The last two years of the pandemic have created a thirst for adventure like no other, with many more South Africans alleviating their cabin fever by embarking on explorative escapades to uncharted off-road territory. Adventurer, Dewald Visser of the brand-new Mal Kamper adventure travel series – launched on kykNET and powered by Dunlop Tyres as the official tyre sponsor – shares his tips on 4×4 tyre safety.
Mal Kamper (Crazy Camper) is a 13-week series on kykNet every Saturday from 8 January, following the adventures of Dewald Visser as he navigates all things off-road, including lifestyle pursuits, adventure, sport and travel.
With his fully equipped Suzuki Jimny and trailer, fitted with Dunlop Grandtrek tyres, this veteran adventurer wrestles the most unforgiving landscapes in South Africa. Triumphing through locations inaccessible to conventional vehicles is a thrill that’s hard to beat and Dunlop boasts a 4×4 or SUV tyre to match any off-road terrain.
“SUV and 4×4 owners appreciate their vehicles, usually taking safety measures to protect them with the latest equipment and following rigorous maintenance plans to keep their costly vehicles in top running order. However, they can never be too prepared for off-road tyre emergencies during a thrill-seeking adventure,” says Visser.
It’s about preparing for the journey
Visser completed his first 4×4 lesson shortly before the series began and has gone from being a novice 4×4 driver to tackling some of the country’s most challenging terrain in his Jimny kitted out with Dunlop tyres. He says preparation and safety are key to every good adventure. Off-road enthusiasts know that taking standard road tyres off-road is not a good idea and some all-terrain tyres struggle when faced with certain off-roading obstacles. For the ultimate experience, Visser says it is worth investing in a strong set of premium off-road tyres.
“We wanted rugged good looks as well as safety and practicality when it came to tyres for the Mal Kamper series. Many online forums I visited recommended the Grandtrek AT5. It’s a fantastic tyre that I trusted 100%,” he says. Visser said he relished the adventure with Dunlop. “I loved the tyres! It was fantastic going through snow, mud, sand and mountains exploring routes like Raman’s Drift, the Namakwa 4×4 eco trail and the Shipwreck 4×4 trail, and seeing nature raw and beautiful.”
Dewald’s tips for tyre safety equipment
- Invest in recovery straps and the perfect jack for your vehicle for any emergency repair work.
- Don’t forget to check that all your tyres have valve caps, preferably metal ones with O-ring seals, to ensure that the valve core is protected from mud and sand and keep a few on hand.
- Another vital piece of equipment is a comprehensive tyre repair kit which includes seals, patches, and foam. Packing sidewall bridges is also a good idea when travelling long distances off-road.
- A high-quality pressure gauge and pump for deflating and re-inflating tyres is another off-road must-have. Visser admits the only time he had an issue with his tyre was when he didn’t deflate them enough.
“Without a shadow of a doubt, I recommend you get the right tools for this purpose and deflate your tyres before you change terrain. An electric tool that plugs into the vehicle’s auxiliary socket is recommended and effortless. So, deflate your tyres, but ultimately, know your tyres,” he says.
Visser says it’s important to learn what tyre pressure you need in sand, mud, on rocks and corrugated roads, because the 10 or 20 minutes you spend inflating or deflating your tyres, could save you two hours of digging out your 4×4 along the road.
“Remember a 4×4 adventure is about the journey and not just the destination,” he added.
Dewald’s tips for off road trips
- Don’t take a chance, if you’re unsure of an obstacle, rather exit your vehicle and read the terrain before tackling.
- Always take the path of least resistance.
- Remember to drive as slowly as possible, and as fast as necessary.
- Maintain momentum and resist the urge to increase speed when tackling obstacles.
Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (SRSA), which produces the iconic Dunlop tyre brand, has been a strong supporter of South Africans playing their part to boost the country’s tourism sector, which was crushed during the lockdown restrictions of the pandemic.
CEO Lubin Ozoux says, “We are enjoying every moment of Dewald’s thrilling adventure into uncharted territory and hope it inspires South Africans to travel within our beautiful country in a safe and responsible way. We’re proud to have the most extensive range of SUV and 4×4 tyres in the country, which are perfect for a safe and comfortable ride, whether you’re taking on off-road or urban adventures.”
To follow Dewald Visser’s journey, watch Mal Kamper at 19h30 every Saturday on kykNET (DStv channel 144). You can also catch repeats on Sundays at 14h00, Mondays at 13h00, Tuesdays at 10h00, Wednesdays at 16h00 and Fridays at 21h30.
For more information on how Dunlop Grandtrek tyres can take you to places uncharted, visit www.grandtrek.co.za.