dunes are constantly changing depending on which way the wind blows, so it is always different just be weary that the terrain is quite soft so you will need to deflate your tyres. If you follow the track north you will eventually hit the beautiful beaches of Wedge Island, you can also access this beach through the entrance off Indian Ocean Drive.
Top 5 4WD Off Road Tracks in Perth
Top 5 4WD Off Road Tracks in Perth With spring finally here we can say goodbye to the mud and the rain as Perth’s 4WD tracks begin to dry. We admit, taking on those challenging muddy tracks can be exhilarating but at the same time extremely nerve-racking for a newbie who has never even experienced the chicken tracks. Whether you are experienced on inexperienced Perth has a lot to offer when it comes to 4WD tracks. Here is a list of some popular tracks: Mundaring PowerlinesArguably one of Perth’s most popular 4WD track is the Mundaring Powerlines which is located approximately 34kms east of Perth. The track incorporates all kinds of terrain including sand, rock, dust, clay and a lot of mud in winter, and usually takes 3-5 hours to complete depending on the experience of the driver. If you are an inexperienced driver we recommend staying away from the muddied tracks as getting bogged or even damaging your precious rig is highly likely. It is a good idea to always check the depth of the muddied track before attempting it to increase your chances of conquering it. Apart from the mud, Powerlines is a great 4x4 track for all ranges of skill level and is a good place to start. Julimar State ForestBeyond Powerlines and approximately 90kms out from Perth to the north east is Julimar State Forest, a country hill 4WD track mainly consisting of gravel, clay, dirt and a few bog holes. The forest is quite dense and some parts of the track can be very narrow so take it slow around turns and tuck your mirrors. The track offers 2 main hills as well as many small side roads and bends which lead to big open areas, and can take about 4 hours or more to complete including the bog holes. In winter the mud can be quite overwhelming so make sure to bring your recovery gear. Captain Fawcett TrackOne of the easier tracks to navigate to and through the Dwellingup area is the Captain Fawcett track. It’s located roughly 100kms out from Perth and offers a wide range of terrain to tackle including clay, mud, gravel, crossing creeks and even the Murray River. The individual track can take up to 3 hours to complete but Lane Poole Reserve which is also located in the area with similar terrain can be given a day to explore and complete. Unfortunately, the track has been closed over the winter season to prevent any environmental damage. Waroona DamJust slightly south of Dwellingup is Lake Navarino or commonly known as Waroona Dam and is approximately 120kms south of Perth. The track offers different levels of difficulty when it comes to terrain including bog holes, mud, bush tracks and gravel. During the winter periods some tracks can get seriously muddy so we recommend bringing the recovery gear and travelling with a partner in crime in case one of you get bogged. Wellington National ParkA bit of a stretch from Perth but worth the drive is the Harvey Dam tracks. Located approximately 250kms from Perth also offers a wide range of difficulty tracks from easy to extreme and can include mud, gravel, hill ascents and descents, rocks and crossing water. This track can be quite dangerous during the winter seasons as most of the terrain can get flooded so just stick to the well-maintained road and tracks. If you decide to tackle the more extreme ones, make sure you have appropriate suspensions for off-road driving.
Four-Wheel Driver Accessories: A Starter’s Guide
Four-Wheel Driver Accessories: A Starter’s Guide Now that you’ve got your 4WD and are ready to go, don’t forget to stock up on these key 10 accessories before taking off on your first 4x4 adventure.All those dreams of weekend getaways and adventurous drives are coming to fruition now that you have your own set of wheels. To fully enjoy the experience while still keeping yourself safe, be sure to look into these accessories before heading out. Bull Bar Ask anyone what is the most important part of your machine, and it’s this piece of metal out front. Considering most 4WDs have all the essential mechanical parts being protected by a simple bumper, and are still vulnerable to the smallest of knocks. As the name suggests, this metallic bar attaches to the front of the 4WD, and gives your vehicle a buffer between what might try to stop you, and yourself. When you’re hundreds of kilometres away from the nearest town, a knock by a kangaroo without a bar could put not only your car in serious danger, but your life. You won’t just look the part of a serious driver, but you’ll be out of harm’s way. Air Intake Snorkel Keeping an engine away from water is recommended to avoid water ingress, but if you’re going through a water crossing it’s unavoidable. Snorkels lessen the possibility of water getting into the guts of your engine. 4WD snorkels also work a treat when you’re driving in the dusty plains of Australia, helping get cooler, cleaner air into the engine. With all that dust being kicked up into the air, your air intake is amongst all of that. Gaps on the side by the snorkel’s top also force any dusty air you might pick up while in convoy too. If you happen to come across snowfall, snow can build up by your air intake and the radiator, so using a snorkel helps keep quality air into the engine. Long-Range Fuel Tank You might not be near a petrol station when you’re out and about – especially when you’re far from any civilisation at all. Needing all this extra oomph to your drive when you’re out on difficult terrain takes up a lot of your fuel very quickly. On top of that, towing a caravan or a boat can chew through the rest of your fuel, leaving you with just a finite amount of time with a stock tank. Most extended tanks are lightweight and tough, giving you hundreds of extra kilometres to explore without worry. Not only does it give peace of mind to have that added amount of fuel for the day, but you can plan when to fill the tank up and avoid the unpredictable petrol prices of stations and roadhouses away from town. Dual Batteries While in normal cases you should be fine with a singular battery, once you need to use your 4WD’s winch or want to add creature comforts like a car fridge, a battery’s charge gets drained quicker. Forget giving your truck a push-start if you’re out 4WDing – hill or no.Setting up a dual-charging system alleviates that concern – the extra battery will be ready to go if the first one goes flat. Camping with some creature comforts requires a bit of power, and that’s where an extra battery also comes in handy. Using electrical devices without draining the car’s battery makes for a less stressful sleep under the stars. Warn Winch When the 4WD is bogged out in the deep sand of the desert or stuck in wet mud, an electric winch will be your saviour. By finding an anchor point to wrap the metal wire rope around, the winch – built to withstand the weight of a 4WD – is strong enough to help pull out your vehicle out with its motor. Recovery Gear Sometimes you’ll be stuck in a place with no real anchor to connect your winch to, leaving you bogged and far from the others. Making use of an exhaust jack in places like soft sand – using your vehicle’s engine exhaust to inflate a bag underneath and raise the 4WD from the ground – and sliding some sand tracks underneath will get you back and running. This technique works in mud and snow too. Lift Jack A 4WD lift jack is another tool that is useful in getting part of your vehicle out of the trouble it’s found itself in. No need for electricity or exhaust fumes, your good ol’ arm muscle will help lift you out. These jacks can withstand a tonne, and can lift a good 48 inches – though you won’t need that much. Suspension Kit Stock standard suspension of some 4WDs should do for a mixture of normal road or 4x4 use, but once you start adding people, luggage, and any modifications made, prolonged use could add stress and flexing to the suspension, as well as affect wheel alignment. The nature of off-road terrain being unpredictable, you need a strong suspension kit designed to withstand the increased load carrying, as well as give you better handling. The last thing you want is to feel battered around left and right for hours on end. Driving Lights Your vehicle should come equipped with lights already, though depending on where you plan to drive, things get more difficult under less-than-ideal lighting situations. Night driving or being stuck under bad weather will hinder your vision, and by installing additional driving lights, will help get you through tough spots. LED driving lights and light bars can shine strongly in a concentrated area, ensuring that you see what’s ahead. Cargo Barriers This last one usually gets dropped off the radar, but can be a key part in safety inside the vehicle. With unexpected terrain comes unexpected bumps, and the contents of what’s inside the vehicle have a tendency to move around with it – a 4WD’s cargo hooks might not be enough to hold your heavy objects back if there’s a collision. While it also makes for a very tidy pack when heading out, this is a great addition to keep heavy stuff away from the front. Find out more about the products and services Total 4x4 offers.
Get Your 4X4 Beach Ready
Get your 4X4 beach ready Australia is home to many beautiful beaches, epic sand dunes and many an outdoor adventurer. So, it stands to reason that so many 4x4 enthusiasts are keen to hit the massive sandbanks. The Ford PX Range, Toyota Hilux, Toyota Prado, and Isuzu D Max are the top four 4x4 vehicles in the Australian market. While they are hardy vehicles, you still need to prepare yourself if you’re dreaming of fishtailing up and down pearly-white hummocks. There are a few things to take into consideration.Have you ever thought about what would happen if your 4x4 started slowly sinking into the sand, or the tide came in rapidly without you noticing?Here are a few tips to help plan your sandy adventure. These titbits of advice will allow you to enjoy drifting and driving on the beach, knowing that should something happen, you are well prepared. Beware of the tidesDo your homework on the beach you’re about to visit. First make sure that the beach allows the use of 4x4s, then find out about any incoming high tides. We recommend you start your trip on an outgoing high tide - the sand is firmer and you\'ll have adequate time to reach your destination before the next high tide returns. Stay clear of the water\'s bank - one wave is all it takes to lift or roll a vehicle. Lower your tyre pressureReducing your tyre pressure will spread the weight of your vehicle across a greater surface area, it also increases the surface area of the tyre in contact with the ground, making for better traction.When driving on sand you should reduce your tyre pressure to half that of your normal road driving pressure. If you find your engine struggling, then reduce tyre pressure some more. You can try reducing in 4psi increments until you’re satisfied. Finding the right pressure for your vehicle (taking into consideration the current conditions) can be a lot of trial and error – be prepared. Save those kilograms‘Just in case we need it.’You’ve heard the line many times before but removing unwanted fittings or miscellaneous items from your vehicle can make a big difference. Vehicles like the Holden RG Colorado, Nissan Navaro and the Mitsubishi MQ Triton, work best when the load is lightened. This way, the vehicle endures less strain, you’ll experience better fuel economy and there’s less chance of breakdowns and flat tyres. Also, think about the amount of time you’ll save on packing and unpacking. Prepare to get boggedBogging is when your vehicle gets stuck in wet or naturally soft ground – in your case, soft sand. When you’re with your 4x4 on the beach, always assume that at some point you’ll be bogged. So, come prepared. Keep essential equipment on hand to help you get out of a sticky (or sandy) situation. Total 4X4 has plenty of recovery gear available, including a handy X-Jack. View this video to see how easy it is to use.Before you attempt to de-bog yourself, always scoop the sand from the front and behind of all wheels. If you do get bogged, don\'t spin the wheels. This will only dig the tyres in deeper.If you’re well prepared, then you’re guaranteed to have a great time and not a 4x4 disaster. With these handy tips, you’re all set to enjoy a 4x4 adventure on Australia’s beautiful coastline.Let us help you prepare for the journey. Contact us today and find out about out 4x4 accessories.
See All Categories