When we set out to purchase a 4WD, we were looking for something that suited our travel style at that time: frequent weekends away, and one or two longer (though never long enough!) trips to farther-flung places per year. While we were avid campers, and in our quest to ‘get away from it all’ didn’t hesitate to venture down dirt roads in our Holden Astra, most of our driving was on the blacktop, and we were prone to travelling great distances in only a few, long days. So a comfortable ‘tourer’ that could also take us off the beaten track from time to time was what we were after. We also wanted a vehicle that hadn’t done much offroad driving, and with minimal modifications and accessories so we could build it up over time according to our needs.

Stock standard, with mud on the tyres for the first time, July 2010

Stock standard, with mud on the tyres for the first time, July 2010

With these factors and a realistic budget in mind, we narrowed our search down to a couple of options, and in June 2010 we bought a Mitsubishi Pajero NM (2002) GLS. Stock standard, with just one previous owner and low kilometres, ‘Saj the Paj’ (named for part of the registration number) had clearly lived a very suburban life, so fitted the bill perfectly! Having spent months researching, looking at, and jumping in and out of many other 4WDs, Saj was the first one we actually test-drove, and we’ve never looked back!

ARB steel bull bar and Bridgestone ATs fitted for a trip to the Flinders Ranges, Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary (SA), August 2011

Since then, we’ve made modifications as our budget and other priorities have permitted. To date we’ve added an ARB steel deluxe winch bar, Bridgestone All-Terrain tyres, an IMPCO injected LPG system, a Rhino-Rack Pioneer Tray and a Sunseeker awning. Paul has also installed a Uniden UHF radio, a Dig Options 7-inch multimedia system with navigation, Bluetooth, reversing camera and tyre-pressure monitoring system, and a Redarc battery isolator. As we don’t have room for a dual battery set-up under the bonnet (due to the LPG system), Saj carries an ArkPak inside to power our 38L Engel fridge/freezer.

Parachilna Gorge (SA), putting the new Rhino-Rack Pioneer Tray and Sunseeker awning to good use, August 2013

Putting the new Rhino-Rack Pioneer Tray and Sunseeker awning to good use, Parachilna Gorge (SA), August 2013

The wish list of additional modifications is seemingly endless – for most 4WD owners, ‘the rig’ is never really ‘finished’ – but before we hit the road we’ll be fitting a number of other vital accessories, which we’ll document in our blog. In the meantime, if you want to know more about any aspect of our 4WD set-up, get in touch and we’ll answer any questions as best we can.


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