WE’VE trawled the catalogues and selected some of the best bits of kit currently on the market. Start preparing for your next off-road adventure!
Accessing gear from your roof rack is never easy, due to the higher roofline of many off-road rigs. It can mean using sidesteps that may or may not give you that extra reach, or climbing up on the wheels. Or, you can grab Rhino-Rack’s new aluminium folding ladder.
At an extended height of 2325mm, it offers excellent reach and it also – handily – folds down to an easily packed 1060mm. The ladder features adjustable feet that are extra wide (70mm) for enhanced stability and it weighs next-to-nothing at a paltry 5.4kg. Don’t let its light weight fool you, as the ladder is rated for a maximum load rating of 125kg. The aluminium frame is powdercoated black and built tough, with a mix of alloy construction and case-steel hinges. You can also mount it easily to your Rhino-Rack Pioneer Tray or Platform rack, thanks to the included locking pin, mounting brackets and all essential hardware. The ladder is available at all Rhino-Rack stockists.
TRACK TRAILER MK5 TVAN
Track Trailer has released the latest incarnation of its popular Tvan: the Mk5. The big news is the Skyward Lift-Up Deck, which makes accessing the camper’s interior easier and faster. The Skyward Lift-Up Deck allows the Tvan’s deck to be lifted up with the rear hatch, which is a time-saver. The hatch/deck is operated by push-button, and Track Trailer has raised the roof height by 100mm. Track Trailer has also added the Quick Cover Awning, which fans out to cover the Tvan’s kitchen and is self-supporting and easily set up.
On top of these additions, there is the option of fitting lithium batteries (a 90Ah upgrade from the AGM battery) for prolonged power supply. Other power options include 40amp Redarc DC-DC charger upgrades, solar panels, Bluetooth battery management, and a grunty 300W inverter. Further upgrades include new upgraded LED interior lighting, magnetic tent latches, floor supports, and the option to customise to suit your needs.
LEATHERMAN SKELETOOL KB & KBx
Leatherman is famous for its multi-tools but it also produces excellent knives, the new Skeletool KB and its KBx sibling prime examples. The knives are super light (a paltry 42.5g) thanks to the cut-out design in the blade and handle. This minimalist design follows the trend for ‘naked’ knives that are pared down to just blade(s) and handle. Both models include a 66mm blade, the KB featuring a straight blade and the ‘x’ including a serrated section.
When closed, the knives measure 89mm, ideal for your pocket, glovebox or as a camp box addition. The blades are 420 High Carbon stainless steel, offering strength and years of use. The blade lock is the same as the multi-tools and provides a rigid blade that won’t move or bend at the hinge joint. The handle also has a bottle clip for opening coldies. Yep, we’re sold. Available from camping and outdoor stores.
MSA 4X4 DROP SLIDE
Call us a tad desperate, but when it’s time to access food – okay ... beer – from a fridge, the easier it is to reach these items the better. With most 4x4s, food/drinks access can be compromised slightly by height – more so if the fridge sits on a cargo drawer. MSA 4X4’s Drop Slide system eliminates the access issue by sliding the fridge out from the cargo area and lowering it 300mm. MSA 4X4 claims the slide design means that gas struts of 670N to 1200N are needed to assist lowering, which helps keep the overall weight of the unit down compared to others.
The Drop Slide has a 200kg slide-runner rating, lock-in/lock-out safety latches and all the extras (fixing and straps) needed to fit the fridge. There are even Side Drop Slide variants available, designed for when the best way to fit them is actually sideways. There are numerous models to choose from, governed by the capacity and brand of the fridge. Best of all, Drop Slide has MSA 4X4’s lifetime guarantee.
EFS RECON R13 WINCH
The team at EFS has spent more than two years developing this big-bopper electric winch. The Recon winch has been tested off-road by the team at All 4 Adventure and came through with a big tick from Jase and Simon, so it’s definitely up for the rigours of extensive off-road touring. Impressively, the winch has a 13,000lb (5900kg) rated single-line pull, which puts it at the top of the market in terms of capacity. It also includes a full-load automatic brake and a 265:1 gear ratio.
The 6hp electric motor is waterproof (as is the gearbox) and the 25m, 18,000lb, 10mm-diameter, syntuff synthetic multistrand rope is abrasion-resistant and includes anti-bind technology. The full-load auto brake is designed specifically to work with synthetic rope and this, combined with the gearbox’s three-stage zinc-plated hardened planetary gears, ensures a virtually bombproof winch – exactly what you want for your main recovery aid. Operation is via a wired remote (with 3.6m lead) or a wireless unit.
HEMA MAPS’ THE HIGH COUNTRY VICTORIA ATLAS & GUIDE
Hema Maps’ has teamed with 4X4 Australia’s Ron and Viv Moon for this all-new (3rd) edition of The High Country Victoria Atlas & Guide. Its bumper 208 pages (and 40 atlas pages) are produced at 1:150,000 scale in a new cartographic style. The guide details the 30 best High Country off-road adventures, all research done by Ron and Viv.
Each trip has an inset map and info on camping, fuel spots and rest areas. Chapters include trip planning, what to see and do, and extra info on areas like the Great Alpine Road, and the Snowy River, Baw Baw and Alpine national parks. Available online and from all good camping, 4x4 and map stores.