I could rattle on about the safety side of having radios on road trips. We all know that being able to pass back-and-forth info about oncoming traffic, dust bowls, whether Johnny-5-0 is hiding in the bushes – or, most importantly, being able to talk to the driver of the road train you can’t see past – is the real reason to carry decent radios in your rig. But for us, it was the banter.
It took a few days for us to settle on who carried the most wit (hats off to Tom on that one) but jokes flowed every day; jives who couldn’t keep up, who'd dropped their guts in the car or who wanted what for dinner at the next roadhouse, rolled out constantly.
AudioXtra hooked us up with Midland G18XT handhelds, plus extra batteries and charging stations. With more than two days chatting possible out of each charge, we never once needed the extra batteries, but it was good to have them there in case we did, and charging was simple through cigarette sockets.
Range was decent, which is to be expected from their 5W power rating. Midland claimed 15km line-of-sight, we never really had true space to challenge the claim but in the tight stuff, we were always able to communicate when within a kay or so. They have 80 channels, which comes in handy in busy areas, and, importantly, are IP67 rated, meaning waterproof – handy for anyone doing retrievals in the rain.
We ran a half dozen radios across all cars, some for the photo and video crew, too. The practical benefits of being told you were driving too fast in the last shot never really sunk in, but being told there were more places to fang around did. They became extensions of our ability to produce what you see here, we couldn’t have done it without them.
Where: Most popular 4WD stores
The full product test appeared in Caravan World #572. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!