b'PACKING FOR SAFETY weapon as they fly forward. There are many aftermarket companiesthat specialise in providing packingsolutions. It is worth taking a look at what isMost four wheel drivers tend to pack on offer.more gear than they need, and certainlymore weight than the vehicle is rated toA popular solution consists of fittingcarry (see Vehicle Load Limits & Towing internal shelving and draws. Many use twosections). draws to carry packaged food, and recoverygear and spares in the other.With the host of gear available today,from such things as solar panels, portableIf you have a portable fridge/freezer,showers, awnings, cooking equipment, and consider mounting it on a sliding system,much more, it is easy to be overwhelmed by which makes it easy to access.the task of packing, and what to actuallyA cheaper solution to a drawer systemtake. is by using plastic crates that slide into aOne of the best tips is to spread out on a frame. Different crates can be designated totarp all of the gear you intend taking, and store specific items with less likely to bethen to consider what you really dont need. used items able to be packed at the back orunder more frequently accessed crates.Packing for safety - Fully packed, your vehicle is likely to beA four wheel drive has a higher centre of disproportionately laden, with the majority ofgravity than a conventional vehicle, and it is the load located over the rear axle. This canimportant to maintain this point as low as effect steering, and handling of the vehicle.possible. Beefing up the rear suspension to cope withThis can be achieved by this load, and assisting to retaining the Packing heavy items as low as possible. vehicles handling characteristics is a soundTool boxes, spare parts and cast iron cook- investment.ing implements should be at floor level.There are tricks to packing and storing While the temptation of a roof rack is to foodstuffs, many involving wrapping items inpack awkward items such as spare wheels, newspaper, to use of disposable cardboardjerry cans of fuel and water and gas bottles, boxes, that are worth considering. By joiningin so doing you are greatly increasing the a 4WD Club you will have access to manyinstability of the vehicle, by raising its centre experienced four wheel drivers that can giveof gravity. you good advice on packing for extended A roof rack is best used for bulky items trips.such as tents, camping chairs and similar. Spare parts -Lightweight and bulky is a good rule of On a remote touring trip, you will need tothumb. carry a greater range of parts, than on say If you require the second row seat for a weekend trip. When travelling with apassengers, the cargo area in a wagon has group, you can spread the load acrossto be well packed to maximise its carrying several vehicles.potential. Similarly you can rationalise requirements For safety, consider fitting a load barrier by not duplicating big items, e.g. chainsawwhich isolates the gear in the cargo area or generator, when travelling in a group.from the passenger compartment. In anemergency, items can become airborne andwithout a cargo barrier may become a lethal30'