Summertime means summer holidays. Pack up the kids and load up the esky, we’re going on a road trip! Oh and don’t forget the goggles, or the flippers, or the bread… or the snags… or.. there’s a lot of things to try to remember, isn’t there?
Something you might forget about, or something you might not realise, is there are accessories for your 4WD, like 4WD awnings, that will make your trip that much more enjoyable. Here are 5 of the, in our opinion, most important things you need to get your 4WD ready this summer!
1. 4WD Awnings
The Australian sun is as rough as nails on your skin. Sure, you can do the regular slip, slop, slap manifesto we’ve all been taught from conception, but you should also have a comfortable outdoor space where you can seek refuge. Attaching the best 4WD awning to your 4WD is a great and popular solution adventurers have used around the country for years. It provides you with an easy-to-use, convenient sun, wind and rain shade in a tight roll on your roof rack. The roof rack awning really is remarkable. Retractable 4WD awnings even have canvas walls that can be attached that increase protection from the elements and make it a sort of tent. When choosing a car awning, there are a few things you need to consider:
- Material and construction/quality
- The poles and fittings it comes with
There are two kinds of awnings:
A side awning is when the awning is attached to, as the name suggests, the side of your car, usually the passenger side (purely preference). They get pulled out in a straight line and are mounted to the ground with two poles. They are the most popular option because they are; simple, versatile and easy-to-set-up.
A foxwing awning, or batwing awning, is the other type of awning. They are larger and come out of the side of the car and stretch round to the rear on a folding arm/pivot arm, offering 270° of coverage. What they lack in usability, they make up for in protection.
Mounting and Maintaining Your 4WD Awning
When it comes to mounting and maintaining your awning to the roof rack, there are three things you must do to ensure its longevity.
- Mount It Flush: When traveling down 4WD trails, it’s no secret your vehicle is hit with a barrage of sticks, twigs and obstacles. You want to make your vehicle and its accessories as compact as possible to avoid getting snagged on these obstacles. As such, install your awning as flush to your roof racks as possible.
- Pack It Away Dry: Your 4WD awning will inevitably get wet. However, you should try to never pack it away into its case while wet. Packing it away wet creates a breeding ground for mould and bacteria, which will ruin your awning. If you do happen to pack it away wet, you should roll it back out at your next available opportunity when it isn’t raining to dry it off.
- Use Your Pegs: When setting up your awning you should always use the pegs it comes with to secure it to the ground. It might not seem windy now, and you might only be unpacking it for a second, but it only takes one gust of wind to do some serious damage to the awning, your car, or even yourself.
2. Breathable Tent
4WD awnings are great for increasing the livable outdoor area of your campsite, but you also want to be comfortable indoors, or should I say “in-zips”, while camping this summer. Rooftop tents are the ultimate form of ease and luxury when it comes to camping, but aren’t necessarily for all beginners. Getting a breathable tent that will keep mosquitos out, but let the breeze in, will seriously improve your camping experience, and is suited to all levels of camping.
People are well aware of the importance of your tent in winter, you don’t want to get wet and cold. Summer is the opposite side of the coin, and equally as important. You will have just as terrible of a sleep if you are overheated and bothered.
3. Camping Fridge and Ice Box
There aren’t many things better than tucking into an ice-cold bottle of suds in the middle of summer while watching a sunset on the beach. It would be gut wrenching to go and get your frothy only to find out it’s been sitting at the same cozy 40℃ “room temperature” that your car has been in all day. Congratulations, you neglected to get an appropriate ice box and now your beer is burning your top lip.
Finding an appropriate ice box, or making sure your 4WD fridge is working, is essential during summer. Drinks are better cold, and food lasts just a bit better when it isn’t exposed to blistering heat. I will tell you now that the chicken you left in the sunny side of your boot will not be okay to eat.
Camp fridges can be a headache to try and install, so if you’re having troubles, contact a 4WD specialist to give you a hand.
4. Recovery Gear
4WDing means going places normal cars can’t go. Summer means beaches, and there probably isn’t an easier place to get bogged and stuck than the beach. This means you’re going to need the appropriate recovery gear. The basics you will need:
- Long handled shove
- Tyre air pressure gauge
- Air compressor
- Snatch strap
- Strong recover points and bow shackles
- Recovery track boards (very useful on solo beach trips)
5. Bring Everything (minus the kitchen sink)
Have a think, what will you need? A bit of time and some general common sense will usually get you ready.
You’re camping at night? You probably need a source of light. How are you going to hold the torch? Head torches are pretty convenient. What are you going to cook on? Do you need a gas stove or have you got a hot plate for your fire pit? Have you got a bin? Sunscreen! Don’t forget the sunscreen! Take some time out of your day before you leave to have a good hard think.
The Place to Get Your 4WD Accessories
Total 4×4 is the one-stop shop for all truck, passenger and 4WD accessories with over 30 years of experience in both residential and commercial. Our extensive range of retractable 4WD awnings in Perth and 4WD accessories will definitely get you ready this summer. We have the products, we have the installers, come give us a visit!