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  #16  
Old 7 Sep 2004
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**"There's nothing wrong with Isuzu, except the fact that the brand - chiefly on manufacturer's instigation - is considered to belong to that segment of the market that values more two tone paintwork, inclinometers and fluffy dice than functionality and ruggedness."**

Emm.... last time I was down in your part of the world Roman there were a fair few farmers kicking about in battered Isuzus in the Home Counties. I think there is a real appreciation of their ruggedness in the UK. Though maybe you dont get out of London much

This-is-it..... from a Saharan point of view in many places you cant get the parts. Ive seen a few in Egypt and Libya but usually imported by expats. LR has the same problem in Egypt, as have several other types. As has also been said, I would wonder if they are big enough for full-on African overlanding.
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  #17  
Old 8 Sep 2004
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Hello Runner,

I guess you're right, I don't get out of London enough, and when I do I prefer drier places than the English countryside. But when I do, I can also see what you did. I've even come across a homespun sociological study claiming that there's a preference for toyotas and isuzus among British livestock farmers while crop farmers stick to landrovers.

Still, it doesn't matter how many of these vehicles are used on farms. What we want to know is how useful they are for overland trips. As it happens, British farmers (both the landed types and those living all over Kesington & Chelsea) are not keen overlanders, so the first-hand experience about Isuzu's ruggedenss for trans-Africa trips is sadly wanting compared to Landcruisers or Landrovers.

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[This message has been edited by Roman (edited 08 September 2004).]
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  #18  
Old 8 Sep 2004
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This_is_It...well, that was it. New username…same attitude.

The question of 'Zu ruggedness and suitability for over-landing is a valid one. But my original question was why they *never* seem to be even considered as an option.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely fond of ‘Cruisers and ‘Rovers, but I’ve also seen first hand what Isuzu’s can do. Perhaps their size is a limiting factor, but I can’t imagine two people needing to carry more than you can fit into and on top of a Bighorn/Trooper, no matter how long the trip.

As for spares in Africa, I can offer no comment, but I don’t doubt they are difficult to find. However, several years ago a friend was in Africa and sent me pictures of the beat up old Isuzu’s used as tow vehicles at various safari parks. When something got stuck, they called in a ‘zu.
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  #19  
Old 8 Sep 2004
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*pedant mode on*

Roman, your original posit was to do with "functionality and ruggedness", period, rather than fitness for purpose of one type or another.

I would therefore suggest that Isuzus fit the "functionality and ruggedness" criteria, though lacking as they are in certain ways for the majority of overlanders.

*pedant mode off*

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  #20  
Old 13 Sep 2004
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IMHO this attitude and approach with regard to a pithy and pointless stance on Isuzu's (and nobody has contested their build-quality or durability I think?), as an abrasvive attempt to join in with a group of knowledgeable people whom I have found to be friendly and helpful at all times (especially to those of us just starting out), is more than a little bit out of line and somewhat unfounded. Besides the fact that everyone's experience and requirements with regard to different vehicles is a matter of personal choice and needs, I feel it is a little short-sighted, melo-dramatic and unfair to say that Isuzu's are NEVER considered.

I quote from my first timer's preparation bible (Sahara Overland) according to the apostle St Chris Scott, (p.84-5), "The Best of the Rest" section...

"Isuzu's much under-rated Troopers [as pictured on p. 84] make solid, durable and reliable desert cars... [and so it goes on, as you can read for yourself]...

So while it may be true to say that they are not placed in the same league as TLC & LR for reasons that have been discussed here and elsewhere (including Chris’ book), making unfounded accusations and mouthing off in such a manner is perhaps no way to make friends, Internet or no Internet.

just a thought.

I've also just noticed that you're trying to promote your own website with another post, will there be a section on how to make friends with fellow travellers and influence people...?



[This message has been edited by ManxScamp (edited 13 September 2004).]
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  #21  
Old 13 Sep 2004
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Well then, I suppose I’ve been put in my place.

Let me first apologize for being "short-sighted, melo-dramatic and unfair" by bringing up such an uncomfortable subject. But if you re-read the thread, it’s quite hard to view my posts as that out-of-line if you have a perspective that is even slightly rational.

Also, I don't consider it "mouthing off" to post genuine, friendly, and sincere questions to bulletin boards, no matter how new a member I may be. Stimulating dialogue is, after all, what “it's” all about. But to those I may have offended, let me offer an apology.

Out respect for those who maintain and those who use this board, including those even you deify, I’ll cut my response short. But let me leave you with this: by trying to stifle a discussion with personal criticisms, it is you who is out of line.

Finally, that I’m also promoting a 4WD website is totally unrelated to this thread. But since you mentioned it, why not stop by? We welcome all types.

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  #22  
Old 14 Sep 2004
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I obviously didn't stifle you that much then!!!

Maybe that came across wrong, it wasn't mean't as a personal attack mate so you shouldn't take it that way, I was having a laugh, quoting from the bible according to Chris Scott, come on!!

I just don't see the point in arguing over the difference between your make of truck and mine, it seems a bit school boy to me, we're all just trying to enjoy the experiences of independent travelling in the end, and yet people do seem to get a bit heated over this topic.

It just seemed when reading through the thread that you'd kind of got off on the wrong foot with one or two people. And you didn't call it friendly, you admitted it was a rant, and you did stress the NEVER, NEVER aspect, which even my extremely limited knowledge told me simply wasn't true. So a bit of tongue in cheak p-taking seemed in order I thought. Didn't mean to offend.

Don't take it seriously mate, it's only a crappy old truck, they all end up in the same place in the end.

Take Care...
Regards...
Scamp the over friendly traveller...

[This message has been edited by ManxScamp (edited 13 September 2004).]

[This message has been edited by ManxScamp (edited 14 September 2004).]
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  #23  
Old 14 Sep 2004
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How'd you know I drive a crappy old truck?

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  #24  
Old 14 Sep 2004
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I think you've missed my point mate, my first post must have really come over the wrong way or something, I'm really not attacking you personally, but I seem to have offended you so I must apologise.

When you're out on the road I really don't think anyone (or I would hope that nobody really) cares what sort of truck you drive, its just your approach, who you are, and the fact that you've made the effort to get out there under your own steam so to speak, and see things for yourself, that matters.

I really don't think that anyone is descriminating against Isuzu's (which I may be mistaken, but I think was the kernel of your rant), and it would seem to me at least that people end up with a truck for a few simple reasons, primarly whatever they feel comfortable with for whatever reasons (mechanically, etc.), in conjunction with what more or less suits their needs and purpose, governed largely by what they can afford.

My final point was a through-away thought that from the minute they roll of the production line, the laws of nature determine that they're all heading in the same direction, to wind up as a pile of rusty spare parts and dust some day, one way or another. I wasn't attacking you, they're all just big crappy trucks, even the new ones, and at the end of the day (within resason) I feel that it really shouldn't be the make of truck thats important.

I don't know if I've made a mistake here, and if I have, like I say, I must apologise, that's just the way I feel about overlanding.
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  #25  
Old 14 Sep 2004
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Not to worry - no lasting offence taken, no foul, no worries. You missed my attempt at humour as well it seems...

Anyway, I agree with you in principle, now understanding your taking the p*ss for what it was.

Back to the point though; I read a post a while back where someone was asking opinions about a Jinmy and RAV4 for overland travel suitability. I was surprised that no one mentioned Isuzu as an option, and I thought it curious since it wasn’t the first time I’d noticed that. So, that’s what inspired my (honestly) friendly and (truly) good-natured rant.

But enough; you’ve inspired me to order a copy of CS’s book and learn (more) for myself. Maybe I’ll think twice before shootin’ off my mouth next time. (It could happen)

Now let’s kill this thread before it catches fire....

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  #26  
Old 15 Sep 2004
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Overlanding is obviously a circumstance where the majority of the time folk carefully pick what wagon they want to take and then kit it out. But many uses of 4x4s in the bush, ie recreational trail driving etc, do not fit that model.

Just an aside, here in Egypt a lot of the expats that want to come out to the desert with us just turn up in 4x4s, of any description, and hope that they are 'all right'. Its difficult to refuse (the desert trips arent fee-paying) unless the vehicle is obviously unsafe. So we have had a couple of RAVs that acquit themselves very well, Vitaras similarly etc. Never had an Isuzu though, but they are about.

Perhaps the worst performers have been Wranglers, Cherokees (both due to terrible reliability) and Dodge Durangos.

But just because a RAV or a Vitara is nippy on a 2 or 3 day trip into the dunes with bigger wagons along to pull it out when it gets stuck doesnt mean its any good at a 6 month slog across Africa.

In some cases, cars you see out in the bush may be a result of the 'its avaliable, so I bought it' rather than 'thats the car I wanted'. When expats in African lands buy cars they often have to accept what limited stock the marketplace has at that time. I was very lucky, I know a lot of folk had less choice.

In many N African states, Isuzu dealers are swamped by their parent company, GM. This latter company (bigger car company in the world I think) would rather punters bought their GM Frontera (or Chevy Blazer etc) than an Isuzu, esp where GM has a bigger market appeal. Its the kudos of an American car, even though that car may actually be fairly useless offroad.
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  #27  
Old 16 Sep 2004
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Looks like we didn't manage to put this fire out, so I might as well spout on some more - please feel free to tell me to stop!!

It seems to me at this point, like we're probably talking about different types of overlander, with maybe slightly (and I hope its not over-presumptious to say, please feel free to correct) different motivations, or at least goals.

I can see how different factors like export-import restrictions could effect vehicle selection in certain areas, but the main factor overall still seems to be money. I can understand how a relatively wealthy expat (compared to me with my old LR and SJs that is - no offence intended) who likes to go out and have some serious (and necessarily well equiped) play time in the remote bush for a few weeks or a few months, could afford to spend a lot of time and money picking the right truck.

In the mean time, if you haven't quite got the funds to stretch to a nice TLC, but you still want to see some of the wonders of the still-wild bits of the world, I think its still possible to be selective and with the right attitude and preparation achieve just as much personally, if not more.

You're probably right though, Mr Greenlaner, and I have to conceed, the older Isuzu's probably don't get enough of a mention at the cheaper end of the market (I did actually look at one myself), but then with the hardcore gang the cheaper end of the market doesn't appear to be that busy for obvious reasons.

On a lighter note, I was only speaking to a guy on this forum a few weeks ago who was driving his battered little one litre Suzuki SJ from Europe down to Cape Town, said he'd packed it like he was back-packing, and things kept falling of it, but he was still going (Don't know if he still is mind). And didn't the french guy who did the GPS guide for the RIM Saharan 'empty quarter' do it all in a canvas backed Citroen 2CV? Its all in the attitude, what you want to get from the experience and the preparation isn't it?


[This message has been edited by ManxScamp (edited 16 September 2004).]
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  #28  
Old 17 Sep 2004
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"Its all in the attitude, what you want to get from the experience and the preparation isn't it?"

Well said! Now that sums it up...

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