The latest must-have 4×4 accessories.
Here’s all the latest and greatest Gear News unearthed by the Unsealed 4X4 team. There’s everything from battery chargers and throttle controllers to GVM upgrade kits and muddies… and a whole lot more.
Projecta COMPAC Fast Chargers
Kicking off this month’s Gear News is new range of Projecta COMPAC Fast Chargers that can add battery life to phones, laptops and GoPros.
The new COMPAC Series 18W power banks are available in PB5 (5000mAh) and PB10 (10,000mAh) models, and they are claimed to feature the same 21700 lithium-ion cell technology as used by Tesla.
With 18W output, the power banks can provide additional run time of up to 50 minutes (PB5) or 100 minutes (PB10) on a MacBook or equivalent-sized laptop, so you won’t need to find a power outlet to get through the rest of Gear News on your lappy. And they can recharge a flat iPhone from zero charge to 80 per cent charge in a claimed 60 minutes.
Projecta says the power banks can be used multiple times before they need to be recharged themselves; the PB5 can charge a smart phone twice and the PB10 four times before needing a top up. The PB5 takes around 1.9 hours to fully recharge and the PB10 around 3.8 hours.
At just 101g and 190g respectively, both the COMPAC PB5 and PB10 are compact, light, easy to use and easy to store… and they’re the reasonably priced.
RRP: $69 (PB5); $99 (PB10)
TLR multiplug trailer bracket for 200 Series LandCruiser
With more and more connections needed between what you’re towing and your tow-rig, finding a neat way to mount all those connections has been a problem for some time, but here’s some great Gear News: the folks over at TLR (the team behind Out Of Town 4WD) have launched a multiplug bracket to suit the 200 Series LandCruiser.
Long gone are the days of just plugging in the lights for the caravan or camper and heading off into the great unknown. Now you’ve got to think about an Anderson plug to supply power from the tow vehicle to the trailer’s DC-DC charging system, a plug to run solar on the tow vehicle through to the trailer, and some new caravans are even equipped with reversing cameras that you’ll often need to wire through a plug too – not even thinking about a breakaway cable, or caravan ABS systems. Finding somewhere to mount all the connections close to the centre of the tow-rig often makes for a messy rear bar and tow coupling.
The TLR team has now released the multiplug bracket to allow you to mount a bunch of different sockets and connections, as well as the breakaway cable, and it mounts directly to the 200 Series LandCruiser’s rear. It’s available in stainless steel or black powder-coated stainless steel to suit the vehicle it’s mounted to. There are two options available – a four-plug option and a three-plug option.
Option one accommodates up to four plugs, used when you plan to have 1 x trailer plug (7 or 12 pin flat), 2 x Anderson plugs and a reversing camera.
Option two accommodates up to three plugs, where you plan to have 1 x trailer plug (7 or 12 pin flat) and a combination of either 1 x camera and 1 x Anderson, or 2 x Anderson plugs but no camera. This unit is a little more compact and will get the job done if you don’t need as many connections.
For those looking to deck out their tow-rig, and even wanting to get a few odd-jobs out of the way while self-isolating, then this may well be something for you. You can get the multiplug bracket at the TLR website here and it will set you back just $85.
Hikeit X9 throttle controller
A new throttle controller has entered the market that offers some new advancements and options in the throttle-controller segment: the Hikeit X9.
Gear News is all about new equipment and gadgets and the new Hikeit X9 throttle controller offers a new take and more options on the standard lines of throttle controllers currently on the market. As well as operating as a throttle controller, reducing input lag between the accelerator pedal and the Engine Control Unit (ECU), it gives more control with different modes, and has a few other interesting features we’ve not seen before.
Among the newer features, it has six different modes: Eco/4X4, Cruise, Sport/Tow, High-Performance ‘Hikeit Mode’, Automatic Learning, and Normal (which returns pedal inputs to the factory settings). Within each of the selectable modes (Eco/4X4, Cruise, Sport/Tow and Hikeit Mode) there are nine different settings giving you back control over pedal inputs. Further to the different modes available to the user, there are also a bunch of other features.
One unique feature is the anti-theft mode that allows you to put a password on the controller; unless you input the correct password the ECU won’t see any input from the accelerator pedal. On the face of the unit, there is also an ambient light sensor that automatically adjusts brightness so it doesn’t blin you when driving at night. For chasing the Grey Nomads down the highway there is also a one-touch overtaking button that will put the unit into its highest mode for immediate throttle response when overtaking caravans and campers. Plus there is the Automatic Learning mode that learns how you drive and forms it’s own input pattern to match your driving style. Finally, the chipset has been stepped up to 32-bit from the typical 16-bit allowing faster calculations and therefore faster response times.
It’s good to see a new player in the market offering up new features and options rather than just being a copy of a copy of a copy. The Hikeit X9 fits just about every make and model of vehicle on the market (petrol and diesel-powered 4X4s and cars) and you can grab yours here.
RRP: $229 (inc. free express shipping)
Terrain Tamer GVM (Gross Vehicle Mass) upgrade kits
Terrain Tamer and Multidrive Technology have developed a new range of vehicle-specific GVM upgrade kits. Now that’s some good Gear News!
The new Terrain Tamer GVM (Gross Vehicle Mass) upgrade kits have been developed to cater to popular 4×4 vehicles that are often pushed to their GVM and axle-loading limits when towing or loaded with essential off-road touring gear.
It doesn’t take much for many vehicles to reach the standard GVM once equipped with accessories such as bull bars, winches, driving lights, roof racks, long-range fuel tanks, drawer systems and the like. Throw in a couple of occupants, some luggage, a full tank of fuel and hitch a trailer, and the standard GVM can soon be exceeded.
The new GVM upgrade kits consist Terrain Tamer suspension components and have been thoroughly tested and analysed by Multidrive Technology to achieve Secondary Stage Manufacturer’s approval. The GVM upgrade kits can be installed either prior to vehicle registration or on existing registered vehicles at approved workshops. In the case of post-registration GVM upgrades, state-level modification processes must be followed.
The first of the new Terrain Tamer kits to be released are designed specifically to suit Toyota 200 Series and 79 Series LandCruiser models.
According to Terrain Tamer, the 200 Series upgrade kit increases the original manufacturer’s GVM rating by more than 10 per cent, from 3350kg to 3700kg. The upgrade includes an increase of 200kg to the rear axle capacity, from 1950kg to 2150kg.
There are two GVM upgrade options for the 79 Series LandCruiser. The first increases GVM from the standard 3300kg (Double Cab) to 3780kg, while the second kit increases the GVM to 3950kg. Both of the 79 Series LandCruiser kits provide a front axle rating increase to 1540kg, while the heavier 3950kg kit also adds an extra 140kg to the rear axle, taking the rear-axle rating to 2440kg.
The co-developed Terrain Tamer and Multidrive Technology GVM upgrade kits for 200 Series and 79 Series LandCruiser models are available now. See the Terrain Tamer website for more details.
RRP: see website for details
Hella Rallye 4000 LED
Hella has just released the Rallye 4000 LED range.
If you’ve been around more than a few years, before you could get all your Gear News on the interweb and all that, you’ll have heard of the Hella range of lighting products. Back in the strictly halogen days, they were up there with IPF and KC HiLites. For the last little while, Hella had gone fairly quiet, however, it has now released its latest light upgrade – the Hella Rallye 4000 LED.
The new LED version of the Rallye 4000 weighs in at just 2.7kg a piece, and features an all-metal housing with an IP67 and IP69K water and dust-proof rating. As with most LED lighting systems, these lights will work on both a 12V and 24V systems, while also offering over-voltage and reverse-polarity protection systems.
For beam options, the Rallye 4000s come in a pencil/spot beam, that will reach out to a claimed 1 lux at 1.3km with a spread beam that gets to 1 lux at 800m. This is quite an upgrade over Hella’s Rallye 4000 halogen option, with the older technology reaching 1 lux at 800m and 485m respectively.
For those with older halogen Hella Rallye 4000 lights, an LED upgrade insert is available, which upgrades both the optical element and the lighting technology to bring the older halogen lights up to the same specification as the new LED lights.
Hella is also offering up its new Luminator 3.0 driving light, which is more cost-focussed and is specced more toward urban environments. The lighting is derated a touch, which minimises glare from street signs and has less impact on oncoming vehicles, so light output doesn’t reach out as far as the Rallye 4000, which is optimised for longer distance remote touring. The Luminator 3.0 will deliver a claimed 1 lux at 600m spot/pencil beam and 1 lux at 440m for the spread-beam alternative.
Both the Hella Rallye 4000 LED and the Luminator 3.0 options are sold as single lights and with a three-year warranty.
RRP: $500 ea. – Rallye 4000 LED (both beam types); $395 ea. – Luminator 3.0 LED
Kumho Road Venture MT71 Mud Terrain
If you’re after some new rubber you’re going to love this bit of Gear News: a new Kumho mud-terrain tyre has been launched in Australia and it’s aimed squarely at 4×4 utes and wagons that see plenty of off-road driving action.
The new Kumho mud terrain, called the Road Venture MT71, has been under development for two years, and according to the tyre manufacturer its off-road performance “will redefine the 4WD tyre segment”. Furthermore, the new Kumho mud terrain is available in a wide range of sizes that will cover the majority of the mud-terrain segment.
“The Road Venture MT71 is a cornerstone product for Kumho because it will deliver the highest level of performance at a truly competitive price and will, we believe, redefine the serious 4WD tyre market,” Kenny Chun, National Marketing Manager for Kumho Tyre Australia said.
The MT71 has a typically aggressive mud-terrain tread design with big, widely spaced blocks for off-road traction in slippery terrain such as mud and rocks. Kumho adds that it has “enhanced durability with extra cut and chip resistance” and exceptional off-road performance with excellent highway safety and stability.
The MT71 Road Venture is claimed to offer a combination of off-road grip an on-road stability.
“During pre-launch testing, the product scored well in slick rock traction, forward traction, front path stability, side-bite ability, side slope traction and a wide range of additional performance dynamics, demonstrating severe off-road capability,” Kenny Chun said.
Despite its aggressive tread, the MT71 is claimed to produce minimal on-road noise compared to other mud-terrain tyres due to its packed centre block and its dual-pitch tread design that was designed utilising fluid mechanics for enhanced wet performance, climbing ability and traction both on- and off-road.
The Road Venture MT71 is constructed with seven integrated steel and fabric layers to provide a robust structure for harsh off-road driving.
The MT71 is available in a range of diameters and sizes from 15-inch to 20-inch (see chart below) to fit a wide range of vehicles on the Australian market including most popular 4×4 wagons and utes. Prices start from around $265 and most 16-inch and 17-inch sizes are LT (Light Truck) construction.
Make sure you check out Unsealed 4X4’s massive 2020 Mud Terrain Tyre Buyer’s Guide to see all the current muddies on the Aussie market.
RRP: From $265
Drifta 10L water Box Bag
Drifta has released a new water storage bag.
When going away, it’s always good to take more water than you need. Chances are you’ve seen the 10-litre boxes of water that strangely look a little like a cask of goon. Cardboard box, shiny bladder and a little tap on the bottom? They’re a great way to carry a bit of extra water, but being a rather flimsy cardboard box that struggles to hold its 10kg payload, let alone while getting bounced around the back of a four-wheel drive, they often come apart and the bladder (read: goon bag) will get punctured on the first thing it comes in contact with. That’s where this little pearler from Drifta comes in handy.
In Gear News we’ve uncovered this new Drifta bag to not only store your 10-litre boxes of water in but also to make them easier to use. With a heavy-duty strap, the water can hang from a point on your 4X4, or even a sturdy tree, allowing easy access to the inbuilt tap in the box. This means you can keep the faucet to your water clean, and it makes it easier to use the box of water. Something worth noting too is that they’re completely made in Australia… up in Gloucester, just north of Newcastle, in New South Wales.
The 10L Water Box Bag will cost you $59 and it’s a smart little idea; even if you don’t want to use it for a water box, there are plenty other uses you could press the little jigger into.
For more information check out the Drifta website; click here.