This blog started with a small series of blog posts on a renovation I did to a camper that I attached to my trusty Landcruiser to travel around Australia.
Since then I’ve sold that camper and fitout another one using an aluminium canopy as a base with a roof top tent and a 270 degree awning. This was built to travel around for longer periods of time, with more capacity in general to live in the bush in crocs and board shorts for a month at a time between trips into stupid town.
The new camper went from:
- 80L of water to 130L of water
- 80L fridge freezer to 110L fridge freezer
- 160W of Solar to 400W of solar
- 130ah of deep cycle battery to 260ah of deep cycle batteries
- Little camp kitchen to fancy slide out heat treated glass covered kitchen
I was pretty sure that between a camper setup for longer stints of maximum wig out in the middle of the bush and the unstoppable Toyota Landcruiser HDJ79 that I’d met my forever car. I’d be buried one day in this car. My old broken back still held upright by the right angled bench seat as we both slowly rusted away back into the bush from which we came.
But this seemingly perfect plan to melt back into the bush in my Landcruiser started to unravel when I found myself watching automatically suggested and automatically playing YouTube videos a few too many times. Videos of people sailing around on boats were all of a sudden forced into my delicate and impressionable eye balls. Sailing around tropical islands, fishing, diving, spear fishing and girls doing yoga in bikinis on yachts.
Compared to my predetermined destiny to drive my forever Landcruiser into the sunset, this youtube based sailing life seemed new and exciting, but also quieter, more freedom, cheaper and sexier. Sailing rather than using diesel. Dropping the anchor in deserted anchorages rather than booking campsites. Fishing from the comparative luxury of a yacht rather than a cramped fishing boat.
I was sure that I would never convince Katie to go for this crazy idea to buy a yacht and one day sail around on it, but that didn’t stop me from suggesting it at every opportunity. Don’t like the smell of that drop dunny? – you wouldn’t have to put up with that if we were on a yacht, don’t like having dirty feet from walking around camp all the time? – you wouldn’t have to put up with that if we were on a yacht.
And so it was on Australia day in 2019 that I finally convinced Katie that we should buy a yacht. After a trip to Moreton Island in the my little fishing boat, sleeping in our hiking tent with sand in our sleeping bag and sand in our jocks. One morning as we walked down to the beach and saw people swimming and bbqing bacon on the back of their yachts, she said in a moment of weakness, “I could probably do that one day..”
The next weekend we were inspecting yachts, of which I already had a list ready to go…
Since then we’ve bought a catamaran, moved onto it and learnt how to sail. But that’s a different blog post.
What I didn’t realise when I watched those youtube sailing videos all those years ago was that a chain reaction had been set in motion, that would eventually result in me selling my forever car. I’ve just sold my 70 series Landcruiser ute.
While I wallow in my sorrow, I’d like to share a short poem I wrote about my Landcruiser, and the ad, which went viral.
The end of an era.
70 series Landcruiser. Unstoppable Earth Mover. HDJ79R If you want, she will take you far Oh, how you complete me 1 H D F T E
The year is 2022. You’ve been living in the bush since the world went full Mad Max in 2020.
You’ve heard of a camp in the Kimberley, where people eat barramundi for 3 meals a day, with plenty of fresh waterfalls for drinking and swimming. That’s where you’ve been heading, but your Hilux has just given up. Common rail injection systems just weren’t meant for the kind of diesel you syphon out of tractors after fighting farmers to the death. Common rail injection systems just can’t run on blood diesel for long.
You wonder how all your friends that you’ve left behind on the way are going. Are they still alive? So many friends with ford rangers with blown up motors, amaroks that dropped CV joints on the road. Even your friends with V8 70 series Landcruisers were left behind after their alternators and starter motors filled with mud from being badly positioned.
As you drink your last litre of water, staring into the desert heat you start reminiscing about what you should have done differently. In hindsight it seems so obvious now that the Corona virus was going to kill the world economy and turn civilisation into Mad Max 2. At the time we thought social distancing and 6 weeks of playing PlayStation instead of going to work and we’d be fine. But after ScoMo died from the Rona it all went haywire.
If only you’d seen the signs earlier and prepared a little better you would’ve made it to the land of endless barramundi.
If only instead of buying a Hilux you’d bought a HDJ79 Landcruiser. That 1HDFTE motor is unstoppable.
You even looked at one once in early 2020. The previous owner said it had taken him all around Australia with ease and it was going to be his forever Landcruiser, but since he moved onto a yacht all his camping was done by boat now.
It was setup perfectly, it was only just run in with 350 thousand km, twin diesel tanks providing about 180L, ARB air lockers front and rear, Runva winch, CB radio, 2 spare tyres, 3in exhaust, snorkel, a massive under tray slide out toolbox, and the best setup camping canopy and roof top tent you’d ever seen with:
• Jack off legs stored neatly in the slide out undertray toolbox so you can take the canopy off to go put the boat in
• A King’s kwiky roof top tent that fit him at 190cm and his girlfriend well with LED lighting and USB charger that you can setup in minutes (video https://photos.app.goo.gl/SCrM48ZzfbjQEGRx8 )
• A Drifter 270 degree heavy duty canvas awning
• A really neat kitchen featuring a Dometic 3 burner stove and sink including basic kitchenware
• 2 x 135ah AGM batteries
• Ctek D250SA DCDC charger
• Ctek mxs5 ACDC charger
• Ctek battery monitor
– 2000w invertor
• 12v white LED lights all around
• 12v amber LED lights all around to keep the bugs away at night
• All cabled back to a central switch panel with resettable circuit breakers
• 2 x 200w solar panels stored securely on the camper roof
• A 12v water pump, that pumps from the 130L water tank or can pump from a bucket for the shower
• An instant hot water shower, that would’ve meant you could have your pick of female camping companions
• A small gas bottle, but a bracket for a 9L bottle and space for another 9L bracket
• A Ziggy portable BBQ / Oven that fits perfectly
• MSA drop down fridge slide that fits a evakool RF110 fridge freezer, that wasn’t available as he’s using it on his boat
• A fire pit grill
• Camp table
And all you need to get really remote like
• 2 x Maxtrax
• Recovery gear
• 12v air compressor
• Tyre deflators
• A small invertor welder, clamps and mask that fits behind the passenger seat to fix broken boat trailers along the way
• Some firewood
• Alvey surf rod and reel
And all he was asking was $32k with safety certificate and rego.
If you’d bought that Landcruiser instead of a Hilux you wouldn’t be lost in the desert, you’d have made it to the Kimberley and be eating barramundi while the girls all competed with each other to use your hot shower.