4 wheel drive vehicle preparations? Yes! Preparing your 4WD for your Fraser Island adventure is a must do. Beach driving can be dangerous so you need to be prepared.
Fraser Island is regarded as a 4WD enthusiasts playground. is 4WD Heaven so to speak! Everything from driving the beach and sandy inland tracks, to crossing creeks and traversing rocky outcrops. It will surely get your heart racing.
So you can stay save when on the island. Here are a few tips to ensure you and your vehicle are well prepared.
1. Service Your Vehicle
There is no mechanical workshops on the island but there are plenty of tow trucks that will charge a small fortune if you break down and need to be trucked off.
So a good idea to service your vehicle first.
- We would recommend that you do a basic service on your vehicle for greater peace of mind.
- Check oil and water levels, tyre suitability and ensure everything is mechanically sound.
- A worthwhile investment is to have your vehicle rust proofed as the sand and salt cause immediate corrosion.
- Also a good idea to grease the moving parts on your vehicle where possible.
2. Carry Basic Recovery Gear
Equip your vehicle with some basic recovery gear. This is a list of accessories that we carry in our vehicle. Nothing fancy or expensive ( its easy to go overboard and buy heaps of equipment ) just basic and relevant to the conditions on the island.
- 2 x Tyre pressure gauge
- Automatic deflator
- Portable air compressor
- Snatch strap & D Shackle
- Radiator coolant
- A basic mechanical kit with spanner set, gaffer tape, a can of WD40, jumper leads, zip ties and a spare fan belt.
Most of the vehicle breakdowns seems to be either flat batteries, electronic failure ( in modern vehicles due to salt moisture), fan belts or burnt out clutches.
If you carry the basic recovery gear it may save you time and money if you ever get stuck or breakdown.
3. Check Your Tyre Pressure
Tyre pressure is extremely important when driving on the sand.
Generally vehicles that get bogged have their tyre pressure to high ( 25-40 psi ). When you reduce the tyre pressure ( under 25psi ) it helps your vehicle float over the top of the sand better. Tyre pressures can vary depending on track conditions.
In our experience 20 psi has been ideal for our vehicle ( Toyota Land Cruiser V8 ) when we drive along the beach.
Tips for Deflating tyres
Travelling from Gympie to Rainbow beach we deflate our tyres under the trees in the shade at the Rainbow / Inskip camp ground prior to hitting the sandy track to the Barge.
If you are boarding the barge from River Heads / Hervey Bay, it is a good idea to deflate tyres while on the barge.
However in the times that we have found ourselves bogged ( especially towing a trailer or our boat ) we have deflated the tyres as low as 12psi to get ourselves out. Once we are out of the boggy sand we re-inflate the tyres back up to 20kpi to continue our journey…
Over the years we have seen hundreds of vehicles bogged at the Inskip Point waiting area. Local “Fraserites” call this spot the ” Graveyard “
…worst thing is visitors haven’t even driven onto the Barge or reached the island yet…
Oh Dear, not a good start to your trip if this happens.
The importance of preparing your vehicle with a service, carrying some basic recovery & breakdown tools and tyre pressure are simple things you can do prior to your Fraser Island adventure to minimise the stress on you and your vehicle.
So remember : a vehicle SERVICE, keep it SIMPLE and drive SAFE