4 kids and 2 adults do not fit in a 5 seat ute, so the search was on to find a 6 seat vehicle that we could build into a tourer. We looked at some beastly vehicles, a yank tank or two, an OKA, a Unimog and an Iveco. All great in their own way but impractical around town and especially heading out to get the groceries.
That left pretty much one vehicle available in the Australian market place that would fit, a 200 series Landcruiser of course! It probably was always near the top of the list as we had specc’d the Camper trailer with Toyota hubs when we built it. Of course a plus was it came with a V8 twin turbo diesel that put out 210kw and 650nm, perfect for pulling the camper up the Herne Spur track!
We picked up a stock 2nd hand GXL that had been a town driver with low km’s that was very neat, in A1 mechanical condition and had done no off road. Here is the rundown of what we built.
It was riding on upgraded 18” Sahara rims and road tires, we swapped in 17” Dynamic Sahara Alloys and shod them with 285/70/17 Maxxis Bighorn MT’s. We went with 6 as we wanted 2 spare. Hence we then added an Outback Accessories dual wheel carrier with work light mount.
We then added a Killa Tradesmen roof rack and drilled in some brilliant little shovels holders called Quick Fist that I came across online. Drifta make a brilliant wrap around awning that covers the tailgate (hence fridge) and gives a lot of coverage and is super easy to put up and down. This is probably the best thing we added.
We also had the windows re-tinted. (The factory tint removed and 40% tint applied)
We then visited Dave at ARB Northside and put the vehicle in for 3 weeks to have the following done:
Front and rear diff lockers with the compressor mounted in the engine bay + diff breathers.
Summit colour coded bullbar and fitted a Runva 12,000lb winch with synthetic rope.
Full under body protection with recovery points.
Safari Armax snorkel (massive compared to the stock model).
ARB Frontier 180L tank (pushing total litres out to 273).
ARB also did a neat job in fitting the GME TX3350 behind the dash with the hand piece mounted on the passenger side of the dash.
We then headed down to Narrabeen Auto Electrics (thanks Mark) for the following wiring:
Fog lights into the bullbar.
Narva 50watt 225HIDS onto the bullbar.
Ultravison Tornado dual row lightbar onto the bullbar.
CB aerial mounted to the Bullbar.
FM radio aerial mounted to the bull bar (signal booster also fitted to radio in dash).
Narva LED work light and external waterproof switch mounted to rear wheel.
Redarc brake controller.
Anderson plug (running straight from 2nd battery to trailer).
3 additional heavy duty 12v sockets in rear boot panels of vehicle.
We also changed the ARB Carling rocker switches to flush mounted Toyota OEM type that gives the under dash a much cleaner look.
We are also mounting a small LED light bar to the external back corner on the roof rack to sit under the awning for night illumination. The switch will be mounted in the inside rear panel in the boot.
Lastly we took the vehicle to DR Shocks at Brookvale (thanks Dave) and he fitted the following:
Bilstein 50mm shocks, King HD springs and Cal Offroad Upper Control arms. We also bought a diff drop kit, but due to time limitations we have not fitted it yet. It will require some engineering work as the kit does not fit in with the under body protection, we will probably have to use some spacers to drop the under body protection to make it fit.
After our first trip with a fully loaded cruiser and trailer we ended up with that bum dragging look for the truck and nose down for the camper. We will now do some research and have airbags fitted in the coming months to the rear. We will also change the tow ball tongue to a higher one, as the OEM one drops the ball height to low.