Let's Talk Shop
Jeeps, Land Rovers and Land Cruisers oh my!
So first of all, we should address the photos of the Jeep since our expedition is supposed to be done in a Land Rover. Currently our expedition rig, Rosie is our beloved 2009 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. She's carried us across countless miles of back country roads, down to Key West, and to the remote reaches of northern Maine. Through the past three years of owning the rig, she has become a member of our little family, unfortunately though, she isn't quite up to snuff for our Australia expedition. While we love her, we also need something a bit more robust and suited for the journey. Plus the current Pentastar engine doesn't quite give us the power and range that we would require (cough cough 12.5 mpg...).
So now I know what you all are thinking, we need a robust and reliable rig, and those seem to be two words not often associated with Land Rover. While that is true, sometimes if you're really passionate about a vehicle the work becomes more of a labor of love, than a hinderance, as we have experienced in great quantity with Rosie. Being no strangers to having to work to keep a vehicle maintained, plus being bitten by the Land Rover bug, we are wanting to complete our expedition in a Land Rover Defender.
Being somewhat (or maybe a lot a bit) nostalgic, we want to showcase the legacy and enduring history of the Defender. What vehicle automatically comes to mind when you picture expeditions? That's right, a Land Rover Defender with a big plume of dust being kicked up behind it and the setting sun in the Serengeti or the Outback, unless of course you're a Toyota person. There are few vehicles that can boast a reputation as being the first truck ever seen by some isolated populations of people, which in my mind carries a bit of weight as to the reputation and purposefulness of the vehicle.
I know the risks associated with buying a Defender, the leaky floors, noisy interior, somewhat touchy engine, and hidden rust spots, but man would it be a perfect truck. Maybe we might have been bumped on the head a bit much off-road to still love Land Rovers, but there is something to be said for their 4x4 capability, simplicity and strong community of owners. Plus who hasn't wanted to use one of their dream cars on a dream expedition, that's the real question!
Australia though, is known as Toyota country, and as much as it does pain me, if we aren't able to find a decent quality Defender, we will be resorting to a Land Cruiser. If possible we will be trying to find a Troopy, due to the simple set up, large amount of cargo space, and good 4x4 handling. Plus sourcing replacement parts will be much easier as most of the components are not specialized as they are with a Land Rover. And I do have to give the Toyota crew credit in that you really can't get a more reliable vehicle than Toyota.
That being said though, through our trip we want to really showcase and celebrate the legacy of Land Rover. Through our experiences so far with the vehicle, plus owning a Land Rover Discovery a few years back, there is just something that clicks with us and makes us feel like kids again headed out on a great adventure. To do this though, we are always open to support and tips, and if anyone has any buyers advice for the Defender please let us know! This is only the first of many writings about vehicles I am sure, because if there is one thing overlander's enjoy, that's talking about trucks.