What do I fit to the Prado ?

Submitted: Friday, May 16, 2008 at 10:48
ThreadID: 57659 Views:4377 Replies:12 FollowUps:7
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What should I fit to a 2006 V6 Prado when I intend to take it around Australia !
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Reply By: Member - Porl - Friday, May 16, 2008 at 11:16

Friday, May 16, 2008 at 11:16
New cables and sockets for your fridge.

Upgrade the springs but keep the shockies.

Darkest window tint you can legally allow.


etc, depends on your credit limit.
AnswerID: 304112

Reply By: pheonix - Friday, May 16, 2008 at 11:25

Friday, May 16, 2008 at 11:25
Big Marty,

Where do you start. I am modding my 00 TD Prado to do the same shortly. I have updated suspension, new tyres, duel batteries, wiring to rear points and caravan for charging batteries. Cargo barrier, storage for rear, hard wired inverter and uhf. Recovery gear, engel etc. The list could continue. Others will have heaps more but I think I have enough for my needs.

AnswerID: 304114

Follow Up By: poppyg2 - Friday, May 16, 2008 at 15:35

Friday, May 16, 2008 at 15:35
Phoenix. what type of suspension did you fit and was it selected from experience or advice or?? Poppyg
FollowupID: 570222

Follow Up By: pheonix - Saturday, May 17, 2008 at 14:01

Saturday, May 17, 2008 at 14:01

I put Ride Pro shocks/medium springs with poly airs in the rear. I asked and asked and ended up at ATS in Geelong, Vic. I gained the most advice from them. I am glad I did not put heavy duty in as the ride is firm but not harsh.
FollowupID: 570417

Reply By: Member - Richard K (NSW) - Friday, May 16, 2008 at 11:49

Friday, May 16, 2008 at 11:49
If you have kids, a portable dvd player will provide hours of peace for M and D.... best $$ we ever spent, we couldn't drive to the next town without absolute chaos (we have 3 kids), now we can do 12 hour days with little drama.. Yes, I know they should be able to enjoy the scenery and interact etc...and we do have dvd breaks - but we can now arrive at our destination without the need to have a week at a mental hospital to get over the journey!

AnswerID: 304117

Follow Up By: Big Marty - Friday, May 16, 2008 at 12:47

Friday, May 16, 2008 at 12:47
Excellent Ideas. Will buy a DVD today !

Big Marty.
FollowupID: 570199

Reply By: John R (SA) - Friday, May 16, 2008 at 11:49

Friday, May 16, 2008 at 11:49
Where are you going, and how much do you want to spend??!!!

You could set off with a back of clothes, a credit card, and a camera if you're going to stay to the beaten path, sleep at motels and let someone else cook for you.

And there's nothing wrong with that at all . . . it comes down to where you want to go!

As you move down the spectrum of adding gadgets, gizzmos and general stuff, sometimes dictated by the desire to spend a few weeks at a time away from civilisation, you can add swags/tents/trailers, fridge, campoven & other cooking gear, shovels, axe, water tanks, uhf or hf radios, satellite phone, bull bar, snorkel, suspension kits, driving lights, winch . . . . and so much more!

Your question is extremely hard to answer, and we'll all have very different answers.

A couple of places I'd start:

i. become a member of this website and look in the fileswap section. There are a couple of checklists uploaded by other members, with lists of gear they take. You probably won't need all that gear, but it will give you an indication of what bits are considered when going bush for a while.

ii. If camping or vaguely remote travel is on your agenda, head off for a week, or even just a weekend, well before you set off around oz. Plan to be completely independent (ie no visits to the shops), and in doing so you'll be forced to think about all the gear you'd like, then you'll try and pack it. In the course of the weekend, you'll figure out what some of the surplus gear is, and identify some things which would be very handy!

iii. wander through the archives of this forum and read anything which looks interesting. It will give you an indication of what people take, use, or leave behind. You may also pick up some suggestions you wouldn't have considered.

Good luck!
AnswerID: 304118

Reply By: Member - Duncs - Friday, May 16, 2008 at 12:23

Friday, May 16, 2008 at 12:23
Big Marty,

There are lots of things that you "could" fit but very few that you must.

I have travelled lots of Oz and for the last few years I have done it in a reasonably standard GU Patrol.

For most of what you will encounter on a lap of Australia a bog standard Prado will do the job.

My GU has a snorkel, bulbar, driving lights, tow bar, dual battery, car kit for the phone, UHF and a compressor.

If you are going anywhere near what may be called remote a comressor is almost mandatory. You will be forced to adjust tyrepressures for different terrain, you will get punctures and sl
ow leaks. The ability to pump a bit of air will come in very handy.
It is often overlooked.

The communications question is always interesting. Most people travelling in the majority of Australia will get by with what I have but you can add an almost endless list to that depending on your destinations and your own personal need for the security that communications offer.

You are doing the right thing asking questions and this is a good place to ask. Can I also recommend you go to a good map shop and pick up some books about travelling the areas you want to go to. They all carry information on vehicle set up and equipment you should carry.

Read them carefully weigh up your personal situation and pack accordingly. If you take all the things that will be recommended you will need a Unimog and trailer, but you don't need them all.

AnswerID: 304123

Reply By: Wizard1 - Friday, May 16, 2008 at 12:40

Friday, May 16, 2008 at 12:40
How much do you want to spend? It could run into the 1000's.

For a reasonable long distance tourer with a bit of dirt road I'd suggest the following as a minimum.

Roof rack (you'll carry more stuff than you think)
Rear draws (with a fridge slide)
Dual battery setup (with a plug running/wired into rear cargo area)
A good quality 12V portable fridge
A set of good quality AT tyres.

I'd only upgrade the rear suspension if the rear sags from the weight and/or if you intend to do some more serious off roading on your tour or towing.
AnswerID: 304125

Follow Up By: Big Marty - Friday, May 16, 2008 at 12:45

Friday, May 16, 2008 at 12:45
with the suspension, should I replace all shocks and springs or just the shocks ?

Big Marty
FollowupID: 570198

Follow Up By: Wizard1 - Friday, May 16, 2008 at 12:59

Friday, May 16, 2008 at 12:59

My ORE rear suspension started loosing the plot after around 2 years which included a lot of caravan towing.

I'd replace the whole lot with heavy duty springs and shocks as well as fittng a set of Polyairs or similar. There should be no need for raised coils, just better springs.

The fronts tend to last a lot longer.

Go for any good quality 4WD suspension like TJM XGS, ARB OME or EFS as an example.
FollowupID: 570203

Reply By: Big Marty - Friday, May 16, 2008 at 12:49

Friday, May 16, 2008 at 12:49
I have a budget of about $5k for upgrades.
AnswerID: 304126

Reply By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Friday, May 16, 2008 at 12:57

Friday, May 16, 2008 at 12:57
Plenty of good advice already offered. We (4 adults) did the Ood,
Mereenie, Tanami, Bungle & GRR last year in a bog standard V6 Jack towing a basic C/t & had no problems at all. Of course we took spares, recovery gear etc. There are a million things you can
take if you wish, but we survived without Bullbars, upgraded suspension, gps, uhf/Sat/hf radios, electric winches, generators,
dual batteries, solar panels etc etc. Many wouldnt go without all
that stuff & good luck to them, but none of it is compulsory. The
choice is yours. The first thing is the fridge, then you might need
extra batteries & so on, & you're on the merrygoround. Good luck
with it....oldbaz.
AnswerID: 304131

Reply By: Member - Stephen L (SA) - Friday, May 16, 2008 at 13:01

Friday, May 16, 2008 at 13:01
Hi Big Marty

First I would put on is a Snorkel, for cleaner air. The Standard Air Intake under the front guard is very poor.

Second would be some heavy duty Coils on the real for extra loads carried.

From here on it would depend on what you would like, but the first 2 that I have mentioned you will benefit from everyday use. A dual battery set up is also very wise.


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AnswerID: 304135

Reply By: pradowolf - Friday, May 16, 2008 at 13:28

Friday, May 16, 2008 at 13:28
Big Marty,

like some of the guys already stated , the prado is a very fine weapon already of the assembly line and i would say you could do most of OZ with it in comfort and the knowledge that you have a very capable vehicle.

from here you can spend about an other 20K like i have done and i dont regret it because it is my baby and i love it but one thing i can recommend is that you use OME 300+ kg springs in the back with nitro shockers and i also have airbags in the springs , can not say i dont like the feel.
Snorkel yes , roofrack yes , bullbar yes , winch yes , 6 BFG muds yes , lights more then i ever need , cargo barrier yes , draws yes , recovery gear to get you out of every stupid situation, hi-lift jack yes, GPS and laptop yes and most important a top stereo system , UHF and satphone etc.

but just ask yourself one question , do i really need it or do i just want it because it is a toy. i know my answer.

Good luck
AnswerID: 304140

Follow Up By: poppyg2 - Friday, May 16, 2008 at 15:42

Friday, May 16, 2008 at 15:42
Big Marty. If you are going to do any river crossing, consider something to protect the radiator and go slow across rivers etc.... I learnt the hard way ($1700 for a new radiator). I towed a camper trailer with 3 adults at an economical pace with my 02 prado and the fuel economy was a shocker???? PoppyG
FollowupID: 570224

Follow Up By: Member - Prado Garageo - Saturday, May 17, 2008 at 15:27

Saturday, May 17, 2008 at 15:27
Pradowolf's last sentence hits the nail on the head. The Prado is well enough engineered to handle what any sensible person is brave enough to do.(assuming everything is properly serviced and in good order). Weight is your enemy, be conscious of that. Firestone or Poly airbags..... don't leave without them. The rest of your standard suspension will be fine. Sliding drawers are great for food and utensils a UHF radio is almost a must as is a sat phone or similar if you venture into really isolated areas. I would recommend a preliminary glass bowled fuel filter incase of water in drum fuel. An air compressor if you are going into dune country. Cargo Barriers add to safety. Snorkels are OK and a bag to stop the fan behaving like a propellor as "poppyg2" attests. but remember there is a drain hole in the bottom of your air cleaner which will let water in just as effectively as the other end. I always take puncture repair gear, tubes and tyre levers and a spare casing when on the Beadell tracks, a selection of nuts and bolts / studs and a few metric tools, spare belts & hoses. A good way to have a second battery is to get an auto electrician to fit a deep cycle gel battery into a portable box with the appropriate switching gear and run a permanent lead back to your alternator, then you can move and plug your battery into as many cars as you have wired up.
My experience is you can get away with surprisingly little, however out there the only limitation is your wallet... if thats what you want .. go for it, just keep in mind your main enemy is weight
have fun & good luck
FollowupID: 570428

Reply By: Member - Mark H (VIC) - Friday, May 16, 2008 at 15:03

Friday, May 16, 2008 at 15:03
We're currently going around Australia now (towing a camper) with 2 kids and 4+ months into it here are some of my thoughts:
Suspension: We already had OME medium duty suspension but added some Polyair bags once on the trip because of the sag.
Good Tyres: Already had BFG A/T and glad we did. Would have bought them if we didn't have them.
Fridge and fridge slide: You will thank the fridge every day and a slide makes getting into it SO much easier.
Rear storage: I made our storage with some mates back home and it's just the best. The bottom 2 drawers have my tools and recovery gear, the top 2 are our 'pantry'.
Dual battery: We have 2 fridges, one in camper and one in the car. The wiring to the back connection was already upgraded when we bought it and it's peace of mind knowing you're not going to get a flat battery in an automatic 4wd! The camper has its own battery.
Dual DVD players for kids: Brilliant.
Compressor: Have let the tyres down often for sand/beach/rocky roads and you need to inflate them before getting back on bitumen.
Good quality sleeping bags: Bought some from Kathmandu at 1/2 price sale, $100 each and we don't need extra blankets/thermals etc.
Driving lights: Even if you don't plan on night driving, Murphy says it will happen and often it's roads you don't know and there's lots of roos and cattle in the outback.
Head torches: Having free hands is great when cooking.
Tinted windows and window socks: As well as reduce glare they stop your arms from getting sunburnt (kids too) and the socks help to darken the back seat for DVD movies!
Bullbar: Haven't needed it yet and pray we don't have to. Had some near misses.
Communication: Depends where you're going. NextG with external antennae for us and UHF. If more remote we'd go HF or Satphone.
Coleman Instant Hot Water: Also with shower attachment this is our luxury item. Worth the bulk in carrying it, so simple to use and works brilliantly.
There's lot of other small things and I've probably forgotten some. Hope this helps.


AnswerID: 304156

Reply By: Member - Kevin R (QLD) - Sunday, May 18, 2008 at 17:01

Sunday, May 18, 2008 at 17:01
Have a look at the pradopoint website mate - its the bible for all us Prado owners


AnswerID: 304498

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