Bushlore Topics > Other Outdoor Gear

Bush Vehicles

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I spend a fair bit of time in some of the more remote areas of Australia and since it's too far to walk from home (and I don't own a horse), a motor vehicle is the most efficient way of getting from Point A to Point B via Point Z.

I'll bet money I'm not the only member of the forums who enjoys a bit of vehicle-borne exploration as part of their bushgoing activities, so I thought it might be fun to see how other folks handle their wheeled transpo out in the boonies. Kombi vans, 4x4s, ATVs, motorcycles, mountain bikes, ruggedized Segways... the options are endless.

For about the past decade I have owned a 1970s Toyota Land Cruiser Diesel short wheel-based 4x4. It's taken me all over Australia, from the tip of Cape York to the gibber desert of the Woomera Prohibited Area (ok, that's only half the country). I'll do another post on the Shorty Forty Land Cruiser.

Last week I decided to retire the Cruiser since it's in need of a full frame-off resto so I bought an early 1990s ex Australian army Land Rover 110 "Perentie".

Mine is an "FFR" model which means "Fitted For Radio" (see http://www.remlr.com/perentie-ffr.html). This basically means that in service it had mounts for a full range of antennas, and a 5 battery power system - a normal 12v alternator and single battery and a separate 24v system consisting of a massive 24v generator under the hood which charges four batteries so they could run high-power military comms without running flat the vehicle's cranking battery. A perfect power system for long range expeditioning and camping. Sadly the army demilled the power system on mine by chopping the big unobtainium cables and connectors and recycling the batteries of the 24v system.

It has a four speed manual transmission and runs a 3.9 litre 4 cylinder Isuzu diesel engine - naturally aspirated, but I have a turbo kit here too which I'll fit if I need a bit extra on-road speed and fuel efficiency in the future.

The previous owner of the truck took a cue from the awesome Australian army Regional Force Surveillance Vehicle (RFSV) variants of these vehicles (see http://www.remlr.com/perentie-RFSV.html) and instead fitted a dual 12 volt battery system. He also fitted RFSV rear disc brakes, power steering, heavy duty clutch and suspension, ARB onboard air compressor, front and rear roll bars, PTO winch and a bunch of other stuff. Sadly, he also painted the car with icky-green rattlecan fence paint. In addition, he fitted 33 inch mud tyres which, when combined with the long travel suspension, have damaged the rear plastic wheel arch flares. And there's a big dent in the front left side fender which I'll have to fix.

I will be fitting standard 750r16 tyres on original army steel rims, painting the whole car ADF camouflage brown, which is similar to FDE (Field Dark Earth) but a tiny bit lighter. I'll also be ditching the trashy civilian hard top panel and reequipping the vehicle with a full soft top made out of olive drab milspec canvas. This is for a couple of reasons -
1. it gives the vehicle a lower centre of gravity when offroading and
2. the original camouflage net rack which goes with the original soft tops only holds the weight of a rolled camo net or a spare wheel, so I won't be tempted to overload the roof rack and make the high Centre of Gravity even worse than it is now. 

It's a highly capable vehicle on and off road and it has almost double the cargo space of the shorty Land Cruiser. On paper it's perfect for my purposes, so here's hoping I start to enjoy it more than I am at the moment.

Here's a post I originally made in another thread, but it was way off-topic and it fits better in its own thread. 

"I've "replaced" the land cruiser with an ex-army 110 Land Rover. I've still got a bad case of buyer's remorse. It's not a thing of beauty like the old Land Cruiser, but it's growing on me I guess.

Mine is one of these -

"Factory" pic.

"In-service" pic

I believe this is a pic of my actual vehicle a couple of years back - rattlecan fence paint is yuck. I'm in the middle of stripping it back to the original camouflage finish.

This is the colour paint I'm using. It's the brown/tan colour in the original camo pattern. Interestingly, mine has the hard top and roll down sides as seen in this pic. I'm putting it back the way it was, with an olive drab canvas top.

This is the inspiration for my build, a radio vehicle which follows the Regional Force Surveillance Vehicles around up in the Pilbara region of Australia's remote north west. I don't do camo though... ;-)"

So that's one of mine. What vehicle/s do you use in the great outdoors to support your bushgoing activities?

Here is mine. last pages are most recent with paint.

Then there is this too.

I have a 1970 Hustler 6x6 with bad chassis and all the axle bearings are shot. Thinking of using the transmission for a small dozer. Like A Struck mini or the newer magnatrac.

That's an awesome rover.

I had a few Land Cruisers and Jeeps back when I did a lot of hunting in far off places but the last few years have found a 4wd truck and a shell is the best rig for me. 


Nice rig ya have there. I wish I had one to run around in.

Now all ya need is a campaign cover with the top slanted back with a big crease in the middle, pack a big pistol on occasion, wear some khaki shorts with boots and a khaki shirt with epaulets & when ya ride around in that rig some folks will remember Les Hiddens, the "Bush Tucker Man".

A trailer for the Oz bush would be nice too.



I just use Jeeps & 4wd pickup trucks.

Moe M.:

  I've had 4x4 pickups with a cap over the bed for years then went to a conversion van in the early '80's, I drove that one for about 25 years, went back to a pickup for several years and then back again to a conversion Van.
  Both Vans have been set up as campers, the rear seats taken out and a bunk bed built at the rear with storage under the bed,  there haven't been too many places that I can't go with the Van, I keep clothes, freeze dried food, a camp stove, a couple of gallons of bottled water, and a portable toilet, it also has two gas tanks for a range of about 400 miles.
  The Van I have now is a 1990 Ford F-150 High Top conversion with 86,000 miles on it, I've had it for about ten years and it's still in nice shape and runs great, It's not going to swim any streams, run any swamps, or do any rock climbing, but it does ok in getting me out into the back country. 


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