Making space

Submitted: Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 17:05
ThreadID: 65724 Views:5174 Replies:8 FollowUps:5
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I'm in the very first stages of researching a suitable 4WD.
Looking at something like a Prado, Pajero or similar it seems to me that after you put, say, some drawers, a fridge and possibly an extra battery etc. in the rear area, there's not a lot of room left for essential (?) bits and pieces of camping gear.
Given that I will probably be travelling alone, or with one other adult only, is it fair to assume that I could take the rear seats out altogether and use the space for gear?
And would the same apply to a dual-cab ute-style 4WD? I could use the space far more than the seats.
Cheers, Tony
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Reply By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 17:13

Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 17:13
Have you considered a Troopy ?
AnswerID: 347700

Reply By: Notso - Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 17:14

Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 17:14
The New Pajero 3.2 CRD has just been upgraded. It is a great vehicle to drive and has a 3 tonne towing capacity.

AnswerID: 347701

Reply By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 17:36

Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 17:36
Tony, with just one or two adults, depending on what you want to carry, have you considered a ute with a canopy?

For our last 4WD, since it was just wife and me, we ventured into the world of Dual Cab utes and bought a Hilux. We added a canopy, removed the rear seat and put in a carpeted plywood platform, bolted down via the seatbelt bolts.

The Hilux was great, but when we came to upgrade to something with more load carrying and towing ability, we figured 'what is the use of buying a 4 (or 5 or more) seater vehicle, then spending time and money converting it to a 2 seater.

So, this time, we got a 79 Series Land Cruiser cab chassis. Fitted an aluminium canopy, then, I have fitted it out with drawer units, shelves, fridge slides, roof rack and boat loader, etc.

We reckon, that for two people, this is the perfect touring vehicle. You have total flexibility with set up, depending on your interests and whether you will be towing a CT or van.

Worth a thought?

I now believe for this sort of set up, tray back utes are the best. The canopy is more expensive, but the vehicle is cheaper. But there is much more flexibility in set out and much better access for loading. For my new LC, I just bought the cab chassis (no tray). The canopy has integrated floor and is bolted direct to the chassis. These two pics might help explain.

Image Could Not Be Found
Norm C

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The fun is in the planning.

Norm C
AnswerID: 347704

Follow Up By: Member - Tony B (Malanda FNQ) - Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 18:18

Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 18:18
I agree, a ute with canopy is a good option - Have a look at my setup and it would suit you fine. Cheers TONY
FollowupID: 615914

Reply By: takenbyaliens (QLD member) - Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 17:38

Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 17:38
Hi olddigger
If you get a pajero take out the second row of seats. Fit the cargo barrier in the forward position and then fit a false floor in front of it. You can then utilise this space as long as you have proper tie downs etc.
According to modern astronomers, space is finite..a very comforting thought particularly for people who can never remember where they left things

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AnswerID: 347705

Reply By: Seakarvan - Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 18:40

Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 18:40
G'day olddigger,
Mate how long is a piece of string?
Your use, area's travelled and how remote you want to get must be factored in by you. However, here's my camp set-up:
For two max. a Troopy has the space to install a raised floor, pull out storage draw, an Engel and as we use, a 150mm high compression foam mattress that affords a great night's sleep for this old digger. Also keeps you off the ground. We are too old for tents now. A steel roof rack will cope the hardest country. Alloy is for show and the theorists.

Does all this work? well the old HJ75 was bought in 1986 with the Engel and I made the rack. Been to the top numerous times and nothing broke. Which is all you need to know re durability.

Good luck with your research but remember K.I.S.S.


AnswerID: 347710

Reply By: Member - Warfer (VIC) - Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 18:50

Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 18:50
Hiya Tony

Would probably help too if you mentioned what you want to spend on a vehicle !
Diesel,Petrol ???????

AnswerID: 347713

Follow Up By: olddigger - Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 19:46

Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 19:46
Hi Warfer,
It was a general query, but I'm happy to add a bit to it.
Want to go on a long trip around the nation, including national parks, Gibb River Road and suchlike. Queensland, Uluru and the usual touristy stuff. Some beach work for fishing.
Off road, rough road, but NOT the hairy-chested 4WD stuff, such as deeply rutted tracks, rock climbing, mud pools etc. I know lots of guys love it, but it's just not my scene.
Diesel, definitely. Auto transmission. Cruise control (which apparently rules out the Mazda BT-50).
I considered a Troopie, but they're not cheap.
Was hoping to spend something in the range of $15-20K.
As suggested by a couple of replies above, I'm leaning towards a ute-style with canopy, which seem to be good value for money compared to the L. Cruiser-Prado-Patrol sort of thing.
Plan to be pulling a camper trailer (but NOT the one I got a brochure about today whcih is a snip at only $42,581 (!!). At the end of the day, it's a tent on a bl**dy trailer!
Cheers, Tony
FollowupID: 615930

Reply By: Crackles - Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 19:49

Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 19:49
A Prado has almost the same packing space as a Patrol & with 180 litres of fuel in Standard tanks it leaves more than enough room for touring with only 2 people. If you can't fit everything in that space then you're taking way too much junk. Rear seats do weigh a fair bit so removing them is a good idea if there is no need. There can be some legal issues changing the configeration of seats in some states I've heard but I certainly haven't worried about it.
Cheers Craig..
AnswerID: 347723

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

Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 21:05
Hi Crackles,
The fuel thing is a great plus for the Prado, along with greater comfort factor (compared to a ute) if the bride decides she might like to come along for a while.
And you're right about taking too much. I now have a Magna stn wagon and there is TOO MUCH room for junk, which I fill!
Cheers, Tony
FollowupID: 615939

Follow Up By: Crackles - Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 21:49

Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 21:49
Yes Tony for comfort & ease of driving it certainly would be difficult to go past a Prado, & with just a few modifications can be turned into a very capable offroad vehicle able to tackle even the hardest of outback routes, then when home still be a great daily driver around town. Ironically even though they are smaller, they can legally carry quite a bit more load than both the 100 & 200 series Landcuriser wagons.
Cheers Craig............
FollowupID: 615954

Follow Up By: curious - Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 06:52

Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 06:52
I've got a Prado and am very happy with it for performance, comfort and storage space. No matter what your choice of vehicle or configuration (dual cab, trackback, sedan etc), I'd suggest some other points to ponder:

1. Inventive use of space. It's amazing how much you can fit into any area if you think through the design and how best to use the available space.

2. Don't take unnecessary gear. Others have mentioned this and it's good advice; I use a packing list every time, then on a trip if I find I need an item, I add it to the packing list but I also delete items I've taken but not used.

3. A place for everything and everything in its place. If you've sorted out your storage plan and design, both setting up and packing away becomes a quick and easy task because you know where everything is and where to store it. We've all probably surveyed our pile of gear and wondered how on earth we're going to fit it all in.

Generally I can fit everything in my cargo drawers and rear storage but on extended trips (several weeks) , I remove the Prado's rear seats and use the extra space. Must admit I haven't completed the storage design for this extra area as yet.

Hope this helps... Peter
FollowupID: 615984

Reply By: Member - Phil S (WA) - Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 20:00

Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 20:00
hey tony,we have a toyota 3L turbo diesel ex cab with a canopy on the back with a pop top that has a double bed.down below we have lift up side opening doors.on one side we have our fridge and kitchen gear ,stove etc.on the other side is extra storage for recovery and fishing gear and another spare wheel etc,as it is made from aluminium the weight is ok and the roof is also alum so no camping under canvas and up off the gound by 2metres.the set up is easy and quick.we have just returned from 5 months and 30 000 k touring oz.we saw lots of different styles of travelling and every style is a compromise on comfort and learn alot on the way but the biggest lesson for me was to keep it simple as too much gear is a mission .we returned with less gear than we left with. our fuel average was 9km to the litre.hope that helps regards phil
AnswerID: 347726

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