The Essential 4x4 Accessories For a Grey Nomad Australia Tour

G’day, Jason here from TJM Northern Beaches. 

The moment you have been waiting for is within reach. FINALLY – your top-end 4x4 Australia tour.

But first it's time to think about what 4x4 accessories you'll need to make this adventure epic. 

Shortly, you will be living the dream. Touring the beautiful places this great southern land has to offer. Like the Daintree, Litchfield Park, Kakadu, Katherine and beyond. 

Imagine 40-degree heat in the middle of Litchfield Park. You parked next to one of nature’s crystal-clear plunge pools with a waterfall. You jump in the water and are instantly refreshed after a grueling 7-hour drive. You look over and admire your 4WD and camp set-up. Well done!

What a GREAT setup you have. 

When you visit the team at TJM Northern Beaches for your automotive 4x4 accessories set-up, we'll make sure you have everything you need for a safe and successful tour. 

With our team of experts, we handle everything from product selection to installation and maintenance. We're your one-stop shop for all your unique 4WD needs. Also, we offer mechanical and audio-electrical services. 

Let’s review the essential 4WD accessories you need on your vehicle for a tour around Australia – Grey Nomad Horizons Package. 

Read to the end to see which item most customers never opt for but come back wishing they did. 

You will notice with one simple Google search there is a lot to consider when it comes to on-car 4WD accessories. You also want to ensure you are getting quality products fitted correctly the first time by experienced trade-qualified fitters and mechanics.

The goal of this article is to help customers like you cut through all the noise online. Provide you with practical information. Also, when you work with TJM Northern Beaches, expect **no bull** quality service.


Best in Class 4x4 Bull Bars 

Some of the common questions I receive from customers regarding bull bars include:

  • Do you offer colour-coding options? 
  • What about rusting? 
  • How long does it take to fit? 
  • Are lights included? 

Let’s answer those questions and more. 

Bull bars are essential if you are doing any off-road driving. They protect your car from collisions with debris and even animals. Plus, they provide a solid foundation to add other valuable 4WD accessories. Like extra lighting, winch mounts, recovery points and extra radio antennas – to name a few. 

At TJM Northern Beaches, we offer a range of different bull bars for various vehicle make, models and series. Choose from a selection of materials and finishes, like polished alloy, matte black alloy, textured steel and black steel. 

You also have the option to colour-code your bull bar to match your vehicle. 

Colour Coding 

Colour coding is a matter of personal preference and aesthetics. So you get to decide the overall look you’re going for.

If you’d like a toned, softer look, colour matching your bull bar to match your vehicle’s colour could be the go. Or maybe you want it to stand out with a tougher look – almost like the car is growling at you. 

Whichever you prefer, we’ve got plenty of options to suit your tastes. 


Rust is a car owner's worst nightmare. People that live near the beach know this well. At TJM, we use premium-grade steel and alloy for our bull bars. Both are strong and durable options. Perfect for difficult terrain and are corrosion RESISTANT. 

But to ensure the longevity of your bull bars and all your 4WD accessories, we recommend rinsing your car with fresh water 1-2 times weekly. Especially after any beach driving. 

Let’s dive into the details of installation.

Bull Bar 4x4 Installation Tips

A dodgy install does no one any good — especially your vehicle. Even a slight wobble can ruin the feel of how it drives and can damage the other accessories mounted to the bull bar. You also need to ensure the vehicle's electrical components remain in perfect working order when aftermarket 4WD accessories are being installed.  

Before each bull bar is installed – and all automotive accessories for that matter – ensure it’s closely inspected for quality control. At TJM, we meticulously inspect each vehicle before it’s handed over to the customer. 

Let’s get into the most important accessory you need for your tour.

Fixed, Mounted and Hand-Held Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) Radios 

A UHF radio is highly recommended, especially if you’re travelling remotely. It's a non-negotiable tool among all your 4WD accessories. You will often have very little, if any, phone reception in remote areas of Australia. 

As most experienced 4WD-ers know, when driving in remote and rough terrain, things can go wrong very fast. You can become stranded in a matter of minutes. 

A UHF radio is your reliable way to contact other drivers and emergency services, especially if you are away from other vehicles. It’s also a useful tool to get alerts about driving conditions.

Let’s dive into the different options for UHF radios.

The Different Types of UHF Radios 

There are three types of UHF radios. Whether you prefer a portable or fixed-mounted radio, let’s discuss the best option to add to your list of 4WD accessories.  

Portable Semi-Mounted UHF Radio 

This radio style usually has a suction cap on the unit to mount somewhere at arms-length. It plugs directly into your vehicle, so it has constant power, unlike a handheld radio that relies on battery power and needs to be charged. The antenna is magnetised and is easily placed on your roof. 

Given it's portable, there’s no installation cost for the unit or the antenna.  It can be packed away when it's not needed. And it’s a lot easier to uninstall and take with you if you sell your vehicle. 

The downside is that it creates clutter inside your vehicle. It has three cords hanging down from where you mount it. Often this is on the windscreen, therefore obstructing the dashboard and your navigation screen. Also, the antenna is small, giving you a limited range. If you have roof racks, this can limit it further.   

Fixed Mounted UHF Radio

A fixed-mounted UHF radio is a 4x4 accessory that comes highly recommended by the TJM team. 

Here are a few reasons why:

  • The unit can be installed behind the dash allowing the wires to be hidden out of the way. 
  • Most of the controls are on the handpiece making it convenient to use whilst driving. 
  • They have more capabilities than any hand-held and portable-mounted options.  
  • The antenna is mounted to the outside of the car with a variety of sizes to choose from.
  • You’ll get superior range and coverage compared to portable semi-mounted and handheld radios. This is important for making contact with emergency services if needed. 

A fixed-mounted UHF radio is the best option, especially for people on extensive Australia tours. 

The downside to fixed-mounted UHF radio is that it’s not easy to remove when you sell your vehicle. For most, it will leave a hole in the dash where it once was. 

BUT at TJM Northern Beaches, we worked out a way for you to easily take it with you without leaving any holes in the dash – a no-holes bracket!

Handheld Radio 

Handheld UHF radios will get you by if necessary. However, they are not a true UHF radio system. They are designed to be used outside the vehicle. And, if you’re driving with others in a long-range convoy, they won’t work well due to the short frequency range. 

You can get away with using them in a short-range convoy set-up. And they are good for spotting or navigating someone through a tricky part of the track whilst outside the car. 

It is good to have both handheld and fixed UHF radios set up in your vehicle. Handhelds are a good backup. Look for ones above 5-watt radio. Anything below that, leave that for the kids as a walkie-talkie around the campground. 

Now let’s talk about where you can store all your goods.

Roof Rack Platforms for Your 4x4 Storage Solutions 

You don’t want to be rummaging through a jammed-packed boot on the side of the road every time you need something – what a pain in the neck. 

Who doesn’t love an organised car inside and out – arranged perfectly like a good game of Tetris. So you can reach in and easily find what you need. 

A platform for the roof of your vehicle will keep everything you don’t need within arms reach safe and secure. Flammable items such as jerry cans and gas bottles can easily be stowed here. Preventing unpleasant fumes throughout the car. 

And it can be another place to mount your other 4x4 accessories like extra lighting and rooftop tents. 

At our shop, we supply and install a large range of roof rack platforms to suit all vehicles and occasions. All are tough-built and made from structural. So they are lightweight and can handle any situation. Roof racks and platforms will not damage your vehicle if you select the correct type and have it installed by a reputable fitter. They range in cost because it depends on what type you need, what type you want and the size.

Extra Lighting Options for a 4x4 Tour

This topic can take up an entire article on its own, which we will do in the future. But for now, let’s list the basic on-car options you need for the bush and the highway. Why you need them and why it’s best NOT to cheap out on lighting options for your Australia 4x4 tour.

The two basic lighting options are:

  • Driving Lights that can be secured to the bull bar or above the windscreen fixed to the storage platform
  • Light bars that can be secured to the bull bar or above the windscreen fixed to the platform

Why do you need extra lighting? 

Most 4WD standard headlights are not made for driving across pitch-black highways in the middle of nowhere. If you are driving in remote areas away from the luxury of city lights, you need a way to increase your visibility. Like the spread and brightness of extra lighting solutions when you are driving at night. They illuminate the area so you can successfully navigate poor conditions. As well as keep an eye out for wildlife coming your way. 

When you are driving on the Outback Way through central Australia at night, you’ll be thankful you bought quality aftermarket lighting to your list of 4x4 accessories. 

When you meet with a TJM Northern Beaches 4x4 expert they can guide you on what option best suits your vehicle and the conditions you will be driving in. The fitters will also ensure the right placement to maximize the spread and brightness. 

Cheap Aftermarket Driving Lights 

Cheap driving lights are better than no extra lights. They work well enough if you are only doing bush tracks where you can’t see that far in front of you. But on the highway, they aren’t as effective. 

Cheap lights are bright but cast a short range. It's not how bright they are that matters most – it's how far the light projects. They are useless if you need to see long distances. The cost, value and quality are in the optics. 

Cheap lighting extras are often NOT waterproof. This part catches a lot of people out. One or two river crossings and they are cactus

They also have a short product life. For the lifetime of a decent light, you might go through three to four cheap ones. The bitterness of high pricing is long forgotten with the sweetness of high quality. So don’t skimp on this 4WD accessory.

Your aftermarket lighting options will be fitted correctly and legally at TJM Northern Beaches. All installations are done at our Northern Beaches location. Unlike other 4WD fitters who take your car to their affiliate partners. 

Every car is unique, and every installation is unique. When your car is taken to multiple affiliate partners it's like having too many cooks in the kitchen. It increases the risk of errors and the time it takes to install. The fewer people and places working on your vehicle fewer mistakes are made. 

 It's way more time-efficient for you. 

If that 4x4 workshop has the expertise to do the job from start to finish. Go with them. If something goes wrong, you need something changed or upgraded. Most of the time, 4WD fitters will work by reverse engineering. If it's their work they are troubleshooting. It is much less hassle, time and money for everyone involved. 

Sometimes it's unavoidable to have multiple people and places working on your vehicle. But if it can minimise it, all the better.    

Bonus 4x4 Accessory - Vehicle Suspension Upgrade

Many customers return from their Australian tours wanting more – especially wishing they did a suspension upgrade. Even though it's not a necessity for potential dangers and emergencies like the UHF radio and a bull bar. I do highly recommend a suspension upgrade if the budget for your 4x4 accessories permits. 

You don’t know the roads and the conditions you might get into. It can change in a FLASH out in the wilderness. 

People on the east coast of Australia know well from the torrential rain we had in 2022 how fast road conditions can change. Water rises quickly and can cause a lot of damage to roads. A pothole you don't see coming can give you an all-mighty jolt and pop a tyre. 

The weather conditions can be much more volatile further away from the coast and in the tropics too. Also, you are in the car for hours on end when touring this great southern land. 

A suspension upgrade can make for a much smoother, more enjoyable and safe ride for everyone. It absorbs the shock of bad road conditions, gets you out of sticky situations safely and helps prevent a flat tyre.  

Your 4WD Tour Set Up Is Complete

There you have it – All the essential, on-car 4x4 accessories you need to tour Australia. 

You are all set and ready to hit the dusty road. The bull bar is locked and loaded, the fixed-mounted UHF radio is working, the storage platform is full to the brim including the gas bottle and backup petrol and the aftermarket spotlights are on and bright! 

A few things to remember – a dodgy install does nobody any good, especially your car. Be wary of cheap and cheerful offers.

Each member of the TJM Northern Beaches team is a qualified trade professional. Including several mechanics and audio electricians. We have a combined experience of over 50 years in the industry. 

When you are miles from anyone and anything, you want to have peace of mind knowing your car and its 4x4 accessories are safe and reliable.  You can guarantee that with experienced trade-qualified professionals at the TJM Northern Beaches helm,  your vehicle is in good hands. 

Contact TJM Northern Beaches for custom advice and a quote on what you need to make your Australian 4WD tour the dream it should be.

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