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 Post subject: Re: 4X4
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:19 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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kesheshe wrote:
Look any advice you get even mine well have some sort of bias - i will try to state some general facts.
1. if you start this overlanding be very carreful with the weight you carry. My reason for saying this is things tend to break due to excessive weight. The only option is to either buy a vehicle that take the weight as standard - toyota land cruiser as an example or upgrade the suspension.

3. Type of engine. Fuel consumption maybe a factor that you consider so consider looking or investing in a second tank or at least jerry cans which more than likely be on a roof rack. Be careful here the general rule in off roading is to keep the weight on the vehicle as low to the ground as possible. i would look for as simple an engine from both a durability point of view (keeping vehicle for 10-12 years) and also to reduce the things that could break. Some of the newer vehicles are good vehicles put i would not buy them if i were you to many electronics where things could go wrong and not chance to fix.


Very valid points kesheshe

Regardless of what base vehicle you buy I would recommend going for an after market suspension upgrade like Old Man Emu. This would give you a much better ride and handle loads with ease and the biggest bonus is the handling both on and off road. In the end of the day safety is top of the list so the extra expense is well worth it.

Keeping with a more basic and slightly older vehicle tends to minimise problems. A range rover is an awesome vehicle with the best off road ability in the market but with all its fancy electronics and air suspension it has greater risk of failure and to find a competent person to repair it is a problem in the big cities never mind the bundu.
With 4 people on board I would suggest you have a look at one of the SUV models, the leg room in the back of a double cab might be a bit lacking for a long trip and when they start swinging bazooka lenses around someone might get hurt :twisted:

My requirements are similar to what you want to do with your vehicle and SO has often remarked that the best bit of birding equipment is a well kitted 4x4. My bias would steer you towards a Pajero but I will leave that for you to test drive one and see if you can refuse it :twisted:
That brings up another important point and that is the kitting out of the vehicle, be very careful of the fitment centers as they would gladly convince you to buy all sorts of unnecessary kit.

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 Post subject: Re: 4X4
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 7:47 am 
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Sparks - i agree with what you say.

jesica - i am glad you asked for advice as this can be a dangerous pass time you are choicing therefore the vehicle is very important - sometimes extra money spent on the right things may safe you life.

things you need to have:

high lift jack or something like a hippo jack or both (winch is heavy)
recovery equipment - look at some of bags available that should be enough to get you started
type repair kit
basic vehicle spares (fuel filter, stuff to plug radiator etc)
water containers
fuel containers
duct tape
cable ties
duel battery system
all terrain tyres as a minimum
GPS with T4 maps
Good paper based maps
Roof rack
A list of emergency contact numbers and deal numbers for the vehicle in the country you are visiting
a very good medical box


nice to have items:
2 spare tyres (sometimes this will not be a luxury)
Air compressor
Sand mats or tracks
work lights attached to vehicle
long range fuel tank
Gas bottles
hidden safe
ipod connect - cannot play CD's off road
Roof top tent
Portable table fixed to roof rack
in some cases a satelite phone

When travelling alone which me and SO have been doing for 17 years now the best advice i can give you is that safety and reliability are really what counts not the fancy things that some vehicles have.

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 Post subject: Re: 4X4
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 8:23 am 
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Location: 4 hours from KNP : South Africa
By kesheshe
Quote:
2. As you are not mechanically minded i would go for reliability as the biggest thing when buying the vehicle. You will always carry basic spares and if it was a landy or toyota (japanese in general)in most places you will or could find a bush mechanic to help you fit the spares or even make a plan. Any other type of vehicle would worry me as the above rule would not apply.


During a trip to Northern Namibia (Epupu Falls/ Marienfluss/ Kaokoland/ Puros etc) in 2008 , the clutch packed up, to cut a long story short, we drove a 1000km from Fort Sesfontein to Gobabis without one - very skillful driving. We had the landy fixed there but parts had to be flown in from Windhoek an within 24 hours were back on the road. The gearbox had to be taken out to do this repair, something you can't do out in the sticks. This incident is documented on one of the 4 x 4 sites .

Another couple in the party broke down with wheel bearing problems near the wild west town of Opuwa - they had to be towed back to this town - the wheel bearings had recently been fitted in preparation of this trip. That was the end of their holiday with the group They had to then have the closest match bearing fitted and get to the nearest decent town where the correct bearings were flown in from Johannesburg. This was not a landy.

That left 2 vehicles on this trip, both landy's. During those 19 days we were on the road, there were 12 punctures and blow outs - fortunately the men did there own puncture repairs but we also had to replace a tyre in Gobabis.

4 x 4'ing ain't for sissies.

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 Post subject: Re: 4X4
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 8:57 am 
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Unimog 406 or 416 is your answer. R150k and you will have the most capable/reliable off road vehicle in the world.


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 Post subject: Re: 4X4
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 9:12 am 
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buy a 406 or 416 unimog. You can take just about what ever you want to take, where ever you want to take it. You dont have to be mechanically minded because if serviced properly, they judt dont break. they are genuinely the best off road vehicals in the world and you shouldnt have to spend more than 150k on a decent secondhand one. The trade off is they are slow (on tar about 95kph) and you will get about 3-5km/p/l off road and about 5 on tar, dirt. Having said that, thats no worse than any 4.0l bakkie/prado/landcruiser petrol


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 Post subject: Re: 4X4
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 9:41 am 
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There is no doubt that the unimog is the ultimate vehicle my only question is the suitability if the trip length is only going to be on average 2 weeks.

With a duration of only 2 weeks i am not sure that the speed may be a negative factor.

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 Post subject: Re: 4X4
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 10:43 am 
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we use the unimog for weekend trips and trips that last a lot longer than that. For us, its a matter of taking all our goodies, not having to put a tent up or staying in a tent in an unfenced camp (bots and tanzania) and of course, being able to reach those places that landcruisers battle to get to like hutavi (17000sq kilos- about 50 visitors a year....paradise)


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 Post subject: Re: 4X4
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 10:52 am 
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purely my personal experience and observations over the last 20 yrs of going to those far away places I wouldnt touch a jeep, landrover (except series 3)Tata, Mahindra or any of the "sandton 4x4's. I would rather not go than go in one of those aforementioned. I am not bashing those vehicles but have seen them standing in the middle of nowhere, a lot.(especially late model land rovers) Toyotas seem to be less likely to break as I have observed.


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 Post subject: Re: 4X4
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 12:06 am 
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littlejohn wrote:
Unimog 406 or 416 is your answer. R150k and you will have the most capable/reliable off road vehicle in the world.


You don't believe in ovrkill do you :big_eyes:

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 Post subject: Re: 4X4
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 8:33 am 
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The price you pay, coupled with reliability, interior space, ability and comfort makes this vehicle the best choice for me. Overkill is spending R400k on a basic bakkie (landcruiser) another 150K on mods and then there are the hugely expensive services etc that goes with that. As an example, I recently replaced clutch plate, pressure plate and thrust bearing and 1st gear synchro ring on my Mog. Spares all genuine from merc Cost of spares R4200-00 and R1250-00 Labour. Try that on any late model Japanese 4x4! So yes, quite big etc but I am happy and have been so for many years of off road travel.


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 Post subject: Re: 4X4
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 5:27 pm 
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My bit.

My total mechanical knowledge: If it has petrol and the wiper work, it should go!

I have a great double cab hilux 2.7 4x4 petrol that get about 7.5 km/l (I do not travel 100 km to find out the cockeyed way).
Namibia is crawling with Pupkewitz Toyota, because it is the preferred vehicle of Namibians.

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 Post subject: Re: 4X4
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 6:27 pm 
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Jesica, I cannot add anything, but I hope you do not mind that I hijack your thread. There seem to be many folk with lots of knowledge.

I have moved to the country. Every day I have to do about 15kms of gravel, sometimes a hectic mountain pass when the bridge is flooded. My poor Trusted Beauty, a Honda CR-V is taking strain. She has also been in a serious car accident recently and I can feel a difference in her response.

I am thinking, where should go with my next car purchase? Not yet, but sometime soon.

I am looking at about R280,000.. maybe.

I was thinking Toyota... but can someone help me here.

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 Post subject: Re: 4X4
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:11 pm 
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It is a very subjective choice MM, depending on your personal experience or liking.

Decide what type of vehicle you need first, then check the makes.

Bakkie? 2 or 4 door? Hardy? reliable? Spacious? and many more criteria.

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 Post subject: Re: 4X4
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:37 pm 
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MM, the CRV has been one of the best selling vehicles in its class for years on end , which is exceptional taking into account the relatively small model range vs other brands .
Thus I would recommend that you stick with the brand considering its exceptional reliability .

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 Post subject: Re: 4X4
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 4:15 pm 
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@ MM and Jesica . It is as BB says , look at personal preference , ( and experience ) . There is no vehicle that is really bad , and therefore you should go with something that YOU are comfortable with . Decide on what you are prepared to pay , and then look around for something to suit that .
I am a Landy Defender person , and from personal experience can recommend , but if you do go with a Landy option , please bear in mind that you will become the joke of everyone you meet - usually peeps who have no experience with Landy's at all . They will tell you all kinds of unfounded and unproven stories about Landy's leaking oil , leaking roofs and windows , but also usually there will be some hidden envy behind their comments .
Breaking down ? :hmz: .... Well , any vehicle can break down :whistle:
The upside is that you will have a vehicle that will take you anywhere you want to go , there will always be someone who is willing and able to assist you even in darkest Africa .
And perhaps the best of all - when driving a Landy you will suddenly notice that other Landy drivers greet you , say hello to you in passing . It doesn't matter where you are , anywhere in South Africa , if you see another Landy Defender on the road , that driver will wave at you in greeting . Because you have become part of a family :whistle:
Now that is something you never ever see from drivers of other brands of vehicles .

But again , whatever you do decide , Landy or not , just go and enjoy :lol:

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Next :
3 - 6 Sept 2013 - Punda.
7 - 10 Sept 2013 -Shingwedzi .
11 - 13 Sept 2013 - Balule .
14 - 17 Sept 2013 - Satara .


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