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I’m going to open a can of worms right here and let the slippery little suckers crawl all over the page. As far as I’m concerned, there are a few modifications everybody will benefit from, yet only one of them is ever high on the shopping list. Grab yourself these modifications and I will eat my Akubra (without sauce) if the combination of these doesn’t get you further than ANY OTHER modification you can buy.
Righto, in no particular order, the first modification that you can arm yourself with will allow you to go further for less money. There are a few different varieties, and they all do the job, but my advice is to buy the best you can afford, then use it often. I’m talking about nothing more than an air compressor. See, when it comes down to value for money, NOTHING you can buy will get you further than letting air out of your tyres! Tyre pressures are everything. Of course, you have to be able to replace that air you let out, and that’s where the compressor comes in.
So what’s next? In my humble opinion frontal protection is a great starting point. A bull-bar not only protects against animal strikes; it also allows for mounting of further necessaries.
After this I always budget for tyre and suspension upgrades. Quality rubber and aftermarket suspension will totally transform the way your rig handles on and off the road, and this will make your next trip far more enjoyable behind the wheel.
Next, for relatively little money, you should grab an awning for the side of your 4WD. They keep off rain and sun, making any camp feel like home. Given I like to spend long periods out bush, a dual battery and 12V setup are my next go-to mod. Couple this with a fridge and you are living like a king!
The next mod will allow you to get far greater enjoyment from your 4WD than any other. Trouble is, it’s also perhaps the hardest mod to get your hands on. I was just at the Perth 4WD Show and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t buy it there and no 4WD shop can order it in for me. Yep, as hard as it is to get, time off work is the number one modification I recommend. Without time off work, it doesn’t matter how high you lift your truck, or how big your tyres are; you ain’t going anywhere! Grab as much time off work as you can and use it wisely, trust me, you will get so much more enjoyment out of your 4WD with this one simple mod!
OK, you have a month off and a 4WD sitting in the driveway, what’s the last modification on my list to get you further and see more of this big island? Well, unlike time off work, this modification is readily available; in fact, you can grab yourself some just about anywhere. This is also something I suggest you put a fund away for, cos the more of it you can get, the more places you will see. Yep, I think you have it guessed; the final modification I recommend is fuel.
Now we’re talking, your rig’s handling better than ever, you have your frontal protection and most importantly, you have time off work and enough fuel to sink a tanker. You now have the potential to see more of Australia than you could ever dream.
In my opinion, if you can afford nothing else, time off work and fuel are the best mods that you can ever possibly come across. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying tyres, suspension, recovery gear or the supermarket of extras you CAN buy are not needed. What I am saying is that the individual with the stock GQ who has a motza of time off work, plus a savings fund that allows him to grab fuel as and when needed along with a quality compressor, will, without argument, see more of this great country than their neighbour who has no holidays and no spare cash because they just put 38s and a 6-inch lift under their GQ.
Now you really are starting to be equipped to see the very best this big island has to offer but remember my motto; work to live, don’t live to work!!
Now get out there!
Are there any more important must-have modifications out there? Let me know in the comments below.
As a presenter and photojournalist, Graham Cahill is regarded as one of the luckiest men in Australia. Currently part of the 4WD Action Magazine team, Graham is known for his outrageous personality and passion for the bush.