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This short article explains how to set up a portable plug-and-play unit that you can use in your car, boat or caravan. This is indeed a fun weekend project, with plenty of uses down the line. By assembling the various components yourself, you are able to make some cost savings compared to buying a complete off-the-shelf unit. A useful aspect of this design is the ease of monitoring the state of battery charge. This is achieved through connecting a Victron Battery Monitor along with a VM Bluetooth Dongle, and using a smartphone app, through which you can keep a record

Having done a fair amount of research about the MadMan EMS (Engine Monitoring System) and having especially discussed its merits with others who use it, I ordered one to be fitted before the December holidays − I’d planned two long-drive holidays, and was eager to test the system. I was off to the Wild Coast in mid-December, and to the Mabuasehube area, which is on the Botswana side of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, in early January. These two trips would be the ideal opportunity to learn how the Madman system works on my 3.2 diesel Pajero, as well as to

“Everybody has a world, and that world is completely hidden until we begin to inquire. As soon as we do, that entire world opens to us and yields itself. And you see how full and complex it is.” – David Guterson. In a world of changing technology, automotive lubricants have changed along with motor vehicle technology, and these lubricants have become extremely complex – and more difficult to understand.  However, our opening quote shows that it is worth digging deep. In last month’s article, we said that the correct choice of base oil is a major determining factor in the

We had been living in Australia from 2008, but the global financial crisis had led to many mines being closed or sold in Australia, and many workers were being laid off. Sadly, it hit closer to home than expected. Since Australia is an incredibly expensive country to live in, especially when you don’t have an income, we decided to move back to South Africa at the end of 2014.When we’d arrived in Perth in 2008, we’d bought a 1997 Series 80 Land Cruiser and most of the paraphernalia needed to go bush. We had been on some amazingtrips in the

When you do wander far, and frequently off the beaten track, there are more risks involved. Even the best vehicles have some soft spots. My vehicle, a single cab 70 Series Land Cruiser, also needed some protection for the bottom of the radiator and the steering arms. I had a look at what was available on the market and decided that I had a few more requirements. Most commercial bash plates look quite impressive, but are not always practical. I believe function to be more important than looks, so I came up with a solution in my garage. I first

Jerry cans deserve some respect, for they’ve been a saviour to many an off-road adventurer over the decades. They became one of the first must-have accessories for overland travel, and enabled explorers to venture ever further off the beaten track. But they’re also a bit of a palaver to use out in the bush. They can leak, rub up against each other, and even when paired with a funnel, the chances are that some of the precious liquid will be spilled. They are damn heavy to heft up and down, and topping up the tank with an exposed stream of

Have you ever tried to make sense of which motor oil is best for your vehicle’s engine? If you want to make a good choice, you could begin by learning about base oils − the starting point of finished lubricants. The base oils used in engine oils can provide varying levels of performance. However, one first needs to understand the terms fully-synthetic, synthetic technology and semi-synthetic, and how these are factors in our choice of motor oil. It is a complicated subject, so let’s begin by saying that it is far easier to simply abide by the recommendation of the

Words Freddi Stafford Advancements in technology have changed our lives forever, but how much thought have you given to this when it comes to your 4×4 and the quality of lubricants it uses, every time you sendyour vehicle in to be serviced? It’s far more important than you think. Do you remember when we could take a pair of socks out of our drawer and place either one on either foot, without concern for our comfort? Now Falke mark their socks left and right, callingthem asymmetrical, and stating that they fit your left and right foot exclusively, complementing the unique

In Part One of this article we investigated the different types of automotive batteries, and figured out the ideal combination of batteries to support both your vehicle’s operating demands and your need to keep something frosty in the fridge. This instalment will look at the supporting systems needed to make a dual-battery system work, the best way to charge those batteries, strategies to conserve whatever battery power you have, and revisit alternative charging techniques. Get connected Our last discussion about battery cycling shows you’ll need a deep-cycle battery to power the fridge and a few campsite lights, in addition to

Words & Images Eugene Beetge I have always had a thing for Landys. Since childhood. As they say, it is a Landy thing. Ironically, I also love Cruisers but, for various reasons, including the feel of the Landy, have always stuck with Defenders. Since 2000, I have had 4 Defenders and a Disco. My wife currently drives a Defender 110 Puma, and I have my High-Capacity bakkie, the camper The origin We have a large family. Apart from my wife, Alida, and I, we have four gorgeous kids (Marnus, Eugenie, Ruben and Carissa). Still smallish. Before the kids came, my

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