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It’s easy to get carried away with the overlanding mods that are available. Each and every one of them is marketed as a must-have which can trick a lot of people into buying them. The result? An overloaded rig that handles like a willy bin, burns more fuel and gets worn out quicker.
A lot of thought and planning must go into building your rig. It must have everything you need and nothing you don’t, weight should be kept low with the majority of it down low and in the middle of the vehicle.
Below are some pointers that might help you understand why your 4WD should be kept as light as possible.
A Heavy 4WD Tourer Has Poor Handling On and Off-Road
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A proper 4WD already handles much worse than a normal passenger car. From there, handling will get worse and worse the more accessories you add. An overloaded 4WD with a roof rack, rooftop tent, and bar work is guaranteed to handle so badly it may even be considered dangerous. The chances of avoiding something on the motorway with an overloaded 4WD without rolling it are minimal.
A heavy vehicle will also struggle off-road, it’s obvious. It will need to carry all that weight up steep hills and obstacles. Furthermore, on extreme angles in technical terrain tipping over will be far more likely if the weight is up high.
The More Space You’ve Got the More Gear You’ll Bring
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You might think that having more space is a good thing. Not always. More space will encourage you to bring more stuff with you which will inevitably lead to packing things you don’t need; therefore, adding unnecessary weight.
So, only pack what you need – even if you have extra space.
A Heavy 4WD Tourer Has Increased Fuel Consumption
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The increased weight and bad aerodynamics will have a drastic effect on your vehicle’s fuel consumption; therefore, your range will decrease. When range decreases and you realize that you can’t make it to where you want to go with one fill up you will add auxiliary fuel tanks or carry jerry cans. Those will add even more weight.
You can see where this is going, more weight affects everything.
Parts Will Wear and Break Much Sooner (and More Easily)
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The added weight will increase stress on your vehicle’s body mounts, axles, transmission, differentials, and engine. Furthermore, your tires will wear far quicker due to the added weight.
Being overweight can even lead to snapped frames when covering long distances on corrugated gravel roads. Furthermore, when tackling off-roading obstacles, the possibility of breaking something in your driveline increases drastically.
A Heavy 4WD Tourer Leads to a Compromised Daily Driver
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A fully decked out 4WD provides no other use than the one of expedition. Towing will be compromised due to the vehicle already being extensively heavy, it won’t have any free space to carry stuff around, and road manners will not be adequate for everyday use.
Therefore, only accessorizing your rig with the stuff you need will ensure you stay light while having some added freedom if you need to use your vehicle for everyday driving.
Safety is a Concern
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The added weight will increase stopping distance. Overly loaded 4WDs are insanely bad at stopping in an emergency situation. This is even more profound on older vehicles in which their brakes struggle to slow down the car while stock. Imagine what will happen if they are overloaded.
A Heavy 4WD Tourer Requires More Money
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All of the above lead to one thing – increased running costs. More fuel, tires, breakages, and wear – it all adds up and before you know it, your 4wd will drain every single dollar out of your pocket. So, keep it light.
I hope the areas mentioned have made you think twice about the accessories you need. Do not make the mistake of over-accessorizing only to realize it makes everything worse.
What do you guys think? Are there any other issues with running an excessively heavy 4WD?