Around Oz in Petrol 80 Series Landcruiser !

Submitted: Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 20:34
ThreadID: 41549 Views:10704 Replies:5 FollowUps:16
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Heading off on the big trip around oz in September for approx. 6 months to a year and looking at keeping my RV 1995 4.5 ltr Petrol Landcruiser towing an offroad camper with a aluminium dinghy on top. My cruiser has done 200,000km and doesnt miss a beat. It has new springs, suspension, clutch, spotties, cargo barrier.etc. Only downside is possibly fuel consumption and water crossings ?

Hoping to hear from anyone who has done the 'Big Trip' in a petrol cruiser to see how it went compared to an 80 or 100 series Diesel cruiser. Unsure wether to keep the petrol cruiser or change to a diesel. Any comments or advice would be appreciated.

P.S Worked out will probably cost me an extra $2000 or so in fuel costs vs diesel


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Reply By: Member - Ivan (ACT) - Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 20:40

Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 20:40

Changing from a petrol to a diesel, and then fitting it out to the condition that you have your current vehicle will cost you way more than $2000

AnswerID: 217335

Follow Up By: Birdy - Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 21:11

Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 21:11
Cheers Ivan.

Your comment makes perfect sense ! I see you have a petrol too, was even looking at upgrading to the V8 model. How do you find it ?

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Reply By: Gerhardp1 - Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 20:46

Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 20:46
Keep the vehicle you know.

By the time you buy someone elses problems the $2000 will seem cheap.

Remember the older diesels require 10 litre oil changes every 5000k plus filter versus your current 10,000k interval.

Water shouldn't be a special problem, unless you want to cross the Daintree at the old crossing-----not recommended even for a diesel. Presumably you have a snorkel - if not, get one.

AnswerID: 217337

Follow Up By: Birdy - Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 21:09

Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 21:09
Thanks for the reply. Yep got a safari snorkel, new coopers tyres, dual batteries, Waeco fridge hooked up, reverse lights (additional to other items). Only things I really need are spare wheel carrier, CB, roofrack ,winch and some poly airs and maybe some slide out _Affordable_Storage_Drawers.aspx. To buy a decent diesel and deck it out will prob cost another $20k +.

Think your right about possibly buying someone elses problems too. Suppose I am looking at any reasons as too why I should really change to a diesel (other than the obvious petrol vs diesel arguements.)

Would extractors and 2 & half inch exhaust upgrade be worth doing ya reckon ?? Or leave it stock so parts etc easier to get in middle of the outback ?

Thanks for your help

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Follow Up By: Gerhardp1 - Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 21:13

Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 21:13
Probably best to leave it stock.
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Follow Up By: Kiwi Kia - Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 21:20

Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 21:20
Do you really think that you are going to need a winch ?
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Follow Up By: Birdy - Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 21:33

Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 21:33
Maybe not. Have the bag that blows up with the exhaust pipe (for sand) and all the recovery gear. will also be travelling with another 4wd too which is a 2002 Patrol with a 6.8 ltr diesel chevy so should be right with out one. Just like to be prepared as plan on going fair way off the beaten track..... you dont think its necessary ???
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Follow Up By: Gerhardp1 - Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 22:11

Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 22:11
Get a wench instead of a winch :) You'll probably use it more.....
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Follow Up By: Kiwi Kia - Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 06:02

Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 06:02
Only you know where exactly you are likely to be going but I suspect that in most places another vehicle and a hand winch is all that you would need.

Do you know what the fuel consumption is on the 6.8 Chev ?
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Follow Up By: Birdy - Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 10:45

Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 10:45
As you mentioned we have another vehicle travelling with us so was probably only looking at a hand winch anyway.

The Chev (we are told) uses about 14 litres per 100klm wich isnt too bad. Was put in by Brunswick motors after his 3.0 litre diesel motor blew up - was only 5 years old. Apparently the 3.0 litre is known for this. The chev is awesome, heaps of grunt and they (Brunswick) do an awesome job.

Guess once we do a big trip we can give you a better idea of true fuel consumption
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Reply By: Member - Jack - Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 21:25

Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 21:25
We've just returned from our trip around the block in an 80 series diesel (1991 manual, no turbo). We did not encounter too many water crossing, and the deepest was probably the Pentecost river, and that was a cinch at about wheel height. Probably getting the spare wheel from under the vehicle is a good move though. I have an Opposite lock wheel carrier, and was pleased I had it at various points on the trip .. not the least of which it gave me something to climb on to get to the roof rack.

Can't help with fuel costs as we did not keep records (no point is scaring ourselves to death).

Enjoy your trip - we can't wait to do it all again.

The hurrieder I go, the behinder I get. (Lewis Carroll-Alice In Wonderland)

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Follow Up By: Birdy - Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 21:37

Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 21:37
What season were you up north for say the Kimberley and Cape York ? We will be there prob Sept/oct Nov. Interested in how long you took to go around and how many k's you clocked up ?? Did you tow a 4x4 camper ? many questions such little time !! We leave in 31 weeks and cant wait.
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Follow Up By: Member - Jack - Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 07:50

Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 07:50
Hi Birdy:

We left the Central Coast (NSW) in March and got back here in August. Travelled in a clockwise direction. Travelled 37,500 km and camped. Had an Oztent on the roof as we did not want to tow on this trip. I wanted to be in Perth on ANZAC Day for a reunion with mates, and shortly after that headed north up the west coast, diverting inland for the many points of interest.

The hurrieder I go, the behinder I get. (Lewis Carroll-Alice In Wonderland)

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Follow Up By: Birdy - Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 10:48

Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 10:48

Thanks for the info - we too have an oz tent which we will probably take aswell as a camper trailer. They are great but if we are setting up camp a lot may become a bit of a chore, suppose its really not much differance to setting up a trailer though. At least you dont have to tow anything ! 37,500 km is a decent amount of driving. I factored we would probably do about 30,000. Looks like I am a bit off the mark.

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Follow Up By: Member - Jack - Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 11:37

Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 11:37
Hi Birdy:

37,500 kms took in a lot of wandering around the place. The only direct route we took was once we got to Townsville, where we headed straight down the highway to Gympie, then down the New England H'way to home.

We skipped Victoria on this trip, having toured it extensively in 2005, and went via the Eyre Peninsula (fantastic), across the Nullabor, up to Kalgoorlie, the 960km Gold Trail, etc etc ...

Heading up the west coast we headed inland to Tom Price, Newman etc,back to the cost for Broome, then Darwin, so it was not hard to run up the k's. Dearest fuel (diesel) was $2.04/litre at Drysdale River Station (fair enough, as getting it in there is a bit of a mission), and cheapest out of the cities was Pannawonika ($1.30 - subsidised by the mines).

We were not inconvenienced by putting up the Oztent most nights, as my wife and I had a very good routine that saw us set up and cracking the first can in well under 5 minutes in most places. Not towing gave us the flexibility to go wherever we wanted without having to worry about whether we could get through, or storing the trailer to take a side trip. We thought it was a good decision for us in the end.

I think your 30,000km is probably a pretty fair estimate if you don't stray too far.

We did soft sand, water crossings, Cape Leveque, Mitchell Falls and did not need a winch, although I ended up in a clay swamp on the Holland Track and had to do a bit of digging to get out of that. Winch may have been good, but the old shovel did the trick, and we got out in just over an hour.

No matter how you do it, you will enjoy it, and you always have the option to do it again with a different setup next time. Ahh .. the joys of travel. Have fun.

The hurrieder I go, the behinder I get. (Lewis Carroll-Alice In Wonderland)

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Reply By: Member - Matt M (ACT) - Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 21:37

Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 21:37

Just got back last week from 6 months travelling around Aus in a petrol 80 series towing a KK. Happy to provide some consumption figures/costs if you need them.

Agree with the comment about hanging on to yours, you know it and, with those kms on it it ,should give you absolutely no problems. Bit hard to put a price on that!

AnswerID: 217360

Follow Up By: Birdy - Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 21:50

Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 21:50
Thanks Matt, Bet you had a great time. Did you encounter any problems with the cruiser ? How many k's did ya do all up and what were your consumption figures/costs ? I estimate about 22 litres per 100k's towing a camper. How did you find the KK - also been looking at them or an 'Outback Camper' made here in WA.

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Follow Up By: Member - Matt M (ACT) - Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 23:40

Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 23:40
Thanks, you have prompted me to get off my backside and transfer my scrappy notebook to the computer. On the fuel consumption figures:

Total distance travelled: 24,993 km (just over 6,500 km on dirt)
Fuel used: 5,377.3 litres
Total fuel cost: $7,541.85 (say it quickly and it doesn't hurt so bad)
Average consumption: 4.65 km/l (21.5 l/100km)
Best consumption: 5.93 km/l (16.85 l/100km)
Worst consumption: 3.29 km/l (30.38 l/100km)
Best price: 111.9 cents/litre (Adelaide)
Worst price: 198.0 cents/litre (Drysdale Station and Hell's Gate)

So your planning figure of 22l/100km would seem pretty close to the money. Our worst consumption quoted above was pretty much a one off and was achieved travelling between Timber Creek and Kalkarindji on the Wickam/Gibbie track through Gregory National Park. We didn't get above second gear for three days and a fair bit in low range as well (God bless ARB and their wonderful lokka, it bailed us several times).

As for the KK, I have nothing but good things to say about it. Certainly there is a few little things I would change if I had designed it, but it performed faultlessly. We did a lot of research before we left and narrowed the field down to two or three models. Quite frankly, we chose the Kimberley because one came up second hand (6 months old) for a good price and it had all the features I wanted including the same wheel/stud pattern as the cruiser (and important feature in my mind).

They are expensive, as are all the 'top of the line' campers but our final decision centred around two key requirements. Firstly it needed to take what we dished out to it without breaking down. Unless you are a lot richer than me, your trip is a very precious opportunity and one which we will not be able to repeat for a long time. I was not prepared to accept the possibility of cutting a large chunk out of our trip of a lifetime waiting for expensive repairs. We saw enough evidence of trailer carnage on some tracks to convince us that it was the right decision.

Secondly, we will go back to a cheaper camper now we have finished and we needed to get a good price on the camper. Haven't sold it yet, so will wait and see but the Kimberley (and some other) brands perform very well in this regard too. I had a lot of fun checking out other people's set ups as we travelled (and met some great folk too) and there is some fantastic set ups out there, the KK is certainly not the 'be all and end all', but whatever its faults, it is bloody strong, well designed and reliable.

Whatever you choose, don't go too cheap and make sure that is engineered to perform as you expect it too, you will find that 6 months is way too short in any case, and you can ill afford time out because of crap equipment. Good luck with that decision.

As for your vehicle, naturally I am biased. Ours performed very well and the only issues were 'routine' ones. Several other people have suggested that the cost of changing over and setting up a new vehicle will eclipse any savings in fuel, and they are spot on. If you were to ask me what is the best vehicle for your trip, I would say that it is the one you know and TRUST. There is not much more comforting than knowing what the next thing that needs replacing/fixing on your vehicle is a ahead of time and, regardless of model, this only comes when you have had it and worked on it for a while. Go with what you know and trust would be my advice and treat fuel costs as a low priority.

Anyhow, that is an essay so I will stop there. We loved our time travelling this country and were really heartened by the friendly, generous people we met. Australians in all their shades are a great race of people, they just seem to be even nicer when you are travelling.



P.S. Wanna give me $30K or so and we will join you as tour guides?
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Follow Up By: Birdy - Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 11:13

Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 11:13

Thanks for such a detailed reply. The fuel consumption figures were interesting and glad to see I was pretty close to the mark (so it appears) - proof will be after the trip though ! I see you praise the ARB lokka - is that something you would recommend we get done- any other recommendations ?

Certainly not rich and have taken on board your comments about getting a camper that can cop the punishment. We too wont be able to afford this trip again for quite a while so want to make sure we are geared up right. Will also make sure the camper has same stud pattern as my cruiser.

Decided im gonna keep my petrol cruiser as I know and trust it which is important. As some people have reminded me - extra petrol costs are a small price to pay for a vehicle you know and trust. Think we are going to try stretch the trip out to a year as 6 months is probably not enough. I quit my job and my wife is currently not working so no time like the present hey - may not get this chance again !

Cant wait for the trip and thanks again for your help

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Reply By: BenSpoon - Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 12:59

Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 12:59
before you tackle any serious water crossings, open your distributor cap and silicone up the "vent" hole in the backing of it. It sucks in water and kills your engine at times you really dont want to stop.
AnswerID: 217466

Follow Up By: Birdy - Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 13:02

Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 13:02
Thanks for the tip.
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