Well, 6 reasons not to and 1 reason that makes it all worthwhile…
You’ll lose all of your spare money
You’ll cease to have money in a bank account; just credits for spares and parts that your friendly financial institution keeps for you. Sometimes, they even loan you extra credits, provided that you pay them back plus a little extra. Money takes on a new meaning. Instead of having a thousand bucks in the bank, you’ve got a half-decent suspension lift, enough credit for a new fridge… or you can start thinking about tyres.
And you’ll lose all of your spare time
Do you remember that time that you had spare time to chase other hobbies? Nope, me neither. Getting into 4WD modification is a seriously time-consuming hobby, especially if you’re keen on doing most of your own work. And if you’re not spinning spanners, you’re Googling stuff. Parts, accessories, fixes, tools, destinations, other people’s builds and ideas. The 4WD lifestyle can truly invade and pervade every part of your life. Will this work well off-road? What are the drawbacks?
You’ll never be 100% happy
You’ll have an awesome 4X4. All of the bells and whistles, super comfortable and capable. It will look awesome, and you’ll catch yourself looking at it all of the time. But, you won’t be completely happy with it. There will always be something. 33s are great, right? But man, 35s would be epic. Right? And that fridge would work so much better on the other side, wouldn’t it? And you’ll always want more lights and USB ports – no matter what.
You’ll ruin lots of clothes
Lots of clothes. Good clothes. Going for a quick drive will no doubt end with a decent smearing of dirt and mud. When you’re home, you say, “I’ll just check my oil.” “How’s that Panhard rod bush?” you next ask. Next minute, it looks like you’re an extra from Gina Rhinehart’s hydrocarbon fantasies. After a while, you’ll truly appreciate how wonderful overalls and nitrile gloves are; as well as industrial-grade handwash. On the plus side, you’ll start amassing a great collection of rags. And you can never, ever have too many rags.
You’ll want to go camping… all of the time
It might not seem like a problem, but it kind of is. All of a sudden, catching up with mates at the local pub feels like a bit of a waste. The stars are out; a nice little campfire by the river would be perfect, you think. Every weekend is a chance to get away, but that’s hard to balance with ‘normal’ life commitments.
It’ll strain (or break) your relationship
I can still remember getting an old Land Rover, talking it up to my (then) girlfriend to convince her how awesome it was – and then seeing her sinking, disappointed look when she laid eyes on it. It only got worse when her feet got wet; when we were being overtaken by B-doubles on the highway; and when I couldn’t tell her about the awesome departure angle over the noise of the howling driveline. I wanted to drive it anywhere and everywhere – no matter if it was stinking hot or pissing down. She didn’t get it, whatever it is, and that’s probably a reason why we didn’t last that long. But hey, on the plus side, if you find someone to share it with, they will definitely be a keeper.
Is it all worth it?
When you’ve just crossed a river, gone into the desert or made it up a tough climb to find an awesome, secluded camp to have all by yourself, all of the troubles and struggles are worth it – 100 times over. Get a fire going, have a cold drink and know there’s somewhere comfy and warm to roll into later, and that number just gets higher. It’s the perfect getaway from modern life, and the best therapy you can ever hope for.