After a lot of deliberation we decided to opt for Toyota reliability and support throughout Africa in the form of a HZJ78 Landcruiser, otherwise known as a Troop Carrier or Troopy with a 4.2 litre naturally aspirated 6 cylinder diesel engine. It is slow, steady and simple. 70 series Landcruisers look like they were designed in the 70s, inside and out. We found this 2006 Troopy in South Africa although it comes from Australia, where Troopies are a favourite of the mining industry. This single owner Troopy we found advertised in South Africa had been well looked after despite 190000 km on the clock when we got it. So far we have driven a little over 20000 km without missing a beat. We are best pleased with it.
The Troopy sits on Old Man Emu suspension, has an ARB bar and a Gobi-X wheel carrier rear bar. Currently we have only one spare wheel, but the option is to change the utility “basket” to use for a 2nd spare. Tyre pressure monitoring will be fitted for the 2017 trip as one near new tyre was destroyed on the last trip and that could have been prevented if we had a TPMS. The cost of a TPMS is less than one tyre, so it is a good investment.
Two 90 liter diesel tanks give a lot of range. We found that over the 2016 trip we averaged 9 liters/100km, which is not too bad at all for the 1HZ engine. That gives a range of 1000 to 1500km depending on the terrain.
It has a popup roof enabling us to sleep inside. A series of low level storage cabinets on one side allow you to sit in the car, which is rather nice in inclement weather. Additional storage is on the other side as well as a 40 litre Engel fridge. We find that sufficient as we do not eat meat. Generally space is at a bit of a premium which is quite good really as we are not tempted to carry way too much stuff and overload the Troopy. So we travel fairly light.
Solar power is provided by a roof mounted 110W panel as well as a 80W portable folding panel. The latter is quite handy on hot days as the car can be in the shade and portable panel in the sun.
The usual setup with dual batteries, separated by a voltage sensitive relay.
Two water tanks, one of which has a heat exchanger, the other is fitted with a pump so we have pressurised water.
Luxuries? That would have to be the electric tooth brush and new for the 2017 an Aeropress coffee maker with a Porlex grinder (last year we suffered far too much bad coffee)!