Getting away from it all – Land Rover or other?
Land Rover but then I’m bias, don’t go for a modern one 200/300 TDi engined if you are going for diesel power or the good old Rover V8 for petrol. Remember diesel quality can be ropey in more remote areas, petrol is more commonly availible and more forgiving a fuel ( particularly in the V8 as the low power output version of this unit is designed for poor fuel.Posted 3 years agomikewsmithSubscriber
The land cruiser seems to be king in the outback but the real question is why bother buying one when you will spend 5 weeks driving it to somewhere interesting!
Pick a tour/route and do it as a holiday then you don’t end up with something ridiculous on the drive for the next 10 yearsPosted 3 years agosiwhiteSubscriber
Land Rover Discovery 200 / 300 / TD5.
Defenders certainly look the part but are NOT comfy for long journeys – I speak from experience having owned a 200Tdi 90, a TD5 110 and now a Tdci 110.
Disco is a truly great and underrated vehicle – parts are dirt cheap and they keep going forever. If you buy one, check well for corrosion on body (Tdi) and chassis (Td5).Posted 3 years ago
There’s been a lot of talk recently about campervans and that sort of thing and it’s touched a bit of a nerve with me. You see, I’ve always chosen a tent or a bivvy as a preferred means of camping, but since getting married (both times I guess) I’ve been pushed towards something more comfortable, preferably with room service.
It’s not really me.
I’ve also recently turned 40 and part of me wants to do something awesome. I keep looking at reports of people driving through jungles, across mountains, over deserts and want to do something similar. Last night I caught myself looking on eBay for expedition-focussed Land Rovers. I felt guilty doing it.
I guess the question I need answered is whether a Land Rover is the best vehicle for doing something awesome across continents, or whether another 4×4/vehicle would be a better choice. Does anyone have experience of this?Posted 3 years agojackthedogMember
OP – You might like this recent thread:Posted 3 years agoahwilesSubscriber
Fiat Panda, 4×4.
poking around the mountainous forests of northern italy has confirmed that they can go virtually* anywhere, even places that defy the laws of physics.
(*if you want a vehicle that can access those parts of the world off-limits to a Panda, then you’ll need a Piaggio 3wheeler)Posted 3 years agooli575Member
Jeep wrangler with 4.0 six cylinder? Tough a sold boots and good offroad standard.
I have 2010 Range Rover and wouldn’t trust it for a 5 week on/off road trip!
Landrover are all a bit temperamental, especially the drivetrains.
If you need something bigger, then what about a Nissan Patrol?Posted 3 years ago
My original thinking was that spares would be available pretty much anywhere in the world for a Landy and, as the TD5 version is not too complex, it should be relatively easy to fix. I’m aware though that the Hilux is the vehicle du choix for the bulk of the world’s militias, so spares might be just as easy to find. Just trickier to obtain.
It’s a bit of a pipe dream I know, but I fancied driving to see my mate in Australia. Yes, I know it’s a stupidly long way, probably through war zones and the like, but I’ve not done anything like that in my life.Posted 3 years agomcmoonterMember
I’d have a Discovery over a Defender. With the rear seats folded forward there is a ton if interior space. Mine is used as a wood gathering work horse, it would be more than capable of crossing a continent.
Here’s another Unimog camper that looks in great condition and a great price.Posted 3 years agofreeagentMember
Friends of ours drove from Birmingham to Cape Town in an old Rangerover ambulance converted into a camper. he fitted a 2.8 litre Isuzu Diesel engine to it, which he bought from ebay.
They had an amazing trip, and the car was very reliable.
I think you need to be realistic about where you want to go, and what you want to do.
I’ve had a Landrover Defender, and a 300TDI Discovery – both of which did big road/off-road trips.
We took the Defender to Bosnia in 2001, and took the discovery to Morocco in 2006, both of which were brilliant trips.
The Discovery was a great car, but bear in mind if you want an old one, that even the newest ‘300TDi’ models are 16/17 years old now, and do go a bit rotten.
It is very easy to get sucked in by ‘expedition prepared’ vehicles, and ‘lifestyle’ companies, who want to sell you a dream (yes Nene Overland – I’m thinking of you) many ‘overlanders’ fit thousands of quids worth of winches and roll cages, however in reality, you don’t need very much/any of it.
I’m hoping to buy another 4×4 in a couple of years, and want to do another North Africa trip (with the kids) my heart says Defender (although I know they are not particularly comfortable, and have various other weaknesses) but my head is saying Landcruiser/Patrol/Hilux.
Whatever you go for, keep it simple (ie – don’t fit exotic suspension which you can’t by spares for) and keep it light – being heavily loaded on crap roads kills 4x4s.
Fit decent tyres, and keep on top of servicing – we found air filters clogged very quickly in the Sahara.Posted 3 years agoMarmosetMember
Discovery – I’d trust a newer one over a td5 though, I’ve not had to do anything to my D3 since I’ve sorted out the previous owners neglected items. My D2 td5 was another story though, it did have mega km’s on it though.
People are successfully taking landies through the outback for several week trips, anything can break down out there, what’s needed is some mechanical sympathy and an aversion to risky obstacles to make an overland trip less stressful.Posted 3 years agoStonerSubscriber
Having done a 3000 mile cycle ride across France and Spain already if I could do another grand tour I’d do another ride, say to the bosphorus. Lightweight camping, taking it easy. Not too prone to highway robbery and death.
I enjoy the journey as much as the next man but I don’t think I’d enjoy sitting in a wagon most of the way there. And certainly not in my defender. I get cramp in it after 20mins!Posted 3 years ago
Having knocked around Africa for 28 years I can tell you that the most commonly-used 4×4 is the Toyota and the spares are easily available everywhere. The Land Rover looks rugged and they can be customised easily but despite my loyalty to the brand I think I would choose a Land Cruiser if I had to drive the length of the continent.Posted 3 years agojonah tontoMember
i drove to Timbuktoo with a mate of mine a few years back. over plenty of sand dunes etc through Mauritanian and NE Mali. we had an old nissan vanette rwd. 4×4 is for pussies, you’re just supposed to give it some beans
i wouldnt take a landy though. landcruzer or a hilux. its all japanese in africa, reliability is king.
this is a blog by some lovely people i met on that trip who have since driven the length of africa – http://capetocapeblog.wordpress.com/about/Posted 3 years ago
I have had several “campers” based on Land Rovers over the years. Originally I used to take the middle seats out of my Discovery and made a wooden platform to fit the foot well. Worked ok for odd night out but lot of glass and pain with seats in and out. Then I bought a Commercial Disco 300 tdi and fitted a vertical cupboard system in the back and a removable bed based on some storage boxes, boards and mattresses. Worked very well. Gave a double bed which my partner and I used on several long trips around Europe. You can see it with bed set up below.
However, setting up the bed each evening was a bit of a faff and the storage space was not that great. Since my partner decided she wasn’t keen on too many more camping trips I bought a battered 30 year 110 and rebuilt it onto a galvanised chassis. I used the running gear from my old Disco which I knew was good. In the back is a permanent single bed which folds up against on side and takes up no room at all when not in use. When folded you can easily carry 3 fully built up bikes and gear. With the bed deployed you still have enough room alongside to keep one bike inside and safe. Here is a pic taken in the Alps on its’ maiden trip. 3500 miles without a problem @ 30 mpg (it is the red one BTW). The other 2 sleep in roof top tents which is another solution but one I didn’t want to go with.
Posted 3 years agoNorthwindSubscriber
Guys I know from uni did a year’s tour in a camper’d up Delica with a poptop on and a slight lift… Not as good for severe offroad as a dedicated 4×4 apparently but still went anywhere most people would take a landy and tons better for space/living in, since it’s basically a people carrier on stilts. Parts availability/mechanical expertise probably harder to find though, they never broke anything that couldn’t be welded back on.Posted 3 years ago
The deep irony of all this is that while we Europeans are poncing around in our fancy Safari-modified 4x4s, ordinary Africans seem to get by fine with bog standard old model Peugeots and Mercedes imported from Belgium and Germany, which can be made to go almost anywhere except through deep mud.Posted 3 years agopictonroadSubscriber
washboard. Miles and miles of washboard road is what you’ll find.
on the link above, some pals went off the beaten track in North Africa in their expedition prepared VW Syncro campers. The European style of modification, big stiff tyres, jacked up springs and poly bushes killed the cars on washboard. Stick to what the manufacturers send the cars out with, soft wallowy springs, rubber bits everywhere and wimpy boy tyres. That’s what the locals will drive.
Speaking to my mates in the Landy world, most of the guys would swap their Nene Overland dream wagons for a bog spec 110 after 1000km of relentless washboard road.
To this end I’d take something old, simple and wallowy like a Peugeot 505 and sleep in the back.Posted 3 years agopictonroadSubscriber
I’ve driven the six hours from Dar es Salaam to Tanga a few times and okay; it’s not safari, it’s a decent tarmac road all the way but you do see the big trans-Africa overlander wagons, usually jacked-up hybrid bus/truck things, droning along painfully slowly. When you stop at the interesting thatched service stations and one of these pulls in, the contrast between regular travellers and the overlander crowd couldn’t be more marked; they are usually young and they look exhausted, bored, dirty and hot, they are often under-dressed by local standards, they will wander in and occupy a big table where they stare into space and perhaps pick at a piece of cake or sip bottled water. They never look as if they are enjoying themselves and you get a strong feeling that despite the right-on style of travel they are absolutely out of touch with Africa and just dreaming of getting home to a hot shower, clean sheets and momma’s cooking.Posted 3 years ago
globalti – Member
“The deep irony of all this is that while we Europeans are poncing around in our fancy Safari-modified 4x4s, ordinary Africans seem to get by fine with bog standard old model Peugeots and Mercedes imported from Belgium and Germany, which can be made to go almost anywhere except through deep mud.”
Very true. BUT they usually have about 20 people in them at any one time so if they get stuck they just all get out and push, or one will run off and get his brother with a tractor to tow them out. And if they break down (which they do often) they will get the local blacksmith to fix it and carry on. When you are driving a few thousand miles from home, on your own, with a few thousand to go, I for one would rather have a reliable 4×4 and not get stuck in the first place.Posted 3 years agojock-muttleyMember
Yeah Beddy MK / MJ with a signals body conversion make very fine campers, as does a 101 ambulance or with the signals body or the “vampire”. Seen quite a few 127 rapier ambulance campers too.
Avoid the TD5 engine like the plague, fine for civilisation but if the electronics throw a wobbly in the back of beyond ( and they do it’s a land rover after all) you’re screwed. 2.8 izusu/daihatsu conversion is good in landies as is the 3.0 Mazda/Nissan unit too.
My choice would be a 200/300 series TDi disco for comfort, or a classic rangie ( not any newer rangie as they are just not reliable) go for the 3.5 v8 on SU or Stromberg carbs rather than fuel injection. Manual transfer box rather than a Borg Warner viscous coupling beastie (the chains snap) LT77 manual Gearbox is more than reliable provided it’s been modded (manufacturing fault) but I would go for a ZF 3 speed auto box as, provided its been serviced they are bullet proof. Ditch the viscous coupling fan for a kenlowe ( bit carry the old one as a spare). I’d fit a winch so you can self recover and you will need at least 2/3 big tree strops, a couple of snatch blocks too and a shed load of shackles ( o ring type not D as the Ds can seize) to go with the winch. I’d go for steel rope over plasma rope for reliability a sake, you can melt plasma rope, if you have melted the steel one then it’s the least of your worries at that point! You need all the strops and shackles because you may need to pull yourself out in reverse from an obstacle or slide the beggar sideways. Learn how to use the winch SAFELY before you go!
Defenders are all for the “out of Africa” look but unless you are 5’6″ or smaller they are bloody uncomfortable distance wise I love them to bits but they aren’t really tourers.Posted 3 years agodeejayenSubscriber
I’ll just put a word in to say that I find Defenders extremely comfortable in terms of seat and driving position etc. I’ve done 180,000 miles in my current one (my third). I’m 6ft tall, but narrow enough not to hit the door! I find it very capable, and the sort of vehicle I don’t mind driving when conditions aren’t great, or if I’m tired etc. They’re far from perfect vehicles, but they seem to suit me, and I rarely have a hankering to try anything else.Posted 3 years agoorangeboyMember
Td5 is a pain in arse when not if it goes wrong , to many electric sensor to stop things workingPosted 3 years ago
Although it’s probably only the crank sensor that will totally stop it working but the ecu is not great and many have had to replace them.
I’d not want to rely on one , it’s been a pain to use in this country and will be for sale shortly
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