OFFROAD QUESTIONS ANSWERED: Rated Recovery Points, Dual Battery Basics, Child Restraints…
Qualified motor mechanic Adam Adler has spent half his life under the bonnet of a 4WD and has worked for some of the top accessory companies and workshops. He knows what it takes to get your vehicle out there and back home in one piece. He runs the online aftermarket store www.nutsabout4WD.com.au.
RATED RECOVERY POINTS
I have seen mixed reviews online about the Tow hooks on the front of my LandCruiser model. I’ve been told by all sorts of people that the factory points are more than strong enough, but I’ve also heard a lot about recovery points as well. (I just don’t like how far they hang down).
Can you confirm if the factory points are OK to use?
Recovery points have been a hot topic for some time now. The factory points are actually tie down points used to secure the vehicle in the shipping process into Australia.
Yes some of the points are quite large and beefy but they are not rated or tested for use in a recovery process.
ARB and Roadsafe produce proper rated recovery points. ARB have tested and designed them to 8000kgs on most models, whereas Roadsafe are rated to either 5000kgs or 3500kgs depending on the model.
These companies invest a lot of money in the correct testing of (a) the recovery points themselves, and (b) also the location where they are mounted on the vehicle. They put the points through extensive testing to ensure they meet the rating and are fit for use for our conditions.
A recovery is something that can be quite dangerous, so in my opinion a rated recovery point is the most important upgrade you could fit on your 4WD.
Most 4WD Clubs also will not let you attend a trip out unless you have your vehicle fitted with rated recovery points. Also, where possible, make to use an equalizer strap between the two recovery points to help spread the load.
DUAL BATTERY BASICS
Up until now I‘ve been camping with just an esky and ice. I am fairly new to it all and usually go away for only an overnight trip so this has worked well for me.
I’m now hoping to upgrade a few things and I want to fit a dual battery under the bonnet. Do you have any advice for me before I do it?
Firstly I am unsure of what 4WD you have but it will totally depend on the vehicle’s system.
With most of the older 4WD’s, using a standard isolator system will work fine, something like the Redarc Sbi12. But the newer systems have heat sensing and smart alternators of which you would need to use a different system like the Redarc BCDC range.
Battery choice is also key. You will be restricted to the size of the battery you will be able to fit due to the auxiliary battery tray size and specified weight that the tray is rated to.
Fitting a battery under the bonnet will also restrict battery choice to mainly a lead acid type deep cycle battery. An AGM battery is susceptible to heat and most companies will not warrant an AGM battery if it is exposed to heat. The AGM batteries are also much heavier and will usually exceed the rated weight of the battery tray.
I would advise you to research this a bit more and either give Redarc a call on their technical advice line to discuss the correct fitment for your 4WD model, or contact me with more details, as I am always happy to find the correct information you need.
CHILD RESTRAINT APPROVAL
My wife is pregnant and we’re getting closer to the birth of our baby, but my 4WD doesn’t seem to have proper child restraints in the rear. The 4WD is not my daily drive, but we do use it for longer trips on the weekend. Who do we need to see about getting points fitted?
Being seat belt related, this is something that usually needs to be done by someone who is approved to do so and may also need to be signed off.
I would contact your Road Traffic Authority and see if they can give you someone who is approved to do so. Here in Victoria, I’m pretty sure Vic Roads have a list of places that do this, so definitely check with your NSW road traffic authority first.
Hope that helps and congratulations!