The Toyota Prado is one of the best in-between 4WDs on the market. It comes with great off-road capabilities, offers outstanding comfort and endurance, and doesn’t look out of place when driven on the road either. Before the Prado, you could only get either a comfortable vehicle for the paved roads or a rugged 4WD. That being said, the Prado quickly became one of the most popular vehicles on the Australian market, as both off-road enthusiasts and everyday Joes found it fitting for their day-to-day drives and weekend activities.
However, as great as this vehicle is off the road, most people will tell you that you need to consider a few Toyota Prado aftermarket accessories to ensure your trip is as safe and convenient as possible. Fortunately, you can find a ton of online 4wd accessories, simply because the Prado is such a popular make.
There are many trustworthy Australian businesses that specialise in manufacturing and selling quality Toyota Prado aftermarket accessories. But which accessories should you equip your Prado with before venturing on your first trip off the beaten trail?
Bull Bars For Protection
If you’ve spent a fair amount of time driving on outback roads and in rural areas, you’ve probably seen kangaroos cross the road mere meters in front of you. If you hit a kangaroo, the damage done to your Prado can be significant. Bull bars offer protection against front-end collisions against kangaroos and other objects you may come across. Rather than your Prado taking the damage from the impact, your bull bar will absorb most of it, saving you thousands of dollars on repairs. This is simply because these accessories change the way energy is transferred to your Prado’s structure, thus significantly reducing potential cosmetic damage.
Most bull bars that are meant for off-road use are made of either steel or aluminium. Steel bull bars are heavier but offer more in terms of protection, which is why they’re favourites amongst those who venture on tough off-road trails. Aluminium bull bars, on the other hand, are much lighter, but they aren’t as strong as their steel counterparts. Due to their lightweight, they won’t impact your Prado’s fuel economy as much. Plus, aluminium bull bars generally offer more in terms of corrosion protection. However, there are steel bull bars that are powder coated or have some sort of finish to improve their corrosion-resistant properties.
No matter what type of bull bar you go for, there are a few benefits to adding one to your Prado. For instance, bull bars can serve as mounting points for other accessories. You can mount a winch on them, which will come in handy when you find yourself stuck in a bog. Furthermore, you can mount a sand flag on it if you spend a decent amount of time in the dunes. If you’re into beach fishing, you can install rod holders on your bull bar, so you won’t have to take the PVC pipes with you. And of course, you can install things like extra off road lights and a UHF antenna to ensure you have the means to communicate with other people even if you’re hundreds of kilometres away from civilisation.
Moreover, installing a bull bar can improve your Prado’s approach angle. No matter how capable you think the Prado is, a time will come when you underestimate the angle and end up cracking the bumper or scraping some paint. A bull bar can help you avoid bumping into the terrain hard, thus negating any damage to your Prado’s body. On top of that, bull bars allow you to install convenient recovery points, which will come in handy when you need to perform a recovery either on your vehicle, or someone else’s.
Weathershields for Comfort
Weathershields are arguably the most underrated online 4wd accessories. They do so much in terms of improving your comfort while driving on and off the road. Weathershields allow you to keep your windows open when the weather is unfavourable, so you can enjoy the breeze while preventing rain and dirt from ruining the interior of your Prado. The great thing about these accessories is that they’re quite affordable and easy to install. There are two installation methods, depending on the type of weather shields you get – in-channel and stick-in.
In-channel weather shields come with a thin flange that fits your Prado’s upper window channel and they stay mounted securely with the help of tension. The benefit of this mounting method is that you won’t have to deal with unsightly fasteners, and you can easily dismount them if you don’t feel like keeping them on. On the downside, they might interfere with your Prado’s power window motors.
Stick-on weather shields, on the other hand, are applied with the help of special tape above the window channel. Installing them requires some patience and skill, and you need to make sure the visor is evenly positioned between the top part of the window and the door. The main benefit of stick-on weather shields is that they don’t interfere with power windows, and they’re usually either chromed or tinted.
Roof Racks for Extra Storage
Roof racks are some of the most popular Toyota Prado Aftermarket Accessories. They make your Prado much more versatile, as they allow you to bring along everything you might need for your off-road trip. They’re also sought-after accessories by tradies who need to haul a lot of equipment and materials for their everyday tasks. The different types of roof racks are all designed to increase your available storage space on the roof, thus reducing the amount of clutter happening inside the boot and the passenger cabin, allowing for a more comfortable driving experience for everyone inside. As a result of having fewer things inside the passenger’s cabin, they also increase safety.
Similar to bull bars, roof racks can also be made of aluminium or steel. The same advantages and disadvantages apply here as with bull bars. You should aim for aluminium roof racks, as they don’t impact your GVWM as much, allowing you to place heavier loads on top of them. However, you need to keep in mind that roof racks will increase the overall height of your Prado, so it might not be able to fit into your garage or pass through low-height passageways.