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The 4x4 accessories you need for your truck

The 4x4 accessories you need for your truck

So you’ve decided a small 4x4 truck is a great basis for a touring vehicle. The next decision is accessories. What 4x4 truck accessories are available, and what should you get? Andrew and Peta Murray from Top Wire Traveller have a few ideas for you…

 

4x4 Truck Accessories - What’s Available?

 

You might be surprised what accessories are available for small 4x4 trucks. A few companies specialise in 4x4 truck accessories, so you have a range of products to choose from.

Let’s have a look at what you can get, broken into broad categories.

 

Suspension and Off-Road Performance

 

1. Parabolic Springs

 

Small Japanese trucks are renowned for their poor ride. Parabolics replace the standard leaf springs all around to take some of the harshness out of the ride.

Make sure you change the shock absorbers too. Go for a quality damper, it will transform your truck’s ride. The cheaper ones won’t last and won’t do the job.

 

2. Super Single Wheels

 

19.5-inch alloy rims and tyres replace the standard 17.5-inch wheels. Why bother? A few reasons:

  • Larger tyres give a smoother ride, especially over corrugations.
  • The front and rear have the same wheel track. You really notice this when pushing through deep sand or mud.
  • Rocks can no longer wedge between the tyres, thus avoiding potential sidewall damage and blowouts.
  • With a suspension/tyre upgrade, the truck will sit about 4 inches (100mm) higher, giving you more ground clearance.

  

4x4 Truck Accessories. Super singles and suspension upgradeSuper singles, parabolic springs and quality dampers will give you a smoother ride on roads like this.

 

3. Front Limited Slip Diff

 

While you can’t buy an air locker, you can get a limited slip diff (LSD). We have one that performs more like a locker than an LSD. It’s fully automatic and seamless, making a huge difference to the truck’s off-road capability.

 

4. Raised Breather Kit

 

Some of these trucks have surprisingly shallow wading depths. You can fix this with a raised breather kit covering diffs, fuel tanks, transmission and transfer case.

 

5. Spring-Mounted Tray

 

4x4 trucks have plenty of chassis flex. However, when a tray is fitted, it’s generally bolted straight onto the chassis rails. This, of course, limits chassis flex.

Avoid this by mounting the tray on spring mounts. They allow the chassis to do its thing independently of the tray.

Believe me, it works! The tray simply floats on top of the chassis, protecting our gear from damage.

 

Safety Gear

 

There are a few essentials when travelling into remote areas.

 

1. Bull Bar

 

You can get alloy or steel bull bars with mounts to suit a 17,500lb winch.

 

2. Lighting

 

An LED light bar or spotlights are a good investment. Just make sure they’re 24V compatible.

  

4x4 Truck Accessories. Bullbar, front winch and light barThis is an alloy bullbar with a 17,500lb winch installed, built-in recovery points and mounts for antennas.
 

3. Reversing Camera

 

Depending on your setup, a reversing camera can be handy. The safety benefits are obvious.

 

4. Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

 

The TPMS will warn you when a tyre begins to deflate. So you avoid the potential of blowouts, saving both the tyre and your vehicle from possible major damage.

 

5. UHF Radio

 

A quality UHF will last many years. Ours was transplanted from a previous 4WD. It’s over 13 years old and still going strong!

Remember a UHF will not replace a satellite phone or EPIRB. They are for line-of-sight communication only. But they’re invaluable when overtaking (or being overtaken by) a heavy vehicle.

 

Towing

 

A 4x4 truck is an ideal tow vehicle. They’re solid, stable and will happily drag a heavy load for half a million kilometres or more.

 

1. Towbar

 

You can buy towbar kits from the major suppliers. But there’s another option.

We elected to get a combined tow bar/winch kit. So we have a second 17,500lb winch at the rear, just in case! The tow bar itself will accept standard hitches.

This tow bar/winch kit also gives us two super-solid recovery points at the rear.

 

4x4 Truck Accessories. Tow bar/winch package with sturdy recovery pointsA tow bar and winch package like this one also comes with sturdy recovery points.


2. Brake Controller

 

Obviously, we needed a brake controller and decided to go with the REDARC Tow-Pro Elite. With the truck being 24V, we also needed a REDARC VRM-REV Trailer Lighting Voltage Reducer.

 

Electrical

 

1. Second Battery System

 

Because we work and travel full-time on the road, we need a reliable system to keep our laptops and other devices charged.

This article best describes what we did and how we achieved this.

 

2. Voltage Reducers

 

You’ll need to consider how to drop the voltage from 24V to 12V when you’re purchasing 4x4 truck accessories. Things like UHF radios, fuel switching valves for auxiliary tanks, trailer lighting and so on.

24V - 12V voltage reducers are readily available on the market. However, sometimes it’s easier just to leave the existing components alone and run a separate system.

Using the 12V second battery system, we’ve added USB ports in the cab and run things like the UHF radio, a 12V mobile phone signal booster and a 12V REDARC inverter. This way, we can buy standard 12V equipment rather than specialised 24V gear.

Consider this before you get too far down the electrical accessories track.

  

Everything Else

 

We’ve covered the big hitters. Now I’ll list a few other 4x4 truck accessories, just to give you some food for thought.

  • Second fuel tank with manual switching valve or secondary transfer pump.
  • Cruise control. Some 4x4 trucks have it, others (like the Isuzu NPS) don’t.
  • Window tinting. With a huge glass area, this is virtually essential.
  • Performance chip or ECU re-map. I’ll sit on the fence here. After fitting then removing a chip, I can see there are pros and cons to doing this.
  • Seat upgrade. You might consider this. However, try upgrading your shockies before you go changing seats. It worked for us.
  • Water tanks undertray. The choices are endless here.

 

Final Comments

 

Surprisingly, there’s a multitude of 4x4 truck accessories readily available on the market. You’ll just have to do some digging to find them.

With the right accessories to suit your needs, you can turn a 4x4 truck into a highly capable off-road tourer.


You can follow Andrew and Peta’s outback travel adventures via their website and on Facebook, TwitterPinterest and YouTube.

 

 

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Comments
14/06/2018 10:26 AM
Hi. One thing you forgot to mention is the fuel consumption of these vehicles. They are quite thirsty compared to the normal ute. Definitely something to look into when considering buying one of these vehicles.
15/06/2018 7:31 AM
Hi Peter. Good point about fuel consumption. Although it's not as bad as you might think.

We consistently get around 18.5 l/100km and we're around 6 tonnes. This is about the same as someone towing a van or heavy camper.

The only difference is when we're empty. Economy is still about 18.5 l/100km, whereas a 4WD ute or wagon is probably half this.