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Old 22nd March 2010, 12:12   #1
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Default Building an Expedition Vehicle

The latest thougths going thru my head.

Circa 2005 - When the group had just begun, a beautiful LandRover 110 series (Yellow coloured) stock vehicle was up for sale. As much as I wanted it, I couldnt afford it at that point of time. It finally found a buyer in Coorg I guess. That was the day I decided that sometime in my life before my time comes, I would like to build an expedition vehicle and travel.

I just love travelling. Now with my family (Wife & 2 daughters) I cant afford to have just some vehicle for long distance touring. For my local interstate juants (Bangalore - Ooty) etc..my Palio 1.6 is more than enough. But I plan to do a trip every year from now on to far flung places.

Present Day - My thoughts for an expedition vehicle (long wheelbase).

What should be the base vehicle? The regular Scorpio, Bolero, Safari ? Pick up one of these and kit it out... No fun in this I would say.

Or being an off-roader stick to the old world used Land Rovers, Land Cruiser BJ60's, Nissan Patrol, Pajeros. My budget is not huge. Its very limited. The idea is to pick an used vehicle work on it (aah the joys of restoring a vehicle!!!) and then put it to use.

I have begun my search for an used long wheel based expedition vehicle. But cant seem to find any in Bangalore. Even if I find one here its gonna cost a lot.

This is gonna be a thread which will span for sometime to come.

I wish I was as lucky as the other person who got a Land Rover gifted. Man what would I do to be in your shoes!!.. Meanwhile, requesting those who have know anyone offering their LR's , LC's please do let me know. In case they want to gift one, they are more than welcome. Will take care of it like a baby!!!..

Looking forward to your help people.
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Old 22nd March 2010, 13:03   #2
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A very nice thought indeed, something i have always been dreaming of. I am seeing a similar project on the verge of getting started here in Delhi in the hands of fellow bhpian and my jeep mentor 'renegade'. Yes its based on a 60 series LC. But coming across a vehicle like this in decent price is more of a matter of luck
What about the desi Tata TL4x4 if you can't manage to come across an LC or old series Patrol? I guess this vehicle has some good modification options (the overlanders people have done a hell of mods on it).
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Old 22nd March 2010, 13:21   #3
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one of the foremost requirements for a expedition vehicle is iron-clad reliability. And would vintage LC be able to offer that after having spent a packet on it?

a Bolero XLS or a Gypsy would make a better platform for a go-anywhere expedition vehicle me thinks.
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Old 22nd March 2010, 14:15   #4
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Default Expedition vehicle

Quote:
Originally Posted by RAINMAKER View Post
The latest thougths going thru my head.

Circa 2005 - When the group had just begun, a beautiful LandRover 110 series (Yellow coloured) stock vehicle was up for sale. As much as I wanted it, I couldnt afford it at that point of time. It finally found a buyer in Coorg I guess. That was the day I decided that sometime in my life before my time comes, I would like to build an expedition vehicle and travel.

I just love travelling. Now with my family (Wife & 2 daughters) I cant afford to have just some vehicle for long distance touring. For my local interstate juants (Bangalore - Ooty) etc..my Palio 1.6 is more than enough. But I plan to do a trip every year from now on to far flung places.

Present Day - My thoughts for an expedition vehicle (long wheelbase).

What should be the base vehicle? The regular Scorpio, Bolero, Safari ? Pick up one of these and kit it out... No fun in this I would say.

Or being an off-roader stick to the old world used Land Rovers, Land Cruiser BJ60's, Nissan Patrol, Pajeros. My budget is not huge. Its very limited. The idea is to pick an used vehicle work on it (aah the joys of restoring a vehicle!!!) and then put it to use.

I have begun my search for an used long wheel based expedition vehicle. But cant seem to find any in Bangalore. Even if I find one here its gonna cost a lot.

This is gonna be a thread which will span for sometime to come.

I wish I was as lucky as the other person who got a Land Rover gifted. Man what would I do to be in your shoes!!.. Meanwhile, requesting those who have know anyone offering their LR's , LC's please do let me know. In case they want to gift one, they are more than welcome. Will take care of it like a baby!!!..

Looking forward to your help people.
Rainmaker,
If i were in your place and if i have to choose an expedition vehicle i would take the following things into criteria-

1. Space - Very important as you are out ona long trip
2. Fuel efficiency- Very imp considering guys like we will always be on budget. Petrol option is out!
3. Repair ability- Local mechanic must have parts and must be able to fix it if any thing goes wrong
4. Mix of balance between on road comfort and off road ability- Considering you will be traveling more on road than off it

Used options i see here are-
1. Bolero Camper 4wd
2. Bolero 4wd (space would be -Ve here) with out trailer
3. A used Scorpio Getaway 4wd if you get lucky
4. Non Crdi chain drive Scorpio 4wd (again space would be a sort of a issue)
5. If budget is an severe issue then go for commander/Marshal hard top 4wd and attach a trailer

New options include -
1. Bolero camper 4wd [No p/s & A/c :-(]
2. Trax GAMA 4wd/Cruiser Classic 4wd) - Ultimate expedition vehicle in terms of space and comfort. Biggest drawback no P/s & A/c with 4wd

3. Scorpio Getaway 4wd- most sensible and economical of the lot, considering price and features, comfort and rough road ability. But repair ability in hinterland will be an issue if something fails!
4. Bolero 4wd slx- All comfort at the expense of space. You have to add a roof carrier and a trailer


My advise would be go for Bolero camper 4wd if old and customize it. If new best option would be getaway for all round ability and Bolero 4wd for the best of the above four criteria.

Inputs Welcome!

Last edited by vinod_nookala : 22nd March 2010 at 14:17.
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Old 22nd March 2010, 14:52   #5
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Dear Vinod,

Option
1. RULED OUT
2. NO LONGER AVAILABLE. The only 4WD vehicle from Force is the Gurkha. Everything else is 2WD.
3. Lack of space inside
4. Old but rugged.

Need to evaluate other options .. Am in no hurry. Like I said this is gonna be a long thread over a period of time.


Quote:
Originally Posted by vinod_nookala View Post

New options include -
1. Bolero camper 4wd [No p/s & A/c :-(] -
2. Trax GAMA 4wd/Cruiser Classic 4wd) - Ultimate expedition vehicle in terms of space and comfort. Biggest drawback no P/s & A/c with 4wd - 3. Scorpio Getaway 4wd- most sensible and economical of the lot, considering price and features, comfort and rough road ability. But repair ability in hinterland will be an issue if something fails!
4. Bolero 4wd slx- All comfort at the expense of space. You have to add a roof carrier and a trailer
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Old 22nd March 2010, 15:00   #6
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I think Tata Safari 4x4 will be the best option, as highway driving is very comfortable on it, tough body & lots of space.

Cheers!
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Old 22nd March 2010, 15:26   #7
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Default Why not Tata Xenon or Mahindra Getaway

If you want a vehicle for a long expedition which may not have too much of serious off roading like our friends on the forum do, then I would suggest you to go with Xenon or Getaway. You can pimp it to the core and make use of it's flat bed to a great extent.

Check out some of the snaps below for more ideas.
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Old 22nd March 2010, 15:56   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pardus View Post
If you want a vehicle for a long expedition which may not have too much of serious off roading like our friends on the forum do, then I would suggest you to go with Xenon or Getaway. You can pimp it to the core and make use of it's flat bed to a great extent.

Check out some of the snaps below for more ideas.
second that, the xenon or the getaway make a lot of sense for your plans. But if there is not much of offroading then why not go for tempo traveller or winger type
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Old 22nd March 2010, 15:57   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COUGAR View Post
one of the foremost requirements for a expedition vehicle is iron-clad reliability. And would vintage LC be able to offer that after having spent a packet on it?...
Well what i have heard from various expedition forums, its actually difficult to make a 'vintage' LC (60 series) unreliable once you have done it throughly! There is this FJ62 i have seen which has done more than 3 lakhs km and the only problems are some rust here and there in the body and some suspension job. With hardly any sophisticated electronics, these machines simply refuse to die.
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Old 22nd March 2010, 16:16   #10
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Nice thread , although i do not have any input at this point in time but i've subscribed to it just for my learning as travelling is one of my or should i say my ONLY love.
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Old 22nd March 2010, 16:22   #11
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I have a pic for you. This one from south Africa on Scorpio. The other one on a jeep with trailer. Hope it would give you ideas
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Old 22nd March 2010, 16:44   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinod_nookala View Post
I have a pic for you. This one from south Africa on Scorpio. The other one on a jeep with trailer. Hope it would give you ideas
Do we have any trailer manufacturer in India? Is it Legal?

I've seen only one till date but it was parked in one of the petrol pumps in Delhi.
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Old 22nd March 2010, 17:00   #13
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Vinod's Mahindra Bolero Camper idea was spot on IMHO. On a tight budget you are not going to get anything better and in this case what you will get fits some of your criteria very well. It has a very long wheelbase, rides and handles reasonably well....depending on what you are used to. It is simple, rugged and dependable. Parts and mechanics who know the vehicle are wide spread. It has a high ground clearance, hydro-electric engineers use them up here in the mountains to inspect power plants high up in the hills.

On a budget you are not going to get everything you want. Bolero Camper has a lot to offer you. You will also find it handy to have around town. You can modify it to suit your needs. Add A/C, PS. You could bob the tail ala khan Sultan. You could turn it into a Bolero Camper axe...I drew it myself. Can you tell? Seriously, this is a good vehicle.
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Old 22nd March 2010, 17:04   #14
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Vehicle with a trailer is a very popular option abroad. But i don't think it is suitable for the kind of trips RAINMAKER is planning. The Getaway or Xenon is not a very cost effective option either. Gypsy doesn't offer too much of space and not that comfortable for a long tour with family.
Diesel + Space + Reliability + Suitability of modification as an expedition vehicle..... i guess Toyota is the best option. Something like the old school LC to be specific: simple,solid and reliable. And plenty of standard accessories are available off the shelf.
I think with some patience and good bargain you should come across a decent piece at a decent price.
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Old 22nd March 2010, 17:40   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kandisa View Post
Diesel + Space + Reliability + Suitability of modification as an expedition vehicle..... i guess Toyota is the best option. Something like the old school LC to be specific: simple,solid and reliable. And plenty of standard accessories are available off the shelf.
Toyota LC is every body's fancy but what about parts when you get breakdown something? Toyota's are largely reliable but guys its a machine at the end of the day it too can fail. Parts sourcing and shipping is a problem if you don't have a source.
In our Chennai group Patrik has a LC troop carrier. He recently did Alvakonda OTR with that hulk. Ideal touring and camping machine. But you need to be Patrik kind of a guy to maintain, source and repair that hulk.

If you are game for such kind of machine and way of living nothing like it.
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