Long term travel requirements, safety etc

Submitted: Saturday, Feb 02, 2002 at 01:00
ThreadID: 708 Views:1912 Replies:6 FollowUps:2
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I'm hoping this will be an interesting thread to start. I've toured and camped in a 4x4 for over a decade by myself and with others. One of the biggest decisions is what to cart along with you for spares, repairs, emergencies and recovery. I'd be interested in hearing from others what they believe is necessary. I've generally carried a fair bit however tried to be carefull not to get carried away. I met a couple going across the simpson that where carrying spare front and rear spring packs and shockies, steering components, 2 spare wheels, a bundle of star pickets, turfor, full set of tools, etc, etc. All that and they only carried 30 litres of water for two people, I still wonder if they made it. I normally carry spare belts, filter, gear to made a 12v welder, glues, silastic, assorted screws, bolts, wire gasket and a range of tool. Also a second spare tyre, fire exting, snatch strap, compressor and for one trip enough oil for all components.

Now after ten years of travelling I've only had a couple of punctures so never used the second spare, never used any of the oils etc. I've welded shockies and trays with 12v for others but have been very lucky (or well prepared) not to have any major dramas myself.

So what is really the min you need to take are we all simply overloading our vehicles with large numbers of spares and heavy recovery gear when most if not all is never needed. I know it depends on where you go and how reliable the vehicle but most heavy 4x4 tracks are being upgraded slowly (regretably) and most vehicles now are very reliable. In a couple of years I'm off for 12mths and really don't want to take large numbers of items "just in case". So what really is the min to take what do you guys think??

I'm off for 5 weeks so will be keen to see what you think when I return.


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Reply By: Grant Taylor - Saturday, Feb 02, 2002 at 01:00

Saturday, Feb 02, 2002 at 01:00
G'day Ray, good thread. I reckon some people overload on what they think they need. Before we head out we go to good mechanic get them to check the 4x4 thoroughly and ask on the condition of everything. Using this info we decide what NEEDS replacing, what may last and take a spare, and if it's big, like bits of metal in the trans or gearbox etc seriously consider whether to go at all or wait and spend the money fixing the problem, because not everyone has a money tree in the backyard. No point going out way to buggery with a dodgy diff etc. Basics would be for us... radiator hoses, maybe belts, engine oil only enough for one change as in a pinch can be used in all other components unless it's an auto then a change of that fluid, washing detergent can suffice for clutch and brake fluid in a pinch as well, snatch strap, shovel, maybe a hand winch depends on where we're going, air compressor, two spares, puncture repair kit, always some good fencing wire 2.8mm, Metrinch spanners (good for rounded nuts), one 18" one 6" shifter, big and small screwdrivers, heavy hammer, normal sized axe, fire ext, spare battery (if not a dual system)and plenty of fuses. Probably a couple of things I've forgotten but if people prepare properly, take it easy and check the ground ahead if it looks sus most problems can be avoided. If you saw the "Bush Mechanics" on ABC tv a box of matches and a pocket knife you could do anything. Hope you had a great trip.
AnswerID: 1924

Reply By: Colin- Saturday, Feb 02, 2002 at 01:00

Saturday, Feb 02, 2002 at 01:00
My views may be a little controversial but -- this is a bit like money ?? "the more you have, the more you spend" - and "the bigger the 4WD the more gear you take". If there are just 2 people, my suggestion is, borrow a Subaru !! if your stuff doesn't fit you have too much gear. Now I realize Subaru's aren't everyones choice but but you may have seen me on the CSR or approaching Rudal River NP from the West from Nullagine or ### etc!! Not possible you say. And we cary the frig, water, fresh food, camp oven, tents, spares, recovery gear, RFDS radio, etc etc, all the important stuff. Make a list of all the things that you never use and decide if you really need them, then weigh them. My Tow ball and tongue weighed 12 kilo. The less weight you cary lessens the strain on all the vehicle components - a "catch 22 situation"
AnswerID: 1927

Reply By: rich - Sunday, Feb 03, 2002 at 01:00

Sunday, Feb 03, 2002 at 01:00
Being a Subaru owner, I agree with Colin. Thena gain, whats going to save your life? and whats just gloss? If your vehicle blows 2 springs and 7 tyres on your trip are u really prepared? or perhaps your driving skills need attention.
The point I make is, most post 1990 vehicles will run the Gibb River Road without a problem.
i.e. Outback car hire companies quite happily send tourists off into the desert with nothing more than a space blanket and a spare tyre and 99.9% of them come back.
Get the vehicle prepared and checked and carry the lightest items that may stop your vehicle - tubes, fanbelts, filters etc. Carry HF radio for extreme remote and an EPIRB. I carry about 20 kilos of spares (including 1 x wheel) and have !never! had a problem big enough to stop me dead - go the Sube.
And in all seriousness, a lot can be learnt from the series "Bush Mechanics". It should be compulsory viewing at all 4WD training!
Good Luck - Be Safe.
AnswerID: 1931

Follow Up By: Grant Taylor - Wednesday, Feb 06, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Feb 06, 2002 at 01:00
G'day Rich, when the old Aboriginal fella carved the two clutch plates from some old Mulga timber, that blew me away. Dunno if I'd hack the top off the Jack if I needed a trailer, though!
FollowupID: 688

Follow Up By: Alison - Wednesday, Feb 06, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Feb 06, 2002 at 01:00
The Bush Mechanics werent driving 4x4s. Maybe you dont even need that?
FollowupID: 690

Reply By: Michelle - ExplorOz - Monday, Feb 04, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Feb 04, 2002 at 01:00
I think it all depends on how long you are travelling for. All vehicles and drivers are different, but in general the longer you go the more you need. For eg. when Dave and I headed off in the Troopy for 2 yrs, we knew there'd be many major services, on top of the need to carry spares etc. Because our vehicle was our "home" for this time, we could not afford a problem so was particular about doing oils and services at regular intervals. Every 5,000 for oils, every 10,000 the filters also (I think, but hey, I'm just a girl and he's the one that did them). Anyway, my point is we wanted to be able to replace the oils etc with the right brand and at the right price so we always took them with us (ie bought them at the right price and kept them with us until needed). David always did the services himself when the kms said it was due and so we had to carry our servicing stuff - and that's a lot for a Landcruiser! On the flip side however, our last trip was just 2mths so the emphasis was more on emergency spares than on servicing bits. I do agree with what Rich said about just taking the bits that would otherwise stop you - the rest you can improvise. But please, don't become one of those people that relies on someone else for parts/help. If you get yourself into trouble, be sure you are equipped to get yourself out of it. Just my thoughts anyway.
AnswerID: 1948

Reply By: Mike - Monday, Feb 04, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Feb 04, 2002 at 01:00
Ray, while I agree with all the above I also believe that the guy who carries too many major parts, like springs etc., may need them because he is too overloaded. Oils, recovery gear, tools and maybe even spare shocks (for extreme trips) are necessary but a thorough pre trip check by an expert is a lot more valuable. Happy trails, Mike.
AnswerID: 1953

Reply By: Ray Kearney - Tuesday, Feb 05, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Feb 05, 2002 at 01:00
Hi Guys,

Thanks for the replies to date. You've all said pretty much what I've been thinking for a while. I know it's very easy to go a little over the top so need to really sit down and consider each item. I'm the sort of person that couldn't head off and knowingly think I'd use the services of others unless it was an emergency, however I know people that do and think nothing of it.

Thanks again, I'll be looking at my list both for the short term and long term trips.
AnswerID: 1979

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