The team at Midland 4WD Centre live and breathe 4x4s and camping. In the coming months we’ll be sharing their stories.
Here at Midland 4WD Centre we’re as passionate about four-wheel driving and adventuring as you are. So, over the coming months we’ll be introducing our team who’ll tell you about their first 4×4, favourite camping spots and even some of their top tips.
This week we’re catching up with Simon Ash (the boss) who’s been camping since he was a kid and now loves getting out into the bush with his own family.
1. What got you into four-wheel driving/camping?
I have always loved being outdoors. I’ve been camping since I was a kid with my parents and all the way through high school. When I used to go with my folks it was usually just in the car, with a tent, it was pretty basic but it was always a great experience.
When I got my license and started getting access to 4WDs through work and friends I started to explore a lot further afield.
When my, now, wife and I started dating, we were always going anywhere there was water, we loved fishing and diving and just generally being near the water. When the kids came along we didn’t really like the idea of waiting too long to get out again. We even took a 6-month-old and 2 under 6 out for a Station stay at Murchison. The kids don’t come as often now, but I still try to get out at least every few months.
2. What was your first 4×4 and why did you choose it?
Nissan G60, it was cheap and an easy project build. First work ute was a GQ Patrol.
2. Did you modify it?
Sure did. Nothing stays standard in my fleet. Fitted it with a five-speed Marks Adaptors gearbox; suspension lift and 33-inch mud terrain tyres (it’s funny to think that 33″ was considered a really big tyre just 25 years ago). Threw on some spotties, UHF CB radio and even a CD player. I also gave it a paint job in the backyard but that didn’t go so well. And like a lot of older vehicles, a lot of general maintenance.
3. What’s your current 4×4 and what have you done to it?
Currently, I’m running a 2018 Toyota LandCruiser with just 46,000km on the clock. And, like all my rigs it’s far from standard.
Here’s a list of the things I’ve added:
- Opposite Lock bull bar
- Opposite Lock scrub bars
- Opposite Lock sidesteps
- 9500lb Synthetic Winch with in-cab controls
- Ultra Vision LED driving lights
- Full suspension upgrade including shocks, UCA’s and airbags
- Long-range fuel tank
- Uniden UHF
- Twin wheel carrier
- MSA drawers
- Inbuilt drawer fridge
- 1500W Redarc inverter
- Inbuilt coffee machine
- Torque converter lock-up kit
- 6x Pro Comp wheels w/- Falken AT
- Twin compressor and tank
- DBA brake upgrade T3 400 Series rotors XP pads
- Clearview mirrors
- Redarc Tow Pro Elite brake controller
- Upgrades to the fuel, cooling and oil systems
- Redback exhaust system
- Solar screens
- 340W solar panel
- 200 Amp Hour High-Draw Revolution lithium batteries
- The Bush Company Alpha roof top tent
- Lazer Lamp lightbar
- Supa Fit seat covers
- Safari Armax snorkel
4. Favourite place to go camping and why?
Anywhere near water. I really enjoy Steep Point, and South West Fish Creek area is a really nice spot too. I don’t have a one and only favourite spot, it really depends on the weather as to where I want to go.
5. Favourite adventure 4×4 drive and why?
Hard one. Dirk Hartog 2020 trip is a stand out at the moment. I love the coastline and the exclusiveness of it and feel privileged to have visited something unique over here in WA to be on island four-wheel driving, and we had a great crew with us.
6. Must-take item in your camping kit and why?
Camp chair to enjoy the view and ambience of your trip.
7. Top tips for those wanting to modify their 4×4 on a budget?
Start slowly with the basics and build as you find out what you need or, should I say, want to take with you as you expand your camping and travelling.
Before you modify your 4×4 I’d recommend enrolling on a driver training course as you will be given independent advice on how to use your vehicle and you will then come at the mods from an educated point of view.