10 Must Have Off Road Interior Accessories
If you’re a gear head like me, then you know the importance of investing in quality products that facilitate performance. Sure, there’s all the external upgrades that go with building a 4×4, but what about the interior?
Here is a compilation of 10 must have interior accessories for any off road rig. This is by no means an end all list since you’ll have to decide what’s best for you and your rig.
1. Bed Liner/Heavy Duty Floor Mats - Using truck bed liner with rubber floor mats is a great way to ruggedize your vehicle. It doesn’t take long to notice that your carpet is the most susceptible portion of your interior. Mud gets caked into the fabric and tools tear the seams, so much for that new car smell! Bed lining your interior keeps odors to a minimum and makes clean up easy – all you need is a pressure washer to tidy things up!
Generally, there are two ways to apply bed liner – with a paint roller and brush, or with a spray gun. I went the old fashion way on my TJ and am happy with the way it turned out. But be warned – using a roller and brush can get a little sloppy, which means it can thicken and come out blotchy if you’re not careful applying it evenly. Spray guns typically guarantee a smoother appearance, and time savings, but are more expensive up front. You’ll have to decide which is right for you!
2. Grab Handles – Otherwise known as “Oh S***!” handles, strategically placing a set of these is extremely helpful for passengers, and almost a necessity for navigators. I threw a set of paracord handles from Surprise Straps on my roll bar, but these can be added to the back of head rests, a-pillars, cross members, basically anywhere that someone might go for stability. Not only do they feel sturdy, but you can color match them with your vehicle for that extra touch.
3. Suspension Seats - It’s no secret that a straight axle suspension will beat you up. Even a built IFS will throw you around on the harder trails. A good set of suspension seats will save your kidneys, and make those hard impacts a little more bearable. The idea behind a suspension seat is to reduce the amount of shock transferred to the body, leaving you less fatigued. Suspension seats also give you the option to add multi-point harnesses for added safety.
The two big seat manufacturers are Corbeau and Mastercraft. Although i’ve never used Mastercraft on the trail, i’ve heard the biggest difference between the two is that Corbeau seats tend to hug tighter than Mastercraft. So if you’re a full bodied type then Mastercraft will be your best bet.
4. Switch Panel – If your dashboard is at a premium for space then consider a switch panel to keep those auxiliary selectors organized and accessible. SPOD4x4 has a variety for Jeeps and Toyota’s, while Viking Panels has options for trucks and custom rigs. If you’re looking for unique rocker switches then check out OTRATTW’s selection (no pun intended) – they have everything from “Rock Lights” to “Zombie Apocalypse”.
5. Phone/Tablet mount - Properly mounting your phone and/or tablet is a great way to maintain functionality while keeping your hands free to drive. RAM Mounts offers an insane variety for phones, tablets, cameras, and laptops. I used their step by step configuration tool to find an unobtrusive mounting solution for my Galaxy S4. I plan to add a tablet solution to the passenger side so my navigator can make use of the navigation apps on iTunes and Google Play.
6. Navigation - It’s not fun being lost, especially when the nearest gas station is a tank away. Overlanders know the importance of maps and navigation, that’s why they’ll typically carry a compass and Road Atlas in their vehicle at all times. Sure, there’s plenty of free navigation apps for iOS and Andoird, but having an analog backup is a trustworthy fail safe.
For those who are tech savvy, here are a few apps i’ve found helpful for the trail: MyTopo Maps, Google Earth, MyRadar, Commander Compass, and Gaia GPS. One feature I look for in a Nav App is the ability to pin notes along a route. These notes can be extremely helpful if you find yourself in a bind; one thing I like my navigator to do is mark the areas where cell reception is the best – you know, just in case. Know of any other good apps? please to contribute in the comments below!
7. Communications - Having proper comms when you’re deep in the bush can mean life or death – I don’t mean to be dramatic, but your options are quickly limited if you run into an emergency without cellphone reception. That’s why your vehicle should be equipped with at least a CB radio. When shopping for a CB be sure that it includes NOAA weather stations, channel 9 (emergencies) and channel 19 (information). I like the compact Cobra C 75 WX ST, which ideal for tight interiors. There are also a wide variety of handheld options available on Amazon like Cobra’s 4 mile, 40 channel, compact handheld.
Another avenue to consider is getting a HAM radio operators license which will let you bounce signals off repeaters for when you really need to reach out and touch someone.
8. Tuner – Who doesn’t love a little performance boost? The TrailDash from Superchips is a great option for Jeeps. It features a 4.3″ touch screen, inclinometer gauges, customizable layout, speedometer correction, gear ratio tuner, and more! I noticed an immediate difference once the TrailDash tuned my TJ for 87 octane, especially in the higher end of the power band. The bright display is perfect for monitoring your engine stats without taking your eye off the trail!
9. Secure Stowage - Keeping your gear safe and secure is important for a variety of reasons. First, your noggin will be safer in an accident if things cannot fly inside the cabin. Second, secure storage provides peace of mind when you have to leave a vehicle exposed or unattended. That’s why I went with Tuffy Security Products for my interior security. I first added their security glovebox, which is extremely robust and would challenge even the most dedicated thief. I then added Tuffy lockboxes to my fenders, and replaced the plastic center console with Tuffy’s steel insert.
10. Fire Extinguisher - And finally a fire extinguisher. This should be pretty self explanatory (especially for Jeep owners) but you’d be surprised how many vehicles are unprepared for a fire. I don’t need to go into details about fatal rollovers involving fire, so let’s just say – fire bad, extinguisher good!
What are some of your favorite interior accessories? Any that deserve recognition? Tell us below in the comments, and as always be sure to share with your off-road friends!