How Do You Use Your 4X4?
A few years ago my wife and I decided to ditch our jobs and use the Triton to travel around Australia for a year and yes, it was the best decision ever. Although time did get away from us and we managed to turn one year into 18 months and 70,000 kilometres!
We have certainly seen some of the most spectacular sights this country has on offer and the amazing life experiences we have gained from travelling alone in the most remote parts of this country will forever remain etched in our memories.
Currently we’re back in the real world and my Triton is being used for work and for getting out of the city on weekend camping and 4wd trips, but we still have some big trips planned for the near future.
What Have You Done To Your 4X4?
Our criteria for the around Australia trip was to have the ability and flexibility to go anywhere off road and get away from the crowds, tackle some of the tough iconic tracks as well as taking the less touristy and unknown tracks.
So with the ‘big adventure’ in mind I purchased our brand new Triton extra cab chassis and a Rhino Marine slide on camper.
I had a year and a half to iron out the bugs in the Triton and to set up the camper. I focused on reliability, engine performance and off-road capability, out of the box the Triton was fairly good but nowhere near where it needed to be to carry max payloads across the harsh outback.
The slide on camper is a Rhino Marine slide on camper from Traytop Campers chosen for its simplistic and rugged lightweight construction.
Once at camp there is virtually no setup involved, just open the door and climb into bed. My wife was thrilled with how safe she felt when camped in dodgy areas or in severe thunderstorms. Thanks to its solid roof and walls we stayed safe and dry in the worst weather conditions you could possibly imagine.
Life on the road was also made easy with quick and easy access to all our things; the kitchen was set up in less than ten seconds and you were enjoying a beer in no time at all.
The Triton Club Cab came standard with a rear diff lock which was nice bonus so I decided to complement that with a front air locker as well.
Over the next year and a half the modification bug bit hard and I threw all of the usual upgrades at it and then some…
The list includes a bull bar & winch, custom Ultimate suspension, upgraded under body protection, a long-range fuel tank, a Chipit chip with custom tune & exhaust, EGT & boost gauges, EGR block controller, 3:15 low range reduction gears, secondary 2um fuel filter, wheels & tyres (265/75/16 KM2’s), UHF radio, LED light bar and spot lights, fridge, and an on-board air compressor.
My favorite modifications have been the low range reduction gears, custom engine tuning and suspension. Without these modifications I doubt my Triton would have lasted as well as it did around Australia.
The reduction gears really come into their own when you have a heavily loaded vehicle, the extra control they provided in gnarly terrain was worth every cent and I believe they have saved our Triton from a lot of damage.
The suspension was custom-built for our need to carry maximum axle loads. This was achieved by having all four corners of the vehicle weighed and assessed by the guys at Ultimate Suspension, who then installed custom valved shocks and springs to suit.
I was initially happy with the little 2.5 diesel, until I loaded it up with gear and put bigger tyres on! In standard form these engines have noticeable turbo lag and I found I was over revving it just to stay on boost. Fuel economy was also suffering and I genuinely thought I’d purchased the wrong vehicle.
In my search for a solution I came across Tony the owner of SPV Industries and he provided some custom tuning that made a huge difference. The lag and economy issues were solved with a custom touring tune, which I must say has unlocked and transformed the little 2.5 engine into something more than special.
What’s Next For Your 4X4?
All in all I’m very happy with the overall package and there aren’t too many mods left to do to the Triton, but I have no-doubt it will continue to evolve.
For example, I’d be keen to locate some lower ratio (4.3) diff gears out of a V6 Triton and a bit more SPV Industries custom tuning would be nice. Where does it all end!