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 I think the wife knows best!

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SafariDude
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PostSubject: I think the wife knows best!   Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:57 pm

The Mrs and I are thinking of getting a real 4x4 (we have a Kia Sportage at the moment which is really nice, but not for adventuring). For background we live in London area (Kent) and want a vehicle to tour Europe, bits of Africa and Asia for 3-4 months a year. Plan is I'll contract for most of the year, then between contracts we'll up and off for a few months. That's the plan anyway!

So to choose a vehicle. We thought about campers (VW and similar), various 4x4's, maybe keep the Kia. Hmm, choices. After a few sherbets on Friday the Mrs went on a drunken splurge saying we CANNOT get a camper as we're not old fogey's, and whilst a hilux is good for an AK47 she doesn't want that either - no, she wants a green oval badge on our next car.

I knew I shouldn't have taken her to Folleys Wink

Head says we should look at a Disco 2, heart (and the Mrs) wants a Defender 110 (I blame Folleys).

Trouble is, whatever we get has to be a daily driver for the 9 months we're in the UK, and then we have to live in/on/out of it for the 3 months we travel.

We're also thinking OZ type tent rather than roof tent (although we have considered the Magglioni style tents). We need a proper fridge (as we have to take medication) so a second battery is a must. We'll get standard camping kit.

Budget of up to 10k for vehicle, plus up to 10k for kit.

Probably worth saying I am useless at fixing cars if they go wrong. Any ideas?
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PostSubject: Re: I think the wife knows best!   Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:35 am

Here just what you need. It'll come within your budget of £10k, when you pop into town it will swerve the London Congestion Charge, and best of all the Mrs will have a free workout while you sit in the back, feet up with a glass of red watching The Long Way 'Round. Job's a good 'un! cheers





























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PostSubject: Re: I think the wife knows best!   Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:39 am

lol!

You know what, that's not a bad idea! Stick an oval badge on it, she'll never know. I'll tell her it's the new Evoque Cool
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PostSubject: Re: I think the wife knows best!   Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:03 am

Some would say it looks better than the Evoque! Not me though, I love the look of it (the Evoque - not your pedalcamper), only why oh why call it a "baby Range Rover"? Rollox!!! Typical marketing spin. It should have been called something totally different as it's a completely new vehicle appealing to a completely new type of buyer. Grrrrr!!!!! mad

How about what roamingman has done - buy an older Defender 130 4x4 (not a 6x6), stick in a diesel lump - 300 Tdi/Td5/Isuzu/Nissan/take your pick), convert it into a camper. Simple! With your budget you'd end up with a cracking motor which would please the Mrs, and a vehicle that would hold it's value for donkey's years to come.

Okay, it wouldn't be too practical for the 9 months of the year over here, but a 130 is still useable - it's just a BIG car!

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PostSubject: Re: I think the wife knows best!   Mon Mar 25, 2013 3:58 am

We did look at the 130 but I just couldn't see it as a normal day drive. I think the same for the 110, but mainly because comfort is also an issue (the wife has MS so we need the drive to be in a comfortable cab). This is why the Disco 2 (or similar) seems ideal.

The commercial vehicles look pretty good - anyone got one / used one? Are there any issues with the LEZ for a Disco 2 commercial?
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PostSubject: I think the wife knows best!   Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:25 am

Hi Safaridude, I have a D2 TD5 and you cannot compare it comfort wise with a 110, the 110 would not be my daily drive and a D2 will go any where you would want to without changing anything. When space is needed you can remove both sets of back seats and just keep the driver and passenger seats, knock up a drawer system that fits on the back floor and fixed down to existing restraint points with box's that slide into it for spares, cooking gear etc, put a National Lunar Portable Power pack in the recess in the boot which can be taken out when not needed, and use the now floor (top of drawer system) with boxes for all other items needed and tied down, you have space behind the front seats for water storage but remember to leave room to slide seats back and for reclining. The National Lunar Power pack will also cope with running a fridge and support an inverter for camera, phone charging. And you still haven't put anything on the roof yet. Put as much of your budget into the vehicle as that is what will get you to where you want to go and back again, the kit can be purchased for a lot less than £10k. When I have finished my project D2 TD5 I will post some pic's.
Have a look at the video on this link and on the right of the screen the screen you will see other clips, in particular Ralph Hardwicke which show what I was explaining about the drawer system Part-One Rear Storage.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJMWAxzB7FU

http://www.expedition-equipment.com/products/battery-management/split-charging-systems/national-luna-portable-power-pack


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PostSubject: Re: I think the wife knows best!   Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:54 am

Hey Boyo, some very nice shelving systems there. We're with you on the buying a reliable car front - I know where the fuel goes, but that's about it for me technically, so need a strong base car Very Happy

The 10k + 10k budget is really coming from the 20k cost of a VW camper if we went that route - but I guess a good base Disco 2 would be less than 10k? And how much for a set up afterwards - extra battery, extra fuel tank (?), water tank and shower, storage, camping kit.... 5k? 6k? I need to do some reading study
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PostSubject: Re: I think the wife knows best!   Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:24 am

If its reliability you want then how about the Shogun or Land Cruiser, both very reliable and cheap to run and reliability comes as standard. If you intend camping then they both have good load areas and are readily converted by home users or aftermarket specialists.
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PostSubject: Re: I think the wife knows best!   Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:57 am

Given that you livei n London I would have thought the disco route is the way to go otherwise you'll need a genuine station wagon to get through the Lez for a 110

Wouldn't worry about buying a commercial, they are only a stripped out car variant - the back seat might be usefull the rest of the year.

Budget should not be a problem, looks like you can get a decent motor for around the 6k mark.

Add a good (and I mean good) service , checking everything and replacing suspension , rubber bits, belts etc that are likely to fail (keep the old ones as spares), bash plates, new battery, fridge tent etc , you can double that price but still way under your budget

eg engel fridge http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ENGEL-FRIDGE-FREEZER-MT45F-12-24-230v-THE-BEST-IN-PORTABLE-REFRIGERATION-/261072295030?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item3cc91f1476




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PostSubject: Re: I think the wife knows best!   Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:39 am

Assassin wrote:
If its reliability you want then how about the Shogun or Land Cruiser, both very reliable and cheap to run and reliability comes as standard. If you intend camping then they both have good load areas and are readily converted by home users or aftermarket specialists.

Not really considered the pajero/shogun as the ones I tend to see around are the 2-tone ones and I'm not keen on the look (although size seems substantial). Are they reliable? Is there a specific model/year to consider or avoid?

As for the LC, there just seems to be so many names and models that I have no idea which one is which. People talk about the 80, 100, 120 etc, but when you see them for sale these numbers are not mentioned but they have names instead (Prado, Amazon, Collorado) or something. Again, which ones should I look at on autotrader?

With a Disco 2 life seems so much simpler clapping

Are older model Shogun or LC really better and more trust-worthy than the same age/mileage D2, or is it just hype? Read a trip report of a couple with a Prado and it basically disintegrated on them.

What I do like the look of (wife not convinced yet) is the Toyota Surf. It looks the part but are they robust?
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PostSubject: Re: I think the wife knows best!   Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:01 pm

The Shogun is very reliable, but the one to go for is the 3.2 DiD which is the diesel model, and in automatic form as this has Super Select transmission which gives full automatic, sports mode, and manual transmission, they come with a centre and rear axle diff lock as standard, and I would go for the 2000-2006 model year as these have more ground clearance than 2007 on models. Super Select transmission allows you the capability to run 2 wheel drive OR 4 wheel drive on road without problems as you can run in 4H and the centre locking diff is electronically controlled and will shuffle power between the axles as they require it, obviously you don't lock the centre diff..

These are known as the MK III models and the best known for their reliability.

Normal problems are a lack of maintenance, but they are very robust and its always reliable if maintained, usual problems are overheating and blown head gaskets from not running anti-freeze in the cooling system, slipping gearboxes from not changing the automatic transmission fluid (ATF) or using the wrong ATF as this is a dedicated ATF to these gearboxes, and mode selection switches on the gearbox sticking from lack of use, and binding brake calipers.

If the cooling system water isn't clean and full of anti-freeze then walk away, its about £15 for the anti-freeze and 30 minutes work to flush the cooling system, and remember these have a normal front heater and also a rear heater, so a large cooling capacity.

If the gearbox slips then walk away, particularly if the ATF is black as this should be cherry red and the correct specification Dia Queen SP III; much misinformation exists about this ATF fluid, but only use the correct specification ATF which is currently about £53.00 for 2 X 5 litre containers from oil specialists such as Opie Oils.

Mode selection switches stick through lack of use, lubricate them and every couple of weeks you find a piece of grass or other loose surface and engage 4H, 4H locked centre diff, and 4L and drive forwards a car length and reverse back in each position; takes 2 minutes.

Binding calipers are a common problem as people replace the brake pads and don't lubricate them, every pad change you lubricate the slide pins and piston with a little silicone grease, takes about 1 minute per caliper to do when changing pads.

Apart from that its the usual.

Parts from specialists such as Milners are cheap, a filter set which includes air, oil, and diesel filter is currently £12 + VAT and carriage for the set of 3, and brake pads are £14 for both a front set and a rear set, + the proverbial.

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PostSubject: Re: I think the wife knows best!   Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:02 am

Re. the Discovery 2, some interesting reading in the archive here - www.lro.com/forum3/viewforum.php?f=32

and in the current section (with a Disco 2 sub-section) here - www.lro.com/forum3/viewforum.php?f=19

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PostSubject: Re: I think the wife knows best!   Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:45 am

Here's one that will put you in a dilemma, I wanted a 130 and the wife wanted a camper. This is what we ended up with, although only for a couple of years when she decided the living quarters was still not big enough.




The best of both worlds really, I got the very useful truck and she got the comforts. Even to the point of dropping the camper body and leaving her in the campsite whilst I went off playing in the Sahara dunes with the lads.

I did sell them both for £20k and there are still some out there.
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PostSubject: Re: I think the wife knows best!   Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:02 am

I just can't get excited about the Shogun. Heart just can't like the look of them Sad

Need to try and engage the head a bit more!

I've looked around Autotrader and there are quite a few for sale so I'll try and keep an open mind, but the D2 is still on the top of the list.

Anyone got any thoughts on the Hilux Surf?
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PostSubject: Re: I think the wife knows best!   Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:04 am

I've had a look at the detachable campers before but I'd have nowhere to store it when not travelling so not really an option. Plus the Overlanding book by Scott is less than positive about them (they risk being shook about too much on rough ground?)
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PostSubject: Re: I think the wife knows best!   Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:18 am

Oh, and which LC's should I be looking at? I assume a '100', but what would that actually mean in names and engine sizes etc (or year)? thanks Smile
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PostSubject: Re: I think the wife knows best!   Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:37 am

Demountables - great if you buy the right ones, again the germans have some great ones (the one exhibited at the adventure overland show was supurb). Don't buy one unless its built for off road use - it will just break

Landcruisers - the ultimate ones are either the troopies (75/78 series i think) which are rare in this country or the 80 series which are well proven overlanders. All with the big 4,2 well proven toyota diesel. None are cheap but your budget allows you to buy one. The 80's can often be found fully equipped and ready to go, see matt savage, footloose or the for sales sections on this forum or the hubb

I've looked at the surf - very electronic, I think the UK ones are better (four runners, less electrics and morelikely to be manual), the 3 litre has a rep for overheating so new rads hoses etc are vital and maybe even budget for a new head, 2.4 should be avoided. I didn't like the rear window arrangement which goes down inside the door - it often seems to fail and you wouldn't want that in a dusty environment, saying that though I know people who have succesfully run themfor years as overland vehicles


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PostSubject: Re: I think the wife knows best!   Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:12 pm

Take a look and drive in all of them, that way you can whittle down your choices to a shortlist, once you have a shortlist you can get into the real detail and make an informed choice; but at this stage I wouldn't rule anything out.
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PostSubject: Re: I think the wife knows best!   Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:13 am

Assassin wrote:
Take a look and drive in all of them, that way you can whittle down your choices to a shortlist, once you have a shortlist you can get into the real detail and make an informed choice; but at this stage I wouldn't rule anything out.

Nothing ruled out as yet, but that's where the confusion is getting nowhere fast

Hoping to go to the overland show September ... let's hope I can hold off from buying anything before then Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: I think the wife knows best!   Thu Mar 28, 2013 6:50 pm

I used to have a SWB shogun (2007) 4work as my company van. It ate the road miles up nicely, was good to drive ( speed manual)

But the engine exploded at 117k miles, timing chain snapped and wrecked the engine. It was just out of warranty, but I got no help whatsoever from Mitz UK, (apparently after spending £25k on it, I didn't have "loyalty to brand" as I never got it fully dealer serviced)

axle travel was pants, OK for bimbling about salisbury plain, but if you want to to anything serious you'll be waving wheels in the air. as it was a commercial wagon, it never had rear difflock or traction control (go figure... something aimed at farmers and builders doesn't have off road aids?)
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PostSubject: Re: I think the wife knows best!   Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:16 am

It's interesting how some forums can be overly negative against Landies (or other makes) and link to specialist forums where owners are posting looking for solutions to problems they have. But you could do this for any car I think - there is always a forum somewhere full of owners bemoaning an issue with their car.

What I try to do is remember peeps join these forums to post issues because they are looking for a solution - but for each poster, there will be hundreds of other owners who have no issues at all. The key, I think, is to try and see trends in the issues experienced by each type of vehicle and think ... "if this happened to me, how much would it cost to fix, and could I get it fixed if I was in the back of beyond?"

When I lived in South Africa they drove TLCs, Hilux and Pajero's all the time and hated Landies. But I think this was partly because white Saffers don't like the English as much as they don't like our cars. But when you see overland cars, most are either Landies or TLCs, so Landies can't be that bad in reality.

Thanks for everyone's help though and loving the forum clinking teacups

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PostSubject: Re: I think the wife knows best!   Wed May 15, 2013 6:28 am

Really liking this ... bit out of my budget though bawling


here

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PostSubject: Re: I think the wife knows best!   Wed May 15, 2013 6:54 am

That's nice, must be one of the last years of the Disco 2 before they launched the Disco 3. Didn't like the Disco 3 when it first appeared, the dark coloured ones reminded me of a hearse, but now I love 'em. Took a while but got there in the end.

Agree what you say about vehicles problems on forums and messageboards, I've often thought this. Type the names of supposedly 'reliable' marques into the Google and see what you get, hundreds - nay, thousands of complaints and problems.

Mercedes steering problems is a good 'un

or

Toyota Landcruiser electrical problems

... and so it will happen for every vehicle make on the planet; that's life.

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PostSubject: Re: I think the wife knows best!   Wed May 15, 2013 11:21 pm

In addition to this you have the age and any abuse of a vehicle, get a knowledgeable owner who maintains their vehicle and knows it well and it can be one of the most unreliable vehicles like Land Rover and theirs will be reliable because of their knowledge, similarly you can get an idiot owner with a Shogun or Land Cruiser which are infinitely reliable, who fails to maintain it, has no idea what to check and when and it will be totally unreliable; and in addition you have natural deterioration with age, and this applies to nearly all vehicles irrespective of marque.

Wiring faults are common on all vehicles as they age, and no vehicle is exempt from natural deterioration, those such as the Shogun or Cruiser are built to much better standards so this deterioration just takes a little longer; but it comes.

You have to be vehicle model specific, take the Range Rover with air suspension, the pipes snap at the unions or leak at most of the joints, and the compressor pistons are prone to failure so people stopped buying them and switched to the Discovery, or bought broken RR and swapped the suspension back to steel suspension and often got a bargain if they can wield the spanners.

Similarly with the Shogun; the auto's have an Aisin gearbox and these are the most reliable In the world, but there was and still is an issue with a proportion of ignorant people putting the wrong ATF (transmission fluid) in them and perpetuating a myth that you could put the wrong ATF in them and it would be fine, this was further perpetuated by the trade journals such as Haynes and Autodata manuals who printed this incorrect information in their trade manuals for garages, they sent out retractions and the correct information to the trade, but not the public, so potential problems for the most reliable transmission.

As we can see there are many variables, personally I dislike Land Rover products and went for the reliability of the Shogun and this has been a prudent move as I prefer the reliability and much lower running costs; and while I may have a little fun winding up the Land Rover owners it is just that, a little banter and it is returned and nobody takes offence; but we all have one thing in common!!! we put our activity much higher up the scale than individual vehicle choices, and this is what I find makes this forum stand out, irrespective of what vehicle you have other members will offer help and assistance if they can.
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PostSubject: Re: I think the wife knows best!   Thu May 16, 2013 12:01 am

I've just bought a 2004 plate D2 landmark edition for £6k about 3 months ago full service history leather etc.
I am shocked at how useless it is offroad, my old 98 plate Frontera out performs it off road all day long.

I bought it for a daily runner and something for my Morocco trip later in the year, I'm not 100% on using it in Morocco as I don't want to be digging it out of sand all day long,
The best 4x4 my arse.
Iin it's defence it is comfy on a long run and fuel consumption isn't too bad for a 3 ton tank, if you are looking at buying something of this ilk make sure it's got diff lock as
The electronic traction control is not up to the job.

I've always wanted a Land Rover but on reflection I'm beginning to wish I had heeded Assasins advice and given the Shogun a bit more of a chance.
They are both agricultural (not as much as a defender) To be honest my old ML was a much better all round vehicle on road much better fuel consumption off road the
electronic traction control actually worked if it had better ground Clearence I know what I would have.

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