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Old 7th October 2012, 16:17   #16
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Default Re: Skirting Himachal in 7 days in a Fortuner

True - Loved this thread and equally loved the second snap. Toyota should use it for their advertising. Please keep the pictures coming.
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Old 7th October 2012, 16:30   #17
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Default Re: Skirting Himachal in 7 days in a Fortuner

amazing write up and equally amazing pictures.
photo#2 had me looking at it for 5 straight minutes. colors are so much like the dark knight movie. really awesome picture. good job!
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Old 7th October 2012, 17:58   #18
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Default Re: Skirting Himachal in 7 days in a Fortuner

Awesome write-up and super awesome pics!
Lovely travelouge...
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Old 7th October 2012, 18:01   #19
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Default Re: Skirting Himachal in 7 days in a Fortuner

Quote:
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Hey Neville,
Brilliant travelogue. Looking forward to more.
Could you please write a little bit about your experience in the fortuner in comparison to Gypsy in these terrains.
Specifically, the flat spot of fortuner.
Cheers,
Deepak (clicked 5*)
Thanks Deepak. I am not an expert to comment on 4 wheel driving but will try and compare the two vehicles on the following 4 counts.

Suspension:
This is the easy one. The Gypsy has leaf springs all around which make it akin to a little truck to drive. This also gets very bouncy especially when you are driving over rocks and stones but what the rudimentary suspension also does for me is give me enough confidence to hammer over rough terrain (sensibly ofcourse) with having to worry only about you back and to a greater extent your co-passenger. However there are some very serious limitations to doing high speed runs over certain terrain like corrugations (ie road conditions similar to rumbler strips). The fortuner's suspension on the other hand simply dismisses all kinds of terrain with utter disdain. Therefore on a straight rock strewn path you can go much faster in a fortuner as compared to a Gypsy. The only thing you need to be careful of is larger stones hitting the front suspension. So the kind of ground we were able to cover cover on Day 3 would have taken us a lot lot longer in the Gypsy.

Visibility:
This is one of the few places where the Gypsy scores an emphatic win over the fortuner. The low seating of the Fortuner adversely impacts the all round visibility in the Fortuner, Most specifically the front of the vehicle when climbing as all you can see is the bonnet scoop.

Ground Clearance:
The fortuner does sit 5 mm higher than the Gypsy and also has very respsctable vital angles. This does make it a great vehicle to traverse hostile terrain.

Delivery of Power:
Relatively speaking power delivery in 4WD in a Gypsy is linear ie point and hit the gas and assuming there is sufficient traction the car will push ahead. in a fortuner though things can get tricky in 2 phases
1. As mentioned earlier the flat spot does exist below the kick in rpm, so you can end up slipping and deep frying the clutch
2. When the turbo does kick in it can take you unawares, it happened to us once when we were climbing and approaching a right handed hairpin. Bang on the curve the car just sling shot ahead and broke traction.
Having said that, its nothing serious and I feel this is something most owners will get used to and work around to plan the line of terrain attack accordingly.

Weight:
There are obvious advantages to the light weight of the Gypsy when skipping over bad terrain but that does get diluted by the cart sprung suspension. So its you really dont worry too much about getting stuck if you have a good set of tyres. The power in the Fortuner makes up for its weight and the only thing I was worried about was the sidewall cuts on the fortuner given its terrain crushing weight.

Finally if it helps, a lot of friends i have in Delhi and Chandigarh, most of them Raid De organizers and personnel that recce the route each year would swear by the Gypsy and its capabilities. A lot of them have now bought Fortuners as they claim it can do 90% of what a Gypsy can do in a lot more comfort and speed. The gypsies now remain in their stables only for hardcore offroading.


Quote:
Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
Lovely thread, rated five stars. Good to know about the Fortuner's performance - that is what is expected from such a great 4wd tourer (ok, I am biased ).

Looking forward to the rest of the narration.

Btw, did your friend ask Toyota for sponsorship?
Thanks Nilanjan, it is indeed one great 4wd tourer and no we did not ask for sponsorship.
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Old 7th October 2012, 18:43   #20
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As you pointed out, each vehicle has its unique torque curve. Once one gets used to a Fortuner's torque characteristics - i.e. controling momentum in inclines so that the rpm is over 1400 - tackling steep slushy or broken stretches becomes easier.

After driving close to 40000 kms in the Fortuner in all sorts of terrain (except in the high Himalayas or in the snow), I have never noticed a sudden surge after turbo kick in. The power delivery is rather smooth. I wonder why you faced what you faced. Sure it was not related to sudden clutch release or some 4 LL gear shift on the fly? Can you tell me the altitude at which this happened? Were you on 4LL, 4 HL or 4H in 1st?

Also, didn't 4LL give too much torque on a road that is sometimes traversed by non-4wds? That is 850+ NM of torque once you cross 1400 rpm - on a narrow broken track it can be dangerous unless controlled.

Obviously, you knew best since you were on that terrain during this fantastic trip. But as a T-Fort owner who is taking the vehicle for some Himalayan trail driving in a couple of weeks, I am very interested in your experience.

Last edited by nilanjanray : 7th October 2012 at 18:46.
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Old 7th October 2012, 23:46   #21
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Default Re: Skirting Himachal in 7 days in a Fortuner

Quote:
Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
The power delivery is rather smooth. I wonder why you faced what you faced. Sure it was not related to sudden clutch release or some 4 LL gear shift on the fly? Can you tell me the altitude at which this happened? Were you on 4LL, 4 HL or 4H in 1st?
This specifically happened while climbing Kumzum La. We felt the vehicle struggle to climb in the default mode ie 4H, so i slotted it into 4HL which actually made matters worse for some strange reason. In this mode I had to slip the clutch to get the revs up to get any sort of response from the vehicle and resulted in the arid odour of the clutch frying. After a couple of bends I stopped and slotted it into 4LL. While there was a small difference in the lift off the car wasnt going anywhere in a hurry until the turbo kicked in. To re-iterate this is nothing that cannot be solved once you get used to the vehicle's behaviour. Its just that I found it completely different to the Gypsy wherein you get an instant shove and lift off in 4wd Low, Gear 1.


Quote:
Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
Also, didn't 4LL give too much torque on a road that is sometimes traversed by non-4wds? That is 850+ NM of torque once you cross 1400 rpm - on a narrow broken track it can be dangerous unless controlled.
Like I mentioned the car never really took off in 4LL until the TC spooled up. Yes the torque can become a handful if not harnessed in immediately once the TC kicks in, especially on gravel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
Obviously, you knew best since you were on that terrain during this fantastic trip. But as a T-Fort owner who is taking the vehicle for some Himalayan trail driving in a couple of weeks, I am very interested in your experience.
I dont think you will have a problem as you obviously know your vehicle having driven her for the 40k+ kms.
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Old 8th October 2012, 00:06   #22
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Default Re: Skirting Himachal in 7 days in a Fortuner

Day 4: Kaza - Sangla
The plan for the day was to look around Kaza and proceed to Sangla. The hotel has an amazing display of fossils of fish, eel and sea horses picked up from the valley. We visited Ki Gompa and Kibber village that morning and after that returned to the hotel packed up and left. Tanked up at the World’s highest fuel pump with a non-reset, read running fuel counter. So what that meant was you to utilize a generally unused section of your brain to remember the original reading, verify the new one post filling in fuel and then subtract the two numbers and multiply by the cost per litre J. So after tanking up the car we set off towards Sangla. The scenery was amazing as ever with the landscape changing completely every half hour. We stopped at Nako briefly to view the lake and then continued on. Approx 50km outside Sangla we encountered another severe landslide where there were more than 25 vehicles piled up in front of us. We parked the car and walked up to see the landslide which was around the bend. There were two bulldozers at the site of which one had broken down and the other one was furiously working on clearing up the path. We waited there for nearly an hour after which an army convoy which was on the opposite side took preference of way and moved on. As soon as they crossed us we were off and managed to overtake nearly all the cars within 5 mins. Nearly all because there was a Mahindra max pickup ahead of us, a local who was driving it like a bat out of hell. Taking corners with the rear end fishtailing on the gravel road AT EVERY TURN!! That guy was truly on a death wish and perhaps even more excited seeing us trying to overtake in his rear view. I eased off on the gas for a while to allow the nutcase to put some distance between us and that worked. He too slowed down eventually and started driving more sedately. Finally near the power station at Powari before Sangla the guy stopped and we overtook him.

Reached Banjara camps Sangla by 9pm, had dinner and met up with (ex-army) Capt Ajay Sood who co-owns the Banjara group. They have resorts across Kaza, Sangla, Thanedaar and Shoja to name a few. He is great guy to chat with and he gave a few pointers on what to do the next day. We chalked out a plan to do a trek at chitkul the next morning and then retired to our respective tents that were truly luxurious.
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Old 8th October 2012, 00:30   #23
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Default Re: Skirting Himachal in 7 days in a Fortuner

A few more pics from Day 4.. Some of the rock faces between Kaza and Sangla wear a angry look similar to what I've seen in Ladakh.
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Old 8th October 2012, 00:44   #24
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Default Re: Skirting Himachal in 7 days in a Fortuner

More pics from Day 4.
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Old 8th October 2012, 00:50   #25
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Default Re: Skirting Himachal in 7 days in a Fortuner

last set of pics from day 4...
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Old 8th October 2012, 08:53   #26
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Default Re: Skirting Himachal in 7 days in a Fortuner

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Originally Posted by satan View Post
This specifically happened while climbing Kumzum La. We felt the vehicle struggle to climb in the default mode ie 4H, so i slotted it into 4HL which actually made matters worse for some strange reason. In this mode I had to slip the clutch to get the revs up to get any sort of response from the vehicle and resulted in the arid odour of the clutch frying. After a couple of bends I stopped and slotted it into 4LL. While there was a small difference in the lift off the car wasnt going anywhere in a hurry until the turbo kicked in. To re-iterate this is nothing that cannot be solved once you get used to the vehicle's behaviour. Its just that I found it completely different to the Gypsy wherein you get an instant shove and lift off in 4wd Low, Gear 1.
Like I mentioned the car never really took off in 4LL until the TC spooled up. .

Logging in after a very long time to see this fantastic thread. Great going Satan.
I too faced exactly the same issue with my Fortuner during a recent trip. Steep incline, one wheel in a rut, some slush but nothing serious.. 4LL and the vehicle just does'nt moves below 1400 rpm. I had to use the same technique of raising the RPM and slipping in the clutch. Though no burning smell for me. Once it engaged above 1400 rpm the Fort came out as if nothing had happened. And the altitude was 14000+ feet . I made a mental note there to try this back home on steep incline. Perhaps i need driving lessons on starting in 4LL on steep inclines. What i feel here is that we are missing something.

And you rightly penned down the capabilities of this vehicle. Its a fantastic fatigue free tourer. Recently drove about 6000+ kms solo on dizzying heights and some really bad roads. No tiredness.

Speaking of bad roads i am all praise for the Dunlop Grandtreks. No cuts or bruises after the trip. They are not bad at all as they have been named. And wet road perfomance is just brilliant. Grips the road like magnets.

Sach pass is now on the very top of my to do list.

keep going mate .

Last edited by columbus : 8th October 2012 at 08:55.
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Old 8th October 2012, 13:39   #27
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Day 5: Sangla - Chtkul - Sangla

Woke up late that morning, stepped out of the tent and the site of the resort blew me away. It was dark when we had arrived the previous night and therefore very difficult to get you bearings. But this morning the sun was up and walking around the resort was truly rewarding. For one it Is dotted with apple trees which were in full bloom. Then the site is located next to a raging river so throughout the day you can hear it gushing past. The resort is open every year between May and Oct and then packed up for the winter. This and Thanedaar are two places I would love to come back with family given their proximity to Chandigarh.
We had breakfast and set off to Chitkul for a trek, which is approx 25 kms away. The trek itself was very beautiful with the track lacing the river and meadows at the start and then rising as we walk away from chitkul. There were meadows of orange flowers in full bloom which were a sharp contrast to the grey mountains and green pines. We walked until the army check post beyond which civilians aren’t permitted as there is a helipad there. Returned by 3pm had lunch and played badminton after maybe 10 years. Evening was a grand affair with a barbeque and a fire set up in the compound with drinks and cocktails. We exchanged stories of Ladakh and discussed the chaddar trek in the Zanskar valley which Ajay had completed this year. Finally called it a night post 1 am given we had to leave for Thanedaar next morning
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Old 8th October 2012, 14:05   #28
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Default Re: Skirting Himachal in 7 days in a Fortuner

some more pics from that day
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Old 8th October 2012, 17:45   #29
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Default Re: Skirting Himachal in 7 days in a Fortuner

Amazing write up! great pics.
This threads really gonna help me, you know for what?
Yes, rated it 5stars, btw which camera was it?
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Old 8th October 2012, 18:54   #30
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Default Re: Skirting Himachal in 7 days in a Fortuner

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Day 5: Sangla - Chtkul - Sangla

Woke up late that morning, stepped out of the tent and the site of the resort blew me away.
==========
This and Thanedaar are two places I would love to come back with family given their proximity to Chandigarh.
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The tent house is superb for a romantic family holiday. If possible pls give us few details about the spot. Whr to book & how to reach from Shimla. Actualy next year am planing a trip to Shimla, Sangla & Chitkul.
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