4x4 motor home truck

Submitted: Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 11:55
ThreadID: 65719 Views:15590 Replies:7 FollowUps:25
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Hi All, I have the project to make a 4x4 motorhome to travel around the world with my wife and 3 boys. I have chosen to go with the Isuzu NPR 300 chassis Crew cab. I am looking for feedback about the reliability of that truck and your recommendation as to the following:
Should I go with the 150hp engine or the 190hp regarding:
Torque
Reliability
Consumption
Suspension, what type of up-grade you recommend if needed?
For the injection what type of filtration system do you recommend?
Tires, what size do you recommend?
All your inputs are welcome.
Looking forward to hear from you.
Cheers.
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 17:12

Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 17:12
Hi Hubert.
Great project. Couple of questions.........
New or second hand truck?
Are you building it yourself or having it done?
What do you intend to do with it?
What is your budget (over & above the base vehicle)?

Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 (DIY) Motorhome
Pics & slideshows of trips & conversion here.
AnswerID: 347699

Follow Up By: Lotzi - Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 17:24

Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 17:24
G'day Peter and Margaret

Just a quick note, I have had a look at your site in the past, complements on both the build quality of your camper and I enjoy your stories.

Happy travels, may catch up on the merry go round.
Lotzi
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 19:24

Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 19:24
Hi Peter

I just opened the thread with the intention of telling Hubert about your rig and where you have taken it, and here you are!

Hubert - This is a top outfit to aspire to.

Motherhen
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Follow Up By: Saharaman (aka Geepeem) - Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 21:10

Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 21:10
HI Peter & Margaret,

I envy your rig - its something I would like to do one day..($$$$s needed). But I have one question - did you consider using a MB Unimog instead of the OKa. If so what made you choose the Oka. I have been researching both vehicles and at the moment am more favourable inclined to the Unimog.
Or is it a matter of what vehicle is available at the time of purchase.
Cheers,
GPM
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 21:37

Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 21:37
GPM, I don't want to hijack Huberts thread, but yes, a Mog was the 'dream'. We actually bought an '86 Mog in Sydney for $65k, but it broke down as we dorve away and the guy gave us our cheque back.
If you want absolute off-road capability and have unlimited funds (new cab-chassis $300k?), a Mog is as good as it gets.

We then bought a high km, worn out ex tour bus 1994 OKA for $18k, and had it completely re built mechanically for anther $40, and sold the bus body for $10k, leaving us with a first class cab chassis for $48k, WITHOUT electronics of any kind (pretty imporant if you get really remote).

In hind sight, we could never have afforded to maintain a Mog in first class condition. They also have other 'issues' like a track that is wider than a 'Cruiser, so they have lots more tyre issues than most others with 'normal' tracks. Also very high rates of body roll on a very flexible chassis giving body design problems. The height of a Mog cab added to that almost prohibits a bed-over-cab which adds 2m to the living area without extra body length.
Lots of issues.

The OKA was a great decision for us, but probably would not suit Hubert with 3 kids............they will need a different approach.

Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 MotorhomeYou will find a 'phone no. in the link if you want to talk about if some more.
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Follow Up By: Saharaman (aka Geepeem) - Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 22:22

Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 22:22
Thanks - thats given me some additional aspects to consider.
Cheers,
GPM
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Follow Up By: Hubert - Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 08:58

Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 08:58
Hello Peter,
to answer your questions:
New or second hand truck? NEW
Are you building it yourself or having it done? Conception and layout done me us the rest outsource.
What do you intend to do with it? travel around the world
What is your budget (over & above the base vehicle)? truck chassis + Motorhome body and equipment 100 000 Euros.
Looking forward for your inputs.
Hubert.
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 12:47

Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 12:47
Hubert,
Sorry, did not explain myself very well....
How good do you want the 4x4 capability?
Do yo want to tackle VERY difficult terrain, or just stay on (bad) roads.
Everything is a compromise, and trying to answer this question is important to the issues of suspension, tyres etc.

Here is another link to a new player in this field in Oz. I don't know how good their stuff is.
www.allterrainmotorhomes.com
http://www.allterrainmotorhomes.com

Cheers,
Peter
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Follow Up By: Hubert - Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 13:42

Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 13:42
Peter,
Yes forgot to answer that question. To give you my background, I have travelled in the past with Toyota landcruiser HDJ 80 and Unimog in Africa and South America. So as you can see I not real on road but more on looking something that can manage real off road.
Cheers.
Hubert.
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Follow Up By: Member - Pesty (SA) - Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 18:17

Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 18:17
Have been following this project, could be an alternative for someone who wants a project.

http://www.4wdmonthly.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=57800

Good rig except for the narrow tracks, but most of these big units all have the same problem.

Cheers Pesty
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 18:43

Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 18:43
Hubert, I have zero experience with the Izuzu, but if you expect to have HDJ80 performance, I am sure that you will need a serious suspension upgrade AND single wheels, not duals, but that is just my opinion. I hope that you do not expect Mog performance, because you will be dissapointed. Is there no other vehicle available with 20" single wheels that would be suitable?

This Izuzu only has a GVM (maximum weight) of 6,500kg (and a tare of 2,900kg). I think this will be a problem for you with 5 people. Susi & Ruedi's OKA is legal to 7,000kg and they struggle and you will need the wheelbase of the Izuzu.

How old are your boys? Can you have them sleep in hammocks in the cab?

Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 Motorhome
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Follow Up By: Hubert - Saturday, Feb 07, 2009 at 06:28

Saturday, Feb 07, 2009 at 06:28
Peter, Yes I know that I should not expect the Mog performance but the target is to have a truck with good off road capabilities.
The other challenge is the GVM. We are currently making the calculation. Regarding the kids, they are 7, 9 and 11 years old. The project is the have a capucine (not sure if you are using the same word in English) above the crew cab and have them to sleep up-there. If you like I can share our first layout draft with you.
Cheers.
Hubert.
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Saturday, Feb 07, 2009 at 18:39

Saturday, Feb 07, 2009 at 18:39
I don't know the word "capucine" but I get the idea. Great solution. You could probably get 800 - 1000mm up there? We actually lowered the back of the cab roof in the OKA by about 150mm to give more space above.

Would like to see the layout. Can you share an email address somehow? I don't publish mine, just a cell 'phone number, but that is not very practical from South America.....!

Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 Motorhome
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Follow Up By: Hubert - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 09:10

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 09:10
Peter,

Here's my email: hubert.loyer@kuehne-nagel.com

cheers.
Hubert.
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Reply By: Lotzi - Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 17:15

Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 17:15
G'day Hubert
I have used the larger Iszuz 4x4 for tour work and have found them to be reliable. In general transport I have also used the Iszuzu trucks, again a very good product.
On the NPR 300, they were used for a while in tour work and again I didn't hear to many negative problems.
When choosing this model vehicle there are a number of little things I would check for if buying used and in general.
1. Take it for a run, ensure that it doesnt have 80 k diffs in it.
2. listen for noise from transfer case, if possible check transfer case oil, on highway running t/c oil needs to be changed more often.
3. Make sure you keep the dual wheels on, a lot of people say to run singles on rear, I have found the duals will keep the vehicle more stable, less tyre wall roll.
4. Biggest motor possible, no substitute for power.
5. Fuel consumption, bigger motors depending on how driven can run cheaper.
6. Suspension, up to you, but a modification that has been carried out in the past has been twin shocks and longer springs on the front, done by moving front and rear spring hanger out to the outer hole and redrilling two new holes in each, makes them ride smoother, (thats is one of the reasons that the Oka has a good reputation for ride quality .... further information, Warrior Special Vehicles at Yandina, Qld. Note, in some cases chassis have been plated on front to increase chassis strength.
7. Water trap filter for the fuel, pre filtering fuel before pump.
8. Tyre size, find what standard tyre size is, then check with with tyre dealer as to legal increase in wall height, don't go wider, duals may kiss at lower preasure, trapping stones.
9. When purchasing vehicle, get first service done at Iszuz and ensure that all recall maintanance issues have been done.
10. Make sure that you are able to get parts in the countries you are going to.
Copy and paste the the link below, a good read as per a truck 4x4 build, be aware it is captivating read.

http://www.robgray.com/index_files/index_wot.php

Anyhow thats my 2 bobs worth, but it is up to you.
All the best
Lotzi
AnswerID: 347702

Follow Up By: Lotzi - Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 21:55

Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 21:55
this is another good site for an international spec vehicle

http://www.gertenbachkh.de/index.htm

Lotzi
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Follow Up By: Hubert - Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 09:35

Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 09:35
Lotzi,
Thank you very much for your inputs. I had a quick look to the link you recommended and I believe I will spend the night on it.
Cheers.
Hubert.
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FollowupID: 616001

Reply By: Madfisher - Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 19:01

Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 19:01
We run 5 isuzu trucks at work npr200 and a new 600. We also have a new 250 with the improved 155 motor and 6 speed which goes and rides much better then the old trucks.
We use to run a 240hp UD which often used less fuel then the little trucks as it was loafing along at 2000rpm at 100ks in sixth.
Cheers Pete
AnswerID: 347714

Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 20:32

Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 20:32
Another link to study Hubert.

Susi & Ruedi on tour
I t is another OKA, but that is not why I suggest that it may be usefu to you.
These guys are good friends of ours. They were Swiss, but now are naturalised Ozzies and live in Oz on he road. They selected an OKA (new), and had the motorhome section built in Germany to their own design.
I reccon our MH is more liveable than theirs, but that is not the point. The point is that a WORLD cruising MH needs to be designed DIFFERENTLY from one that is only, or primarily, used in OZ.

Differences include security. Their MH closes up with 3mm aluminium shutters to look like a delivery van on the road. In some places, tourists are considered wealthy and therefore a target.

Fuel. They are solar and diesel only. Gas can be difficult to get in some remote o/s places. Their heating and cooking is all diesel.

Insulation is a much higher standard.
The vehicle has fuel and motor heating for VERY cold places.
Water tanks like wise must be protected from freezing.

Then again, you were not asking about the MH section, just the vehicle, so perhaps I have jumped the gun?
I still have some views on your specific questions, but they would depend on your answers to my early questions, in particular what you want to do with the vehicle - how good do you want the off road capability to be.......

Cheers,
Pete

AnswerID: 347733

Follow Up By: Hubert - Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 11:01

Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 11:01
Pete,
I appreciate your inputs regarding the MH. Chosing the right chassis is one thing but the MH conecption and layout is the big challenge. I am interested by all inputs. Regarding Susi & Ruedi link I can not get to it, can you provide the full address?
Thanks again!
Hubert.
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 12:34

Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 12:34
Hubert, here is the link.
http://www.schoensleben.ch/sur/content/index_e.shtml

Site Link

Where are you situated?
Are you building the rig in Europe or Oz?

Cheers,
PeterOKA196 Motorhome
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Follow Up By: Hubert - Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 13:36

Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 13:36
Thanks Peter,
I am currently living in South America but working on this project with friend living spain. The MH will be builded Spain. By the way I am French!
Cheers.
Hubert.
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FollowupID: 616049

Reply By: balko - Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 01:11

Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 01:11
Go to www.expeditionportal.com great site my canter is on the Mitsu site. Met susie and ruedi in Alice Springs this year good people with a top rig but even after all that $$$$ they still have break downs (like us all). Or you could ring atw in yandina and speak to Paul they are the gurus of 4wd motor home trucks Cheers Tony
AnswerID: 347759

Follow Up By: Hubert - Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 11:44

Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 11:44
Tony,
Thanks for the link, I was there already but there is only Mitsu and my choice is made for the Isuzu which has the best distribution coverage world wide (spare parts are almost available in any country of the world). Would be very interested to get in touch with Paul. Does he has a website?
Cheers.
Hubert.
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FollowupID: 616016

Follow Up By: Lotzi - Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 12:57

Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 12:57
Hubert
This is the website, were once known as Warrior Special Vehicles, they do a very good job, there suspension modifications work well.

http://www.allterrainwarriors.com.au/

All the best
Lotzi
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FollowupID: 616039

Reply By: RV Powerstream P/L - Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 07:28

Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 07:28
We have some experience with an MAN 4x4 tour vehicle "Makin Tracks" having supplied all the power equipment for it an we now have to set up a support vehicle.

The information posted so far in this thread is excellent advice especially the tracking width and tyre maintenance and this has been a major cost consideration with the MAN.

I would say once you start to build whether for Aus travel or world travel your build should allow you access to all components necessary for R&R and maintenace as that can be a pain, time consuming and costly with a first up build not allowing for this.

I questioned the use of the MAN for the job against the more popular Mercedes and was given the reply "I think the MAN is a good choice as everywhere I go I see a lot of the Mercs in workshops" but then that could be just for servicing and would depend on the use and the driver.

The Isuzu choice appears sensible as they are the largest medium trucking supplier in the world and should have accessability to parts and service in most countries.

Good luck on your selection and build.
Ian



AnswerID: 347766

Reply By: Member - Rod M (NSW) - Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 21:38

Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 21:38
G'day, we went down the same path, all be it for different reasons, we wanted a 4wd truck motorhome to take our disabled child around oz, we ended up with a 10 tonne Hino, 4wd truck based bus, the type you see carting tourist's around, we had it converted to suit our needs, things we've learnt, keep it simple so simple people ( no offence ment ) can fix it in out of the way places, & with your clan of kids the extra space provided by a bigger truck will be handy, & remember ya don't have to use a dual cab, it quite safe & legal to have seats in the body of the motorhome with seatbelts.
Good luck with the build up.
AnswerID: 347895

Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 22:53

Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 22:53
Nice Rod.
What is the tye size?

Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 Motorhome
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Follow Up By: RV Powerstream P/L - Saturday, Feb 07, 2009 at 17:27

Saturday, Feb 07, 2009 at 17:27
Hi
Geoff and Margaret from Nowra had a large Hino 4x4 and the fuel cost was large .
It was called Rocky Two but they travelled to a lot of places that they would never have seen without it.

I think you can see their travels on Google earth just look for the tracks that have been widened to get the big thing through it would have to stand out.(LOL)

One spot he couldnt go ahead and had to back out for a long distance and that was testy it was a mountain trail.

ian
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Follow Up By: Member - Rod M (NSW) - Saturday, Feb 07, 2009 at 22:06

Saturday, Feb 07, 2009 at 22:06
Tires are 385/65R 22'5's on rims I had built to suit the 8 stud pattern. Just basic super singles, they make for a much better ride, both on road & off, they handle sand very well when they are baggered & we don't feel corragations.
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Saturday, Feb 07, 2009 at 23:13

Saturday, Feb 07, 2009 at 23:13
Way to go Rod. That is a lot of flotation. Thought a taller profile might have been better though.
The standard OKA uses 255/100R 16s, but we run 305/70R 19.5 (same diameter) because we are too close to the weight rating of the 16s. Would prefer the higher profile though.

What is your all up weight?
I reccon Hubert will struggle at 6.5 Tonns.
We carry 280L fuel plus 280L water, and he will need double that water to livein a machine with 5 on board, I reccon.

Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 Motorhome
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Follow Up By: Member - Rod M (NSW) - Monday, Feb 09, 2009 at 13:01

Monday, Feb 09, 2009 at 13:01
G'day Pete, the tires are about 50 mm taller so it helps with the highway gearing, the OE tires were 900 x 20's on splits, they wee hard as hell & wouldn't bag well even when deflated, all up when fully loaded for a long trip we tipped the scales at 9.4 tonnes, but thats with every thing for 2 months on the road, including the generator, welder, compressor & associated crap ya chuck in just cos ya got the space.
I agree, Hubert will struggle to travel comfortably with his clan in a smaller truck, we met a family who used 2 old landrovers to travel in so they could have space for all the gear & bodies while on holidays, both mum & dad drove, I think they had 3 kids in each vehicle from memory.
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