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Equipping the Overland Vehicle Vehicle accessories - Making your home away from home comfortable, safe and reliable.
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Old 24 Oct 2013
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Decisions decisions... Land Rover / Nissan / Toyota / Jeep

Sam and I are looking at investing in a 4x4 so once we've fully stopped with the whole motorbiking scene we can continue overlanding from time to time despite having dogs and potentially sprogs!

What it would be used for:
It would be our only and main vehicle so the vast majority of the time it's going to be our run around and used for renovating properties/trundling to the shops/visiting folks and friends around the UK. We do not commute to work as we're self employed.

We would, however, like to use it to do "smaller" overlanding trips (a couple of months to places like Mongolia/Tunisia/Morocco locations... in the future we're hoping to move to Canada so it would come with us and do trips around Canada/America etc as and when until we upgrade to something a bit bigger for a family)

Price Range:
£10,000 or thereabouts. We have a small Toyota Yaris we can exchange too.

- Something that is as economical as possible for general use (good MPG and cheap tax seems impossible to find with "decent" 4x4's)
- Sleeping Space (roof tent or cab type thingy)
- Reasonable offroad abilities (we're not looking for something top spec mega mega)
- Some form of Comfort. Considering it's going to be our only vehicle with the potential of pooches and sprogs it would be nice to have something that's not basic and harsh!
- Reliability and easy access to parts if needs be
- Diesel
- Mileage under 80,000miles but preferably around 60,000 miles mark

What we're considering so far:

Land Rover Discovery (LR3)
Land Rover Defender (can't remember which ones! The later versions!)
Nissan Navara
Nissan Pathfinder
Toyota Land Cruiser (Amazon? Potentially?)
Toyota Hilux
Nissan Patrol
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Jeep Wrangler

The ones we're looking at striking off fairly quickly/need convincing over are:

Land Rover Defender: What we can afford is basic and uncomfortable. Not ideal.
Jeeps (both): Issue with parts and servicing (pricey). We were properly frowned upon by the jeep dealer here as soon as we mentioned our price range and he quickly moved on to a middle aged couple before finishing with us. We've read this is a regular issue with them.
Toyota Land Cruiser: It seems impossible to find one which isn't rusting like heck or falling apart/super high mileage within our price range
Nissan Pathfinder: Even though we actually loved the size and feel of the car, it's busting our budget, not the greatest offroad, not great mpg and high tax (as with all but the pickups/earlier models of our list above). Might as well go for a family car instead we feel and save up for a overlanding in the meantime if we went for something like this.
Toyota Hilux: Sam's completely against the comfort of the Hilux. It's by far not the comfiest but IMO it's not bad for the price.

At the moment I think I am favouring the Nissan Navara with a kind of pop up cab on the rear. Very cheap in comparison to others as well as tax and an okayish mpg. Plus when we do have sprogs it's a bit more useable when the get older with a cab and beds as opposed to pop up tents (although I reckon by that age we'd end up looking at upgrading to something a bit more substantial and properly for overlanding trips only. But money doesn't allow us to have two vehicles at the moment ) Sam seems to think they're a relatively good in between option.

Sam likes the Patrol, again reasonably good pricing, easy on parts, seems to be okay on reliability. Problems I have on it: It's pretty pants on MPG. I did think it was bigger but it would seem not by much. Odd huh?

It's a very hard open ended question and I know so many people will have opinions but any thoughts and why to the above would be greatly appreciated. If we haven't considered any other ones and think we should please shoot them!

So cross eyed having trawled through so many forums and websites and reviews and visiting so many dealerships! Nuts!

Currently I think we're looking for a 4x4 made by Carling

Cheers guys

Clare and Sam
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Old 24 Oct 2013
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Originally Posted by Pheebs View Post

It would be our only and main vehicle
I came to the conclusion that this circle cannot be squared. I suspect that many owners of "expedition" 4x4s own more than one vehicle, or they literally have burnt their bridges behind them and don't need to meet all of the uses that you envisage.
Such vehicles are always heavy on fuel consumption and they have highish taxation classes in the UK for political/green issues which are "done and dusted", so that situation is not going to change any time soon.

If I remember correctly there are issues with the diesel engined version of the Navara - the 2.5 litre engine I believe, but you can find information about that within one or more earlier threads in the HUBB.

My other thought is don't bother with main dealers - they really aren't interested, or even knowledgeable nowadays; "suits" all of them.
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Old 25 Oct 2013
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Half the fun is in the research...

Having been down the route of owning a Discovery, Defender, and Land Cruiser, I eventually settled on a Ford Ranger with a demountable camper (truck camper / slide on camper).

It was perfect for camping in the UK and Europe (allowing me to camp anywhere like the motorhomes). Plus I had the double cab for day to day driving.

Check out: Overland Live - The Blog about Overland Expedition Travel: Demountable Camper Review: S-karosser Camper (EC7 ; ECO200)

It cost me GBP9000 including the Ford and the Demountable. Plus, the wife, love it and preferred it to the rooftop tent!

Hope that does not confuse you any more...
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Old 25 Oct 2013
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Hey Guys!

Nope, no more confusion, any ideas we've missed out on we're more than open to!

We thought more about it and have decided that for the next 3-4 years the chances are we will be doing relatively tame offroading in comparison to our normal mountaineering and duning malarky we so love to get our bikes in to! It's really not something realistic for us to do when we're aiming for a new family and much reduced budgets!


Although we're still enticed heavily by the above we're considering the Amarok VW - again another pick up like the ford and much more tasty with the MPG's yet can handle gravel travel, muddy moments and to some degree sand.

Again with the Amarok we could fit a cabin/rear and roof tent if we needed plus stupidly handy with all the building work I do.

Any other ideas?

Cheers people
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Old 26 Oct 2013
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If you're thinking of a VW how about a T3 Syncro doka....

Way cooler than an Amarok and very capable off road, especially if you find one with front and rear diff locks. Also as they're older there's less electrics to worry about on overland trips.

I drive a T3 Syncro van with a pop top roof and camper fit out inside and love it.

Not so easy to find in the UK but if you're willing to look in Europe and happy with LHD they're worth thinking about.

Here's one with a diesel motor and well within your price range:

T3 doka 16 syncro Voitures Gers - leboncoin.fr

Easy to stick a roof tent on the canopy or there's others around with purpose built camper units on the back.

If you're interested in finding out more check out the Syncro section at:

Club 80-90 Forums • Index page

Good luck with your search
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Old 26 Oct 2013
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Not sure your time frame for moving to Canada, but if you are planning on importing a vehicle, it has to be at least 15 years old, throw that into the equation too. Id also go for a LHD vehicle now, especially if you are mainly going to use it on mainland Europe/ further afield and plan on bringing it over here.

After doing plenty of overlanding in 4x4's I would avoid going down the roof tent route, yes they look cool, but having a self contained vehicle with a lifting roof, where you just have to pop a few catches and your home is sorted is much better without having to get out of the vehicle. As mentioned going for a 'dedicated' vehicle is not so practical to run around in day to day, the 'ideal' vehicle does not exist, certainly a VW Syncro or similar van offers plenty of space for the money. As zeroland says, if you wish to camp year round then a pickup with demountable camper makes a lot of sense and you get a workhorse when the camper is off, over here they are popular, they are well insulated with good heaters and lots of room.

Big Foots are a well made popular brand over here.

You could work to get your base pickup vehicle sorted out, buy and use a demountable camper in Europe, then bring just the pickup to Canada and buy another demountable camper over here. The North American pickup trucks have pretty big load beds, so if you go this route, make sure your European vehicle has a good sized bed. IMO the Land Rover < 2.5 litre diesels are underpowered to haul a good sized demountable, id be looking at something with a minimum 3 litre diesel and probably a 6 cylinder.

Just a few thoughts.....

'11 KTM 450 EXC
'09 Suzuki DR650
'00 Discovery Series 2 V8
'95 Defender 90 300 Tdi Overlander
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Old 26 Oct 2013
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If you are thinking of doing up property then a double cab pick up is the sensible choice.
Of the double cab pickups there is only one worthy of consideration as there is only one that does not have reports of repeating problems, and that's the Hilux. The Amarok looks well specced because they are trying to entice customers to a campany with no history of building such vehicles, and history is important. The Amarok has a catalogue of problems longer than you could write a book about.

talking of History lets look at the others. The Ford rangers historically eat their gearboxes (as mine did) and have expensive problems with their fuel injection systems (as mine also did). This predates the model you would probably be looking at for a 10k budget, but it's history nonetheless.

Nissan Navara, well, don't even get me started. The problem hinted at above is they eat their bottom ends, they don't like heat so long motorway journeys or driving in hot condition kills them. They also suffer from structural corrosion in the chassis and there have been a number of reports of them breaking their backs (one when a demountable camper was fitted to one only a few years old, can't remember how many but something like 5). They are poorly made and flimsy.

The only other one worth of consideration might be the Isuzu, not really heard any repeated problems on those.

A Hilux may look expensive compared to the opposition, but they hold their value for a reason, and residual value is a consideration if you intend to sell the vehicle again to move abroad.

My suggestion would be a mark 5 Hilux double cab and keep the Yaris for whizzing about, that's kind of what I do.

I have a Landcruiser hj60 for expedition work, a 2012 hilux Invincible for general tough work, carting stuff about and the family vehicle. I have driven it for 20 hours in a day and it is a supreme motorway mile eater. The fuel for this though, at 30000+miles a year was getting too much so I bought a Toyota IQ3 for commuting. the £200 a month repayments are more than covered by the fuel savings and the tax is only £30 a year

A mark 5 will save you the problems of trying to travel with a euro 5 electronic everything engine, which is why I also run an HJ60. while the mark 5 is not as comfy on the motorways as the Invincible, it is simple tough, reliable hard as nails off roading.

If you do decide to go for a Landrover, buy on condition not age. I would go for a really good 300tdi, nothing later, but they will always feel pretty agicultural.

Your other option is an 80 series Landcruiser, you could get a really really good one (if you can find one) for a lot less than your budget (but the Hilux will be better on fuel.

I would suggest, if you want to know more about Hiluxes, have a look at www.hpoc.co.uk

it's a forum for hilux users.
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Old 26 Oct 2013
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Ireland.
Posts: 112
Isuzu D-Max ???

Hi, this is my d-max and is for sale in ireland, good 4x4 for overlanding.

isuzu d-max For Sale in Meath : &euro;5,950 - DoneDeal.ie
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Old 31 Oct 2013
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Location: Ledbury, Herefordshire, UK
Posts: 324
At the HUBB show I spoke to a few bikers who were looking to 'upgrade' to a 4x4 and as others have pointed out, one of the options was to go for a double cab pickup, something like the Hilux which is extremely well supported around the world which is ideal for your travels.

With a minor extension of the tailgate you can carry a couple of smaller bikes in the back so you can use it for the long stretch across Europe and then park up to play in the dunes.

The double cab gives you space to crash in the car initially whilst sprogless, but will take child seats when they arrive.

As your adventures build there are plenty of after market parts around to improve the range and capability as you get more adventurous.

It should tick many boxes.

Julian Voelcker
Overland Cruisers - Specialising in Land Cruiser preparation and servicing.
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Old 31 Oct 2013
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I have a Land Rover Defender 200Tdi that's been kitted out for overlanding. I love it but you are not going to be able to get a suitably prepared Defender within your budget.

Have you seen the Land Rover Discovery that was recently posted on the forum? It has a lot of kit included for the price. It would be suitable for overlanding and could be used as a runabout (with the kit removed). However, when kitted out, it looks like it only has two seats available so wouldn't work once you have kids.

2014 overland adventure to Russia and Central Asia in Land Rover Defender www.bermudarover.com
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