It’s a interesting question that will vary greatly on your budget, your intentions on the road and your lifestyle choices. What we are listing below are the items we bought for our vehicle and whether we now consider it as being worth while or not.
On our Holden Colorado 4wd we added the following additions.
Items we now recommend
Bullbar / Roobar –Yes recommended it, So would probably most Aussies out there that have ever driven country roads.
UHF –Yes recommend it, we use it frequently to communicate to road trains that they can pass etc. Also may help us if someone is in range when we break down in a remote area.
Snorkel –Yes I recommend it. Very useful for keeping the dust out of your air cleaner during the many dusty sandy roads you’ll travel.
Tekonsha p3 brake controller – This brake controller has worked flawlessly. However Redarc is another good brand
K&N air filter – Expensive at first but these air filters aren’t throw away items. They are serviceable and very good at letting your engine breath whilst blocking out the dust and dirt.
Rear ute Canopy –Yes recommend – The extra “dry” space is very handy but also a good security deterrent.
Upgraded suspension –Absolutely. We got a constant 300kg upgrade kit for the front and rear of our ute and on top of that a extra leaf in the rear to make the back 350kg constant load. Our ute handles great with the load in the back and towing the caravan.
Rear view camera – I’m glad I installed this as it makes backing up to the towball very easy everytime.
Secondary fuel filter system. – We once had a Holden commodore we took for a trip through the back roads of Queensland. Filling up at a out of the way fuel station we got a load of water in the fuel and the car crawled home. Our 4wd has what is called common rail diesel injection system. If we get water through that it could be a $5000 and upwards mistake. Something I didn’t want to risk for the sake of a $350 secondary fuel filter.
Dual battery –Yes comes in very handy if trying to run an extra fridge in the back or need to jump start your main battery ( happened to us 4 times to date). For us we mainly use the dual battery for running our coffee machine and big consuming appliances via a 2000w inverter in the back of the ute.
Dual battery wiring and DCDC charger
Dual battery and Inverter
Solar panel and canopy
Solar panel – used for charging the dual battery and yes highly recommend it if you’re adding a dual battery.
Navigation unit – Sometimes you may want to throw it out the window when told to take a street you can’t turn around in but … for the purpose of navigating around AustraliaI consider it a must.
Small 4wd air compressor – We have a thumper air compressor. Ideal for pumping up tyres before hitting the road or if you get a flatty and have a 4wd puncture kit with you. Also handy when needing to re inflate tyres after doing a beach drive on sand.
Milenco Mirrors – You’ll need mirrors for legally towing a van. Milenco mirrors were definitely worth the $130 or there abouts. they don’t move when road trains go past you, they are easy to install and remove, they are not over priced like clearviews are and don’t vibrate when driving. All round a good mirror.
Anderson weight distribution hitch
A weight distribution hitch is not something everyone needs but if you do and are deciding between a hayman reece and a Anderson weight distribution hitch i’d personally recommended the Anderson everytime. I did a write up on that subject here
Items we now consider not so vital but nice to have
Driving lights –Not vital as we personally don’t often drive at night BUT…. when we do yes i’m glad we got a KOR light bar as additional lighting.
Winch –Not important if you’re planning on staying on the bitumen. We havent had the need for it yet but one day the intention is to go 4wd’n and pitch a tent. Also bare in mind the additional weight that adds to your vehicle if you’re not going to use it.
Bullbar with winch
Car cover – My thinking was when in the 45+C heat in the outback I could put a car cover on and protect the inside. Haven’t used it in a year other than to lie on when doing some under vehicle maintenance. I now consider it not important.
DCDC charger – Used for charging the dual battery while driving. I no longer recommend this as we discovered we don’t do enough Km’s for it to charge the battery properly. ( We average 200 – 250km each time we move from one place to the other) Preferred choice is the solar panel we mounted to the canopy roof
Dash Cam –Not vital, but certainly handy if an incident happens in front of you one day. May save you explaining it to the police or insurance company. Also nice to revert back to the dash cam for scenery shots to share with friends and family.
Rear ute draw system – For us personally I use our rear draws daily. That’s more so because I have an excess of tools but for the average person these might be more a want not a need. However bare in mind they can still weigh quite a bit even when empty.
Extra jerry cans – One or two is ok if you’re just driving on the bitumen. You’ll find that most petrol stations are only 300km distance apart so one jerry can is fine. If however you travel the dirt tracks or off road then if you can hold three jerry cans then that’s definitely worth considering as 3 twenty litre cans is almost a full tank on some vehicles. Alternatively get a long range tank. Just depends how much money and space and weight you have. Long range tanks which generally hold an extra 40 litres or so can be $800 and upwards. a 20 litre jerry can start at $15 🙂
A generator – In some cases a generator is a must for certain people with health issues. But for the general person, some solar panels and a extra battery is all you need. However we do still have a generator because when stuck in the outback with no one around we use it to run the air conditioning if there is no one to disturb near by when running it. But to be honest the only time in the last year we have used it was purely just to see if it still goes.
A few extra’s that I could see being handy that we don’t have are :
Roof rack – Any space is good space providing your not exceeding your vehicle weight limits.
Fridge for the back of the ute
Transmission cooler if you have an Automatic
Pull out 4wd awning – these usually attach to the roof rack and i can see why 4wd guys would have them. Not convinced it’s really needed if you tow a van but I can see multiple uses for it.
I’m sure I could think of several more items but in general the above list has proven to be handy for our lifestyle and needs.
Hope that helps.
Do you have any other items not mentioned that might benefit those wondering what to get ? add your comments below