I’ve been around 4×4’s my whole life and they do have a habit of getting under your skin. For me they provide a lifestyle that I can’t stay away from. We have a small sedan for our day to day slog in the traffic that is urban living. I’ve found this enhances the 4×4 experience as I don’t find them to be the most practical of city transports. So when we are in the 4×4 we are generally heading for relaxation away from all things bright and shiny.
I’ve had a reasonable selection of 4×4’s and travelled with many others, hence I came to the conclusion long ago that they are all pretty good!
There will always be those who are brand specific supporters, or after a certain look! I feel I have always had the vehicle that best suited my needs at the time – No manufacturer has the patent on doing it right with every model!
Everyone has their own view thankfully, pretty boring if we all thought the same!
We are travelling in a 2006 TD42TI GU Nissan Patrol coil cab ute with a custom built (one of 2 so far) camper body on the tray.
It has the usual modifications, but I would like to say that many of the modifications are more from an enthusiast point of view than a necessity. A factory standard vehicle provides one of the most reliable platforms for any long distance touring. After all it’s a long and expensive trip home. Standard vehicle parts are generally going to be available and that could save a lot of time and distress.
Lets not forget that Model T Fords have driven just about everywhere, so your modern 4×4 with a computer and a knob on the console with little pictures on it that you set to match the corresponding terrain outside should make it easily! Shouldn’t it?
Some of the options on our vehicle..
- Fortunately the Patrol has 2 fuel tanks as standard (175 litres) like many other vehicles such as the Prado and most other Land Cruiser models.
- Dual batteries for the vehicle specific electrics and other options in the cab.
- 2 x 105 a/h deep cycle batteries with their own DC to DC charger for the camper body.
- King springs with a mild lift.
- OME shocks and dampener.
- Warn 9000lb winch, used rarely in anger but great reassurance when your on your own, a winch extension, snatch block and snatch strap along with the usual associated bits!
- 80 litre and a 40 litre water tank.
- Cooper ST MAXX 265/75/R16 tyres.
- 2 spare wheels.
- Breather extensions.
- Safari Snorkel
- UHF and HF radio.
- ARB tyre pump.
- NARVA Extreme HID driving lights.
- NARVA LED light bar.
- NARVA +50% headlight upgrade kit.
- NARVA LED combination tail lights.
Lots of other little things but that’s the main options.
A little bit about the camper..
- Manufactured from Aluminium and Composite panelling with a steel chassis so it’s not reliant on the tray of the vehicle for it’s mounting and support.
- 3 x 80 watt slimline solar panels adhered flat on the roof, (a compromise having them flat on the roof as the extra heat from not having good ventilation to the rear of the panels reduces their efficiency along with transferring extra heat into the camper body during hot weather, but our love of overgrown tracks overrides any disadvantages incurred with this method of mounting).
- The body shell tappers in to a maximum width or 1450mm which greatly increases the manoeuvrability in tight tracks along with keeping the centre of gravity in reasonable check.
- Porta Potti.
- Pop up shower inside the camper and a shower outlet on the rear panel externally.
- Webasto diesel cooktop.
- Webasto Air Top 2000st diesel cabin heater. Having the PVC pop top is difficult to insulate in cold weather and can suffer from condensation in certain situations, the heater pretty much cancels these issues out.
- 60 litre Engel Fridge.
- Seagull IV water filtration.
- Projecta 2000 watt pure sine wave inverter.
- Projecta mains power Battery charger.
- Side and rear awnings.
- Numerous storage compartments.
Tools and Spares, I try and take any spare parts that replace something that may render the vehicle immobile..
- Front wheel bearings.
- belts and hoses.
- clutch master and slave cylinders
- fuel filters (quantity).
- oil filters and oil.
- fuses and assorted electrical bits and pieces.
- assorted nuts, bolts and washers, hose clamps, screws etc
- grease gun.
- brake and clutch fluid.
- radiator stop leak.
- The usual array of tools but with the addition of a drill and angle grinder.
If you are really interested in the camper, then we have a short youtube video you can have a look at. Here’s the link http://youtu.be/VlKy1S7STQc