Blog

Show current content as RSS feed

All Four x 4 Spares Blog

Our All Four x 4 Spares Blog provides great information on the 4wd Industry in general. Please check back on a regular basis as we explore a range of issues that are important to our industry.

 

1 - 10 of 59 results
Published on by

Which Towing Mirrors to buy: MSA 4x4 VS Clearview VS Milenco compared

Read entire post: Which Towing Mirrors to buy: MSA 4x4 VS Clearview VS Milenco compared

 

MSA_-_TOWING-MIRRORS

 

When you start towing bigger trailers like trailer boats or caravans, it's crucial that you can see them down the sides of your vehicle

 

Suppose you're driving on the road with your van or trailer. In that case, you'd need to safely negotiate around corners and other vehicles, and you've got to see around the car in situations like when you're changing lanes.

 

When you've got a full-width caravan, 2.5 meters wide, you're probably not going to be able to do that with your vehicle's factory's existing mirrors

 


Do you (legally) need towing mirrors for a caravan in Australia?

 

Yes! In Australia, it is a legal (road and traffic) requirement to have caravan towing mirrors unless the vehicle used for towing has already been factory fitted with mirrors wider than the caravan and provides a clear view along the entire length of the caravan in tow.

 

You must be able to see along the whole length of the caravan at its widest point and a further 20 Meters behind it.

 

You can familiarise yourself with the Australian Design Rules (ADRs) national standards for vehicle safety here.

towing_distance_-_20m_-_All_Four_x_4_Spares

 

 

 

So, what are the best options for caravan tow mirrors in Australia?

 

Among the most popular ones in the market, you'll find different types:

  • Clip-on
  • Door mounted
  • Extendable

 

In this article, we'll go through these styles offered by three of the most popular brands of tow mirrors in Australia to choose which one will best suit your needs.

 

 


MSA Towing Mirrors

 

msa_towing_mirrors_all_four_x_4_spares3

 

 

 

 

MSA 4x4 extended towing mirrors can be a terrific addition to many 4x4s as they provide a complete vision for the length of the trailer or caravan being towed.

 

MSA 4X4 has designed a brand-new range of towing mirrors that extend your field of vision past the trailer for towing/reversing or launching your boat at boat ramps whilst being unobtrusive for everyday driving.

 

MSA 4X4's product designers stated, "We think 'towing' mirrors is a restrictive description for an 'all-round driving and towing mirror' like ours. 'Towing mirrors' are great for towing but annoying when not required.

 

Whilst 4WDing on tracks when you're not towing the van, or merely parking at shopping centres and in garages, regular towing mirrors can be a burden."

 

The perfect design solution is an all-around driving and towing mirror.

 

These are mirrors designed for all-around driving and towing that, when not towing, still look proportionate to the size and styling of the vehicle.

 

The new MSA 4X4 Driving Mirrors feature a unique design with a large single mirror that pivots on an extremely heavy-duty extension slide, that allows the mirror to be returned to its normal "non-towing" position, to avoid the extended mirrors permanently protruding off the sides of the vehicle.

 

These mirrors feature four different mirror positions for any situation:

 

  1. Unextended non-towing horizontal position
  2. Unextended non-towing vertical position
  3. Extended horizontal position
  4. Extended vertical position

 

msa_towing_mirrors_all_four_x_4_spares1

 

 

  • The mirror's actuator automatically adapts when rotating into the horizontal position, allowing you to keep the standard adjustments (up, down, side to side) from your vehicle's standard mirror adjustor.
  • Simple to fit
  • The large, single mirror allows you to see your caravan/trailer sides without being too bulky for everyday driving.

 

msa_towing_mirrors_all_four_x_4_spares2

 

 

  • Unique pivot design allows the mirrors to maintain standard position dimensions whilst allowing the easy further extension.
  • It can be adjusted to suit any driver's viewing angle and preferences. Vertical and horizontal adjustment caters to drivers of differing heights and seated positions.
  • Designed to fold inwards or outwards when bumped in car parks or when in contact with trees and other obstacles around the vehicle
  • Market Leading 5-year Warranty
  • Tested & Approved ADR Compliant
  • MSA 4X4's Driving Mirrors mount onto your 4WD door in the same position as your existing mirrors.
  • Injection moulded and diecast aluminium components deliver a high-quality towing mirror to withstand Australian conditions!
  • They are designed for towing caravans, camper trailers, boats, and horse floats.
  • Mirrors will be available to suit 13 Models initially, with more additions planned to fit popular tow vehicles.

 

Here below the full vehicle list availability:

 

 

SUITABLE FOR

  DESCRIPTION

 

FORD

 

 

Ford Everest 2015 - Current

  • Black - Electric - No Indicators
  • Chrome - Electric - No Indicators
  • Black - Electric - Indicators
  • Chrome - Electric - Indicators
  • Black - Electric - Indicators - Heated - Blind Spot monitoring
  • Chrome - Electric - Indicators - Heated - Blind Spot monitoring
  • Black - Electric - Indicators - Heated
  • Chrome - Electric - Indicators - Heated

Ford Ranger 2012 - Current

  • Black - Electric - Heated - No Indicators
  • Chrome- Electric - Heated - No Indicators
  • Black - Electric - Heated - Indicators
  • Chrome- Electric - Heated - Indicators

 

HOLDEN

 

 

Holden Colorado 2012 - Current

  • Black - Manual
  • Chrome - Manual
  • Black - Electric - Indicators
  • Chrome - Electric - Indicators
Holden Colorado 7 2012 - Current
  • Black - Electric - Indicators
  • Chrome - Electric - Indicators

 

ISUZU 

 

 

Isuzu DMAX 2012 - Current

  • Black - Manual
  • Chrome - Manual
  • Black - Electric - Indicators
  • Chrome - Electric - Indicators

Isuzu MUX 2013 - Current

  • Black - Electric - Indicators
  • Chrome - Electric - Indicators

 

JEEP

 

 

Grand Cherokee 2010 - Current

  • Black - Electric - Heated
  • Chrome- Electric - Heated
  • Black - Electric - Heated - Indicators
  • Chrome- Electric - Heated - Indicators 
  • Black - Electric - Indicators - Heated - Blind Spot monitoring
  • Chrome - Electric - Indicators - Heated - Blind Spot monitoring
  • Black - Electric
  • Chrome - Electric

 

MAZDA

 

 

BT50 Sept 2020 - Current

  • Black - Electric - Blind Spot monitoring
  • Chrome - Electric - Blind Spot monitoring
  • Black - Electric - Indicators - Blind Spot monitoring
  • Chrome - Electric - Indicators - Blind Spot monitoring
  • Black - Electric - Indicators - Heated - Blind Spot monitoring
  • Chrome - Electric - Indicators - Heated - Blind Spot monitoring

MITSUBISHI

 

Triton 2015 - Current

  • Black - Electric
  • Chrome - Electric
  • Black - Electric - Indicators - Blind Spot monitoring
  • Chrome - Electric - Indicators - Blind Spot monitoring
  • Black - Electric - Indicators
  • Chrome - Electric - Indicators

Pajero Sport 2015 - Current

  • Black - Electric - Indicators
  • Chrome - Electric - Indicators
  • Black - Electric - Indicators - Blind Spot monitoring
  • Chrome - Electric - Indicators - Blind Spot monitoring

 

NISSAN

 

 

Nissan Patrol Y62 2013 - Current

  • Black - Electric - Heated - Indicators
  • Chrome- Electric - Heated - Indicators

Nissan Navara D23 Nov 2020 - Current

  • Black - Electric
  • Chrome- Electric
  • Black - Electric - Heated - Indicators - Blind Spot monitoring
  • Chrome- Electric - Heated - Indicators - Blind Spot monitoring

Nissan Navara NP300 2015 - Oct 2020

  • Black - Electric
  • Chrome- Electric
  • Black - Electric - Heated
  • Chrome- Electric - Heated
  • Black - Electric - Heated - Indicators
  • Chrome- Electric - Heated - Indicators

 

TOYOTA

 

 

Toyota Fortuner 2015 - Current

  • Black - Electric - Indicators
  • Chrome - Electric - Indicators

Toyota Hilux 2015 - Current

  • Black - Electric - No Indicators
  • Chrome - Electric - No Indicators
  • Black - Electric - Indicators
  • Chrome - Electric - Indicators

Toyota Landcruiser 200 Series 2007 - Current

  • Black - Electric
  • Chrome - Electric
  • Black - Electric - Indicators
  • Chrome - Electric - Indicators
  • Black - Electric - Indicators - Heated - Blind Spot monitoring
  • Chrome - Electric - Indicators - Heated - Blind Spot monitoring
  • Black - Electric - Indicators - Blind Spot monitoring
  • Chrome - Electric - Indicators - Blind Spot monitoring

Toyota Landcruiser Prado 150 Series - 2009 - Current

  • Black - Electric - Indicators
  • Chrome - Electric - Indicators
  • Black - Electric - Indicators - Heated - Blind Spot monitoring
  • Chrome - Electric - Indicators - Heated - Blind Spot monitoring
  • Black - Electric - Indicators - Heated
  • Chrome - Electric - Indicators - Heated

Toyota Landcruiser 70 - 79 Series 1984 - Current

  • Black - Electric - Big Base - No Indicators
  • Chrome - Electric - Big Base - No Indicators
  • Black - Electric Kit - Big Base - Indicators - Switch Kit included
  • Chrome - Electric Kit - Big Base - Indicators - Switch Kit included

 

VOLKSWAGEN

 

 

Volkswagen Amarok 2009 - Current

  • Black Heated Radio
  • Black - Heated - Radio - Electric - GPS
  • Chrome - Heated - Radio - Electric - External GPS

 

 

You can check stock availability of MSA 4X4 Towing Mirrors HERE.

 

 


Clearview Towing Mirrors

 

towingmirrors_clearview

 

 

 

Clearview Towing Mirrors are full replacement towing mirrors that replace your vehicle's standard side mirrors.

 

Their innovative design includes two different surfaces.

 

  1. The top mirror features a flat, reflective surface that reflects vision directly down the sides of your caravan.
  2. A smaller, bottom convex mirror helps reduce blind spots by offering you more vision to the lanes beside your vehicle.

 

Clearview Mirrors are substantially larger than standard side mirrors. In regular driving positions, they have a wider outwards reach of about 10cm, and a total surface area much greater than the standard models.

 

When you're ready to tow, you can slide them out an additional 10cm! A further extension that allows for around a total of 20cm of extension over standard side mirrors.

 

Clearview Mirrors are also designed to fold inwards or outwards towards the car manually, which can be handy in tight spaces like car parks.

 

Clearview Mirrors are injection moulded and made from diecast aluminium to deliver a solid and steady footing on every vehicle. Every Clearview Towing Mirror base is finished on a CNC milling machine for consistent accuracy and a perfect fit for every car.

 

They are also built with steel arms through the centre for maximum strength.

 

Clearview Mirrors Are Legal in all Australian States And Territories and have been tested and approved as ADR compliant.

 

 

NEXT-GEN Clearview Mirrors

 

Clearview_Mirrors_Next_Gen_-_All_Four_x_4_spares_1

 

 

 

Clearview recently introduced the latest new edition of next-generation mirrors with a series of features meant as improvements from the traditional models:

 

 

Clearview_Mirrors_Next_Gen_-_All_Four_x_4_spares_2

 

The next-gen features are as follows:

  • Sturdy steel arm construction with telescopic 2 stage slide-out extension
  • Attaches to your original vehicle mirror mounts
  • 2 Telescopic arm positions: normal driving position, first towing position and extended towing position
  • Large top flat glass for optimum vision and safety
  • choice of manual fold or power fold
  • repositioned convex bottom mirror to sit higher above the window line, improving visibility
  • smaller frame size and overall shape reduce wind resistance
  • 2 in 1 category five led indicator light/puddle light. Installation requires hardwiring if not a standard feature. Category 6 led light is available as an optional extra
  • It will fit all existing mirror bases, but not recommended for a conversion
  • sits back in close to the car when not towing

 

Next-Gen Options

 

All Clearview mirrors come with an option of manual or electric operation of flat top glass, and additional options may vary depending on the make, model and year of the vehicle:

  • Indicator light
  • 360 camera
  • heated glass
  • position memory
  • AM/FM-GPS antenna
  • Blind-spot monitoring

 

 


Clearview NEW Compact Mirrors

 

clearview_compacts_mirrors

 

 

Clearview newest compact mirrors design brings a big vision on a compact size.
 

The Clearview Compact Mirrors integrate a smaller mirror frame with a single-lens glass to offer big vision.

 

The mirrors extend out when towing and slide back in for everyday driving.

 

Like all Clearview towing mirrors, the Clearview Compacts Mirrors are engineered specifically for each vehicle and feature the same functionality as your vehicle's original mirrors.

 

Here below the full vehicle list availability:

 

SUITABLE FOR

  • Ford Ranger 2006-2011
  • Ford Ranger 2012-CURRENT INCLUDES PX, PXII, PXIII, RAPTOR MODELS
  • Ford Everest 2015-CURRENT
  • Holden Rodeo 2003-2008
  • Holden Colorado 2002-2011
  • Holden Colorado 2012-CURRENT
  • Isuzu D-MAX 2002-2011
  • Isuzu D-MAX 2012-2019
  • Isuzu D-MAX 2020-CURRENT
  • Isuzu M-UX 2002-2011
  • Isuzu M-UX 2012-2020
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee 2010-CURRENT
  • Landrover Discovery 3/4 2004-2016
  • Mazda BT-50 2006 - 2011
  • Mazda BT-50 2012 - 2020
  • Mazda BT-50 2021
  • Mitsubishi Triton 2015-CURRENT
  • Mitsubishi Pajero 2001-CURRENT
  • Mitsubishi Pajero Sport 2015-CURRENT
  • Nissan Navara NP300 2015-CURRENT
  • Nissan Patrol GU/Y61
  • Nissan Patrol Y62
  • Toyota Hilux 2005-2014
  • Toyota Hilux 2015
  • Toyota LandCrusier 70 Series
  • Toyota LandCrusier 100 Series 1998 - 2006
  • Toyota LandCrusier 200 Series 2007
  • Toyota Prado 120 2002 - 2008
  • Toyota Prado 150 2009

 

 

 

 

Clearview Towing Mirrors are available to fit various popular vehicle makes and models. New make and model varieties are also being announced all the time!

 

Here at All Four x 4 Spares we now stock Clearview Towing mirrors suitable for Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux, Toyota Land Cruiser 70 75 76 78 79 200 Series. Check the complete list HERE 

 

 


Milenco Towing Mirrors

 

AUS-0670__1

 

 

 

Milenco has been a leading manufacturer of Clip-On Towing Mirrors for many years and has created award-winning mirrors such as the Aero Mirror design, which delivered solid stability at very high towing speeds. 

 

In 2008 Milenco launched the Grand Aero Towing Mirror. The Grand Aero Mirror offers all the benefits of the original Aero Mirror, plus the maximum view possible, combined with very high stability. 

 

The Aero 3 range includes the Aero Extra Wide Mirrors and Grand Aero Extra Wide Mirrors, which are the same as the Aero 3 Mirrors and the Grand Aero 3 Mirrors, except for having longer arms for wider caravans, RVs or travel trailers, the Extra Wide Mirrors are only available in convex.

 

The extension arms for the Extra Wide range are 41cm compared to the Aero standard arm of 31cm.

 

  •  Superior quality manufactured with the highest quality materials available 
  •  Perfect view adjustment 
  •  Aerodynamic head that uses airflow around your vehicle to stabilise and balance the mirror head at any speeds 
  •  Excellent performance in high winds and large passing trucks 
  •  Chrome mirror glass offers long life that will never discolour 
  •  Easy-grip thumb wheels 
  •  High-Grade stainless steel screw with brass inserts. They will never corrode.
  •  Unique air balanced design to stop vibrations 
  •  Clamps on in a few seconds by simply turning thumb screws 
  •  Regular glass twin pack complete with carrying case

 

Milenco offers a wide range of towing mirrors for your towing needs and can be easily fitted to any small and large cars, 4x4 or vans at a reasonable price. You can check them out HERE.

 

 


Conclusion

 

All Four x 4 Spares stock a massive range of Towing Mirrors from MSA 4X4, Clearview Accessories and Milenco

 

If you need any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact our experienced sales team, and they will guide you towards choosing the right product for your needs.

 

Do you have any questions about Towing Mirrors? Post them in the comments!

 

 

Read entire post
Published on by

Simpson Desert crossing on our 79 Series Landcruiser with Mad Matt and the Offroad Adventure Show!

Read entire post: Simpson Desert crossing on our 79 Series Landcruiser with Mad Matt and the Offroad Adventure Show!

 

MadMatt_Offroad_Adventure_Show
All_Four_x_4_crossing_Simpson_Desert

 

On March 1st, MadMatt 4wd took our 79 Series Landcruiser from our All Four x 4 Workshop in Newcastle for a big trip to the Simpson Desert along with The Offroad Adventure Show

 

Originally planned as a five-week trip (although recent heavy rainfall and flooding affected road access to the Desert earlier this year, delaying the adventure for a few weeks), this great adventure will be first aired on Channel 10 in the new season of The Offroad Adventure Show

 

Mad Matt has already been documenting his journey to the Desert, travelling through NSW, South Australia and Northern Territory and stopping in must stop destinations like Broken Hill, Coober Pedy, Uluru (Ayers Rock) and was the first vehicle to drive through the Simpson Desert this year after the reopening. 

 

Our workshop guys checked and prepared the 79 Series Landcruiser installing a long list of upgrades to get the vehicle ready and comfy for a worry-free big trip.

 

We will add each step of the adventure to this post as they get created; therefore, stay tuned (also All Four x 4 Spares and Mad Matt's Facebook and Instagram pages) to follow up on each adventure step!

 

 

These are all the great upgrades installed on the 79 series by our workshop guys for a worry-free big trip!

 


Check Tasman and Mad Matt in this video running through them! 

 

 

 

 

The Journey getting there!

 


Cobar

 

Cobar_-_All_Four_x_4_Spares

 

 


Broken Hill

 

broken_Hill_sign

 

 


South Australia Border 

 

South_Australian_border

 

 


Coober Pedy

 

Coober_Pedy
 
old_Timers_Mine_Cobber_Pedy

 

 


Uluru - Ayers Rock!

 

evening_at_Uluru

 

Admiring_part_of_the_Uluru_Rock

 

 


Vlog Uluru to the Alice

 

 

 


Crazy Fuel Bill!

 

 

 


and Crazy Bugs!

 

 

 


Preparing to cross the Simpson Desert first after 2022 reopening

 

The Simpson Desert reopened in Mid-March, as roads re-opened to four-wheel drive traffic at Munga-Thirri-Simpson Desert and Witjira national parks, after heavy rainfall and flooding affected road access earlier this year.

 

And MadMatt 4wd was the first to cross it this season in our 79 Series Landcruiser!!

 

Tasman from All Four x 4 Spares spoke to him via sat phone on his way to the desert to capture what he is seeing from this incredible adventure.

 

 

 

Stay tuned to this post for the next steps of the adventure as they get created! 

 

 

Read entire post
Published on by

Which Roof Top Tent should you buy? Soft VS Hard Shell & Darche VS Ironman VS Campboss RTT's

Read entire post: Which Roof Top Tent should you buy? Soft VS Hard Shell & Darche VS Ironman VS Campboss RTT's

 

RTTCBCLAMSHELL__1

 

Rooftop tents are the perfect addition to your camping setup since they can:

 

  • Free up valuable room inside your 4wd for other necessary items 
  • Diminish the possibility to get sand and dirt in 
  • Prevent undesirable animals from visiting in the night
  • Give you the most fantastic view as soon as you wake up 

 

But with so many types and brands of rooftop tents currently available in the market, how do you know which one would suit your camping needs?

 

This post will cover a few critical aspects of Rooftop tents and an overview of their types, functionalities and specifications, with a special mention of the most common brands on the market, precisely CampBoss 4x4, Darche, Ironman 4x4

 

First of all, let's analyse rooftop tents' pros and cons more in detail and how they compare to standard camping gear alternatives.

 


 

Advantages of rooftop tents:

 

  • Quick and straightforward set up at the campsite (it shouldn't take longer than 5 minutes)
  • Peace of mind of sleeping off the ground, away from dirt, mud, snow in the winter, and above all; unwelcomed insects, snakes, and other animals that may visit you while you are asleep
  • Most rooftop tents have the mattress included so you can keep the bedding inside and not have to worry about fixing your bed each time you want to go to sleep.
  • You don't need a perfectly level ground as you would with a traditional tent, although you still want to level your 4wd a minimum with stones or blocks.
  • Tight space campsite? No problem! Hard-shell or pop-up rooftop tents can extend vertically without sticking up outside the car roof area. Alternatively, your internal tent area can double up with annex extensions to the ground.

 

Disadvantages of rooftop tents:

 

  • Price tag. Rooftop tents are significantly more expensive than traditional ground-based tents.
  • Difficult/annoying ladder access; getting into and out of the tent using the ladder might be difficult for older people, small kids, and animals, but overnight trips to the toilet may become tricky.
  • You can't invite too many guests to your rooftop disco party...capacity and height are limited.
  • Some older models require two people for lifting the tent to the roof of the car and mount it.
  • Wind resistance and extra fuel consumption, some models are pretty bulky and would impact the aerodynamics of your car resulting in higher fuel consumption.

 

The more popular types of rooftop tents:

 


Softshell rooftop tents

 

60652a3272159089467879

 

Usually the cheapest option, they fundamentally look like standard tents placed on top of your vehicle.

 

These tents are also lightweight, with potential room capacity for fitting small families. However, they are the slowest option to set up and pack up compared to other types.

 

Especially when packing it up, you may have to walk around the car folding all overhanging bits in and then try to wrestle the protective cover over the top. On the other hand, families appreciate these tents due to the smaller cost and extra room that optional annexes can create.

 

Advantages of Softshell rooftop tents

  • Less expensive
  • Lightweight
  • Extendable real estate by attaching annexes room to accommodate more people (ideals for families)

 

Disadvantages of Softshell rooftop tents

  • Slow to set up and pack up
  • Noisy when it flaps around in strong winds
  • Wind resistance/fuel consumption due to poor aerodynamics

 

Examples from the best soft shell roof top tents brands in the market:

 

 


DARCHE SOFT SHELL ROOF TOP TENTS

 

 

 

 

 


Darche HI-VIEW Series

 

606529bb70d1d321852746

 

If you love a quick weekend escape or an extended driving holiday without complicated setup times, the Hi-View Series Roof Top Tent is perfect for your next open road adventure.

 

This versatile workhorse will be your home away from home. Bush, beach or desert, you'll be tucked up high and safely away from the crocs and critters in minutes, with the simple set up and pack down design. Just fold out your RTT, drop the telescopic ladder and enjoy the starry night views as you drift off. 

 

Built tough for the rugged Australian landscape, the Hi-View RTT can handle whatever you can throw at it - wind, rain, and the harsh Australian sun are no bother for this little gem. Designed for maximum ventilation, the extra-large zippered mesh windows on both sides provide exceptional airflow in warm weather without compromising on storm and sun protection. The adjustable fly and built-in air vents will see you through the rainy weather, preventing condensation and providing even more airflow. At the same time, the gusseted window awnings offer you shade on sunny days.

 

The Hi-View series is made from tough 260gsm ripstop polycotton canvas. This tent has an impressive PU 1500mm water rating and seam sealing that will keep you dry in extended rainy conditions, giving you great protection from the elements all year round. The tent includes premium quality, high-density 65mm mattress with a removable cover and water-resistant base. There's enough room to stash your sleeping bag or doona inside, so your bed is made and waiting for you upon setting up.

 

The insulated baseboard is made with heavy-duty compressed aluminium. The kit also includes a fully removable, durable PVC cover for protection when you're in transit. The included mounting brackets suit most commercially available flat roof rack or roof rail systems. Ensure to check the weight rating and suitability of your roof rack and vehicle with appropriate manufacturers before purchase. We recommend professional installation through your local 4WD centre or contact us on 02 4041 4080 for installation advice.

 

KEY FEATURES

 

  • Includes built-in adjustable trigger lock canopy
  • Exceptional ventilation with zippered sky window, built-in air vents and full-width, extra-large side windows
  • Protection from the mozzies and other bugs with fine insect mesh on all windows
  • Easy-action 2.3m aluminium telescopic ladder will suit most vehicle heights (max vehicle/bed base height 2.2m)
  • Internal storage pockets to stash your gear
  • All-season protection including taped seams, twin needle stitching and removable fly
  • Heavy-duty construction including self-repairing coil zips and reinforced stitching on all stress points
  • Wind tested to withstand a constant wind speed of 80km/h
  • Includes transit cover
  • Includes mounting kit, guy ropes, window poles, pegs and instructions
  • Annex available (sold separately)

 

 


Darche Hi-View 1400 Roof Top Tent (no annex) SPECS

 

606529cd27cc3299111462

 

  • Sleeping Capacity: 2 Person
  • External Dimensions: 2400L x 1400W mm
  • Sleeping Area: 2400L x 1400W mm (oversize double bed + room to spare)
  • Max. Head Height: 1250mm
  • Mat Thickness: 65mm
  • Material: 260gsm Ripstop Polycotton Canvas
  • Fly Material: 210D Ripstop Polyester Oxford
  • Transit Cover Material: Heavy-duty 600gsm PVC with reinforced welded corners
  • Floor Material: Coated Heavy-Duty Compressed Alloy Base
  • Frame Material: ø25mm Aluminium
  • Waterhead Rating Canvas: PU 1500mm Water Rated
  • Waterhead Rating Fly: PU 2000mm Water Rated
  • Packed Dimensions: 1435L x 1215W x 330H mm
  • Weight: 56.5kg
  • Warranty: 3 Year

 

LEARN MORE HERE

 

 


Darche Hi-View 1600 Roof Top Tent (no annex) SPECS

 

606529b2b777f993644975

 

  • Sleeping Capacity: 2 Person
  • External Dimensions: 2400L x 1600W mm
  • Sleeping Area: 2400L x 1600W mm
  • Max. Head Height: 1250mm
  • Mat Thickness: 65mm
  • Material: 260gsm Ripstop Polycotton Canvas
  • Fly Material: 210D Ripstop Polyester Oxford
  • Transit Cover Material: Heavy-duty 600gsm PVC with reinforced welded corners
  • Floor Material: Coated Heavy-Duty Compressed Alloy Base
  • Frame Material: ø25mm Aluminium
  • Waterhead Rating Canvas: PU 1500mm Water Rated
  • Waterhead Rating Fly: PU 2000mm Water Rated
  • Packed Dimensions: 1435L x 1635W x 330H mm
  • Weight: 64kg
  • Warranty: 3 Year

 

LEARN MORE HERE

 

 


Darche Hi-View 1800 Roof Top Tent (no annex) SPECS

 

606526aab8e0c868551662

 

Great for small families or those who want more space in their sleeping quarters, the Hi-View 1800 is a generously sized Roof Top Tent, perfect for your next weekend escape or extended driving holiday.

 

  • Sleeping Capacity: 2-3 Person
  • External Dimensions: 2400L x 1800W mm
  • Sleeping Area: 2400L x 1800W mm (room for three)
  • Max. Head Height: 1250mm
  • Mat Thickness: 65mm
  • Material: 260gsm Ripstop Polycotton Canvas
  • Fly Material: 210D Ripstop Polyester Oxford
  • Transit Cover Material: Heavy-duty 600gsm PVC with reinforced welded corners
  • Floor Material: Coated Heavy-Duty Compressed Alloy Base
  • Frame Material: ø25mm Aluminium
  • Waterhead Rating Canvas: PU 1500mm Water Rated
  • Waterhead Rating Fly: PU 2000mm Water Rated
  • Packed Dimensions: 1215L x 1835W x 330H mm
  • Weight: 70kg
  • Warranty: 3 Year

 

LEARN MORE HERE

 

 


Darche Hi-View 2200 Roof Top Tent (no annex) SPECS

 

6065267c6fc31837324147

 

The ultimate family Roof Top Tent, the Hi-View 2200 is the largest in the Hi-View range, giving you all the room you need for your next family weekend escape or extended driving holiday.

 

  • Sleeping Capacity: 4 Person
  • External Dimensions: 2400L x 2200W mm
  • Sleeping Area: 2400L x 2200W mm (room for four)
  • Max. Head Height: 1250mm
  • Mat Thickness: 65mm
  • Material: 260gsm Ripstop Polycotton Canvas
  • Fly Material: 210D Ripstop Polyester Oxford
  • Transit Cover Material: Heavy-duty 600gsm PVC with reinforced welded corners
  • Floor Material: Coated Heavy-Duty Compressed Alloy Base
  • Frame Material: ø25mm Aluminium
  • Waterhead Rating Canvas: PU 1500mm Water Rated
  • Waterhead Rating Fly: PU 2000mm Water Rated
  • Packed Dimensions: 1215L x 2235W x 330H mm including ladder
  • Weight: 87kg
  • Warranty: 3 Year

 

LEARN MORE HERE

 

 


Darche PANORAMA Series

 

60650d2be2771348324510

 

For the dedicated 4x4 tourer, the Panorama 2 1400 is the ultimate kit for your rig. Its compact design and super-low pack down profile reduces wind drag and overall vehicle height, perfect for lifted vehicles navigating the urban jungle between off-road adventures.

 

This unrivalled RTT gives you the same simple set-up and pack down design that all DARCHE RTTs offer, but its high-spec build gives you the quality that will survive the harshest Australian elements.

 

Stay cool and comfortable in the heat while drifting off under the starry night views from the zippered sky window. Designed for maximum ventilation, extra-large zippered mesh windows on both sides provide exceptional airflow in warm weather without compromising on storm and sun protection. The removable fly and built-in air vents reduce condensation and provide airflow through rainy weather, while the gusseted window awnings offer you extra protection in all weather conditions.

 

The Panorama series is made from premium 320gsm ripstop polycotton canvas. This tent has an impressive PU 1500mm water rating, seam sealing and a removable polyester fly that will keep you dry in extended rainy conditions, giving you great protection from the elements all year round. The tent includes a premium quality, high-density 50mm mattress with a removable cover and water-resistant base.

 

This high spec RTT is made with an insulated baseboard, constructed from heavy-duty compressed checker-plate aluminium. The kit also includes a fully removable, durable PVC cover for protection when you're in transit. The included mounting brackets suit most commercially available flat roof rack or roof rail systems. Make sure to check the weight rating and suitability of your roof rack and vehicle with appropriate manufacturers prior to purchase.

 

We recommend professional installation through your local 4WD centre or contact us on 02 4041 4080 for installation advice.

 

 

Key Features

  • Compact and low-profile pack down design
  • Premium quality 320gsm ripstop polycotton canvas
  • Designed for quick set up and pack down, with convenient trigger lock canopy pole
  • Exceptional ventilation with zippered sky window, built-in air vents and full-width side windows
  • Fine insect mesh on all windows
  • Easy-action 2.3m aluminium telescopic ladder will suit most vehicle heights (max vehicle/bed base height 2.2m)
  • Internal storage pockets to stash your gear
  • All-season protection including taped seams, twin needle stitching and removable fly
  • Heavy-duty construction including self-repairing coil zips and reinforced stitching on all stress points
  • Wind tested to withstand a constant wind speed of 80km/h
  • Includes transit cover
  • Includes mounting kit, guy ropes, window poles, pegs and instructions
  • Annex available (sold separately)

 

 


Darche PANORAMA 1400 Roof Top Tent (no annex) SPECS

 

6064ff9b2abc6500213563

 

  • Sleeping Capacity: 2 Person
  • External Dimensions: 2400L x 1400W mm
  • Sleeping Area: 2400L x 1400W mm
  • Max. Head Height: 1250mm
  • Mat Thickness: 50mm
  • Material: 320gsm Ripstop Polycotton Canvas
  • Fly Material: 210D Ripstop Polyester Oxford
  • Transit Cover Material: Heavy-duty 600gsm PVC with reinforced welded corners
  • Floor Material: Coated Heavy-Duty Compressed Alloy Base
  • Frame Material: ø25mm Aluminium
  • Waterhead Rating Canvas: PU 1500mm Water Rated
  • Waterhead Rating Fly: PU 2000mm Water Rated
  • Packed Dimensions: 1215L x 1435W x 290H mm including ladder
  • Weight: 63kg
  • Warranty: 3 Year

 

LEARN MORE HERE

 

 


Darche INTREPIDOR Series

 

606529634ef83061210694

 

If you're new to touring or prefer a tub-mount option for your dual cab ute - the Intrepidor 1400 Roof Top Tent is perfect for your next open road adventure.

 

Its lightweight construction is ideal for smaller SUVs and soft-roaders. With a quick set up time, you'll be drifting off under the night sky in minutes. Just fold out your RTT, drop the adjustable ladder and enjoy views of the Milky Way from the zippered sky window.

 

Built for comfort, the Intrepidor RTT is designed for maximum ventilation with extra-large zippered mesh windows on both sides, which provide exceptional airflow in warm weather without compromising on storm and sun protection. The adjustable fly and built-in air vents will see you through the rainy weather, preventing condensation and providing even more airflow, while the gusseted window awnings offer you shade on sunny days.

 

The Intrepid series is made from tough 260gsm ripstop polycotton canvas. This tent has an impressive PU 1500mm water rating and seam sealing that will keep you dry in extended rainy conditions, giving you great protection from the elements all year round.

 

The tent includes a premium quality, high-density 65mm mattress with a removable cover and water-resistant base. There's enough room to stash your sleeping bag or doona inside, so your bed is made and waiting for you upon set up.

 

The insulated baseboard is made with heavy-duty compressed aluminium. The kit also includes a fully removable, durable PVC cover for protection when you're in transit.

 

The included mounting brackets suit most commercially available flat roof rack or roof rail systems. Make sure to check the weight rating and suitability of your roof rack and vehicle with appropriate manufacturers prior to purchase.

 

We recommend professional installation through your local 4WD centre or contact us on 02 4041 4080 for installation advice.

 

 

Key features

  • Lightweight design suits smaller SUVs and soft-roaders, along with most other vehicles
  • Quick set up and pack down softshell design
  • Exceptional ventilation with zippered sky window, built-in air vents and full-width, extra-large side windows
  • Protection from the mozzies and other bugs with fine insect mesh on all windows
  • 2.1m extendable ladder (max vehicle/bed base height 2.1m)
  • Internal storage pockets to stash your gear
  • All-season protection including taped seams, twin needle stitching and removable fly
  • Heavy-duty construction including self-repairing coil zips and reinforced stitching on all stress points
  • Includes transit cover
  • Includes mounting kit, guy ropes, window poles, pegs and instructions

 

 


Darche INTREPIDOR 2 1400 Roof Top Tent (no annex) SPECS

 

606529649ff04579158171

 

  • Sleeping Capacity: 2 Person
  • External Dimensions: 2400L x 1400W mm
  • Sleeping Area: 2400L x 1400W mm (double bed + room to spare)
  • Max. Head Height: 1250mm
  • Mat Thickness: 65mm
  • Material: 260gsm Ripstop Polycotton Canvas
  • Fly Material: 210D Ripstop Polyester Oxford
  • Transit Cover Material: Heavy-duty 600gsm PVC with reinforced welded corners
  • Floor Material: Coated Heavy-Duty Compressed Alloy Base
  • Frame Material: ø25mm Aluminium
  • Waterhead Rating Canvas: PU 1500mm Water Rated
  • Waterhead Rating Fly: PU 2000mm Water Rated
  • Packed Dimensions: 1435L x 1215W x 350H mm including ladder
  • Weight: 49.3kg
  • Warranty: 3 Year

 

LEARN MORE HERE

 

 


Darche KOZI Series

 

6106c57590cf5708520158

 

The DARCHE Kozi Series Roof Top Tent is the ideal Roof Top Tent for starting your outdoor and off-road adventures.

 

This lightweight RTT is made with an aluminium baseboard, weighing only 48kg. This model is easy to set up and will suit a wide range of vehicles. With plenty of space for two, the sleeping quarters include a high-density foam mattress with removable polycotton cover for a comfortable night's sleep and easy care. Stay cool and comfortable in the heat, while drifting off under the starry night views from the zippered sky window with multiple windows and air vents for great ventilation.

 

Made from premium 300D Polyester Oxford material, this tent has an impressive PU 1500mm water rating, seam sealing and a removable polyester fly that will keep you dry in extended rainy conditions, giving you great protection from the elements all year round. The pre-mounted channel rails suit most commercially available flat roof rack or roof rail systems. Ensure to check the weight rating and suitability of your roof rack and vehicle with appropriate manufacturers before purchase. 

 

KEY FEATURES

  • Easy setup soft shell rooftop tent
  • The lightweight design suits a wide range of vehicles
  • Baseboard with pre-mounted channel rails provides quick installation and setup
  • Premium quality 300D Polyester Oxford material
  • High-density foam mattress with removable top and water-resistant base
  • Multiple access points with front and back zipped doorways
  • Exceptional ventilation with zippered sky window and 3 x zippered windows on both sides
  • Fine insect mesh on all windows
  • Easy-action 2.3m alloy telescopic ladder will suit most vehicle heights (max vehicle + RTT height 2.2m)
  • Durable water-repellent flysheet with UPF 50+ protection
  • Removable pack down elastic cords with 4 attachments points
  • Includes transit cover
  • Includes mounting kit and window poles

 

 


Darche KOZI Roof Top Tent 1300

6106c56ce0db9596764816

 

  • Sleeping Capacity: 2 Person
  • External Dimensions: 2100L x 1300W x 1120H mm
  • Sleeping Area: 2060L x 1250W mm
  • Max. Head Height: 970mm
  • Mat Thickness: 65mm
  • Material: 300D Polyester Oxford PU
  • Waterhead Rating: 1500mm Water Rated
  • Mesh Material: Heavy-duty 125gsm Super-fine Mesh
  • Fly Material: 420D Polyester Oxford PU Coated
  • Waterhead Rating Fly: 1500mm Water Rated
  • Transit Cover Material: Heavy-duty 600gsm PVC with reinforced welded corners
  • Frame Material: Ø25mm Aluminium Poles
  • Baseboard Material: Light-weight 20mm aluminium
  • Packed Dimensions: 1050L x 1300W x 285H mm
  • Weight: 48kg
  • Warranty: 2 Years

 

LEARN MORE HERE

 

 


IRONMAN 4X4 SOFT SHELL ROOF TOP TENTS

 

ice_screenshot_20220220-144949

 

The Ironman 4×4 Roof Top Tent provides the ultimate in ease and convenience when travelling. Unfolding in minutes, a rooftop tent provides sleeping quarters off the ground, protected from the elements. Spacious and comfortable, all bedding can remain inside the tent during the journey, freeing up vital storage space in the vehicle, and allowing the tent to be quickly and easily packed away.

  • SLEEP CAPACITY 2 People
  • DIMENSIONS (mm) Closed: 1450 (L) x 1240 (W) x 360 (H)
  • Open: 3150 (L) x 1400 (W) x 1380 (H)
  • MATTRESS SIZE (mm) 2300 (L) x 1350 (W) Double
  • WEIGHT 62kg
  • CASING PVC Cover

 

LEARN MORE HERE

 

 


HARD SHELL CLAM ROOF TOP TENTS

 

When opened, Hard Clamshell tents transform into big triangles and are the quickest to set and pack up.

 

The hinges are all mounted on the same tracks making them easier to repair during maintenance.

 

The fabric is stretched tight, so it's also less flappy in bad weather. You can also angle the roof to deal with the weather by moving your car.

 

RTT1_1024x10242x

 

 

Advantages of Hardshell clam rooftop tents

  • Very quick set up and pack up
  • The walls won't flap much in high winds
  • Moving parts are easier to access
  • You can angle the roof to deal with the weather by moving your car

 

Disadvantages of Hardshell clam rooftop tents

  • No headroom up one end
  • Price tag, these tents are not your cheapest option
  • Heavy; they can weigh above 80Kgs

 

Examples from the best Hardshell clam rooftop tents brands in the market:

 

 


CAMPBOSS 4X4 BOSS Roof Top Tent

 

 

In an ever-changing world, we're all looking to get out there and enjoy this great country of ours. And there's nothing better while you're out adventuring in your 4x4 than having an easy and convenient way to set up camp and get a comfortable night's rest.

 

Features:

 

  • Tent is made from 280gsm poly-cotton rip-stop canvas and finished in khaki green colour
  • The mattress is high density 60mm with waterproof zip-over cover
  • The cover flaps over the sides and front entry are supported by galvanised spring steel supports
  • 20mm thick non-condensation mat under the mattress
  • SBS zippers all round
  • Mosquito and midges proof mesh
  • Access from three sides
  • Extra-long aluminium ladder that extends to 2.6m for lifted vehicles
  • RT Boss Tent can be folded down with the bedding and ladder packed inside
  • Powder-coated aluminium construction
  • Outer shell is folded, sealed and riveted so sections can be replaced if damaged
  • Foam-filled and insulated roof with sound deadening carpet
  • Roof organiser including five pockets and one clear pocket for tablet and iPad viewing or lighting
  • Lightweight aluminium honeycomb base for insulation and strength
  • Gas struts aid lifting the roof - especially when loaded
  • Internal height-adjustable safety support to keep the roof in place while open
  • Includes a set roof racks to hold solar panels, canoes, kayaks, bikes or storage bags
  • Key locking SS latches
  • Interior LED strip light (dimmable, bug free yellow/white) and 2 x USB ports, 1 x CIG socket

All-round sail rail style fixing system to attach light bars, awnings, shower tents, and other accessories

 

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Water column rate: 2,000mm
  • External closed size: L 2,330mm x W 1,480mm x H 220mm
  • External open size: L 2,330mm x W 1,480mm x H 1,490mm
  • Weight approx. 83kg including ladder

 

LEARN MORE HERE

 

 


CONCLUSION 

 

Not sure which roof top tent would fit your needs?

 

How many beds do you need?

If you only need to sleep with 1 or 2 adults, you have the most options. Any more than that, and your options are limited. It's challenging to find a roomy hard shell roof top tent that is affordable; therefore, families are usually limited to a softshell. This is because they fold out over the side of your vehicle, effectively doubling the sleeping space.

 

You can also add an under awning annex tent to a softshell creating a whole new ground-level room, the perfect solution for two adults and two kids.  

 

Hardshell tents easily fit two people, so singles and couples should have no problems. They can, of course, still get a soft shell tent for its affordability and extra space, but a single person may have trouble packing it up solo as sometimes you need someone to hold it down while the other zips up the cover.

 

How much weight can your car support?

Rooftop tents weigh from approx. 50kg to upwards of 90kg. So, you will need to make sure that when it's installed, your car does not weigh over its GVM (the maximum your vehicle can weigh when fully loaded).

 

Here at All Four x 4 Spares, we can help you increase your GVM with a Lovell GVM Suspension Upgrade.

 

Equally just as important is your roof rack's maximum static and maximum dynamic load. The static weight is how much the racks can hold when the vehicle is not moving, and the dynamic weight is how much it can hold when the vehicle is moving.

 

Often the roof racks that come standard with a vehicle just don't cut it, and an aftermarket roof rack will be required, here is a wide range

 

Where can I buy a Rooftop tent?

 

All Four x 4 Spares stocks a massive range of Roof Top Tents, Annexes, awning extensions and camping equipment from the best camping & outdoor brands

 

If you need any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact our experienced sales team, and they will guide you towards choosing the right product for your needs.

 

Do you have any questions about Rooftop tents? Post them in the comments!

 

 

 

Read entire post
Published on by

Why you should install a Diff Breather Kit to your 4WD

Read entire post: Why you should install a Diff Breather Kit to your 4WD

 

DB4001__2

 

Diff breathers are essential insurance for your 4WD vehicle if you drive through water.

 

This post will cover a few critical aspects of diff breathers and an overview of their functionalities with a special mention of the most common diff breather kit brands on the market.

 

To begin with, everyone's 4wd has differentials, gearboxes and transfer boxes all have breathers on from the factory. The diff, gearbox and transfer need to vent off some of the excess heat generated within, ensuring that the seals and gears stay in good operating order.

 

The thing is, with a lot of 4wds, these vents are in pretty good locations, but with some, well... not so good at all. 

 

In fact, some of them are actually relatively low in the vehicle. 

 

And if you've got to do a water crossing, go through any water puddle or whatever it may be, it can have a dramatic effect. Furthermore, the rapid cooling of the diff causes the air inside the diff to condense and suck outside air in to fill the void.

 

You can imagine the heat that gets generated within the differentials of the vehicle, and then if you're going through a water crossing with that complete heat, well what can happen is that it can actually suck the water back into the differential and cause a lot of damage to the diff itself so by installing diff breathers and we've got a wide range here at All Four x 4 Spares, you can make sure that your vehicle is going to be well protected.

 

Because we can guarantee you, there's a lot of people that will do even the smallest water crossing, and it might be a crossing that they haven't actually even intended on doing and it's caused damage by sucking water into the diffs and the transfer case. So something to consider towards reducing that risk by installing diff breathers to your 4x4 vehicle.

 

Now you're not going to know that water is in there, and after a thousand Kms or so of driving with water in the diff, it can cause rust, and all sorts of premature failure, so an inexpensive diff breather kit will make a big difference to the car. 

 

Please check the video below from Alan Johnson of Piranha Offroad to learn more about the basics of these inexpensive but useful products. They offer incredible protection for less than you think. 

 

Diff breather kits also help by reducing the chance of the breather blocking (mud and dirt etc), if a breather was to block it can blow out oil seals. 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

 

 

How to install a diff breather?

 

Please check this video to learn more about installing a Diff Breather Kit to your 4wd

 

 

 

 


 

All Four x 4 Spares' Diff breather kits range:

 


 

Blackhawk Diff Breather Kit / Driveline Breather Kit 

 

DB4001__1
 
  • Suitable for Toyota, Nissan, Holden and Mitsubishi. Shop Here
  • Suitable for Ranger, Courier, Mazda BT. Shop Here

 

As discussed earlier, when the vehicle is running at normal operating temperatures, and driveline components come into contact with mud or water, the temperature change creates a vacuum inside your hot diffs, gearbox or transfer case.

 

This pressure shift encourages dirt, water and debris to be 'sucked' into the driveline components through the factory breathers or seals.

 

Blackhawk Diff Breather Kits replace the factory breathers and allow the driveline components to be vented in one central location, usually high above the potential water/mud level.

 

Thus enabling the components to breathe freely and eliminating the potential for oil contamination which can lead to damaged drivetrain components.

 

The Blackhawk Driveline breather kit acts as a 'snorkel' for the vehicle's driveline and is more than just a "diff breather".

 

The Blackhawk Driveline Breather Kit is installed in its complete four-port configuration and provides breathability and protection to the front and rear differentials, transmission and transfer case.

 

Features:

  • Suits for two-port or four-port installation.
  • Quality 8mm breather hose in spring style design flexible polyurethane for improved install, operation (suits long travel) and hose longevity.
  • High-quality stainless steel fittings.
  • Billet machined T6061 aluminium manifold.
  • Compact design.
  • Rear-mounted washable filters sit out of sight and away from the elements.- Isolated ports are protected from contamination in the event of mechanical failure or flow back.
  • Comprehensive fitting kit.
  • Can be plumbed into the vehicles airbox to maximise the potential of uninterrupted air supply if the vehicle happens to be submerged underwater temporarily.

 

DB4001__2

 

Learn more here about Blackhawk 4x4 Diff Breather Kits

 


Ironman 4x4 Diff Breather Kit Twin Filtered 

 

U4062-WEB-3-8

 

Suitable for diff housings, transfer cases, gearboxes and winch motors.

 

Specifically designed for use on vehicles that work in off-road and harsh conditions from sub-zero to humid tropics. The Ironman 4×4 twin breather kit is used to raise the height of your vehicles driveline components vents to help prevent water ingress by providing raised filtered ventilation.

 

The twin manifold allows for multiple components to be connected at one time or double the kit up for extra components. The kit is a fully machined aluminium manifold with brass filters with high-quality oil resistant reinforced hose.

 

Kit contains:

  • 1x Twin breather manifold with brass breathers and hose barbs
  • 2x Brass barbs
  • 1x 10m Oil resistant hose
  • 4x Stainless steel hose clamps
  • 2x Self drilling screws
  • Cable ties

 

Learn more here about Ironman 4x4 Diff Breather Kits

 


Piranha Diff Breather Kit

 

Piranha_Diff_Breather_Kit__47338.1604113187

 

It includes:

 

  • 7m of Hose
  • 2 x Filters
  • 2 x Brass Fittings
  • Hose Clamps
  • Mounting Bracket
  • Cable Ties
  • Installation Guide

 

Learn more here about Piranha Offroad Diff Breather Kits 

 

 


Conclusion

 

Do you have any questions about Diff Breather Kits? Post them in the comments!

 

Read entire post
Published on by

What you need to know about ELockers locking differentials

Read entire post: What you need to know about ELockers locking differentials
Harrop_Elockers

 

Elockers are amazingly helpful for 4WD vehicles when offroading, although they are not indispensable. Of course, you can also do without them when Overlanding or rock climbing, but you can't argue with the fact that they are very convenient. 

 

This post will cover a few critical aspects of Elockers and overview their functionalities and mechanisms with a special mention of the most common brands in the market.

 


What is an ELocker, and how does it work?

ELockers are reliable electronic, selectable differentials with net-forged gears for added strength and intended for 4wd drivers that require traction on-demand.

 

Basically, an ELocker operates as an open differential until you choose to need more traction.

 

You can go from open to 100% locked by flipping a switch, and when the electromagnet is activated, the ball bearings are forced out of their pockets and up the ramp, which pushes the locking pins into position in the back of the side gear.

 

The ELocker's electromagnetic locking mechanism is the next generation of aftermarket differential technology.

 

 

elocker_sections

 

When unlocked, a locking differential operates like an open differential during turns, and the wheels can rotate at different speeds.

 

However, when the differential is locked, the wheels are forced to rotate at the same speed. Unlike an open differential, the torque can be significantly unbalanced.

 

To demonstrate why this is important, let's see what happens when one wheel is off the ground, which can occur when offroading or driving through a hole.

 

The locking differential forces the wheels to rotate at the same speed. The wheel in the air doesn't receive any torque because it has no traction; the other wheel receives all the torque, the vehicle moves.

 

So with the locking differential in action, When unlocked, the wheels can still rotate at different speeds during a turn but rotate at the same speed when locked.

 

As a result, torque is not always balanced and can be significantly unbalanced. 

 

You can check this video to learn more about all the nitty-gritty:

 

 

 


Can you engage an Elocker while driving?

 

While technically, you can engage it on the fly, you need to pay attention that the wheel speed difference (between the right and left wheel) remains under 50 rpm.

 

Eaton firmly advises engaging your ELocker only when the car speed is below 5mph.

 

While ELockers are intended to accommodate severe use, constant abuse and extreme speed engagement will significantly shorten the life of the ELocker and is not covered under warranty.

 

Also, note that when the electrical signal is received by the ELocker, it instantly attempts to lock and match wheel speeds.

 

As a result, the differential must immediately snap (accelerate) the slow speed wheel, axle shaft, and brake component mass (weight) to the same speed as the free-spinning wheel.

 

This is not only harsh on the differential; it is incredibly harsh on the axle shaft.

 

 


Facts about Harrop Eaton ELocker Engagement

Please check this video to learn more interesting facts about Harrop Eaton Elocker engagement mechanisms

 

 


How do you install a diff?

Please check this video from Mad Matt 4wd  to learn more about installing a Diff

 

 


How to activate ELockers

 

ELocker_Switches

 

ELockers are activated by a dash (or console) mounted switch, included with all new ELockers.

 

Any suitable 12VDC (or 24VDC for military designs) switch will work.

 

The wiring harness with a relay switch, chassis electrical system protecting diode, and the fuse is included with all aftermarket performance ELocker differentials.

 


Can you rebuild Eaton ELockers?

 

Yes, it's possible. According to your needs, several service kits are available, including gear service kits, locking mechanism kits, stator/armature kits, and a universal wiring kit.

 

You can also purchase just the ELocker wiring harness since it is universal to fit any vehicle and can be purchased separately. For specific inquiries, call our Elockers specialists on 02 4041 4041

 


What locking mode(s) does an Eaton ELocker have?

 

The Eaton ELocker is an open differential with electronically-controlled locking features.

 

While the design of the locking components differs between models and generations of designs, they all work by locking one of the side gears to the differential case.

 

When the ELocker is engaged via the dash switch, the electromagnetic mechanism fully locks, evenly sending 100% of the available torque to both wheels. 

 


Do you need a relay to operate an Elocker?

 

All Eaton ELockers carry a relay in the wire harness which should be utilised.

 

While the current requirements of the differentials range from 5-10 amps, installers are well encouraged to use the relay to extend switch life and provide a more stable current to the differential electronics. 

 


Types of gear oil for the ELocker

 

Most gear oils are adequate: a quality, petroleum-mineral based oil is recommended.

 

Synthetic oils and friction modifiers can also be utilised but are not mandatory.

 

A lower viscosity gear oil (equivalent to API GL-5 75W-90) is recommended in cold weather conditions.

 

 


What is a Harrop E locker?

 

 

Harrop ELocker's electromagnetic locking, four pinions, forged gear design is the next generation of aftermarket differential technology.

 

Functioning as an open differential until you require instant traction when locked, the Harrop ELocker takes 100% of available torque and distributes it evenly to both ends of the axle.

 

ELECTRIC LOCKING DIFFERENTIAL: Full axle lock, on-demand (ordinarily open, fully "street-able")

SIMPLE, DRIVER CONTROL: Push a button for maximum traction in challenging terrain

RELIABLE OPERATION: Net forged gears produce outstanding strength and endurance

 

Core features

Driver selectable operation - full axle lock upon activation

Net-forged gears for added strength

Works in forward and reverse

Front and rear axle applications

 

 


Conclusion

 

All Four x 4 Spares stock a Harrop E-Locker Electronic Diff Lock to suit solid axle differentials only (not Independent Front Suspension) for Toyota Landcruiser Solid Front Diffs for

  • 70 Series 1990 to current
  • 80 Series 1990-1998 and 100 Series 1998-2007
  • All Hilux rear diffs to current models (note: models after 2005 require different diff bearings - call or email for more information).
  • Suits Front of Hilux to 1997 with solid front axle
  • Prado 90 and 120 from 1996 to 2009 rear diff solid axle only and rear diff of FJ Cruiser 2005 on solid axle only

 

Kit includes E-Locker centre, all required wiring harness with convoluted tubing, in-dash switch with covers for either front or rear locker (depending on your application) and a handful of cable ties to keep it all tidy. Comes with 3yr Manufacturers Warranty.

 

We can also stock or order Elockers for more vehicle make/models, please do not hesitate to contact our experienced sales team and they will guide you towards choosing the right product for your needs or order the right Elocker for your vehicle.

 

Do you have any questions about Elockers? Post them in the comments!

 

Read entire post
Published on by

Cruise Control Kits: what are they and why you need one

Read entire post: Cruise Control Kits: what are they and why you need one

 

cruise_control_steering_wheel_istock_-_zenstock

 

 

Ready to hit the road (hopefully interstate) this summer after what felt like an eternity? If you are planning long trips...cruising along, and enjoying the scenery, well.. cruise controls may come quite handy.

 

 

This post will cover a few critical aspects of cruise controls, what they are, how they work, and how they can benefit you on the road. 

 

 


First of all, how does cruise control work?

 

Cruise control is a system that automatically manages the speed of a car. Cruise controls help reduce drivers fatigue while driving a long distance by imitating how a human driver would drive.

 

 

But instead of pushing the accelerator pedal, it utilises an actuator to regulate the throttle helping your car cruise at the same speed. Or technically, a servomechanism's system that leads over the car's throttle to sustain the steady speed set by the driver.

 

Ok, you may ask, is a cruise control connected to the transmission?

 

 

The quick answer is that a cruise control utilises some of the same sensor inputs the transmission uses, affecting the transmission and cruise control. So, for example, if the transmission is slipping, the cruise control may not control the speed steadily.

 

 

You can check this video to learn more about all the nitty-gritty:

 

 


Can you brake on cruise control?

 

Sure, you can but applying the foot brake automatically shuts off the cruise settings.

 

Alternatively, you can step on the brake pedal using the decelerate button on your car's cruise control panel.

 

Typically, you can adjust the speed setting by tapping up or down.

 

 


When should you use cruise control?

 

Ideally, you should press on cruise control when there is little to no traffic and let you enjoy those clear roads, helping you maintain a consistent speed.

 

And, of course, use it only when the speed limit stays the same for long periods.

 

 


Could cruise control be bad?

 

Well, it can potentially affect your reaction times.

 

As mentioned, cruise control makes it super-easy.

 

Still, it can get too comfortable, causing you not to stay alert while driving.

 

In addition, it can lead to slower reaction times in the event of unexpected stops in traffic.

 

Such as or when other drivers cut you off, distracted pedestrians, crazy kangaroos crossing into your path, you name it. 

 

 


So when is it advisable NOT to use cruise control:

 

 

  1. When it's wet or slippery. Even if your car has ACC or traction control, play safe and not cruise control on wet terrain.
  2. When you feel sleepy (obviously)
  3. When driving in urban areas or heavy traffic.
  4. When driving through strong winds.

 


Do we suggest not using cruise control in the rain?

 

There is a bit of debate on using cruise control when raining.

 

Most people would recommend being fully in command and turning it off; however, others may suggest otherwise, as you can learn below:

 

 

 


Can cruise control be bad for your engine?

 

Not at all.

 

The constant change in acceleration and deceleration costs extra fuel plus wear and tear on the driveline.

 

So cruise control is good for your car.

 

And generally speaking, it can save petrol by helping you become more fuel-efficient, saving an average of 7-14% on fuel, thanks to its ability to keep a constant speed and apply gentle acceleration.

 

 


Does cruise control use the battery?

 

You will save battery on flat roads. Doesn't matter what you drive: electric, petrol or diesel car.

 

On hilly roads, cruise control will use more energy, kind of obvious, really.

 

 

 


So, after all, is cruise control worth using?

 

Sure is.

 

Using cruise control is an excellent method to control your speed when driving in determined areas.

 

Setting your vehicle's cruise control at a reasonable speed (speed limit would be a good start) will also reduce fuel consumption by limiting abrupt accelerations and decelerations.

 

 


My 4wd doesn't have cruise control. Can I still install it? 

 

You sure can, and it's never too late.

 

There are many aftermarket cruise control kits suitable for specific make/models (but you can also get universal fitting cruise control kits).

 

Both are pretty straightforward to install, as you can see in this video:

 

 

 

 


Does All Four x 4 Spares sell cruise control kits?

 

You bet!

 

We proudly stock Plug and Play Autostrada E-Cruise Controls as a perfect addition for your 4WD.

 

They're easy to install, use, and engineered to ensure an ideal fit with the highest level of reliability.

 

OEM style steering wheel stalk and electrical connectors for reliability and ease of installation, giving that factory fitted look with a quality feel.

 

Installation is a simple process with all plugs being OEM style with only one wire which needs soldering.

 

A template is provided for cutting the hole required for fitting the stalk through the steering column shroud.

 

Includes LED for with 8mm bezel and cruise control decal.

 

 

ECTY07O__

 

 

Our Autostrada cruise control kits come with comprehensive, easy to follow fitting instructions, including diagnostic mode and troubleshooting guides.

 

Suits automatic or manual transmission vehicles with airbags.

 

Kits include steering column control stalk (with bolts and template), two wiring harnesses, RF transmitter, RF Receiver, LED bezel, cruise control decal, instructions and cable ties.

 

We stock the following:

 

 

 

 


Concluding with a bit of fun

 

Wonder what it is like driving using CRUISE CONTROL ONLY? Check it out here (and of course, please don't try this on the road)

 

 

 

Read entire post
Published on by

Dual Battery Systems Setup Kits Explained

Read entire post: Dual Battery Systems Setup Kits Explained

 

Dual_Battery_Kits

credits to Alan Johnson from Piranha Off-Road

 

An important thing to look at when you're choosing a battery system for your vehicle is that it is going to be physically capable of handling the demands of a 4wd vehicle.

 

 

This post will cover a few critical aspects of Dual Battery Systems, what they are, how they work, and what to look for when installing them in your 4wd. 

 

 

Now typically, in a 4WD vehicle, we're going to get:

 

  • dust
  • water (duh) through river crossings 
  • huge amounts of vibration (shaking the hell out of the car) due to road corrugation

 

A system has to be tough enough to withstand those very harsh conditions. 

 

 

One of the beautiful things about living in Australia and being an Australian is that we have one of the best testing areas in all the world: the deserts in the outback.

 

 

Piranha Offroad R&D specialists came back from 7000 km's across the Simpson Desert doing further development work and testing on some of their products, and they had no dramas with their excellent dual battery systems proving their reliability whether that is going to be used in the Australian outback or the Australian bush. 

 

 

There are some things that we need to look for:

 

 

We need to ensure that that product will be tough enough to work reliably and long term in our vehicle. 

 

 

As briefly touched earlier, in a 4WD vehicle, we're going to get: extreme heat, vibration and lots and lots of shaking around you to corrugations

 

 

Therefore we need a product that is strong enough to withstand that. 

 

 

ice_screenshot_20210804-154919

 

 

An excellent dual battery system will have features such as nickel-plated bolts and a sealed casing so when the wires go through, it won't allow any rubbish to get into it.

 

 

It'll be capable of standing years and years of corrugations reliably doing everything you want it to do 

 

 


Dual Battery Systems FAQ

 

 

Now we're going to answer some questions that get asked all the time about dual battery systems. 

 

 

A typical question is:

 

 

Why does a modern vehicle and what we mean by modern cars, something made probably in the last five years, require a different type of battery controller to what we possibly would have used in the 20 years prior to that?

 

 

The answer is straightforward:

 

 

Modern-day vehicles have full electronics on them that control everything from the gearbox, the engine management system, in most cases ABS brakes and in some cases, stability control.

 

 

There's probably more computing power in many of these modern vehicles than the original Apollo mission to the moon lol.

 

 

That's just the evolution.

 

 

Unfortunately, the old solutions like marine switches and solenoids are no longer relevant for modern-day cars, and why is that?

 

 

ice_screenshot_20210804-134328

marine switches

 

 

ice_screenshot_20210804-134342

Solenoids

 

 

The computing power that we have in these modern vehicles means that these vehicles are susceptible to damage from things like voltage spikes.

 

 

A voltage spike or a surge occurs when you parallel batteries together in a charging scenario. It's just like jump-starting.

 

 

voltage-spike-effect-on-system-voltage

 

 

Now obviously, you don't want to damage the computer in your car, and you don't want to damage any of the electronics either. 

 

 

Even things like GPS's can be affected by surges and spikes, so the answer to that is to try and not create that surge or spike in the first place.

 

 

Piranha Offroad originally introduced modern-day systems with technology that allowed us to run smart computer systems in our cars with a battery isolation system that was compatible and safe.

 

 

ice_screenshot_20210804-134449

 

 

Since then, technology has developed even further.

 

 

Now what's happened is; originally, we used to have minimal choices of batteries. 

 

 

We had basically wet cells in cranking and wet cells in deep cycle. 

 

 

Nowadays, we have:

 

  • AGM batteries which is Absorbed Glass Mat.
  • Calcium batteries 
  • We have a whole range of wonderful technologies that allow us to charge our batteries more quickly, and they give us more capacity, which is all really, really good. 

 

 

However, you then need to use smarter technology products. Something like products driven typically by a microprocessor: 

 

  • enabling us to have a full smart charging algorithm built into our battery charging system. 
  • and allowing us to charge those different batteries with the different chemistries and still function effectively. 

 

 

battery-management-system

 

 

Importantly, the smarter systems cannot damage the electronics on your car, so you will not be stranded, and you'll not be in limp home mode.

 

 

You can use these products with absolute confidence knowing that everything is going to be fine. Learn more about the Piranha 140 Amp Dual Battery Management System HERE.

 

 

The last thing, of course, is very important is that on an older style vehicle, you don't necessarily need this level of technology.

 

 

But if you do sell that vehicle in a couple of years and then upgrade to something a bit newer, this can go with you

 

 

The life expectancy of these products is typically 15 years or more, so a smart answer with smart technology is a great way to go.

 

 


Dual Battery Control Features

 

 

What are the features that we should be looking for in a modern dual battery controller

 

 

One of the very most important features that most simple systems do not have is one-way flow

 

 

In other words, very simply, let's explain this in terms of tanks of water.

 

 

If one tank is full and the other one is empty, and we join the two tanks together, they'll equalize so that the full one will go down to half and the flat one will come up to half.

 

 

That's not what you want in a modern system. 

 

 

You must have a one-way flow so effective that the alternator charges the main battery, and after that's charged, it charges the auxiliary battery, so one-way flow is one of the most important features.

 

 

The second thing is we must have in a smart, intelligent modern system electronic current limiting

 

 

We can't be using fuses or circuit breakers. They just are not fast enough to protect those computers that we need to look after.

 

 

The next feature is related to a frequently asked question, not IF it goes wrong, but WHEN it goes wrong. 

 

 

Because everything gets old and wears out eventually, it's critical that you will not be left stranded when a system fails. 

 

 

If this system ever goes wrong, it does not impinge or in any way affect the computer, the starting, or the running of the car.

 

 

The worst thing that might happens is getting warm beers as the fridge will stop working.

 

 

Back to the points again.

 

 

The joints in every electrical system have the potential of having problems

 

  • a wire can come loose 
  • you can get high resistance 
  • you can get corrosion 
  • something can short out 

 

 

ice_screenshot_20210804-162801

 

So typically, we don't want lots of joints in our system in the wires in these smarter systems. 

 

 

We typically only have two connections, one onto each of the batteries.

 

 

If you've got external fuses and circuit breakers, you end up with six or more connections. 

 

 

So keeping the joins to an absolute minimum is really, really important.

 

 

The next thing, of course, is an infinite choice of batteries.

 

 

Now you don't have much choice over what battery the car comes with when you buy it initially, but once that battery is worn out, the choice is up to you. 

 

 

With smart systems, we can run any type of chemistry or technology. Now, remember that different chemistry batteries require different amounts of voltage to make them charge correctly. 

 

 

They have different charging regimes. That's the technical term for it. 

 

 

With these systems, we can use dissimilar batteries with very specific charging regimes and still get them to charge properly. 

 

 

Very importantly, these systems are Australian made and Australian tested with five years or more warranty.

      

 


Conclusion

 

 

Piranha Offroad are experts when it comes to dual battery setup for off-road vehicles. 

 

 

A dual battery setup gives you extra power for your vehicle electrics and accessories. 

 

 

Piranha also produces a range of high-quality battery trays designed primarily for dual battery systems. 

 

 

ice_screenshot_20200515-220038

 

Piranha has the battery tray you need, no matter what make or model of your 4WD.

 

 

All Piranha battery trays are designed for strength and made out of plated steel. Built with high sides and pressed bases, Piranha battery trays are made to withstand the stress of offroading in any condition. 

 

 

Piranha battery trays all come with fixing hardware included. 

 

 

Piranha Offroad is the answer if you are looking to upgrade to a dual battery system without all the fuss.

 

 

Check here for our selection of Piranha Offroad products, including battery trays, electrical accessories, and camping gear.

 

 

If you need any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact our experienced sales team, and they will guide you towards choosing the right product for your needs.

 

 

Do you have any questions about Dual Battery Systems? Please post them in the comments!   

 

Read entire post
Published on by

The essential spares and tool kits for remote 4x4 travel

Read entire post: The essential spares and tool kits for remote 4x4 travel

 

madmatt_spares

 

In this post, we will run through what type of spare parts and tools we recommend you bring, especially if you're travelling independently in pretty remote areas. This list does not intend to be fully comprehensive, however, you can use it as a reference.

 


Nuts and Bolts

 

bolts_and_nuts

 

A sturdy box that's good for nuts and bolts is your first port of call for spare parts. 

 

If you have a metric vehicle, bring metric nuts and bolts.

 

Bring ones that are relative to your vehicle by figuring out which ones are important.

 

You can buy them pretty cheaply, and also, let's say you've recently upgraded the exhaust or something, just bring the spare bolts so if you lose one, then you have it and you are covered.

 

Now a piece of extra advice is if you lose a bolt or nut on your vehicle. If you don't have the spare size, you might find something else on your vehicle that has one that's not important that you can take it off and put it on to where it is required.

 

 


Filters

 

Filter_Kit_Terrain_Tamer1

 

A fuel filter is one of the most critical spares that you should even carry in the city if possible.

 

Getting bad quality fuel is an unfortunate possibility, and it's a big problem, especially with very sensitive diesel engines from the new vehicles. Carrying a spare fuel filter is a safe bet if you ever have to change the fuel filter somewhere out in a bush. 

 

It can also be handy to carry a spare air filter in case yours gets wet or dusty.

 

 


Wheel Bearing Kits

 

wheel_bearing_kits

 

Do you really need wheel bearings? We suggest you do if you go remote travel.

 

But even if you are not going that remote, you should have full bearings because if a wheel bearing fails in your vehicle, your wheel won't turn, and needless to say, you'll be stuck!

 

If you bring wheel bearings, make sure you also bring grease so you can actually grease them up and put them in. And of course, you'll also need tools for the job.

 

 

 


Wheel Nuts & Studs

 

wheel_nuts_studs

 

You should really have spare wheel studs and nuts. It's a good idea to carry a set of six for each (and be covered if you lose a whole wheel).

 

If not, then you have to take every single wheel off and then pull one stud out of each wheel to put that spare wheel up.

 

Another plus in bringing a fresh set of wheel nuts and studs is when you try to replace a wheel and the stud snaps because they have been tightened with a 400 Newton force rattle gun by some tire shops. Needless to say, making your life hard.

 

 


Belts

 

dayco_belt

 

What we do recommend you carry are your belts. If you are fortunate that your vehicle is a single belt, bring a serpentine belt. If your vehicle has three belts, bring all the spare belts you can to be safe.
 

Suppose you lose a belt on those multi belt systems. In that case, you may find that a different vehicle, even from a different make and model, may have a belt from their air conditioning that they don't need. That may fit your water pump or whatever is wrecked, so you may have a get-out-of-jail-free there.

 

But for the sake of ease, just bring some spare belts. Ensure you have tools to change or adjust your belt, sometimes special tools are required.

 

 


Hoses & Pipes

 

DMH6204__1

 

We recommend if you have a vehicle that's older than 200,000Kms to just get plenty of spare top and bottom hoses. But even if you drive more modern vehicles, just carry some radiator hoses (just in case).

 

 


Fluids

 

Penrite_oils

 

Speaking of radiators again, if you bust a radiator hose, you are going to obviously lose some liquid that will need to be put back in.

 

So, don't leave without some radiator coolant and if it is concentrate, the better. 

 

You can also bring oil, diff oil, power steering fluids, automatic transmission fluids, and essential fluids.

 

Depending on if you travel solo or with other people, you may share all the fluids with each other. If not and you travel solo, bring them all.  

 

If you bring motor oil, making sure it's the right one for your vehicle. If you are unsure of the exact type, speak to your mechanic.

 

And don't forget brake fluid! Make sure to carry a sealed brake fluid bottle as a spare. If the seal is off, it would have absorbed moisture from the atmosphere, and performance would be reduced.

 

 


Differential oil

 

lsd_diff_oil

 

There is a difference between oil for an LSD (limited-slip differential) and a regular differential.

 

LSD gear oil fluid has a friction modifier additive as part of the formulation. This is required for correct differential operation. In general, you can use a "Limited Slip" differential lubricant in a standard differential, making it the best option for a group.

 

What you can't use in an LSD differential is non LSD oil. You will need LSD oil in your differential.

 

Most vehicles with diff lockers will need LSD oil, and some vehicles need it front and rear. So if you're going to bring any oil, bring LSD oil because it will work on most vehicles. Just make sure that the viscosity and oil compatibility details match what your vehicle should be using.

 

However, if you're in the middle of nowhere and you need some gear oil, and someone has LSD oil, you're pretty much 99% sure that you'll be ok to use it to get out of there and then reassess what you need afterwards.

 

 

 


Aerosols

 

best-brake-cleaner

 

WD water displacement spray can be handy for when you're working on things like taking your spare parts off. You need this kind of stuff to help you.

 

Brake cleaners: although they can be a bit expensive, you'll need them.

 

Contact cleaners are suitable for your electrical stuff. Rather than using water displacement to clean your electrical contacts, use a contact cleaner. 

 

And don't forget a simple window washer! Driving with a clean window is more enjoyable against blinding sunsets or tons of bugs.

 

 

 


Genuine or OEM parts 

 

parts

 

Please don't carry cheap CVs or cheap fuel filters, thinking they are just for spare use. 

 

We would highly suggest you get the correct genuine or OEM parts because they are made for your particular vehicle.

 

 


Electrics 

 

fuses

 

Bring your spare fuses, your blade fuses, making sure to get your vehicle-specific ones.

 

You may need to get underneath your footwell or inside your engine bay and work out the important ones and what size they are and just buy them; they are pretty cheap.

 

 


Tools

 

tools_kits

 

Here is a comprehensive bullet list of tools to bring:


Tyre & Jacking Tools

  • A good 8 Ton Bottle Jack or Hi-Lift Jack are a good starting point for most recovery situations.
  • Tyre repair kits

 

General Mechanical Tools

  • pliers
  • cutters
  • nippers
  • Stanley knives
  • screwdrivers sets
  • allen keys
  • spanners
  • vice grips
  • socket sets
  • bearing socket (54mm)
  • pin punches 
  • chisels
  • grey silicone
  • hammers or axes

 

Other important tools

  • superglue 
  • rescue tape
  • steel tie wire
  • gas soldering iron
  • heavy duty construction adhesive like Dynagrip and metal repair like Dynasteel
  • duct tape
  • electrical tape
  • gloves and hand cleaner
  • hose clamps
  • zip ties
  • rags
  • Inox and WD40 lubricants
  • rachet straps

 

Electrical tools

  • wire cutter - stripper 
  • multimeter
  • fuses and lugs

 

More tools

  • emery cloth
  • D shaped half round file
  • wire brush

 

 


Conclusion 

 

We believe proper vehicle service maintenance is the best thing you can do before overlanding to remote areas and will reduce the chances that things go bad on your trip. However, this list of spares and tools is a good starting point to cover most situations. 

 

All Four x 4 Spares stocks a massive range of genuine/quality aftermarket OEM spare parts and tool-related products from the best brands.

 

If you need any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact our experienced sales team. They will guide you towards choosing the right product for your needs.
 

Do you have any questions about spares or tools? Post them in the comments!

 

Read entire post
Published on by

4WD UHF Radios & Communications - all you need to know!

Read entire post: 4WD UHF Radios & Communications - all you need to know!
 
ronny-uhf

credits: Ronny Dahl

 

Driving with family or friends is probably more enjoyable (well, that would depend on who your family members or mates are) and much safer if you can communicate easily with each other.

 

However, it'll also be handy if you can easily communicate with people outside your group.

 

In this post, we will cover a few critical aspects of 4wd communication when travelling and provide an overview of the most common devices.

 

Be sure to save this post; you never know when you may need 4wd communication tips before or during your trip.

 

 


Types of 4x4 communication

 

There are several communication methods available to overland or offroad drivers, and that's a positive thing since there are various communication needs.

 

A typical mix of types of communication would be:

 

  • Others in a group - UHF Radio
  • Other groups - UHF radio, HF radio
  • Anyone in the world - satellite phones, HF radio
  • Emergency services - satellite phones, HF radio, distress beacons

 

Let's analyse each of these methods more in details:

 

Just a tiny consideration about mobile phones 

 

They do the job for general purposes when within range, but they won't help intra-convoy chats.

 

 


UHF CB Radios

 

Opener-1

 

An Ultra-High-Frequency radio, more commonly known as UHF, has a set of citizen's band, or CB, frequencies available for unrestricted, public use.

 

It's a two-way radio system that is free to use, and you won't need a licence. Radio units are either mounted on the vehicle, with available ranges between 1km and 40km depending on terrain, or handheld, in which case you may get a range from 1 to 5 kilometres, depending on terrain. The unit and antenna's specs are contributing factors in range/quality.

 

CBs don't work like mobile phones for a series of reasons:

 

  • CBs broadcast to everyone on the channel. Mobile phones are one-tone. Forget about privacy with CBs, (conversations can get very embarrassing if you are not careful) ) 
  • Mobile phones are duplex, meaning that if you and your mate are talking simultaneously, you'll hear each other voices. CBs are simplex, meaning that only one person can speak at a given time (not just your wife) 
  • CB transmission is free, and you only need two CB radios to communicate.

 

 

Types of UHF CB

UHF CBs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes but can broadly be categorised into in-car and handheld units.

 

In-car and handheld units are the most common UHF CBs:

 

in_car_uhf

  • In-car units, remote head UHF radios means the main body of the unit can be housed elsewhere, leaving only a small head unit for channel operation, volume and connection to the microphone. The mike has up/down channel keys on it too.

 

 


 

Handheld-UHF-CB-Radios

  • Handheld UHF radios are excellent for coordinating recoveries and all types of communication. They are affordable and useful; however, they should be seen as complementary to, not a replacement for, in-car units, primarily as their small antennae mean range is quite limited.

 

 

How to use a CB radio

  • Listen before you transmit: if you transmit simultaneously as someone else, odds are the transmissions will block each other.
  • Privacy: nothing you say is private, not even with CTSS (continuous Tone-code Squelch System), which filters out listening to others but doesn't stop them listening to you.
  • Speaking to strangers: It's common to run into conversations on long trips with strangers in convoys. Just be kind, and mostly you can have an interesting chat.
  • Chat or safety? On a trip, chat away but leave room for urgent transmissions.

 

CB is very relaxed and clear; short communication is essential. Here are a few words to memorise:

 

  • Breaker, relevant: need to interrupt the conversation, something urgent to say
  • Copy: understood and received. Also, "Copy Rob?" to see if someone is on the channel. "Roger" is also utilised as affirmative. Also, please acknowledge important instructions briefly, so the other party knows you have received and understood, repeating the instruction back if needed.
  • Clear: you have left the channel and are no longer going to use it. Might add "and monitoring" if you intend to do so. They are used often on repeaters.
  • Stand-by: wait, I'll get back to you. The correct response is to remain silent; the person asking you to stand by is probably occupied.

 

 

Interference by a third party

It can happen quite frequently during trips to find other parties on the same channel.

 

The trip leader may choose to switch channels or not. A channel change may depend if you travel in urban or more remote areas.

 

A moving 4WD convoy quickly passes out of the range in urban areas, so moving channels is often not worth the effort. But when in remote areas, perhaps offroading, the convoy passes much slower, so a channel change may be made.

 

Don't forget: anything you say on a CB can be heard by everyone else in the group or anybody who may be listening. 

 

Unfortunately, some less courteous CB users act like trolls, insulting and provoking people. Just ignore them. Do not change channels as they will easily follow you.

 

Can someone ask you to clear a channel? They surely can and will at some point. Do you have to? It's up to you. The police and others have channels outside of the CB range.

 

 

Where to transmit

The best place is at the top of a hill. Climb higher if you can't raise someone. UHF CB radios require a line of sight to work adequately

 

 

Blind transmissions

You can likely receive transmissions, but your radio cannot send them, or vice-versa. That can happen, for example, when you have a car radio talking to a handheld radio: the two are separated by some distance, and the handheld has insufficient power to transmit clearly that distance. However, it can receive.

 

In that case, the blind transmission may be helpful. State, "transmitting blind" before you transmit, so the other person knows that you do not necessarily expect a response.

 

 

Phonetic alphabet

use it if required, but speaking more clearly is often better

 

 

Morse code

SOS is dot dot dot, dash dash dash, dot dot dot, that all repeated after a short break. A dot is one short sound, and a dash is the same but longer.

 

 

UHF channels

 

Since 2011, the number of UHF CB channels changed from 40 to 80. These are used as follows:

 

CH.

PURPOSE NOTES
1-8 Repeater Output Avoid unless you intend to use a repeater
5 Repeater Emergency only Defined by Law
9 Conversations General Use
10 4WD Clubs General Use (often used by 4wd drivers)
11 Calling Channel Must switch to a conversation channel when making contact
12-17 Conversations General Use
18 Holiday Channel (convoy caravanner) General Use
19-21 Conversations General Use
22-23 Data Channels No voice transmission permitted (defined by law)
24-28 Conversations General Use
29 Highway (Road Channel) General Use
30 Conversations General Use (broadcast)
31-38 Repeater Output Avoid unless you intend to use a repeater
35 Repeater Emergency only Defined by Law
39 Conversations General Use
40 Highway (Road Channel) Defined by law, for talking to other road users
41-48 Repeater Output Avoid unless you intend to use a repeater
49-60 Conversations General Use
61-63 Reserved Future expansion
64-70 Conversations General Use
71-78 Repeater Output Avoid unless you intend to use a repeater
79-80 Conversations General Use

 

 

Power

The power of a radio is measured in watts, which is basically how strongly the signal is radiated.

 

That strength depletes with an inverse square law, which means, all else being equal, to double the range of a 0.5-watt unit, you'll need a 2.54-watt radio.

 

The maximum permitted CB UHF power in Australia is 5 watts. The same law means that you'll get a quarter of the signal strength if you double your distance from a transmitter.

 

Receiving has nothing to do with the transmitter's power and everything to do with the quality and location of the antenna.

 

It's worth getting that right, as once you have tried UHF radio, you'll never want to travel without it.

 

 

Antennae

 

ANTENNAS

 

Radio performance is mainly dependant on the antenna, which is why a 5-watt handheld radio with a low antenna won't perform like an in-car five-watt unit with its higher antenna.

 

The location of the antenna is fundamental to its performance. Ideally, it would go on the roof rack or gutter, but the bull bar works too. 

 

A taller antenna is not necessarily better. Tall antennae are high gain which means they can transmit a long way, but only in a narrow band.

 

Shorter antennas are low gain, which means their transmissions are wider but don't travel as far.

 

Think of a doughnut, either squashed flat or normally shaped. An eight dBd (decibel relative to unity) is high gain, one dBd is low gain, and three to four is middle of the range. You can learn more by exploring the antennas's range from Oricom

 

 

 

Repeaters

Repeaters are base stations that look for signals on channel 1-8 and automatically re-transmit them a long way on channels 31-38.

 

Useful but avoid channels one to eight unless you actually mean to use a repeater.

 

 

AM CB radios

AM CB radios are the same as UHF, except they operate on a different frequency.

 

They are not used much nowadays as UHF is far clearer. However, AM often has a range advantage, and with so few people on it, less clutter.

 

 


Satellite phones

 

Iridium-Satellite-Phones

 

When offroading, you may run into situations where you must talk to an expert or the authorities.

 

You might have a life-threatening injury on your hands, a dead vehicle that you are unable to fix or be cornered by impassable roads with supplies running out.

 

For others, communication is more ordinary: many people conduct business remotely and being contactable can mean the difference between a holiday going ahead or not. Or perhaps you are waiting on really important news but don't want to delay a trip.

 

So there is a case for remote area communications, and one of the most common solutions is a satellite phone, or satphone, as it's highly portable and easy to use.

 

 

So what is a satphone?

Everyone knows what conventional mobile is - one that works on the GSM network - but perhaps not how it works.

 

The GSM network is a series of radio base stations all over the country with a typical range of around 30km. Your mobile is a radio transmitter/receiver and has adequate power to transmit your call to the nearest base station. From there, it hooks into the national telephone network and thus the world.

 

The limitation is that you need to be close to a base station, which won't help for outback travel, and the signal doesn't pass through or over hills, in part because it is broadcast from terrestrial stations.

 


Products like these Mobile Phone Signal Repeater Boosters help reduce call drop outs, improve cellular coverage in remote areas, and improve download speed so they come in very handy!


 

Anyway; satphones operate much the same way, but their base stations are satellites. While the satellites can see a large part of the earth, not all satphones systems have truly worldwide coverage.

 

Just because you have a satphone doesn't mean to say you'll be able to get assistance. If you need to make an emergency call, chances are you'll want to do so quickly, and the situation will be stressful.

 

You may also be struggling with battery life, noisy weather, service dropouts and limited time. The call needs to be quick and to the point, so get prepared. If you need to leave a message, don't assume you will be understood:

 

  1. Please send a text, too (and don't assume that will get through).
  2. Repeat yourself on any message.
  3. On any message, repeat yourself.
  4. When leaving a message, repeat it.

 

Adding a 12V adaptor and external antenna means no worries about battery life - then you can sit inside a comfortable, quiet car to make the call rather than battle the elements (a satphone doesn't work well inside a vehicle without an external antenna as it cannot easily see its satellites)

 

Make a list of emergency numbers, and more than one friend who you know can be trusted in an emergency. Then work out what you'll be likely to be saying. Here is an example list of information to leave and to take with you on a laminated card.

 

  • Full names of everyone at the party
  • Pertinent medical details (blood type, special conditions, medicare)
  • Next of kin and emergency contact
  • Vehicle make, model, colour and description
  • Intended routes and times

 

This list is what authorities will want to know

 

  • Who are the people (number, injuries)
  • What the problem is
  • Where you are (coordinates, track name/how far along)
  • Food, water, shelter situation
  • Your intended plans, what you have done and what you need

 

Some examples of numbers to take:

 

  • Local police
  • RFDs
  • Trusted friends (who have your travel details already)
  • Your friendly 4wd mechanic (ask before you leave)
  • Rangers

 

Finally, please do not consider a satphone as a get out of jail free card that substitutes for careful planning, training and quality equipment. Note that satphones should be able to call 112, the international emergency number, with or without a plan or SIM.

 

 

Can anyone make the call?

While satphones resemble mobile phones, they don't work like mobile phones.

 

As satphones are often carried for emergency purposes, the people making the calls may be scared, in adverse weather conditions and unfamiliar with satphones.

 

Could they still make an emergency call? We recommend not only familiarising everyone in your party with the phone but also including two copies of clear written instructions describing how to make an emergency call and turning all PIN codes and the like off.

 

Storing everything in a small camera bag is a good idea, too, but make sure it's easily accessible should you need to exit the vehicle in a hurry

 

 


HF Radio 

 

High-frequency (HF) radio is similar to UHF but with a much longer range.

 

That means you can talk to anyone from anywhere, but you do need a licence. The units are relatively expensive at around $2000+ and not very portable.

 

Vehicle-mounted radio kits could be damaged by fire or rollovers, whereas handset satphones are less vulnerable and more portable.

 

The good thing about HF is you become part of a travelling community, not just talking one-to-one as you would with a satphone, and there is no usage fee.

 

You can talk to people further up the track, for example. HF is free to use, and you can broadcast and listen in to the "skeds" or scheduled information services.

 

 

 


Distress beacons

 

 

What they are

When things turn desperate (like in life danger situations) and you are far away from normal communication channels, you will need help. What to do? A distress beacon could be the answer.

 

There are small, tough devices that, when set off, broadcast a radio signal to the rescue authorities, who will respond and assist.

 

Be clear about their use; beacons are to be used only "when there is a threat of grave or imminent danger", and other communications methods have been exhausted.

 

When you set one off, search, and rescue (SAR) teams are going to leap into action. This costs a lot of money, but more importantly, there are only so many SAR teams, and you don't want them turning up to a non-serious situation when they should be attending a real emergency.

 

Beacon communications are very simple, just a distress signal and maybe coordinates. There is no way to say what the problem is, on any two-way communication, unlike a satphone or HF radio.

 

That said, the simplicity of a beacon is its strength. They are much cheaper than a satphone, easier to use, there are no ongoing costs, they are small, tougher, more reliable and will work out your position (if fitted with GPS, although they cannot be used for navigation) and they continually transmit it. You could put one in your car and almost forget it exists, just as insurance.

 

They are a complement to satphones and HF radio, not a replacement, and the reason they exist is to firstly alert the authorities to those in real trouble and then "take the search out of search and rescue."

 

 

Types of beacon

There is not just one type of distress beacon, but several, all of which operates on the same basic principle; once activated, they send a distress radio signal until the battery dies.

 

The first type is an EPIRB, or Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon. These are designed to be mounted for vessels for maritime use, float with the antenna upright and operate for at least 48 hours. Some activate on contact with water. Distress beacons are sometimes incorrectly referred to as EPIRBs, and an EPRIB is just one type of distress beacon.

 

There are ELTs, or Emergency Locator Transmitters used in aircraft and designed to operate on impact, then continue transmitting for at least 24 hours. Most aircraft are required to carry an ELT.

 

PLBs are Personal Locator Beacons, which, as the name suggests, are small, light, designed to be carried by a person anywhere they may be and are manually activated. They float but are not required to do so with their antenna upright and need only transmit for 24 hours.

 

van_dragt_121318_0014-plb-in-use

 

Off-roaders should choose between PLBs or EPIRBs. Both will do the job, but cost and size will probably see most opt for PLBs. An EPIRB may be 260x120x83mm and weigh half a kg, whereas a PLB may weigh 250g with dimensions of 135x71x38mm.

 

That means it is easily slipped into a side pocket of a vehicle or taken on walks or other activities. A PLB will cost a lot less than $1000, or you can hire them.

 

 

Australian beacons

You must ensure the beacon you buy is designed for the Australian system; the government organisation in charge of beacons, the Australian maritime safety authority (AMSA), warns against some North American types.

 

That said, all 406MHzbeacons work everywhere in the world and all work on the same principle.

 

There are two types of beacon, those on the 121.5MHz frequency and those on 406MHz, but the 121.5MHz types were phased out in February 2009 and should be destroyed by authorised personnel so they cannot be used or send a false alarm.

 

All 406 MHz units must be registered with AMSA, which cost nothing. Australian units must be coded with the Australian identifier 503, and the contacts given to AMSA must be Australian.

 

The registration process asks for the unique beacon HEXID or UIN number (printed on the beacon), what make and model it is, your contact details and three emergency contact details.

 

If applicable, you can fill out vessel or aircraft details or use the Land section to describe your vehicle. If the beacon is set off, the authorities know whose it is, who they are looking for, who to contact and what vehicle you may be. After registration, a confirmation letter with proof of registration sticker will be sent to you. The sticker should be attached to your EPIRB or PLB next to the HEXID already marked on the beacon.

 

The stickers are valid for two years and provide an easy visual check for authorities to check your beacon is registered. 

 

 

How beacons works

1905f_hiw_16x9

When activated, the beacon transmits a radio signal, on 406MHz, which contains its ID, to a set of satellites, pulsing the signal at a power of five watts.

 

These satellites are run by Cospas-Sarsat, an international organisation started by the USA, France, Canada and Russia in 1979.

 

ESA_Cospas-Sarsat_system

 

There are two types, LEOSAR which are in low earth orbit and more relative to the earth, and GEO SAR, which are geostationary, so they don't move relative to the earth.

 

The two are complementary; for example, as LEOSAR moves, it may be able to get in positions to receive a signal where GEO SAR cannot, but GEO SAR offers immediate pickup.

 

If you get a GEO SAR satellite, the authorities know about it within 5 minutes, but otherwise, you may need to wait up to an hour for one of the five LEOSAR satellites to come by as they orbit the world once every 100 minutes.

 

Now there is a quicker and more accurate way to get help; the beacon's exact location can be encoded in the signal. That's pretty simple; just add a GPS receiver to the beacon and once the GPSR acquires a lock, send the coordinates along.

 

Suppose the beacon is in a clear area. In that case, it'll take a few minutes to acquire a GPS lock, and then you'll get near-instant and exact notification of location (within around 120 metres) to the rescue team who now also have a good idea or what sort of terrain or water you are in even before they depart.

 

Consider, too, that once the authorities have your coordinated, they will continue to the location and don't require the beacon to transmit it, but leave it on as the homing signal makes it easier for them to find you. All up GPS capability is definitely worth the extra couple of hundred dollars.

 

 

Maintaining a beacon

Owning and maintaining a beacon is easy. Please keep it away from magnetic sources, run the self-test as required, check it hasn't been damaged, keep it away from children, keep the registration details updated with AMSA and explain its use to any adults. Call AMSA ON 1800 641 792 immediately if a beacon is accidentally activated; there is no penalty for doing so.

 

Secure your beacon to avoid hoaxers playing with people lives. Check the battery life, which will be a few years, and when it needs replacing, get it done only by a dealer. Take care of it because one day you may need it.

 

 


Conclusion

 

All Four x 4 Spares stocks a massive range of communication and navigation-related products such as AntennasMaps, Books & DVDsUHF & CB RadiosWalkie Talkies from the best brands including Hema MapsOricom, CEL-Fi.

 

If you need any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact our experienced sales team and they will guide you towards choosing the right product for your needs.

 

Do you have any questions about 4wd communications? Post them in the comments!

 

 

4wd_communication_all_four_x_4

 

 

 

Read entire post
Published on by

Australian Outback by 4wd travel diary - 4500Kms to remote NSW and QLD

Read entire post: Australian Outback by 4wd travel diary - 4500Kms to remote NSW and QLD

 

Yenlora_Rd1

 

We are fortunate here at All Four x 4 Spares. Our staff live and breathe 4wd adventure and when they take their holidays, they don't just sit back and relax...they undertake overlanding trips with their own 4wds to some of the most remote areas this country has to offer. 

 

When they return to the office, they do not hesitate to show off their magnificent travel photos to stir colleagues and make them just a bit jealous :) 

 

That is the case of Dave and Deb, who are almost experts in packing up all the necessities on their Land Rover Defender and head out for weeks of exploration.

 

They recently travelled 4500kms in 3 weeks in April to south-western QLD and north-western NSW

 

Here is the travel diary they returned with along with some spectacular images...Enjoy!


 

"After the rain in March, the landscape was a vivid green parkland with surface water still evident, a stark contrast to the dry, dusty and grassless landscapes that we have come to expect. 

 

After leaving Hebel, we visited Culgoa FloodplainThushton, Mariala, Lake Bindegolly and Currawinya National Parks

 

Access to Culgoa was opened the day before we arrived. We were presented with long sections of water covered track before arriving at Byra Lagoon to camp for 2 nights. 

 

We had the park to ourselves and enjoyed the sight of a full lagoon filled with birdlife. 

 

Byra_Lagoon1

 

 

Then we travelled north on station tracks to Thrushton via Mitchell and Bollon to once again have the park to ourselves.

 

Thrushton_camp1

 

 

There is a beautifully restored shearing shed, and evidence of open bore drains that once watered the sheep. 

 

woolshed1

 

 

The next stop was Mariala via Charleville and yet again our own private park where we explored on a drive to waterholes camp area and a hike to a beautiful lookout on an escarpment. 

 

Mariala_Escarpment1

 

 

This was the end of our first week, and temperatures were in the low 30s until a late change on our last night at Mariala

 

The road then took us to Adavale, a beer at the pub with Cos, the publican, to celebrate our third visit; apparently, we are rare! 

 

Next stop, Lake Bindegolly, and two hikes to be amazed at the water and the birds. 

 

 

Then we headed east to find the northern access to Currawinya NP along Yenlora Rd to Myninya campground. The 85 km drive was magnificent over rocky terrain with some washouts requiring low low as this road had also been recently closed. 

 

Yenlora_Rd1

 

 

We travelled beside the Walters Range and through Gidgee country before arriving at camp where the lake that last time was dry was now full. Once again, we were the only people in the park. 

 

Lake_at_Myninya1

 

From here, we explored the new northern area of Currawinya via Boorara Springs circuit, 110kms, that took us past the woodshed, mound springs and over the Walters Range that provided magnificent vistas.

 

 

We also revisited Budjiti lookout, and this time we could see Lakes Numalla and Wyara in the distance, full of water! 

 

Budjiti_Lookout1

 

Lake_Numall_nromally_dry1

 

 

After 2 nights, we moved to Ourimperee Waterhole camp area beside the Paroo.

 

Cam_fire_on_Paroo1

 

 

We were entertained by a lone pelican who trolled up and down for his dinner. 

 

Pelican_on_Paroo1

 

 

We visited the lakes to be amazed at the transformation from our last visit when they were both dry. It was wonderful to hear waves crashing and birds calling. 

 

Green_camp_normally_dirt1

 

The next day we explored the newly opened Beefwood Rd from the woodshed to the Eulo-Hungerford Rd and found a beautiful wetland area and were lucky to see a pair of Brolgas. This road also crossed the Walters range with great views again and had amazing history about how cattle were transported. 

 

We spent 6 nights in Currawinya and travelled 700 kms in the park. 

 

Then we had a huge loop to visit our friends at Boneda, near Breewarina, via Eulo, Cunumulla, Baringun and Engonia, 300kms, as we needed fuel and some roads were still closed. 

 

When we arrived, they were still shearing, so we experienced a working shearing shed and dinner with the shearing crew. Dave and I went out with Jen, the owner, on quad bikes to see the amazing water-filled paddocks that were dustbowls on our last visit and check on the sheep and goats. 

 

After the shearers left, Dave and Steve, owner, drove 100ks to Weilmoringle to collect wild dog baits for Jen to distribute. While Jen was busy, Steve jumped on a quad bike, and Dave and I drove in Steve's Toyota ute to help with goat mustering and boy are they crazy animals.

 

Home again, and Dave is still recovering from driving the Toyota.

 

What a good end to a trip that gave a different view to land previously visited, we made our way home from Boneda via Gilgandra and the golden highway. I wonder what the next trip has in store"

 

 

ice_screenshot_20210506-102543

 

Read entire post
1 - 10 of 59 results