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Robert Pepper

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

Why the ‘leave a location voicemail’ is a bad idea

This bit of advice is rapidly circulating the Internet, and it really shouldn’t be: Why this advice is bad In brief; if you have phone signal, send a text message for help to your friends, or if dire, call 112. Don’t waste time and battery power on changing your own voicemail which is a very […]

Got a flat and don’t carry a spare tyre? Here’s your solution!

Modern tyres are more puncture-resistant than ever, so many cars simply don’t come with a spare tyre as carmakers claw back the space and weight, fighting to meet efficiency targets. This is all well and good until you actually have a puncture, and then you’re immobilised. Runflat tyres are an option, but expensive, uncomfortable and […]

Land Rover Defender L663 GVMs for Australia

There has been some confusion over Land Rover’s unusual, but not unheard of approach to GVM (Gross Vehicle Mass) for Australia. That’s because there’s different GVMs for different configurations. Today I checked with Land Rover, and they confirmed the GVMs for the Australian L663 Defender 110 are (direct copy-paste): 110 5 Seat – 3200kg 6 […]

TruckFriendly – how caravanners can share the road with trucks

Caravans are heavy, big, and slow compared to a car by itself. This brings them into conflict with another set of road users who are also drive heavy, big and slow vehicles…truck drivers. But there’s significant differences between caravanners and truckies, who have restrictions that include: deadlines; vanners don’t usually care too much about time, […]

3500kg tow-rated wagons – which can tow the most?

So you want to tow a heavy trailer? Generally, you’re better off with a wagon than medium ute because the wagons typically have higher GCMs closer to max tow plus GVM, all-wheel-drive, and handle better…but which wagon? In this video I analyse the specification of nine 3500kg-tow-rated wagons to see which ones can actually tow […]

LC300 vs LC200 payload, towing analysis

What’s the LC300 like to tow with compared to the LC200? Well, I’ve towed 3000kg with both and so far, my view is the 300 is the better towcar. But it was only today I managed to get all the technical details required to do a proper specification analysis to see which vehicle has a […]

Australian Toyota LandCruiser 2022 LC300 model range differences, new accessory details

Wondering what the specification differences are between the models? Here’s a complete run-down of the differences, direct from Toyota. Prices are exclusive of on-road costs. UPDATE: Towing and payload analysis, LC300 vs L200 – now I have all the specs! A common question is whether you’ll be able to option offroad features like the lockers […]

Are you being misled by recovery gear ratings?

My latest webinar interview was with the owners of Saber Offroad, a small but increasingly well respected company focused on 4×4 recovery gear. Over the 45m interview we discussed a number of topics and I learned a great deal, more than I expected to, and I’m sure the attendees on Zoom also left the session […]

Racetrack Mistakes

There’s plenty of mistakes made on racetracks, and they can end up rather expensive or painful. So I’m analysing a few in the hope of helping myself, and others not make those same mistakes again! 1. Lotus Elise Oversteer The first one is one of my own. What mistake was made to enter an oversteer […]

One reason why ‘add more towball mass’ isn’t always the right answer

Got trailer sway? Add more towball mass. Oh, still swaying? Well, add more! Here’s the problem with that advice. You can end up with a trailer that’s got an ‘ideal’ towball mass, whatever that is, and yet it is fundamentally unstable. And the reason is because you may have heavy weights at either end of […]