If you are planning on hitting the double-tracks, a rear bar is crucial to the protection of the back and rear underside of your vehicle. Steep slopes, hidden rocks and unforeseen tree stumps are some of the many potential impacts that can occur to the rear of your vehicle. A rear bar is designed to protect your side panels, rear bumper and rear undercarriage from these hazards. They are straightforward to install and can be even done yourself if you have the required tools. If not, it only takes a few hours for a professional to mount your new protector.
Not all 4WD rear bars are the same. Each has been designed specifically for particular makes and models, so be sure to choose the right rear bar that corresponds with the vehicle it will be installed on. That being said, most follow a consistent design of using steel plate to wrap around the base of the rear and the bumper for protection.
Many 4WD rear bars come with a whole list of features and optional extras, such as:
Tow balls to haul your trailer or caravan along on your adventures.
Rear wheel carrier to safely attach an additional rear wheel or two to the back door of your vehicle.
High lift jack mounts are needed to safely raise your 4x4 if the suspension has been lifted already.
Recovery loops are used to hook winches and other accessories to the rear of the vehicle.
Rear winches can be used to drag others up the track or yourself if you find yourself stuck.
Jerry can holders for both fuel and water can be mounted to the rear bar or door of the 4x4.
Spotlights and Light Bars can be installed onto the rear bar and powered through your 4x4s battery.
Many modern 4WDs come with rear parking cameras and sensors. Be sure to check if the rear bar you are buying it compatible with the electronics, if you do own on that has these features installed. Depending on the rear camera position, it may not be possible to install spare wheel holders or other door mounts as it would obstruct the camera. Check with your seller before you purchase to be sure.
Rear bars are also far heavier than a standard plastic bumper bar, which may mean having to upgrade your vehicle’s suspension to compensate for the added weight.
If you are in need of other great ideas for modifying your 4WD, check out our Four Essential 4x4 Mods for Aussie Touring Adventures!