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Browsing: Trail savvy

All over South Africa, and especially in Namibia, sand is a vital part of any 4×4 adventure. Once the skills to conquer it have been mastered, sand driving is possibly the most fun you can have in a 4×4. In this chapter, we delve into some of the tips and tricks to keep you on top. Drop the pressure Arguably the most important aspect of sand driving is tyre pressure. If you try driving on sand with hard tyres, you’ll soon find yourself struggling. When you reduce pressure by as much as 50% below standard, the footprint of your tyres…

Isn’t it strange that most South African male drivers (yes, that’s us) believe that as soon as they hit a dirt road, their skill level is suddenly on par with a driving genius combination of Sarel van der Merwe and Sebastién Loeb? The hammer goes down, the red mist descends − and before you know it, your vehicle is fishtailing all over the place while the family goes all wide-eyed and grips tightly on any handholds. Seriously, guys; what’s the rush? You are on holiday. Another 35 minutes on the road will still leave enough time to set up camp…

Although not always ideal if you want to avoid vehicle damage, rock crawling is sometimes a necessity. South Africa, in particular, is a very rocky place − and if you’re going to drive off-road, you’ll come across rocky terrain sooner rather than later. The word ‘crawling’ in ‘rock crawling’ explains everything, and means that you’ll be going extremely slowly in first-gear low-range and climbing over large, often loose boulders which may be a challenge… especially in a standard 4×4. Preparing your vehicle Depending on the terrain, it’s often necessary to deflate your tyres. In rock, whether it is loose or…

River crossings are an inevitable challenge. Handled correctly, they can be made without incident, but they can also go wrong fast. Avoid deep crossings if possible, and always approach them with respect. We’ve had our fair share of mishaps − from a blown engine in a V10 Touareg, to a partially submerged Land Rover pulled out by a three-wheeled digger. Step 1 – Assess the situation By ‘assess’, we mean make sure that you won’t drown your vehicle or get washed downstream. A very rough rule of thumb is that standard 4x4s shouldn’t ford deeper than tyre height, because many…

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