We’re all gearing up for another big season of travel as most of us are planning the big trip up north to get away from it all. For me, I’m heading up to the Gulf and into the Cape for 5 weeks straight, which is a long time to live out of the back of a 4WD. I reckon that one of the most important things to consider before your big trip is what you’re going to pack and how you are going to pack it into the back of your 4WD. It really is an art being able to make all of the necessary things fit and do it in a way so you can get what you need easily and without ripping everything out of the vehicle in the process. A setup that allows you a quick and easy setup and pack down will mean you will have a lot better time off-road and make the whole camping and 4WD experience (especially for the better half) a lot more enjoyable.
Space in the back of your 4WD is always at a premium and clever storage ideas can turn camping from being a chore to an absolute pleasure. I camp with a simple setup at the best of times, give me my swag, fridge and a space case of gear and I’m usually good to go for a week or more. Actually, throw in some fishing rods and lures, then I’m good to go!
In my opinion a set of drawers in the back of your 4WD is one of the best starts you can have on the road to clever storage. In the back of my 79 Series, I haven’t got around to knocking up a set of storage drawers but I do carry a couple of space cases. One holds all of my camping gear, like camp oven, pots, pans and cups etc, while the other is used for food.
I was speaking with a great mate of mine the other day, Graham, and we were talking about the best mods we’ve done to our 4WDs and I was surprised what he told me. He made a steel frame up to protect the fridge and keep his other camping gear from going anywhere near the fridge and reckons it’s his favourite mod. It’s amazing how simple things that make life easier and more convenient off-road are usually the best mods you can have. Now nothing falls behind his WAECO CFX-50 every time he slides it out to get something. It can be a real pain when you’re fully packed up for that big trip and you go to get a cold drink out of your WAECO and something falls behind your fridge and stops you from sliding it back in. I met another bloke on a trip that used some aluminium box section to build a frame around his WAECO and cut up an old security screen door to cover it. It worked an absolute treat, looked good and best of all cost him about $30 in materials.
I’m in the process of kitting the canopy out in the back of my 79 Series, but you can bet that some drawers, a slide and a box to protect my WAECO will be going in!