What not to get!

Submitted: Wednesday, Aug 07, 2013 at 19:14
ThreadID: 103663 Views:3143 Replies:14 FollowUps:23
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There are a lot of gadgets on the market and no doubt many are very handy, but I wonder how many are, to put it politely, just something else that takes up space.

I would like to put forward extra driving lights. If you're travelling it is best to be off the road by dark in the first place. If caught out standard high beam in most vehicles is satisfactory to excellent.
I have lived out west and have driven at night with heaps of roos about (not by choice, just trying to get home) but standard lights are pretty good now and, to be honest, most external driving lights are either possum spotters or worm burners ( or both). They are either not adjusted properly or bounced out of whack by rough roads. Unless you live in a remote area you don't need them.
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Reply By: Sandman - Wednesday, Aug 07, 2013 at 19:41

Wednesday, Aug 07, 2013 at 19:41
Lighting up the road for 1.5KM infront of you because you can is a waste of time. A spot and spread are great...I travel out here in Alice Springs at midnight regularly and its saved my ass as I can see the buggers coming out of the bush :-) The day I took the daughters Holden Viva, it didnt end well, car was in the panel shop for a month....left huge chunks of fur in the grill :-)

Pete
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Follow Up By: Zebra400 - Friday, Aug 09, 2013 at 06:38

Friday, Aug 09, 2013 at 06:38
Having run driving lights for a few years on our 80 Series, we found that whilst they helped for high beam, we suffered badly when we returned to low beam. Trying to see things down the road with low beam & an oncoming vehicle made our journey frustrating.

So, after talking to Alan Johnson at Piranha 4WD, we decided to upgrade our wiring lume and change the high/low beam lights. We now run 95W low beams & 110W high beams. Alan maintains the 110W high beam light bulbs he sells, give out as much light as other 145W brands. Having driven with the new set up for 5 years, I totally agree wtih Alan's recommendation. We now have great lighting in high & low beam situations.

We still have the 145W driving lights, but find that they only add marginally more light when used in conjunction with our high beams.

Laurie

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Follow Up By: howesy - Saturday, Aug 10, 2013 at 07:24

Saturday, Aug 10, 2013 at 07:24
Just a note,,,upgrading the wattage it is a must to do as Zebra400 posted and upgrade the wiring r over the long term you are asking for trouble,,,another thing to consider is that most of the older cars are right but on some newr cars especially non 4WD before upgrading the wattage get advice as the etra heat generated can quickly deteriorate the reflectors and burn them off,,,older cars are generally OK
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Follow Up By: Rockape - Saturday, Aug 10, 2013 at 14:07

Saturday, Aug 10, 2013 at 14:07
Zebra400,
you could have saved yourself a few dollars by just leaving your lights on high beam and not worrying about dropping to low beam.

Mind you, I and other motorists coming toward you with those 95 watt low beams won't be able to see. You will be right as you will be able to see us clearly when we hit something.

Please don't say the 95 watt low beams don't affect the oncoming driver because they are in a low beam based reflector. What makes it worse is a 4wds lights are so much higher and most are no adjusted for vehicle load.


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Reply By: olcoolone - Wednesday, Aug 07, 2013 at 19:53

Wednesday, Aug 07, 2013 at 19:53
I would say nearly everything you buy for the first time if it has anything to do with camping and 4 wheel driving, the amount of gear people have sitting in their sheds that the bought when they first started out; used it a few times and relised there was something better must be BIG.

We have found out if we spend good money on something better the first time we don't have that much gear we don't use anymore.

Now! For the driving lights, we run really big bright expensive driving lights on most of our vehicles including work, we find they reduce fatigue 10 fold and are much safer..... the thing about you shouldn't be driving after dust is the biggest crook of **** I have ever heard and would love to find the first person who made the comment.

I'm not having a go at you personally but it's personal choice if you have driving lights and if you decide to drive in the dark...... for us we have to drive long distances in the dark and we don't live in a remote area.

For anyone who says there standard light are great and it's all you need ...... what can I say without being moderated. LOL

I have never had a light go out of adjustment from driving on dirt roads, years ago when rallying we had to run support straps to stop vibration; but thankfully mounting designs have come along way.

People fit big tyres, winches, lockers and host of other 4x4 gear that they may only use once a year if lucky..... I have a simple philosophy " It has to work as it is intended to, be functional, be useful and be used".
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Wednesday, Aug 07, 2013 at 20:05

Wednesday, Aug 07, 2013 at 20:05
Then there is the philosophy that it is better to have it and not need it rather than need it and not have it!!! (;-))
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Follow Up By: SDG - Wednesday, Aug 07, 2013 at 21:26

Wednesday, Aug 07, 2013 at 21:26
Have travelled to Adelaide, Melbourne, and Brisbane, then back home( Wagga) a fair few times aver the last 20odd years. Last year, for the first time ever, I saw the road to Mildura in the daylight. (Never again. Boring as anything) I saw Dubbo for the first time earlier this year.

Prefer to drive at night, although, as of late my body/brain is thinking otherwise.
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Follow Up By: Member - johnat - Friday, Aug 09, 2013 at 21:46

Friday, Aug 09, 2013 at 21:46
The original post was in relation to camping - I think - so driving at night and THEN having to set up a van in darkness is not something I'm over much comfortable with! This may have to do with the fact that I have a wind up van to setup, and doing that in darkness is un-wonderful, to say the least!

Still, lighting the world with your headlights/spots/drivers/wide beams is no benefit if there is an oncoming vehicle, and the difference between "full" illumination and "low beam" can be the difference between bright daylight and moonless night. Far better, I feel, to be comfortable with BOTH levels, rather than to have a huge difference between hi and lo beam illumination!
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Follow Up By: olcoolone - Saturday, Aug 10, 2013 at 08:22

Saturday, Aug 10, 2013 at 08:22
Thats a pretty logical answer, obviously you drive very little at night or you only drive at night in built up areas and this excuse for why you don't like bright high beams due to when you have to go down to low beam is a strange reason...... so you think it is better to increase the risk for all your driving instead of limiting the risk.

Besides that most (99%) caravanners usually pull up by 2pm in a truck parking bay for the night and wake at 5am to do another 200 kilometers.

Setting up at night we don't see as a problem.

BTW do you have driving lights fitted to your vehicle?
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Reply By: Eric Experience - Wednesday, Aug 07, 2013 at 20:13

Wednesday, Aug 07, 2013 at 20:13
Coldee.
I agree, you don't have to have driving lights on a modern vehicle. The most common problem with poor night vision is dirty windscreens. People who smoke have a double problem, the inside of the glass has a coating of tar that is hard to clean off, as well smoking effects the sensitivity of the eyes. Eric.
AnswerID: 516066

Follow Up By: Member - VickiW - Friday, Aug 09, 2013 at 19:13

Friday, Aug 09, 2013 at 19:13
Another big contributor to poor night vision is actually eye problems, including cataracts. I got cataracts early & had them operated on last year and have seen (!) an incredible improvement in my night vision.

Whilst I agree driving lights are a big help to getting longer warning of movement on the road (or close beside) further ahead, I would still avoid night driving just because of a few basic common sense facts:

- no matter what lights a vehicle has it doesn't compare to daylight
- most of us get more tired and concentration suffers driving in the dark and this only gets worse as it gets later
- we have a lot of diurnal and nocturnal animals.

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Reply By: AlbyNSW - Wednesday, Aug 07, 2013 at 20:22

Wednesday, Aug 07, 2013 at 20:22
You don't have to have driving lights but gee it is a lot better with them than without them

AnswerID: 516067

Reply By: Member - Arsenal Phill - Thursday, Aug 08, 2013 at 08:41

Thursday, Aug 08, 2013 at 08:41
I wouldn't dismiss extra driving lights. We rolled into Cobra Station later than we anticipated a while back and the last hour of driving was in the dark. With only the Cruiser's standard lights it was hard work. I don't find them satisfactory at all. Having been in a mates Cruiser since that he has fitted the HID replacement bulbs, plus some Lightforce spotties, I have to say............BIG DIFFERENCE.
AnswerID: 516077

Reply By: Penchy - Thursday, Aug 08, 2013 at 11:25

Thursday, Aug 08, 2013 at 11:25
why is everyone jumping on the driving light bandwagon? It was just an example. I'm sure other people have ideas of things they think will be usefull that just end up being junk.
My idea of useless kit is the 12v wheel nutt remover. If you can't undo a wheel nutt with a breaker bar and pipe extension, then you probably should drive a Corolla. It's just another big plasic box that sits up the back of the wagon and does nothing.
AnswerID: 516081

Follow Up By: olcoolone - Thursday, Aug 08, 2013 at 11:42

Thursday, Aug 08, 2013 at 11:42
Because you dedicated 2 lines of text toy "gadgets"...... and 5 lines to "why we should not have driving lights", plus you went into more detail.

So it wasn't about driving lights?
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Follow Up By: olcoolone - Thursday, Aug 08, 2013 at 11:45

Thursday, Aug 08, 2013 at 11:45
OH! and about the 12 volt wheel nut remover...... I don't have one but - why do we have underbench dishwashers, clothes dryers, three TV's in a house with only two people..... and I'm sure there is more
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Follow Up By: Penchy - Thursday, Aug 08, 2013 at 11:56

Thursday, Aug 08, 2013 at 11:56
good point olcoolone. I forgot people now days are 1 of 3 things, old, fat or lazy (and sometime more than 1).
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Follow Up By: Krooznalong - Thursday, Aug 08, 2013 at 13:22

Thursday, Aug 08, 2013 at 13:22
"why is everyone jumping on the driving light bandwagon?"
Was wondering the same thing myself Penchy.

And olcoolone - it wasn't Penchy who started the thread.

I certainly did not interpret the post to be about driving lights.

But just to add my 2 cents worth to the DL debate I gotta agree with OP - nights are best suited to sitting around a campfire with ones favourite beverage rather than on the road.

I reckon those stupid plastic egg cartons - useless bloody things. Bought one yonks ago and dumped it pretty quickly.

Someone gave us a useless 4 sided bread toaster thingy that's meant to sit over the stove - hopeless POS!
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Follow Up By: member - mazcan - Thursday, Aug 08, 2013 at 14:14

Thursday, Aug 08, 2013 at 14:14
penchy
I think your opinion is bit self centered
in respect to 12v wheel-nut wrench being useless

you may well be a fit and able bodied person to use a wheel brace and extension bar
but a lot of us have shoulder and lower back problems and choose to use the easier alternative
so we can keep enjoying what we like do the same as you
cheers
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Follow Up By: Penchy - Thursday, Aug 08, 2013 at 14:41

Thursday, Aug 08, 2013 at 14:41
your right mazcan. But I also have shoulder and back issues, the steel plate in my upper right humourous, and braking my L2, L3 and L5 prove this, but I don't make excuses, just get on with it.

FYI - I also have a tibial nail, another plate that runs the entire length of my right femur, and a plate on my left distal radius. No-one cares about that though, so why moan about it?
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Follow Up By: Member - Coldee - Thursday, Aug 08, 2013 at 18:48

Thursday, Aug 08, 2013 at 18:48
True Penchy! The question was about unnecessary stuff. The driving lights was just an example.

Like most things, including driving lights, one man's meat is another man's poison.

My other point about being on the road after dark referred to people on the wallaby. I always like to pull over mid to late afternoon, get the camp set up before dark and therefore do not need the extra lights.
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Follow Up By: KevinE - Thursday, Aug 08, 2013 at 20:11

Thursday, Aug 08, 2013 at 20:11
Penchy posted:

"good point olcoolone. I forgot people now days are 1 of 3 things, old, fat or lazy (and sometime more than 1)."

Mate, that is gold! :=)
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Thursday, Aug 08, 2013 at 20:56

Thursday, Aug 08, 2013 at 20:56
On reflection I think I might qualify for all three.....
Old?? Yep and hoping to get older.
Fat?? I prefer to think of it as pleasingly plump. Anyway strand me and one of them superfit, superthin fast metabolism types out in the dessert and see who lasts the longest....here I'm hoping he/she doesn't have cannibalistic tendencies.
Lazy?? I just happen to believe the human heart has only so many beats allocated. I'm conserving mine.

So any energy saving device I can get my hands on...so much the better.

Cheers
Pop
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Follow Up By: KevinE - Thursday, Aug 08, 2013 at 21:18

Thursday, Aug 08, 2013 at 21:18
"Lazy?? I just happen to believe the human heart has only so many beats allocated. I'm conserving mine"

Yeah, me too............abseiling down cliffs at Morialta, diving with sharks in Pt Lincoln, skydiving & climbing trees daily with a running chainsaw in one hand & a tree branch in the other............. lol!

Playing with the grand children after work too ;=)

Life's for living! You're a long time dead.

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Reply By: prado 01 - Thursday, Aug 08, 2013 at 12:11

Thursday, Aug 08, 2013 at 12:11
Agree with coldee and eric.
In the outback on the highway normal sedans can cope with normal lights but some 4wd drivers can't cope without extra driving lights, figure that one out.
Cheers
AnswerID: 516082

Reply By: member - mazcan - Thursday, Aug 08, 2013 at 14:03

Thursday, Aug 08, 2013 at 14:03
hi all
I never drool at the mouth when I see all the gear some people have with them and in and hanging off/on their vehicles
simply because it was their personal choice
/or a b/sh----g salesman that convinced them that they cant possibly manage with out x amount of gadgets or they have an image they want to live up to
also it was their own money that paid for the items not mine
so i don't give a toss

some stuff is required and also makes life easier depending how often it is to be used and for what
based on each individuals likes and dislikes
I have bought some items that weren't as good or as useful as I thought it would be but so be it
I paid for it so in the end a bad decision
but that's life
just do what you want and make sure you enjoy it and don't worry about what others think
that's my basic moto for life and so far it's working well
keep breathing
cheers
AnswerID: 516088

Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Thursday, Aug 08, 2013 at 18:53

Thursday, Aug 08, 2013 at 18:53
Good call Mazcan
I not real sure of the purpose of this whole thread, what some consider useless is useful to others. Whatever works for you is all that matters
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Reply By: Member - Michael O (NSW) - Thursday, Aug 08, 2013 at 17:36

Thursday, Aug 08, 2013 at 17:36
I'd suggest that most of the gadgets I have that I'd consider useless, weren't bought by me anyway. Family seems to think that "he's into camping, he'll love this..."

For example
Black bag solar shower
Camp oven lid lifter
Bullbag (airjack)
and of course the old chestnut, the pre-packed "off road" first aid kit!!!

Michael O
Monday I have Friday on my mind...
The Easybeats 1966

Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 516098

Follow Up By: The Landy - Friday, Aug 09, 2013 at 06:17

Friday, Aug 09, 2013 at 06:17
Confession - I've got two camp oven lid lifter's!

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Reply By: Bazooka - Thursday, Aug 08, 2013 at 18:33

Thursday, Aug 08, 2013 at 18:33
Similar thread from a few months back HERE.
Enjoy.
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Reply By: Drew - Karratha - Thursday, Aug 08, 2013 at 19:50

Thursday, Aug 08, 2013 at 19:50
I bought a plastic 'solar' shower from Kathmandu on special (for about $5 - down from close to $50), it leaked like a sieve without being able to turn it off the first time I used it, and was too hard to fill in the first place... I burnt it in the fire to prevent anyone else from losing water too.

I wont take my Webber Baby Q on another remote trip again due to the weight / space / gas bottle required.

The fold-up chair with a built-in foot rest stays at home.

The COBB now stays at home unless space isn't an issue, but it is handy...

The cheap air compressor that pumped tyres up from 16 - 12. I made sure I ran it over before I took it back for a refund (and bought a Blue Tongue that has been working faultlessly (slowly) for the past 12 years)

I love my spotties as I try to travel at night - would rather risk the roos and cattle than caravanners, wide loads, and dicXheads trying to pass in the wrong spots. I will upgrade to HID's when funds allow.

My 12v impact wrench has undone bolts that otherwise would have been stuck for another day (Chain guard on a bobcat), and makes wheel rotations a breeze)

My cheap fold-out kitchen is the most ridiculous piece of crap (including backgammon on the top), however when space isn't an issue, it gets a spot as it has a place for the butane cooker, a sink, shelves, hooks to hang things, etc. Each time I unfold it I wonder why I bought it - thinking it must have been VERY cheap. It makes life easy though...

Drew

AnswerID: 516104

Reply By: KevinE - Thursday, Aug 08, 2013 at 20:44

Thursday, Aug 08, 2013 at 20:44
G'day Coldee,

For me (because everyone is different) I could do without the following:

Bullbar: yes, they look the business, but having traveled at least as much as most others on this forum in remote areas I don't need one (that comment is about me, not anyone else!). Would I buy one? Yup! but coz I like the way they look, not because they do anything special. I remember when they where called "roo bars" lol!

Roof rack: again, I don't need one. In fact, the roads we travel would most likely cause a loaded roof rack to damage our 4WD.

2 way UHF radio: never needed one, bought one coz I thought I should, but I've never needed to use it. Hate the bloody thing - too much jibbering on it!

GPS: Why would anyone who can read a map ever need one???

Swing out kitchen in the camper trailer; I took it out & sold it after towing it around the country for 15,000km & not ever using it.

Lift kit; once again, they look the business, but why? I tour in remote places, I don't play in mud or mess around with cars on rock faces. If I was really serious about climbing extreme terrain, I'd use 2 wheels, not four. Motorcycles crap all over 4WD's in most extreme situations.

Quick up gazebo's: probably great if you're in one spot for a while, but I don't do that. We do short hops, with overnight stops in different locations as a rule.

I'm thinking that there will be all kinds of responses to this question based on age/family situation/how 4WD's are used by individuals & none will be the same.

AnswerID: 516107

Follow Up By: Drew - Karratha - Thursday, Aug 08, 2013 at 20:51

Thursday, Aug 08, 2013 at 20:51
They are the first things I put on a 4x4 - Bullbar, Roofrack, UHF, Lift kit, in-dash touch screen GPS - prob in that order too... Never had a camper trailer as I cant tow the boat too, and the sandfly proof gazebo is a must!! Last holidays I went up North on a fishing trip in a mated Captive without all of the above - never again...
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Follow Up By: KevinE - Thursday, Aug 08, 2013 at 21:02

Thursday, Aug 08, 2013 at 21:02
There ya go Drew,

Like I said, we're all different!

Thanks for your follow-up & happy travels mate! ;-)
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Follow Up By: Drew - Karratha - Thursday, Aug 08, 2013 at 21:27

Thursday, Aug 08, 2013 at 21:27
Hi Kevin - Exactly what I was thinking as I was reading your post - hence my FollowUp! Drew
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Reply By: Echucan Bob - Friday, Aug 09, 2013 at 09:08

Friday, Aug 09, 2013 at 09:08
Some people have dismissed driving lights as unnecessary. I don't know if you can remember back to when having a heater in a car was an expensive accessory, or when a car radio was a large valve unit that cost as much as the car. We take a lot of things for granted these days. Personally, the things that make long distance travel pleasurable and safe are: climate control, comfortable and infinitely adjustable seats, cruise control, a good entertainment system, and good vision. Some OEM headlights are OK, but none compare with the improvement in vision that HID driving lights afford. I do a 1200 km round trip through country NSW every few weeks. The bi-turbo diesel BMW X5 ticks all the boxes except for adequate lights, even though it has OEM bi xenons. I added Roo Lites with HID inserts. The BMW dealer is disgusted, but it makes (the unavoidable night part of) my trip a lot less tiring.

The only other extra for these trips are a 10L jerry of diesel, a good compressor and tyre plugging kit, included because the BMW relies on run flat tyres. Thankfully, not needed in the three years I've been doing this trip.

Bob
AnswerID: 516127

Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Friday, Aug 09, 2013 at 10:02

Friday, Aug 09, 2013 at 10:02
Based on the discussion here I'd have to say insurance because I've had the same car since 2002 and have never made a claim! It has probably also been the most expensive accessory too boot. BUT I have it because one day I might need it and I'll be grateful for having it. I know some will say the other things are optional and insurance isn't but I travel with a welder that has seen duty on every trip (except the last one) and this piece of equipment takes up space that some might find unnecessary!

Kind regards
AnswerID: 516134

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