BATTLING DUST

With Camper Trailer Lifestyle

If you’re going on a real 4WD adventure, dealing with dust is just inevitable. The problem is, it can be a nightmare to deal with out on the tracks. Yep, from dangerous patches of bull dust to that annoying feeling of having dust scattered throughout your camper trailer, learning how to deal with dusty conditions can be a life saver.     

With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few of the best techniques to help conquer the dusty stuff and come out the other side unscathed!

SAFE SPEEDS

A lack of traction is the one thing that catches a lot of unsuspecting drivers out on dirt roads, especially when there’s bull dust around. Chuck in a few unexpected corrugations, bull dust patches, dips or wandering stock and you’ve literally got a recipe for disaster. So, what can you do? Well, keeping your speed to a more than manageable pace is a heck of a start. It might feel like you’ve got complete control, but if it all goes pair-shaped, you’ll get the pointy end of the stick in a hurry. In saying that, you’ll need to know when to give it the berries, and when to get off the throttle.

DRIVING BLIND 

Ever tried driving with your eyes shut? Of course not, you wouldn’t see a bloody thing! The funny thing is you’ve got about the same amount of vision if you’re sitting up old mate’s clacker sucking in all the dust and enjoying next to know visibility. Sounds a little silly when it’s put like that, eh? 

While we’re on the point of safe driving, make sure you flick your lights on so other drivers can spot you coming a mile away. Oh, and try and avoid driving on the outer cushion of the track; there’s a good chance you’ll find the combination of bull dust and off-camber road surface there, which is just plain bad news!     

BEATING BULLDUST

Nothing says epic adventure like clouds of bull dust and a dirty brown tinge to your trusty 4×4! The problem is if you hit a patch up unexpected soft stuff that brown tinge is likely to be found around the back of your undies too. Yep, bull dust can be tricky to negotiate and bloody scary if you’re not expecting it. The problem is when your tyres hit the soft stuff, the amount of resistance encountered intensifies acting a bit like a brake. And with all that momentum still pushing you forward the back of the vehicle tends to step out sideways, off course and rocketing towards a tree. So, if your vehicle jolts around a bit, avoid aggressively swinging on the wheel like a monkey on a zip line. Instead, ease off the throttle slowly and it should guide itself back into shape.

NICE AND GREASY 

Dust gets into bloody everything as you plough your way through it, and causes absolute chaos in the long run too. To help keep corrosion at bay and parts from seizing up, regularly greasing of any grease nipples and moving parts is a must. In fact, it does a heck of a lot more than most people realize. It protects internal components against rust, and creates a barrier/seal to help keep dirt, water and debris out of vulnerable areas. For those that are about to tackle a lengthy off-road trip, do yourself a favor a bung a grease gun in your tool kit – it’s well worth having on board. 

SUPER DIRTY SOLAR  

If there’s one thing that reduces your solar panels efficiency, it’s a good thick layer of dust. It basically blocks the amount of sunlight that gets through to each solar cell on your panel, so it’s important to keep nice and clean. But here’s something you don’t hear every day – wiping a tempered glass panel down with a damp cloth in a big wide circular motion can create a static charge, which attracts more even dust, a bit like bubble gum to a boot! The best way is to use soapy water and wipe it down with long straight strides from one side to the other, than give it a quick shower of water. But hey, if you do get some static make sure you give the closest person to you a quick zap for fun!    

HAPPY DAYS

When it’s all said and done, bull dust is just as much a part of classic Australian landscape as Skippy the bush Kangaroo. And let’s face it, nothing looks cooler than punching your 4WD through clouds of bull dust in the middle of the outback. So strap yourself in, embrace it, and enjoy the ride!