out there images.

All things Window Tint

Without a doubt I would say tinting
is a necessity on any vehicle, especially a 4WD. It keeps the heat out, your
air con is more efficient, it cuts down sun glare
and is often key to a slick looking truck.

There are a few things to know when
picking your window tint to make sure you’ve chosen something that is going to
go the distance, keep looking as good as the day it was fitted and out of the
eye of Mr Plod.

When deciding on window tint it is
important to keep in mind that heat from the sun comes in two types, the light
you can see and the infrared light that you can feel.

There will be four important numbers
(jargon) that your tinter will then spit out at you when you ask for the price:

Total Solar
energy rejected (TESR) – The higher the number the less heat.
 Visible Light Transmitted (VLT) – How much
light gets through, this defines whether it is legal or not.
UV Rejection –
How much UV light it blocks; it should always be 99%.
Glare reduction
– The percentage by which
visible light is reduced 

Which is the right choice?

There are four general categories of
window tint. Each brand has its own name for the product, but the end product
is very similar. The price will differ significantly between the four.


Dyed tint is the cheapest tint
around. It’s what was around years ago and if there you see a car with purple
bubbling tint, its most likely dyed tint. The dye in the film absorbs the light
into the film and then dissipates the heat as air moves over the surface of the
glass. Dyed tint generally looks good, but will fade (or change colour) over
time, and gives the least amount of heat block out.


Metallic tint reflects the heat away
from the windows. Embedded in the tint is (very) small metal particles.
Metallic tint has a couple of additional benefits over any other tint, it
strengthens the glass due to the metal properties and is more scratch
resistant. Metallic tint will have a reflective look to it that isn’t to
everyone’s taste. The biggest downside, is the effect it has on electronic
devices inside the vehicle. It’s an instant no if you have a glass mounted
antenna, it may also affect the quality of the signal received by keyless entry


Carbon window tint appears dark and
has a flat finish to it. It provides a very good cosmetic appearance and is
very resistant to fade. It will block up to 57% (on 5% VLT) of the total heat
from the sun. and blocks up to 99% of UV light. Carbon film in Australia is
made by 3M. It won’t effect your electronics and comes with a lifetime


This is the ‘ducks guts’ of tint. Embedded
in the film is tiny pieces of your mother’s best crockery that is invisible to
the eye. It has the best heat rejection to visibility ratio. Typically it isn’t
dark like other tints because it doesn’t need to be. It is a relatively new
product and is already widely available and the only product a lot of places
sell. It will be a little more expensive, but like anything in life, you get
what you pay for. This wont effect your electronics and isn’t reflective.


That acronym VLT I mentioned earlier
is the deciding factor on whether tint is legal. As with anything relating to
vehicle laws it gets a bit grey, so let me try and make it clear:

In all states; you may tint the
windscreen with a minimum of 75% VLT film. You may also tint the top 10% of the
windscreen (as long as it isn’t in the wiper arc) with anything you like.

In all states you may tint the front drivers’
windows with a minimum of 35% VLT film.

In VIC, SA, ACT, Tassie & NSW all
other windows may also be tinted with a minimum of 35% VLT film.

In WA, you may install a minimum of
20% VLT film behind the ‘B’ pillar and in NT you can fit 15%.

For utes and vans you may tint the
window adjacent to an area used to carry a load, eg, the rear window of a ute,
with any film you like.

So before you just hand over the keys
to your pride and joy, ask all the questions of your tinter – you’re paying
good money for it. Ask to see the samples of tint and make sure it ticks all
your boxes and comes with a lifetime warranty. Also, shop around, prices can
vary a fair bit.

We review the Mitchell camper and give you some tips on buying a swag

Issues 33 of Unsealed 4X4 magazine came out earlier this week. We proudly feature twice in this article with a review of the Pioneer ‘Mitchell’ glamper trailer and a buyer’s guide on choosing your next swag.

Obviously the two are at vast ends of the scale, but they definitely have their followers. For us, we love our swags, but to get the chance to get out in a $60k+ camper was a great experience and one we thoroughly enjoyed. The Mitchell is considered a ‘hybrid’ camper with a hard floor and hard roof. With setup time under two minutes, it’s almost quicker than my swag. But the swag definitely doesn’t have a TV and kitchen!

It’s hard to go past the simplicity of a swag and that million star view is priceless. For such a simple piece of kit, there are a few considerations that are important to make the most of your sleep. Check out our buyers guide to make the most of your next purchase.

You can read out camper review HERE and check out the swag buying tips HERE.

The High Country, the Grampians and a failed EGR!

So this week we were off to tour a bit of Victoria for a
week to give Daryl’s and his new Prado a bit of a shakedown. The plan was to
head from Sydney down to Bright, spend a few days in the High Country before
ending up in Mansfield, then slogging across to the Grampians. But alas this
wasn’t to be. Heading up Blue Rag Range on the first day I had the coolant
error light blink at me on the dash. I wasn’t really sure what this meant; it
definitely wasn’t overheating, so either a sensor was broke or the coolant
level was low. Popping the bonnet I didn’t see anything wrong; the coolant
level seemed fine. I figured there was an issue with the angle we drove on that
gave a false low coolant reading. This wasn’t going to be the case.

We continued on to camp in Talbotville for the night. The next day we had a bit of wheeling planned, including Billy Goats Bluff and guess what happened. The light popped up a couple of times more, so now I knew there had to be something wrong – my mind shifted to worse case being a buggered EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation System) cooler. A quick call to Dwyers VW in Bairnsdale, they said they could do some diagnosis that day, so we headed out of the high country and made it there by 3:30.

Long story short, they tested the system, the cooler was leaking .2 bar over 10 minutes which isn’t good. If I didn’t fix it, coolant ends up in the motor, the hole gets bigger and before you know it, time for a new motor. Glenn quoted up the repair for $900 in parts and labour, the price wasn’t really a surprise, but the fact they had the parts in stock AND could do the repair the following day blew me away.

So after spending a day fishing around Bairnsdale, at 4:30 we drove out of the dealership with a repaired Amarok and a new found faith in VW service – I couldn’t recommend Dwyers enough! We b-lined it for the Grampians, camping in Wombat forest park before continuing on to the National Park the next day. Now I’m enjoying a cold one, getting back to nature. Keep an eye out for the Grampians trip in Unsealed 4x4.

Talk soon.


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