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  #1  
Old 27 Mar 2003
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Hummer H1s


So I've started looking around for my next expedition vehicle. While I'm keeping both the Camel 110 and the NAS D90 (just got back from the dunes in the Altar desert - V8 good, milage bad...), I'm looking at having a vehicle based in the US. After looking at vehicles like the Ford F series pickups (nice big diesel engines, bad approch/departure angles without a propreitary jacked-up suspension system), I thought I'd take a look at the H1.

And I was quite impressed. The only cons to it as far as I can see are:

It's almost a foot wider than my 110. Fits in a container with 4 inches to spare.
It's expensive (though 3 year old models are selling for 50-60k USD, half the new retail price). Expensive CDP too.
If it breaks, it's hard to get parts.
It looks expensive/military and may attract the wrong sort of attention at borders and in towns. In fact, in Mexico they wouldn't let them in a few years ago as they'd classed them as military (so the rumour goes anyway).

And that's about it. The engine is a 6.5l V8 diesel 190+hp with 430 ft lbs, there's a load of space for stuff, it's low and stable and basically has lots of things going for it. Even has a Central Tyre Inflation System (which I've heard bad things about!).

However, there's little information out there about expedition use. The closest I could find was a Baja racing team, but that ain't the same thing. I'm wondering if you guys have ever seen one out there (I haven't) and what you think of the idea.

I also looked at the H2, which won't work well as an expedition vehicle. The finish isn't great, the door handles would last a week, it's a great big petrol engine and the chassis is a GMC pickup chassis drilled out and lacks torsional rigidity. Nice for picking the kids up though...

Anyway, something to think about.
Cheers,
Nick.

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  #2  
Old 27 Mar 2003
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And if you're wondering, I'll keep it in the US and use it for central/south American trips. Though I'd love to take an H1 through Ubari...

Nick.

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Old 27 Mar 2003
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I hate to say it but everyone I've met who has driven Hummers, said they were dogs to drive in the desert (UAE) - basically massively overweight and their overall size makes them ungainly in a lot of circumstances especially in dunes.

Re using them in South America I would have thought it a bit "in your face," to be driving around in a Hummer. You would be telegraphing to everyone that you are an Amercican with the positive and negative consequences that entails.
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Old 27 Mar 2003
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They do look good though!
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Old 28 Mar 2003
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Hi, if you're in that sort of price range, why not get a MB Unimog? Much more capable in carrying capacity, about the same fuel consumption, bettter off road.
Only downside, they're high and on the freeway thay're slow and the noise invades a bit.
There are tons of sites about Mogs and equipping them for overlanding, their presence is almost completely global, so spares are less trouble than a H1, for which you're obliged to follow the US army.
Good luck
Luke
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Old 28 Mar 2003
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For its bulk, weight, complexity, and cost, a Hummer must surely be in the same category as a Unimog?

While I am sure the Hummer must have some advantages over the Unimog, I can't think of any right now... :-)

Regards,

Michael...
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Old 28 Mar 2003
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Haha, Luke, you wrote yours while I was writing mine :-)

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Old 28 Mar 2003
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fools seldom differ...
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Old 28 Mar 2003
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What are you saying??? ;-)
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Old 28 Mar 2003
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Yeah, I did think about the Unimog, but the two cons for it are

Doesn't fit into a standard shipping container
Can't do 80 mph down the motorway

Good point about the weight ctc, I'd miscalculated - it's a tonne heavier than the 110/Disco/G-Wagen. I've asked the Hummer group to get more feedback about the dune driving.

Cheers,
Nick.


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Old 28 Mar 2003
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Re vehicle choice, a good calculation to make (courtesy of Tom Sheppard) is Brake Horse Power (BHP) per tonne of Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) - N.B. measure weight in kilos.

This will tell you not only how powerful the vehicle is but also how well it pulls when fully loaded.

Benchmarks:

Mercedes Unimog U1550L: BHP per tonne of GVW = 20.67

Landrover Defender 110 Tdi = 36.39

Toyota Land Cruiser VX = 56.75

Range Rover 4.6L = 70.49

Basically the higher the number the more grunt the vehilce has when fully loaded. But you need to bear in mind payload as well for expedition purposes. A Unimog for instance is able to produce that figure whilst carrying 2940kgs! A Defender whilst carrying 1139kgs and a Landcruiser 565kgs and a Range Rover 560kgs.

So how much kit, fuel and water are you planning on carrying then you can best choose the right vehicle. As you can see the Defender is the most versatile in this bunch having both payload capacity and reasonable power.

Who is going to do the sums for the Hummer H1?

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Old 28 Mar 2003
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Looking at Hummer H1 Wagon figures on the web:

Kerb weight 3245kgs and Payload 1426kgs equals GVW of 4672kgs. Horse power is 195 so I make that a BHP per tonne of GVW = 24

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  #13  
Old 29 Mar 2003
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Yeah, that's a good way of looking at it.

I get 42 for the H1 though (195/4.672). The G-400 CDI with the 4.0l NA V8 diesel gets a great big 87 though (247/2.85).

Maybe I should look at the Mercs after all!

Cheers,
Nick.

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Old 29 Mar 2003
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Hehe, it would have been pretentious to have said great minds think alike.
The power to weight issue would have us all in VW Touaregs or equivalent. Another consideration is traction; all that power is useless if it only digs you in deeper. The advantages of an underladen truck on 20 inch wheels over a fully laden 4x4 on even the fattest swamper 16.5 inchers is the flotation factor.
I personnally think that the mog is not a very efficient use of the volume it occupies; portal axles are not absolutely essential, they require the chassis to be very high. For those who want to live inside a box on the back that means even more height, coupled with the space wasted by a bonnet you don't get much living space for the vehicle size. Kit out the back like you would a 110 and it's unstoppable, if a little thirsty.
Crating: once you go to a goods vehicle with a separate cab, it's easier and cheaper to RoRo, just take out the radio first.
The H1, the MB G-wagon, if we're going to look at vehicles with poor spare parts availability why not get a Vodnik 39371... I want one, no more ferry problems! (www.vodnik.com and http://www.rusarm.ru/video/gaz3937.wmv)

Michael, your solution is very elegant, a word of warning about those axle twisters though; watch carefully the gap between the top front corner of the cab door (above window) and the frame. Ive got cracks appearing there because the camper body is firmly bolted to the cab, any chassis twist is transmitted to the cab.
When you going? We're off in Oct.
Happy trails to all
Luke
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Old 4 Apr 2003
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Hi Luke,

We leave next week, probably Sat 12th! Very excited now, as the time draws so close.

Your point about chassis twist worried me too during the design phase, but I had the construction work done by Foley Specialist Vehicles in Essex, and they have done many similar vehicles. They assure me that the way they have done it isn't a problem... So, holding thumbs!

Regards,

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