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The new tug!
When we first made the decision to travel long term and head off for our adventure around OZ we owned a 2000 Nissan Patrol GU 3.0l Turbo Diesel. It was a great car and was setup well for off-road 4x4ing. This model however did not have a great reputation when it came to the engine. Lots of problems reported regarding engine failure and plenty of negative stories around the internet forums. As much as I loved the Patrol I decided we would get another rig for touring. Don’t get me wrong, Nissan Patrols are a fantastic 4×4, it was just our particular model fell within a range known to have issues)
After a bit of research we decided to invest in a 2003 Holden Rodeo 3.0l Turbo Diesel Dual Cab with fibreglass canopy. This would give us plenty of room in the back, some off-road ability and enough power to tow our old camper trailer. The Rodeo has served us very well and have enjoyed taking it to the many places we have. The reliability is faultless and the fuel economy was great. (Then again, those Isuzu engines are known for great touring performance). We have outgrown the Rodeo. We now have 2 more kids (and all their stuff), a larger camper (Jayco Eagle Outback) and a few more goodies we now carry with us. The Rodeo was getting a bit cramped inside and the extra weight was pushing its power limits up the hills.
We needed more room, more power and I simply just felt like a change too. It was in the back of my mind to simply upgrade the Rodeo with a newer, roomier Isuzu Dmax with an alloy tray and full canopy for all our gear. This was still the plan until 2 days ago. We drove past a 4×4 for sale on the side of the road and to cut a long story short- it’s now in my driveway!
Introducing our new Tug!
What is it?
2001 Toyota Landcruiser 105 series wagon
- 5 speed manual
- 4.2L 1HZ engine with aftermarket Turbo
- No frills, minimum electrics but a whole lot of room inside.
- Vinyl floors and waterproof canvas seat covers
- 145L Fuel Tank
- 3” Exhaust
- Manual Locking Hubs
What goodies does it have?
- TJM Winch bar
- 9000lb Warn winch
- 2x Lightforce 240 Spotties
- 6db Gain UHF antenna
- Dual Battery system
- ARB Compressor mounted under the bonnet
- Front & Rear ARB Diff locks
- GME 40ch UHF radio (we will replace it with our Uniden 80ch remote head)
- Rhino roof racks with full-sized Rhino alloy basket
- 50mm Suspension lift with heavy duty airbags
- Heavy Duty checker plate side steps
- 35” Tyres and aftermarket Alloy rims
- Black Widow twin storage drawers with built in fridge slide
- Black Widow cargo barrier with centre divider and top basket section
- 70lt Stainless Steel Water tank
- Rear bar with swing out spare wheel mount
It’s a stark difference to our original plan of a brand new Dmax. Firstly, it’s older than what we have now!! (But less km’s) and a completely different body shape!
To be honest, with all the gear listed above and the great price we managed to get it for it came in at well under half the price of a new Dmax. We also agree that the vinyl floors, waterproof seat covers and some pre-existing paint scratches (not many tho) that a second hand model like this would be a smart option. And we still have money left over for a rainy day!!
This way we don’t need to be too precious about the kids making a mess or spend too much time contemplating whether or not to take it down that bushy track and getting scratched. It’s a complete turnaround for us but we think we got a great deal and we are certainly looking forward to hitting the road again very soon in it.
We have given up a few other luxuries too, things like central locking and power windows- everything is manually operated. That doesn’t bother me too much. If I wanted those things I would have needed to look at the 100 series (not the 105) but then I would need to have IFS suspension setup which is known to be the weak point in these heavy trucks. The 105 has the live axle setup which is better for 4x4ing and stronger, it’s just not as comfy or should I dare say “less car-like” and less options for modifications.
The 100 series also have a factory turbo diesel engine vs the naturally aspirated 1HZ engine in the 105- less power. But since our new rig has the aftermarket turbo fitted by a diesel service centre who has done all necessary tuning (including putting stronger engine components on, we reckon this thing has BALLS!
The job will soon start to install the following:
- UNIDEN 80 ch UHF Radio
- Roof-mounted camp lighting
- 5db Gain 3G phone antenna
- LED reverse light
- HELTON under-bonnet Hot water heat exchange system for hot showers/water etc
- Ironman Compressor fridge
- The Ecoboxx 1500 solar generator
- Solar panels
- GPS tracking device
- Rear DVD players
- LED interior lighting
- Hema HN6 GPS
- Reversing camera
- Possibly a better dual battery isolator and DC-DC charger
- Renew battery terminals with better quality ones