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  #1  
Old 22 May 2008
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The best LR Defender 110 for Overlanding?

Hello there all! I am a newbie about to buy my first LR Defender 110 with the intention of overlanding from UK to Cairo and back (both ways).
Question is... Should I go hardtop or Station Wagon and remove the seats?
There will be me and the missus - hoping to use the back as sleeping accomodation...
As much detail as poss please on the reasons for your preference and no a Toyota is not an option!
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  #2  
Old 22 May 2008
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Just to throw a little spanner in the works - unless you're going off road a lot you don't actually need the capabilities of a Landy to get to Cairo. It's all fine and good if you want one, no problem there at all, it's just that I'm not sure if you are aware that you can do it in a normal car.

P.S. What about having a bit more comfort and getting a Discovery? Otherwise I'd go for a hard top so that there is a bit more security in the back instead of windows.
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  #3  
Old 22 May 2008
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You'll get a hardtop cheaper, it will be a bit lighter as well so a little benefit in economy and performance maybe.
A station wagon may be the more prefferable long term though, also it's quite handy being able to open the side doors to get to kit, and a good place to keep a fridge and water supplies.
If you're going to sleep in it, the headlining in a SW might give you a bit more comfort than being dripped on with condensation in a hard top.

I think my choice would be station wagon, and I'd put reflective film or tints on the rear windows to give some privacy and keep the heat out.
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  #4  
Old 22 May 2008
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Either is fine, I would try and look further ahead assuming you are planning keeping hold of it for a while. I had a nice offer of a really well kitted up 110 station wagon which I didn't take. I subsequently bought a nice hard top 300TDi 110 which I've had for about 10 years and driven round Aus, trans africa etc. The hardtop has been brilliant for my wife and I but is harder to use with a growing family. In the overall picture, I would probably have been better off with the station wagon.

Pros of hardtop are easier to configure back, we actually have more leg room on the second row of seats than a station wagon would give because we have mounted them further back, better security for stuff in back if behind a cargo barrier - could achieve the same in the back section of a station wagon but only covers the rear third as apposed to all of the back.

Con is harder to access. This may be quite significant if you are planning putting a platform to sleep in in the back as if you have a station wagon, you can still use the side doors to access the areas under the platform towards the front where as if you only have a hard top, its much harder to get at all the space underneath - depends what you want to put underneath and how much access you will need to it.

with the benefit of hindsight, I would probably get a station wagon for the immediate needs and for the longer term flexibility.
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  #5  
Old 29 May 2008
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I would go for station wagon and remove the seats - I also had a 110 SW and did the same, allowing massive storage space with a Kia light truck diesel tank in the rear footwell area, a home made drawer system and plywood boxes for various stuff. We could easily (and did, but not intended) sleep on top of it all, and the beauty was that after the trip a couple of hours spannering and it was back to normal. Of course I am a bit curious why you are ruling out Toyotas!!!
Gil
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  #6  
Old 29 May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nibshis View Post
Hello there all! I am a newbie about to buy my first LR Defender 110 with the intention of overlanding from UK to Cairo and back (both ways).
Question is... Should I go hardtop or Station Wagon and remove the seats?
There will be me and the missus - hoping to use the back as sleeping accomodation...
As much detail as poss please on the reasons for your preference and no a Toyota is not an option!
.
.
.
"And a Toyota is NOT an option"?
Mmm, strange, but anyway, each to there own.
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  #7  
Old 30 May 2008
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Toyota Not An Option?

Yes, I too are curious as to why you have ruled out a Toyota.
Our story (I'll make it short) goes like this.....
We decided on an overland adventure and of course, living in the UK, Land Rover sprung to mind - hey there are even two or three monthly magazines dedicated to them!
Anyway, we went out and bought a great looking 2002 Defender TD5 110 which had loads of kit already fitted and ready to go - we thought we were made!
Well I then discovered HU and this forum. I also started reading other people's websites and quickly realized that so many of the LR owners spend half their trip and money going from one workshop to the next! Some even dedicate sections to good and bad workshops!! The stories scared the daylights out of us! Check out some of the packing lists too, more spares and tools than some Halfords stores!
I posted discussions on The Hubb and stirred up a few hornets nests but I met some great people who have shared their interesting stories, we learnt a lot.
It wasn't too hard to decide that we should sell our LR and buy a Toyota so that's what we did.
Look - I know people are going to jump up and down when they read this, they always do - but although we think that LR, and I'm talking about the Defender 110, looks the part that's where it stops!
We wanted to enjoy our trip for the experience of going to strange lands and meeting interesting people, not bouncing, limping or being towed to one workshop after the next. We also want to have a little bit of comfort too (there is nothing wrong with that when you are planning on doing a long trip) so we opted for the Toyota. I'm not even going to get into all the other things about the dust which will swirl around, the bad workmanship of the build, the noise etc; etc; there are plenty of things written already for you to do your own homework and decide what suits your needs and wants but I just wish I was in your position before we wasted time and quite a bit of hard-earned cash before we got real.
If I was wanting a good-looking vehicle for a bit of fun in the weekend then I would love to have a Defender 110 but on a serious journey to stange lands then I must say that in this day and age there is no contest.
Good luck!
Barbara
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  #8  
Old 30 May 2008
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+1

There are 2 very good sayings, most of you will know them,

1. If you want to go into the bush, take a Land rover, If you want to come back again, then take a Toyota.

2. 80% of all Land Rovers ever produced are still on the road, The other 20% made it home,

3. Any body got a No. 3?

Yes, I had a few LR in the past.
They were great fun, only one of them broke down regular, ( old series 3 SWB diesel) the other, an ex airforce SWB petrol, that was reliable enough.

Last edited by uk_vette; 6 Jun 2010 at 07:02.
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  #9  
Old 31 May 2008
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Still ruling out Toyota's?

Look around the web after you have read the comments above, and you will find reasons for these comments by the spadeful.

Also interesting to note how many Land Rover specialists now drive Toyota 80 series for overlanding and general use inc towing!

Good luck
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  #10  
Old 31 May 2008
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If someones wants a Land Rover then there's nothing that'll change he's/she's mind... such is the power of the Landy brand in peoples brain (me included on my first overlanding trip, must admit), but of course after you try a Landcruiser then there's no way back...

3. If you've never had a Land Rover you have no heart, if you still have it then you have no brain.
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  #11  
Old 31 May 2008
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My Landy reasons...

I have read the ongoing debate about Landy vs the Toyota and can understand both sides... however!
This Overlanding is a one chance in a lifetime, dream come true adventure for me and the missus. The experience of the journey is as important as the getting there...
There is (for some unknown reason) no vehicle that excites me as much as turning the key and sitting behind the wheel of a Landy.
In life we are constantly making sacrifices and being ruled by the brain - this is a mission for the heart. Sure we know the stats and opinions for the Toyota but it lacks the edge of romance and adventure.
Toyota make the ultimate in cars - but the Landy have soul, heart and a dreamer's appeal that money and logic can't buy...
Mad? Possibly, but you watch my smile when I turn the key!
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  #12  
Old 31 May 2008
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Get a mercedes G wagen
Star-Motoring: Have Wagen, will travel
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there I go again
not too hard really
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  #13  
Old 31 May 2008
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Correct!

I fully agree, the romance factor is undeniable. I did not want to start a landrover vs landcruiser debate but was only interested in your reasons... Pretty much what I suspected, and I still think the 110/Defender/Series landrovers will never be replaced in terms of emotive 4x4s. If there is no time pressure and you know the vehicle there is something really satisfying about an old landy onto less travelled areas. I never regretted buying my ex-Ghana secret police Defender, and then spending many hours kitting it out. Living in Ghana all my mods had to be planned months in advance, and I learnt masses from rebuilding the vehicle with a really good local mechanic. The vehicle broke down numerous times, but then which 250,000km car won't? Unlike other LRvLC experiences I ended up leaving an 80 series in Mali and making it home in the 'rover - but the 80 was to be fair a totally under prepared company hack! I ended up buying a new 78 (last of the "old shape") 'cause I was in the fortunate position to get one at a super price and due to work pressures I needed a vehicle for short camping trips and occasional longer ones within Ghana/BF/Mali where I could be fairly confident of being back for work in time... If it wasn't for that I would never have changed! Having said that the troopy is also turning into a labour of love and could do everything I want "out of the tin", but that hasn't stopped me modifying! So I say go for the landy - you already know why you want it and the V8 looks great if you can handle the fuel bills and not expect earth moving power!
Gil
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  #14  
Old 31 May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gilghana1 View Post
I fully agree, the romance factor is undeniable. I did not want to start a landrover vs landcruiser debate but was only interested in your reasons... Pretty much what I suspected, and I still think the 110/Defender/Series landrovers will never be replaced in terms of emotive 4x4s. If there is no time pressure and you know the vehicle there is something really satisfying about an old landy onto less travelled areas. I never regretted buying my ex-Ghana secret police Defender, and then spending many hours kitting it out. Living in Ghana all my mods had to be planned months in advance, and I learnt masses from rebuilding the vehicle with a really good local mechanic. The vehicle broke down numerous times, but then which 250,000km car won't? Unlike other LRvLC experiences I ended up leaving an 80 series in Mali and making it home in the 'rover - but the 80 was to be fair a totally under prepared company hack! I ended up buying a new 78 (last of the "old shape") 'cause I was in the fortunate position to get one at a super price and due to work pressures I needed a vehicle for short camping trips and occasional longer ones within Ghana/BF/Mali where I could be fairly confident of being back for work in time... If it wasn't for that I would never have changed! Having said that the troopy is also turning into a labour of love and could do everything I want "out of the tin", but that hasn't stopped me modifying! So I say go for the landy - you already know why you want it and the V8 looks great if you can handle the fuel bills and not expect earth moving power!
Gil
,
,
,
Hi Gil,

As far as "Which 250,000km vehicle wont break down"

Well I hope I don't jinx my LC120, D4d, but at just 30 months old, she has 320,000km under her reliable belt.

It's when I get questions as to weather I park it on a rolling road at night, that brings a smile to my face.

Another "smile bringer" is when the Land Rover owners know the price of all the parts !

Yes, I just got a big grin.

G.
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  #15  
Old 31 May 2008
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LC invincible

Quote:
Originally Posted by gilghana1 View Post
The vehicle broke down numerous times, but then which 250,000km car won't?
My Toyota HZJ75 didn't !!!

Started of at 265.000 km Netherlands to Capetown, got home with 325.000 km after 1 year, 30 countries AND IT DIDN'T BREAK DOWN ONCE!!! Got a couple of broken leaf springs after driving with 70kph in a meter wide half meter deep pothole, but they were not original Toyota parts

Cheers,

Noel
exploreafrica.web-log.nl
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