TAKE COMMAND: Top-Ten Tips Before Your Next Road Trip
All great adventures start with a plan, and there is no better time than the present to start planning for your next road trip. Perhaps it's a day trip down the coast or it could be a lap of Australia?
Regardless, there is no denying that Isuzu UTE Australia loves a good road trip—a notion fuelled by our regular I-Venture Club trips where we see all the great sights this country has to offer, alongside keen Isuzu drivers. Luckily for all of us, there are certainly plenty of coastlines, bushland and endless tarmac strips throughout this sunburnt country to put our Isuzus to the test.
We get it though, trips like these can be a daunting prospect—there is almost always a hefty list of things to do before hitting the road. To help take some pressure off your shoulders, we have prepared this simple list for you based on our experience, of some essential things to think about before going on a road trip.
1. PLANNING YOUR ROUTE
If you’re planning for a road trip, you must have some idea of where you want to go and what you want to do. To ensure your trip is free of hassle and stress, we recommend conducting a bit of research to guide you along your journey. Identifying some key points of interest that exist between you and your destination will help you formulate a rough idea of the roads you would like to take—ensuring you take the best route to experience the fascinating sights along the way. Mapping this out will also help you to determine whether it is wise to pack some extra fuel for the journey, in case you end up heading well and truly off the beaten track.
Made even better, the new-generation D-MAX and MU-X vehicles come with Android Auto™ and wireless Apple CarPlay® as standard across the entire range, with built-in Satellite Navigation reserved for the MU-X LS-U & LS-T, and D-MAX LS-U, LS-U+ & X-TERRAIN variants—making it easy for you to never lose sight of where you’re headed. After all, if you’re going to the effort of driving instead of flying, why not make the most of it, with confidence? So before you head off, make sure you actually know your way, because no matter what direction on the map you are heading, your trip may very well start to head south if you are not properly prepared.
2. SLEEPING IN STYLE
Doing it your own way brings us to our next point—accommodation. Whether you have a swag in the back, a canopy atop or are looking to indulge your hard-worked earnings into a 5-star retreat, booking a spot to stay in advance might be a good idea, especially if you are travelling during a peak season.
Once you know where you are sleeping, make sure you actually do manage to get some sleep. Road trips are long and can be dangerous if you are sleep deprived—be sure to make stops and rest along the way if need be, giving yourself plenty of time to set-up or check-in to get a full night of shut-eye for the safety of yourself and others.
3. MAINTAIN FOR THE TERRAIN
Maintenance. It can be a tedious one. But it’s also the one thing that can guarantee vehicle longevity. Long story short, if you have looked after your machine, she (or he) will be raring to look after you on your trip. Before heading on a long trip, make sure to check fluids (oil and coolant), lights, windshield wipers and washer fluid and even your seating position (including mirrors and steering wheel).
Better yet, check your service history to make sure all your maintenance is up to date. After all, Isuzu UTE’s comprehensive care package program, Service Plus—encompassing a 6 Year Warranty^, 7 Years Roadside Assistance< and 7 Years Capped Price Servicing>—is there to give you peace of mind. If you aren’t sure, contact your local Isuzu UTE Dealer for more.
Ensuring all your maintenance is up to date will mean you are ready to tackle any terrain along the way—whether that be the warm tarmac, the slippery sand or a tumultuous rocky incline, your D-MAX or MU-X will be more than ready for that road trip of a lifetime.
4. DON’T TYRE OUT YOUR TREAD
After taking a look over these items inside the cabin and under the hood, your next best bet would be to pay close attention to the rubber on your wheels. One of the key aspects for accident prevention in Australia (and coincidentally one of the most neglected) is tyre condition. Whether that has to do with the tread left on it, the pressure within it or the type of tyre you currently have vs what you will need, checking your tyres is a must-do before hitting the road.
If you aren’t an expert when it comes to checking tyres, watch our video guide to make sure you are in the know. If after reading this, you think your tyres (or anything else for that matter) have not had a thorough check-up for a while, make the most of our Service Plus program and bring it up with your Isuzu UTE Dealer at your next service.
5. SECURING YOUR LOAD
So you’re just about ready to head off, and you have finally figured out everything you are going to need to take to keep this show on the road. Literally. No matter your destination, the items you pack into the back of your D-MAX or MU-X are the tools that are going to help get you there, making it essential that your belongings are safe and secure—for your own peace of mind and the safety of other travellers following behind you.
One way to do this is to make sure everything you have in the back of your vehicle is going to stay there. This is a fairly easy concept for the MU-X, all you really have to do is make sure all doors are closed—unless of course you have your belongings secured atop of the roof. Same goes for the D-MAX. If they are up top, invest in quality tie-down straps that are going to stay tight.
For securing the contents of your ute load, Isuzu UTE offers a number of accessory options that may assist you. If you’re looking to put your belongings away under lock and key, you would consider a Hard Tonneau Cover, a Canopy or a Roller Tonneau Cover—available with a push/pull mechanism or remote control operation. Some of these Hard Cover options include LED lighting to illuminate the tub area and remote central locking, for added convenience. Alternatively, you can always go for a Soft Tonneau cover, or at the very least, use your tie-down points to ensure they aren’t rolling around freely in the back.
You can now drive off into the sunset knowing everything you are going to need will stay secure. However, it is good practice to periodically check on your payload, ensuring that nothing has come loose. Onward to adventure!
6. SAFETY IS NOT OPTIONAL
It’s always important to be aware of where you are, at all times. Be sensible about where you park up and how. But for the journey to your destination itself, rest easily knowing the D-MAX and MU-X are designed with safety in mind, to get you and your family there safely. With a maximum 5-star ANCAP safety rating and the latest in safety technology—thanks to Isuzu’s Intelligent Driver Assistance System (IDAS)◊—the Isuzu range is prepared take the necessary countermeasures or precautions to mitigate or entirely prevent any incident.
Standard across the entire D-MAX and MU-X range, IDAS◊ combines Active Safety, Passive Safety and Driver Assistance technology into one complete package, with highlights including Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist, and Adaptive Cruise Control—the latter two designed to make those longer trips a breeze.
7. KNOW HOW TO TOW
If you are planning on making great use of the D-MAX or MU-X’s towing capability of up to 3.5-tonnes+, it is important to remember that towing will change the way you usually drive, making it essential that you are fully prepared for what the haul may bring.
Previously we have provided some top tips for towing off-road and insights on how to avoid trailer sway, so if you are looking for some extra towing advice, then check out these helpful guides. In addition to that, check out this video on D-MAX towing for some helpful tips on what IDAS◊ features to disable when towing. But in a nutshell, don’t tackle obstacles too fast, ensure you are braking for corners early and in a straight line too, pack your load so the weight is distributed properly and safely, and remember, when it comes to towing, slow and steady will always win the race!
8. DRIVE TO THE CONDITIONS—NOT THE SPEED LIMIT
We’re sure we have all been there—to that moment where you catch a bit of slip on a wet road, suddenly see the 4”x 6” glossies of your life flash before your eyes before telling yourself, “but I wasn’t even driving over the speed limit”. Which brings us to one of the most important pieces of advice we can give—drive to the conditions, not the speed limit!
There will be times where the conditions require you to adapt as a driver—if you are driving on the dirt, be aware that things can get a little sketchy even at the posted speed limit and if the tarmac is holding a bit of moisture after a night of heavy rainfall, take into account that the roads may be slippery, despite what the speed limit may be.
It is all up to you to decide on the right action to take based on your circumstances—just make sure you do consider the road conditions, and know the ways you may need to adapt your driving.
9. TAKE COMMAND
Whether it's a loose rocky trail climb ahead or a soft sand cutting onto your favourite beach vista, all D-MAX and MU-X 4x4's are equipped with 'Terrain Command’, which maximises vehicle drivability and traction for any terrain, all at the turn of a dial.
If you are in fact heading up the highway, ‘2H’ is going to be your best bet for those tarmac strips. If you are thinking you want to venture off the beaten track, and decide to take a dirt-track route, switch over to 4WD with ‘4H’—which can be done at any speed up to 100km/h. And for the adventurous type—if you are wanting to go ‘all out’ on this trip, and decide to tackle some deeper, softer sand, or some steep, rocky inclines, stop, select neutral and turn over to ‘4L’. Steep descents are safely and easily conquered with the Hill Descent Control (HDC), which regulates brake input to maintain a controllable pace when descending downhill. If you’re after an extra ‘leg-up’ for those steep inclines, 4x4 D-MAX and MU-X’s have you covered with an electromagnetic rear differential lock, activated at the press of a button. This drives torque evenly to both rear wheels, ideal for trickier terrain such as mud and soft sand. MU-X 4x4 models also further benefit from Rough Terrain Mode—an off-road electronic driver aid designed for undulating surfaces, that maximises drivability in technical, slippery and rough conditions—sending drive to the wheels that have the most traction, all at the press of a button. Now that you know which drive modes to engage for what surface, you are equipped to handle anything the trip could throw at you!
10. OPEN TO ADVENTURE
While it is important to consider the technicalities of going on a road trip, one overarching piece of advice we can give to you is, well, have fun! Plan where you would like to go, but also remember to never let a spontaneous discovery pass you by. Be flexible and open-minded to experience the amazing sights or off-road adventures that may unexpectedly arise along the way. After all, that is what going your own way is all about.
Taking command of your adventures has never been so simple in an Isuzu D-MAX or MU-X. With a 5-star ANCAP safety rating, the grunt of the 3.0L turbo-diesel engine, superior fuel efficiency and countless other tools and features, there is no denying that you have the best companion to accompany you on your route—wherever that road may take you.
With these 10 easy tips, you are now more than ready to tackle any terrain and experience the myriad of beautiful sights this country has to offer—all there is left to do now is hit the road, and ‘Go Your Own Way’.