Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > 4 wheels > Other 4wd Overland Tech

Other 4wd Overland Tech Brand specific 4WD / 4 wheel, 2WD and Trucks
TECH discussions and info for NON-Land Rover or Toyota.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Like Tree20Likes

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 23 Mar 2014
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 16
Pickup for overlanding ?

Hello there !

I'm looking for a pickup for an upcoming overland trip from CH to at least Mauritania (via Morocco), maybe further south to Senegal and back.

We are a swiss couple without children, that means that we only need two seats and don't have so much things to carry. I'd still want a double cab pickup because of the improved security (key lock in the cabin) for some of our stuff.

Does taking a pickup over a traditionnal 4x4 make sense ? My opinion is, as long as I have a big enough cabin, the big loading space of a pickup really makes sense for overlanding.

I've already started to look for some of the available models and found these three :

Two japanese "classics" : Nissan Navarra (2.5) and Toyota Hilux (2.5 or 3.0)
The european newcomer : VW Amarok (2.0 BiTDI)

I managed to try both the 3.0 Hilux and VW Amarok (both in manual and automatic gearbox) and the VW is definitely well made and the easiest to drive (like a car, just bigger). The fuel consumption of the 2.0 VW engine is very impressive too (less than 9.5 litres/100 km).
The Hilux is simpler (which is both a pro and a con) and probably more reliable. It's other advantage is the availability of the parts if something breaks down...

The japanese are cheaper than the VW, especially used, but I have some kind of personnal affection to VW which makes me love the Amarok.

Do you have some advice or personnal experience to give ?

Thanks guys, take care !

PS: my previous offroad experience was with an old Mercedes GE-230 (automatic) which is now time to replace with something newer.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 23 Mar 2014
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 609
I spent years overlanding in a Hilux 4x4, single cab, but I was alone.

I made an aluminium deck which can be locked down to the rear tub, meaning the storage space there is more secure than in the cab. It also meant I could cover this with a normal tonneau cover, which made the truck look completely normal, very important for me. A pickup is also a lot lighter than say a Landcruiser, and pretty much as tough. The rear deck is 220+ cm long, meaning I can strike a standard tent on this, and collapse it easily and cover it with the tonneau cover.

The only down side was that it is not possible really to seal water / dirt out of the rear tonneau, and that there was limited space in the cab. An Xtra cab might solve the space issue, but with the same length of rear tub, it makes the vehicle very long indeed.

As for your choices, my gut feeling would be to stay well clear of such a small engine in such a huge truck. The Amarok is almost as big as a F150, but the smallest F150 has a 3.5 litre twin turbo petrol, and 365 BHP. That 2.0 diesel must be very highly stressed, and I guess very sensitive to bad fuel. A Toyota is definitely the machine to take out of Europe.
__________________
4.5 years around Eurasia in a Toyota Hilux|http://eurasiaoverland.wordpress.com/
Pictures Here|https://picasaweb.google.com/113619413612674951960
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 23 Mar 2014
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 16
Thanks. It really makes sense about the engine. Of course a small cc new generation engine will probably be a lot more sensitive to bad fuel and will need to be revved harder (the Amarok is HEAVY !).

And if it breaks, I don't think that I have any chance to find spares out of South Africa, Western EU, some parts of SA and maybe Asia. In the rest of the world, the Toyotas are the kings...

I found your blog a few months ago, that's amazing. I think you are the one that made me think about a pickup for overlanding.

========

Looking at your pictures, you don't seem to have changed a lot of things on your Hilux. It didn't look like a Dakar rally car or coming directly from Mars, which is a HUGE advantage in these parts of the world...

What are your recommendations ? What are the things to modify or reinforce on an Hilux (in general, not especially on the newer ones) ?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 23 Mar 2014
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 609
Yes, stealth is the key... I wouldn't feel so comfortable driving across Afghanistan with a typical 'expedition' prepared Landcruiser with snorkels and rooftents and stickers and sagging rear springs

I am not familiar with the latest generation of Hilux, but I would say to keep it as standard as possible. I have upgraded the standard leaf springs and shocks on my truck, but mostly because the originals were finished, and good quality aftermarket springs by Old Man Emu are still cheaper than genuine ones.

I would try to make a luggage / cover system which is as inconspicuous and convenient to use as possible, and save the rest of my money for actually travelling!
__________________
4.5 years around Eurasia in a Toyota Hilux|http://eurasiaoverland.wordpress.com/
Pictures Here|https://picasaweb.google.com/113619413612674951960
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 23 Mar 2014
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 16
One more question : was your Hilux a diesel engine ?
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 23 Mar 2014
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 609
Quote:
Originally Posted by ar1814 View Post
One more question : was your Hilux a diesel engine ?
Yes, a pre-common rail diesel with a rotary pump and mechanical injectors, relatively easy to fix and will burn any rubbish sold as diesel!
__________________
4.5 years around Eurasia in a Toyota Hilux|http://eurasiaoverland.wordpress.com/
Pictures Here|https://picasaweb.google.com/113619413612674951960
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 23 Mar 2014
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 948
Pick up is fine for this type of trip, although they have a higher payload many think they are not as tough as a 'proper' landcruiser. I would advise trying not to load to more than 1/3rd of max payload on a double cab, my mark 6 hilux loaded with a ton of aggregate feels over heavy, compared to my HJ60 landcruiser, theoretically with a rating of half the payload of the lux, massively overloaded across West Africa which felt fine. The payload rating on double cabs is a tax dodge and is, in my opinion, too high, certainly for overlanding.

navara, no, bottom ends fail due to overheating, and that's in Europe, in Africa they have no chance (African spec ones have a different engine). Amarok, no, too many problems to mention. Loads and loads of reliability issues, an over tuned overcomplex engine and no reputation of building vehicles for this type of application, and reputation is worth a lot when your life depends on it. If it drives like a car, it's because it's built like a car!!

Hilux, absolutely, but mark 5 or earlier because euro 5, and maybe even euro 4 presents issues.. My ideal choice (if I didn't have my landcruiser!) would be a mark 4 Hilux, but what about an 80 series landcruiser? they're a fine truck.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 23 Mar 2014
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 948
Quote:
Originally Posted by danielsprague View Post
Yes, a pre-common rail diesel with a rotary pump and mechanical injectors, relatively easy to fix and will burn any rubbish sold as diesel!
and very rebuildable
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 24 Mar 2014
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Polygyros GR
Posts: 479
How about this one...?

Land rover defender 130 expedition.
__________________
3mountainsadventure
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 25 Mar 2014
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 16
Very useful inputs !

I'll be looking for an old generation Hilux (1998-early 2005 if I'm not mistaken, before the Euro 3).

Anyway. To answer the question about the Landrovers or Landcruisers, I'd really prefer a pickup to stay as low profile as possible as danielsprague said. But I'll have a look at them too.

1) what is the maximum mileage you would consider buying ?
2) do I need to focus on diesel engines or are petrol ones fine too ?


Keep the ideas coming !

Last edited by ar1814; 25 Mar 2014 at 13:12.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 25 Mar 2014
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 948
diesel is better as generally cheaper, more inert, therefore safer as can fuel and more economical.

Age is, to a certain extent, not important, condition is everything
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 25 Mar 2014
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 609
The main problem with buying a pickup is that they are almost always work vehicles, often worked hard and poorly maintained, especially the bodywork.... keep looking for a good one and get some expert advice when looking at potential cars!
__________________
4.5 years around Eurasia in a Toyota Hilux|http://eurasiaoverland.wordpress.com/
Pictures Here|https://picasaweb.google.com/113619413612674951960
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 26 Mar 2014
Drwnite's Avatar
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Darwin
Posts: 290
Terrific Tojo's ;-)

Toyota is IMHO the benchmark. Having built a Toyota HJ75 series Land Cruiser Tray Back Ute (Pickup) 100mm shorter chassis then the HZJ for better entry and exits, Stating with a chassis and a tub, it turned out to be the most reliable, economical and all round beast I have ever owned. 10 years without an issue and was capable of 1350 K's @100 Kph without filling up.

Fitted was a 61 Series 12HT Factory Turbo Diesel Engine. Aux fuel tank, 75 Lt. Water tank and shower with pump. Thomas PTO winch with 50m of S/S 10m cable. Snorkel for deep water crossings, AC, CD, CB, Work light and Spotties, Super springs, Quality gas shocks, Non flip Shackles and 33 inch tyres.

Build time was about 3 months, cost was around 10K AU at the time and wouldn't be all that much more now if you had the time to swap out or source parts. Bullet proof engines, kicking myself for selling it

Failing that just buy a 61 Series Sahara Wagon with the 12HT motor in it. Or, I now own a Toyota Hilux Extra Cab Ute, a great combination because you can carry 4 passenger's if need be and there's enough room to lock up personal belongings and still have a usable sized ute, reasonably cheap and a very reliable, economical and capable 4X4.

Cheers Dave
Attached Thumbnails
Pickup for overlanding ?-tojo-009.jpg  

Pickup for overlanding ?-tojo-012.jpg  

Attached Images
 
__________________
I spent all my money on Bikes n Beer. The rest I just wasted.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 26 Mar 2014
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 414
Question

I would suggest to take an VW Amorak.

In germany at sample, your Car has to fulfill the Euro4 Emission Standard, that you can use your car in the bigger cities like Berlin.

In times where the EU can add additional taxes for old cars, or define areas where older cars arent allowed - you should go with the time.

The VW Amorak has a wide base, give you more room to build a cargo-room or an Sleeping Area like this:



To have 10cm more in the width is a big bargain! Far I know has the VW much more than just 10cm more with to his competitors..

A trip to Senegal and back you can do with near any car, that shouldnt give you any restrictions for choosing your Pickup.

For an extended trip there is more to consider with modern Cars: 4x4tripping: Using an Euro5 Diesel car for an worldtrip?

Surfy
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 26 Mar 2014
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 948
I won't go over the arguments of new vs old as it has been done to death, however:

The Amarok has had loads of problems with reliability and build quality. Check out the forums. It is a new, relatively untested design. VW has no history of building this type of vehicle. It has a highly tuned and complex twin turbo 2.0 engine. It has no low range box, which gives you some indication of it's off road intentions.

Whilst it may be nice to drive around the streets of Berlin, it would be, in my opinion, about the worst choice of vehicle you could make for overlanding! It is simply not up to the job. You would probably be better off taking VW Golf!

If you are looking at new there are only 2 realistic choices of pickup that have the credibility, reputation and reliability, and when your life depends on your vehicle starting in the morning, that counts for a lot. 1st is the Hilux, 2nd is the Isuzu Dmax.

thats an L200 in the piccie above BTW, also a not terribly good vehicle!
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 2 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 2 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Landcruiser pickup 4.2 diesel for overlanding ilsevv 4WD for Sale / Wanted 4 2 Jun 2014 09:50
Pickup for overlanding gary27 Other 4wd Overland Tech 14 18 Jul 2012 02:49
Wanted: LHD HZJ79 Pickup Bundubasher 4WD for Sale / Wanted 0 12 Jul 2012 16:20
Wtd : Isuzu pickup front wing rclafton 4WD for Sale / Wanted 0 11 Mar 2012 19:16

 
 
 

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!


HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.


Renedian Adventures


Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 02:40.