solo touring setup for an old fella

Submitted: Friday, Apr 02, 2021 at 22:26
ThreadID: 141334 Views:1553 Replies:10 FollowUps:27
G’day everyone

Seeking ideas and advice on vehicle and setup for solo touring for elderly gent. Mun n Dad were lucky enough to spend decades touring every part of the country in a Landrover with a Trayon setup. It’s a pretty simple but very effective setup in which they lived for months on end and comfortably navigated all manner of country and conditions. Sadly now its just Dad and at 87, setting up the Trayon or changing tyres on the Landy is a bit tiring. He doesn’t want to do months on end but shorter trips.

My suggestion has been something like a Subaru Forester / RAV4 converted to sleep in the back for short stays (he’d keep a tent for long stays), one of those roof rack awning things out one side with a smaller fully electric fridge (no gas). Looking for something with above average clearance and some off/soft road capability but something that can also serve as a town car and comfortably fit the golf clubs in the back. I’m searching the internet to see if someone has done something similar, I’m dam sure they would have, but not finding what I expected, including on this site.

Appreciate suggestions if anyone has come across some good photos / websites of something or can describe a good setup.

Happy Easter
Back Reply Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Chris J16 - Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 06:19

Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 06:19
Hi Dermie,

I have set-up a 2019 Subaru XV for a three month trip starting in August (hopefully covid willing) around the NT and WA.

I don't intend to sleep in the vehicle not enough room, unless I take out all the gear every night.

I have constructed a plywood box/tray that slides inside the car with the rear seats down and is fixed to the brackets that locks the rear seat backs, I have removed the useless spare tyre and have an opening in the box that I can put stuff into the now empty wheel wheel.

In the plywood tray goes the following:

Engel 40L fridge
2 Spare wheels
15L Water Container
2 by 10L petrol jerry's (only if required)
Food
Spares
Clothes

On the roof I have a Rhino Platform, Rhino Bag and a Rhino Sunseeker Awning
In the Bag goes:

Tent/Self-Inflating Mattresses/ Sleeping Bags/Chairs/Tarps/Maxtracks/Table/Solar Panel

I have a battery box with a 135amp deep cycle battery with a DCDC charger on top, this sits in one of the rear passenger footwells.

The XV is quite capable (200mm ground clearance but nowhere to fit recovery points), have only fitted A/T tyres you just need to take your time and pick good sensible lines. I think its achilles heel would be deep mud. I have driven it on the "Peron Dunes" in NE Tasmania with no problems (tyres at 15psi) and some tough tracks in NE Victoria.

The Forester would be a better choice room wise, I only went with the XV as the Forester is now getting bigger and bigger. Both have the same soft off-road capability

My XV came with 18" rims and tyres which I have replaced with 17" rims of a wrecked XV of a lower Spec.
There is a better range of A/T tyres for 17" rims.

Sorry can't do photo's of the set-up at present as I have it in standard trim at the moment, which is the beauty of the set-up town car one day, touring/camping vehicle the other.

As far as sleeping in the vehicle have a look on the "Subaru XV forum" and do a search, there are some threads on there were members have set-up their XV for sleeping. Would apply to Forester/RAV 4 as well

With all the gear and two people I am only 30 kilos under GVW so you have to be careful with what you take but I reckon 80% of 4WD's out there are over their GVW, just the pilot in me.

The XV forum also shows lots of Mod's that they do to their XV's to enhance off road capability.

https://www.subaruxvforum.com/

Good on you for keeping your parents motivated to keep travelling, if you don't use it you lose it.

Good Luck CJ


AnswerID: 635858

Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 09:29

Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 09:29
Did you say what and where the spare tyre is now?
0
FollowupID: 913561

Follow Up By: Chris J16 - Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 09:43

Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 09:43
The Standard spare tyre in an XV is only a temporary/compact type: Size 185/65/R17 rated to 80 Kmh
No good for outback travel

I have two full size spares inside the cabin ratchet strapped to the plywood tray

A full-size wheel will not fit in the wheel well, I've tried it deflated and ratched strapped to reduce its diameter no luck. So the empty wheel well serves as my pantry.

Regards
CJ
1
FollowupID: 913563

Follow Up By: Zippo - Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 12:35

Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 12:35
The Forester is too short in the back (rear seats folded down of course) for all but the shortest people - we have one (Forester, not pygmy). The Outback is long enough.

But in all these sleep-inside configurations you are faced with unloading most of the rear compartment to be able to sleep in there - that gets to be a daily grind really quick. Unless you have the vehicle height to be able to sleep on top of the storage. The troopy ticks most of those boxes but the wheel changing lets it down for you.

My son/DIL have a VW Transporter (4WD version) semi-camper with that sleep-above-the-storage configuration which would be an alternative approach as the wheels are "sensible" size/weight.

I would rule out RTT's at his age.
0
FollowupID: 913573

Follow Up By: Member - lyndon NT - Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 12:36

Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 12:36
Hi Chris

Hope your trip works out, just remember our dry season is June to August. September it starts to warm up, by October is can be unbearable for some folks from down south. So depending on how you are doing your trip, my advise would be in the Top End first.
The Top End is best seen in May as most things are usually open (depends on wet season) and still green.
This year our wet season started early, looked like it was going to be a BOOMER, regular rain stopped for us in Darwin after the first week in February. Fingers crossed for a late monsoon, could still happen but unlikely. By August it would have been a LONG time since rain. Most water holes will be dry or stagnant, there are exceptions to this though.

Cheers

Lyndon
Now is the only time you own
Decide now what you will,
Place faith not in tomorrow
For the clock may then be still

Member
My Profile  Send Message

1
FollowupID: 913574

Follow Up By: Chris J16 - Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 14:26

Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 14:26
Hi Lyndon,

Thanks for the advice, we intend to do SA/NT in August, then maybe two weeks in Darwin early Sept, then Sept/Oct in WA.

I was concerned that June/July could be too cold in SA, but we can't get away any earlier we are still working.

Just need this Covid thing not to rear its ugly head again !! and close the borders.

Regards
Chris J
0
FollowupID: 913577

Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 08:46

Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 08:46
Ex hire Troopy camper?
Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 motorhome
AnswerID: 635861

Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 08:50

Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 08:50
They have Land Rover size wheels which is one of the things the OP is attempting to get away from.
PeterD
Retired radio and electronics technician

Lifetime Member
My Profile  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 913559

Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 09:08

Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 09:08
Fit some alloys.
EDIT: and maybe some "mechanical assistance devise"?
The OKA wheels weigh 80kg each. There is no way I can lift one, but I can change (and repair) a flat.
Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 motorhome
0
FollowupID: 913560

Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 12:27

Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 12:27
.
Hi Chris.

The Subies are capable alright. I started my 4WD'ing in a 1984 Subie. Went everywhere in it pulling a camper trailer..... with care. Never got into strife.

But an anecdote...... Workmate was heading off on a well packed holiday. I suggested he remove the spare from the well and put it on the roof rack for access.
On return he described needing the spare and blessed me for the advice. Then he looked for the jack and realised it was still in the well under a stack of gear...... Doh!!!
Cheers
Allan

Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

2
FollowupID: 913570

Follow Up By: Member - lyndon NT - Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 12:27

Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 12:27
I agree about the Troopy for camping, and at almost 90 I would have thought you may need assistance with any tyre. The owner wants it for around town as well though, though I'm happy with mine around town, most people wouldn't be.
Now is the only time you own
Decide now what you will,
Place faith not in tomorrow
For the clock may then be still

Member
My Profile  Send Message

1
FollowupID: 913571

Follow Up By: Chris J16 - Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 14:42

Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 14:42
Hi Allan,

Back in 2001 on a very very wet Easter Friday (it had been raining for 7 days solid) we were coming down the Davies Plain Track in NE Vic heading to Tom Groggin Station in NSW.

I slid most of the way down in my modded GQ Wagon nearly at the bottom this guy is coming up in an early 1980's Subaru Wagon (L model ??) anyway I've opened the window and said:

Mate I wouldn't go up there in that, I wouldn't even turn around and go back up in this thing.

He said thanks and continued on up I believe he made it all the way, opened up my eyes.

I've always believed in 90% driver 10% vehicle.

Regards
Chris
1
FollowupID: 913578

Follow Up By: Member - silkwood - Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 15:35

Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 15:35
"I've always believed in 90% driver 10% vehicle."

I'd say 30% driver, 70% vehicle, but only if that 30% means the driver knows how to use the controls of the vehicle. I've always felt the 4WD crowd overestimates their ability as drivers (no different to other driver groups, I guess).

Cheers,
Mark
2
FollowupID: 913582

Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 15:58

Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 15:58
.
Nah, 20% driver, 20% vehicle and 80% some mystical karma.
Cheers
Allan

Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

2
FollowupID: 913583

Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Tuesday, Apr 06, 2021 at 10:50

Tuesday, Apr 06, 2021 at 10:50
That's it Allan, always put in 120% !! :)
1
FollowupID: 913663

Reply By: Gbc.. - Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 09:21

Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 09:21
Van, hi ace or similar. They can be had in awd if needed. I have a forester and wouldn’t fancy climbing in and out of it to sleep.
AnswerID: 635862

Follow Up By: Member - David M (SA) - Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 12:28

Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 12:28
At that age ( which I am ) the first thing that springs to mind is comfort. Nothing worst than having to "set up camp"when you pull up for the night. I'll go with Gbc on this one.
Dave.
3
FollowupID: 913572

Follow Up By: Member - silkwood - Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 12:38

Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 12:38
A van makes far more sense, to my mind. We took a Delica (4wd) van to many remote places. They can still be had in good condition for reasonable dollars (so long as they have had the fuel pump upgraded- most have by now- and a better radiator fitted). The short wheelbase, low roof versions are easy around town.

With a van, life can be more comfortable and convenient. Besides, get him to start videoing and he could join the "van life" brigade on YouTube!?? Don't get me wrong, I've loved my two Subies, but I'd go the van in this case...
1
FollowupID: 913575

Follow Up By: Gbc.. - Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 12:57

Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 12:57
I’ve also got a sube and I love it. But at that age I think I’d love being able to pee inside standing up more haha. Who am I kidding, I already do!
1
FollowupID: 913576

Follow Up By: Member - OzJourney - Monday, Apr 05, 2021 at 10:36

Monday, Apr 05, 2021 at 10:36
I'll second the Delica, ours has been everywhere, nothing better than just jumping into a made up bed, or to get out of the weather.
2
FollowupID: 913627

Follow Up By: Member - silkwood - Monday, Apr 05, 2021 at 12:06

Monday, Apr 05, 2021 at 12:06
When mentioning Delicas, the Series 2 & 3 models are getting a little old in the tooth nowadays, though it is still possible to import one in very good, low milage condition from Japan.

The D5 (though less capable off-road) could be an excellent choice for a camper.

Cheers,
Mark
0
FollowupID: 913630

Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Monday, Apr 05, 2021 at 13:34

Monday, Apr 05, 2021 at 13:34
I’m only in mid 70’s, but if I was 10 years older I’d be lining up for something like a Hiace too!

A mate, in his 80’s, has, I think, a Liteace van, bit smaller than the Hiace, with less ground clearance, which is good when you’re stepping out of it, I’d imagine. He lives in Adelaide these days but was no worries for him to tackle tracks like Oodnadatta, Sandover & Birdsville tracks. Only 2wd, but with good tyres & maybe a rear diff lock, it’d be a great tourer. Bed already made up, fridge ‘n cooking gear.

Wonder they’d do one with Landcruiser V8 & running gear?

Bob

Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 913634

Follow Up By: Gbc.. - Monday, Apr 05, 2021 at 17:05

Monday, Apr 05, 2021 at 17:05
Something like this would suit a single older gent down to the ground I’d think. Full of Toyota goodness and plenty of life left in it.

https://www.edwardlees.com.au/Vehicle/2015-toyota-hiace-wagon-4wdcamperhighroof4wdcamperhighroof-kdh206rmy16update2015-239842
2
FollowupID: 913637

Reply By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 12:54

Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 12:54
.
Dermie, I know where you are coming from.
We have been touring Aus in a Troopy with bed in back. At 88 years old it was becoming difficult to pull on the jeans whilst laying on one's back on the bed! But our move to something more comfortable was precipitated by our kids getting concerned about the 'oldies' safety.

I would have considered moving back to a camper trailer but Roz fancied an indoor toilet and shower so we are jumping all the way to a 4WD motorhome. I'm not ready to give up the 4WD stick!

I rather like your idea of a Forester or RAV4 or the like. In those it is possible to arrange sleeping space in the rear (with seats removed) alongside well designed storage with cooking outside under an installed awning. And you still have a good 'everyday' vehicle.

I am surprised that you cannot find appropriate info on the internet. I just searched "sleep in back of forester" and produced 2 millions hits.
Cheers
Allan

Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 635865

Reply By: Member - Jim S1 - Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 15:29

Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 15:29
Hi dermie
Keep in mind that the newer Subarus are not the 4wd that they used to be. They are now AWD, which is a different beast altogether.
Skoda has a good range of nice vehicles.

Cheers
Jim
"Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits." A fisherman.

"No road is long with good company." Traditional

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 635869

Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 16:11

Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 16:11
,
Jim, I would be happy that the newer Subarus are not what they "used to be".
Even though they are now AWD their "Subaru Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC)" provides a hopefully better traction than before. Some models that is.
Many vehicle models using traction control or stability control or whatever the publicity dept. calls it, are demonstrating equal or superior vehicle handling to the old brute force 4WD systems. It's a New World out there.
Cheers
Allan

Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

2
FollowupID: 913584

Follow Up By: Gbc.. - Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 17:16

Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 17:16
Current model is the best clearance, biggest tyres and best 4wd system they have had. Maybe the 5eat models could compete with their torque sensing diffs but the current ones have that anyway.
0
FollowupID: 913586

Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 18:22

Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 18:22
Alan, most new vehicles have both traction control and stability control and most people haven't got a clue about which one is what.
1
FollowupID: 913590

Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 18:43

Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 18:43
.
Michael, I am pretty comfortable at being like "most people". Lol
Cheers
Allan

Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

2
FollowupID: 913591

Follow Up By: Chris J16 - Sunday, Apr 04, 2021 at 06:55

Sunday, Apr 04, 2021 at 06:55
Good video here of how X-Mode works:

The tracks in NE Vic where I live are mostly steep shale with embedded rocks, deep spoon drains and wash-outs. My XV has surprised me how well it handles these climbs and descents with OEM HT Tyres.

You just take your time and let the vehicle do its job, it will often pause in difficult spot, a wheel will spin then the system will lock the wheel and sent drive to the opposite wheel and or shift drive to either of the differentials.

Its not a perfect system, buts lots of vehicles are going this way, I for one had my doubts at first coming from having Patrols, Landcruisers & a Navara.

There will be always place for your true H/Duty 4WD that's hopefully if the manufacturers continue to produce them.

Your true 4WD is always going to be a better option off-road, but I was finding that for the 10% of times I used the real 4WD, I had to put up with it on roads and freeways for the other 90%.

Now I just pick my trips to suit the vehicle and still manage to see some amazing things, more and more tracks are being permanently closed around here with a lot of the really tough tracks shut for good.

I have attached a video of how the system works, it has its shortcomings but generally it gets you were you want to be.

2
FollowupID: 913604

Reply By: Member - Wildmax - Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 16:49

Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 at 16:49
We've had seven Subarus over the years (Outbacks, Foresters and Imprezas, and even the old Leone wagon) and towed light campers with them. They are fantastic vehicles and really do go almost anywhere.
Good on your Dad for still getting out there, but at his age (or mine !!) I wouldn't want to sleep in a Suby - a small 4WD camper van would be my option.
Wildmax
2018 Hilux pulling AOR Eclipse
Black Wolf 210 tent

Member
My Profile  Send Message

AnswerID: 635871

Reply By: rumpig - Sunday, Apr 04, 2021 at 08:02

Sunday, Apr 04, 2021 at 08:02
I’d think a 4wd van of some type would be a good option, there’s plenty of people touring the country in 2wd Sprinter vans and the like also.....Plenty of room to stand up in the higher vans like the Sprinters etc.
https://www.autotrader.com.au/car/11612943/mercedes-benz/sprinter/nsw/condell-park/van
AnswerID: 635875

Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Sunday, Apr 04, 2021 at 10:51

Sunday, Apr 04, 2021 at 10:51
.
And that is just what I'm waiting for Rumpig. An MB Sprinter, 4WD, V6, high roof.
Hopefully will be here in a couple of weeks after a 6 month wait!
Cheers
Allan

Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

1
FollowupID: 913611

Reply By: Rangiephil - Sunday, Apr 04, 2021 at 10:42

Sunday, Apr 04, 2021 at 10:42
I have met a few old codgers outback and one locally where I live who have bought ex rental Hiluxes with slide on campers.

They were happy with their choice and had no troubles although the cars had 250KK+ on them.
The older diesel Toyotas will do 400KK without major problems.

I bought an 85 Camry wagon once for my daughter as a short term thing with AFAIR 354Kk on it and she drove it for a year without major problems.
They still go for quite a tidy sum but that shows the demand for them.
AnswerID: 635879

Reply By: bobsabobsa - Tuesday, Apr 06, 2021 at 17:27

Tuesday, Apr 06, 2021 at 17:27
H ve a look at the " japanese auto imports " site some great vehicles there

https://japaneseauto.com.au/buy/2005-mitsubishi-delica-hr-chamonix-van-wagon-8st-4dr-auto-4sp-4x4-3-0i/0CrmNSVtuLX8KcHEoZ_sPA

lots to choose from
Bob
AnswerID: 635912

Reply By: dermie66 - Tuesday, Apr 06, 2021 at 20:36

Tuesday, Apr 06, 2021 at 20:36
Gday everyone

Thanks so much for all the replies. I was lucky enough to get away for most of the long weekend and was overwhelmed with the responses when I got back. Thank you all.

Sleeping in the Subaru was always questionable, even for a night or two. Like many have suggested, it aint easy at the best of times and certainly not when you’re 6’ and need to get up a couple of times in the night. Dad’s thinking was it would only be a few nights while travelling and then the camp bed when at a destination. Nowadays he sometimes travels alone for a few days but always to meet up with friends where they spend a week or two in one spot. Maybe we need to be a bit more patient sorting through all the irrelevant stuff that comes up in the googling. We’ll look over everyone’s thoughts and have a chat about it and come up with something.

The one thing we won’t talk about is a Troopy. I did mention he was a Landrover man, always was. I should add I’m a Landcruiser man, always have been. I could mention it but would likely be written out of the will.

cheers
dermie
AnswerID: 635915

Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Tuesday, Apr 06, 2021 at 21:26

Tuesday, Apr 06, 2021 at 21:26
I know a bloke with a 101. Not sure if he would sell it.
Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 motorhome
0
FollowupID: 913685

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (13)