Get ready for the December holidays

By: Johan Badenhorst- Voetspore

It is that time of year again – get ready for the holidays. If you are a camper or 4×4 enthusiasts, it may just take a little longer to finalize preparations than the hotel-in-Umhlanga type.

Planning a holiday and getting everything ready for the adventure is half the fun. Just open up a map and see the enthusiasm of all who will go with and the jealousy of those who stay behind. Start following your finger on a map to Witsand, Riemvasmaak, Sendelingsdrift, Australia, Helmeringhausen… then you get behind the laptop and Google these places. Reading what other travellers say about their adventures makes you want to go tomorrow.

Planning the trip, getting the right paperwork done, organizing the passports and visas (if necessary), organizing the file with the vehicle’s documentation, attaching the right stickers, checking the lists of do’s and don’ts, all these are very important. But just as important is checking the vehicle.

A lot of the equipment used in a 4×4 vehicle is use way too seldom. Not everyone is fortunate enough to go on holiday twice a year in their 4×4, plus a few weekend break always throw in to the mix as well. And if things are not used, they break.

The one item that causes the most problems by far is the dual battery system. Not all of us care for our batteries the way we should. Not all of us keep the second battery functional throughout the year or keep it charged with a trickle charge. Next time when you start things up, the second battery is dead. Perhaps it should be replaced. Perhaps it only needs a decent charge.

It good thing to do with your freezer/fridge is to use it as a bar fridge when not camping. This will give the fridge a much longer life span, and you will know straight away if anything is wrong.

There are other issues as well. A winch that is not used for more than a year breaks the first time it is used. Using it regularly greases the gears.

Quite often something small like a zip on a tent, breaks during a trip. The intention is always to have it fixed the moment when you get home. Chances are that you forget when you get back into the rat race. The next time when you realize the zip is still broken, is when you set up camp at Witsand for the first night.

And so I can continue with small issues that can only upset your next trip. Best is to go and camp for a weekend before the end of October. Even one night is sufficient. Make a list of the outstanding issues. Use all the toys and see if they are still working. Then bring the vehicles and/or trailer to a 4×4 Megaworld store. Let us attend to all the niggling issues. We may even pick up a few more.

The reason why you should do it now, is obvious. In November all the other guys who forgot about it, pitch at the stores with their issues. Then there is one or two who bought a brand new Cruiser or Hilux for the holidays, and now needs a suspension, canopy, bull bar… We just run out of time.

To get the best possible service, make an appointment now. And do not just drop off the vehicle. Come spend some time in the shop. Have some coffee. Talk to us. Ask questions, Share your information. And have a look around in the store and see the latest arrivals. 4×4 and camping equipment has over the years improved vastly. Perhaps it is now time to get rid of the old dome tent and get yourself a new pop-up, or to replace the roof top tent that makes you swear every time you have to fold it with a new one that folds up in 10 seconds….