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  #1  
Old 3 Jun 2006
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Which vehicle to travel to Oz overland

Hello all,

I have in the last few months decided to travel overland to Oz. I have no real experience of this, but am very much prepared to learn. I have already read and re-read most of this forum, but I am still not 100% sure of the best way to get a vehicle.

From what I can see the main choice is LR or TLC.

I am hoping to spend £15k total on getting the vehicle on the road (i.e. expedition ready), although this could be stretched if you think I'm insane.

So, do I buy an expedition ready vehicle, and give it a jolly good shake up. Or do I buy a low milage (<100k?) vehicle and make it expedition ready?

I am not yet a mechanic, and so would need to learn these skills, although I can call on some help when purchusing.

What do the experts think ?

Grateful for all advise ....

Cheers
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  #2  
Old 3 Jun 2006
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£15K is heaps of money mate - you should be able to sort something good out for £10K or less - it depends on how much time you have and how much time you spend on ebay - and also if you just want the vehicle to get you to Oz or if you are setting it up for much longer term travel.

Buy a copy of the book 'Sahara Overland' by Chris Scott as it contains a lot of info on different 4x4's - though to be honest, you don't need a 4x4 - people do it in VW combi and transit vans all the time. Have a look at www.africa-overland.net for more trips.

Also, keep in mind that something terrible might kick off in Iran over the next year, and this is your only cheap way to at least get to India - you can get through Burma now I believe using an agency and some fuddling about. Else, it's the expensive and highly restrictive route through China.

Good luck!

Last edited by roamingyak.org; 3 Jun 2006 at 08:42.
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  #3  
Old 3 Jun 2006
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Hi Ollie,
I know nothing about TLC's so can't help there.
Land Rovers, now that's another story.
I would think that you'll be looking for a Defender, or maybe a Discovery, almost certainly a diesel.

Discovery's:
Go for a late 300tdi, 97-98, with full service history and as low, geniune, mileage as possible. For about £6000 you'll find one that's never been off-road and has been looked after. Next, start looking around at shows, at other peoples cars, decide what mods you want to make and do them yourself, or be involved. That way when they break on the road you know how to fix them.

Defenders:
Same thing really but it'll cost you a bit more to buy the car in the first place.

I would not buy a ready prep'd car myself as I'm always a little dubious of other people's bodges.

A lot of mods, ie storage units, are very nice to have, but they can soak up a lot of budget very quickly.

Visit my site, there's a bit about mods on there www.4x4-travel.co.uk.

A good place for storage boxes, cheap, is just down the road from you, Solent Plastics, on the Millbrook Trading Est.

Email from my site if you have more specific questions, you should get a lot of answers from here though.
Kevin
PS sounds like one good trip.
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  #4  
Old 3 Jun 2006
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Thanks for the confidence

Hi Guys,

Thanks for the replies, they've given me confidence to continue.

I do have plenty of time to scour ebay and autotrader, so I will keep my eyes peeled. I also don't intend to leave until 2009 so I have plenty of time, although I am eager to start the work. Once I buy the vehicle I will know it is happening.

For the time being , the plan is to head to Australia over sometime between 6 months and a year. Once there I would like to try and work for a year (plenty of issues here as I am over 31, but hopefully there are ways around it), regroup my finances, and then head onto NZ followed by South America.
These plans are a long way off, so who knows, but i think what I am saying is I would like to have a vehicle that is going to last for a long while, and to take on some more severe off road in South America.

One place that I have come across is http://www.defendercentre.com/ . Does anyone have any experience with these guys? They seem to have some ex utility vehicles for approx £6k, which is in the region of the starter vehicle I was thinking of.

Again thanks for the advice, its given me the next spur on I needed.

Cheers

Ollie
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Last edited by CornishDeity; 3 Jun 2006 at 18:34.
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  #5  
Old 4 Jun 2006
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Hi Ollie

My father located my ex environment agency 110 defender hard top from the defender centre, I was working abroad at the time.
He says they were very good and helpful. They fitted a small side window in the back at a very reasonable price.
I can certainly recomend them.

Rob
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  #6  
Old 4 Jun 2006
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Hi Ollie,

have to agree with Darrin - £15,000 is a lot, save some for !
To sum up some popular choices for your kind of budget:

Defender 110/130 200/300tdi- pro's: easy to mod and work on, spacious, superb suspension, best offroad capabilities, posesses what some people define as 'character'.
cons: lack of standard comforts, noisy, require tlc, pricey, posesses what some people define as 'character'.

Diso 300tdi - pro's: Defender capabilities for less cash, easy to work on (earlier series), car comforts.
cons: harder to mod, lack of space, requires tlc.

Toyota LC (80) - pro's: reliablity, big low-stressed engine, spares common in Africa and Asia, car comforts, takes abuse.
Cons: primitive suspension, wide wheel base, fiddly to mod.

Overall, the TLC seems to be the better vehicle for general overlanding (just!)- something we LR owners have to accept with grace ; ).

However if you're prepping your car in the UK, a Defender is a much better bet. The deciding factor being the amount of support in the UK - this country is crawling with LR's, LR experts, LR enthusiasts, LR suppliers... Take a trip to one of the LR fairs - like Billing - and you'll get the picture. Everything is available cheaply and quickly and the knowledge base is incredible.

NOT the case with TLC's - although there's some excellent support on this forum.

Best value is to buy a ready-prepped vehicle - perhaps one that has returned from a trip. You'll save an enormous amount of time and money.
- all of which can then be spent on familiarising yourself with the car, adapting it to your tastes and perfecting it mechanically.

First timers often expend their efforts on gadgets and 'lifestyle' mods, many of which are unnecessary and expensive. Your time is better spent learning how to fix and maintain your vehicle as your trip will be far more pleasurable with this knowledge and confidence.

Good luck! feel free to mail if you want any further info.
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  #7  
Old 4 Jun 2006
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Discovery??

Hi Richard,

Now I had dimissed a discovery without a real thought, thinking that it wouldn't handed off road so well as a defender. Am I ruling out a perfectly valid vehicle here through ignorance?

I'm now on e-bay out reconsidering!!!!
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  #8  
Old 4 Jun 2006
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disco magic

Nothing wrong with Disco's and you can get an excellent one on the cheap. As with the Defender go with the 300tdi.

Only real capability difference to a Defender is slightly higher gearing and a weaker departure angle which are minor points. Overlanding is much more about coping with bad roads rather than out-and-out offroading in any case. Do cost in adding jackable bumpers or sills if they aren't there already.

Short of space compared to a 110 though, but people cope.
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  #9  
Old 14 Jun 2006
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slightly OT

Just picking up on this thread ...

If one is planning a relatively long (2 yr, probably 70K+ km) RTW, and looking to outfit cheaply with a sturdy, reliable and comfortable TLC (I'm hopeless as a mechanic, so lean toward reliability of a TLC vs adaptability of a LC), how high can I go in terms of existing mileage before I start running into problems?

The reason that I ask is that the used price for TLCs stays high even when they've got a lot of mileage on them - 20-25K euros for 100K+ kms on the odometer.

Can I realistically get something that's higher mileage than that pre-trip, or am I just asking for trouble?
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  #10  
Old 14 Jun 2006
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high mileage

With a diesel engine the mileage is not important, it's how well it's been taken care of (service-intervals etc.) in its previous life.
In africa old TLC's (with 2H-engine) and mercedes are still serving as local transport (taxibrousse) with BIG figures on the clock, 900.000km and such. And those old bangers certainly don't get there oilchange at factory set service intervals or with factory spec. oils and spares.

Buying a fully prepped car assures you of obtaining a proven vehicle/concept (to some extent), and can save you lots of money.
But don't forget that if you have enough time nothing can beat the months of surfing, looking, sniffing and scavaning on the internet, at sales, in stores, garages, markets and meetings, this along with the process of planning, looking, learning, reading and offcourse dreaming is half the trip your about to make.

enjoy !
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  #11  
Old 14 Jun 2006
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consider the new hilux

If you can get the new hilux with the 3.0 D4D with the same price of a used TLC or LR then you better consider this option, it can be modified to suite expedition requirements.
In my situation a used land cruiser in good condition is very rare and never serviced in a suitable way, so I chose the hilux and it turned out to be perfect.
Check out this link:
http://www.tribe-expeditions.com/Arr...ehicles01.html

Regards

Mahmoud Mohareb
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  #12  
Old 14 Jun 2006
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Mahmoud,

Thanks for the not re the Hilux. The site you posted the link for says it accomodates 3 comfortably - would it work for 4? We're going to be travelling as a family (2 adults, 2 young kids) ...

Thanks!
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Old 14 Jun 2006
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Yes would accommodate 2 adults in the front and 2 kids at the back in comfort.
The site says 3 meaning 2 adults ONLY at the back and one in the front beside the driver; this makes difference when travelling long distances every day.
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  #14  
Old 14 Jun 2006
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Hilux Surf

Does anyone have an opinion on the Hilux surfs?

What I'm thinking here is that I here one shouldn't take the post 98 LR (TD5s) as they are too electronic supposedly. Is there any such considerations here?
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  #15  
Old 14 Jun 2006
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Hi there.
Heres a thought. Lots of people ride road orientated bikes RTW, cape to cape etc. as you can do most of the big journeys on good roads these days but people only ever seem to drive 4WDs on these same journeys.
Would the ultimate RTW vehicle for £15,000 in this case not be an uber-reliable, brand new Toyota Corolla with a nice stereo and air con?
Or do you really NEED that winch and rooftop spotlights?
Matt
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