Adventure begins where the bitumen ends! If this is your motto too, you’re going to need some must have 4×4 accessories.
While an offroad 4×4 adventure is the best way to discover what you will personally need on your future trips, in this blog, we’re sharing our top 10+ must have 4×4 accessories. This is everything (for the most part) that we take with us on our trips – and wouldn’t leave home without.
What should I have for a 4WD trip?
If you’re just getting started with your offroad adventures, you’ve probably asked yourself this question. However, while what you take on your 4WD trip is personal in nature to you, how you like to travel and where you’re going, there are a few must have 4×4 accessories.
Where you intend to travel will determine what you need for your trip. If you’re heading into the red centre, you probably wouldn’t leave home without a 4WD awning (we wouldn’t recommend it anyway). If you’re going off the grid to do some heavy four wheeling up in the Cape, you’ll want to make sure your 4×4 is reliable (and serviced) – and capable of the Gunshot!
Of course, water, fuel and food are non-negotiables (as are beers, according to Rafa!), plus a few other things like fire starters, lighter, knife, coils and mozzie repellent.
We recently drove from Cairns, to Brisbane, to Adelaide, to Perth and then back through the Red Centre and Uluru to Cairns, and here’s what must have 4×4 accessories we took with us (in no particular order).
Top 10+ must have 4x4 accessories for your next road trip
- Reliable car: Rafa is very good at making sure our car is serviced regularly and fixing anything that needs doing before a disaster strikes! Before you’re heading out on a trip, especially if you’re going off-road, check your car and prepare for the unexpected. After driving on a corrugated road, we also check under the car, under the bonnet and inside the car for any nuts and bolts that have come loose … you’re always bound to find at least one and wonder where it came from!
- Shade: Of course, the Destination4WD freestanding 270 awning (the best 4WD awning!)is never off our 4×4, and we have been to some of the most remote places with it. Hot sun, pouring rain, hail, strong winds, we don’t think you can get by without a good solid (Aussie-made) awning. There have been plenty of times where we have pulled up for lunch and put out the awning because it only takes a minute to set up so we can enjoy lunch under the shade. Imagine going into the desert without a shade source or into the tropics with no rain cover; plenty of people do.
- Toilet: Love our portable toilet. We do a lot of free camping in remote places, and rarely stay in caravan parks, so a portable toilet is essential for us and also for the environment, plus, a lot of places require you to have one
- Good bed: We are rolling with a swag at the moment, and upgraded it with a double stretcher this recent half-lap we did. It’s comfy enough if you can handle the bar down the middle of the stretcher. It’s either that or be on the ground, and last year it rained so much that we decided we’d prefer to be up off the ground this time. (PS – there is a stretcher now with no bar!).
- Water tank: We travel with a 50-litre water tank and depending on it we are going remote, we also take a 20-litre jerry. We fill up with water any time we can, even when we don’t really need to.
- Boxes: We have three boxes, one for the kitchen, one for our expos or clothes depending on the type of trip, and one for our spares. We have at times used various boxes, including Expedition 134.
- Inverter and charging station: We work on the road, so before we started travelling QLD in 2020 during covid, Rafa put in an inexpensive inverter box and second battery system. While it’s nothing flash, it has served us well for charging phones, lights, camera batteries, computers and we have even used a stick blender with it. We now have a lithium battery so we can be off the grid for longer.
- Solar: BL = before lithium! We were caught out a few too many times where we ran out of power because we were off the grid for too long, so we bought a solid solar power system and have never looked back.
- Air compressor: We always have a portable air compressor with us, which just stays in the car and that we believe is a must have 4×4 accessory. However, not everyone travels with a compressor. You need to be able to inflate your tyres when you are remote and not near a service station, plus you also need it if you repair a punctured tyre and need to air up (and for simple pleasures like an inflatable ring or paddle board when you’re near water!).
- Box of spares: I mentioned earlier we always travel with a box of spares and we have added to this over time. Funnily, on our last trip we did a fan belt pulley outside of Esperance, WA. Luckily, we had one in our box of spares. We carry fan belts, light bulbs, an extra alternator, 4WD hubs, nuts, bolts, hoses and whatever else we think we might need. Rafa’s motto is “it’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.” We got caught out at Cape Melville, QLD, bogged, with the tide coming in, in croc-infested waters, and no 4WD because the hubs wouldn’t engage … so now we always carry hubs! You learn as you go!
- Fridge: A fridge is one of the essentials if you’re travelling offroad and off the grid. Even better, a fridge/freezer … we only have a fridge, which can be a pain if you’re wanting to travel for longer and can’t take frozen food.
- Chairs and table: We carry two chairs and two tables; a long table for expos and when we are camping out for a few days (it makes meal prep easier) and a small table for our cooker. We also have a side table that attaches to our fridge slide, which is fantastic for taking things out of the fridge and making a quick snack when we’re on the road.
- Shower tent: We have always had a shower tent, but have upgraded it a few times. We started with a popup shower tent that you peg down and is separate from the car. Then we upgraded to a vehicle-mounted shower tent, which was better but still small and closed in. Now we have created our own shower tent – The Bathroom Tent – which is massive so you don’t touch the sides when showering or getting dressed. It spans 1.8m wide when open! It is a nice luxury when you’re off the grid.
- Rubbish bag: Be part of the solution, not the pollution! One of our core values at Destination4WD is to look after the environment and leave any place we visit better than we found it. That’s why we created the all-Aussie made, heavy-duty canvas Destination4WD modular Garbage Bag.
- Recovery gear & tyre deflator: One of the things we never leave home without, even if we are not planning to do any off-roading or hard 4WD tracks, is our recovery gear. You never know where the wind will take you, so we always travel prepared with shackles, snatch strap and rope, plus a tyre deflator to air down and up. We highly recommend Saber Offroad recovery gear and Maxtrax recovery boards.
- Crashpad boxes for food: We travel with at least a week’s worth of food in our “pantry” which is 3x Crashpad soft boxes with clear tops. In our current setup, we have two drawers at the rear of the car and the fridge slider. One of the drawers is for our food and the other one houses the cooker and various tools. We also try to travel with convenient foods, sadly this means more packaging, but it is easier on the road, for example, cooked rice that can just be reheated, and having some tinned tomatoes and red beans means we can make a very easy bean dip when we are remote with no access to fresh vegetables.
- UHF: We use a GME UHF two-way, which has proven extremely valuable to talk with other travellers, truckies and people we travel with to stay in touch and stay safe on the road.
- Spare tyre: Make sure your spare tyre is still in its use-by date and is still OK to use should you need it (tyres have an expiration date).