Crossing water and river pathways are typical when you are four wheeling on an off-track terrain. Driving a 4wd vehicle on these routes provides added thrill to your journey. While crossing the bodies of water create excitement, there are apparent dangers and risks to your vehicle. Here are some practical tips to help you safely cross.
Identify Vehicle Capabilities
Before crossing water pathways, it is essential to identify your 4wd vehicle capabilities. Specifically, you need to determine the allowable depth your vehicle can continue running. You should also consider the air intake. Some 4×4 vehicles have snorkels which prevent water from going into the engine. Using a viscous coupling fan and water repellent for electronics can further protect essential parts and avoid corrosion.
Check Water Conditions
You also need to check water conditions before trying to cross. First, check if the path is safe from creatures such as crocs. Next, you need to determine the water depth, the speed of the current, and the materials underwater such as rocks, sand, and pebbles. All these will help decide whether it is viable to cross the area. Always take note of the current as you can get swept downstream if your undercarriage is lower than the current.
Crossing a river pathway can become a bumpy ride depending on the surface area and current. That is why it is crucial to safeguard your belongings. If the path has considerable depth, it is wise to place items on 4×4 roof racks. Some vehicles have existing 4×4 roof racks while others require additional installs. It is advisable to have proper storage on your vehicle’s roof to reduce potential damage if water seeps into the vehicle.
Picking the Appropriate Gear
Once you decide its safe to cross, then you should focus on the path and think less about the gears. Using the right gear lessens the risk of water seeping in your clutch. The advisable is to place your 4×4 in second gear. The power is sufficient and can help you handle the water properly. The second gear can also provide bow wave which helps push the water ahead of your vehicle and give you momentum.
Should you choose to cross a water path, you can also attach tarpaulin to your vehicle’s front side. The purpose is to reduce water pressure entering the engine. It also reduces potential damage to the radiator. Adding a cover can help you cross short water paths. Tarpaulins or water bras carry a significant cost. However, applying the method can help reduce the risk of breaking internal parts and costing you more.
All the suggestions above can help you cross water pathways using your 4×4 vehicle. The experience makes your outdoor adventure exciting and worthwhile. However, you should take the experience seriously and familiarise with your vehicle and terrain. It is also important to pursue further education and training from recognised schools or licensed instructors. Should you need to drive on the water, make sure to keep it slow and steady.
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