Catching the 4WDing Bug

My folks just love driving holidays. They have a particular thing for going off-road. I’m not sure how they got into it, since they’re a relatively mild-mannered pair; they must have caught the bug from the gang of pals they normally go on these expeditions with. Regardless of how it started, they’ve amassed quite the collection of equipment and paraphernalia. And yet, they’d have you believe that their rig is not yet complete. I’ve accepted now that it’s never not going to be a work in progress.

Their latest update has been to invest in a huge cover for the tray of their 4WD ute. These aluminium ute canopies (Melbourne city-slickers, listen up and learn something) are basically huge boxes that sit over the tray, transforming them into something akin to a small, sturdy truck. The one my parents are having made comes equipped with special compartments for various things – a dedicated zone for their car fridge, for example (yes, of course they have one of those). There’s even an inverter to power the fridge, and interior lighting so they can find their tent poles in the dark.

I have to admit, it’s a pretty sweet rig. Maybe I’m even a tiny bit jealous. They totally won’t be satisfied with this, though. I can picture their next add-on now: a set of roof racks and bars tailored to realising their dream of having a balcony on top of their vehicle. There’ll be a ladder up the rear of the ute canopy, a pair of sun lounges secured to the roof racks, and a metal bar around the edges of the platform to limit the likelihood of dad toppling over the side in excitement. Seriously, all this wouldn’t surprise me at all… it’s all about copping the desert sunset from the best possible vantage point.

I think I’m finally starting to see why they’re so into all this. Aluminium 4WD accessories are actually pretty enjoyable. Maybe it’s time for me to get in on the game…