Lockdowns are hard. Doubly so when you’re the type to drop everything on a whim to head to your favourite little corner of the world, or when you’ve been planning that big trip. At the core of it, we are travellers. Our fourby’s and the gear we hook up to, or pack into them, is what enables that travel!
With large chunks of the country in lockdown at the moment, unfortunately for many of us, this much-loved travel is simply out of the question.
It doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some of the passion though. So amongst the team, we thought of 5 things you can do that may just prepare you for when lockdowns lift!
When was the last time you gave your fourby or trailer a good detail? This can be a simple wash, right out to a full-blown paint restoration and interior steam clean! We put our rigs through a lot, and often the time simply doesn’t exist to give them a good once over. You can thank COVID for the time! Personally, I’ve spent the last 3 weekends doing a complete paint restoration and detail on the missus’ car and will be moving to the Club 4X4 Raptor shortly – look out for a write up!
You want to consider your specific vehicle here, but most will always enjoy some fluid changes regardless of scheduled servicing and the like. Make sure you use the correct products by checking your owner’s manual. Often things like diff and transmission fluid can have very long service intervals (and in the case of newer sealed units – no service intervals!) so this is a good place to start. You might even learn a thing or two about your setup and do some inspecting of the undercarriage along the way.
So not so much something to do, as it is something to consider. Batteries power the vitals of your vehicle, and many of us will also have a “house” battery on board the fourby itself OR, in our trailers. Your cranking (vehicle) battery is designed to last about a month when hooked up to your car without any charge – so it’s likely it will be OK depending on a few variables. However, given the shorter drives you’re likely to be taking, it’s highly unlikely it’s getting the full charging benefit it needs to be maintained appropriately. We’ve been trialing a Projecta trickle charger which we will do a review on shortly, to ensure optimum battery life while vehicles are sitting. If you have a house battery in the fourby or in a trailer the same rules apply – either connect the appropriate trickle charger or get your solar panels connected to keep them topped up and at optimal charge.
4) General Maintenance
Not sure about you, but certain members of my family can be a little rough on gear! From smooshed marshmallows on camp chairs, chip flakes in sleeping bags and general wear and tear almost a given. This is a great time to get all your gear out and inspect, clean and repair as appropriate. If you treat your gear right it will do the same in return!
5) Backyard campouts!
The most logical step after setting everything up for the inspection in the above activity, is to leave it up and enjoy it! We had a COVID Campout event on Facebook over the weekend and it’s obvious many of us are enjoying this to some capacity. Be it a campfire with a couple of camp chairs, or the caravan in the front yard, the options are endless and it means you’re still in the great outdoors!
Hopefully, that helps a little folks – if you’ve got any other ideas or activities you’ve been doing whilst in lockdown, please share them below!