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Robert Pepper

Automotive journalist specialising in 4X4s, sportscars, camping and future tech.

Here’s what’s wrong with the DCS Fraser Island “tide escape” video

On today’s episode of How Not to 4WD: There’s a video doing the rounds of a group in a Toyota Fortuner owned by Deep Cycle Systems, trying to “escape” an incoming tide on Fraser Island. Or, was doing the rounds, as it’s now been taken down. But not before I had a look and took […]

How to keep your travel car’s weight within limits

Overloading recreational vehicles is becoming more and more of a problem…here’s how to keep legal and safe. The Australian people are getting steadily heavier over time, and so too are our camping vehicles to the point where their weight exceeds various limits set by the manufacturer or the designer. And just like overweight humans, that […]

Meet your local 4X4 owner

Bush-bashers, compensation machines..offroad touring 4X4 owners have heard it all. MANY PEOPLE don’t like 4X4s. Too big, too heavy, too…everything and they fall back on tired old insults which have no basis in reality.  Like most prejuidices, this attitude is borne of ignorance. Those that explore Australia are a cross-section of society, nothing more or […]

What my readers would do: As Land Rover Managing Director

Jaguar Land Rover just changed its boss to Thierry Bollore, which prompted me to wonder what my readers would do if they were slotted into the top job. Now bear in mind my readers are all car and 4X4 enthusiasts, so they tend to approach the job from that perspective. It’s very clear that Land […]

Why modern 4x4s break the laws of robotics

The modern vehicle is an amazing feat of engineering, and an even more amazing feat of electronic and computing design.  There are sensors everywhere, for everything – wheel speeds, steering wheel angles, all over the engine, even monitors to detect how dark or wet it is.  And soon there’ll be more, fed by data over […]

The future of automotive fun

There are, broadly, three classes of offroader.  These are the driver, the builder, and the tourer.  The driver enjoys the challenge of manouvering the vehicle across difficult terrain.  The builder enjoys the challenge of creating a vehicle that can handle the terrain.  And the tourer just wants to get there and doesn’t care how. Two […]

That’s NOT triple locked!

Don’t confuse centre and cross-axle lockers! There has been a recent trend to refer to vehicles such as the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen as triple locked, and it’s wrong to do so, even though it’s right. In 4X4 terms, a locker always refers to a cross-axle differential locker. So when we say a vehicle has a rear […]

European Snow and Australian Sand

Experience in one of type driving is a mixed blessing when you come to try something else.  Sometimes the skills carry over, sometimes they need to be unlearned.  And other times two terrains which appear to have lots in common do not.  I’m talking here about European snow, and Aussie sand which are very different, […]

Dirty on dirty

So you own a 4WD and you use it offroad. Often it’ll get dirty in the course of those trips, but when it does, take a few moments clean it.  There is no point driving around for days or even weeks with a dirty 4WD as some misguided badge of honour – you won’t do […]

Will another hundred be enough?

Years ago a computer monitor used to be 12 inches across, and 15 was considered large. Having such a behemoth on your desk was a clear sign that you were terrifically important to the company and had done something special to have justified such an expansive display.  Now 27” monitors are dirt cheap, and TVs […]