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Customising your Dream Rig

September 14, 2018

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With social media and the Internet being the main platform for advertising these days, it’s very easy to get caught up in thinking that you need absolutely everything on your 4WD, just for a weekend away. Take some time to consider what activities you want to do, where you want to go and what you want out of your vehicle. Is it a daily driver, work and play truck or just used for touring?

Unfortunately, in Australia, we don’t have the luxury of being able to load the whole house into the back of a 79 Series LandCruiser, for example, as the gross vehicle mass (GVM) won’t allow it. But below are a few features you should consider when configuring your rig.

One of the most common problems seen in the Dual-Cab 4WD Ute market these days is drastic behind the rear wheel/axle overhang. Too much overhang can cause light steering, premature tyre wear, chassis flex and worst of all, chassis failure or snapping. In order to avoid overhang, simply reduce or downsize your heavily loaded canopy/tray to a smaller, more compact style that will still work for you.

Your style of touring or camping will help determine what electronics will be going in the build. For instance, Sean Scott's 79 Series Dual-Cab had to be safe to drive long distance (as Sean has three kids), able to carry loads well (as he tows a 3.5 t van) and house and power all of Sean’s camera gear.

Sean Scott

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The below features were included in Sean’s build.

  • GVM upgrade and an additional 300 mm was added to the chassis.
  • A standard Dual-Cab sized canopy was put on the back end.
  • 240 V power was necessary to charge the cameras and Sean wanted the Dometic CRX 140 upright fridge.
  • We installed a 200 Ah Lithium battery (for capacity and to keep the weight down).
  • A 1500 W inverter and battery management system (BMS) to keep everything charged and managed well.
  • We also included colour changing LEDs to help Sean view and edit his photos at night.

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All 4 Adventure

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For some rig inspiration, here are examples of how other 4WD enthusiasts have customised their rigs to suit their needs.

Owner: Jase Andrews 200 Series Toyota Landcruiser

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  • The 200 series chassis was extended by 650 mm with a GVM upgrade of 4.2 t, giving the 4WD a 4.2 t towing ability.
  • The lift kit and suspension were upgraded to ensure that depsite the locations Jase travels to, his 4WD will be able to handle the load.
  • A battery management system, solar panel and lithium batteries were used so that large camera batteries and production equipment can be charged when filming on the road.
  • The canopy has a Dometic CRX 110 upright fridge, allowing for more food to be taken when travelling off the grid.

Patriot Campers

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Owner: Justin Montesalvo Megatourer 6x6

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  • The 79 Series chassis has been upgraded and provides a GVM upgrade of up to 6.2 t.
  • A custom suspension system was developed, where the airbag suspension sits alongside the shock absorbers, allowing for great ride height and versatility by providing adjustable height and damping.
  • Additional braking capacity, 320 mm disc brakes and a six-pot brake caliper was used to help pull the 7 m vehicle up at high speeds.

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If you’d like to find out more about the full build of the Megatourer, watch episode 12 of Patriot Games, an adventure-lifestyle and reality show about Patriot Campers.

*To read more of the great travel, outdoor and lifestyle stories in Mobile Living Made Easy, click on the E Magazine below.