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Old 31st August 2009, 18:25   #46
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I travelled in one in Dallas, TX. But I wouldn't invest in one for use in India until we have the infrastructure/facilties for such vehicles as someone mentioned earlier. During my trip, we dumped waste at gas stations by simply attaching a rubber hose/pipe to the waste outlet and attaching it to the waste hole. When we parked at a designated area in the middle of nowhere for the night, we got electricity by plugging into sockets provided in that area. We simply shut off the engine and slept with the a/c on. In India, we have to check into a hotel at night in summer as one can't keep the engine running all that time!
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Old 1st September 2009, 01:02   #47
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I agree the platform is not good enough. Too small for the equipment it has. I guess 4 adults can't sleep all at one time in it. Plus you can't open the top while on the move, not practical to use facilities while moving. I would anyday prefer a caravan like our movie stars have over this one. (The one in swades that SRK had was awesome)

The solars won't provide even enough energy to power the fridge (I guess), but would eat a big investment. GC is good and the fact that its made in India and available for hire is good. But owing something like this no no.
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Old 1st September 2009, 08:13   #48
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yes, I also think this will be an awesome Caravan with Tata Xenon 4X4 platform, compact but enough power.

its not really a family caravan, I guess great for 2 Adults and good for 2 Adults and a kid, may be 2 kids.

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Old 1st September 2009, 10:11   #49
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mebe they have used this platform as it has a 4x4,both the tempo traveller and winger dont have this option. I do remember reading an article on this camper some time back in one of the auto mags.
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Old 1st September 2009, 10:41   #50
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Looks amazing ! I definitely want one too. Looks like the whole rear unit is imported to me. But the job done is very good.
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Old 1st September 2009, 10:44   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brat001 View Post
mebe they have used this platform as it has a 4x4,both the tempo traveller and winger dont have this option. I do remember reading an article on this camper some time back in one of the auto mags.

4X4 platform real reason for the Tata TL. go anywhere camp anywhere.

Last edited by 14000rpm : 1st September 2009 at 10:54.
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Old 1st September 2009, 10:53   #52
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Originally Posted by dhrishikesh View Post
The vehicle is looking really stunning !!!
Any guess on its total price ??
I think he has mentioned that it would cost 9.5L for the works and 7L for the vehicle.

I would surely want one. How road worthy is this? Can you stand upright without hitting your head on the roof?

It would have been better had it been a Traveler. You get more headroom and also have the liberty of walking around, even if the space is limited.

Insurance, tax and other RTO formalities would be an issue.
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Old 1st September 2009, 12:07   #53
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It would have been better had it been a Traveler. You get more headroom and also have the liberty of walking around, even if the space is limited.
I guess it depends what the objective is. For me personally, any kind of camping / expedition / overland travel would mean getting to places that are "off the beaten track" so to speak, where the capabilities of a 4-wheel drive vehicle are a "must-have" rather than just an additional feature.

If you plan to stick to mostly highways or at least metalled roads then a traveller might be a more comfortable option, and this has been done before I think, by people like DC. I remember seeing many conversions of this sort in the past.
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Old 1st September 2009, 12:28   #54
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I've always loved RVs.This Campervan looks great.Nice integration of the spare wheel.
Interiors looks a bit cramped though.
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Old 1st September 2009, 12:39   #55
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The world is such a small place. In case you didn't know, the owner of Overlanders is a team-bhpian -http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/members/gr8guy.html

The vehicle has been featured here - Camper (An indian camper anyone?)
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Old 1st September 2009, 13:22   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ym-enjn View Post
I agree the platform is not good enough. Too small for the equipment it has. I guess 4 adults can't sleep all at one time in it. Plus you can't open the top while on the move, not practical to use facilities while moving. I would anyday prefer a caravan like our movie stars have over this one. (The one in swades that SRK had was awesome)

The solars won't provide even enough energy to power the fridge (I guess), but would eat a big investment. GC is good and the fact that its made in India and available for hire is good. But owing something like this no no.
I would no like to use the accomodation part whilst on the move. Sleeping, cooking etc etc is not advisable anyways. What I was really impressed was the compactness of the vehicle, I am pretty sure, being a 4X4 + compact, it can go to many places where a bigger tempo cant go. If I ever buy such a thing it will be something like this. This is my personnal opinion only.

Yeah you correct, maybe for 4 adults it maybe cramped. ideal would be a family of 2 adults and 2 kids.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rkbharat View Post
yes, I also think this will be an awesome Caravan with Tata Xenon 4X4 platform, compact but enough power.

its not really a family caravan, I guess great for 2 Adults and good for 2 Adults and a kid, may be 2 kids.
Yeah I guess you right.

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Originally Posted by NIP View Post
Looks amazing ! I definitely want one too. Looks like the whole rear unit is imported to me. But the job done is very good.
The owner categorically mentioned that the whole thing is indigenous. Except maybe the folding beds and the sleeping bags, which are from North Face.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajitkommini View Post
I guess it depends what the objective is. For me personally, any kind of camping / expedition / overland travel would mean getting to places that are "off the beaten track" so to speak, where the capabilities of a 4-wheel drive vehicle are a "must-have" rather than just an additional feature.

If you plan to stick to mostly highways or at least metalled roads then a traveller might be a more comfortable option, and this has been done before I think, by people like DC. I remember seeing many conversions of this sort in the past.
Exactly, you said it right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moralfibre View Post
The world is such a small place. In case you didn't know, the owner of Overlanders is a team-bhpian -http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/members/gr8guy.html

The vehicle has been featured here - Camper (An indian camper anyone?)
Is he a Bhpian? Why did'nt he mention to me then, as I did ask his permission to post the pics in a forum before I clicked them.

I do have his contact details ( as a standard procedure while check- in at a hotel) so if you guys want I can give him a call and request him to get come here and answer your querries?
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Old 27th September 2009, 02:16   #57
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Camping and campers in India;
Ok. First I have to say that I spent years building one for myself, spending lots of cash. I did a lot of the work myself, but had the body fabricated by a local shop.

I have no doubt that it’s a great way to travel, provided you have the money and the time. Lots of each.
Fuel; yes, if you use a heavy vehicle, it will use lots of fuel. But compared to what the vehicle will cost you to buy / build, it’s not so much.

Infrastructure; In India, what you need is a “self contained unit”, which has its own water and power on board. You still need a level spot to park, but you do not need outside water or electrical hookups. It’s not very easy, but it is doable.

If you want to be able to stand in one place for extended periods, you’ll need a generator or solar panels.
The problem with solar panels [aside from high cost, danger of theft, and their fragility], is that they only work in direct sun, when [in India] you really must park in the shade.
The problem with generators is noise and stink in your otherwise quiet camp.
My Indian camper has a built in electric start water cooled diesel genset [sourced locally]. It’s VERY loud, but works great.
In Europe, I used a light-weight little petrol one and put it on the end of a 50 meter wire.

I put it 400 liters of fuel capacity and 400 of water. What we always needed was more water!
Toilet; we used the “country toilet” system in India; take a lota and head for the bushes. In fact, even in Europe sometimes…
Chemical toilets need to be emptied, and it’s a vile task. Believe me, I know. In the west there are possibilities for this [although sometimes it got difficult]. In India, you only have the side of the road. If you do this, keep the engine running for a quick escape.

We have interior heat, hot and cold running water, and AC. It isn’t necessary, but is nice if you can afford it. Of course, every extra gadget is another lot of connections and circuits that can go wrong. Also, the build time gets increased.

Driving; you’d better like to drive! I love driving my 7 ton air-conditioned turbocharged truck through the Indian countryside. I could do it for years! My wife however, is another subject.

Size of vehicle; well, that’s the big compromise. When driving, you want it small and light, when stopping, you want a house with everything in it. I settled on a 7 meter 6 ton bus chassis, as we wanted to be able to live in it for extended periods, and carry my motorbike on the back. Many are happy in a converted [long] jeep, others have a 12 meter coach.

4WD; I talked to a lot of overlanders about this, and what I came up with is that most people who have it never used it!
Heavy trucks, like the ex-military or converted fire tenders, are too big and heavy for the mountain jeep tracks. Jeeps are great in the mountains, but are a real compromise as a camper.
Most people got most places they wanted to go without the 4WD, but ground clearance and escape angle [the high tail Indian busses have] is important.
Unless traveling in monsoon, you can go most anywhere with a normal truck; just look at where the commercial trucks go! A good solid cable is a nice thing to have with you though. I did get myself pulled out a couple of times when I did get stuck.

Truck drivers in India have a code of camaraderie ; if you drive a truck, you are one of them, and they will always help you.
We’re foreigners who lived in India for decades, and we quite like “caste busting”. Folks get confused; “but you own the truck? AND you drive it?” they shake their heads in disbelief. If we can afford to own it, why on earth would we drive it ourselves?

You can explore the country at will, on your own schedule, with your family, your dog, your own beds, and your own food. It’s the ultimate luxury, but it’s also rough travel. Things go wrong, but that’s half the fun.
We made friends everywhere, we saw wild elephants in the forest, we stayed on beaches and coffee plantations, we baked chocolate cakes on the side of the road and had it with tea. We parked in the jungle and watched the giant Malabar squirrels jumping through the trees.
It’s not for everyone, that’s for sure; and there are cultural as well as economic barriers. But In a country as diverse and full of individuals as India, some will give it a go.

I’ll expand on any of this if anyone asks.
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Old 27th September 2009, 21:09   #58
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Awesome stuff Mark.

Did'nt think too much of campers myself till I saw this guy who lives up the road. He has a TATA XENON 4x4 crew cab and (definitely) an imported camper that he loads on top. He's off every weekend seeking fun outdoors.

The one thing you could expand upon is a 'toilet'
  1. Chemical toilets, can they be had on Busses?
  2. Are they a compromise or the user won't even notice the difference between a normal one and chemical one?
  3. What's the emptying procedure like?
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Old 28th September 2009, 00:49   #59
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Toilets;
well, you hit the nail on the head, it's the most difficult problem to overcome.
My dad had a huge Winnibago motorhome in the US in the early 80’s, which I used a little.

I had one of those pickup truck ones in the mid 80's. It weighed [literaly] a ton. The truck used quite some gasoline [That was in the US], 10 MPG which is 4.25Km/l.
They’ve probably improved them by now.

I have the Swaraj Mazda in India [for sale by the way], and I just sold a 1979 Mercedes 508 in Europe that we [wife, dog, and I] lived in for a year while building our new house.

The Winnibago, and many big American units, have a “holding tank” under the floor. A special ‘low water use’ toilet flushes into it. When it’s getting full [it has a level gauge], or whenever you can, you dump it; this is done at special dumping stations at bigger rest stops and all campgrounds. Sometimes, a 4” hose is used, which is kept in its own tube attached to the bottom of the vehicle.
After dumping, the tank is rinsed as far as possible by hosing fresh water into it through an [normally capped] opening on the side, then some “blue stuff” is added for the next tankload.

The blue toilet chemical keeps the smell down, but doesn’t eliminate it. The holding tank is vented through the roof, like a domestic septic tank.
Obviously, there are no dumping stations in India! They’re hard to find in Europe too, and people who have imported “big Americans” have difficulty.

In Europe, there are basically two systems for onboard toilets; “cassette” system, and portapoti.
A cassette system is a little bit like the winnibago holding tank, except the whole [smaller] tank unclips from the bottom, and can be wheeled to a toilet [usually a dedicated dump toilet] for emptying.
Even with the blue chemical, the smell is horrendous!
I’ve lived in the Indian countryside with open air toilets, I’ve done work on septic tanks in the US, and when I say it’s bad, it is. But it’s done quickly, and rinsed, and then it’s ok.

The portipoti is just like the cassette toilet, but smaller and cheaper. One neat little unit with a toilet on top, a built in little flush reservoir [with push pump], and the bottom half closes and then disconnects from the top for emptying. The whole thing is kept in the cabin though, and if it isn’t perfectly sealed, there is some smell.
If I were to build a new camper, it would probably have a portipoti in a special cupboard that closes to the inside, but is vented to the outside.

All of these toilets are a big compromise over normal house toilets, but better than going in the woods. They have no “pool” of standing water to reduce the smell, and flush isn’t very good with so little water available.

Living on my farm in Portugal, I took my tractor out into the field once every few days and dug a hole with the front loader bucket, to empty the portipoti into. Now, thank god, our house is ready and we have a real toilet.
Before that, when we were traveling around [but not staying in campgrounds], I emptied it in a river as it flowed into the sea at the beach, or into public toilets [carefully! You REALLY don’t want splash!!].

One last system; a couple we met used a setup where the seat was over a plastic bag. They knotted the bag and put it in the trash. Believe it or not, this is a popular solution in Europe.
I heard they do the same thing in parts of Africa, only they sling the bags into the neighbor’s properties. This is known as the “flying toilet”.

Ok, back to India now; we have no adequate solution. Certainly leaving the bags in trash bins would be an antisocial act, as you know someone will open them.
Public toilets? You know what that’s like.
Dumping a portipoti on the side of the road or down a gully is probably all you can do, unless you spend no more than a few days away, and you can get the whole thing back home before you reach critical mass.
And of course the chemical is not available, but maybe someone knows what it is, and it can be mixed up by a chemist. I suspect it’s something basic. Bleach might work.

Here’s an idea;
Each BHP-ian who builds a camper in India builds a dump toilet outside their house. All other BHP-ians can try to get to one of their fellow members before their tanks fill up. Over time, there should be a network across the country.
Maybe it’s not the best way to meet people; but we’ll just have to get over our revulsion of the subject if we want to be able to drive our campers across India.
Our revulsion of the actual task will however, surely remain.
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Old 28th September 2009, 11:02   #60
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well executed and certainly good looking machine.
but what about the stability issues.
i love the concept of camping here in India .But it would be hard for you to not make a scene when you stop this vehicle in a place to take a nap
i still feel a tempo traveler with proper mods will be better.
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