Nissan Navara Modifications - Affordable 4WD Modifications for an Outback Road Trip
Got your 4WD and preparing to hit the open road? We took 2 months to get our rig road ready, and honestly, it wasn't quite enough time. So, we're doing some on-the-road Nissan Navara modifications and learning as we go. Read through this post to find some affordable 4WD modifications for an Outback road trip.
Click on this post to see all of the modifications we did on our Black Series Dominator off-road camper trailer.
First things first - Where do you buy all of this stuff?
Where to buy affordable 4WD accessories
Depending on your budget, you’ll likely be adding a lot of accessories to your rig. The cheapest option is often to buy online, but if you’re short on time or in a city there are many stores catering to camping and sporting accessories.
Here’s what we bought from the following stores:
4WD Supacentre/Kings – Roof rack, solar panel blanket, winch, recovery gear, radio accessories, light bar, high lift jack, air compressor, shovel rack, seat covers, original 70L fridge (for the trailer)
Anaconda – Pop-up gazebo, camp chairs, inflatable kayak
BCF – Fridge, extra water and fuel tanks, Maxtrax
Supercheap – Hema Navigator GPS, sand trays, bike rack
RTM – 12 V ceiling fan, interior LED lighting bar and dimmer
Bunnings – Gas canisters, large green storage tub for all of our food
Some of the Kings stuff is great, and some is hit or miss. Our Kings solar panel has served us well for 3 months, as have the light bar and air compressor. However, we had major issues with our Kings 70L fridge (for the trailer) and had to replace it with one from BCF. We also had our seat covers rip almost immediately. Kings offers free replacement on some items, but there aren’t any Kings stores north of Townsville, so these two items we’d recommend purchasing elsewhere. Sometimes, you get what you pay for.
If you’re unsure of the quality of something, buy it from a BCF or Supercheap, or another store that’s found more frequently across the county.
Some items we've added to/modified on the ute specifically for 4WDing:
USB charging hubs on console
Fridge in ute (for cold drinks of course)
2 spare tyres
High lift jack
Long handled shovel
Hema Navigator GPS
Seat covers and sand trays
Seat back organisers
False floor for tool/spare part storage
Green tub for food storage
Rooftop storage bags
After-market cruise control (Glenna refused to drive across Australia without this! Expensive but definitely worth it)
GoPro on dash
More about electronics
Batteries - One of the best things the ute came with was an extra battery. When the ute wouldn’t start one morning, Bobby just jumped it from the other one! The wiring was backwards but Bobby got it sorted. The ute also came with wiring for a fridge and solar panel in the back canopy, which Bobby was able to work with. We like having a fridge in the ute, in case we leave the trailer behind and camp out of the ute for a few days. It’s currently being used as our freezer to store frozen meat and veg, and the fridge in the trailer is our regular fridge. The extra battery allows us to run the fridge without worrying about the battery getting drained overnight.
Radios - Bobby got the non-functioning UHF radio working again with parts from Kings. This is important when you’re in the Outback and 4WDing so you can communicate with other drivers, especially the big road trains. We purchased a handheld UHF/VHF Radio so a passenger can get out and communicate with the driver. This is a must if you’re headed into intense 4WD situations, as you’ll need eyes outside of the vehicle. We also appreciated these while caravanning with our friends who had camper vans, as it made it easy to communicate when we didn't have mobile service.
Charging hubs - Bobby installed a USB hub in the centre console so we can charge our phones, camera, and GoPro while we’re driving. We thought about adding an inverter but since we have one in the trailer it wasn’t really necessary.
GPS - We got a great deal on a Hema Navigator off road GPS. This thing struggles a bit in cities, but it’s an excellent addition if you’re going to be doing a lot of off roading. We wouldn’t recommend using Google, as we did this once and ended up on a road that definitely shouldn’t have been marked as one! The Hema also gives more accurate arrival times, as it factors in stops for petrol and often slower-than-usual speeds created by hauling a big rig. A helpful but sometimes annoying feature is the announcement of railroad crossings, town entry points, and other points of note. If you were wondering, our GPS is named Hamish. We really like alliteration...
Our Favourite Nissan Navara Modifications
The USB charging hubs and Hema Navigator GPS have been the most valuable additions for us so far. We'd also highly recommend getting a second battery if you don't already have one, and an inverter if you'll be charging a lot of tech on the road. We charge our laptops and drone from the inverter in our trailer.
Things we would’ve loved but couldn’t afford:
Lithium batteries ($900 and up, 3x the price of regular batteries)
Storage system and sliding drawers for back of ute (tray kit out) - Instead we made these straps to hold some of our duffels in place. They don't work as well as drawers, but we had to cut costs somewhere.
The best resource on a trip around Australia is word of mouth, but people often have very different standards. For example, if someone is used to city life they’ll probably tell you an unsealed road between two Outback towns is terrible, while someone used to country life will tell you it’s fine. This is also tricky when there are river crossings, as someone more experienced or used to the road will tell you a river crossing is no problem, but it might be a challenge for a novice. So collect all the info you can, but take it with a grain of salt.
Our favourite app for free and paid camping is Wikicamps. Trust us, it’s worth $8. In New Zealand Campermate is also popular, but in Australia it's pretty outdated.
We also got a lot of information from our Hema 4WD book, which is a fantastic source of information for most 4WD routes across Australia. It lists everything from difficulty to campsites to distance between petrol stations. And it never hurts to have some background information on the parks in case you don't have time to do much research before you leave a mobile data coverage area.
Time to hit the road!
So there you have it, some of the best affordable 4WD Nissan Navara modifications for an Outback road trip. We hope you’ve done plenty of research and kitted out your rig to the best of your ability. Let us know if you have any questions, and safe travels!
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