Building up your Forester in anticipation of your dream camping adventure is perhaps one of the most satisfying things a Subaru owner will do. Whether it’s serious overloading, camping in the desert, or romantic beach getaways, having a car that’s up to the job is your first port of call. So where to begin?
Start with where you’re going
Is it the outback that’s calling or are you exploring WA’s coastline in search of free camping and the best sunset views known to man? The ‘where’ part of your adventure will determine the sort of extras you might need to get there. Is your Subaru Forester Camper edition ready to tackle rough roads with no bitumen or mobile signal, and are you planning on hiking, biking, kayaking, or surfing?
Identify the equipment you’ll need
Depending on your hobbies, and plans make sure you’re well prepared with all the right equipment ready to go. If you need help with installation – feel free to talk to our team at City Subaru, they’ll make sure you’re fully prepared for the big trip. Here are some items to consider:
- All-terrain tyres. If you’re planning on doing plenty of overland driving, you’ll want to invest in some of these. Thicker and better on the rough, your car will not only feel more capable on sandy tracks, but you’ll thank yourself down the track when you’re driving after a storm. Consider a spare tyre rig for the back – this will free up room in the boot for other equipment and clothing.
- Second battery + inverter. If you plan on being the legend offering cold beer on the 40-degree day, you’re going to want a cooler in the boot. That will mean installing a second battery and an inverter. Speak to a professional about installation – it can get tricky without the right know-how.
- Bike Carrier. Don’t think you’re ever going to shove them in the boot. It’s just not done.
- Solar panels. Perfect for charging up your phones or keeping the beers cold. When you’re not replenishing the car’s battery by driving, having a second power source to fall back on (at least while it’s sunny) can make your trip all the more conformable.
- Camping equipment. Get a roof tent. No one has ever camped in a roof tent and not liked it. Sun awnings that attach to the car create the perfect alcove to kick back and read a book. Just remember to park your car at the right angle to minimise sunlight.
Will I need spare tyres?
You’re going to want at least one spare tyre. Don’t think you’re immune to flat tyres. They happen anytime and all the time, especially on rougher roads. There’s nothing worse than calling off your trip due to a small hiccup like this. If you’re planning on getting sandy you might want to invest in a tyre pressure gauge too.
Grab a cargo net if you’re not already sporting one. They’re great for organisation but also keeping fragile items like fishing equipment safe from rolling around. Think about how you’re going to deal with rubbish, camping overnight does produce some waste and so does snacks in the front seat. Keep your campsite plastic-free and your front cabin clean with a garbage box. Remember to thoroughly clean your campsite up before departing – don’t forget the bin bags.
Choose your modifications wisely
Disclaimer: it’s ok to get carried away, as long as it’s actually beneficial to your car and your safety. Basically, don’t get a skid plate if you’re not actually doing any off-roading and the same goes for roof cargo pods: sure, they look the part but only use them if you’re really tight for space. One of the main mistakes people make when making modifications is thinking they need something done when there’s a much simpler solution waiting to be realised. Again. Don’t get a wheel step unless you actually have something on your roof. With that here are some more hardcore modifications that can elevate (pun intended) your adventure experience.
- Get more ground clearance. The Subaru Forester already has a highly competitive edge in this department, but for those wanting the extra height, consider getting a lift kit for that extra clearance over especially rocky terrain.
- Upgrade your suspension. If you’re going off-road in the Pilbara you’re going to want a softer ride over the rocks and hard-beaten earth. If there’s one thing that will turn a drive sour it’s the headache-inducing shudder of bad suspension on rocks.
Make my Forester long-drive ready
Long drives can be dangerously numbing. So getting everything you need to ensure the best level of comfort for you and your family will make for a safer trip. Things like rear sunshades for the kids and genuine Subaru navigation kits make those 7-hour drives all the more palatable. Be sure to download all your favourite music and podcasts before you leave, the country radio stations can be charming…for a while. The Forester’s virtually telepathic connectivity system will pair with all major devices. Here’s a rundown on Forester’s latest technology specs.
Towing in your Subaru forester camper
Whether it’s a fishing boat, a small camper trailer, or some dirt bikes, don’t get too trailer happy before carefully looking at your towing capacity and curb weight. Each car has its own limits when it comes to towing, and the Forester will gladly tug a small dinghy down the freeway but maybe talk to the experts at City Subaru before hitching up the family camper van.
Extreme adventuring: always better safe than sorry
Suiting up your forester to tackle the extremes can be done and if you’re careful, it won’t break the budget either. For night driving, getting some off-road lights for when it’s really dark will make driving safer for you and the kangaroos. For the adventurous, a spare fuel tank never goes astray. If your spare tyre is rigged up the back, consider storing fuel and other engine liquids under the boot. Don’t forget to bring extra and emergency water either, remember it’s not just the car that needs attention.
Want to know why the Subaru Forester’s secs make it the ideal venturing car? Here’s why.
Check your oils and fluids
Before you set off, leave enough time for a final check over. It’ll give you peace of mind when you’re hurtling down the freeway. Double check your oil and fluids – they’re often the first to go on a long summer trip. Always carry soarer engine oil with you, and if you’re not sure which one to buy, read our comprehensive guide to Subaru oils and fluids.
Is your servicing up to date?
Always check that you’re not going to miss a crucial service while away. If you’re planning on travelling a few thousand kilometres, add that to your time since your last check-up. If you’re adventuring, camping and off-roading the car will be under a lot more stress than normal. Do yourself a favour and book your car in for a service before you head off. You’ll thank us later.