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Upgrading a 200 Series LandCruiser for off-road travel

Upgrading a 200 Series LandCruiser for off-road travel

Adventure Offroad Training is a Perth based company that specialises in 4WD training and tag-along tours.

In 2018 they decided to upgrade their training vehicle from a Toyota 120 Series Prado VX to a Toyota 200 Series Landcruiser VX that would be equipped and ready to tackle some of the harshest locations around the country.

REDARC caught up with the team to find out how our RedVision Total Vehicle Management System has become an integral part of their off-road touring and has helped make their LandCruiser one of the most highly automated and customised rigs in the country.

 

Upgrading our 4x4 with RedVision

 

Having already tried and tested many of the REDARC products on our previous vehicle, we wanted to take the 200 to the next level for both training and touring purposes. Having spoken to REDARC, we expressed an interest in the Total Vehicle Management System known as RedVision.

The plan was to integrate a system that would allow us to monitor and control all loads and accessories whilst the vehicle was in use or parked up at a campsite. For this, we would need plenty of battery reserve or the ability to recharge the battery or both. We liked the last option! 

 

Our 200 Series LandCruiser upgrade

 

Working closely with the REDARC Tech Support team we were able to build the perfect 200 series dual battery setup. After assessing all of the on-board accessories we wanted to be able to fit and switch through RedVision, including auxiliary power sockets, a fridge, freezer, travel oven, cell-fi booster, twin compressor, UHF radio and auxiliary interior lighting, this build would be the finished article from years of extensive experience off-road and camping.

Most touring 4WDs would have all of this built into the drawer system in a wagon or on a panel in the back of a ute. We wanted to integrate the system so that the vehicle looked standard, with the flexibility to be able to use the vehicle with all its seats in, or with a modular drawer system. This meant using space that is not typically utilised when installing these accessories, such as behind the panel work. 

 

RedVision panel installation

 

Five days of R&D and a lot of head-scratching later and we were able to incorporate RedVision, The Manager30, an ARB twin compressor, UHF radio and a REDARC Tow-Pro Elite in behind the right-hand quarter panel of the 200 series.

With the ability to access fuses and wiring through existing removable panels, this was the perfect place to keep things tidy. With five 10amp and five 30amp circuits, we were able to configure RedVision so that we could add the range of accessories as the vehicle build progressed, like water tanks, an inverter and solar panels

 

RedVision wiring setup 

With the basics installed and wired, but with a lot of R&D still ahead to finish the build it was time to configure and test the system. An upcoming trip to Dirk Hartog Island was the perfect opportunity for this. Time to download the new REDARC Configurator app, then configure RedVision after watching the handy YouTube tutorial. 

 

 

With RedVision configured and the AGM deep cycle battery installed, the system was plugged into the mains via the battery management system. The following day all data from the battery was displayed, including loads, state of charge and days available at the current draw rate. Awesome!

 

So what did we think?

 

With the vehicle loaded, the fridge and the freezer down to temperature and the interior quarter panel still off we set off for Dirk Hartog Island where we certainly gave the system a shakedown. The corrugations were brutal and any dodgy connections would definitely be found.

 

The system worked flawlessly and we were able to manage the battery and loads day by day, whether we were out exploring with the vehicle supplying alternator voltage to the Manager30 or having a day in camp using the 150W solar blanket to do the same.

One of the things we like most about RedVision is the ability to control and monitor the system from two sources; via the downloadable app on your smartphone or the LCD monitor screen supplied with the unit. The other is that in the unlikely event that these fail RedVision can be manually switched via micro-switches on the system box.

 

RedVision remote display 

With modern 4WDs, it is getting harder and harder to wire in and run your accessories without affecting the vehicle’s proprietary systems. RedVision is perfectly placed to do this. This system will change the way we camp with and use our 4WDs for years to come.

REDARC products are innovative in design, and their back-up and sales service is excellent. We believe that the continued ongoing development of RedVision, like so many of REDARC’s products, means that it is going to be the mainstay for people setting up and using their vehicle in the future. 

 

If you're wanting to explore more of Western Australia on 4 wheels, contact Adventure Offroad Training today. 

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