Off-roading..sport of Kings?

Submitted: Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 05:15
ThreadID: 33073 Views:2707 Replies:12 FollowUps:7
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Hi guys,
From the outset, let me assure everyone that I think this website is great, I love the read! However, the more I DO read the various posts, the more I wonder at the costs you enthusiasts incur to enjoy what you do! I am just a travelling camper, certainly not a died-in-the-wool off-roader, and I travel the country for two reasons..one, it suppliments my profession ( artist/illustrator), and two, to enjoy relaxing out there in the environment. I don't think I could afford becoming an off-roader,it seems that you guys put yourselves in situations that always require special equipment, be it special recovery gear, or sophisticated communications gear, and the like, not to mention all the mods you seem to add to your vehicles! Don't get me wrong, folks, I am not knocking it, just that I often wonder the costs to enjoy what you do!
With the priralling cost of fuel, vehicles, equipment and so on, it certainly is an expensive pastime,,,but what the hell, good on ya! Someone once said it is made round to go 'round! Just wish I had more of it!!
Think I'll stick to the bitumen, and just enjoy reading about all those other exciting places that apparently, can only be reached by those who can afford to get there!
Like I said at the onset,I love reading the posts here, just wonder if I will ever be able to afford to do what you guys do! Happy motoring, troops!
Bronco
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Reply By: Member - Troll 81 (QLD) - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 06:47

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 06:47
Hi Bronco

It's not a cheap sport I can tell you that much :) I am always looking at way to make the truck bigger and stronger. Sometimes you have to drive out on a mountain to get that perfect view of the sunset so you need the gear to get up there and of course you need the best fridge to have a cold beer up there :)
AnswerID: 167978

Reply By: Mike Harding - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 07:05

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 07:05
When I lived in the UK I used to do a lot of clay target shooting - it is not difficult to spend UKP20,000 on a shotgun. And a pair of Holland and Holland's guns could set you back UKP100,000 or more. By comparison 4WDing seems cheap :)

I am also a radio Amateur so my $1200 radio serves two purposes. I just spent $500 on a winch because I usually travel alone but $500 is probably less than gym membership?

Like most interests 4WDing has a minimum initial spend requirement but once you have the basics you don't have to buy all the additionally trinkets.

Mike Harding
AnswerID: 167981

Reply By: Member - Brian (Gold Coast) - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 07:34

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 07:34
Ray,

What Mike said!... It IS a costly venture but once you're "geared-up" it gets a little cheaper.... you only have to worry about the possible damage then! We have spent three years and a lot of $$$$ to get our Nissan set up how we want it.... it's almost there, and in fact ready for adventure right now! All we have to do is afford the fuel!

It's not for everybody, but then again if everybody did it, it'd be crowded out there in the bush, wouldn't it????

Cheers

Brian
AnswerID: 167984

Reply By: Raymond from Wanderin 4 Wheelers - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 07:48

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 07:48
Hi Ray
As the boss put it to the other girls at the 4WD club when they winge about the cost of 4WDing, they could spend it on a mistress instead. He thought is that our 4WD's are our highly expensive mistress needing much care and attention.

Ray
PS It is abit disappointing that the winch, battery kit etc seems to have an equivilant value in diamonds.
AnswerID: 167987

Follow Up By: bombsquad - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 12:38

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 12:38
Have a similar "agreement" with my wife as well, except mine involves an equal boats/jewlery ratio. I think I did very well - I work in a diamond mine and we get a substantial emloyees discount, and tha value of the jewlery and diamonds actually increase, wheras the boats depreciate. at the moment we are very close to equal value, but the boats keep depreciating and the pink diamonds are becoming more and more valuable. She didn't see that one comeing!

Cheers Andrew
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FollowupID: 423274

Reply By: Member - Troll 81 (QLD) - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 08:04

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 08:04
Ray I just had a look at your rig profile and you have some great paintings in there you are very talented. I wish I could paint like that....I normally stick with the stick men and stick trees
AnswerID: 167990

Follow Up By: Member - Ray ( (VIC) - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 08:31

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 08:31
Thanks mate.
Yup, my profession also keeps me broke! Paints, canvases, easels, brushes, and computer equipment in order to dispatch work to clients etc. So I guess its all relevant.
I have a modest 4x4, nothing special, and a camper/trailer for bush trips, however, most of my travels could be done in a conventional vehicle, i guess, but the 4x4 has its benefits at times. I love travelling this great expanse of brown land, but I do it the easy way, usually stick to the highways and sealed roads! Probably because I am no great mechanic, nor do I have any real experience doing the óff-road'bit. Gotta keep within reach of the RACV/NRMA!
I also have a small poptop caravan, which I dearly love...have had a ball in it and have seen some wonderful places. Matter of fact will be heading off soon north on another painting trip..probably up around Cairns, and then inland a bit.
If ever I did go into the 'rough', I think I would have to link up with others who have the experience..otherwise I may never be seen again! So, for me, caravanning over-rides camper travel..maybe I'm getting old, but love the comfort!
Regards
Bronco
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FollowupID: 423233

Follow Up By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 09:21

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 09:21
Just had a look at your rig profile myself Ray. Looks like you are reasonably well set up and have a great life style. That is what it is all about. If your vehicle and trailer are as good as they look, there are plenty of places you can get to. Perhaps not the CSR or Simpson, but Cape York and similar should not be out of the question. Must be some great painting opportunities up there.
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FollowupID: 423243

Follow Up By: Member - Crazy Dog (QLD) - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 19:44

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 19:44
Yo Bronco,

Let me know by members mail when you are likely to be in Cairns A tinny or 12 maybe....

Grrr!
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FollowupID: 423407

Reply By: Willem - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 08:12

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 08:12
Hmmmmm.....Ray

If you are looking at the monetary value of things then there are many comparisons that can be made.

It all depends on what you aspire to.

My complete set-up costs less than my mates swimming pool at his house and like him, I get continuous enjoyment out of it.

You are always spending money as this is the commodity we have to trade with. Even you will spend extra money on whatever you need when travelling, being an artists and doing what you do. No, you don't need what we "offroaders" may want. But then again do we NEED all that stuff?

I saw an ad on TV last week for a $600,000 Winnebago Luxury Touring Bus. I can't even afford to buy one wheel of that vehicle but there is someone out there who has that sort of money and they will enjoy driving around in it.

Affordability of a pursuit is in the eye of the beholder.

After saying all of the above I must go and top up my diesel tank at $1.45 a litre.

Them's the breaks. Do or die!

Cheers

AnswerID: 167991

Reply By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 09:06

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 09:06
I think Willem has the right angle on this. It is not a sport, so cost comparisons with sport probably don't mean much. It is more a leisure pursuit; even a way of life.
The swimming pool comparison is a good one. Also, people spend a fortune on overseas holidays. Others think nothing of spending $30,00 to $50,000 on the 'family car'. Well our 'family car' just happens to be a 4B.

For an initial set up, a $10,000 GQ and about $2,000 on mods and accessories is enough for a vehicle. Another grand or two on a reasonable tent and camping gear and you can hit the road for under $15K. And a good slice of that is recoverable if you decide to sell.

Sure, some of us have expensive set ups, but you don't need it to get into the lifestyle and see this great country.
AnswerID: 168006

Follow Up By: Member - Ray ( (VIC) - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 09:20

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 09:20
Hi there!
I agree, it really is a lifestyle!.. I love the freedom it gives me, and, yes, you don't have to spend a fortune to enjoy it! My rig has taken me all over, bought secondhand ( except for the camper/trailer) for a reasonable price, and has not given me any real trouble over the last couple of years. Like I said earlier in the post, my preference now is my caravan (also bought secondhand), but I do it the easy way,sealed roads and comfortable caravan sites! Was camped the other day at Eildon, and a guy pulled in alongside and set up his van. We got talking (nice bloke..also a Vietnam vet, so we had a lot in common!) he showed me his van, very nice too, but I nearly fell over when he told me the price! Nearly $50,000 for the setup, not to mention the other $70,000 for his truck! It was an off-road van, with all the mod cons, admittedly, but way, way out of my price range!
But then, he and his wife were living in it full time, and touring Aussie, and he sold his house to get it. It's what I will do eventuially (tour fulltime, that is) but I certainly can't afford that kinda price. Guess my rig will have to do!
Regards
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FollowupID: 423242

Reply By: Footloose - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 09:55

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 09:55
Ray, I'm not wealthy by any means. But I am lucky enough to have done some 4wd touring over the years. The rigs I've met range from the full on 100k+ through to the locals in their 2wd cars, sleeping in a swag etc.
When I was a teenager I hitched around a bit (it seemed a bit safer in those days, no doubt it wasn't but I was young and stupid.) I was camped in my tiny tent in Ballina, next to a guy in a 4wd and huge van. We started chatting and he told me that he envied me. As a 16yo I was blown away. Yes, says he. You are up and gone in 5mts. I'll be here for another hour and a half before I can go.
The point being that there's a price for everything. More is not necessarily better :))
AnswerID: 168020

Reply By: benplant - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 10:29

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 10:29
So in terms of 4WD gear (besides the obvious camping gear like tent, tarp or camper trailer) what do you guys with 4WD trekking experience recommend that you must need?
Like do you neccessarily need radio, recovery gear etc etc
I understand that this may vary with respect to where you may plan on going but I was just wandering opinions on what was absolutely necessary for general 4WD trekking.
AnswerID: 168025

Reply By: drifta - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 10:30

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 10:30
Ray

I have friends who don't bat an eye lid at spending $20000 on an overseas holiday for the family as a once off but when you say you spent at least that on extras for the 4wd they say your mad. I go away for 8 weeks a year with my wife and 3 kids touring up north and still have my car when I get home, ready to do it again next year. We don't travel overseas so it's worked out a cheaper form of travelling for us over the years we have been doing it. My kids are also growing up with an appreciation for this country. Another 8 weeks coming up in july this year starting with the CSR yeha. It may be a little more than $20000 but I have to be careful in case my wife reads this.
AnswerID: 168026

Reply By: benplant - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 10:30

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 10:30
So in terms of 4WD gear (besides the obvious camping gear like tent, tarp or camper trailer) what do you guys with 4WD trekking experience recommend that you must need?
Like do you neccessarily need radio, recovery gear etc etc
I understand that this may vary with respect to where you may plan on going but I was just wandering opinions on what was absolutely necessary for general 4WD trekking.
AnswerID: 168027

Follow Up By: kev.h - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 11:39

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 11:39
benplant
Depends where you intend to go and also if you are by yourself or not ? If you only want to do the national parks and not stray too far off the beaten track the best piece of recovery gear maybe membership of RACQ or equiv. but if you intend 3 months in the desert by your self this requires you to be self sufficient with spares and all the recovery gear for all situations
For a bit of moderate off road mostly with other vehicles ( either traveling with you or in an area where others are traveling you can expect to get some help) generally in this situation you need recovery gear at least a snatch strap, maybe hand winch (also good for clearing things from the track) a full set of hoses for your vehicle spare water and enough food for a few days incase you do get stuck and some form of communication mobile phone will work in some areas UHF radio maybe an eperb if remote
Hope this answers your question
Regards Kev
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FollowupID: 423265

Follow Up By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 11:46

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 11:46
Check out the rig profiles on a few members who do a fair bit of travelling.
For the more extreme end, see Willem's recent post on what he has packed for his upcoming trip to rather remote places.
Site Link

Might not tell you what is 'absolutely necessary', but will tell you what some experienced travellers actually carry.
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FollowupID: 423266

Reply By: Member - Melissa - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 15:41

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 15:41
Hi Ray,

No matter how little or how much all of us here spend on our rigs and camping set-up, it all comes back to being a lifestyle decision. The great thing about 4WD touring (as opposed to hard core 4WDriving as a sport) is that you can enjoy the benefits close to home or across the other side of the country, tackle a hard trek or an easy one and therefore you can really spend as little or as much as you like to enjoy the great outdoors. Most of the gear (such as recovery equipment, radios etc) is transferable from one vehicle to the next, as is camping gear so a lot of the $$$ spent are on essentially one-time only purchases that will deliver ongoing benefits for years to come. But at the end of the day, it all comes down to ones priorities. We spend the $$$ on our set-up knowing that the entire family enjoys the benefits of the travel, exploration and wonders of this great country. Our CT set us back heaps but with a young family we know that we'll propably get a minimum of 15 years of family holidays and trips out of it. So spread the outlay out over that time, it is actually a pretty cheap deal - certainly a lot cheaper than spending 2 weeks a year in a holiday apartment/cabin etc. We have a nice but affordable home to keep our mortgage at a reasonable level so we can afford to travel and have at least one good family holiday each year. Many of our friends have more expensive homes and family holidays are few and far between and usually only for a week or two at a time. I'm not judging their decisions, merely emphasising the point that what one spends on 4wdriving is a reflection of their priorities.

:o) Melissa
AnswerID: 168085

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