Tuesday, April 30, 2013

$99,000 Toyota Land Cruiser Ambulance

Got a spare AU$99,000?  If you do, Ebay Australia has a Toyota Land Cruiser Ambulance available...
Toyota Land Cruiser Ambulance

My search for an alternative vehicle for overland travel has lead me to Ebay searching for 2nd hand ambulances.  I am aware of the older Land Rover 101 Ambulances, the few Land Rover Defender ambulance models plus an old Range Rover.  But my knowledge of Toyota based Ambulances is rather limited...

Listed on Ebay Australia for a mere AU$99k, this 2008 vehicle has just about everything you would need to turn a Toyota Land Cruiser 78 Series Troop Carrier into a neat expedition vehicle

Fitted with the Toyota VD Engine (V8 4.5L diesel engine), this will cover any terrain that you might encounter.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Trip Report: Sydney Caravan & Camping Show

The annual Sydney Caravan and Camping supershow is currently taking place.
Open over a whopping 8-day period, this show aims at showcasing the very latest caravans (on road and offroad), camper trailers, tents along with the usual big brands like ARB.

I was curious to explore the various camper trailers on offer plus any internal vehicle modifications that might look useful.

Here are a few photos from the day...

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Spotted: Toyota Land Cruiser Troopy - unique roof conversion

Overland vehicle modification is big business. Just look at the number of 4x4 garages, retail outlets and online sellers.  Even with all of these professional outfitters offering similiar products and services, independent overlanders always tend to find a unique way of modifying their vehicle.  Take for example this Land Cruiser
HZJ75RV Troopcarrier (6 cylinder Diesel Aspirated 4.2L)
1994 Land Cruiser Troopy

Spotted on Gumtree Australia, this 1994 Toyota Land Cruiser Troopy has had an interesting roof conversion.  Unfortunately no photos of the interior were posted online, however, the exterior photos make it look interesting.

Here is the detailed information as posted on Gumtree:
Unique conversion . Pop top with flip over roof carrier creates platform for bed above ground giving full standing space inside, on top of full length pull out drawers.
Complete with winch, limited slip diff. Compressor for tyres and diff. Spots front and rear. Tow bar (unused). Two radios – vhf and other. Completely treated under side at last rego.

Cost 24k 8 years ago. Used only for holiday trips not as a main car. In excellent running order.
Source: Gumtree AU Owner: Guy Baker (unconfirmed).  Asking AU$14,000.

A few more photos from the advert:

What do you reckon?  Neat idea or to cumbersome to setup?  I will follow up with the current owner to see if I can get a few more interior photos.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Right Here, Right Now...

How do you keep updated with all the overland travel blogs?  Do you like current information: Right Here, Right Now? Or do you prefer reading historical overland websites? In this blog post, I mention the rise of RSS enabled websites...

Overland travel has certainly gained a lot of popularity in the last 5 years, and with that, the amount of dedicated overland websites have boomed...

I recall spending hours on The Africa Overland Network visiting each BIO page in turn, attempting to find which websites had been updated since my last visit.  I was looking for updates on current overland travel information, current trip reports and current photos.  

Google Reader
Thankfully, with the advances of the blogging websites, RSS feeds were introduced which allowed me to link all the RSS enabled websites into Google Reader.  I now had the ability to quickly glance through my "Overland Live" folder and view all the current updates from these websites. 

Google Reader then allowed me to publish all my subscriptions (currently 237 Overland websites in my RSS folder) to a webpage.
As a result of this, I launched "Overland Live" and started to display the latest blogs, videos, photos and Twitter feeds.
The website has been archived, but the feed is still available:

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The invite...

Who did you ask to join you on your overland adventure?  Or did you get asked to join as a co-driver, navigator, bottle washer or simply as a paying passenger?

Initially I had been planning to do the trip on my own but after a friend initiated a blind date with Debbie, my plans started changing.  I quite fancied asking her to join me and had often hinted that I had a dream to drive across Africa.

I opted to present her with an invitation highlighting a few key facts and instilling some enthusiasm for a year spent in an overland prepared vehicle.

The challenge of owning your dream is making sure you can share the excitement, the fun and allow someone else, whose ideas might differ from your own to participate fully.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The day before...

Morgans Safari - Packing up
The day before you depart on your epic overland adventure: Excited? Anxious? Frustrated? Emotional?
Or, simply all of the above.

Over the last few weeks, I have been lucky to celebrate the departure of two trips from Sydney, heading to Africa...
First across the Sydney harbor bridge was Gareth and Kirsty from Aussie Overlanders and tomorrow it is the turn of Richard and Sophie from Morgan Safari.

I took the opportunity to pop down to the Mulgo Expedition vehicles workshop to catch up with Richard and Sophie.  A last minute glitch with the fresh water filtration system had Richard re-plumping a stronger pump into the rear of the Mitsubishi Pajero.

Mulgo Expedition Centre

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Twitter: @africaoverland

The latest Twitter updates from @africaoverland

Friday, April 5, 2013

Spotted: UK registered Land Rover Defender: F974 RTW

It's awesome spotting a foreign registered vehicle in a different country... This morning, Sydney time (07:33am), I spotted a UK registered Land Rover Defender (F974  RTW) heading towards Sydney airport.

Took me ages to catch it up and only managed to get a poor quality photo via my phone:

It certainly looked neat with an Eezi-Awn rooftop tent, twin spare wheel carrier and side awning. Unfortunately I could not get close enough to see who was driving.

Five days after spotting the Defender and asking a number of people and plenty of website searching, Daniel (Mulgo Expedition Vehicles & equipment) found the link to the website.

Check it out via: http://www.fourwheeltravel.com

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Trip Report: Family Long Weekend

"It always rains on the Easter weekend in Australia" stated a friend of mine as we discussed the various options for the long weekend. Traffic chaos was guaranteed if we opted for the rural campsites along the NSW coast line, so we decided on a route heading inland towards the Blue Mountains, in particular, the Newnes State Forest bordering the Wollemi National Park.

There are not many roads left in Australia that the Google Street car has not visited and I wanted to make sure we evaded those roads and followed alternative routes inland.
4x4 Earth Australia was my starting point. The website allows people to upload and download GPS routes across the country. I spent a few hours searching all the tracks until I had successfully downloaded a few that intersected my journey to the remote campsite. The route I opted for covered unsealed roads, fire tracks and potentially a few minor tracks linking the various fire roads.