Some say any vehicle is the right vehicle. If you have a vehicle you can go anywhere, right?.

Any car, may not get very far, but then again it could get you all the way to Mongolia. Just ask the all the people who enter the Mongol Rally each year.

For many months I’ve been researching the right type of car to take through Central Asia. Most of my research has pointed towards a Toyota Landcruiser. So I’ve been focussing on a Landcruiser 80 model built between 1990 and 1997. Still after all the research on the internet I still don’t know a lot about the vehicles. So on Friday 8th June 2012 I paid a visit to see Julian Voelcker at Overland Cruisers, to see what I could learn about preparing one for an overland trip. I got up at 6am to drive to near Hereford to visit Julian and check out his operation.

Julian and Dave welcomed me in and offered me a cup of tea. Showed me a range of vehicles from LC 80’s to 100’s and Colorado’s. We discussed the positives and negatives of the LC range for a trip through Central Asia. I’d been focusing on an 80 series but after talking to Julian the 100 series seems like a seriously viable option. Price, baseline preparation and trip specification requirements shouldn’t be to far apart. The baseline work required to get the car to an acceptable standard for a 6 month trip will depend on the state of the car when purchased. The additional trip specifications will depend part on the team and trip requirements and on how pimped out we decide to kit the car out. Where I was thinking I might be able to spend 5k to purchase and 5k to get expedition ready may now be a little optimistic. In a short time I heard how the budget could grow to more like 5-7k to purchase, 2-4k to baseline and 3-5k to spec for the trip. So it could be between 10-15k, with it being more likely to be toward the 15k range. A 50% increase in one day.

Toyota Landcruiser 100 vs 80 – A few pros and cons

  • 100 has more space and is more comfortable vs 80 has higher demand due too reduced availability
  • 100 has more computerized parts which could cause more problems vs 80 is simpler and easier to fix along the way ourselves

Decisions, decisions, decisions…

Or maybe we’ll just buy a cheap one, thrown a chilly bin (icebox) in the back and hit the road…

4 Responses to “What is the right vehicle for Overlanding?”

  1. Paul Hinton says:

    I’d go with your last comment, it will add to the sense of adventure!!

  2. A good person to talk to is Timothy Denis of Rambling Rat (Google it). He’s done round the world in a Land Cruiser, might have some tips for you. Another source of info are the guys at the Overland Journal (another trip to Google), the Journal is a good source for tips and kit ideas as well. From what I’ve heard the Land Cruiser is by far the better vehicle in both terms of reliability and parts availability. Plus a little brand loyalty, I own a Toyota 4Runner and the thing is fairly unstoppable.

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