TJM: Test Review
We take a look at the aftermarket options on one well set-up HiLux.
As our major event sponsor for Camper Trailer of the Year, the TJM vehicle was on hand for all our recovery needs.
While the all-new HiLux may only be months away, the current model in any shape or form makes a great vehicle to set up as a grand 4WD touring machine. The dual-cab variant, in particular, is ideal for the tradie wanting a work vehicle for the Monday-to-Friday job and a recreational escape vehicle to get away with the family on the weekend. And they are just as good for the retired couple who tow a camper trailer or van and are out seeing this great country of ours.
Setting up a vehicle with the plethora of aftermarket equipment that is available can be a daunting and often confusing affair, but by using this particular TJM optioned-up vehicle as an example for setting up your own truck – HiLux or otherwise – you won’t go far wrong!
UNDER THE BONNET
To improve the power and torque output of the 3.0L turbo engine, there is a Torqit performance package, which incorporates a 3in exhaust system, a performance module and a pedal torque-enhancing module. While bigger, free-flowing exhaust systems have been around since Adam was a boy, and plug-and-play performance modules nearly as long, pedal torque-enhancing modules are a relatively new performance package designed to improve the throttle response and decrease the throttle lag inherent in most, if not all, accelerator systems.
Up the front of the vehicle there is a TJM Outback steel bullbar fitted with a 9500lb winch, and a pair of X-ray LED driving lights backed up by an X-ray 51in light bar.
A TJM Airtec snorkel helps feed clean, dry air to the engine and, I’ve got to tell you, a snorkel is one of the best insurance policies you’ll buy.
A TJM XGS suspension system is fitted all ’round, which not only gives you a bit of a lift, but also allows you to carry a heavy load more easily.
Down the back end, and making the most of the tub, is a good-looking Razorback steel canopy. It’s well-designed, made and finished, complementing the looks and lines of your vehicle.
In the cab there was a lack of clutter or accessories, with just an Icom UHF radio for communications and a Hema HN7 navigator for finding your way, while a set of Black Duck seat covers help keep the seats clean.
We were impressed with this TJM HiLux, which sported everything you needed without going over the top. While I mightn’t have gone for the colourful vinyl wrap the HiLux was adorned with, most everything else gets a big tick of approval!
Nobody should ever head out into the scrub without, at the very least, a basic recovery kit. With our TJM crew and vehicles along for the week of testing, there was no shortage of recovery gear along for the ride. While TJM has a number of kits available, we opted for the heavy-duty version, which is ideal for recovering vehicles and campers if the need arises.
The heavy-duty kit contains all you require for a winching or snatch strap recovery. There’s an 11,000kg, 9m snatch strap, a 6000kg, 20m winch extension strap and a 10,000kg, 5m tree trunk protector.
To make it easier on your winch, there’s an 8000kg-rated snatch block, along with a couple of 19mm bow shackles and two 16mm bow shackles to connect cables to blocks or tree protector straps; just don’t ever join snatch straps with shackles!
A recovery blanket will make any recovery job a lot safer, so make sure you use it, while the set of heavy-duty gloves in the kit will save your hands and fingers from cuts and grazes. All the gear comes in a handy recovery bag, which you’ll doubly appreciate when the gear is wet or muddy. Visit www.tjm.com.au/en-oceania for more info.
Check out the full feature in issue #85 February 2015 of Camper Trailer Australia magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest camper trailer news, reviews and travel inspiration.