Compact Overland 4WD vehicles like the Landrover Defender, Toyota Landcruiser and Mercedes G-Class are quite popular among overland travelers. Perfect for a 2 person crew on a 1 year world journey. But what if the overland vehicle becomes your home for many many years? A more spacious vehicle comes to mind, have a look.
Compact Overland Vehicles
For a 2 person crew on a 1 – 2 year world journey the Toyota Landcruiser, Landrover Defender and Mercedes G-class are often the primary choice. A few examples of popular conversions;
|Landrover Defender MDX
|Mercedes G Class ORC
|Mercedes G Class Lift Roof
|Landcruiser Desert TEC
|Landcruiser High Sleeper
|Landcruiser Tom's Fahrzeuge
With a typical range of 800 - 1000 Km (120 Liter diesel @ 12 L / 100 Km) with additional fuel tanks and a travel weight of around 3000 – 3500 Kg prices for a fully equipped pre-owned vehicle start at € 30.000 and upwards. On average a budget of € 80.000+ gets you a more recent compact 4x4 overland truck.
For the same budget a fully outfitted pre-owned 4x4 Overland or Expedition Truck is also within reach. Specially when the journey is planned over many years it's a realistic option.
Overland & Expedition Trucks - Fully Equipped
With travel weights starting at 6000 Kg upto 10 – 12.000 Kg the average range more than doubles to 2000 - 2500 Km (500 Liter diesel @ 20 L / 100 Km).
Autonomy increases also with on average 400 liter water, 200 Ah @ 24 Volts battery bank, solar power panels on the roof and sometimes a remote start silenced generator.
Inside there’s usually a fixed 2 person bed and often an extra 2 person bed converted from the dinner table. In exceptional truck builds there are additional bunk beds.
Overland or Expedition Truck World Journeys
With an Overland or Expedition Truck the crew travels with a full fledged compact house, which is the key difference with a Landcruiser / Landrover style Overland Vehicle.
From an interior perspective there are many parallels with a Yacht or Sailing ship. Materials and equipment are often the same. Its built to support the crew over many years in all climates in rough conditions.
The larger load range of the truck chassis makes its possible to carry more people, fuel, water, food and other facilities for increased autonomy.
The character of the world journey also changes – the truck becomes the base for further local exploration with bicycles or a motorcycle carried on the rear or internal garage. In urban areas there’s also more privacy on a public parking space. Due to the height of the living unit it's harder to look inside or get inside when the stairs are stowed away.
For the same budget – an Overland or Expedition Truck is a viable option. Overland Trucks with a basic expedition setup on a 80's 4x4 chassis start around € 50.000 and upwards.
Additional pro’s and con’s of Overland or Expedition Trucks compared to landcruiser / landrover style overland vehicle;
- More redundant weight space from the technical maximums
- More autonomy with more water, diesel and battery capacity
- More living space for passengers
- More body clearance
- All-climate living unit, winterized
- High viewpoint on the road – better oversight
- No prying eyes on the dashboard at checkpoints
- European Class C Drivers license (EU Class 3 / HGV style)
- Larger size in length (7+ meters) and height (3+ meter)
- Higher weight
An European Class C truck drivers license takes about 2 -3 months of lessons and costs between € 2500 - € 3500,-. The investment is well worth the effort - you'll be able to drive your own compact house around the world.
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