Sam Eyles from Built not Bought (BNB) could have one of the most recognisable Nissan Patrols in Australia, and one of the most loyal online followings in the game. REDARC sat down with Sam to talk all things BNB and find out how filming a trip to Cape York has since seen him gain a cult following.
How did Built not Bought start?
Built Not Bought started almost by accident after filming a 2 month trip to Cape York with my mates. I only had the intention of showing friends and family these videos but it quickly gained traction online and generated a small following.
Not long after I sold my 4wd to buy a ute version where I planned to rebuild from the ground up, I decided to document the whole build after getting lots and lots of questions from people about what I was doing, and Built Not Bought was born!
Your YouTube channel has seen major success not only here but all over the world, why do you think people love to tune in?
I think what sets Built Not Bought apart is the relatability and entertainment style of the content. I was just in my backyard shed with not a lot of money and no fancy equipment. I show the good and the bad which I’m sure a lot of people relate to when I completely mess something up and show it on camera. It’s almost like I’m learning as I’m going along and everyone watching is learning too from my mistakes.
What’s the best and hardest part of your job?
The best part of my job is being able to do what I love every day. I have a strong passion for not only the mechanical side of things but also a passion for the videography, editing and creative process. I am very fortunate to be able to combine everything I love into my every day.
The hardest part is all of the behind the scenes. What people see on TV is only the final product. There is hours and hours of behind the scenes work that going into planning the build/episode and executing them to the standard I am after.
How does someone get into the off-road lifestyle? What’s your number one tip?
It's very easy, especially in Australia. We have some of the most amazing natural terrains in the world, right on our doorstep! You don’t need the biggest, baddest 4wd to get out there.
In fact, running a cheap bush basher 4wd, to begin with, is what I recommend so you're not too worried about damage, and will quickly learn a lot about mechanics when you're spending every weekend fixing it. That’s half the fun, right?
What would be your advice to someone who wants to start their own channel on 4WDriving?
Starting a YouTube channel and making videos is very easy. The hard part is setting yourself apart. You have to find a niche, a point of difference. If you go out there and make videos similar to someone else’s you will always be a step behind.
Once you have that nailed, the next biggest thing is consistency. If you pick and choose days to post videos it will be hard to build a following. But if you stay consistent with say, a video every 2 weeks, then your audience will know it's coming and your following will grow with ease.
What are your top three tips when planning about your vehicle’s electrical setup?
Number one – Workout what you are planning to run off your 12V system and estimate the total power draw if everything is connected. From there you can make sure everything is sized correctly. There is nothing worse than building a complete 12V system that isn’t up to the task.
Number two – Spend the extra time in the layout of the cables and keep everything neat and tidy. This might be a bit of extra work on the front end, but trust me when it comes to fault finding down the track, you will be thankful you did so!
Number three – Take advantage of Australia’s most abundant energy source, the sun! Solar is an absolute game changer and gives you peace of mind when you're away camping for the weekend, safe in the knowledge that your batteries will stay in tip-top condition while you're parked up on that beautiful beachfront.
What is your favourite camp-cooked meal?
I can't cook, whether it's at home or away camping. The best-cooked meal for me is anything someone else makes.
What do you listen to on the drive to nowhere?
Who doesn’t love a good country playlist? haha
If you could hit the road for a long-term trip, what is the number one destination on your list?
It’s got to be Tassie for me, a place I have been trying to get to for a while now. I have done the opposite end of Australia to Cape York and it was bloody awesome. But to head down south to the wet muddy tracks would make for a bloody good time.
You’ve been using REDARC products for a number of years now, what do you feel makes our gear different from other brands?
I have never used anything other than REDARC, especially with DC-DC charging, and the gear speaks for itself. Being an Australian owned company you know it is built to withstand our tough conditions. Also, for a company to be running for over 40 years and still be at the top of their game and continuously innovating, you know they are moving with the times and keeping up to date with the modern technology in new 4wd vehicles.
If you're looking to start your next 4x4 upgrade but not sure what products will help with your power management needs. take the REDARC virtual product tour to find out more.