What 4wd to do aus trip

Submitted: Friday, Sep 07, 2012 at 21:06
ThreadID: 97892 Views:2388 Replies:8 FollowUps:4
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Hi everyone,
My partner and I are going to be traveling Aus next year for about a year. while where young no kids. I have built up an old cub camper which is sitting on a 45mm axle but has as much body clearance as my mates off-road trailer. While the aim is to keep mainly on the black top i would hope to see the bungle bungles, the Gib River road, access some free camping on dirt roads within a few km of the blacktop and possibly some beach camping.

the camper is 570kg dry with the 80L fridge and a 100amp hour battery. So should be under a tonne fully loaded. I had originally planned on taking out trusty Rav4, but due to the fact the rear door does not open with the trailer on i have rendered it useless.

We will be driving to save fuel, but i want fuel consumption to be 12 or less. I have no idea what car to take. I have about 12k to spend and im nearly 100% certain on diesel. NO Mitsubishi, Pajero or Trition. Keen on 2.8td Gu patrol atm and bravo/ courier duel cab utes.

If anyone can offer some advise on what and why and your experiences with economy and reliability of a particular 4wd that would be helpful.

Cheers Sean
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Reply By: Justahobby- Friday, Sep 07, 2012 at 21:08

Friday, Sep 07, 2012 at 21:08
this is a link to about 200 photos of the build up of my cub drifter from where it began to where it has ended up.

AnswerID: 494451

Reply By: Penchy - Friday, Sep 07, 2012 at 21:42

Friday, Sep 07, 2012 at 21:42
The Rav would have no chance of the Gibb. I'd say you might be biting off more than you can chew if you have to ask questions as to which 4wd would be best to tackle that road.
You have not indicated how much your willing to spend so work that out, then have a look. Yes diesel would be optimal choice. Go for something in good condition, unmodified and add on the bits you need (not want), and something that is pretty common. That way if it does break down there is a good chance spares will be easy to access.
AnswerID: 494456

Follow Up By: Justahobby- Friday, Sep 07, 2012 at 21:52

Friday, Sep 07, 2012 at 21:52
Hi Penchy,
thanks for your reply. originally i wasn't going to do the gibb, but i figure if I'm going to upgrade i may as well get something that can do the gibb. As mentioned i don't really want to spend more then $12K. I need dual battery and bull bar, would like a long range tank. I know there value of bull bars and long range tanks would buy some thing without a bull bar and put 1 one it but prob wouldn't buy a long range tank new and fit if the car didn't come with one would look around for a 2nd had one but slim chance. dual battery system is a fairly easy to do after purchase.

Cheers Sean
FollowupID: 770124

Follow Up By: KevinE - Sunday, Sep 09, 2012 at 10:52

Sunday, Sep 09, 2012 at 10:52
The Gibb really isn't that much of a challenge if you're prepared, drive to the conditions & do it later in the dry. I was on it last August when the NSW variety bash cars were coming the other way. They were all 2WD & got through no worries, even into side roads into gorges where the water across the road was a tad deeper. Would I do it in a 2WD? Nope! But I'd be comfortable doing it in anything with a bit more clearance. That access road to the Bungles is only 52 or so K's long, but it was a hell of a lot rougher than the Gibb! Not to mention the nutcases driving like the Dukes of Hazard on it!
FollowupID: 770196

Reply By: rooster350 - Saturday, Sep 08, 2012 at 08:29

Saturday, Sep 08, 2012 at 08:29
Please everyone , do not laugh....have you thought of a Sangyong Musso...they are cheap to buy, have a Mercedes diesel motor and with one or two little tweaks actually go reasonably well. We have a 2004 model with canopy , I put drawers in the rear , cruise control on it , and a larger exhaust. It tows our 17ft poptop van (1850kg loaded) with relative ease and around that fuel consumption(the faster you go the more you use)...naturally being diesel it is not real keen on hills , but it gets along smartly on the flat...and we got it for less than your budget. It had 100000km on the clock when we got it and we have since done 14000 km in it...I reckon it is a great machine...for the price...cheers
AnswerID: 494473

Reply By: Kimba10 - Saturday, Sep 08, 2012 at 09:26

Saturday, Sep 08, 2012 at 09:26
What about the holden rodeo duel cab ute 4x4 ?? Fantastic motor, extremly reliable and great on fuel, will give you around or under 12L per 100 for sure. There a tad noisy in the cabin but built tough. I personally (and its just me) dont like the 2.8 patrol alot of over heating head issues. If you can pick up a 4.2D would be the best option in the patrol but good luck picking one of them up and you wont get under 12L per 100 for towing on a regular basis. Depending on age of vehicle you want the old 2.8D hilux is an extremely reliable vehicle but also extremely slow especially when towing (talking from experience) myn had 300 thou on it when I sold it and so far was the most reliable 4wd I had.. You can pick up a 90 series prado for under 12 (can get one for 10k or less) but you wont get under 12L per 100 best I ever got out of mine towing a camper was 12.2L per 100 which I was happy with but this would change dramatically if doing some harder stuff or faced with head winds etc. Your limiting yourself with the fuel useage and amount for vehicle and if your basing your whole trip on 12L or less per 100k then some more savings will be required also based on the fact of repairs along the way, cost of fuel upto and over $2 a litre in some places and dont forget the extra servicing of the diesel over a petrol. Another good vehicle is the 2.7Petrol hilux, go well, very reliable and not a huge difference over the diesel in regards to fuel usage ?? can be had in single cab if that suits you better or the duel cab.......................
AnswerID: 494477

Reply By: SuperGrover - Saturday, Sep 08, 2012 at 10:36

Saturday, Sep 08, 2012 at 10:36
I recommend a Hyundaii Teracan diesel. We towed a 17' pop top from Perth to Kununurra on the blacktop and averaged 12.4 L/100 over the trip. We then upgraded the caravan to a 19'6 Supreme Territory which is semi offroad and full height and towed it with the Terracan from Perth through the Great Central Road to Darwin and averaged 16L/100. We later found out the van loaded was 2800 kg and have since upgraded the tow vehicle.
AnswerID: 494484

Reply By: james 75- Saturday, Sep 08, 2012 at 10:36

Saturday, Sep 08, 2012 at 10:36
Trailer looks great mate,

I just finished a 11 month trip round Aus with my wife for our honeymoon. It was awesome, the Gib is a must mate it'll shake the bleep e out of ya, and the trailer probably but just go for it.

As far as a machine for the job go's obviously a patrol or cruiser would be the best option, but you won't get much value for money ie kms etc, there is obviously pros and cons for every vehicle but if I was in your position I would be looking for an old diesel hilux. Preferably off an old guy who as owned it since new or for the majority of its life ( a generalization I know but it's worked for me twice ). The hilux because the fuel economy is reasonable ( not amazing but better than the patrol or cruiser) , spares are easy to get, and your likley to get one with some fruit already on it ie bull bar, snorkel etc, You won't get anywhere in a hurry but who cares the slower you go the more you see.

Just some thoughts any way mate. I've got an old Troopy that I love and there always a fail safe option.

We did double island point, parts of Fraser, the Bloomfield track, the eastern 3rd of the Gib and countless dusty tracks in a 1976 model Kombi van. Hah. So just take what ever you can get your hands on and go. Getting stuck in country towns is just a part of the adventure. The more cash you can take with you the better.

One other thing to think of is aerodynamics. One of the biggest factors that will send you fuel bill through the roof are the head winds on the big open desert roads. You want something that doesn't leave the trailer pushing wind. Wind deflectors etc are worth looking into.

Enjoy the trip mate.
AnswerID: 494485

Follow Up By: Justahobby- Saturday, Sep 08, 2012 at 12:50

Saturday, Sep 08, 2012 at 12:50
Hi james,

Thanx mate, i think the trailer will be up to the Gib just take it slow, well find that spot where the corrugations aren't as harsh.

It will be our honeymoon as well. so cant wait to get out there but need to save for the wedding and the trip. Do you mind me asking how many km you did and how much you spent on the trip?

I dont mind the old 2.8 hilux but they aren't that comfy and really slow.The Gu is the comfiest thing i have driven besides my old pajero. But no pajeros, it may be compy but i spend half my life under it or sitting on the side of the road on ankle deep in water if it rained the night before. I just want a stock Gu or the like with low 200K on it.

As for the trailer and head winds it sits lower than the rav4 i can just see straight over the top of it. But if a commodore or falcon or the like get to close ie less then 6 seconds behind me they disappear into a blind spot. the camper is a bit wider then the rav.
FollowupID: 770142

Follow Up By: james 75- Sunday, Sep 09, 2012 at 22:38

Sunday, Sep 09, 2012 at 22:38
Hey mate

Sorry just got back in the net, but I checked out the GU it looks like a good unit. I don't know heaps about them so it's hard to comment but it's better than a Kombi.

My wife and I travell between 35-38 thousand Kim's all up. The trip cost us a total of 39k for the 11 months including fuel. The old van was getting around 13 liters per 100 but introduce a head wind and that would go to around 15. We worked twice. Once for 6 weeks in Darwin and I flew home for 4 weeks for work a second time. The best we could do was $500 a week including fuel food accom etc. But most weeks were around $700. You might be able to do better but allow for services repairs etc.

Not sure where you from but for us the north west was the best. Areas like exmouth and gnarloo, they were fairly cheap also as you can catch most of your food ( take a spear gun ).

If you need any more info just let us know.

All the best and congratulations.
FollowupID: 770249

Reply By: Justahobby- Saturday, Sep 08, 2012 at 13:07

Saturday, Sep 08, 2012 at 13:07
Thanks to everyone who has answered so far.

I am also fond of the idea of spending an extra 2k say if im going to get better fuel economy and save that 2K later on down the track with fuel prices.

From what i have planned, doing roughly 30,000km at a average of $2/L thats roughly $7200 in fuel but if i get something that does 10L/100 that $6000.

Ra Rodeo i have read the 3L TDI does 10 or sometime less? anyone got one want to share some facts about them.

here is the gu i have looked at in town.


Thanks for your opinions everyone.

Cheers Sean
AnswerID: 494490

Reply By: Justahobby- Monday, Sep 17, 2012 at 08:48

Monday, Sep 17, 2012 at 08:48
Hi everyone,

What do people think about Vittaras. I'm looking at a 03 model with 135,000 km with the V6 2.4L. Has updated suspension and airbags in the rear. Has got a heavy duty tow bar but with the typical downward ball weight of 75kg. I have however found a company in Queensland who make a tow bar stamped with a 140 ball weight sticker.

I only plan on constantly towing no more than a tonne.

Has anyone done much towing with one of these, how was the fuel economy how did it handle?

Cheers Sean
AnswerID: 495068

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