Smart modifications are what it’s all about when building a tourer. This Ranger is keeping it real.
Meet Matt, and his Pride Orange 2016 XLT Wildtrak Ranger. I first met Matt on a beach run up north of Perth, and I was struck by the ‘hero’ colour of this Ranger. It’s photogenic to say the least; but looks aren’t everything, it’s pretty capable too! These are two reasons he upgraded from his GU Patrol, and although moving to modern IFS from a solid-axle setup isn’t quite as bulletproof, it makes up for that in touring comfort.
Starting at the rear, he’s paired the tub with a Flexiglass Flexisport canopy, and a custom-made pair of drawers from Custom Installations. His Engel 60L lives permanently on a fridge slide in the rear, alongside another drawer with the usual mix of recovery gear and camping gear. One thing I really love about the fridge slide is it extends to become a kitchen bench.
The rear drawers and false floor also provide storage for a Bosche 120Ah AGM, Redarc BCDC and a 5kW inverter. That’s right, 2 x 2,500W channels … so if you’re ever needing power for your microwave or Thermomix at camp, just hit Matty up for some juice.
On the back deck, Matt has plumbed in several DC outlets, USB charging ports and a voltmeter to monitor the dual battery system. An ARB Summit adorns the front, with a pair of LED 9-inch spotties; while a Uniden 6db whip antenna is plumbed back to the Uniden UHF in the cabin.
Atop the vehicle are heavy-duty Rhino Racks, with rod and kayak holder fittings, and a 2.5 x 2.5 metre awning off the port side. The lift is a modest 2-inch Dobinson all-round, making room for 34-inch Nitto Terra Grapplers. An onboard air compressor makes airing up easy and the factory-fitted electronic locker provides great traction for the rear. At the back of the vehicle there’s also a factory Hayman Reese towing setup.
I asked about what he’s been up to in this rig. Matt and his lovely lady Holly have recently been up to Exmouth and the stunning Coral Coast, then all the way down past Perth and south to the Margaret River region which is packed with wineries, chocolate factories and forests … perfect for a bit of pampering of the fairer half!
Matt is planning on heading up Broome way, but his plans that I like the most are the ones for ‘everywhere and anywhere’ … sounds like a very good strategy, Matt!