4x4 travel with a large family, advice please

Submitted: Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 04:32
ThreadID: 97047 Views:4680 Replies:13 FollowUps:4
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First time posting here, so please be gentle ;)

My new partner & I have 6 children between us & both have enjoyed 4x4 travel in our previous lives. Now that we're merging families, we' re contemplating future travel with 8 people ... and how we're going to pull it off!

We both have Toyota Prados but would prefer not to take 2 vehicles. We don't have a camper trailer (have had previously and think we might like to go 'lighter') & would prefer not to tow anything if possible. But we still have a fridge & icebox & would need to carry water, obviously big space takers.

Are we dreaming?! Is fitting 8 people & all associated gear impossible in one 4x4 (any recommendations for the 'perfect' vehicle? We can't think of any, but surely we're not the only large family who want to enjoy the great outdoors all together?

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Reply By: gbc - Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 05:47

Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 05:47
Mitsubishi delicia (they're just a triton) and a box trailer. I'm not seeing 8 people camping with anything less.
AnswerID: 491537

Reply By: mikehzz - Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 06:10

Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 06:10
A Toyota Troopy might fit it all in. There are 8 seater conversions but not sure how much space is left for the fridges etc. You'll need roof racks.
AnswerID: 491538

Reply By: dindy - Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 06:50

Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 06:50

There is no perfect vehicle for what you want to do with the exception of custom built vehicles such as OKA etc but these are expensive. I think all large 4wd vehicles, toyota/nissan, are only 7 seaters so what do you do with number eight? When loaded with all the requirements for 8 people camping would make for very uncomfortable travelling. As there is no room for luggage in the vehicle it would have to be carried on the roof making the vehicle very unstable. 8 people squeezed into one vehicle with all their gear, tolerance for others quickly evaporates.

When you say you want to go lighter how would that be possible with 8 persons in one vehicle with all their gear?

You say you want to go 4x4 travelling what do you mean by that? Is it just dirt road travelling or getting into remote rough stuff where you need to rely on your 4x4 capability.

You may be able to pick up a modified 4x4 coaster bus or similar but again these can be expensive.

Some options. Retain your current vehicles, buy a decent deep sided trailer and share the load between both. This would make for safer and more comfortable travelling. Another option would be to replace one of your vehicles with a decent dual cab which can be your gear vehicle.

Fit both vehicles with decent uhf radios and communicate between vehicles whilst on the move you will be surprised what kids will come up with to keep occupied with this option. Went away once to remote western area with three vehicles in convoy kids spent most of the time travelling playing trivial pursuit over the uhf, was fun.

Good luck with finding what you are looking for.
AnswerID: 491539

Follow Up By: mikehzz - Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 07:11

Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 07:11
Prado, Land Cruiser and Delica do come in 8 seater models but that does leave very little space for gear.
FollowupID: 767031

Follow Up By: Dr Hook - Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 11:28

Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 11:28
I have to agree with Dindy:
Whilst I did a great trip with my girlfriend and our 4 young kids some years ago in a Mitsi L300 4WD, with any more you would have to consider comfort and lack of enjoyable view, roominess and access/egress in long distance and off-road travel for the passengers.
One miserable kid will ruin the trip for all. Remember its the journey not the arrival you want them to enjoy: why give them a miserable trip cramming them into an overloaded, cramped whoopie, when you already have the 2 prados and can mix the passengers around every so often, to avoid everyone getting on each others' nerves.

Cheaper to go with the Prados rather than buy an Oka.....
FollowupID: 767046

Reply By: PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 09:21

Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 09:21
I do not know your budget, nor your skills not the follwing vehicle too well other than a friend has one.

Maybe worth consideration:

Oka 4WD sold

AnswerID: 491544

Follow Up By: PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 09:25

Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 09:25
Missed a bit. Nor do I know how much they are.

FollowupID: 767040

Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 11:51

Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 11:51
What you need is an OKA with seating for 6 in the passenger area (plus 2 up front) and a box behind that.
This body configuration is available and there would be a few about I reckon.
Changing bodies on the OKA is a simple matter, so any base vehicle would do for a start.

I suggest joining here and posting a request.

OKA196 Motorhome.
AnswerID: 491553

Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 11:55

Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 11:55
As an aside, our OKA motorhome is a 5 seater....
2 up front plus a child seat on the engine cover plus 2 seats in the camper section at the rear, so there are options depending on your preferences.

OKA196 Motorhome
FollowupID: 767047

Reply By: PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 16:54

Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 16:54
Excellent. I wasn't being off the mark.

I would hazard a guess that you could even do work inside to match your requirements. But then again that comes back to budget.
AnswerID: 491573

Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 18:16

Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 18:16
This is the body configuration you need. It is a 'multi cab'.
It seats up to 9. This one had seats for 8 by the look of the description.
For sale too. :-)

OKA196 Motorhome
AnswerID: 491579

Reply By: Member - Vince M (NSW) - Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 18:35

Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 18:35
have a look at a Nissan or Toyota 6 wheeler conversions by Briggs extended cabin is a 9 seater with the std wagon for some storage very capable (new or 2nd hand)
AnswerID: 491580

Reply By: timothy - Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 18:36

Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 18:36
Hi Rochelle, I'm from a family of 6 kids plus mum and dad and somehow we managed to get away on a few holidays. I would say how and where you travel depends a lot on the age of your clan.

While us kids were young we used to travel in a Toyota Landcruiser and tow a 27' caravan with shower and toilet, this is far from "light" but it saved mum and dad setting up tents while worrying about toddlers running around. It also let them bathe us in the van and store/change nappies there too. We had regular holiday destinations and didn't travel too far, driving days were always short to avoid conflict in the car which often happened anyway.

As us kids got older we started driving two cars because of the lack of legroom in the back of the cruiser and picked up a smaller van without the shower and toilet, us kids started to take more of an interest in the journey and we were able to travel further and camp in more remote places. The older kids were able to help with setting and packing up which let mum and dad relax more.

Now us "kids" are in our late teens and 20s and we take mum and dad on holidays, we've done several interstate trips and travel in a convoy of 2-4 4x4s towing a variety of offroad caravans and campers. We generally try to camp where we can set up our own little community and share resources such as showers, meals and lighting.

We have camped without towing, Dad actually has a Holden (Chev) Suburban which has 8 seats and lots of luggage space which we took to Cape York but we couldn't have fitted all our gear into it and had to take two 4x4s. Realistically I think you're up for taking both Prados if you're not towing and depending on the ages of your kids I think you might find things easier if you have some fixed accomodation in tow.
AnswerID: 491581

Reply By: Eric Experience - Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 19:44

Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 19:44
The perfect camping vehicle is a Mercedes Sprinter 4x4 they are available with 8 seats, and still plenty of room for gear. They are very capable of road and have very good fuel economy. Eric
AnswerID: 491586

Reply By: Member - wicket - Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 11:39

Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 11:39
I reckon one of these would fit the bill

VW Trakka
AnswerID: 491633

Reply By: Member - IdahOz - Friday, Jul 27, 2012 at 17:25

Friday, Jul 27, 2012 at 17:25
First of all, good for you, and welcome!! Hubby and I have 6 kids, 4 who are 11 and under and live with us, 2 full grown who visit.

We camp all the time with the 6 of us and occasionally with 8.

We scoured the internet and found a Toyota Landcruiser Troopy that had been converted to seat 8 (barely) with one very small person squeezed in the front. With a roof rack you can haul a bit of gear, we opted to pull a home made camp trailer.

More recently we went back to the internet and found a Holden/Chevy Suburban that seats 8 in comfort and still has plenty of room in the boot.
Not sure how you r gonna pack in all the gear you will need (just clothes for 8 people is a lot of space), but with a roofrack you could give it a go.
AnswerID: 491784

Reply By: Rochelle - Thursday, Aug 23, 2012 at 11:38

Thursday, Aug 23, 2012 at 11:38
Thank you all so much for your replies, I appreciate it very much. You've certainly given us some things to think about.

All the kids are under 12 and at the moment we squeeze everyone into one vehicle for day to day travel. But they're only going to get bigger so realistically long distances aren't an option in 1 Prado! 'Lighter' actually meant we don't need all the camping bells and whistles, but yep, even basics for 8 takes up plenty of space.

For the time being we're thinking we might have to take our 2 vehicles (never a bad thing I guess if we're going remote), but we will certainly consider other options for the future. Again, thanks for all the input.

AnswerID: 493445

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